Looking for Millennials? Seeking marketing magic? Hit the library.

Looking for Millennials? Looking for marketing magic? Hit the library.

Ask a Millennial to explain the sharing economy and she'll tell you about Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit. Ask a Mature, and she'll show you her library card.

Libraries have been around since Benjamin Franklin was flying a kite. Franklin and friends founded what may have been the first library in the U.S. in 1731. It wasn't open to the public, but members could borrow books.

It's no small feat that libraries have survived nearly three centuries of human ingenuity and restlessness. In the last century alone, they've survived broadcast radio, motion pictures, TV, cable, VCRs, personal computers and the Internet. Not to mention the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

How? They've quietly adapted and innovated along the way to maintain relevance. They've added meetings rooms, community rooms, galleries, seminars, reading clubs and children's story times. They added hardware, software and Wi-Fi. The unassuming masters of marketing aren't timid about thinking way outside the box—even if it means cracking open a toolbox, casting a line or taking a pulse.

Check out what's new at the library.

At the Free Library of Philadelphia, residents can now borrow blood pressure monitors and digital food scales for a three-week lending period. The items are part of the library's new Health Lending collection, which includes books on health conditions to exercise DVDs and cookbooks in various languages. The initiative also features hands-on lessons with a registered dietitian.

In a Pew Charitable Trust 2012 study, researchers discovered that a third of Philadelphia library visitors in a prior year visited specifically for health information. "We want to reach those folks where they are," said Dr. Carolyn Cannuscio, head of the Healthy Library Initiative.

At the Ann Arbor District Library, residents can check out everything from art prints and art tools to home tools, music tools and telescopes. Peruse the "Unusual Stuff to Borrow" aisle for more.

In North Haven, Conn., library goers can check out nearly 304 different kinds of cake pans. In Grand Rapids, Minn., community members can rent fishing rods and tackle. The Northern Onondoga Public Library will also lend you a robot, bike pump or kilowatt meter. Stuck at the library without an umbrella? Yep, you can borrow that too.

Libraries have even found a way to attract Millennials.

According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, more than half of Millennials say they used a public library or bookmobile in the last 12 months. That's more than any other adult generation. Nearly half of all adults (46 percent) say they used a public library or bookmobile in the same period, a share that has remained steady since the previous studies.

Beyond the generational difference, women are more likely than men, college grads are and parents of minor children are more likely than non-parents to say they've visited a public library in the last year.

Chances are, these are the very audiences your brand is desperately seeking. Whether you're looking for market research or a marketing partner, a library may be a great place to start. For a steady diet of trends and insights, subscribe to the Brogan Weekly Recap.

5 tips teens can teach your brand about social media success.

Teens are the true CEOs of social media. They decide the rules, they set the trends and they have the power to turn Average Joes into stars overnight.

The young generation that was born into the social media revolution now seems to hold all the cards–whether they mean to or not. With nothing more than an iPhone and some creativity, they’ve been able to outdo brands with million-dollar marketing budgets and even turn social media into careers.

But the question remains: what do teens know that brands don’t? How are these young minds able to outperform even the savviest social media teams? 

Take note of these five tips from teens:

1.   Quality followers can be better than quantity

While brands or products with large followings certainly gain credibility with consumers, the sheer number of followers your brand has isn’t the only thing that matters. In fact, sometimes having a collection of quality followers who will like, comment and share your content could work harder for your business and your bottom line.

When “Damn Daniel” videos became an internet sensation for example, it wasn’t because hundreds of thousands of people followed the high school pair’s content. It was because their tight-knit group of followers engaged with the content at unprecedented levels and shared it with their friends (who shared it with their friends, and so on).

In the same way, brands should strive to attract quality followers who are actively interested in their content and will positively react to it.

2.   A little appreciation goes a long way

How often do you engage with your audience on social media? How frequently do you thank them for following you? Teens–especially social media influencers–make a habit of it. And followers love it.

For brands, showing appreciation doesn’t mean writing sappy or emotional posts once a month. But making small gestures of gratitude, such as liking comments and responding to individuals in the comments section, could do a lot for the favorability of your brand.

