General Mills Tackles Social Media – How Social Media Helps Market Products

The term “social media” has caught the internet, news media and other networks by storm over the last few years. What exactly is it? Social media started out as a way for people to connect with their friends, family and other people on the Internet in one central place. Websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter give people the opportunity to share information, photos, news and other things with the people that they know. After only a short period of time, businesses realized that they could use social media as well to market products, services, websites or other relevant information. These days, you can find just about any large company, small business, news outlet and other media companies using social media and social networking to market their company, products or services. One of these such companies is General Mills and how they use it really goes to show how effective it can be.

Recently, General Mills rolled out a line of cookie, brownie and cake mixes that are gluten free. Food products that are gluten free are said to be healthier because some people have food allergies or sensitivities to products that contain gluten. Gluten is composed with different grains and some people cannot tolerate them. Since General Mills had this product that they wanted to market to people who were looking for gluten free cookie, cake and brownie mixes, they needed a way to get the word out fast. In order to spread the work quickly and effectively, they turned to social media.

One of the ways that General Mills has marketed to people is by sending out samples of their gluten free products to popular bloggers on the Internet. In turn, the bloggers write reviews or make posts about the products on their websites and that generates sales for General Mills. Here are a few reasons why this method of marketing is smart and effective:

  • The Internet is present in just about every area of the world, which makes it easy to access. By marketing online, companies are reaching more people than ever before.
  • Using social networking websites can easily create a fan base and following, especially for companies like General Mills that have been in business for several years and already have well known products.
  • Having a Facebook, Myspace or Twitter page is completely free. Even if free samples are provided to bloggers, it is very cheap compared to expensive television, radio and billboard ads.
  • It reaches more markets than traditional advertising.

Gluten free products are more expensive than the products that contain the grain combination, but for people who cannot tolerate it, it is money that they seem willing to pay. Social media is a market niche that seems to continuously growing and it is not letting up.

Make Product Niches Easy to Locate

The products that make you the most profit margins, are not always the best products to sell. Those types of products always seem to have more competition. And what’s worse is; the competition is usually charging a way lower price than you can afford to sell the same product.
Popular products like I-pods and cell phones are not very good money makers. Especially if you are selling on ebay. Because everyone and their mother are selling I-pods and cell phones on eBay already. That means more competition and lower prices than you can afford. Stay away from popular or general products that bring lots of profit.

Think outside the box. Think small profit, lots of sales. I would rather sell 100 items a day and make 1 dollar profit on each item; than sell one item and only 20 dollars profit a day. Think small items that people need. Think about the things you use on an everyday basis. Think about products you like, use, or need. Do you really need an I-pod or do you want to sell them because they are popular?

You have to be smart and think 3 steps ahead if you are going to get into sales online. Make things as easy as possible for you at all times. Don’t struggle by doing research on niches that might work. Use your head, stop for a few minutes and think of products you need on an everyday basis. Necessities usually sell better than luxuries online.

Necessity may be different for different people though. For example, a headset and microphone may not be a necessity to most people. But, to a tele-communications expert, it would be a necessity. Think about what products would sell and would have little to no competition. I always say sell accessories for popular items. To this day, that little strategy works great.

Even little things like cool drinking cups sell great. You can make some good money if you sell a lot of them. Today, I want you to sit back and think about all the things you use on a daily basis. I bet if you did some research on those items, you would find the sellers, sell a lot of them. They might not make a lot of money per sale. But, like I said earlier: if they sell one hundred items a day with one dollar profit on each, that’s a one hundred dollar day. When I first started selling online; a hundred dollar day was a great day.

Think about it. The most popular and obvious Niche is not always the best niche. Too many complications arise when you have 3000 other sellers trying to out-do your starting price. You need to find a new ways to get away from that kind of competition. Think about the things you buy most, besides food and clothing. I bet you could open a floodgate of new possibilities if you really think about it. Everyday items sell remarkably great compared to a new television or surround theatre system.

