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Engaging Millennials

Using OOH to Increase Suicide Prevention Awareness

By | Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Food for Thought, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments
Suicide is a leading cause of death, with nearly 800,000 deaths around the world ever year, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 47,000 lives in 2017 alone. While it isn’t an easy or comfortable topic to talk about, recent years have drawn a greater awareness to like issues. Suicide, anti-bullying and mental health overall are no longer off-limit topics of discussion and have been central to several awareness campaigns, as well as celebrity-endorsed social movements (check out Justin Bieber’s Instagram post here sharing his current struggle with mental illness). Such efforts and campaigns are executed with the help of advertising.

 

What is OOH Advertising?

There are several different types of advertising, though our focus will be Outdoor or Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH). As one might be able to decipher from the name, OOH is advertising that reaches the consumer while they are outside their homes. Such advertising includes billboards, bus shelter advertisements, newspaper kiosks and wall panels. It is a traditional form of advertising and can be wildly successful if executed correctly. We see numerous OOH advertisements every time we leave our homes, yet only a select few are memorable and leave lasting impressions.

OOH advertisements have played a significant role in starting and continuing the conversation around sensitive subjects, such as mental illness and suicide. It is not all that uncommon to see mental health, suicide awareness and prevention campaigns on these OOH platforms. Such campaigns are steps in the right direction for increased awareness and provide immediate calls-to-action, as they often include hotline phone numbers and additional resources for support.

An article in TIME Magazine states that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline expected 1.1 to 1.2 million calls in 2013, the year that the article was written, and receives about 15 percent more calls year after year. The same article states that in the last 20 years, public policy and federal funding have shifted their efforts to a broader mental wellness movement aimed at individuals suffering from anxiety and depression, utilizing OOH advertisements to relay their campaign messaging. Individuals in the new target audience are often referred to as being “upstream”, meaning that they are not a current suicide risk. The thought behind this shift is to reach people before they are “downstream” and at risk for suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is unique in that is has adopted the shift towards broader advertising while maintaining their position as an emergency resource for those at risk of suicide, as well. So, how is a safe and successful OOH awareness campaign created?

 

Tips on Making Your OOH Advertisement Successful

Out-of-Home advertisements are often seen in passing, while people are on the go, giving advertisers only seconds to capture people’s attention. How does one do this? I have complied a list of key points and strategies that appeared several times in my research. Read More

Audio Advertising 101

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
Audio streaming, Spotify and Pandora
In today’s digital world, traditional advertising methods are no longer enough to maintain competitive in the media and marketing space. Every day, people consume advertisements through a variety of content and streaming platforms. They easily absorb their information through streaming advertisements, whether watching shows and movies on Hulu, or even listening to music or podcasts on Pandora and Spotify. Unlike traditional advertising, audio advertising can reach a more targeted and specific demographic based on the content the user is consuming. Before we dive into what makes audio advertising successful and provide tips on managing a successful campaign, let’s start with the basics: what is audio advertising?

 

What is it?

“Audio advertising” is simple – it’s the advertising you listen to while on your audio-streaming platforms. When you are listening to streaming content on Pandora, Spotify or similar stations, you are likely being targeted with audio advertisements. Advertisers can buy space on such platforms, and strategically target users who fit into their desired audience based on data that is unique to streaming platforms via required profile creation. Each time a user creates a profile on platforms like Spotify or Pandora, they are required to put in basic information such as gender, age, and music preferences. This data can be translated into key demographic data which in turn serves as a way for potential ads to target potential niche audiences. With the growing popularity of audio streaming, the advertising space they offer has grown too. This comes as no surprise, since we have our phones with us at all times; while we are commuting to work or just running errands on the weekend, audio advertising is infused into the daily soundtrack of our everyday lives.

 

Why is it important?

It’s no secret that the world of advertising is changing drastically. Consumers are no longer just engaging with traditional media, and the audio advertising space is one of the new channels that can be utilized to capture your target demographic. Forbes stated that streaming is officially the lifeblood of the music industry in the U.S., considering that Spotify alone has a total of 191 million monthly active users. This means that advertisers must adapt to digital platforms in order to remain relevant. While the space is relatively new and continues to emerge, it is increasing in popularity each year with no signs of slowing down, as more and more users are shifting to multimedia and streaming platforms. While such platforms provide the option of ad-free listening or the choice to skip them, this comes at a premium, but studies have shown that only a small percentage of users choose this option.