3.   Stay ahead of the curve

When new social media trends hit the scene, teens are typically the first ones to jump on board. Understandably, brands often lag behind–either for lack of knowing about the new trend, or for fearing of trying it. But in the amount of time it takes for brands to get up to speed, the trend could be long gone or wildly overused.

While your brand doesn’t have to be quite as daring as teens are, you should at least keep an open mind. Try a trend right when you see it (as long as it aligns with your brand and your voice). Explore a new platform, use popular buzzwords or be the first among your competitors to give a trend a go.

4.   Learn to collaborate

One of the secrets teens use to grow their accounts is collaborating with their friends and other popular influencers. The reason these partnerships are so successful is that teens aren’t collaborating simply to gain followers–they’re collaborating in order to create unique content and have fun.

Brands, too, have benefited from these collaborations. Companies like GoPro & Red Bull, BMW & Louis Vuitton, and McDonald’s & Hello Kitty have leveraged the power of collaboration to generate publicity and increase favorability among their respective brands.

Whether it’s with another company, an individual or a nonprofit, well-executed collaborations could do your brand a world of good. Hint: joint live streams and giveaways are great places to start.  

5.   Don’t go dark

One of the most important social media lessons you can learn from teens is to post frequently and consistently across all channels. The majority of top teen accounts post at least once a day, and even those who don’t are expected to post great content on a regular basis. While it’s important to find a balance for your brand, the lesson here is not to go dark. Posting content regularly will create repeat visitors, and repeat visitors will help your social media presence thrive.

The next time you post, keep these tips in mind and don’t overthink. Few teenagers do, and their content consistently reigns supreme.

Looking for more tips to enhance your brand’s social channels? Download our free Social Media Guide.

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Bars now serving virtual reality to attract Millennials.

Virtual reality (VR) is popping up across markets from healthcare to travel. Now it’s creeping into nightlife as clubs and bars attempt to attract a waning Millennial market.

The VR tactics are varied, from VR gaming in a bar setting to part of the drinking experience itself. The MGM Grand offers an immersive VR gaming course at its Level Up bar. Powered by Zero Latency, up to eight players are transported simultaneously to an immersive universe at an epic scale where “exciting, social adventures await.” Players compete and fight the undead and killer robots over topsy turvey pathways.

Bacardi and Virgin Atlantic collaborated to create an “Immersive Digital 360 Drinks Experience” at Virgin Clubhouses. Users are invited to visit premier bars around the world while waiting for a flight.  Imagine ordering a fennel cocktail at La Guardia, putting on a pair of VR goggles and watching a mixologist at the Walker Inn in Los Angeles mix it up. By the time your two-minute VR experience concludes, your trendy drink is waiting for you IRL.

Brooklyn is also on top of the trend with a VR arcade, appropriately named VRBAR. This venue seems to focus more on the number of different gaming journeys one can take and less on the drinking aspect. VRBAR offers over 15 different experiences, from painting a masterpiece to climbing Mount Everest.

Brogan & Partners recently produced a VR spot for our client, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning targeted at the nightlife inclined. The short film encourages people to “Do a 360” before heading out, using designated drivers, rideshares and other safe options to drink responsibly.

The interactive video can be found at www.michigan.gov/360.

“The Office of Highway Safety Planning works hard to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to communicating about how we can reduce drunk driving by encouraging people, especially young adults, to make a plan to get home safely,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “By asking people to ‘Do a 360’ we hope to bring a unique perspective to the issue of drunk driving and encourage people to make the right decision by finding a safe ride home.”

VR is an experience. It can help take your brand story or campaign to a new level, adding emotional depth and increased consumer motivation. It has tremendous possibility across many markets. Where will it take your brand?

Weekly Recap - October 6, 2017

Instagram for the win, again. Here’s why your brand should be using the app. Giant balloon dogs and more. Snapchat continues to ramp up its AR efforts. Avoid a 25 minute advertisement. Brands navigate producing podcasts without overdoing the self-promotion. Marketing to Millennials? It’s no secret that Millennials love Facebook and Netflix, but some other names on this list may surprise you.

DETAILS, Please

80 percent of Instagram users voluntarily connect with a brand on the platform. Instagram wants to bring users closer to the things that matter to them. Check out how the social media giant has redefined what brands’ relationships with consumers look like.

