Branding is simply a memory someone has about your business.

As a small business owner it can be difficult to compete with the branding budgets of the “big guys” and the up to 3000 average advertisements people see in a day (USA Today).

So how do we dictate the memory someone has about our business on a small to zero $$ budget? Generations Beyond has a list of 10 simple and cost-effective branding solutions.

#1 – Email Address: Studies show that when someone sees an @aol.com or @hotmail.com email address they subconsciously think you are considerably less savvy. Regardless of that, your email address is a branding opportunity. People say it, type it and share it every day. Force them to acknowledge your business name by having an @yourbusinessname.com email!

#2 Email Signatures: On the subject of emails, the average person sends about 7000 emails per year. Add in employee emails and that number skyrockets. Enforce a strict email signature policy and take advantage of 7000+ free branding opportunites/year.

#3 Personal Voicemail: Missed a call? Don’t miss a potential branding opportunity! Let people know who you are and why they should be calling you. Leaving your voicemail at its default setting is unproductive, lazy and a waste!

#4 On Hold/Answering Messaging: This is a simple branding opportunity you can take advantage of not only each and every time you answer the phone but also every time you place someone on hold or transfer a prospect or client elsewhere in your company system. At the very least say your business name each and every time you answer a call.

#5 Stickers: This one is a little unconventional. Stickers are extremely cost effective. BIG STICKERS such as car wraps have been shown to be the most cost-effective way to brand your business when you consider the amount of eyeballs that see your brand for the price paid for a vehicle wrap. Still, vehicle wraps can be costly for the bootstrapper. Start off small with smaller stickers. Brand your bumper, your office vacuum, your desk and your bottle of Windex. These little touches always get noticed around the offices at GB.

Check out tips #6-10 with the GB freebie below:

 

 

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Not content with working all day, digital marketing firm owner uses his family to achieve the new American Dream of “going viral.”

When most people get home from work, they kick off their shoes, have dinner, and watch some TV, to get a break from the workday. But Jesse Wroblewski, a Long Island Ad Exec grabs his family, and some props, and creates quirky viral videos.

“Going viral” has become the new American Dream. A clip of a child going to the dentist, opening a Christmas present, or even biting a sibling can now snowball into fame and fortune.

Wroblewski has made several fun video projects with his family and friends, but his most recent effort, a spoof of Stanley Kubrick’s classic film “The Shining” has recently caught on with the masses:




The video, a somewhat family friendly mock-80’s style commercial for a “The Shining” board game (also created by Wroblewski) has now been featured on websites such as “Indie Wire,” “Birth, Movies, Death” and “Bloody Disgusting,” to name a few.

“Suddenly,” continues Wroblewski, “people are subscribing to my YouTube channel, and kids are showing up at my door asking to play the game, it’s amazing!”

To see viral “The Shining Board Game” commercial, visit Jesse Wroblewski’s personal YouTube Channel, http://www.youtube.com/ChainsawEstates or his Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ChainsawEstates

 

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder and “Lead Attention Seeker” at the Long Island Digital Marketing Agency Generations Beyond.


We proudly present the latest from the GB labs. It will undoubtedly be the best damn recruitment video you see today! Enjoy:


 

 

The job market can be a tough for a prospective employee, but Long Island based digital marketing firm Generations Beyond has found that it’s no easy task for employers either. “It’s been incredibly difficult for us to find just the right team member,” says Jesse Wroblewski, founder and CEO of Generations Beyond. “We felt like we’d exhausted traditional methods, and we wanted to get creative. Creative is our business, after all, so we thought, what’s something we all love?” The answer, as it turned out, was film.


A rapidly growing firm, hiring is a constant challenge, as larger projects require a growing staff, but at Generations Beyond, it’s not just about the resume.
“Fitting in is a big deal for us,” says Project Manager Jo-Anne Guiliani, “We all love to have fun, and we like to have fun together. The ad really showcases the culture at Generations Beyond. Not that we’re thugs or anything!”


