Marketing Monday: Next Step Chocolate Fest And Silent Auction

Most of the time, I try not to use this blog to promote anything in particular but I do want to let people know about an event that’s coming up. (Full disclosure: I am on the board of this organization.) Domestic violence is an issue close to my heart and answering the phone line for a couple years only solidified this belief.

Next Step Domestic Violence Project is holding their annual Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction on February 13. It’s the organization’s biggest fundraiser and every year, Next Step looks to tweak it to make it better. This year is the first time they are using social media to promote the event. (Gee, I wonder which board member pushed that one…)

Here are a few things NS is doing to promote this event, both online and off.

All the board members are contacting businesses for donations, and I’ve noticed a much higher success rate via email.
If you have a lot of information to give someone, it feels like you completely and blindly attack them when it’s over the phone:

“Hi my name is Nicole Ouellette and I’m a board member of the Next Step Domestic Violence Project. We’re soliciting donations for our annual Chocolate Festival and Silent Auction fundraiser on Feb. 13. Is your business interested in making a donation?”

Could I make that any shorter? No. If you were listening to that on the other end, would you feel overwhelmed? I sure would!

In each email, I shared the Next Step’s website address and Facebook page so that those I would solicit would understand the legitimacy of the organization. So if you’re an organization that’s hesitating to get a website, there’s a compelling reason to finally do it.

The Next Step Facebook page has been very active, which has grown the fan base.
The Next Step Facebook page has recieved more fans since beginning its daily posting of a domestic violence fact. And building a lot of fans on your Facebook business page is not only a good way to make you feel popular but when you do have an event or idea, you suddenly have a much larger, more engaged group of people to share it with.

We created an event associated with the page, and invited our friends.
Nothing like using a little social media peer pressure. In creating an event and getting people to RSVP, as an organization we can have an idea of who is and isn’t coming

I made a web-sized ‘ad’ that people could share on their websites or Facebook pages.
If something is already created and formatted correctly, people are much more likely to share it. Events are no exception.

Creating a small text ad that is 450 pixels wide and putting it on my Facebook page made it easy for other board members and fans of the cause to share the event with their friends, on their Facebook page or on their blogs.

Since Facebook is such a visual interface, taking advantage of a ‘photo’ along with the event listing seemed like a good idea.

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Marketing Monday: Maine Maven

Know an individual or business doing something cool to promote themselves online? Let me know about it!

I first came across the Maine Maven site a couple years ago. It’s one of those blogs I subscribe to that’s kind of like a good old friend: no matter how long it’s been, I seem to be able to pick up right where I left off.

I was having a bit of writer’s blog when my Twitter friend MargaretsCards suggested I write about Maine Maven. Good idea!

The Maine Maven keeps things fresh and graphically pleasing with a periodically changing Maine related illustration. And that's just the beginning of the thoughtful design.

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Marketing Monday: Jack Frost Ski Shop

Know an individual or business doing cool things with marketing/promotion both online and off? Let me know about it; I am always looking for ideas!

I spent this past weekend skiing in New Hampshire. I have a couple of friends who are members of ski clubs in the Mount Washington area and this weekend was the kickoff of the ski season for the Eastern Inter-Club Ski League or EISCL (pronounced “ice-sill”) at Bretton Woods. I attended as a guest, helping my friends at the registration table in exchange for a free lift ticket.

I later found out that the whole event was underwritten by Jack Frost Ski Shop, located in Glen New Hampshire.

By being visible at big ski events, like 13 Hours of EICSL at Bretton Woods, Jack Frost is reaching its target audience in a place where they enjoy being.

Sadly, this was not obvious to me at the event but the good news is I learned a lot about the Jack Frost Ski Shop anyway. Here are some things we can all learn from them, and what I think could be improved upon:

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Marketing Monday: Sherry Stedt, Licensed Massage Therapy

Every Monday, I focus on a person or company doing something cool to promote themselves online. Know a rockin internet marketing campaign? Let me know about it!
A couple weeks ago, I decided to start my own business Facebook page. The same day, my friend Sherry (who happened to attend a talk I did about social media and who I went to high school with) decided to do the same thing for her massage business.
Sherry's business Facebook page is proof that all you have to do to get more fans is 1) Ask and 2) Put information people want on your page. Simple...really!
By the end of the day, I had some serious jealousy issues. I had 25 fans and she had… over 100. I figured I could be petty and sulky, or I could ask her what she did and how she’s planning on using it. Here’s our interview, appropriately over Facebook:

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Marketing Monday: Garfunkel and Oates

Every Monday, I talk about individuals or companies promoting themselves in a neat way online. Feel free to contact me to nominate yourself or a friend; I’m always looking for new ideas.

It’s almost a sure thing to say that video is the next big internet thing.

Alright, that came out wrong. I am certainly not saying that people aren’t using video effectively now but I think that in the next few years, just like now most everyone has a website, in a few years most everyone will have video on their website. And as cameras get more affordable and videos get more search engine friendly, there will be more of a reason then ever to finally get in front of a camera.

Having recently begun to appreciate Youtube more myself, I have begun checking out cool videos. Among my favorite ‘series’ is Garfunkel and Oates.


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Marketing Monday: My Smile Bites!

Every Monday, I profile some cool promotional idea I run across and why I think it’s effective. Have a cool marketing idea your company is putting in place? Contact me, I might write about it!

When I think of 1-800-DENTIST, I think of happy but generic looking people on the phone helping me find a dentist. Not exactly something new.

I was contacted by Jill, one of their marketing folks, about the video contest they are holding which I do find interesting.

The basic idea is that contestants upload a 1-2 minute video talking about why they need a smile makeover. The winner gets up to a $30,000 smile makeover. You may remember that Office Depot had a similar upload your video to win contest for small businesses called ‘Survival of the Smartest’ that ran this summer.

Here’s why I think the campaign is interesting:

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