I probably sell everyday items 1000 to 1 compared to big luxury items. People buy what they need. Once you realize that, you can make sales happen with a more positive outcome. Stop selling items just because they have a big profit margin. Start selling items that you know will sell. Give these little insights a try. They have worked great for me through the years.

Creating Your First Audio Product – Choosing a Microphone

Audio products — teleseminars, mp3s, podcasts — are amongst the easiest product to create. No information products marketer should be without at least one audio product. Even if that product is only an audio book. And like any product the tools you use to create the product greatly affects the quality of the end product.

But what do you need in order to create audio products?

At its simplest you need only four things… a computer, software, a microphone and a script. The most important thing you need — beyond the script — is the proper microphone.

So how do you choose the proper microphone? After all there are all kinds of computer microphones out there in the market. They range in price from two dollars to several hundred dollars.

How can you be sure that you are buying the right one for the job without overspending?

When selecting your microphone it helps to understand what the choices are and what each is best for and what to look for.

There are two major classifications of microphone — directional and omni-directional.

Directional microphones pick up sound in only one direction. At its simplest this is accomplished by having the microphone exposed in one direction. For example, we’ve all seen headphone microphones that have openings in only one place… normally pointed at where your mouth would be.

Omni-directional microphones pick up sound from many directions equally. This generally requires that the microphone “head” have perforations in a number of directions. For example, most desktop microphones have holes in the end of the microphone as well as in several spots around the circumference.

Omni-directional microphones are best used to pick up background noises such as a group conversation. Directional microphones are generally used to pick up localized sounds such as a single person speaking. For audio products, you generally will want to pick up each speaker’s voice rather than a group with background. Even if you need to use multiple microphones and tracks, a directional microphone will work better.

The second element to consider is the configuration of the microphone. Generally there are four configurations… desktop, headphone, clip and boom. While in theory any of the configurations will work, in practice most people only have access to certain combinations.

Desktop microphones are the inexpensive microphones used by many computers. Most laptops, in fact, have a built in desktop microphone. These microphones can work well for telephone purposes with the proper drivers. However, most desktop microphones are omni-directional. They simply will not work well for creating audio products.

Headphones are the next most popular microphone. They range in value from very inexpensive to very expensive. Frankly, for most people, inexpensive is as good as an expensive headphone. Headphones generally use directional microphones. They are your best choice for creating audio products.

Clip mikes are a type of microphone which clips to your clothing. They may be either omni-directional or directional. Frankly it doesn’t matter in this case. Both are intended to pick up the speaker’s voice only. Generally, you will get a cleaner recording with less noise from a directional clip mike; however, you will need to spend more time ensuring that you get an acceptable sound level. Clip mikes are good for speakers who like to move or where you are making a video at the same time. However, they tend to be expensive and purchased after you know what you are doing.

Boom mikes are generally used with video recording. These are the long microphones that stick out from professional cameras. They can be omni-directional, directional or semi-directional. Generally, they are not used for audio recording. Instead they are used where a microphone in the picture would be distracting.

Effecting Planning of Exhibitions: An Advertising Tool in Marketing the Designer and His Products

Exhibition is the public display of artefacts such as manufactured goods, food, artefacts etc. in order to attract viewers and buyers. An effective exhibition should be well planned and organized. It is also noteworthy that only excellent works that merits appreciation and shows artists’ exceptional skills should be exhibited.

The organization of an exhibition is very relevant. Its importance cannot be over-emphasized. Some of the purposes of organizing and mounting of an exhibition are outlined below:

1. It showcases the designs and works of an artist: An exhibition mounted by an artist helps him to show the entire world what he/she is able to do. This invariably would help him to gain customers who may be interested in the purchase of any of his works or designs.

2. It offers an avenue for the sale of products: An exhibition gives the artist the platform to explain the concepts and ideas behind his artistic creations and this would move viewers to purchase some of his mounted works.

