Creating Buzz with Public Relations

Asterisk Creative is a full service marketing & communications firm.  We know how important it is for our clients to keep their brands top of mind and to stay in front of clients.  This is especially true for the competitive restaurant industry and this why effective public relations is critical to their success.

Check out a few of our clients in the news and one the news!

City Smoke in Charlotte Magazine

http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/December-2015/City-Smoke-Rebranded/#.VmuBt3bGFS4.mailto

Bonterra on Star Chefs!

https://www.starchefs.com/cook/press/bonterra-dining-wine-room-chefs-included-culinary-line-euphoria-s-lambs-clams-event

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Sous Chef Sunday Supper

The Asterisk Creative team had the privileged of working with our client Bonterra Dining & Wine Room on their collaborative dinner a few weeks ago.  The Sous Chef Sunday Supper was a collaborative dinner celebrating Charlotte’s rising talent in the culinary scene and the executive chefs number 2 in the kitchen.  The dinner gave these rising stars a chance to be in the spot light and for the community to come together to show their support. The evening included sous chefs from Bonterrra,Block & Grinder, Passion 8, The Asbury, and Heritage Food & Drink.  It was a night filled with amazing wine, food, and people.

The Asterisk Creative team handled the event promotion, public relations, design and marketing, as well as, the design for the amazing menu that was put together.  During the dinner, our team did social media from the event and handled the event photography.The evening was a huge success with a sold out dining room which we were thrilled about .

The dinner was a first of many Sunday Suppers to come and we are thrilled to be part of their team.

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The new look of City Smoke

Sonoma Restaurant group has been a long time client of Asterisk Creative and we love working with them to market their various restaurant concepts.  So, you can imagine how excited we were when they gave us the opportunity to create a new brand for their restaurant City Smoke.

We worked with their team to create a modern and sexy logo that reflected the direction of the restaurant.  We love it and were thrilled when they did too!

CitySmoke-newlogo(Facebook-cover)

Kuester Commercial

Asterisk Creative was approached by Kuester Commercial to create a responsive web design that would help to differentiate their company from their other brand while helping them to stand out in the real estate development industry.

The site is custom built with a content management system. This allows for the Kuester team to manage their website and make updates.

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Check out the new website for Kuester Commercial!

5 steps to ensure your content breaks through message clutter

On average, human beings have pathetic attention spans. This isn’t an editorial assumption; objectively speaking, human beings have an attention span that’s less than a goldfish. According to a study from 2013, human beings have an attention span of 8 seconds, that’s 4 seconds less than what it was in 2000. The same study concluded that only 28% of words were read on an average web page. These unsettling facts are clear indicators as to why content marketing is the backbone of inbound marketing.

TITLE

First things first, your work NEEDS a title. Titles are paramount and just as, if not more important than the content itself. A title will draw a reader to your content. When brainstorming for a title you need one that encapsulates your content but can also stand out in the static and direct a reader to your work. According to TopRank Online Marketing CEO Lee Oden, “On the social web, titles are everything. 85% is the title. The title should make a promise to the reader and compel them to act, whether it’s a click or a share.” Today, online content creators and curators have pursued new and effective ways to grab people’s attention. Next time you’re on social media, look for content that says “10 steps to…” or “…You won’t believe what happens next.”

The Big Three

The new information regarding our attention spans has generated the conclusion that substantial text based content is no longer effective. Online marketing has shifted to simple peripheral messages. According to Zabisco, 90% of information is transmitted to the brain via visuals and visuals are processed 60,000X faster than text; the verdict, you want images, info graphics, and videos to establish an online following. In regards to images, articles with them receive 94% more views than those without. On Facebook, posts with images get an average of 37% more views than plain text. The internet is filled with images, create or curate your own and you will see results!

Stats, pictures, oh my!

Info graphics are a unique way to take the effectiveness of an image, and then instill content within to provide information and substance. Our peripheral trust for the image aspect is what makes info graphics so effective. Info graphics have been proven to increase traffic on pages and reach a neglected visual audience. They are also in high demand as searches for info graphics have increased by over 800% in just 2 years. Content specific info graphics may require an artistic effort, but they most certainly yield results.

The Silver Screen

A video may require the most work of the big three, but it will certainly yield results. A video gives you the time to effectively and creatively explain any muddled, arduous information about your organization. With video, you are putting your work on a silver platter and serving it to potential clients. It’s important to know that 50% of mobile traffic is web videos, ignoring this fact will limit your media.  Viewer’s that see product video increase their likeliness to buy by 85%. The time and funding for a video may be daunting, but the ROI will assure it as a quality investment.

Nurturing

The last task is just as imperative as the rest; ensure that you’ve made your content evident upon launch. Make sure that you get it syndicated on useful platforms; you may not have the means of having it hosted on Forbes, but look for content relevant websites and expose your work to their audience as well. Also, SEO is your friend in drawing attention to your content. SEO tags your content with all the bells and whistles that will let Google’s search engine robots to locate and bolster your work.  A lifeboat won’t reach safety at sea until it lets authorities know it’s adrift.

