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Breakthrough – Winter 2018

Real Content for Real People

In our competitive environment, there has never been a better time for a brand or company to create its own authentic visual content. As consumers, we are inundated with original photo and video content daily via social media. We can immediately pinpoint the brands that have not invested in their own photo and video shoots, relying too heavily on generic stock assets that lack the authenticity and true connections brands want to have with consumers, and consumers want to have with brands. Content needs to be strategic and developed with your brand voice and message in mind. There is nothing more rewarding than capturing the true experience of a real consumer interacting and having a real moment with your brand. From photo to video shoots or utilizing user-generated content, there are plenty of ways to develop original assets. Separate yourself and create a true identity by generating authentic content you own and your consumers identify with.

Two New Website Launches

As part of the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments’ initiative to bring more digital solutions to its CARTA customers, Rawle Murdy recently launched a completely redesigned website for CARTA (RideCARTA.com). The new website provides an easy-to-use experience across all devices; a Twitter-based alert system (powered by its dispatch team); and tools to help riders plan a trip, track buses and find next stop times for a bus.

On the real estate front, we launched a full rebranding and redesign of the Brays Island Plantation website (braysisland.com). Brays Island is a private community considered by some to be the nation’s premier sporting community. In addition to a more modern and responsive design, the new website features videos, an online magazine and an interactive map of real estate listings and amenities.

How the FCC’s Plan to Kill Net Neutrality Affects Advertising

So, how will this impact advertising campaigns? For starters, websites that are slow to load could significantly affect someone’s user experience, thus messing up a campaign’s metrics. “When you start to mess with user experience, you’re really going to create barriers for brands to compete,” says Barry Lowenthal, MediaKitchen’s president. Additionally, without net neutrality, advertisers may struggle to reach new audiences limiting their brand awareness.

The FCC recently voted in a proposal to end net neutrality. This proposal will allow companies like Verizon and Comcast to block or slow web traffic. Net neutrality, or “Open Internet,” currently prevents broadband providers from blocking access to content, purposely delivering certain content slower than others and prioritizing content and services of their own affiliates. These rules will now be abolished.

The new rules will take effect 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. As marketers, we are staying on top of this breaking story as it creates another variable in campaign planning and delivery.

Marketing Trends 2018

With the turn of every new year comes the prophetic look at what the next 12 months holds for the marketing world. While I find most of these predictions to be interesting—and sometimes even fascinating—it takes time to sift through those predictions that will truly have an impact on the marketing we perform for our clients. Our needs are different. Budgets are typically tighter; time more precious. And, we typically see our client-side marketers stretched doing multiple jobs with little if no down time to think about trends and how they might affect the product and services we market. So, I’ve chosen a few trends that I think will be of value to you. I hope you enjoy!

Geofencing: Geofencing has been around a while; however, the proliferation of smartphones and some technical advances has made geofencing a much more viable product. Geofences are specific areas that you as a marketer set up where smartphone users who step into that defined area will be served a message. And these geofenced areas can be as small as a single building or a city block.

Influencer Marketing and Micro Influencers: Our social media team has been telling me about influencer marketing for the past year or so, and I’m really seeing it in action. It’s also become a significant tool among those who use it – 95% of marketers who use influencer marketing as part of an overall strategy believe it to be effective. If you want to connect with prospects, using influencers to create compelling third-party content that appears to be completely organic is a wise choice. And on a more regional basis, micro influencers – those who might have somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers – are a particularly cost effective tool. So you don’t have to reach out and pay for macro influencers, who can charge dearly for a tweet to their audience. (For example, getting Kim Kardashian to promote your product to her 32 MILLION Twitter followers is not cheap!)

Contextual Marketing: As opposed to interrupting programming with a message, contextual marketing seeks to align with the programming content. For example, Facebook’s constantly-evolving algorithm helps determine where your message will be most contextually relevant, and places it within or around relevant conversations. This keeps readers engaged and connected to your message. We use this tool a lot and believe that contextual marketing will play a growing role in the marketing plans for products and services.

