QET A QUOTE

Quick – can you hum the theme music from Jeopardy? How about the music from Star Wars when the Storm Troopers are marching? The tv show Hawaii Five-O? How about Friends?

Music can mean a lot more to you than you realize. Music is all around us, working its magic. We may not even notice it on a conscious level, but it's there, working "behind the scenes" to create a powerful impression.

So choosing the right music for your message can make all the difference. And when it comes to your advertising, especially your video content, not using music can be like tying one hand behind your back.

selecting music for your content

Music makes your message work harder

You can order a juicy cut of steak or freshly picked salad greens, but without seasoning or dressing, all that flavor falls flat. No matter how well-crafted your script or how stunning your images are, the right kind of music will make your message more powerful and more memorable. When you add music to video, you're improving your odds of an excellent ROI on your marketing.

Mnemonics and music

If you want someone to remember something, add a tune to it. A mnemonic device is designed to assist memory, especially as it applies to a tagline in advertising. Adding music to a line of copy can become a mnemonic. Done properly, the tagline becomes inextricably connected to the music and vice versa. Jeopardy and its distinctive theme music are forever united.

No time or no money for music?

We get it – there's no time. Working on your ads and video content can be exhausting. There's always more to do than you have time for. Getting the words and images right is number one, and music can become an afterthought.

Please don't make this mistake. There isn't a television commercial, a video, or a movie worth remembering that isn't energized by the music. Follow along, and we'll show you a few ways you can make it memorable.

1. Ask about the royalties

Adding the song One by U2 to your ad would be great, but you better be ready to sell the house and your whole neighborhood. If you plan to use your content across multiple platforms, it's good to double and triple-check to see if you have the right to do so without extra costs.

When you add audio to video, copyright infringement is a serious risk. It's too important to leave to the last minute. There's nothing more annoying than having to unsell a piece of music when someone has already fallen in love with it. Sort this out ahead of time. Then, check out your options using a royalty-free music catalog or audio library.

2. Match the music to your brand

The bad news is even finding the most amazing music to pair with your perfect images and words may not be right for your brand. The good news is you'll be able to tell as soon as you hear it. If it makes you cringe, move on to something else. There's a visceral reaction you get when the music isn't right.

Working on your marketing can become a sort of creative commons with the rest of your team. Just be sure you discuss which style of music you believe matches your brand at length. Don't assume everyone will know ahead of time. Be prepared for a spirited debate.

3. Music tracks make emotion

The right sound can bring structure to your work. And the right emotion for your message needs to peak at the right time. It's more than just a matter of keeping pace with the message. Your music can shine a bright spotlight on the most essential points you want to make. Be sure you don't overuse this technique. If you highlight too many things, no one thing will stand above the rest.

This isn't a music problem. This is a problem with your strategy and your message prioritization. No matter how good your video clips or video effects are, be sure to edit videos with brevity.

4. Is the music in sync with your story?

Don't fall in love with a piece of background music before you know exactly where your story is going. It's essential to match the tone of your music to the tone of your narrative. No one notices if you do an average match. Everyone will notice if you do a good one, and it's the same with a bad match. The same goes for sound effects and music tracks. Always keep your story front and center.

5. A good intro and a good outro

Sometimes a little bit of music does a lot. Ad pacing is one of the benefits available to you when you find background music that works. Think about whether you need music as background for the entire content or whether a good bookend would be better. A short and sweet piece of music at the beginning and one at the end may be the best solution for you and the content.

6. Set your budget at the beginning

This will always save you time and money. However, if you have a limited budget, finding the best music may take some extra time. Setting the parameters at the beginning gives you your best chance to get it right for the right price. Also, be sure to look around when it comes time to search for content. You might find some videos for free. Just be sure to check out the rights.

7. Show me your license

Those words can be scary if you haven't done your homework. There are four types of licenses used for music. Make sure you have the right one for what you're planning to do.

Free License – This covers music in the public domain. It can also cover music that has a creative commons license. Be sure to double-check.

