Digital Marketing

Why You Should Add Blogger Outreach to your Marketing

Be honest—who would you trust more to tell you the unbiased truth about a product or service: the product’s manufacturer, or some anonymous blogger writing a review online?

If you answered the “anonymous blogger,” you aren’t alone. Today’s savvy consumers trust third-party opinion writers much more than paid advertising or brand-sponsored websites.  According to Technorati’s Digital Influence Report, blogs are among the top five sources of trustworthy information, and when it comes to actually influencing purchase decisions, blogs rank #3—even higher than Facebook. In a study conducted by BlogHer, 81 percent of online consumers said they trust the advice they read in blogs, and 61 percent have made purchases based on a blogger’s recommendation.

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Using Bloggers Effectively

So how can you get bloggers to write about your product? How much does it cost, and how do you know you’ll get a good return on your investment? The truth is, there are no easy answers. With 172 million Tumblr pages and nearly 79 million WordPress blogs on the web, the trick isn’t just finding a blog, it’s finding the right ones. Most blogs are very narrow in focus, which means their audiences are highly targeted (and valuable). The better a blog aligns with your brand and your product, the more likely you’ll reach the audience you’re looking for.  As for the cost, there are no easy answers there either.

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Bloggers have no pre-defined rate cards; there are no set standards, so the terms can vary, to say the least. Some bloggers request free product samples, while others charge thousands of dollars to sponsor a post, based on site traffic and influence. With so much consumer trust placed in third-party bloggers, however, the potential ROI should be obvious; one endorsement from a powerful blogger can wield tremendous influence with your target audience. That influence can also reach across multiple digital channels (typically, bloggers don’t just write on their own blogs, they also post opinions on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest). In the realm of public relations, blogs definitely have the potential to be highly rewarding. It’s a tantalizing prospect—millions of websites with devoted followers looking for the next great product, ready to engage.

So what are you waiting for? We’d love to discuss how you can incorporate bloggers in your marketing, both effectively and affordably. Contact us today at info@kleberandassociates.com.

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How Girl Day Spotlights the Issue with Engineering

Yesterday, we celebrated Girl Day. The mission is to attract more females to the engineering and automation world. It is also important to note that Girl Day is not just a one-off event… it is meant to spark momentum and awareness about the importance of a continued effort to support this mission. So, while yesterday focused on the immediate need (introducing girls in your community to engineering careers), it also provided the knowledge and tools to continue to educate women of all ages about the profession in the future.

NPR reported that close to 40% of women with engineering degrees either never use their degree or leave the profession for reasons like the glass ceiling, a lack of self-confidence or a lack of mentors. The same report points to getting more women interested in engineering as the biggest problem the profession faces.

Girl Day represents the push happening in society to interest more women in engineering. This push is meant to balance out the playing field among men and women so that there will not only be more women actually using their engineering degree, but there will be more young women saying that they want to be an engineer when they grow up.

That is why Girl Day is so important; it gets us talking about this issue.

Social media is a key player expertly used to spread the word of this movement by creating awareness for both the issue that makes Girl Day necessary and the event itself. A whole campaign launched for this special day uses the hash tag #BringItOut to highlight the idea that there is a little engineer in every girl to be discovered. A series of YouTube videos made for this campaign feature females discussing qualities of the profession that might interest girls such as curiosity, problem solving, innovation and design.

In addition to YouTube videos, the sponsor for this campaign, DiscoverE, is using Twitter to get some bigger companies involved.

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By getting companies like GoldieBlox involved through social media, the #BringItOut campaign is able to gain more clout and extend the reach of the message.

 

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We think Girl Day nailed it with this one. What do you think?

Let the 4 P’s of Integrated Marketing Work for You

In a world of thousands of brand messages, it’s important that every brand message is consistent and relevant.  That’s where integrated marketing communication (IMC) becomes important.  With IMC, all aspects of marketing communications such as Bussiness Discussionadvertising, public relations, direct mail, promotions and social media work together, instead of each working in isolation.  IMC starts with a core brand strategy based on goals and objectives, and goes beyond communication tools to include the coordination of messaging, channels, creative and technology.

When IMC broke onto the scene in the 1980’s, the mantra was “one voice”.  A company relied heavily on advertising to develop its brand, because in advertising the company controlled the content.  Depending upon its budget, the company supplemented its ad messaging with unified messaging in collateral, promotions and trade shows.  Through press releases, case studies, interviews, photography and other elements, the company’s public relations agency provided information to the media for their content.  It was a different time.

