2017 Frederick Regional Health Systems, Relay for Life Radiothon

This week marks the 8th Annual Frederick Regional Health Systems (FRHS), Relay for Life Radiothon, to benefit the local chapter of the American Cancer Society.

This year Radiothon, a two-day broadcast event heard live on Key 103 and 106.9 The Eagle, will take place Thursday, March 30th from noon until 7:00 pm in conjunction with the Coins for Cancer Drop Off and Friday, March 31st from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm followed by a Survivor’s Social beginning at 6:00 pm. Both day’s events will take place at the FRHS Crestwood Center.

Radiothon donations can be made in several different ways: by calling the Radiothon phone bank at 800-830-3704 or by joining us in-person at the FRHS Crestwood Center during the live broadcast, by bidding on the many incredible items in the Radiothon Silent Auction, or by participating in the Radiothon 5K run/walk on Saturday, April 1st.

The 5K will start at 8:00 am and finish at the Talley Rec Center in Baker Park, located in Downtown Frederick. You can still register on the morning of the 5K from 6:00 am to 7:00 am. Round up your friends and family and run or walk your way through the Baker Park USATF certified course and track your progress with searchable, real time results. All proceeds from the 5K benefit Relay for Life and everyone who registers will receive a Radiothon 5K performance wear t-shirt and a beautiful Radiothon 5K finisher medal.

Laughter is the best medicine and we will wrap up the Radiothon events Saturday evening with Frederick’s Last Comic Standing. Five contestants will compete to see who is the funniest comic in Frederick. The winner will take home $1000 and get their own show on May 6th. Come enjoy an evening of comedy and competition at Holiday Cinemas, located at 100 Baughmans Lane in Frederick. The show starts at 7:00 pm. A portion of the evenings procedes will also benefit American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

In the last seven years, Radiothon has raised over $200,000 for the local chapter of Relay for Life and Manning Media continues to raise the bar by adding new elements that make giving easier and more effective for everyone. This year Manning Media has collaborated with Sprint and Mobile Cause to add a Text-to-Donate feature that makes giving effortless. Your donation can be made via your mobile phone by simply texting “relayforlife” to 41444 (relayforlife is all one word, all lower case, no quotation marks are necessary, make sure your spell correct feature has not made changes).

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The American Cancer Society’s, Relay for Life movement is the world’s largest and most impactful fundraising event to end cancer. It unites communities across the globe to celebrate people who have battled cancer and remember lost loved ones. We cannot thank all our generous sponsors and donors enough for all that they do to support Relay for Life and for teaming up with Manning Media on this incredibly important project to finish the fight once and for all.

For more information on any aspect of Radiothon, please call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700 or in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500. We hope to see you at one of the many fun-raising Radiothon events taking place this week.

 

Personalization in Advertising: We Are BARKing Up the Right Tree!

Over the past few weeks we have blogged extensively about the importance of personalization as a part your sales and marketing efforts and this week we expand on this topic even further by defining the digital display technology that allows advertisers to take their message to the utmost in personalization.

The reason we feel this topic deserves prominent discussion is because of the major shift in our economy from a seller or brand driven marketplace to a consumer driven marketplace. The phrase “The Age of the Customer” coined by Jim Blasingame describes this shift as a dance where the consumer now takes the lead in each of the stages of the buying cycle. This is clearly illustrated in our own Personalized Buying Cycle Infographic. The consumer now has the power to control all aspects of their buying experience from product research to the shopping experience in deciding how, when and where they buy.

A study by Adlucent revealed that this desire for personalization is so strong that consumers are twice as likely to click on an ad for a brand they were unfamiliar with displaying a product or service they are interested in than they are a to click on a brand advertisement from a company they know, displaying a generic ad. In the same study, it was revealed that 71% of consumers want to see fewer ads but they DO want to see ads that are tailored to their needs and interests.

So the question is: How do you, the advertiser, deliver the messages consumers want to see in a way that feels personal to them?