Limited License – This describes a royalty-free song with very specific usage limits. For example, you might be able to use the song for a non-commercial purpose, like a training video. Make sure this doesn't somehow end up in your advertising, or you'll have to pay for it.

Paid License – A song you pay for in a specific application for a specific number of times or duration. Again, the devil will be in the details, so make sure you are ready with all possible uses in mind BEFORE you negotiate the terms. Being forced to pay after the fact for something someone forgot to mention can be very expensive.

Rights Managed – Again, this will be all about the details. How will the song be used, how much it will be used, and how many people will be exposed to it are examples of some terms that can be agreed to and followed.

Who wants to teach the world to sing?

When you get everything right, it's all worth it. In 1971, Coca-Cola aired its famous tv commercial, and many of us connect that song with the brand still to this day.

Like it or not, there are already over 50 million Americans who have become Cord-Cutters/Cord-Trimmers and Cord-Nevers. In varying degrees, they have said "No" to cable or satellite companies, and this will most probably affect your digital marketing and that of your competitors as well. This article will dig deeper into what's going on in the marketplace, how this relatively new consumer behavior is growing in popularity, and what implications this can have on your marketing strategy.  

More than just a few nerds on the fringe

Cord-cutting was relatively rare among the average American consumer only a handful of years ago. Today, some analysts describe the growing trend of cord-cutters as dismantling the cable tv industry. But, if recent history has taught us anything about digital consumption, today's 50 million cord-cutters will soon double and triple faster than our ability to accommodate the implications.

Who are the 50 million?

Cord-Cutters and the less common moniker -- Cord-Trimmers, have pared down or completely severed their tv content relationship with their cable or satellite provider. Specifically, Cord-Cutters, as the name suggests, no longer pay their cable company for tv content. However, some may still receive their internet access and telephone landline from their cable company.

On the other hand, Cord-trimmers usually purchase the bare minimum of tv content from their cable company. There may be several reasons for this, not least of which may be a "bundled price offer" made by their cable provider. In this way, some cable providers "force" a minimum purchase of cable tv so that consumers qualify for a more reasonable price on the internet service they want.

Cord-Trimmers in this category may consume all of their tv content by streaming it through providers like Apple TV, even though their contracts identify them as cable tv buyers. This means the number of streaming-only-group might be even more significant than we realize.

Cord Nevers are entirely different. These people have never received their television content from a cable company, and today they represent approximately 31 million people. They consume a considerable amount of content through streaming.

What do we know about them?

Cord-Nevers tend to be younger. 90% of Americans aged 25 to 34 use a digital streaming service and are not interested in traditional long-term contracts for their tv viewing. They are most likely to be Youtube watchers, mobile-oriented, and active in social media. There are regional differences for these groups across the country, and generally, these differences follow well-known tech adoption trends.

Cord-Cutters and Trimmers a skew a little older to 49. As this trend becomes more popular, the age segment stretches a little older. As the idea spreads, more and more older people are joining in.

These people are digitally savvy and consume a significant amount of content. Binge-watching their favorite shows is common among this segment.

What motivates cord-cutting and trimming?

Saving money: "Do you want fries with that?" is an all-too-common pricing practice among cable and satellite providers. What begins as a reasonably priced introductory offer quickly balloons into exorbitant fees piled up as high as a car payment. Each new "add-on" helps providers nickel and dime their way to emptying your wallet.

Depending on the streaming service, the fee to watch the same amount of content is only a fraction of what it would be for a traditional provider. For example, Apple TV starts at only $4.99 a month. Netflix basic is only $9.99 a month. Hulu is $11.99 a month.

Multi-way streaming: Multiple people in the same household can watch their favorite programs and films using a wide variety of smart devices. No more squabbles about whose turn it is to watch their favorite movie. Everyone gets to watch what they want on their own device. Some serial tv programs can be downloaded ahead of time and then watched on a plane whenever or wherever they like – even when unable to connect to wifi.

