If you’re a regular follower, you know that here at TQS we spend a lot of time explaining that we aren’t a quilt shop and watching videos of chipmunks made by Jerry Lee. Occasionally, we actually do some work. And usually, that work is for real-life clients. One of the coolest projects we’ve gotten to work on so far was the Fall 2013 Create Your Brand campaign for the St. Bonaventure University Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC) program. This is a program that has spawned some great minds. 50% of current TQS staff are graduates of this program, and 100% of the TQS founders are graduates of this program*. St. Bonaventure is one of only a few schools in the U.S. to offer this master’s degree program, and the delivery methods are varied and progressive. The premise behind the Create Your Brand campaign was simple – a program that teaches students how to become effective marketers should have targeted marketing and a unique brand that stands out in a saturated academic market. At TQS, our goal is always the same: to create raving fans for our clients. The bottom line? It’s about more than marketing. It’s about marketing yourself. A distinctive website that is both engaging and interactive means that the bounce rate is just 31%. (The average bounce rate for a website is just north of 50%. And just like in this video, when it comes to bounce rates lower is better.) Seriously, it’s really interactive. It also speaks directly to the audience in a way that is both natural and memorable. How many of you could talk about even one distinctive feature of your alma mater’s website? Oh, it has pictures of students hanging out on campus and it swears that the financial aid process is easy and the academic programs are great?
For the website, we also created the Brandinator 4500. The first 4499 were all epic failures, but 4500 is where we really started cookin’ with gas. We won’t give away too much of what the Brandinator 4500 can do, but we can promise that if you visit the website and give it a whirl, you will set yourself on course to take leaps and bounds in your professional life. And personal life. We don’t want to make any promises, but…you can expect all of your lives to take leaps, bounds, or both. The Brandinator 4500 offers visitors a helpful, engaging and wildly entertaining way to interact with the website. And then encourage their friends to create their brands as well.
But as most of you know, there is more to branding and marketing than just creating a kick-ass website and 4500 models of expensive, life-changing machinery. So we created some Cool Stories videos to go with it. Real graduates talking about the real-life effects the program had on their lives. What makes it different? The white-board style animation that keeps the audience involved and wondering what comes next.
In the three months the campaign ran, the IMC program website had over 3500 unique site visits. That’s more than 1000 per month (we’re pretty good at math here, too). And 69% of those site visits didn’t leave after viewing the home page. We’re not here to toot our own horn, but…actually, that’s almost exactly what this blog is supposed to do. Nice work on that campaign, TQS!
By ensuring that the website is both appealing and distinctive, it gave people a reason to explore the social media sites. A voice on the website that is conversational and appealing makes the whole brand more accessible. When that is translated onto the social media pages, magic can happen. During the three-month campaign, the number of Facebook followers increased 416% (from 144 to more than 600). The organic post reach had averaged 37 before the campaign, and in November 2013 peaked at 764. It would be impossible to talk about every aspect of this campaign in just one blog post. Between the website, print collateral, digital advertising, billboards, videos and social media, this was a complete campaign that tackled virtually every medium possible. Integrated marketing, if you will. Hey… where have we heard that before? Anyway, if you want to check some of it out, visit createyourbrand.sbu.edu. The Create Your Brand Campaign was deemed successful not simply because of statistics and increased social media activity. It was successful because it conveyed the whole picture behind the IMC program in a way that made people want to learn more. And then the options for learning more made them glad they did. Phew! That was a big campaign. And a lot of fun. Now we have to get back to our office games. Steve, Chris and Jerry have been trying for weeks to throw plastic Easter eggs into old flower vases. Make sure you follow us on Facebook so you’ll find out if they ever realize their dream and make that shot. Catch you on the flippity-flip! * The two founders are included in the 50% of the staff statistic. Bonus points to anyone who can use those statistics (and middle school math skills) to determine how many people total work here.
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