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Social Media Marketing: “I’m too old for this…”

Why bother boomers with social media marketing?

Recently, I was in a meeting where a prospective client said that social media marketing wasn’t relevant to their business. Their reasoning was valid. This particular client’s target audience was baby boomers—the generation who spent two-thirds of their lives without the internet. This generation is perceived to be barely affected by social media. After all, they’re not really on it all the time like “kids these days,” right? So what’s the point of social media marketing for a business who is never going to see these ads?

Lily Tomlin with iPhone

“Social media marketing doesn’t apply to my audience.”

To start with, this perception is completely misguided. Saying that baby boomers aren’t on social media just isn’t true. In fact, a Colorado University study shows baby boomers spend 27 hours online per week. This statistic is two hours more than users 16 – 34. (Maybe retirees are filling their job-less hours with internet surfing?)

It might come to no surprise to anyone with a mom that the prime social platform for baby boomers is Facebook. And, with the purchase of Instagram by Facebook a few years ago, we will likely see the generation move on to other platforms in time. The truth is, it’s really hard to tell where social media will be in five years. But it’s unlikely that the baby boomers will be completely off it.

Building your brand for the future

However, boomers aren’t the real topic here. It’s individual brands. Even if you feel your company doesn’t need to be targeting one generation, you shouldn’t completely disregard the next. While boomers and Gen-Xers hold most of the cash now, it won’t stay that way for long. Those annoying Millennials are eventually going to step up to the plate. We’re more widely educated and Internet-savvy. What’s more—millennials like social media.

Building your brand an online presence—including social media—is so important. Internet users are more likely to have trust in a brand that they can connect with on social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are avenues to make your brand more relatable. If a user sees that you respond to reviews on your Facebook, they’re more likely to buy. A social profile is like putting a face to a name (get it?).

Through social media marketing, you’re paving the way for future success. When Millennials and the generation after (Gen Z??) do come into full fruition, having a good online presence will prepare you to receive them. If millennials feel foreign to you, consider social media as knowing how to speak their language. In a lot of ways, you are. Don’t take the risk of not having the groundwork laid down now. If you start building and gaining Facebook “likes” now, you’ll avoid seeming awkward in 5 years with only 52 followers.

If you’re still not convinced about social media marketing, consider the following. Even if you’re not directly driving sales through social media marketing, it’s still a useful tool for SEO. Users that interact with your social media

Any time you can drive traffic to your site will help with your search rankings. So, if you are trying to appeal to Baby Boomers, remember that they love to Google things. And, they’re probably going to click on the first thing they see. And, that could be you.

Storytelling with animations in social media.

Whether you’re an owner of a small dog grooming company, mom n’ pop restaurant or a high-end business CEO, telling your story helps people relate to you on a more personal level. A strong brand message can influence people to want to use your product or service. In the past, if you wanted to reach customers your options were pricey tv campaigns, magazine or newspaper ads, or billboards. Today, with people spending more time online, it’s much more efficient to advertise and reach potential customers using animations on social media platforms. 

Animation was once reserved for juvenile audiences—used for children’s books and lighthearted stories. However, today animation appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. This is because animation is a compelling way to tell a story. With all the modern, advanced tools, it’s easier for animations to tackle real-world conflicts and explain complicated issues. Brand recognition is a great reason to use animations in social media. Keeping your colors, typography and other elements consistent will help ensure your audience remembers your business. 

“Achieva Piggy Bank” from Company Man Studios on Vimeo.

With advertising and marketing reverting to social media outlets, animation helps catch audiences’ attention quickly and keep them engaged with compelling videos. 

One of the great resources Company Man has is a small team of animators than can help personalize your story. Our artists come from a diverse background to help get your message across in a fun and engaging way. 

A few tips to help tell your story are:

1) Show your audience, don’t tell them.

While most animations involve a voice-over script, not every frame needs to be “see-and-say.” Use iconography to illustrate what you’re trying to say. Illustrations are more universally understood. Plus, since many social media platforms don’t automatically play sound, using animations to tell a story will relate your message to a wider audience.

2) Have a beginning, middle and an end.

People are used to receiving messaging that has a concise beginning, middle, and end. Make sure your message is clear from the start, elaborate it, and wrap it up. Most animations seen on social media and website will clock in around 30 seconds. If you use more time than this for your animation, you might lose interest.

3) Focus on one message – Your story needs to be clear, engaging and short.

Again, keep your messaging short and to the point. Since you’ll likely deploy your animation on a social media platform, you need to assume that people will likely just scroll by and ignore it. Using color and imagery to engage your audience at the beginning of an animation will help ensure that you attract viewers’ attention.

Happy animating.

Company Man Studios & Buddy Brew Coffee

It’s no secret that the Company Man crew has an ongoing love affair with Buddy Brew Coffee. Every day at around 3 p.m. you can see us walking in a line like little ducks over to Buddy Brew to get our afternoon dosage of caffeine. Cortados, espresso, black tea (and more) are poured over and over for our thirsty creative team.