Wide variety of services: Cord-Cutters and Cord-Nevers can enjoy a growing number of ideal replacements for a traditional broadcast tv program. Instead, they can cherry-pick their very own mélange of content through services like Hulu, Disney, and Netflix.

Keep your local favorites: It's difficult to estimate how many people still haven't "cut the cord" because they don't want to miss out on local news and live sports. However, they may not yet be aware that some services like Hulu + LiveTV enable you to continue watching these and cutting the cord.

Review additional marketing research here.

How can this affect my marketing strategy?

Even if you and your competitors don't currently participate in media buys that involve broadcast tv, everything is changing so fast the time might be ripe for you to start planning on taking advantage of all the changes. New, cost-effective video marketing strategies are made possible because of highly-targeted campaigns that wouldn't have been possible with traditional broadcast tv buys.

Branded Youtube Channels

You don't need a whole broadcast network media-buy to get the word out about your product or service. Content marketing populated with your own customer testimonials and video ads can work wonders for you on Youtube.

OTT and CTV

Video views are video views, and they're sometimes even more effective when you can pinpoint them to a very specific target. OTT (Over The Top) refers to streaming content to customers directly over the web. Online videos you may already have and/or new short videos featuring your product or service can easily be added to this content.

CTV (Connected TV) refers to any screen connected to a streaming service. This includes gaming consoles and smart tv.

The benefits of OTT & CTV

- Highly targeted, precise audiences eliminate the waste of your message going to the wrong people

- Rapidly growing market of young consumers who are cord-cutting from which you can mine your prospects

- Extraordinary measurability. For example, you can measure impressions by daypart, device, date, and day of the week.

Do you have a solid and effective marketing strategy that includes cord-cutters?

Wow, that’s great, my business gets a whole month to make our numbers instead of just one day?! Nope. Nice try. Not a chance. Cyber Monday turning into Cyber Month doesn’t mean you have enough time to kick back and relax. According to Taylor Schreiner of Adobe Digital Insights, “With 21 Days in November driving over $3 billion in spend, what we know as Cyber Week is starting to look more like Cyber Month”. In plain English, we all need to have our marketing working hard for a longer period to stay even with last year.

What’s slowing down sales this year?

First the good news. Even though YoY sales for Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day are down from last year, the data shows over a longer period, consumer spending will be up 10% for the holiday season 2021. It’s just going to take us longer and we can’t take our foot off the gas pedal.

It’s still too early to see the entire picture as to why sales are slower this year. There are many unknowns. However, what we do know is that we’re facing new and not completely understood consumer behaviors. The supply chain is not yet back to normal. Labor shortages are still an issue. And, the longer these two factors persist, the more long-term complications are going to crop up. Inventory shortages are still with us. Consumers can’t be expected to just grin and bear it indefinitely when they see items out of stock.

Consumer behavior is changing – fast.

Cyber Monday is still the most popular period for consumers to shop online. In fact, during prime time 8 pm to 9 pm P.T., here in the United States, consumers bought $12million online every 60 seconds while searching for Cyber Monday deals. In spite of this, two years of dealing with a pandemic have created a certain amount of frustration and chaos in the marketplace. Out of this, consumers no longer concentrated their purchase activities during Cyber Monday 2021. What we’re counting on this year, is that consumers increase their holiday shopping over an extended period of time beyond Cyber Monday Sales.

How much is too much?

Be careful not to bore your audience. Even the most brilliant idea will become annoying if it’s used on everything you do and it’s the same every time someone sees it. We’ve all experienced it during our consumption of media. It’s a tight rope all brands need to walk. Stay in front of your consumer as much as possible but don’t wear out your welcome. Brand fatigue is a real problem and the way to avoid it is to keep your work fresh and interesting even if it’s the same message for your product or service.

