Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WEEK 3: Content Strategy Basics - Creating User Persona Research to Craft our Online Campaigns

SUMMARY:

This week, we will:
  • Review the fundamentals of content strategy for our campaigns
  • Review examples of user persona research and then apply these techniques to our campaign
  • Brainstorm and conduct trademark research on our campaign brand names
HOMEWORK:
  • Read Chapter 3: “Identifying Target Audiences” of the textbook “Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach (1st Edition)”.
  • Continue to tweak/revise your competitive analysis and SWOT analysis. This will be used to help shape and inform future branding and messaging elements, including social media outreach strategies. (NOTE: Branding and naming exercises will occur in the next couple of weeks).
  • This week, each team will also create at least three user persona research profiles for the audience that they anticipate targeting.
  • Identify at least least three potential brand names for your product or service. It is critical that you conduct a quick background check on your proposed names on Trademarkia.com to ensure that your suggestions do not violate any existing active trademarks.

Choosing a Brand Name & Creating a Logo

Igor International has created a great Naming Guide with information that can help you demystify the process of creating a great brand name.

Per Igor's Naming Guide, some things to consider as you review possible brand names include:
  • Appearance
  • Distinctive
  • Depth
  • Energy
  • Humanity
  • Positioning (How well does it support your core positioning for the brand?)
  • Sound
  • "33" (As per Igor's guide, "The force of brand magic and the word-of-mouth buzz that a name is likely to generate. Refers to the mysterious "33" printed on the back of Rolling Rock beer bottles...")
To get started, we'll be using a few web-based resources that will help us to:
  • Identify a Brand Name
  • Create a Logo

Brand Name Creation
Trademarkia.com is the largest visual search engine for more than 6 million trademarked logos, names, and slogans on the Internet. Use Trademarkia to identify whether or not your proposed brand name is already registered.

Logo Creation
There are several options to creating your logos. If you are comfortable using Adobe Photoshop, you can use it to craft suggested logos.

However, many people lack the graphic design skills in Photoshop. If this is the case, then you can use one of several web-based "logo generator" services. Wix.com has a great blog post with suggestions on how to cheaply (if not free) create a logo:
Here are a few more suggestions:

CoolText.com
It doesn't get any simpler. Simply type in your brand name and select the design style and a logo is immediately generated. Visit cooltext.com to get started.

Flamingtext.com
As with cooltext.com, this is very basic and easy to use. Select your text and preferred design and you are given a logo! There are some intermediate design options to explore, too. Visit Flamingtext.com to begin.

Logomaker.com

LogoMaker.com is a simple-to-use, web-based logo creation tool. Use LogoMaker to experiment with different branded logos for your fictional product, organization or company. Here is a quick tutorial video about how to use LogoMaker. (Note: A small fee may be required for exporting your creations in LogoMaker).




create logo

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan. 29 Announcements

WSU Everett students:

Check your WSU email this week for some important announcements and information, including reminders and details about the following:
  • Fall 2015 Scholarships - priority consideration given to students who complete their applications by the Jan. 31 deadline. In addition, there are scholarships available from the WSU Alumni Association (deadline: Feb. 2). Visit here for more info. 
  • Reminder: We will not hold class on Tues., Feb. 3 and Thurs., Feb. 5.

User Personas

Who is your target audience? Are there multiple target audiences for your brand or product?

Rather than think about these in broad, abstract terms, you can develop "user personas" to better visualize who your potential audience is.
Orangebus, a U.K.-based digital agency, has created a great template that you can use to create your various user personas. Check it out (.pdf format) at:
More examples and templates to explore:

Monday, January 19, 2015

WEEKS 1 & 2: Intro to Course & Overview of Semester Project

SUMMARY:

During the first two weeks, we will:
  • Be introduced to the semester-long project and general course structure
  • Learn the basics of two popular online services: 
    • Google Drive/Documents, an online collaboration resource
    • Dropbox, an online document storage space
  • Explore the basics of web-based public relations and advertising campaigns
  • Review the fundamentals of a SWOT analysis and a competitive analysis. Then prepare these for your product in preparation for your looming campaign
  • Review examples of user persona research and then apply these techniques to our campaign
HOMEWORK:
  • Read Chapter 1: “Why Social Media?” of the textbook “Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach (1st Edition)”.
  • Read Chapter 3: “Identifying Target Audiences” of the textbook “Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach (1st Edition)”.
  • As we begin our semester campaign case study project, please identify the focus and positioning of your product and where it fits into the competitive landscape. Do not worry yet about the brand name or logo. You will conduct a competitive analysis and a SWOT analysis on the product line that they are aiming to develop a campaign for. This will be used to help shape and inform future branding and messaging elements, including social media outreach strategies. You will also create at least three user persona research profiles for the audience that they anticipate targeting.