However, our love for the specialty coffee goes much deeper than proximity. In fact, in our infancy, Company Man Studios shared a space with Buddy Brew before we each expanded to our own buildings. Since then, we’ve worked closely with our neighbors to help develop ancillary marketing materials throughout the years. We’ve offered our design support for everything from label design and packaging to event posters and video production. It’s been a point of pride for us to watch Buddy Brew flourish and expand to multiple locations, and to see our label design on their product in Publix stores in the Tampa Bay area. Read more

The Rise of the Production Agency

A few years ago, advertising agencies began adding production capabilities. This was in response to clients, particularly retail clients, seeking to cut their production costs, and as a way for agencies to land new retail business. Production “quality” was less of an issue than cost. Churn and burn. Meanwhile, an equal and opposite phenomenon was happening. It began in answer to the number of clients approaching production companies looking for someone to “help us shoot a commercial” when they had no script and no concept beyond a call to action. Typically, the production company would hire a freelance copywriter to provide one.

Production Company or Agency?

So in 2012, when Rob Tiisler started Company Man Studios, it was as a full-fledged production company. It was ready and able to work with advertising agencies in the production of TV commercials and videos for agency clients, but with account management and creative services available to work on projects with those clients that didn’t have an agency of record. A “production agency,” we’ll call it. I’d say the rest is history but, given the immediate and continued success of Company Man Studios, the reality is, the rest is the future.

behind the scenes of a video production shoot

Behind the scenes for a Saint Leo University TV spot, shot in Memphis earlier this year. Company Man Studios is primarily the school’s production company but provides creative as well.

Of course, clients aren’t just looking for TV production help. They need websites, social media campaigns, videos, animation, interactive, packaging, print, radio, point of sale, trade show elements, outdoor and whatever other ways they can reach their audience. As Rob says, “production means ‘whatever it takes.’” In fact, Company Man’s first project was to create interactive exhibits for MOSI’s Mission: Moonbase exhibition.

And while many clients came in the door needing one-off projects, many have become long-term clients. We do ongoing projects for Achieva Credit Union, Saint Leo University, Tribridge, and the world’s best neighbor, Buddy Brew Coffee. It would be easy to say that Company Man was ahead of its time. But, for clients looking for effective creative and high-quality production, it came along just in time.

Millennial Marketing: the mystery.

A beginner’s course.

It’s a hot-button subject that nearly every client hastily approaching advertising seems to want to address. What’s the trick to millennial marketing? How do we catch that elusive fox?

In the digital age, it seems like the whims of the generation change from day to day—if not more often. Pinpointing what appeals to millennials is almost impossible. But, we can’t afford to not try. Millenials are on the brink of middle-age, thus representing the majority of the money-spending market. Furthermore, they’re the largest generation on the planet to date—even surpassing the baby boomers.

So, how do we market to millennials?

millennial pink by Boddy Doherty

Image by Boddy Doherty c/o New York Magazine

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From the Intern’s Desk

My name is Brooke Bandoni, and I am an 18-year-old high school student that will be graduating from Tampa Preparatory School at the end of May, and attending the University of Central Florida in the Fall. For the past three weeks, I’ve gotten the opportunity to intern at Company Man Studios in Downtown Tampa. I knew I wanted to go into the field of graphic design, editing, and video production in an advertising context, but I wasn’t sure exactly what aspect I liked the most. I am a business minded person and very interested in advertising and marketing, but I also really enjoy the creative aspect of graphic design and photography. Company Man Studios is the best of both worlds.

I have my own internet business, a YouTube channel, that I work on in my spare time. Brands will contact me to feature products or services on my channel. When I met Rob and Jon at the beginning of my internship, they were excited to discuss my channel. At the time, a company called WoolFresh had sent me a pair of socks they wanted me to review on my channel. Rob and Jon decided to give me some tools and insight into making sponsored product videos for my channel, and help me create a very nice video for WoolFresh.

Behind the scenes

On my first week, Jon, a producer at CMS, explained the process in which Company Man does video shoots for the companies they work with. He showed me a storyboard for a shoot I would participate in, and talked to me about shooting schedules, the roles of people on set, and how they feature products in an alluring way. That Thursday, I participated in a 10-hour video shoot for Alessi. By watching the entire process, I learned a lot about video production, food styling, and photography. It was an amazing experience to help with the setup, shooting, and tear down. The clients were at the shoot with us and giving input to the shots to make sure they’re pleased with them.

Behind the scenes at Alessi

photo equipment

Some of the equipment lined up

When it comes to sponsored products on YouTube, the client is rarely involved with the shooting process. Most of the time, companies understand that online content creators have certain style and audience, and most companies allow the creator to have a lot of creative freedom with their work. Being able to see how Company Man Studios did their video shoot gave me great insight into the professional world of video production.

After the shoot, I sat down at my desk and created a storyboard and shooting schedule for my WoolFresh sock video. I planned on filming myself doing different activities throughout the week and documented how the socks benefited my day. Each morning, someone at CMS checked in on my progress on my video and helped me along if I was stuck on any aspect of my filming, editing, and tweaking.