The idea was originally conceived as a joke about client requests. “You can’t help but wonder what a client is thinking when they hire experts to do a job, and then don’t accept that advice,” says Brendan Bailey, head of Creative for the firm. “I was mimicking that scene from Goodfellas with Joe Pesci, and everyone said, you know, people should see that, it’s hilarious.” With that, the idea for a Goodfellas themed recruitment video took shape.


“It was a little daunting” says Corey Adams, who heads the videography department. “The idea of remaking an iconic scene that’s already been flawlessly shot by Scorsese? That’s intimidating. But I’m really happy. We really pulled it off, and it’s funny too, which is great.”


The finished commercial, which follows the life of “the kid, Henry” as he first interns, and then works for, and finally takes a wrong turn and abandons Generations Beyond, is an unusual way to recruit, but for Owner Jesse Wroblewski, that’s what makes it great. “We know this film is not for everyone, we want to attract those special types of people that get it.”


Thanks to everyone who came out to help resurrect the Collector’s Kingdom! Our event was a monster success and a great time was had by all.
Special thanks to Fios News for covering the event. Here is a snippet for anyone who missed this epic night:

 

Fios 1 Video Clip


On January 7, 2015 Long Island lost one of it’s most prized small businesses to a tragic fire. Collectors Kingdom in Huntington, NY was a haven for fanboys and fangirls alike.

When the marketing superheroes at Generations Beyond heard about their fellow comic book nerd elite and all around small business owner was in distress there was only one thing to be done:

Assemble and combine our superpowers for the good of mankind (and Long Island) and ensure Collector’s Kingdom rises from the ashes to become the most powerful mecca of all things nerdy in the universe once again.

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We at Generations Beyond are proud to be hosting a fundraiser event on February 27, 2015 to help this once great Long Island based small business rise again!

We’ve activated our secret web design, event promotion and social media marketing powers to alert the citizens of Long Island to our cause.

We’ve rallied the masses to donate, don their superhero garb for the cosplay contest and eat much pizza for a great cause.

Now it is up to you dear reader and true believer. Will you join us on our quest this Friday, February 27, 2015 at 7pm?

Sure everyone wants to be a superfriend, but only a few can make it onto our list (seriously the fire marshal will shut us down)

So RSVP early! Click here now:
https://www.generationsbeyond.com/comics

See you there!

 

UPDATE!

When the secret identity alliance at Rubies Costumes in Huntington, NY heard about our cause they generously sponsored our Cosplay Contest! Think you have what it takes to win a “Supreme Edition Darth Vader Helmet? Strut your stuff at 9pm on the 27th!

Thanks to our contest sponsor: http://www.shoprubies.com


Before you hit the SEND button on your latest company email blast, ever wonder what the absolute best times are during the business day to do so? Have a great Facebook post to share and want to make sure it goes onto the social networking platform during the time when statistically there is the absolute most engagement on the site?

Generations Beyond has done the research for you and created a handy, downloadable guide to keep by your side to show you what the absolute best times are for things such as updating your LinkedIn status, sharing photos on Instagram, even making cold calls! It’s totally free and available here:

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We hope you find this social media scheduling guide useful. If you would like some additional help with your ongoing digital marketing give the marketing superheroes at Generations Beyond a call today! 631.696.0324 speak to you soon.


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Bad Marketing Advice

I was cleaning out my garage and came across this plastic frog and it lead me to write this article regarding the single worst piece of marketing advice I’ve ever received.

I was once asked to give a marketing seminar to large group of attorneys in NYC. The gentleman speaking prior to my slot was also set to give his advice on marketing to the same audience. To my surprise, instead of a typical introduction by the moderator, the speaker chose to stand at the back of the room. He asked the moderator to instead play a theme song which built to a crescendo as he charged down the aisle, throwing plastic frogs all over the unsuspecting audience.

If you haven’t already come to this conclusion, the entire premise of his presentation was about how important it is to get people to take notice of your brand when marketing your business. He went on to drive his point home by announcing that obviously none of us in the room we’re going to forget this particular presentation. In a way, he was technically correct, however, in a much more important way, his presentation was a disaster.