4 Ps of marketing

There are 4ps of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. These are recognized as the pillars of a competent marketing strategy and they’ve been around for over 60 years. Even so, don’t let their familiarity lull you into complacency. Today, more than ever, successful marketers apply rigorous discipline in keeping their 4Ps relevant as things develop. For example, there was a time when Price and Place could be counted on to hardly change year to year. Now, it’s imperative to stay ahead of shifting trends in Price and Place with consistent investment in marketing research.

Fresh Sells

Even the most loved brand values and attributes can go stale. Coca-Cola has been around for more than a hundred years. The product is essentially the same and what they stand for remains unchanged. Yet, just about every penny of the hundreds of millions of dollars they spend in marketing every year is expected to keep Coca-Cola interesting and relevant. Here are a few ideas on how you can

Keep your content strategy fresh:

Keeping your content fresh

Keep it unique

None of the 4Ps of marketing can escape this. Even when it comes to your product, the product life cycle is so fast these days, how long can you expect your competitors to let you sit on a real or perceived product advantage? If this sounds like too much work or too expensive, take on your content strategy. Is it fresh? Are you staying current with how potential customers consume their favorite content?

Social media platforms

It’s easy to focus on a bright and shiny new object like TikTok. This is likely just as true for your consumers as it is for your marketing teams. Rightly so, however, make sure you save some positive energy and dollars for the more tried and true platforms your consumers still use. A great idea on a more “traditional” social media platform can still deliver for you.

Is SEO the star of the show?

Sure, it may not be the sexiest part of your marketing mix. However, Search Engine Optimization SEO can be a powerhouse of results. The overwhelming number of purchases made today begin with a search. This is true across a vast variety of products and services year after year. And, during the holidays, this is, even more, the case. When is the last time you’ve dug deep into your SEO numbers? Are you paying too much for less than great results? Perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look.

Fall in love with analytics and media analysis

A long time ago, the most famous marketer in the world said, “I know half of all the money I spend in marketing is an absolute waste. I just wish I knew which half.” Too bad they didn’t have the analytics and media analysis we have today. There’s no reason to fly blind anymore. There’s a way to find out which content is performing well.

Too much data to see the truth

Unfortunately, some marketers spend good money on a lot of data no one understands. Data is just that, data. Find yourself an organization that can turn your data into useable, actionable knowledge. There’s no need to stumble around in a fog of data. Cut through it and find out what’s working and even more importantly, why it’s working. Rest assured your competition is doing just that. 

A solid blog post positions you as an industry leader, drives traffic to your site, improves your SEO, and converts prospects into buying clients.

You probably know that by now, but the question is: how do you write a solid blog?

Let’s face it. Writing a solid blog is overwhelming, especially if you are just getting started with content marketing for your business. It takes some practice to get to the stage where you’re regularly producing quality content that attracts and converts. That’s why many businesses prefer to have their blog written by professionals.

Qualified writers have vast experience handling any type of paper. They guarantee quality work and timely delivery every time. But even so, it pays to know how to do it yourself, so that you can tell good copy from a bad. To help, we'll share a few shortcuts that you can use to write a solid blog in no time. Before we share, let’s make sure we are on the same page.

What is a blog post?

According to HubSpot, a blog post is an article, guide, or white paper that’s published in the blog section of a website. It typically covers a specific query or topic, it is informative and it contains other media types like infographics, images, interactive charts, and videos. Simple, right?

How to write a solid blog post in 6 steps

Decide what you want to write about

The most important decision you’ll make is what to write about. Sometimes, that will be an easy decision. But other times, the choices can be overwhelming. Ideally, you want to consider three things when deciding what to write about.

Your target audience: Before you start to write, run an audience analysis to get a feel of your prospects, their concerns, preferences, pain points, needs, expectations, and interests. These details will guide you when writing your blog.

The purpose of your blog: Your blog post should take you one step towards fulfilling your blogging goals, whether it’s to educate or engage your audience or get them to take a specific action.

The nature of blog content: this is primarily tied to your purpose. For example, if you want to engage your audience, you can focus more on trending issues and topics. But if you want to educate them, then your blog post should be informative.