The answer is to utilize the technology of the B.A.R.K. Campaign: BARK Campaigns refer to digital advertising campaigns that utilize a combination of Behavioral targeting, Ad Networks, Retargeting and Keyword targeting.

Behavioral targeting uses online tracking to follow a user’s web-browsing behavior and compiles that data to determine what ad to display to that particular user. There are three major components to behavioral targeting: tracking and data collection, segmenting a user based on online behavior, which defines interests, and connecting this data to show advertisements to that customer based on those interests.

Ad Networks are groups of web publishers that are compiled into categories by the content they serve such as the category, “Working Moms” or “Outdoor Enthusiasts”, for example. Utilizing specific ad networks further perpetuates the ability to reach consumers based on interest and need.

Retargeting (also referred to as remarketing) ads are especially important because the consumer has already displayed a certain level of interest by visiting your website. When they visited, a piece of code, familiarly known as a “cookie”, was placed onto their browser history. Retargeting ads are important because they have the power to boost the level of interest the consumer has already shown but there is an art to retargeting.

Utilizing additional coding to limit the number of retargeting ads shown to an individual consumer as well as terminating the ads if the consumer makes a purchase is very important. These techniques improve upon personalization by preventing your message from getting annoying and changing the consumer’s perception of your brand.

Retargeting should be an area of the BARK campaign where a little extra effort is applied. Retargeting ads should be different from the original message used to capture unfamiliar consumers. Additionally, multiple versions of the retargeting ad should be considered since these messages could be viewed by your prospect up to 25 times per month.

Keywords are a direct response to user interest. When a user types a specific keyword(s) into a search engine, such as google, the results page appears with both paid ads and organic listings. When the user clicks on a result in the organic listing and goes to the webpage a display ad that is taking advantage of keyword technology is shown to the visitor. This makes the advertising placed within that page directly relevant to the user’s interest.

Personalization has been deemed one of the top keys to success in this new “Age of the Customer.” Manning Media Inc. can help you craft a message that speaks to your specific customer in a way that will feel individually unique. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE to start your own BARK campaign today.

Taking Personalization to the Next Level by Cultivating Data

Last week we posted an awesome infographic about the buying cycle and how to approach it from a personalized perspective. This week we delve into a couple practical methods for gathering personalized data and how you can put it to use in your marketing.

It is one thing to gather data points on your customer at the time of sale but gathering personalized information on the would-be customers, the ones who have not purchased from you yet; now that is an entirely different undertaking. Here are a couple of methods that can be employed to help cultivate that personal relationship that consumers of every demographic are looking for:

Digital Display & Website Analytics:

Using digital display advertising is one of the best means for gauging interest and is a great way to drive visitors to your website. Once they are there however, it is your job (and the job of you content manager) to keep their attention. Having visitors land on a generic or general information page of your website will not do the trick and will ultimately lead to a high bounce rate.

Another important tool you should be employing is your website analytics. Tracking visitor activity across the entirety of your website will reveal the most and least engaging pages. You can then use this knowledge to tweak your message and make the visitors experience more personal and engaging.

But to maximize the data generated by BOTH TOOLS, create highly targeted digital display messages, tailored to the interests of smaller groups of people. By creating multiple digital advertising campaigns that are highly targeted to particular interests, products or needs, and having each land on its own dedicated page, containing related content, you are providing a more personalized experience while also allowing you to hone in on which of your marketing messages are garnering the most attention  in the form of clicks.

Take this tactic a step further by adding a questionnaire, survey, quiz, free download or an opportunity to sign up for something relevant and meaningful to your visitor and you have segwayed into our next method for creating a personal customer experience.

Customer Intelligence

Doreen Bloch, CEO of Poshly shared her model for personalization with thenextweb.com author, Scott Gerber,

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Poshly has taken their model of data collection and personalization to new heights for the fashion, health and beauty sector by allowing consumer-members to curate databases based on their own personal preferences and then shares this data with relevant brand partners. The consumers are actually allowing brands to market to them – intentionally! Because they have control over the content, consumer-members and brand partners have tailored marketing into a highly personal exchange.