Throughout the week, I shadowed with a few CMS employees who helped me with my project. I got the opportunity to work with Edna Pabon, the senior editor at Company Man, who showed me some tips and tricks. I usually use Final Cut Pro X to edit my videos, but Edna showed me the ropes of Premiere and After Effects, as Adobe’s editing software is primarily used in the editing industry. Edna also taught me the proper way to organize footage, elements and project versions, just in case I need to make revisions or a client. I learned a lot from Edna, and it interested me in a possible career in editing.

I have been working on re-branding my content on my YouTube channel and creating a more consistent presence on social media. Jazz Fernandez, a graphic and motion designer, helped me create some new branding for my YouTube channel and showed me how she uses Photoshop and Illustrator to create transparent logos and dissect PNG files to extract vector images. She was able to create a beautiful custom logo for my channel, as well as some banner art for my social media websites.

By the end of my three weeks, I had produced a great sponsored video for WoolFresh. They brand was very pleased by my work and how the video came out. I ascribe my success to all the input and help I received from everyone at Company Man.

My experience with Company Man has been eye opening and an incredibly invaluable experience. I hoped that by spending some time at Company Man that I would have a more specific idea of what I wanted to pursue as a major and career, but instead, CMS has opened me up to even more ideas about the field and possible future career paths. I wish I could spend more time at CMS, but unfortunately my time with these amazing people is coming to an end. Over the time we spent together, I believe I’ve made some friends here, and I will definitely miss everyone when I leave.

Thank you, Amber, Jazz, Jon, Chris, Nathan, Kevin, Terry, Edna and Rob for this amazing experience!

– Brooke Bandoni, Tampa Prep

Branded Video: Because, who reads anymore?

Who reads anymore?

Yes, I am aware of the irony that this title suggests. Hopefully, you are reading this and not scrolling past it. Whether it is zipping through the numerous apps on your phone, poking around on your iPad, or searching on your laptop, we are surrounded by programs that allow potential clients and customers to watch, tap and listen more than ever. With all this being available, who wants to spend agonizing minutes reading numerous paragraphs about an info page? The answer: Consumers are opting out of reading when they can just watch and listen to a video instead.

Read more

How to be a Better Interviewee

At Company Man Studios, we produce a lot of interviews. Whether it’s for a corporate brand video, a testimonial for a service or product, or just someone addressing a large group of people, we end up listening to—and editing—a wide variety of messages. The number one response we get from interviewees is “I hate the sound of my own voice!” Most people do (unless your last name is “Kardashian”), and there is scientific evidence as to why. The fact is, unless you’re on-camera often like an actor or reality TV star, you’re just not accustomed to hearing yourself speak from an outsider’s perspective. And, what makes the situation even worse, when people know they’ll be hearing or watching themselves on camera they often can’t focus on what they are actually saying—which is very inconvenient if you need to say something important.

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Customer Service: a “Competitive Advantage?”

Is making customer service a “Competitive Advantage” really the reason to value it?

Isn’t it kind of like claiming your humility, humbly? A business’ “success” is valued in terms of ROI, cost effectiveness, or bottom line. But, how do you prove that customer service plays a role in that success? How do you know the people that claim it actually have it? Is it even an “it?” Is customer service a commodity, or a concept? In my years, I’ve come to believe it’s a mentality. Customer service is a subconscious behavior that manifests itself in people that do what they love and genuinely do it for the right reasons. Why is that? You can handle any situation by placing principles before personalities.

Relationships

Relationships are the key to the existence and success of any business. Talk to a small business owner and you’ll find a common theme that is not about ROI or metrics, it’s about the relationships and the referrals that came from those relationships. Customer service starts “at home” inside your business with constant discussions. The key is to over-communicate: don’t just send an email; call. Ask “how can I help,” before someone has to ask for help. It’s your best shot to avoid the potential for an embarrassing moment for you and your company.

Conversations

Considering how you would want to be treated is, essentially, all customer service is. One of the most positive ways to provide excellent customer service is to have a conversation. Conversations regarding your product or service should always begin with knowing your product or service and being able to explain the fine details. Most of the time, when a client is frustrated, it’s due to a lack of communication. Being patient and engaging in effective communication can turn a negative situation into a positive experience—for both parties.

Digital Customer Service

Why can’t they just invent an app for that? Wait a second—they have and lots of them.

Today, we have greater ability to provide impeccable customer service employing analog principles in a digital world. I know, crazy. Just think about the potential of social media alone and the power it has to make or break a brand. Take a look at Christopher Heine’s article on Adweek.com and you’ll see the power of attentive brands.

Customer service isn’t a core value, either. And, having a list of core values doesn’t guarantee customer service—being thoughtful does. Is it “Old School” to care enough to write a hand-written note and mail it? Is it patronizing to send a little gift to a client on an anniversary or birthday? No, but it sure is rare. So, slow down. Take a deep breath. Think about how you would like to be treated. You might find you don’t have to learn customer service at all.