Expert Tip: Use data to find out what your target audience is searching for online. Often you can find longtail keyword phrases that tell you what your prospective buyer is searching for. At Redbear, we use proprietary software to understand the search habits of your customers as well as what's driving them to your competitors.

Come up with a compelling title.

Once you decide what you want to write about, your next step is to come up with an irresistible title. Titles are significant, considering 8 out of 10 people read headlines, but only 2 out of 10 click on them. Your audience has pain points and needs solutions. If your blog has a headline that’s specific to their concern, they are more likely to click.

Professional blog writers almost always do one or more of these things to create an irresistible headline:

Write an introduction that’s captivating and informative

Captivate your blog readers

Introductions are first impressions – and your best shot at keeping the reader glued.  Good blogging always connects with readers from the first sentence.

A great introduction will have:

Follow these steps to create a killer introduction that captivates readers.

Write content that’s easy to digest and impossible to ignore

Now you are ready to write the content, but before you proceed, it might be a good idea to draft an outline of your content. Blog posts can have overwhelming information for you and the readers as well. The trick is to organize your work so that no one is intimidated by the amount or length of content. You also want to create quality content that ranks well on search engines and helps you achieve your marketing goals.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your blog.

Break up the page with shorter paragraphs and subheadings

Breaking up your text into bite-sized, easy-to-read pieces not only improves readability but also allows crucial information to stand out. The easiest way to break down your text is to incorporate subheadings and to break your paragraphs into less than five lines.

A good subheading should:

Use bullet points

Scanning text is a prevalent behavior among higher-literacy readers. Besides, visitors only read about 20% of the text on the average page. Bullet points are easy to skim, allowing you to spoon-feed your readers in a way that keeps them coming back for more.

Add images

Content containing visuals like videos or images performs better- on average, getting up to 94% views. So, try adding relevant screenshots, images, and infographics to your blog content to stir engagement and also make your content memorable.

Don’t forget the tone of voice

Your tone of voice plays a vital role in how you cut through and connect with your audience. Striking the right tone implies you are socially aware. It helps you build trust, and influence, making it easy to persuade and convert more people. So, identify the tone you want for your brand and be consistent in your content.

The newest 2021 data shows that a staggering 7.5 million blog posts are published every day. Unless you optimize your blog content for search engines, people might never discover it on search.

Here are some blog SEO tips to make your blog post stand out.

Add a clear call-to-action (CTA)

According to Unbounce, 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA copy. CTA is an appeal to readers, inviting their response. Include one to spur your audience to take any step: buy a product, download a PDF, click through to another page, etc.

CTA COPY
Examples of CTAs to include at the end of page blog post like:

Write a solid close

While there is no hard and fast rule on closing your blog or research paper, there are simple tips and tricks for closing effectively.

Let a blog writer help

Let’s face it. Writing a solid blog post can get tricky when you have no experience. You can end up staring at a blank word document for hours on counting. If this is your case, you might benefit from a blog writing service. A professional writer will take the stress out of your writing experience and deliver custom writings that will appeal to your audience.

Social media is every marketer’s dream come true. It provides free access to a vast audience of prospects for all businesses. With over 3.9 billion users worldwide, social media is a goldmine for marketers. 77.6% of small businesses say they use social media to promote their brands. Businesses invest in social media marketing to build trust and forge relations with their prospects. But different surveys reveal that these efforts seem to be backfiring.

Does social media marketing generate ROI?

Statistics show that 91.9% of US marketers for companies larger than 100 employees will use social media this year. That’s because social media offers an effective way to connect with potential leads, deliver custom content and build relationships that lead to conversions. When done correctly, social media marketing helps businesses to:

But although many marketers are promoting their business on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, it doesn’t mean they are getting significant revenue out of it. SmartInsights shared a DMA research that reveals only 48% of marketers said social media gives them a return on investment. DMA interviewed 111 marketers from different B2B and B2C companies regarding social media use. SmartInsights also ran its research on 609 marketers and uncovered a vast difference in how they see social media marketing's effectiveness.  