Snapchat and artist Jeff Koons create augmented reality lenses. Building on the success of the app’s dancing hot dog, Snapchat wants to inspire young people everywhere to create with their cameras. Warner Bros. and Bud Light are the first brands to join the fun.

Blue Apron launches its own podcast. While building a lifestyle brand, Blue Apron sees the podcast as a way to deepen its relationship with customers. Microsoft, eBay and Tinder have already created their own content in this arena.

Top 10 Millennial brands of 2017. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Millennials want convenience and value from brands. Check out which brands are delivering just that.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Gen We expects more from brands on social media. Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

SHARING is CARING

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Gen We expects more from brands on social media.

Like older cohorts Gen We is active on social media, but they have higher expectations for brands in the digital space.

Just when your brand had figured out Millennial social media habits, Gen We comes of age and everything changes. For these tech natives, social media is as much a part of the conversation as IRL.  

Brands that miss this important new social reality risk becoming obsolete. Smart brands respect the social code and open up better ways to connect with Gen We, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

So, what makes Gen We consumers so different than Millennials when it comes to social media?

Well, Millennial teens grew up with Myspace and Facebook, with 55 percent adopting social media in 2007 (Pew, 2007). They shared personal stats and details, poked, and followed friends via news feed. They used bumper stickers and liked for hours. The focus was show and tell.

Meanwhile, Gen We teens had Facebook AND Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter, too—unique channels to share activities, thoughts, emotions and aspirations. They weren’t limited by a single reaction. To add color and depth to their content, they used video, memes, filters and tags. When they share, they’re starting a conversation and expect feedback, a dialog.

Per CEB Iconoculture, if the Millennial teen online presence was a profile—a static, one-to-many style of self-presentation—then Gen We teens’ online presence is a persona—a dynamic self-presentation emerging from the combination of the one-to-many (proactive) posts they create and their reactive posts (the likes, comments and reactions) they share in response to their friends’ posts.

It’s a popular forum for the cohort, much more so than Millennial teens. In 2015, Pew estimated 76 percent of Gen We teens were using social media and more than 70 percent cross platforms.

Prepare your social media for Gen We.

In order to connect to Gen We via social media, brands should continue posting quality proactive posts, but add reactive posts to the mix. Follow your followers, reacting to relevant posts on their pages and participate in real conversations.

Facebook facilitates this kind of communication by posting “likes” and comments that friends make on other pages. In doing so, Facebook elevates the users’ comments and provokes reaction and continued conversation. Instagram now uses an algorithm similar to Facebook’s. In order to determine which posts might be the most relevant to users, reactive posts are used to boost the audience for a given proactive post.

Taco Bell’s burrito hostage situation on Instagram playfully demanded “likes” to keep a popular burrito on the menu, eliciting many reactive posts. In keeping with proper etiquette, Taco Bell promptly responded to consumers’ cries of delight and distress alike.

Want more on Gen We? Here are 5 things you need to know.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.

How to create an inspiring workplace and culture.
Spot the Brogan & Partners team member among the volunteers at this year’s Muir Valley Trial Days in Kentucky.

My job recently took me to Slade, Kentucky, home of Muir Valley—a nonprofit nature preserve in the Red River Gorge.

The Valley is a rock climber’s paradise, featuring 360 acres and seven miles of Corbin Sandstone cliffs with traditional and sport climbs that run 20- to over 200-feet-tall. Climbers trek here from all over the U.S. to discover more than 400 routes amid classic crags like Bruise Brothers, Midnight Surf and Land Before Time.

Here it’s not just the destination. The journey is equally spectacular, lined with oak, hickory, sugar maple and hemlock trees. Mountain laurel, rhododendron and bigleaf magnolias stretch and hover thick across the valley floor. Trails twist and climb, presenting waterfalls, caves and mountain streams.

This is a marketer’s dream. The creative brief would practically write itself. The Brogan Team would have a field day promoting this place.

But I didn’t go to Muir Valley to pitch business. There would be no campaign. Brogan sent me here simply to do good.

Like many progressive companies, Brogan & Partners encourages employees to contribute back to the community. We’re paid for a volunteer day annually and rewarded for sharing our time and talents to serve on nonprofit boards and committees. The agency partners with several nonprofits throughout the year, providing significant pro bono work and raising money for organizations like Game on Cancer.