New Marketing for the Digital Age

Marketing and sales are part of the intricate backbone in any business.Together, they map a campaign to grab the attention of consumers with the intent of bringing them in to boost business. With marketing, it’s about building long lasting relationships not hunting for a prize.

Successful marketing requires the execution of effective outbound and inbound campaigns. These campaigns have become a regular part of our everyday lives. You experience outbound marketing on TV, billboards on the side of the highway, and every time an unknown caller tries to sell you something. For the last several decades, it’s been the most effective way a business has reached and sold to consumers. But new technology is causing outbound tactics alone to dwindle and inbound tactics to flourish.

Inbound marketing isn’t some back-breaking jargon deviously devised by sales firms. It’s the act of helping customers find out about your goods/services before they are ready to buy creating a brand loyalty. To simplify this further, you’re creating a relationship with customers. And if this seems difficult to understand, I have good news for you: it’s not. The 21st century has made inbound marketing both paramount and easy to engage.

TARGET AUDIENCE

Before you can engage in inbound marketing, you need to discover who you are trying to reach. Does this task sound familiar, like it was your first feat after obtaining a business license? Well chances are, you need to go back to this step because there are a variety of ways you didn’t know could enrich your ideal customer. When discovering who you are trying to sell to, you need to establish their occupation and their location. For example, you focus on B2B supplying equipment to construction companies. To find where these companies are, scouring the census bureau is unnecessary as there are free, easy to use websites at your disposal. Demographic websites such as citytowninfo.com will not only highlight what cities an occupation has a high accumulation in, it will display other useful facts like wages and job popularity. Knowing who and where you are trying to reach is important when creating messages that will appeal.

HARDWARE

Thanks to technological advances in computers and phones, More than 2 billion consumers and businesses use the internet and 34% access it solely through their smartphone. It’s safe to say any wise business would add this medium to their inbound marketing campaign. What you need are the tools to build in your inbound marketing campaign, those being a website and social media. A website gives a company a custom platform that they control as a digital database for their online presence. It will reflect their ideal design and provide a professional means through which they will house information. Social media is the actual outreach a company will make when building relationships through the internet. Through this means, potential customers will be exposed to messages that will generate brand loyalty.

REACHING OUT

To effectively create an inbound marketing campaign through the internet you need more than just text to attract potential customers. Advances in internet software and speed have made it very multimedia friendly. For instance, Starbucks used Instagram to host pictures and videos to effectively create a magnificent following that increased business. This tactic is ideal if you’re reaching consumers through a public medium, but if your target audience is other businesses then a hardcore Instagram presence may be useless. Emails are still the more formal means of communicating online, but can be dismissed if not done appropriately. Using just text can still seem bland if you’re trying to engage someone’s interest. The use of info graphs-pictures that depict charts or graphs-can grab one’s attention.Also, you want to ensure that your emails are responsive so that your content can be viewed on a variety of platforms, including smartphones.You’re content must be engaging and up to date to achieve a following.

Digital World… A World of Possibility!

Finally the time has come, after all the grueling hours of planning and work you’ve managed to bring your brand to the digital world. A community of infinite possibility for your business and brand is all at the tip of your fingers.

But what do you do now?

You’ve immersed yourself into a high velocity environment where countless win-win interactions and transactions occur around you simultaneously. The question is how do you find a way to taste some of that sweet E-victory?

Let them know you are here!

Making a statement online isn’t just as easy as putting a spoiler on your car or rocking the freshest designer jeans; a lot of work goes into beefing up one’s online presence. The best means to do this is through search engine optimization, or as the savvy folk say, SEO. SEO offers a variety of approaches and rules one can abide by to increase ones online presence.

To understand SEO, you must understand the fundamentals of where it began. Back in the primordial days of the internet, rampant spam and the screech of dial-up internet connection plagued the World Wide Web. As technology progressed, a hero rose from the data. Google the powerful search engine/supreme internet overlord descended from the METAphorical Mt.Sinai baring an algorithm known as “Page ranking”. Page ranking was created to categorize websites into a hierarchy based on relevance to keyword searches. The statistics of each website is categorized by Google’s posse of search robots that scan and collect data on websites to help appropriately order them in said hierarchy. Your goal is to ensure these search robots see your website. But success online isn’t all numbers and charts; you must prove yourself a functioning member of the e-society, which fortunately for you, there is a plethora of ways to achieve this.

Content generation

If you want to capture the mind and hearts of various users you’re going to want to provide them with something that’ll grab their attention. Put some words together, make a video, just do something that will appeal to that target audience you are trying to entertain. Not only does it have to seem more engaging than the infinite other pages trying to grip their attention, it must be consistent. And if you think blistering your fingers trying to craft engaging content X amount of times a week all while trying to run a business is hard work, then you are absolutely correct. Sharing content from other web sites, or Content Curation, is a trending tactic used by all walks of social media to keep new content flow steady. The tactic has become prevalent in modern marketing with “atleast 76% of marketers sharing curated content on social media” says Marketo’s Head Strategist Jason Miller.