 

However, skipping an advertisement could actually work in the advertiser’s favor. In an interview with Ad Age, Danielle Lee, Global Vice President of Partner Solutions at Spotify, said she believes that users will only skip advertisements that are not of interest to them. Therefore, the advertiser can ultimately better target their demographic. Not only will this allow advertisers to narrow down their target audience, but it will allow them to be more successful in their efforts to increase conversions. Individuals will listen and engage with advertisements that interest them and, thus, provide advertisers with important information about how to better target and adapt their marketing efforts. For instance, according to The Drum, platforms such as Spotify have log-in data that allows advertisers to hone in on specific groups of users based on their age, gender and listening habits.

 

This allows digital advertisers to target their specific audience while also being able to measure post-advertising data that is integral in evaluating the campaign. On Spotify, for instance, advertisers can measure user interaction and if they listened until the very end. While it is important to be able to track how many people your advertisement has reached, what is becoming more and more important is the user journey after it has been played fully. For example, did the user visit the advertiser’s website? Did the user make a purchase? This information allows advertisers to track performance in real time and close the advertising loop, providing them with a holistic view of engagement surrounding their advertisement, which then provides a more accurate calculation of their Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) from music- to podcast-streaming platforms.

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How to Increase College Enrollment through Advertising

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising, Uncategorized | No Comments
Despite the growing number of majors and universities throughout the United States, college enrollment has experienced a decrease in the last year, per the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Here at MSSmedia, we deliver college recruitment campaigns that help increase student enrollment, in addition to promoting majors and recreational activities on campuses. For example, we ran an out-of-home branding campaign for the College of Nursing at the University of Houston, generating more than 400,000 impressions in promoting the college’s new field of studies. As campus experts, we’ve put together tips on how colleges and universities can generate engagement and establish a strong footprint in the campus space.

Start your student recruitment activities ASAP

As a college or university, you may need to devote more time to recruiting at lower grade-levels, such as high school sophomores, rather than trying to get their attention as seniors. This has proven to be effective in establishing relationships between higher education institutions and students. For instance, by emailing students with exciting news about their colleges or universities will help build trust and loyalty over time. Make them feel special, and let them imagine the campus experience they will soon be living. At MSSmedia, we have provided our university and college partners with both traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns, such as out-of-home and social media services for the School of Hospitality at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, which ranked as the number one hospitality program in the nation for three consecutive years.

Run a mobile college enrollment campaign

Almost 5 billion people interact on their phones nowadays, so an optimal way for universities and colleges to target students and increase enrollment is through mobile advertising. After planning out your objectives, start thinking of a social media channel to engage students with your campaign. Is it Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? Keep in mind that you don’t need all of them, rather focus on quality over quantity. At MSSmedia, we have helped clients understand the right social media plan to establish trust and generate engagement among students. Just last year, we ran a mobile campaign on behalf of Pandora at FIU to increase brand engagement and drive in-store sales for Mother’s Day. At the end of the campaign, we delivered more than 50,000 impressions and over 300 clicks. Read More

How to Promote Local Economic Growth through an Effective Public Relations Plan

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
According to Trading Economics, the U.S. economy grew by 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019. As a result of this growth, local governments and non-governmental organizations keep contributing to the overall quality of life, whether it’s increased job opportunities or a safer culture environment. So, how can communities promote their local economic development and the successes that have shaped them today? It is here that Public Relations comes into play. Public Relations is defined as “the management function which tests public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.” Essentially, the best Public Relations strategy is to hear a good story and then tell a good story. Public Relations professionals are storytellers. They inform market perceptions by creating and building stories surrounding a product, service, brand or organization. At MSSmedia, our new Public Relations division – led by seasoned publicist Rebecca Astorga, who has worked with clients, such as Fashion Nova, Phil Collins and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit – has already started to create a sincere difference as a media and marketing agency. To mark the beginning of a new direction for our agency, we put together a few Public Relations strategy examples that your brand can use to make an impactful difference and stay ahead of the competition.