Gathering customer intelligence makes it possible to customize marketing content that is relevant to customers and you can also do this to by creating real-time conversations on social media channels like facebook, Instagram and twitter. You can also take advantage of the overwhelming amount of consumer data generated by these social platforms.

Forbes contributor, Daniel Newman suggests using social media to gather data about your brand. Tracking behavior through social data in the form of posts, tweets, and comments reveals a lot about customer interests and intentions. Daniel gives this example:

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The radio broadcast industry has been practicing these methods for decades. Radio cultivates a loyal audience by creating a highly personalized experience and then engages with this audience through customized messaging based on preferred forms of entertainment and genres of music, and then builds on customer data through contests and targeted promotions. Manning Media has grown into the digital age by incorporating the same methodologies through interactive and digital media and we can help you find the approach that best fits your consumers personalized needs. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE!

What Makes Us Different: Reining In All the Details of SEO and Reputation Management

In one of our earliest blogs, “The Importance of Great Customer Service” we referenced a statistic from searchengineland.com, stating that 88% of all consumers read online reviews to determine the quality of a local business and whether or not to engage with it. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Reputation Management are the tools for safeguarding your online presence and making sure you are putting your best foot forward.

SEO is the process of refining how your website functions and how it interacts with search engines like Google and Bing. The end goal is to make it easier for visitors to navigate and interact with your site while also increase the ranking of the site within search results. There are many factors, both on and off site, which influence the ranking of your site from individual page content to social media profiles like Facebook and review platforms such as Yelp. By implementing best practices in SEO and Reputation Management, you can be certain that your business is golden when it comes to how people find and interact with you online.

But making the most of these tools can require a lot of work, handled by skilled technicians. Therefore you may have already looked into utilizing the services of a specialized organization and thus discovering there is a wildly varying range of prices for such services. This is where the saying, “You get what you pay for” rings true. Searchengineland.com has a detailed article explaining the different levels of service that come at these varying price points. Columnist Jenny Foster explains Why Costs for Local SEO Campaigns Vary and names the categories different services fall under. According to Foster’s criteria, Manning Media’s SEO and Reputation Management services fall under “Holistic Local Campaigns.”

Manning Media’s holistic approach to SEO begins with the many on-site factors which influence how visitors find and then interact with your site. With your permission, we access the back-end or code of your web site and make changes where necessary. For example: we may edit the architecture of the site to make sure pages are in the correct order, content is properly described, links are going to the right places, and all of the information is accurate. This process takes time, especially if your site has many pages, however the results are worth it. The first thing you are likely to notice is the loading times of your site will increase. This is important because slow loading times are frequently the cause high bounce rates.

Once we have the on-site changes underway, we will investigate improvements that can be made off-site. We will publish your business information across multiple directories ensuring that wherever someone finds you online, they find the correct information. We will also work with you on identifying other website where links to your site can be placed. This tells search engines your site is important. Lastly, we will make sure that all of your social media profiles are accurate, owned by you, and properly optimized for search engines.

SEOreportingOur service allows you to keep track of your reviews and comments across many of the popular sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Whenever a review is written – either negative or positive, you will be alerted and directed to that specific page where you may respond! (See our blog post on Communicating with the Cross Customer for more on how to successfully tackle the down side of this task).

And, like all our digital products and services, Manning Media provides detailed reporting, delivered by a real live expert who can explain what the resulting data means for you and your business. To learn more about our holistic local approach to SEO and Reputation Management or all our Integrated Marketing Services call us In Frederick at 301-620-7700 or in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500. You can also fill out our online request form by clicking HERE!

A Few Hidden Marketing Gems We Overturned on Facebook

According to a recent article on Venturebeat.com, Facebook reported 60 Million active business accounts residing on their platform as of September 2016. Of that 60 Million, they estimate only four million are utilizing Facebook advertising.

The majority of Facebook users, businesses included, continue to focus their efforts on free or “organic” efforts such as posts, shared content, and events. While there is no doubt that this will help you grow your fan base over time, there are a few other Facebook nuggets you should not ignore – employing one or two of them could be the gold mine of information that will help you strike it rich in both the social media world and the physical one.