While today’s IMC continues to be a customer-centric approach, technology has changed the playing field.  Regardless of their consumer or B2B-focus, companies are increasingly developing their own content and using social media, contests, user-generated content, video clips and other Web-based applications to engage with consumers.  While technological advances enable companies to create and communicate their own brand content more quickly, effectively and at a reduced financial risk, there is still the matter of orchestrating the various messaging with a tonality to which customers respond.  Tweets need to conform in ‘voice’ with other social media, collateral, press releases, ads and sales promotions as well as the Website and other digital media.  It’s an orchestra of messaging with everyone playing on key, and in time. Read more…

2014 AIA Convention – Highlights from Kleber & Associates

2014 AIA Convention: Chicago, IL
For the first stop on the agency’s summer road tour, Kleber & Associates was back in Chicago for the 2014 American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention and Expo. This year’s theme was “purpose” — a challenge to industry professionals in attendance to exercise leadership and engage the public to design a more sustainable world. With over 450 convention programs and nearly 800 exhibitors, the AIA Convention and Expo featured various specialty pavilions with a focus on concrete, stone and tile, composites, lighting, metals, software and technology, wood and sustainable energy.  At the center of the Convention and Expo was continuing education- a chance for architects to earn as many CEU credits as possible throughout the three day event.

Companies such as Feeney, Inc., Residential Elevators, ClimateMaster, Cardinal Shower Enclosures, Dri-Design, Old Castle Architecture and Earthcore were among the exhibitors displaying stand-out products for unique design and sustainable living.

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

Feeney, Inc. LED Rail Light Kits for DesignRail

Feeney, Inc.
Feeney, Inc., a leading manufacturer of high quality stainless steel and aluminum architectural products and railing systems, featured LED Rail Light Kits for it’s DesignRail® line of aluminum railing. Functional as both an outdoor lighting accent and a visual aid for low-light areas, the new LED Rail Light Kits are the latest addition to Feeney’s popular DesignRail®. The warm white LED light is designed to recess into the underside of the top and bottom rails of DesignRail® railing systems, while the snap-on frosted lens evenly diffuses light over outdoor porch and deck areas. The new LED Rail Light Kits are available in two sizes, a 21 inch length and a 32 inch length, providing fuller light distribution than systems using smaller lighting components. Power Kits (required for installation) include either  35 , 60, or 96 watt 24 volt drivers. The new LED Rail Light Kits blend high-style design with the latest technology.

Residential Elevators
Elevating the standard of living, Residential Elevators, Inc. (REI) highlighted various options for in-home elevator systems, including the Luxury Lift LLT 950- Variable speed traction residential elevator. Quiet, smooth and reliable, the advanced system provides dependable vertical transportation in the home. The benefit of the Luxury Lift Traction Elevation is that REI has developed a technology without the need for a dedicated machine room, saving square footage in the home.

ClimateMaster
For more than 50 years, ClimateMaster has serviced the needs of the commercial and residential construction industry worldwide with a comprehensive line of water source and geothermal heat pumps. A geothermal heat pump is an electrically powered device that uses the natural heat storage ability of the earth and/or the earth’s groundwater to raise or lower the temperature of a heating/cooling medium.

Cardinal Shower Enclosures
Cardinal Shower Enclosures featured a wide-array of both sliding door and swing door enclosures, for both residential and commercial applications. The Skyline Series sliding door enclosure made a bold impression, with large exposed wheels holding the sliding door. Available in both 3/8-inch and ½-inch glass, and with three or four wheels. Much like the increasing trend of interior “barn-style” doors, the Skyline Series is sure to fit the bill for design elegance in the home, as well as luxury commercial spaces, such as hotels and resorts.

Dri-Design
Dri-Design’s meticulous engineering has developed a 100 percent recyclable, pressure equalized rain-screen and architectural metal wall panel system that attaches to nearly any substrate without the use of clips or extrusions. A one-of-a-kind standout at the show was Dri-Design’s architectural panels with imaging technology. Using a variety of custom perforations to create images, Dri-Design imaging makes a strong architectural statement.