This  idea of “standing out at all costs” is extremely common in marketing. I’ve heard it over and over again, often, sadly, from other marketing professionals.

Another incident I recall was very similar, though on a smaller scale. I was at a local networking event. When we went around the room giving our 60 second elevator pitches detailing who we were, and what we had to offer the group,  one woman, a fellow marketer, decided to stand on her chair and deliver her 60 second pitch. She closed with “everyone will remember the crazy lady who stood up on her chair… and that’s what marketing is, being memorable.”

This is WRONG!

While, yes, it is important for marketing to be memorable to be effective, it is just as important for effective marketers to take into consideration the feeling their campaign conveys, the message they are sending,  and what they are striving to be remembered for. Consider McDonald’s incredibly successful “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. You can bet each individual character within this short tagline underwent lengthy testing, with a number of focus groups.  A misplaced apostrophe, or an errant exclamation point could drastically change the feel of the campaign. The different between “McDonald’s, I’m loving it.” and “McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ it!”” is a 7 figure price tag on a successful campaign.

Good marketers know that even the fonts they use to create a tagline can instill a feeling which can ever so slightly alter the meaning of the words that make up a tagline. Fonts can feel formal, casual, trendy or fun. The job of a great marketing team is to note every aspect of a message, and to control it, delivering the feeling they want you to feel, with nothing left to chance.

While McDonald’s wants to be memorable, they also want to be memorable for the right reason. Would you want to be remembered for being associated with a cringe-worthy (I call them douche chills) circus style performance? No. And while I’d certainly remember a lawyer who gave cross examination while standing on his head in a TV commercial, the chances are slim and none that I’d actually hire him.

So, if someone recommends you run a print ad upside down because it will “make people stop and take notice,” unless you’re selling gravity boots,  hang up on them quickly, and get Generations Beyond on the phone!


rappamtSummer is a glorious time. Here at GB, we see some rare, but welcome downtime. The great Brendan Bailey gets his rollercoaster fix at Hershey Park, Anthony Rappa dangles dangerously off of the side of mountains, and I finally get to work on our website, getting it back up to snuff with the latest technology.

Wonder what a digital marketing company does to their own website to retain a competitive edge? Well, I’m happy to tell you.


#1 – Have a contact form? Get a privacy policy!
We’ve all seen them, though most of us have never read a single one. We’re talking about “privacy policies,” the dreaded fine print of the internet. Google rarely comes out and says “DO THIS” when it comes to search engine optimization, leaving the challenge to people like us at GB to figure it all out. However, one of the recent commandments that the mighty Google has released is that the future of SEO IS ALL ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE.”

So what does that mean? Essentially Google wants to refer the highest quality businesses to their customers (the people doing the searching) in hopes they have a great experience both on, and offline. Google feels that if they refer you to a shady business and you have a bad experience, you may not return to them for your search needs in the future. What does that mean for you? In short, its probably a good practice to think like a big business when it comes to your website. The “big, reputable guys” all have privacy policies noting what information they are collecting and where its’ going for pages such as contact forms, so why shouldn’t you?

This is a small and easy update to your site that Google really does check for. Recently, some of our paid campaigns via Google received a lower quality score for not having a privacy policy on a page where a lead generation form was located, so we make sure to resolve that issue for both our client’s advertising, and our own campaigns.


#2 – Open Graph Search SEO
This definitely falls more onto the technical side of things, and it can seem a little bit complicated. In short, for the non-techies out there, the Open Graph Protocol makes each page a social object.