Why doing good leads to great.

My volunteer day brought me to Muir Valley because it’s given my family so much. It’s where my son, Nick, travels with his rock climbing team in the summer. It’s where my daughter, Sofia, reads in peace and finds inspiration for short stories. It’s where we road trip on long weekends, catching up on the six-hour trip along I-75 and winding down in the hills of Kentucky.

At the very least, we owed Muir Valley a day’s work.

We joined 100 other outdoor enthusiasts to groom trails, build benches and bridges, paint outhouses and secure routes and belay areas. We met lots of new people. People just like us who had come to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge from far flung places like Brooklyn, N.Y. and Muncie, Indiana. And people who call the Valley home and volunteer regularly to ensure its integrity for generations.

We worked alongside Mike, a volunteer search and rescue team member at Muir Valley and longtime climber. Under his supervision, we pick axed, shoveled, dug and scraped post holes for new benches in the training area.

This was unfamiliar work for my family. We hiked to the job site with tools and relay teamed the building materials to the site. We learned how to use a green bar to break up a rock bed and how to secure a post by compacting soil, layer by layer, with a sledge hammer. We learned how to be flexible when nature proved otherwise.

It was hard work. By the end of the day we were exhausted and achy. But we felt amazing.

Volunteering is good business.

Volunteerism is good for the workplace, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Volunteerism Survey. It can boost morale, atmosphere and brand perception. It can make Millennial employees more proud, loyal and satisfied, and attract Gen Y talent. Survey results found that nearly two-thirds of Gen Y employees surveyed prefer companies that let them volunteer their skills.

These benefits span all generational cohorts, per the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) research. According to CTI data, older generations feel it is important to give back to their community or wider world through their workplace. This is true for 91 percent of Gen X women and 76 percent of Gen X men, and 90 percent of female and 79 percent of male Baby Boomers.

At Brogan, volunteerism contributes directly to our agency mission: creating an inspiring workplace and culture. I may have built benches in Kentucky but I came back to Brogan with so much more. Mission accomplished.

Want to learn more about what makes Brogan & Partners unique? Learn more.

Skinny websites, snackable content and more from Digital Summit Detroit.

Digital Summit Detroit 2017 delivered. In less than two days, the conference covered all means of email, content, website and mobile trends. Lots for marketers to consider and capitalize upon. A few highlights we just had to share. 

Skinny websites are in season. 

Mobile usage trends prompted responsive design, with websites being crafted to render properly across all screen sizes. It has greatly improved the mobile user experience. Instead of requiring mobile users to scroll across inches of a site from a palm-sized screen, responsive sites scale purposefully, with tools like hamburger menus to facilitate the mobile experience.  

Still, mobile users want more, according to Erik Runyon, Technical Director at the University of Notre Dame. Runyon presented a breakout session called “Improving Web Performance in a Mobile World.”

In short, they want sites to load faster. Streaming delays are stressing them out—literally.

To illustrate his point, Runyon shared a neuroscience study by Ericsson Consumer Lab that measured user reactions to network performance. The study showed that delays in loading web pages and videos lead to increased heart rates and stress levels. On average, heart rates increase 38 percent with mobile delays. Oh, and the related stress? The subjects exhibited stress levels akin to watching a horror flick or solving a math problem.

And who gets the blame? The longer the delay, the more likely it is that some of the blame will be transferred from mobile service provider to content provider. In fact, a significant delay may even drive a user to a competitor content provider.

Performance matters. Take that to your design teams, Runyon suggests. Lead and live with performance. His advice:

  1. Performance has to be part of the culture.
  2. Performance should be part of concept and design.
  3. Give your team time to focus on performance.
  4. Implement a performance budget (think ongoing maintenance and upkeep).
  5. Get competitive.

Runyon pointed to thin.npr.org and cnn.lite as examples of brands adhering to these guidelines. Both use Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) to cut load time and enable mobiles users to get what they need without the wait.

Why your emails aren’t engaging or converting.