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Oldcastle Architect
Brand new from Oldcastle® is InsulTech™, an insulated concrete masonry system. InsulTech ICMS is a complete thermally broken insulated masonry process which includes a full complement of masonry units. The new product offers high thermal efficiency in an innovative design, combining a pre-assembled structural masonry unit, molded EPS insulation insert and thin veneer face.

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Isokern
Isokern is always an eye-catcher in the industry. Developing products that promote a clean environment, the Isokern GreenTech Solution from Earthcore reduces particulate emissions by up to 80 percent and is the first modular masonry fireplace to qualify under the EPA Voluntary Wood-Burning Fireplace Program. The GreenTech Solution can be easily installed in a matter of minutes by adding their exclusive Catalytic Combustor to any Isokern Magnum or Standard Series fireplace.

 

 


Kleber & Associates is an Atlanta-based integrated marketing communications agency serving the home and building products industry for 25 years. Visit the Kleber & Associates website for the latest news and information about marketing for home and building products for consumers, architects, builders, remodelers, designers and manufacturers. Through our marketing, advertising, public relations and digital marketing expertise — we build better brands that build a better home.

2014 Dwell on Design – Highlights

dwell001Feeling nostalgic for the bygone Goldrush days, the K&A team headed west to Dwell on Design (Dwell) in Los Angeles, California.  The Dwell show featured thousands of products and hundreds of programs on three separate soundstages, focusing on innovative, marketable designs in urban construction, modern design and green living.

 

K&A hosted several client Industrial Design representatives at this annual “incubation lab” event, where we conducted extensive research on popular trends and emerging themes. From small desk accessories to full size cargo containers reclaimed as new age living spaces… the opportunities at the show were rich for exploring dramatic new fabrications and innovative solutions. The forum provided our client brands with a detailed environment from which to “blue-sky” product development ideas amid break-through introductions from around the globe. One theme in a particular semblance-of-harmony we’re titling: “Surface Solutions,” representing significant new approaches to outward facing layers and facades that interact most intimately with our human audiences.

 

dwell002Stikwood is a midrange price “peel and stick” wood planking overlay for surfaces such as walls, ceilings and countertops which is finished with AirPure: a non-toxic, formaldehyde free natural plant oil. One of the main promotional draws of Stikwood is its ease of application, particularly impressive in an industry dominated by high costs and complicated installation methods. The result is a highly textured surface rendered with an old world craftsmanship appearance in a cost-effective solution. In addition to the unique attributes of the product itself, we were naturally impressed with the brand’s go-to-market strategy, led by robust social media engagement.

 

dwell003Finium’s Friendlywall follows a similar path of simplified installation in wood-planked-skin walls. The pieces of Friendlywall fit together, much akin to a room-sized jigsaw puzzle. Interlocking pieces can be chained together across a wall or even an entire room.  The Canada based company stresses eco-friendly products and consumer accessibility as its major selling points.

 

dwell004Giving new meaning to a bun-warmer? Galanter & Jones is a California based design and fabrication studio that is family run and operated, specializing in heated outdoor seating. Their newest product pictured here is the Helios Lounge, featuring a plug-in bench with a heated surface and adjustable temperature controls. We recognize that the heart of the home is now the backyard and as such, homeowners desire to enjoy their outdoor living rooms throughout the changing seasons. This innovative product complements this trend while featuring an ergonomic design that radiates heat outwards, designed to warm one’s entire body. Unexpected, is how incredibly energy efficient these “hot” seats really are.

 

 

dwell005Like accessories for the “little black dress” in the fashion world, so too can cabinetry be updated with entire new looks. Who would have thought that cost-conscious Ikea cabinets could be improved?  Semihandmade cabinet doors – which ships its doors across the country and plans to set up shop soon in Ikea — offers an affordable solution to dress up Ikea cabinets to  look like fine crafted, high quality custom cabinetry at a fraction of the cost. The best of both worlds… cost effective boxes and frames with doors designed to express your own design priorities. I wonder if Swatch Watches ever thought about introducing a cabinet line with mood compatible, swap-able doors?

 

The importance of innovations like these at Dwell on Design is that they not only represent emerging aesthetic trends in the market; but perhaps as important, environmentalism and affordability. Each highlight here represents a major shift towards eco-friendly and sustainability-orientated crafting methods –with an emphasis on the surface and its relationship to dwellers. I’m convinced we’ll continue to see momentum in this arena for home and building products for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned!