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Located at the top of your Facebook page is the main navigation bar – if you venture into the Insights tap of your Facebook page, you will find all sorts of useful information and analytics about the activities that are taking place on your site but one often overlooked trinket you should unearth is located in the “Overview” categoryfacebook-insights-left-nav-rev.

If you currently have over 100 fans you have access to a feature called “Sites to Watch.” This feature allows you to add competitors and/or organizations you wish to emulate. Here, you can track these organizations activities and compare their stats to your own.

Another area that provides particularly interesting insight is the “People” category. This category shows the demographic break down of your fan base, by sex, age and physical location. This is a bonanza for any business willing to make use of it to plan future marketing campaigns both on Facebook and off.

facebook insights peopleYou may discover a fan base in a particular segment of the population, who you had not previously considered, is showing interest in your company or conversely, you could discover that much of your marketing effort is being wasted on an audience outside your local reach. Either way, you can use this demographic information to adjust your efforts and improve your strategies.

Another jewel that can give your business presence a little sparkle is Facebook Notes. Facebook-left-side-nav-revIf you do not have a blog on your current website or if you do not have a website at all, Facebook Notes offers users a place to blog or “mega-post”. Through Facebook notes, you can share ideas or information you can not post in one or two sentences or with single image.facebook notes page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are considering digging into the world of Facebook advertising to promote your business, Facebook, has incorporated many new ways to grow awareness, such as boosted posts, promoted pages, video ads, carousel ads, and look-a-like audiences. Some of these incorporate specific call to action buttons for calling, linking to your website and even giving viewers directions to your location.

Manning Media can help you extract the full potential of this social media platform and many other marketing tools. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE!

 

Digital Tools to Help Build Productivity

It is the start of a New Year and it is at this time that most of us pledge to make all sorts of improvements in our lives, so we decided to help you start the New Year off with a list of business tools you can use to enhance your effectiveness in 2017!

To speed up communication and reduce email, try SlackAccording to Huffington Post, American workers spend an average of 6.3 hours of their work day on email communication. To reduce email clutter, move all conversations into the online communication tool, Slack. Slack is a free online messaging service that brings communication together in one place. It is a real-time messaging tool that will even push messages to your phone when your computer is idle. Up to 10,000 messages are stored at a time for searchable chat history (more if you upgrade from the free version). You can also split up your communication into channels meant specifically for those who need to see it and it runs in the background of your computer without notifying you unless someone is talking directly to you. Slack has a neat feature that allows you to “star” messages, forms a follow up action item and allows to add “reactions” to a message. This provides the sender with a receipt notice without the extraneous “got it” and “thank you” messages you get via email. Additionally, you can make conference calls and video chats directly inside of the program.

To organize complicated projects, try Trello. In today’s world, executing successful business projects often means coordinating many different people, across a variety of locations, each with a wide assortment of integral tasks that happen in a particular order. To stay on top of everything, consider implementing the free online tool Trello. Think of Trello as a crazy amazing post-it note system. Trello allows you to create a “card”, similar to a digital post-it that contains a checklist for every product, assigns project managers, assigns due dates, labels each card for specific markets, and allows projects to be moved from Campaign in the Queue, to Launched, to Campaign Completed. Trello can also be integrated with Slack to push real-time project updates for all to see as various team members check off items.

To keep staff sharp use ClearSlide for training. Keeping your staff engaged and up-to-date on these new tools and much more, try providing training webinars using the online tool ClearSlide. Have trainees login to view your presentations, instant message questions and comments during the presentation and track participant “engagement.” Engagement includes activities such as navigating away from the webinar to look at other tabs or check emails, it shows the presenter when viewers are “distracted”.  At the end of a presentation you can tell who was actually watching and those who simply checked out. Clearslide also allows you to protect your collateral by sending a view alert whenever someone opens your presentation or forwards it and also by allowing you to create links that expires after someone has viewed your presentation.

The expert marketing consultants at Manning Media are here to help you make 2017 a prosperous New Year. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE!

