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Tag Archives | Marketing

Is Facebook Marketing a Dead End for Small Brands?

You know that old saying about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Facebook has repeatedly pulled the rug out from under small businesses using its brand pages platform for marketing in the past few years – and yet we keep going back for more.

Over time, Facebook has slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) eroded the reach of posts from brand pages. First it put in place an algorithm that stopped showing brand posts to all followers in their newsfeeds. Then it started slowly tightening that algorithm like a noose, choking off brands’ access to their followers’ newsfeeds – and offering no “follow all” option for brands like it does for personal accounts that allows a user to override the removal of content and see everything that is posted.

Facebook Brand PageWe’ve definitely noticed the decline in reach at Nally Studios. Our stats show our Facebook posts going out to only a small fraction of our followers, and the decline has been precipitous in recent months. Social media research consulting firm Ogilvy & Mather, in a recently published white paper, described our experience as typical and calculates the organic reach of a typical brand post as 6% on Facebook in February 2014, down almost by half since the fall. For extremely large brands, reach is even smaller – more like 2%. Continue Reading →

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Thoughts on Scrapbooking’s Identity Crisis

For several years now, the accepted conventional wisdom has been that the scrapbook industry has been declining because of technology – specifically, digital cameras and social media. Is that really the case? Yes and no.

Fifteen years ago when I started scrapbooking, film photography was still the norm. I would sit at tables at crops surrounded by women toting their latest envelopes full of pictures fresh from the processing lab that they felt like they needed to “do something” with.  They wanted to preserve them for the next generation and put them in a format where they could share them with their friends and family easily. The goal was to have no boxes and stacks of pictures, but instead to have neat and tidy albums that everyone could enjoy and share, and that preserved their photos.

Enter digital photography, and social media.

Suddenly instead of envelopes full of prints, we have folders full of pictures on our hard drives. Out of sight, out of mind – there are no longer physical objects demanding that we “do something” with them. Now, if we want a print, we have to take several proactive steps to create one.

And sharing has changed dramatically too. We can have virtual photo albums on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, and any number of other sites, as well as post images on our blogs. We don’t need people to come to our house to see our albums. We bring our photos to our loved ones through their computers, often instantaneously when they are shot through our mobile phones. Continue Reading →

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Reaching Scrapbookers With and Without Children

Editor’s Note: This post debuts the latest addition to Scrapbook Update’s staff, Stephanie Medley-Rath.

Stephanie’s first post opens discussion on an important topic. As a scrapbooker who participated in the hobby for well over 5 years before the birth of my daughter, I’m very conscious of this industry’s emphasis on child-focused marketing. I hope Stephanie’s post can open a discussion among our community on the topic, and help make industry businesses more aware of what consumers they might be overlooking in their marketing.

I recently wrote an article on my site on child-free scrapbookers, that raised some great discussion. Part of the discussion was over the terminology: should this group be described as childless or child-free? Both are value-laden terms, and both describe people without children by choice (child-free) and by chance (childless). The terminology does not matter nearly as much as the point of the article: people without children scrapbook.

The scrapbook industry does an excellent job zeroing in on the key demographic of new moms as new scrapbookers (and rightly so), but in this quest to convert new moms to scrapbooking, the industry as a whole tends to overlook scrapbookers without children.

The industry needs both groups to continue growing and needs to take care to not alienate either group in the process. Why might the industry need both groups? Scrapbookers without children are:

  • More likely to be motivated to scrapbook for reasons other than creating family heirlooms to be passed down to future generations.
  • Less likely to be creating scrapbooks to record stories or memories for other people.
  • Are more likely to be scrapbooking only for themselves.

Scrapbookers without children are more likely to be intrinsically motivated, which means they will continue scrapbooking as long as they remain intrinsically motivated and feel there is a place for them in the hobby. Continue Reading →

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Viral Marketing In Action

Viral marketing doesn’t hit the scrapbook industry very often. Provo Craft has accomplished it a few times with Cricut launches, specifically with their Gypsy product launch. But it’s truly a rare accomplishment for a scrapbook marketing campaign. In truth, few companies even attempt to create a truly viral promotion.

But if you’d like to see a perfect example of viral marketing done right, you need to see the holiday music video just put out by Scrapbook.com called “It’s Always Sunny In Here”. The only way to describe it is to say think about a combination of Glee and Mad Men in theme…It’s been the toast of Twitter the past few days – the true stamp of a campaign gone viral.