2014 NeoCon Highlights

Kleber and Associates summer road tour rolled into the Windy City last month for NeoCon® 2014- North America’s largest design show and conference for commercial interiors. The show draws more than 40,000 attendees each year from the architecture and design industry eager to see the latest trends.

 

As we waited in lines for elevators and weaved in and out of the over 700 showrooms and exhibits, we came across a variety of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, and various other commercial applications. We couldn’t list them all, so here is a collection of K&A’s favorite standout products from NeoCon 2014.

 

neocon001Forbo

Forbo, a global market leader in linoleum floor coverings, showcased one of their newest product introductions, Marmoleum. Marmoleum Modular is currently the only floor tile that is USDA Bio-Preferred Certified 100 percent biobased. Made from natural, renewable ingredients, Marmoleum Modular features inherent antimicrobial and antistatic properties that improve indoor air quality and resist bacteria growth. Marmoleum Modular tile collection is comprised of 44 beautiful colors and 3 coordinated sizes designed to mix and match.

 

LG Hausys

LG Hausys unveiled a first-to-market surface product called TechTop. This innovative surface-embedded wireless charging technology offers true convenience and mobility-  helping consumers stay connected. Consumers can charge their mobile phone by simply placing it on top of a TechTop Embedded HI-MACS Surface. The rate of charge automatically reduces once the battery is full to prevent damage and to extend battery life. With a single connection hidden beneath the surface, you can keep the area clean and clutter-free, eliminating all those tangled wires or preoccupied power outlets. HI-MACS TechTop has the makings of an ingenious solution for those wanting to stay connected – good riddance wires!

 

Richlite

Richlite Company is a manufacturer of paper-based composite panels offering a warm and natural-feeling surface. Richlite’s unique paper surfaces bring a soft and comfortable ambiance to a room that’s rarely achieved through cold, hard, strong and plastic solid surfaces. It’s made from environmentally sustainable resources and is an attractive, durable long-lasting material that complements a variety of tastes. Applications include kitchen/bath, retail and restaurant surfaces, as well as various other unique applications.

 

revlite-ling-1340-Editeos Light Panel System

The eos Light Panel System is an ultra-slim sheet of light that combines LED lighting technology and an exclusive 3D cutting process to give you a versatile light source. Its slim profile and low power draw make the eos Light Panel System usable in a large number of applications including indoor, outdoor, accent, lighting, etc. The system consumes up to 70 percent less power than a fluorescent lamp. The initial cost may be higher, but energy savings and overall durability is exceedingly better.

The West Coast Swing – Kleber & Associates on the Streets of San Francisco for PCBC

It was an interesting blend on the streets of San Francisco June 25-26. On one end, thousands of IT developers crammed into the Moscone Center West for the annual Google I/O conference to hear “what’s next” from the web’s preeminent authority. One block over, thousands of building professionals and vendors filled the Moscone Center East to see the latest in home improvement and building materials at the 55th annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC).

While certainly two distinct audiences, a common theme emerged from both events – how the next frontier of technology will impact our daily lives. While Google went big with wearable devices, PCBC was the stage for a variety of innovative products that meld smart technology, manufacturing and materials with functionality in today’s home.

Founded in 1959, PCBC has been a must-attend event for the industry with direct linkage into the lucrative California/western United States home building industry. The Kleber team walked the halls and visited dozens of booths, one of our work tasks actually, and collected our favorite products on display. We didn’t set any conditions on what we deemed “worthy” for this recap – just the products we found innovative given the show’s overall theme of “New Directions”.  Here were our top three –   We can’t wait to see what PCBC has in store for 2015.

Creative Mines
With a striking booth, lined with Ansel Adams-quality black and white stills of the company’s natural and crafted stone veneer products, Creative Mines made an impression on our team. The company, founded by former executives of El Dorado Stone, uses a proprietary mix- composed of 70 percent post-industrial content- that eliminates the need for smokestack-produced fly ash used by other manufacturers. A high-purity, natural pumice  high density pozzolan helps enhances compressive strength and improves durability.

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The company also sources natural stone for applications but the crafted product, available in a variety of colors and textures, was as close to natural stone as we’ve found. The company prides itself on being independent from past inventory and outdated equipment so they can work directly with architects on cutting-edge design. The mix of modern production and expertise certainly shows – we struggled telling the difference between real and manufactured.

