Multimedia, such as content for marketing mobile, live casting and podcasting, photo, video, and file sharing, can spread the word about your company. It also helps to build brand awareness in a very unique and powerful way. This particular type of social media also can go viral quickly. Hottrix, the Las Vegas, Nevada-based iPhone app creator, became one example of a breakthrough success story. When their iBeer app, which simulates chugging a mug of beer on the iPhone, became one of the most downloaded apps repeated in 2008 and 2009.
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“However, the ability of these technologies to facilitate communication between your small business and employees. Your customers and potential customers is tremendous”, says Keith Nissen, principal analyst at the Scottsdale, Arizona-based market intelligence firm, In-Stat.
“When you think about [multimedia platforms] and what that’s all about. Tt’s about being able to communicate mass marketing messages to the device of choice on-demand,” says Nissen. “I think what’s more interesting is how these tools can be used in conjunction with other multimedia tools. To support the business–the marketing, the sales, and promotion of their products and services. To me that for a small business, is probably more important than internal communication.”
Here’s a look at some of the most effective ways to leverage media, such as photos, podcasts, videos, and other types of mobile marketing.
How to Use Multimedia For Business Marketing: Sharing Photos With Your Online Community
Several online communities exist to upload and share photos over the Web. Many small businesses have learned to take advantage of these services to market their products. Here are the most common photo-sharing marketing strategies.
- Offer real-time incentives – Twitter’s TweetPhoto will automatically enable you to publish photos to your Twitter and Facebook accounts for free via mobile and Web platforms. Who needs 140 characters to describe your business when a picture is worth 1,000 words? Tweet pictures of discounted and new items or offer exclusive incentives.
- Join like-minded communities – At no cost, Yahoo!-operated Flickr provides a useful platform for photo management and sharing. “The first thing that I tell people is that Flickr is not just a photo storage place,” says Matt McGee. Independent online marketing consultant of the Tri-Cities, Washington-based, Small Business Search Marketing. “It’s a very active community centered around Flickr groups”.
- Drive traffic to your website – Pink Cake Box, a gourmet cake shop located in Denville, New Jersey, began using Flickr in 2006 to build brand identity. Co-owner Jesse Heap says that Pink Cake Box’s website receives about 300,000 unique users each month. Roughly 10 percent of those visitors are from Flickr, where the company posts photos of interesting or extreme cakes.
How to Use Multimedia For Business Marketing: Hosting Videos and Webcasting
Sharing videos over the Web is another great resource for small businesses in establishing a social media presence, particularly because of how many people are tuning in.
- The equipment – Very small businesses can buy a webcam or camcorder, wireless microphone, and simple video editing equipment such as Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio or Final Cut Pro 7. However, a webcam limits you to filming yourself sitting in front of a computer, and that’s not very exciting, says Peter Brusso, an Anaheim, California, podcasting producer and technology marketing consultant. Instead, invest in a camcorder, preferably a “three-chip” camera that uses three computer chips to separate colors, which results in a higher quality picture.
- Hire someone – If you have a bigger budget, hire a professional. Prices run from $1,000 to $15,000, according to podcast industry sources. Employment attorney Helene Wasserman created a video podcast called Employer Help cast two years ago to market her work as a partner with Ford & Harrison LLP, a Los Angeles law firm. If you’re trying to market yourself as having a very professional business, you want to put your best foot forward.
- The show – You could have the best-looking video around, but it wouldn’t matter if you didn’t do something interesting and consistent, says blip.tv’s Kaplan. For webcasts, stick to a regular broadcast schedule, whether that’s once a day, week, or month.
- Hosting and marketing – Once you’ve got a video in the can, upload it for free on YouTube where it can be viewed by anyone. Webcasts can also be uploaded to free or paid to host sites such as iTunes, or Libsyn. Wasserman’s podcasts appear on blip. tv and iTunes and cover workplace issues such as job sharing, corporate culture, and managing a multi-generational workforce.
How to Use Multimedia in Podcasting
Podcasts have become such a popular marketing tool for sole proprietors and small businesses that a small army of professional producers is out there waiting to help. Here are 9 essential steps a company needs to get started:
- Do some homework – The best way to learn about podcasting is to listen to podcasts, says Peter Brusso, an Anaheim, California, podcasting producer and technology marketing consultant. Visit directories such as RSS Player or Libsyn and look for podcasts with a similar style or subject to what you want to create, Brusso says.
- Decide on a topic – Podcasts could focus on a company’s products or services, an industry, or management or professional issues. Whatever the topic, make sure it’s related to a company’s business in some way, says Sallie Goetsch, proprietor of The Podcast Asylum, a northern California podcast producer and consultant.
- Gather your tools – Producing a podcast requires:
- A microphone, digital audio recorder, or USB headset to record podcast episodes
- Computer with a sound card and high-speed Internet connection
- Audio recording and editing software, either licensed software or free open-source programs such as Audacity.
- Build a backlog – Before going live, build up a catalog of a dozen or more episodes. Coming up with ideas is easy, Brusso says. They can spring from talking to customers, going to conventions, reading trade magazines, or following current events.
- Be consistent – Length, professional quality, and subject matter of a company’s podcast are important but not as much as on-air consistency. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, or once a month, pick a schedule and stick to it. Podcasts are like radio or TV shows: audiences expect a schedule.
How to Use Multimedia For Business Marketing: Mobile Marketing
There are 4.1 billion cellular connections worldwide, and with the prevalence of smartphones, the concept of browsing the Web from a mobile phone has gone mainstream. Consider this: Mobile phone carriers are sitting atop a trove of data – not just your name, address, and, of course, phone number. But also credit card information, who your friends are, and where you’re located at this very moment.
- How exactly do I advertise on a mobile phone? – The most common type of mobile ad is a display ad served on a Web page called a cell phone screen. The ads are created for the site’s mobile format. It may not be the same as the ads you would see if you were browsing the site on a PC. Ads are priced on a Cost Per Mille, or CPM, basis – the price you pay for the ad to be seen 1,000 times.
- What do mobile ads cost? – The cost of mobile ads varies due to the different types of ads, and different cell phone platforms. For instance, AdMob, one of the main mobile ad networks. Currently charges CPMs of $12 to $14 for iPhone banner ads.
- What about text messaging? – One option is to buy or rent a shortcode. A five- or six-digit phone number from which you can send and receive text messages. One common way to use a shortcode is to publish it on a billboard. Print ads like (“Text 51234 for more information”) that encourages customers to enter a contest or participate in a poll.
Many business owners are deluge by the amount of media and channels available to them. But we say, there’s never been a more exciting time to market yourself. Because this diversity of solutions means you can create campaigns that fit your budget, your audience, and your business objectives.
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