Tag away

While the constant churning of content is a good tactic, it’s only a leg in the task of internet success. The robots that google scours the internet with identify certain keywords to help with search engines. Long story short, tag everything. If it’s word content, tag it. If it’s pictures, tag it. Like urban youth and a New York City subway station, Tag everything. But don’t over-do it. Google’s robots are very picky about keywords used and if you’re glutinous with the tags you use, you will be down ranked. Google’s justification is that these tactics are the same that malicious spammers use, and in order to not be condemned to the spammer’s prison, be reasonable with your tags.

Social media

Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are not just places where everyday people can take pictures of their food and quizzes astutely titled “What Kind of Cat Are You?”, it’s a forum where you can interact directly with potential customers. This is a good place for you to share your content and also find content to share. But don’t just stay broad with your followers; reach out to a more local sphere. Social media have a means in which you can plan events/promote events, share local news, and find local leads. Take a picture of your place of business, sign up your business listings, do anything to bring your presence and reputation to the public field.

 

Foard Construction

Foard Construction is a fourth generation owned and operated, full-service Commercial General Contractor with history in Charlotte dating back to the late 1800’s. They have been a client-focused and value driven construction company for over 115 years.

Foard contacted Asterisk Creative to work with them to design and develop a website that would not just reflect their amazing history while highlighting their modern customer oriented construction services.  The Asterisk Creative team designed a custom built website and content management system that showcases their work.

The website design is a responsive design with a content management system for easy updating by the client.

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Take a moment to see for yourself at foardconstruction.com

great you’re on facebook, Is that it?

Cheerful business man

Unconventional social media sites are hard to embrace when other sites cast a much larger shadow. In this case, reddit (always lowercase) is an exceedingly popular website, that gathers more users each day. redditors submit content in appropriate subreddits*; these subreddits separate content accordingly by their subject. Sharing Internet memes* is incredibly popular on this site, but It hardly represents the breadth of submissions.

*Subreddit- all the content on reddit is separated by its subreddits. You would find pictures under r/pics, popular memes on r/adviceanimals, funny stuff on r/funny, etc., etc.

*Internet meme- an idea, style or action that spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet, as with imitating the concept.

But why should your business embrace it?

Have you heard of IAMA? Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama, Snoop Lion, sure have. AMA stands for: ask me anything. redditors may create a post stating who they are and offer others a chance to ask whatever question they’d have for someone with a unique experience. Some of the best recent AMAs, Arnold’s and Snoop’s, were successful because they genuinely answered the questions they could. There have been plenty of bad ones; generally, the more an AMA represents a sales pitch the worse.

Businesses could do well to embrace a subreddit like this. Allowing people to learn about a company in a casual environment is simultaneously funny, relaxing and informative. Simply add a link to your website, Facebook page, or even Twitter (most people confirm that you are who you say you are by a Twitter post.). R/iama is not guaranteed to bring success, but that potential is there. Just be you, explain what your business represents, and people will respond accordingly.

The vast amount of subreddits offers a community to nearly everyone. A web designer could visit r/design, r/web-design, r/typography. Someone interested in the news would visit r/news, r/worldnews, etc. Generally if you can think of something, there is probably a subreddit for it. If not, well, you can create your own subreddit. Depending on where you look, reddit is a great resource for information that goes well past Internet jokes. Feel free to look over their faq for more info, http://www.reddit.com/wiki/faq/, reddit is the front page of the internet. Why aren’t you there?

If tackling social media for your brand, business, or product seems like a daunting task; contact Asterisk Creative, we’re always pleased to help!

efficient tips to get the most out of your post.

 

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You’ve got a meeting at 11, emails to write, phone calls to return, and someone is calling your name to handle some urgent matter. A small business owner tends to stay busy, yet curating a Facebook page, or any social media profile seems to be the straw on the camel’s back.

Marketing your business using social media requires  dedication and attention. Fortunately, some the greatest content that thrives on social media follow a less is more approach.

If you’re looking for content to share, posts with photos have greater impact with users more than just text posts.  Regardless, keep it simple. No one is going to read 5 paragraphs of information on a Facebook post. Rather than stuffing as much information at once, keep it bite sized and easy to digest. No one comes back for seconds if they’re completely full.

Be engaging! Questions are an excellent way to interact with followers. It’s an opportunity for a business to gage public opinion; whatever the case if you ask a question it is imperative to answer respectfully and quickly. A lot of value comes with immediate feedback; a complaint may turn into a glowing review due to a prompt solution. Ever been impressed by a late response? Doubtful… treat your guests with respect to make sure they want to come back.

To learn more about how to market your business using social media contact Asterisk Creative today! We love to be social and talk about it.