National Small Business Week, first proclaimed in 1963, celebrates America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. According to the US Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans own or work for a small business. Small businesses are responsible for creating “about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.”
Getting the right background music for stores isn’t always easy. It can be tricky to ensure you’re playing the right music, for the right shoppers, at the right time and place. And there are a lot of options – Something fast and pop-y, or mellow and jazzy, or hip and indie…the list goes on. But choosing good background music for your store isn’t about what’s popular or even what you like, it’s about your customers. And if you really know your customers, you’ll be able to choose great music for them, keep them in the store longer and shopping more frequently. Here’s how to test if you’re playing the best background music for retail stores:
One of the fastest-growing online marketing strategies brands are employing is creating highly-sharable videos. These videos not only highlight products or services, they also entertain, inform, and capture their audiences. Here are four companies – Facebook, Red Bull, Microsoft and Starbucks – that caught my attention with their video marketing, and the lessons their videos can teach you and your brand.
How’s your attention span? Can you pay attention for more than 10 seconds? Studies are saying…not so much. Our attention span seems to be shrinking, from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2012. PLUS, 17% of internet page views last less than 4 seconds. Words, it seems, give us the most problems. One study found the average adult will focus for just 2.8 seconds – enough time to read approximately 140 characters. Maybe we can blame Twitter’s 140 character limit for that one… Either way, the implications are clear: marketers need to produce content that is more quickly consumed and more engaging than ever. It’s time for snackable content.
I’ve spent some time educating you regarding the risks of using the radio as your Message On Hold program, streaming internet radio like Pandora in your store or facility, and including popular music in your online ads. And in general, I just warn you that it’s illegal and can end up costing you big bucks if (when) you get caught. Music licensing has many layers and variations, and can get pretty complicated. But if you know what to look for, it doesn’t have to be.
Music is an undeniably powerful way to change the environment in your venue. By using overhead music in your store, you have an opportunity to boost sales by engaging your customers. Audio is powerful because it can’t be ignored – while customers can overlook imagery, they can’t prevent themselves from hearing what’s going on around them. You can close your eyes, but you can’t turn off your ears.
Have you ever wondered why movies and TV shows look so different from videos you shoot yourself? Back in the day the reason would be that they were shot on 2 totally different formats. While your personal videos were shot on VHS video tapes, movies and your favorite TV programs were shot on film. Film holds a much wider range on the color spectrum than video. It can also be altered and tinkered with in the developing process.
Recently I attended a conference that had the usual fare of keynote speakers, break-out sessions, lectures and PowerPoint presentations. One of the presenters, in addition to providing a live, spoken commentary for his PowerPoint visuals, included a pre-recorded narrative (also in his voice) that accompanied each slide. The experience caused me to question – Why do people record their own narrations?