Email was a big focus of the conference, and rightly so. Every brand is doing it but only one in five emails is reaching the inbox, according to Casey Swanton of Return Path. Swanton packed a lot into her 30-minute session “Email Reimagined.”

Just like search engines want users to get the best result, mailbox writers want users to get the best mail, Swanton said. That means screening for credibility, interest and security. In-box placement is determined by sending ID (IP address, sending domain, authentication, etc.), and reputation (complaints, list quality, infrastructure, length of sending history, subscriber engagement, etc.).

“Mailbox writers care about the user experience within their space,” Swanton said. So they look for things like whether the message has been read, forwarded or replied to, marked as SPAM or deleted before reading.  Gmail is leading the industry toward better performance, Swanton said.  So, if you’re having problems with Gmail deliveries, it’s probably because that audience isn’t opening your mail.

“Relative engagement is key,” Swanton said. “Subscribers that are highly engaged with the sender are going to see that sender in their inbox at a much higher rate.  Less than 50 percent of messages are placed in email if the recipient isn’t engaged.”

She suggests these three tips to improve your Gmail results:

  1. Focus on sending to the most active subscribers first to establish a pattern of engagement to boost performance.
  2. Suppress known dead addresses. Pushing email to known inactive addresses will only hurt your engagement rate, and therefore your credibility and ultimate inbox deliverability.
  3. Don’t measure success on the size of your list. Between 50-80 percent of email is based on the quality of your list.

Work content harder.

Great content is a great brand asset. It attracts, engages and provokes action. So, work it hard, says Ursula Ringham of SAP, Inc., in a session called “Capture Your Buyer’s Attention with Innovative Content on a Community Platform.”

A video is more than a video, Ingham illustrated. It can be recast in blog, social and podcast formats. It can be worked internally to elevate employees to brand evangelists. Together, this content can be the beginning of a beautiful community platform.

Snackable assets are the new content.

Nearly every presenter talked about snackable assets. As in, “You do know what snackable assets are, right?” asked a marketer presenting on the topic of email hacks.  “Snackable assets can be used to fuel the consumer journey,” said a presenter on the subject of content marketing. “These snackable assets can also convert,” promised another expert on lead nurturing.

So if you’re tired of using the term content, use snackable asset. It’s applicable to everything from infographics to video, charts to listicles. Maybe even whitepapers, in so long as they’re not terribly filling. Think bite-sized for peckish consumers.

When agency work feels more like a mission.

In Metro Detroit, 1 in 3 adults reads below a sixth grade level." src="/files/u49/making-a-difference.jpg" style="width: 810px; height: 445px;" /></a></p>

Making a difference.

It’s a powerful motivator. Positive change is the primary goal of most of our clients—whether encouraging healthier behaviors, job growth, financial literacy, sustainable communities, and more. It’s the kind of work that feels more like a mission than a job.

Like our recent work with Reading Works, a Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to improving adult literacy. Reading Works collaborates with community impact partners like Focus Hope and Southwest Solutions to teach adults to read so that they can enjoy a better life and greater opportunities.

The cause is critically important.  One in three adults in Metro Detroit reads below a sixth grade level—twice as bad as the national average. The problem of low literacy is even worse in Detroit where it impacts 40 percent of adults.

Adult illiteracy casts a long shadow. Children of low-literacy parents are 87 percent more likely to be growing up in poverty. When adults learn to read well, it’s life changing. Increased adult literacy corresponds to decreased poverty, decreased crime, reduced overall health care burden, increased child literacy, long-term economic growth and increased per-capita income.

Moreover, improving adult literacy is key to Detroit’s revival. A great workforce, robust neighborhoods and confident children succeeding in the classroom depend on it.

Still, adult illiteracy is overshadowed by other causes. And most people aren’t aware of the magnitude of the problem, according to a recent informal Brogan Talks to Women survey. Nor are they familiar with Reading Works.

  • 40 percent are surprised to learn that one in three adults in Detroit read below sixth grade level.
  • 12 percent have heard of Reading Works.

But people are ready to lean in and learn more. They’re especially interested in its impact on poverty, job skills, crime and community revitalization. Of the 133 respondents surveyed:

  • 96 percent agree or strongly agree that adult literacy is “critical to addressing employment, education…healthcare, citizenship, incarceration and neighborhood revitalization.”
  • 89 percent are compelled by the fact that children of low literacy adults are far more likely to grow up in poverty.
  • 87 percent are motivated by the statement “adults who achieve reading proficiency qualify for better jobs that can move their children and families out of poverty.”