Keep in mind that Public Relations is not Advertising.

One of the main differences between Public Relations and Advertising is that Public Relations is earned media, whereas the latter is paid media. Earned media or free media refers to publicity gained through word-of-mouth, editorial coverage and mentions other than paid media which is the promotion of content through paid social posts, paid search results as well as promoted multimedia.  However, Public Relations and Advertising share the same goal of promoting their clients and, ultimately, setting them up for success by ensuring optimal visibility for the target audiences. Public Relations is the essential intermediary that builds strategic communication between organizations and the public, so it is important to define what target audience your efforts are geared toward. Are they real estate agents, local residences and businesses, or tourists? Once you define your audience, then the next step will be implementing a good story through media relations. One of the most successful examples that translates theory into practice is the campaign launched by Edelman for Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). The target market for this campaign was New Yorkers that commute via the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), from the subway to buses, and who purchased Hawaiian MetroCards in late April 2019, and then had a chance to win a breathtaking trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The campaign went viral, creating enormous engagement online and off, while also garnering excitement among New Yorkers and tourists. At MSSmedia, we know how to differentiate our local Public Relations services from the rest of the competition while driving high-value business for our clients, similar to the partnership between MTA and HVCB. Read More

10 Tips for Advertising to Millennials

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
Advertising to Millennials
As we all know, millennial generations are critically important to the Media and Communications industries. Some people don’t get them, others excuse them, but in order to successfully engage with them the best thing to do is to fully understand who they are and what they want.

So, what is a Millennial? The definition of a millennial is not unanimous. However, it usually refers to the age range between 18-35 years old. But, one of the first words that comes to mind when you think of the millennial generation is SOCIAL. Since Millennials were born during the years of change, such as the advent of digital marketing, they are known for being very active on all social media platforms and are always on top of key trends like food and fashion. However, besides these key millennial generation characteristics, there are many more to pay attention to (especially in the advertising game). In order to catch their attention and build their trust over time, it is important to follow these 10 tips when deciding to advertise to them.

 

SUPPORT A GOOD CAUSE

Supporting a good cause is the perfect way to incentivize your Millennial audience and to show that you care about making the world a better place.

General practices such as supporting a cause and using creative advertising methods will certainly help. For example, climate change has increasingly become a critical topic that many Millennials take seriously. So, once you have segmented your audience, start creating high-quality messaging with the mediums that you will use for the segments chosen. This can be in the form of a billboard, an advertisement on a bus shelter, or any other campus media that engages these younger generations while improving your ad positioning as well.

USE OOH ADVERTISEMENTS

Have you ever seen one of those billboards on the side of the road during rush hour and thought that it read your mind? OF COURSE. Out-of-home advertisements have been found as a very effective method to influence people’s purchasing power, specifically among Millennials. It is a fun type of advertisement that is to be straight to the point. In fact, studies show that OOH resonates with authentic and real-world experiences. The nature of billboard advertisements is to play off of our short attention span and provides a last-touch opportunity in the path to conversion. In this way, brands have the chance to resonate with young generations multiple times of day. At MSSmedia, we provide a suite of OOH campus media placements that will help your brand make an impact and a sincere difference. Curious? Check out our work here.

PODCASTS

Millennial audio consumption of all types has been increasing on a national scale. According to iHeartRadio, we are currently living in an audio-first world where streaming services, podcasts, and radio are gaining ground day after day. This year, 51 percent of American consumers reported listening to a podcast. At MSSmedia, we offer quality audio advertisement placements that capture users on streaming services nationwide.

PEER-TO-PEER MARKETING

Millennials and the Gen Z are interested in authenticity, not salesmanship. They prefer insights from people whose lives are like theirs – not from the ones that are “too cool” to be true. And, this characteristic of the millennial generations opens up the opportunity for peer-to-peer marketing to flood in. Peer-to-peer (P2P) marketing is a method where customers engage other customers through recommendations. With a big component being word of mouth, P2P is used on college campuses. But, social media, in the meantime, is the P2P equivalent in the business game. It doesn’t feel like a sales tactic, Millennials say. It is not pushy or self-focused. On the contrary, P2P lends authenticity while giving a voice to those who have nothing to gain but meaningful and reciprocal recommendations.