What makes the video the perfect viral marketing piece? First, it is downright fun! You can’t help but smile watching it. You want to watch it over and over, and tell your friends to watch it because you know they will smile too. You absolutely do not feel like you are watching an ad – which then leaves you with a positive feel about the company. This video is not only great marketing for Scrapbook.com – they’ve added in some subtle specific product mentions, so they’ve provided some marketing for their vendor partners too.

This sort of marketing is drastically under-utilized in the scrapbook industry (both the video and the viral aspect of it). More businesses should consider trying projects like this…the return on investment can be very high.

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Retailers – Need Promotional Idea For The Holidays?

Any retailer who has ever asked me for advice about marketing their business or about what they should do at the CHA shows, has likely heard me rave about the genius of retail consultants and speakers Kizer & Bender. In their writing, seminars & consulting, Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender deliver advice to retailers that is very doable and makes sense for businesses of all sizes. And as a bonus, they never fail to do it in an entertaining way!

The critical holiday sales season is right on top of us, and retailers must take advantage of it to be successful. As usual, Kizer & Bender are here to help, with their new e-book “Jingle Bells Christmas Sells: Events, Promotions & Tips for the Holiday Season“, available on their website for $24.95. Co-authored with their Australian counterpart, Debra Templar, the book is designed to give retailers all the tools and information that they need to maximize their holiday sales and have a successful holiday retail season.

Why is a successful holiday season so important to retail businesses? According to Kizer & Bender, the holiday season quarter accounts for 36% of a retail business’s sales, and represents the highest level of profitability for those businesses. Get the holidays wrong and your whole year is wrong. Do you know the origin of the term “black friday”? It’s called that because the sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving were usually when most retailers finally became profitable for the year.

The holiday season is a critical time for retailers. Don’t turn down the chance to get wonderful marketing advice from seasoned experts like Kizer & Bender and Debra Templar when you can most use it.


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What Can We Learn from a Haul Video?

“Haul” videos are all the rage on video sites like YouTube. Shoppers record video evidence of their latest shopping “haul” and describe the bargains or treasures that they scored on their shopping mission. But if you take a closer look at these videos as marketers, can you learn something about shoppers and their habits, needs and wants from them?

To find out, let’s take a closer look at this recent scrapbooking haul video posted to YouTube by user detdaty0129:

So, what can we learn about shopper behavior from that 47 seconds? A surprising amount, actually.
  • Our haul shopper is pretty savvy. Not too many shoppers realize that some stores will take the competitor’s coupons (something I am personally always forgetting about when I get my Joann’s flyers in the mail).
  • This shopper chose to use her coupon on an item [Scotch ATG adhesive applicator, $29.99 at Scrapbook.com] that I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about, and was very excited about it. Adhesive isn’t usually a “sexy” product, but this particular adhesive gun seems to have really excited consumers.
  • The 70% off coupon was used to get a very practical item for a nominal price rather than seeing the discount as an opportunity to get a less usable luxury item at a massive savings. I’ll admit – I have a few expensive “ghost tools” that sit around my scrap room collecting dust that I was swayed into buying by a massive discount.
  • This coupon promotion by Jo-Ann Stores converted well into a sale – unfortunately it was a sale for their competitor! But it does show that coupons will bring out shoppers.
  • Coupon promotions like this are designed to get shoppers into the store in the hopes that they will buy more than just the coupon item. Although it isn’t mentioned in the video, a glance at the shopper’s receipt shows that it contains multiple line items, which means the promotion was probably successful in that respect.

This concept of using big sales to buy basic essentials at affordable prices was one that we saw retailers reporting as a trend last holiday season, when it seemed shoppers were gravitating more than usual towards holiday sales on basic clothing items. Since it appears that sentiment has stuck with consumers, it will be interesting to see how it affects the upcoming holiday season for retailers.

Remember the tease on the Behind The Scenes blog to get your video cameras ready? Well, here’s your first chance to use them on Scrapbook Update! Would you like your haul to be the featured in the next Scrapbook Update “haul” analysis? You can submit your own “haul” video to Scrapbook Update via our video submissions page after uploading it to YouTube or a similar service. We can’t wait to see what our readers come up with!

Have you seen the latest from Paper Crafts magazine?

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