These insights helped inform our creative strategy to bolster awareness and spark action, beginning with a short video to frame the issue. The video was launched earlier this month as part of Reading Works’ bid to win up to $100,000 from A Community Thrives.

Take a look and let us know your thoughts. (And vote for Reading Works through May 12, 2017.) We’ll be reshaping this creative for other channels to connect with volunteers and donors. For more of our social marketing work, visit our portfolio.

Don’t send money this holiday, send them to college.

Just in time for the holidays, GiftOfCollege.com presents the gift that truly keeps on giving in convenient gift card form. Grandparents take heed.

You guessed it—plastic 529 gift cards that let people contribute directly into kids’ college funds. Shoppers will find them at ToysRUs and BabiesRUs retail stores.They can be bought in fixed amounts ranging from $25 to $500 that are associated with state-run 529 programs, where education funds grow tax-free. 

 

The card is redeemed by creating a GiftOfCollege profile that directs the money to their 529 plan. The buyer pays a fee for the service, ranging from $3.95 to $5.95, depending on the card's value. There is no fee to the recipient for redeeming the card.

Gifting to 529 plans isn’t a new idea. The Michigan Education Savings Plan made it possible years ago for family and friends to open and contribute to existing plans. You don’t even have to be a parent to open an account so long as you own it. 

It’s the packaging that makes the Gift of College gift card particularly bright and shiny.

It makes gifting to 529s all the more accessible—especially for the technology averse. And because it’s a card and not a bank account, it’s far more tangible. Now grandma has something to stick a bow onto and proffer properly. She can even hide it in the palm of those mittens she’s been knitting for her little darlings.

It will be interesting to see how this packaging twist plays out. Will the cards sell more 529 gifts or simply shift shoppers from online to check out line?

Got a thing for financial marketing? Sign up for the quarterly Marketing Statement. 

University Marketing 101: How Boston College builds social media into their strategy.

Let’s say you’re a high school student. You’re starting to think about your future—and it all starts with what college you’ll go to. Of course you want to go to a college where you’ll learn everything you need to be successful. You want prestige. Academia. But you also want fun.

So, what’s the best way to show students that your college has all of the above? Well, we’d say it’s Instagram. With 300 million monthly active users, the biggest crowd on the channel is a young one—with 18 to 29 year olds making up 53 percent of the site.

Colleges all across the country have taken note, and then taken to Instagram with hopes that a picture really will be worth 1,000 words. That it'll garner thousands of likes. Thousands of comments. Thousands of applicants. And for Boston College, the idea seems to be working.

Primarily, they use the space to showcase shots of their campus and its surroundings. Beautiful, organic, strategically minimal shots, that is.

 

This one's for the moms ?? Photo by @kristaveikos #bc360 #BCinBloom

A photo posted by Boston College (@bostoncollege) on

They keep their followers up-to-date—showing them what’s going on around campus in real time.

They give potential students a preview of what they might find themselves doing at school.

 

Home stretch... One more day until #BConBreak | Photo by @liamweir #bc360

A photo posted by Boston College (@bostoncollege) on

And they’re able to share their history—giving everyone an idea how long the school has been standing, and how long people have enjoyed attending it.

 

John F. Kennedy speaking at #bostoncollege in April 1963 #jfk50

A photo posted by Boston College (@bostoncollege) on

Ready to start sharing photos to your college’s Instagram account? Start with a content calendar—detailing what type of content will be posted when. Model your content after Boston College, sharing photos that fall in the same four buckets: campus, current events, students and history.

Read more: University Marketing 101: 4 colleges connecting with co-eds.

 

University Marketing 101: The Ivy Leagues wow with viral video.

Video. It's a simple concept that can have astonishing results.

Today, YouTube reaches almost 50 percent of the 18 to 34-year-old population—more than any cable network. An astonishing 98 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds reported using their smartphone on a daily basis to consume video content, which is why brands across all industries are choosing to experiment with it, including Yale University.