In 2018, we’re going to see many more trends than these few become more mainstream, and the pace of change continue to accelerate. So embrace change…because something has probably changed since you’ve read this article!

With the turn of every new year comes the prophetic look at what the next 12 months holds for the marketing world. While I find most of these predictions to be interesting—and sometimes even fascinating—it takes time to sift through those predictions that will truly have an impact on the marketing we perform for our clients. Our needs are different. Budgets are typically tighter; time more precious. And, we typically see our client-side marketers stretched doing multiple jobs with little if no down time to think about trends and how they might affect the product and services we market. So, I’ve chosen a few trends that I think will be of value to you. I hope you enjoy!

LinkedIn: With a refreshed user interface, LinkedIn is becoming a much more useful tool for marketers. If you’re like me, you may have wondered why you’re collecting all those connections on LinkedIn. Now, with a refreshed ad platform and greater ease of usability, LinkedIn appears poised to be a better, more useful tool, especially if you’re marketing in the business-to-business space.

Mobile Video: It was just a few years ago that video on mobile devices was a pipe dream. And while we all recognize the value of video as a dynamic marketing tool, it was limited on mobile. Industry pundits are predicting an increase upwards of 49% in mobile video ad spend in 2018. In fact, mobile video viewing surpasses video on a computer by almost 100%. This signals great acceptance and a great opportunity for you in 2018.

Explainer Videos: While on the subject of videos, explainer videos are going to have a huge impact going forward. I’m talking about short, easy-to-create videos that explain a product or service. These videos are a huge upgrade from text-based content, and we’re seeing great success with a couple of our clients who are using these. Research indicates that when there’s an explainer video available on a website, it’s four times more likely to be watched than text is to be read. WOW!

Geofencing: Geofencing has been around a while; however, the proliferation of smartphones and some technical advances has made geofencing a much more viable product. Geofences are specific areas that you as a marketer set up where smartphone users who step into that defined area will be served a message. And these geofenced areas can be as small as a single building or a city block.

Influencer Marketing and Micro Influencers: Our social media team has been telling me about influencer marketing for the past year or so, and I’m really seeing it in action. It’s also become a significant tool among those who use it – 95% of marketers who use influencer marketing as part of an overall strategy believe it to be effective. If you want to connect with prospects, using influencers to create compelling third-party content that appears to be completely organic is a wise choice. And on a more regional basis, micro influencers – those who might have somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 followers – are a particularly cost effective tool. So you don’t have to reach out and pay for macro influencers, who can charge dearly for a tweet to their audience. (For example, getting Kim Kardashian to promote your product to her 32 MILLION Twitter followers is not cheap!)

Contextual Marketing: As opposed to interrupting programming with a message, contextual marketing seeks to align with the programming content. For example, Facebook’s constantly-evolving algorithm helps determine where your message will be most contextually relevant, and places it within or around relevant conversations. This keeps readers engaged and connected to your message. We use this tool a lot and believe that contextual marketing will play a growing role in the marketing plans for products and services.

In 2018, we’re going to see many more trends than these few become more mainstream, and the pace of change continue to accelerate. So embrace change…because something has probably changed since you’ve read this article!

We’re Proud of our Staff!!!

Welcome back Genna Shelnutt, senior copywriter in the creative department.

Originally from outside Atlanta, Genna graduated from University of Georgia before moving to Charleston in 2008 and joining the Rawle Murdy team as an intern. She now returns with nearly a decade of copywriting experience for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and national restaurant chains to tech start-ups and burgeoning local businesses.

Above all else, Genna loves building a brand voice in a way that’s both meaningful and relatable to its audience. Genna lives under the oaks on Johns Island with her newlywed husband and three rescue pups. When not at work, you can find her paddle-boarding, reading on a porch swing, brewery-hopping, pit bull snuggling, or on the hunt for awesome local art.