3. It promotes the manufacturer: An exhibition affords people the opportunity to know the manufacturer. This promotes and makes him popular or known.

4. It promotes competition and creativity in the industry: When an exhibition is mounted by the artist, other artists come to view his artistic creations. These artists are inspired by the works seen and are challenged to produce works that surpasses those they have seen. This ensures the development of new ideas and new products in the industry.

5. It entertains all in attendance: People who come for the exhibition are entertained after viewing the varied products of the artist. They gain new experiences of artistic productions and this greatly entertains them. Also, it may help them to get new friends and interact with people of different backgrounds. The side attractions such as the music played at the occasion all adds an entertainment flavor to the entire programme.

Exhibitions are broadly classified into two. These are General exhibitions and specialized exhibitions. General Exhibition is whereby varieties of items are displayed to the general public. It attracts all kinds of exhibits or works. It should be noted that several products are exhibited during general exhibitions. Several products such as Bags, belts, shoes etc. are exhibited at the same time. It can be called a Bazaar or Fair.

On the contrary, specialized exhibition involves the display of a specific kind of product or artifact. For instance, when only bags are exhibited, we can say it is a specialized exhibition. However, varieties of the same product thus, bags are exhibited.

It should be noted that either of these types of exhibition can be organized at various levels such as Individual exhibition, Group exhibition, Institutional exhibition, Community exhibition, District exhibition, Regional exhibition, National exhibition and International exhibition.

An effective exhibition should be well thought of or planned before it is organized. Several factors come to the fore in the planning of an exhibition.

1. Type of exhibition- The artist or organizers of the exhibition should seriously consider the type of exhibition that they want to mount whether a specialized or generalized exhibition. If the exhibition is organized by a different body, the artist should make the necessary inquiry through trade publications, newspapers, internet etc. to know precisely the type of exhibition to be organized. This would help him to prepare accordingly.

2. What to exhibit-The artist should deeply consider the kinds of exhibit to mount. He should consider the theme of the exhibition, the background of the potential viewers such as their age group, sex, levels of education and even their income levels. This would aid him in knowing the kind of artefacts to exhibit.

3. Where to exhibit- The place or venue for the exhibition should be carefully considered. Its location should be at the heart or centre of his most expected guests or the target group. The venue must be easy to locate. The premises should be spacious, clean, well ventilated and well lit.

4. Cost involved- The cost to be incurred for the organization of the entire exhibition should be carefully rolled out. The cost of publicity, side attractions/ programmes, preparation of the venue etc. must be well planned.

5. Publicity- This refers to the means by which the organisers want to broadcast or make known the exhibition to the general public. The best and most effective means of publicity should be adopted and implemented. Should it be done through posters, banners, flyers, signposts, open air announcement, brochures or the internet? The organizers should think about it critically.

6. Expected number of guests/visitors- The number of people to be expected at the exhibition grounds should be well thought of. This would help the organizers to plan the exhibition well. It would enable them to choose the right venue in terms of size, the number of seating etc. for the exhibition.

7. Duration/Time- The length of time for the exhibition should be planned well. Will the exhibition last for a day, days etc. The time for the start of the programme and the time it would end should be thought of carefully and communicated with the expected guests prior to the programme.

8. Security- The organizers should beef up the security at the exhibition grounds to protect the exhibitors, invitees and the exhibits. This would make all in attendance very secured.

9. Visitor’s book- This is a special book that is made available to all the invited guests to write down their names, contacts, comments and experiences. This would enable artists to contact prospective buyers of their products and in the planning of future exhibitions.

10. General layout- The entire arrangement of the exhibits, seating etc. should be artistic and nice. There shouldn’t be any room for crowdedness and congestion. The place should be comely and refreshing.

Exhibitions are the enticements that draw people to the products and services offered by a business. Therefore it must be carefully planned. This would ensure that the products manufactured by individuals, groups or enterprises will have mass sales and sensitization among the populace.