What starts as a “traditional Yale information session” quickly turns into a viral video that’s anything but traditional—especially for this Ivy League school. And it all starts with one, simple question: “Why did you choose Yale?”

(Cue the music.)

(Cue the list of reasons why students across campus chose Yale.)

Now, we know it would have been easy to create a list of reasons why Yale is a great university to attend. And it would’ve been even easier to send that list out to prospective students as a letter or an email. But, Yale isn’t known for being easy, is it?

That’s why when they made their list, they made everything rhyme. And instead of having students simply say why they chose Yale, they sang them, citing reasons like:

  • Students at Yale come from everywhere around, with every type of interest that can possibly be found.
  • Everyone here is on a similar mission where great classes and professors are a campus tradition.
  • It’s a place where you learn quintessential knowledge.
  • You can live in a residential college.
  • You can put your hearts into all the liberal arts.
  • You'll get a first-rate education.
  • You’ll thrive on classmates' conversation.
  • Great facilities to hone your abilities.
  • A sense of unity.
  • Immense community.

… And that’s why they chose Yale.

… And that’s why we admire this spot.  It’s quirky. Fun. Innovative. And of course, it’s musical. It reminds us that schools have great stories to tell. And because this video has more than 1.6 million views, it lets us know that, most importantly, students are listening to them.

Read more: University Marketing 101: 4 colleges connecting with co-eds.

University Marketing 101: Spartans will experiment with nontraditional marketing.

Michigan State University has built their brand on two small words: Spartans will. Spartans will work together. Spartans will work for the common good. Spartans will push past the boundaries.

And this just in: Spartans will experiment with nontraditional marketing.

Understanding that in this day and age, mobile is everything, Michigan State University created a free app for Spartan fans everywhere. Once a user downloads the mobile app, they’re able to upload a photo and add a Spartan helmet to their head—letting anyone and everyone be a Spartan for a day.

Named Spartan Selfie, the app appeals mainly to Millennials, as 47 percent of all teen content on Instagram is #selfies. But it’s still a resource that gets past, present and potential students excited. It’s a tool to show school pride. And it’s something many choose to share on their social media channels—generating even more awareness for the university.

But that’s not all. The end result is branded—displaying the name of the university, the name of the app, the logo and a call to action… one that many have answered. At the beginning of this summer, 2,843 people had already shared their #SpartanSelfie on Instagram.

 

Lol! Love outdoor!!! #upperpenninsula #puremichigan #waterfall #spartanselfie #msu #gogreen

A photo posted by Tony Zhong (@tonebone19) on

 

So, could a mobile app benefit your school’s brand? We’d be willing to bet on it. A recent study shows that Americans spend 162 minutes on their mobile device every day, and 86 percent of that time is spent using apps. Isn’t it time yours was one of them?

Read more: University Marketing 101: 4 colleges connecting with co-eds.

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  • Brogan & Partners has worked on a wide variety of health issues for us over the years. They have not only consistently provided innovative ideas and award winning campaigns, but they continue to help us work towards our overall goal of improving the health of Michigan residents.  Their creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm makes them an invaluable partner in our... More

  • Hiring Brogan & Partners to help Michigan Women’s Foundation create the brand and messaging around the campaign to raise millions of dollars to solve the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit was a slam dunk!  With a well-deserved reputation for getting to the heart of complex and highly-charged issues with clear, action-driven communications, the Brogan team... More

  • A well-oiled machine operates at full performance, fluid and unyielding. At Frankenmuth Insurance we have often referred to Brogan & Partners as a well-oiled machine. Our experience with Brogan has been very strong and successful from the start. We view our partners at Brogan as an extension of our own staff. They are readily available to us at any time and deliver... More

  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

  • We have been working with the Brogan team for the past 18 months. The Brogan team has truly been our marketing partner. They guided us through development our brand and messaging. They lead our our website redesign and deployment. And they provide excellent counsel on business development and market entry strategies. More

  • From the very first meeting we had with Brogan & Partners, it was clear that they had done their research on PREZIO Health, our competitors and the industry.  It has been  a very positive experience working with the Brogan & Partners team to re-design all of our service and product sheets as well as the total re-design of our website.  Their creativity is top-... More

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