Here is a handy application of how OG can help your website in a way that people can actually see, not just some hidden code in the background of things:

You’ve probably had the experience of placing a link into your Facebook status box in efforts of sharing something with your friends and having Facebook automatically create a little excerpt for you along with a thumbnail and hyperlink. Sure, this is very handy, but what if the information you’re trying to convey to your raving fans, so that they, in turn can repost your genius all over the web,  isn’t properly generated by Facebook? You’ve seen this when you post a serious news article, and Facebook decides that a photo of a cute baby duck is an appropriate accompaniment, or when they post a string of nonsense tags alongside a photo you’re trying to share. Open Graph allows you to describe each page, article, video or entire website as you see fit, so social sites can index it better, and, most importantly, you can decide how your content is presented to your audience, with your original intent intact. Here is an example:

 

Open Graph Example


#3 – Installing An SSL Certificate
Finally! Google comes right out and says something they want! Google wants to make the web a safer place. While a little controversial, they call for something called “HTTPS Everywhere.” This basically calls for a higher level of security on your website by purchasing something called an SSL certificate. This is already very common in the ecommerce world, but Google wants to bring it to the rest of the web. Some may feel this is overkill on static websites, but we’re not here to debate, we’re here to get higher rankings, and Google makes the rules on that front.

What’s the point?

Again this comes back to Google’s original claim of SEO benefiting sites that lead to a stronger “user experience.” So now, if you visit our website, you will notice it says https://www…… instead of the typical http://www…. a quick way to tell if a site is secure.


Honorable Mention
Play Space Invaders Pinball On Our Site!

gameoverWhile it will likely have no effect on our SEO we’ve successfully added the ability to actually play a hybrid version of Space Invaders and Pinball on the Culture page of our website. This is purely for our, and your, enjoyment, but we’re pretty sure it’ll improve the user experience too. Whether or not Google agrees is yet to be seen.

Click here to check it out and give a try!

What’s your highest score? Post it in the comments!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, we’ll see you again soon!

 

 

 

 

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

keithI’ve been hearing the same argument about website design since the late 90’s.

“We need to tell our client’s everything we do on the home page without having to scroll”
Or
“Our clients don’t know to scroll so we have to be concise and get our message across immediately”


This phenomenon is known as staying “above the fold” which is where the screen cuts off your webpage and you are forced to scroll (gasp) to see more content.


I began website design in 1999, a time when AOL was dominant. Their interface took up a majority of the screen. Placing their web browser inside that interface, combined with the smaller monitors of the day, and precious bandwidth to conserve due to dial-up viewers web designers like us were challenged with conveying proper messaging and design within a 6 inch, low resolution space on a good day.


Now more than 15 years later, technology has changed, screen sized are gigantic compared to their predecessors, our very DNA for consuming data has evolved yet we still hear the same request about “the fold phenomenon”. Why? Is it valid?


No!


Now I realize you may be coming to this very blog searching for advice because you do not fully understand website design and marketing. So lets try and relate this concept to something everyone knows about. Television.


It’s been said in the ad world that the mark of a good commercial is “if you can watch it with the volume off and still understand what the company does and its value proposition” its a good commercial. While this concept certainly sounds not only feasible but desirable for your commercial think about the top commercials of all time.


If you were to watch the Budweiser frogs commercial with no sound, would you know why Budweiser beer is better? How about the famous Clydesdale spots? Try watching these top 25 Super Bowl commercials of all time without sound and see if you catch my drift:

In short, commercials as well as websites have the ability to connect with clients on multiple levels. You can use them to build trust, convey a feeling, make people laugh, or even annoy them into submission.


Thinking of these potential branding medium and opportunities as a spreadsheet of logistics to convey as to why your product or service should be used is a recipe for disaster, or at least a band-aid for lack of creative thinking. Not to mention massive missed opportunity.


Your website is an unparalleled opportunity for branding, building trust, showing off corporate culture, exposing your vision and more. Take advantage of it, hell push it as far as the medium allows. Trust me, your visitors WILL scroll!


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Photo: Nathan Barnatt who is actually extremely creative, he just looks that way.

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

Having an event on Long Island? Need to get the word out? Generations Beyond has created this free checklist for you to utilize in getting the most exposure for your event via the availability of free postings online.


Click the image below to download your copy of this handy, free checklist!
Think you need more help? Contact us today! We’re great at publicity and packing out events!


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