Internet Librarian 2010: Brand Awareness: Lessons for Libraries
Michelle Wilde, Cathy Cranston, and Louise Feldman from the Colorado State University Libraries
The CSU Libraries decided to specifically use Facebook use for students in universities at the undergraduate level with specific research needs. Turnbull and Bright published a study in 2008 about using Google AdWords as a way to draw more students in. Based on that study, the CSU Libraries got funding for both Google AdWords and Facebook ads. Both Google and Facebook provided statistics on the click-throughs and they set up bit.ly URLs that they could monitor to see how many people were drawn from the ad into their EBSCO article database Academic Search Premier. Over several months they could see users coming to EBSCO from both Google and Facebook as a result of the campaign. They used the terms “scholarly” and “peer-reviewed” as those were requirements the students often came to the libraries with. They used a series of different images, “from cute puppies to rocker dudes” and then changed their image as finals week approached to large yellow warning signs saying things like “Paper Due?” They ran four campaigns in total, testing out their efficacy. They tried two methods of paying for it too — cost per click or the impression model. The impression model worked best for them as it was a predictable cost. They found that Facebook advertising was not effective because that is not where students are spending their time when they’re in research mode. They discovered that with Google, they could use terms and phrases in their AdWords that were more lengthy and research-oriented than in Facebook. They mentioned Google’s keyword locator (great for synonym-finding). Since they couldn’t use IP addresses as a restricting factor in who sees the ads, they ran them in a 15 mile radius around Fort Collins–to see what the smallest radius they could use would be. They found that didn’t work and they weren’t picking up the university users at all. So, instead, they advertised to a 4km radius around campus. And this worked — but they still weren’t showing up on campus computers when they’d use Google looking for the ads. So, they opened it up to a 10km radius around campus, and this worked — ads started appearing on campus. Google ads would show up in sidebars as well as in preferred results, header ads on blogs, etc. People coming in through Google AdWords actually did follow through to the article databases. By changing the ad locations they were able to drop their cost per use dramatically. They were disappointed with Google’s customer support. Focus on Google AdWords and have a flexible budget to try out over several months. Just for this conference, they set up an ad. Do a Google search for Awesome CSU Librarians, and you should see a CSU ad which takes you to a page where their presentation is posted.
Beatrice Pulliam, Providence College; Laura Kohl, Bryant University; Talia Resendes, Johnson & Wales University
Beatrice started out by talking about using branding to keep users coming back. What is it about your brand, your library that keeps them coming back? Whether you’re purposely branding or not, you are indeed still branding through all of your customer experiences. You want your brand to be everywhere — signage, id tags, online presence, printed materials, etc.
Talia talked about messaging in an online environment. The subliminal message that we want to get across is that the user has come to the right place. Using a logo is one small part, but in reality your online brand is also all about your resources — what you’re giving the users. If you haven’t thought about mobile service delivery, you really need to do that. Your Facebook page should cross-link to your library’s website and your library’s website should cross-link to your Facebook page. Are you using your computer’s screen-savers to advertise too?
Laura concluded the talk by discussing interactive experiences and branding those. You can use multimedia experiences and interactions with your users and you can have technology assist and intermediate interactions between staff and customers. Several tools she recommended: Blabberize, Animoto, Jing, Prezi, Glogster, Xtranormal. At Bryant they created an Xtranormal video (text-to-speech animated movies, super easy to make). They also used Blabberize to create a short animated ad, in this case synching up a staff member’s voice to an animated talking dog’s head. They also used PowerPoint and Captivate for screencasts. Glogster is an online digital poster-creation tool. The “poster” is kind of like a mini-web-page with whatever embedded media or links you want. Libraries and librarians communicate with users through texting, IM (inc. the good old Meebo chat widget), and they use Jing short on-demand screencasts that they can send to students to help them get what they need immediately. They’re measuring success through anecdotal customer feedback during interactions.