Reasons why social media is not giving ROI like it used to

Social media can still be a great source of traffic and income for marketers. However, for many, it is not as effective as it used to be. Here are some reasons why.

Businesses are finding it hard to keep up with technology and consumer demands

This is an era of digital Darwinism – a time where society and technology are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt. Technology marketing moves quickly, and consumer behaviors and interests are hard to predict. Marketers who apply the same social media marketing methods as they did years back cannot survive.

Today’s consumers are becoming more digitally empowered. As a result, brand messages can lose their impact, thus reducing the number of conversions. Businesses that want to convert digital-savvy clients into buyers must provide the most substantial range of digital experiences. Successful brands seem to differentiate themselves in the market as they are good at building referral networks on social platforms. Unless a brand has a marketer who can craft a dynamic social media marketing plan, a business can get lost in the noise and end up with fewer conversions and ROI. If this is your case, you make consider outsourcing social media management.

Consumer trust in social media is declining

Today’s consumers don’t trust social media and the brands that use them as they once did. According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer, only 41% of people trust social media platforms globally. The survey further revealed that 40% of people said they deleted a social media account in 2017 because they didn’t trust the platform with their personal information.

Kantar’s DIMENSION survey revealed a looming mistrust among consumers towards social media platforms and advertisers alike. The survey had 8000 connect participants across eight countries, including The UK, US, and China, which have a combined total ad spend of $400 billion. It found that there’s a degree of cynicism about paid media, with only 14% saying they trust advertisers in this respect.

Social media was ranked the least trusted medium for news and information, with only 17% of connected users citing Twitter and Facebook as trusted sources. Social media accounts for 13% (or $84 billion) of total global ad spend. In the survey, 37% of participants said they trusted newspapers, 31% TV, and 32% radio.

Political unrest is weighing down on social media

The last few years have seen a rise of new social movements. These movements are powered by sending and receiving data in near real-time to different groups and platforms worldwide. According to a Solace Global report, the demonstrations in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and Asia share critical characteristics. They’re driven by principles and messages fostered on social media platforms.

Unfortunately, these messages have significant impacts on businesses that run ad sets on different social media platforms. For instance, 48% of consumers blame a brand if their ads appear next to hate speech, inappropriate or violent content. Many consumers assume that content on the same page as the ad shares the same values and views as the advertiser. Just recently, advertisements for more than 400 brands disappeared from Facebook after parties failed to conclude on the boycott over hate speech on Facebook.

During the political campaigns of 2020, Redbear noticed that discussions on Facebook had become so toxic that consumers wholly ignored ads on the platform. A quick pivot away from the platform saved our clients a fortune. Advertising on today’s social platform requires around-the-clock monitoring to ensure a positive ROI.

Consumers are concerned about their privacy and security

In addition to trust issues, there’s a problem with data safety on social media channels. Facebook, for instance, is now under the watchful eye of the government after privacy breach concerns. According to the Federal Trade Commission, The tech giant repeatedly misled its 2.2 billion users. It wasn’t upfront about how advertisers, app developers, and other third parties gained access to users’ personal information.

With such revelations, social media users may be skeptical about taking any actions online. They may doubt sharing content or clicking certain Facebook ads for fear that their information or movements are being monitored. This, as you’d expect, has a significant impact on marketers who rely on user action to spread the word. It also makes it hard for businesses to sell their products or services or drive traffic back to their sites.

How to get more ROI from social media

One of the best things about social media is that it can give businesses the ability to interact with customers. But understand that social media platforms are closed-loop systems. Simply posting to your employees is not going to create awareness, let alone make something viral. Thanks to paid ads, a company can quickly target a custom audience for a much larger reach, but understand, it is a pay-to-play scenario. You must have a knowledgeable team creating suitable campaigns to get the conversions you want. And these campaigns must be monitored, tested, and optimized as much as possible.

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