I love going to the movie theater. There’s the smell of the buttery popcorn, the familiar routine of bickering over where to sit with my husband, and then the lights dim and my attention is captivated—it’s time for the movie trailers.
That sneak peek at special effects, snappy dialogue, and carefully crafted score promotes upcoming movies to an audience who are highly likely to come back for the rest. So what happens when you take that experience and translate it to books?
I have been coming across more and more book trailers lately, and it makes me curious about the strategy behind them. These are online videos for traditional books, promoted by both authors and publishers. It’s a creative idea, especially when a video link is easily shareable on social networks and the like. Here are a few examples:
What do you think—does a book trailer make you more likely to buy and read the book, or are you satisfied with the sneak peek?
When I came across this on swissmiss, my first thought was: what do maps have to do with portfolios? The creative cataloging site Heavy Backpack explains:
Using an application, like CASA’s Image Cutter or the Automatic Tile Cutter, you can create your own map tiles for Google Maps. This means that you can replace image map tiles with any image tiles you like including other maps, or more importantly for designers and artist, replace them with portfolio images!
This is a really interesting concept for portfolio design. It certainly speaks to the creativity that designers should have and it’s great to see “old” tools being used in new ways. But I wonder how users would react to this kind of portfolio design — if enough people are aware of how Google Maps functionality works, or even if they would realize what they need to do as a user. Only one of the featured portfolios made use of a help panel:
Twitter was all abuzz today about the new skittles.com. The new site is a melding of social media pages banded together with a widget in the upper left corner. The widget navigates to Skittles pages on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube.
This concept is no doubt daring and experimental. I really look forward to consumer reaction and commentary from social media experts. I like that Skittles is using their social media pages. We often read about and talk about doing more than just creating a Facebook fan page or Twitter account – we talk about making social media work for our brands and products. I think what Skittles has done is the ultimate and most literal way to get something out of social media. It will be interesting to see where this goes – and what other brands follow the trend.
It’s also interesting that before one enters the site, age verification is required. I’m assuming this is because Skittles has little control over the content users post, and profanity does appear on their pages.
Are you a graduate of the Michigan State University Professional Writing Program?
We encourage all MSU PW alumni to take a few minutes to help the program and complete a survey by giving future graduates ideas about career opportunities with their Professional Writing degrees. The survey is called “Where are the MSU PW Alumni Now?” and will be used in a Town Hall meeting of professional writers and Michigan policy makers.
I know many readers of beyondwords are also out there attending (or presenting) at conferences and seminars around the country. So, please contact me or Angela if anyone would like to have a guest blog spot and tell us about your experiences as either an attendant or presenter.
We can be reached at admin [AT] beyondwordsblog [DOT] com.
I’m in the beginning stages of planning a social media marketing campaign at my day job. I want to use Facebook and Twitter to communicate to college students about events happening where they live. I want to create a sense of community in an online space and hope that it helps them connect with the people they live around who they may not have met face-to-face.
I’m trying to be careful and thoughtful about this plan, but I seem to be outpaced by the students themselves. Groups for their residence halls and hall governments are springing up left and right. So, I ask myself whether I need to reinvent the wheel and create new groups or if I should befriend these kids online and try to sculpt their already existing message.
Clearly their enthusiasm to create the Facebook groups themselves shows that there is a need for such connections and communication via social media. And because this new tactic doesn’t fit so well into my carefully thought out social media marketing plan, I’m feeling a bit like a rogue agent. I suppose it’s better to roll with the punches than to try to bend nature backwards. Isn’t listening to your audience and customers part of Marketing 101?
Here are a few good sources for social media marketing that I’ve been reading lately:
I’m starting a new job next week. This has meant that the last two weeks I’ve spent a lot of time wrapping up projects, cleaning out my desk, organizing, and cleaning up files on my laptop. It also has meant that I’ve had a much slower pace at work than I am typically used to. It’s been a nice change of pace, though I fully realize it’s merely the calm before the storm. This time next week I’ll be up to my elbows with meetings and introductions as I begin to settle in at the new place.
This atypical lull has left me feeling slightly uninspired, as most of my blog fodder comes from my work and the fast-paced thrill of it all. Then it hit me — during this time I’ve become very good friends with my Google Reader. I’ve nearly doubled my subscriptions since boxing up my desk and hauling it all home.
So this is some of what I’ve been reading lately. It’s all beautiful, useful stuff, even if it’s not directly related to professional writing. I’ve found that some of the fashion and interior design blogs are a great source of inspiration for color palates and patterns.
I was catching up with my Google Reader today when I saw a post from Design*Sponge about custom engraving for your tech products. I was amazed at the possibilities with engraving, but unfortunately I’m not the type of person who can make up my mind when it comes to permanent designs. Luckily there’s another option (and luckily I didn’t know enough to jump on the engraving bandwagon a month ago).
Unique Skins offers design-your-own vinyl faceplates for laptops, cell phones, MP3 players, and game consoles. They are a fairly inexpensive and creative way to advertise your online portfolio, blog, business, etc., plus you can change your mind (and your tech faceplate) as many times as you want.
I gave it a whirl and enjoyed seeing how beyondwords would look on my Mac. Pretty slick, and a great conversation starter!