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How to Advertise to Generation Z & Millennials

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z | No Comments

Students on Campus Advertising

In today’s campus advertising world, knowing how to speak to millennial generations like Gen Z is crucial to your success. But, what exactly does it take to get through to them?

Be Authentic

Generation Z and other millennial audiences tend to be less receptive to the “standard” advertising tricks. Digital natives like Gen Z might not even pay attention to a print advertisement when they are out and about if it doesn’t catch their eye. Millennials value authenticity far more than previous generations like baby boomers – especially in their advertisements. Make sure to feature diversity, address real issues, and offer your millennial audience some value.

Location, Location, Location!

Of course, location is also a key element of being able to advertise to Gen Zers. Try to place your advertisements in locations where young people spend a lot of time. These can be places like local hangouts near college campuses, in university stores, or even on campus placements like bus shelters. This way, you are gaining valuable impressions throughout a students’ typical day. Want to learn more about college marketing? Check out our campus placements here.

Where to Advertise on Campus

Prior generations spent the same amount of time on campus, but the campus advertising landscape today is much more robust than it was before. Brands can now advertise on campus with bus wraps, newspaper kiosks, bus shelters, billboards, digital screens, and on campus posters. This means that you have more opportunities than ever before to get in front of people born into the millennial generation. In their early stages of young adulthood, college students spend a large portion on their college campus. And, not only does this younger generation spend so much time on campus, they are walking around looking at their phones too. Don’t forget to employ digital strategies and channels to target Generation Z, X, and Y.

Engage Generation Z on Social Media

Gone are the ways of older generations where phones were only used sparingly. It’s no secret that college students spend a lot of time on their phones. In fact, 71% of millennials use social media on a daily basis. That means that members of Generation Z is spending time every day engaging with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Therefore, there are hundreds of thousands of impressions that you are potentially missing out on.

With MSSmedia, we can reach the millennial audience not only in person but throughout their day through unique digital strategies. And, there are a multitude of different ways that brands and organizations can tap into this advertising potential. First, you can utilize direct sponsored content to appear on the news feeds of millennials. And, if you take this one step further, brand ambassador networks have become an influential marketing tactic. So, not only are you reaching Generation Z and other young adults through digital advertising, you can market your product and services within the communities that they speak to every day.

Last but not Least, Don’t forget Google

On average, there are 5.6 billion search queries per day on Google. Granted, Generation Z and other millennial audiences spend a lot of time on social media. But, when they are ready to purchase, they are more likely to go to Google. Keep your Google My Business account updated and always optimize your keyword lists based on search data. This ensures that you can reach millennial users when it is the most important- when they are ready to purchase.

Ready to learn more about how digital strategy can help your business grow? Contact one of our media experts today!

back to school advertising not just a season

Back-to-School Advertising: Not Just a Season

By | Engaging Millennials | No Comments
Back to School Advertising. Carly Podolsky October 23, 2017

While “Back-to-School” season is commonly considered the months where college students get back into the swing of things after  summer break, marketing for this time period should not be considered a flash in time.

 

Not only do preparations for Back-to- School (B2S) begin as early as June for these age groups, but so does the purchasing. As a marketer your best knowledge is to understand B2S as more than a season, but a glimpse into your target market acting on the awareness you’ve garnered all year.

 

In order to understand the back to school marketplace, consider the following:

 

1. Back to School Shoppers = Year Long Consumers: In capturing back to school shoppers, consider that not only the student, but their parents’, friends and influencers are also consumers all year-round. Therefore, brand awareness, trust and loyalty must be formed before the summer and fall seasons.

 

2. The Back to School Audience = Stand Out: Our youngest generations encounter advertising of all forms. Not only are there radio and TV commercials vying for their attention, but there is a constant flux of media and advertising throughout any regular day-to-day activity of their day. Social media, desktop browsing, and smart phone applications are just a few means of reaching this group. With these all part of any day, make your impression stand out!

 

3. Take the Opportunity = Seize the Moment: Understanding that targeting a segmented audience is a valuable piece of the puzzle, but to strategize and compete is a more difficult component. The key is to understand the timing of your opportunity and seize it. Gaining longer-term recognition from this generation of back to school shoppers, means getting their attention now, the time is always now!