 

 Liftmaster

Seventy percent of homes in the United States have a Liftmaster garage door opener installed. Think about that – an amazing statistic we learned while visiting the company’s booth. While certainly no stranger to American homeowners, Liftmaster is not resting on its laurels. The company was touting their latest innovation which plays into the home automation movement. MyQ is a system that links your garage door opener with a intelligent communications solution accessible through your mobile phone and other linked accessories. With a home equipped with MyQ enabled devices, you can turn on lights, open the garage door remotely or even check to make sure it’s closed.  The company is now installing MyQ directly into four new models – meaning homeowners can purchase from the box solution versus piece milling an automation system. We found MyQ particularly interesting given the recent talk of Amazon’s use of drones for home delivery.  MyQ, linked with a camera, could conceivably open the garage door for delivery – all managed from your smart phone. The possibilities are intriguing to say the least.

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Zonda

Homebuilders all need land – you can’t pull up to a vacant lot and start throwing up a dwelling either. For decades, finding available land then planning out developments best suited for a particular demographic meant countless trips to the zoning and permits office of a particular county. Even then, the mainly paper-based system was rife with calculation errors and unclear information on the availability of a particular parcel and surrounding demographics.
Enter Zonda –  a truly game changing application for the iPad which harnesses the power of Meyers Research – a leading market research and advisory service for US Homebuilders- for canvassing,

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evaluating and ultimately selecting land parcels for new home construction. Using GPS functionality, Zonda offers end-users real-time data, indices and analysis at the swipe of a finger.  The app can hone in by zip code on bustling areas and mine trends that ensure you’re buying lots in desirable selling points including schools, crime rates and job market conditions.  The searches are fully customizable with more than 270 fields and can be exported into a comprehensive report for potential investors.

 

The application offered an amazing interface with precision zoom, call out boxes and HD quality maps.  Even though we don’t focus in this particular area ourselves, we were blown away by the presentation and marveled at its future applications.

Using Twitter to Reach Specific Target Audiences

In a society of innovation and constant information, Twitter has become the go-to venue for fast, real-time updates and consumer-based input. In merely 140 characters, Twitter gives everyone a voice.Untitled

Since its launch in 2006, the micro-blogging website has grown to over 200 million active users. With such a large user base, Twitter has become one of the prime social media venues for advertising.

Twitter advertising has been available since December 2011. Since then, advertising on Twitter has evolved into a system that makes advertising, and evaluating its results, easier than ever. Read more…

Kleber & Associates Wins Platinum & Gold for Best Integrated Marketing Campaign

The Kleber and Associates PR and Advertising team is full of bright, creative and innovative individuals.  With our clients as our top priority, we strive to ensure that all of our integrated marketing campaigns are one-of-a-kind anHermes 2014 jpgd reflective of each client’s unique products and services. We don’t do it for awards; we do it because we have a commitment to give our clients the best public relations and marketing experience possible.  It also doesn’t hurt that we love what we do. Read more…

Why We Use Google+ for Digital Marketing

Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on Why We Use Google+ for Digital Marketing


I have watched Google+ very closely since it launched and joined the new social network as soon as my invitation arrived. Once the Google+ Brand pages were introduced and the previously marketing-free platform was open to all, I grew more Google_Plus_logo_wikimedia_commonsinterested in the opportunities available through the platform. However, marketers have not taken to Google+ as quickly as they have to Facebook and Twitter. Many feel that it’s simply one more task to add to their already full plates; one that doesn’t seem worthwhile because of the platform’s significantly smaller reach as compared to the more popular social networks.

Originally, the Kleber & Associates company held this view. We quietly observed the platform from the sidelines waiting for something worthwhile to come along to give us incentive to join, to invest our valuable time in yet another social platform. We waited for our audience to migrate there; to show an indication that our efforts won’t be wasted. Late in 2012 our viewpoint changed. We were no longer satisfied with standing on the sidelines waiting for engagement and audience to increase, we joined Google+. Why? Because, it’s Google, after all.

At the end of the day, you can’t ignore the elephant in the room that is Google. The world’s most popular search engine still accounts for approximately 68% of all online search traffic. Google is working every day to deliver better search results for its users. And a large part of that now includes social search and semantics, driven by Google+. Read more…