 

 

Happy Holidays from Manning Media

With the approach of the year’s end, comes the opportunity to express season’s greetings and good wishes to those who have made our lives richer and our jobs more fulfilling.

Therefore, it is with great joy that we express to you, our clients and partners, our sincerest hope that your holidays are filled with joy and laughter and that peace and prosperity follow you into the New Year!

Thank you for the trust you have placed in us. We hope that 2016 has been a memorable and prosperous year for you, your colleagues and loved ones. We look forward to working with you for many more years to come.

Happy Holidays from the entire staff at Manning Media!

Put the Bounce Back in Your Step: 10 Tips to Reignite Your Enthusiasm

Here we are, in the midst of the holiday season, working on wrapping up the calendar year, and preparing ourselves to head into the winter months. This time of year, it is easy to get distracted or to get bogged down in the doldrums.

What do you do when your motivation is lacking, when you begin to question your direction or when the hum of your routine becomes a drone? Do you face these times by telling yourself it will pass and trudge ahead or do you have a method for reinvigorating yourself?

Here is a list of 10 things you can do to perk yourself up and revive your business attitude, preparing for a positive and successful 2017:

1. Turn Up the Music – Music can be both an emotional and a physical release. So the next time you feel low on energy, try turning on some tunes in the office. No radio? No problem – stream us live!

2. Read a Book – Pick something outside your usual realm of interest in order to open your mind to new ideas. If you feel like you do not have the time or patience to read a book, select an audio book and listen in the car during your commute each day.

3. Networking and Beyond – Search Meetup for business groups with similar goals or if you are feeling really adventurous participate in a Meetup that is completely different from your own business to get a totally different perspective. Can’t locate a group in your area? Create your own and invite others to join you.

4. Throw a Party – It doesn’t have to be a big or an expensive venture, float the idea of a pot luck or bring in a waffle iron one morning and make breakfast for your staff or coworkers. This conveys that you enjoy them as people and generates positive vibes throughout the office.

5. Share Your Thoughts – Do you have some crazy business ideas running around in your head, strong opinions on changing the status quo, or just some expertise worth sharing? Start a blog or contribute to an established blog as a guest blogger. Do a google search for industry blogs and when you find one or two you feel are relevant, do not hesitate to contact the owner of the blog to ask if they accept guest editorials. Coming up with new and fresh blog topics can be a challenge so most bloggers welcome contributing writers –this one included!

6. Create Your Own Top 10 – If writing is not exactly your thing, you can still create your own personal top 10 list. Make a list of 10 positive things going on in your office, your business, your industry, or in your own career. Tack it to your office wall where you can look to it anytime murkiness tries to creep in.

7. Two Heads are Better Than One – Browse through LinkedIn for new people with similar businesses or in similar positions and connect with them. Once identified, send them a message asking for an exchange of ideas. You may be surprised by the number of people out there willing to share their thoughts.

8. Zombie Methodology – Make an appointment to meet with and interview a few of your best clients. Make sure you are clear that you just want to Pick Their Brain to learn more about their industry, find out what motivates them, and what is working for them.

9. Career Day – Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce and who better to reinvigorate you than hopeful, bright-eyed students. Contact the county school board to learn how you can participate in a career day event or invite a tour of future business people from the local high school to show off how your organization works.

10. Why Wait for Spring – Clean out your office. Nothing is better for motivation than a clean slate. Clean up your space, file papers and prepare yourself for 2017 with a fresh start.

Looking to reinvigorate your marketing as well. Call Manning Media’s Marketing Experts at 301-620-7700 in Frederick or 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown, or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special day, set aside to reflect on all the wonderful experiences and people in our lives.

Manning Media is a company staffed with individuals who are truly passionate about their jobs and dedicated to the success of each and every client as well as the company. I am thankful to work with these people, who genuinely believe in what they do.

All of us here at Manning Media are also thankful for you, our clients, who entrust us with the marketing of your businesses.

We sincerely wish you and your families a fun and festive Thanksgiving.