How to Win with Affluent Millennials

By | Engaging Millennials | No Comments

Millennials are quickly becoming the largest generation by population size. They are also obtaining higher levels of affluence and impacting the way high end and luxury brands are approaching their consumers. According to a study, there are about 6.2 million millennial households that report earning an annual household income of at least $100,000. Although this number is shockingly high, this generation is set to become the most significant audience for luxury brands in the next five years.
Many outside of this generation emulate millennials because they are considered to be trendsetters. Within the millennial consumer, the trendsetters are the affluent millennials. They can afford the high fashion items and to travel around the world, which in turn makes their peers envious and want to try similar things. These affluent consumers are also more likely to post on social media to share their experiences, which brands try to leverage. If brands can appeal to the trendsetters, this can have a snowball effect and spread to multiple generations.
This answers the why of brands should target these consumers, but then comes the conversation of how to target them. It helps to understand that they are very independent. Rather than constantly communicating with them, brands should take the absent-but-present approach. This means brands should be available when needed, but not pushing the consumer too much. These people want to make decisions on their own and only look for support from brands when needed.

Move Out of the Way to Market to Millennials

By | Engaging Millennials | No Comments

According to the Harvard Business Review, two traits that tap into the fundamental DNA of most millennials are sociability and urgency. Nike has done a great job of marrying these two traits with their Nike+ app. The app allows runners to track and share their paths on social sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s not only the fact that users can share their journey with their social following, but if a user liked your post while running, the runner would hear cheers and applause in their headphones. This allows friends and users to give something to one another without the brand being directly involved. They are simply using the brand’s platform, but doing the rest on their own.

Interactions like these play on the two main traits of urgency and sociability. The runner can post their path instantly and the congratulatory aspect brings the social factor. Although the app has been out for a few years, not many brands have followed suit.Buzzfeed has been able to capitalize on the social aspect. The site uses native content to attract millennials that share with their friends, which in turn draws brands and advertisers.

Once you have attracted the audience and engaged them, the next step is to have a sense of urgency. You want them to share your content without being prompted. This requires creating shareable content that the audience wants others to see and/or experience with them. If they do this, they’ll most likely come back for more. Buzzfeed learned this quickly when they created their polls and quizzes that allowed user to self-identify with others in the community. Fans who enjoy taking a quiz surrounding a topic that interests them will most likely share with others. For example, Disney fans or movie lovers might enjoy the quiz “What Would a  Disney Movie of Your Life Be Like?”

If brands were able to harness the connection between sharing and urgency among millennial communities, they would be able to target this generation and have them be truly engaged with the brand. These users would be engaged without feeling the pressure of a brand pushing something on them, because they are making the move themselves. If done correctly, it would resemble a brand as the host of a party, but the host doesn’t have to put in much effort. The brand (host) would understand the commonalities of each guest and use them to connect one another. The rest lies in the interactions of the guests as the host observes from a distance. Brands move out of the way and let the users connect and interact. Brands such as Nike and Buzzfeed already understand and implement this, but other millennial brands can utilize this as well and capture the attention of this transient generation.

Attract Students During an Election Year

By | Engaging Millennials | No Comments

It’s election year and there’s been a lot of talk about millennial voters and the impact they have on elections. This entices politicians, brands and companies alike to get their name in front of this generation. With the busy lives that students leads, one of the best tactics is to literally be where they are, which is on campus. As a brand, you may want to remain neutral with political party affiliation, but it is a great opportunity to engage in the conversation. Below are a few ideas to become involved and engage this target audience.

1. Host Contests

A little friendly competition is always great. Contests allow students to learn more about your product or service while having fun. Providing prizes and incentives will increase engagement and likability for your brand.

2. Give Out Free Items

Who doesn’t love a free gift? Giving out samples of your product or a branded item attracts most people. For example, students have papers, notes and more to save so handing out free branded USBs provides students with a necessity and allows your brand to live with the student after your initial interaction. There are multiple options of items to hand out. Choose the best that fits your industry.

3. Photo Booths

It’s the decade of selfies and students are constantly sharing pictures with their friends on social media and more. Photo booths allow you to have people take pictures with your brand integrated with props, border of the printout, etc.

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