New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Solving Marketing Challenges

Most of you know I've been working on developing a new product called LibraryAware. I thought it would be neat to share some of the marketing challenges we faced and take you behind the scenes to see how we came up with the solutions we used to resolve them.

We faced two problems when trying to introduce this product. One of the problems was that no other product does what it does. I know that sounds like a good thing but the problem was that it was "kind of like" a lot of products. Whenever we started talking, people would think we were like the product they knew and put us in that box. So people would hear us and immediately think we were another Constant Contact, Hootsuite or MS Publisher. This was problematic because while we have features similar to those products, our product is designed to act as a comprehensive system to help libraries reach users through  multiple channels including print.  If you don't want to use multiple channels then our product isn't the right product for you. We don't want to replace one of those products, we want to replace all of them. 

The other problem was that we needed to sell the concept of how important it was for libraries to use multiple channels. There were tons of reasons why they were only using a one or two channels but we needed to make the case that it would be worth it for them to utilize social, print, email AND online channels.

We had great talking points but they were complicated and difficult to translate into a 30 second elevator speech. So we came up with the idea of creating a quick video. I worked with my team to create the storyboard and then we gave it over to our magnificent marketing coordinator, who pulled it all together in a PowerPoint. Yes, this is a PPT!!!! We had our staff record the script, my hubby wrote and recorded the music and the result was a minute long video that says what was taking us 10 minutes to explain in person. Take a look and see if we achieved what we set out to do. Feel free to share your comments.

Five Tips: Making Effective Videos for your Library

If you are making a video to promote a service or even the value of your library here's are my top five things to keep in mind.

1. Work with what you've got

Originally we had wanted to create an animated or stop motion video but since no one on staff had created one before and we were under a time deadline, we decided to create a story that could be done in a PPT. Our secret weapon was our marketing coordinator. I don't think I've ever seen anyone do with PowerPoint what she does. Look around at your staff and utilize their talent. We also wanted to use the tools we had available so PPT made sense.

2. Know the difference between what's important to you and what's important to them

We had worked really hard to align our target audience with the product and to identify the talking points that we believed would resonate with them. As we spoke to folks we realized that many things we thought were valuable features were just ho hum to them. We changed the talking points to reflect the features that were important to them. 

3. Tell a story

We wanted to create a story that made people think about how they would use our product rather than telling them how we think they would use it. The progression of questions built upon the previous one. There were two targeted audiences we wanted to reach but decided to focus on one in order to keep the story simple. 

The sequencing also took into account the person who might be thinking "yes, but ...". So when we say. "What would happen if your library could reach the right audience, at the right time with the right message?"  the next question shows how a library can do it even if they don't have the resources. Hopefully by the end of the minute the viewer feels the possibilities and doesn't walk away saying - "No way, we can't do that." 

4. Be flexible

We wrote the storyboard and gave our marketing person suggestions as to the imagery she might want to use. But she could create the piece that worked for her. That really helps because it allows the creative person to make choices based on her resources and abilities. We had originality planned to use one voice but when I heard it I thought it would work better if we had those involved in LibraryAware be the voice. They weren't the typical professional voices but what I loved about it was the authenticity. Plus it gave the behind scenes folks a chance to talk to our customers. 

5.  Think of the flow

I like 30 second videos but we just had too much to say for 30 seconds. By adding music the momentum  picked up and it made the extra time go much faster. Changing up the voices added interest and we tweaked the timing of some of the slides so the viewer could read what we were saying as well. 

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