Tag Archives: library marketing tips

10 Great Library Marketing Videos

Video

Librarians are known for their creativity and love of technology. And with today’s easy-to-use video-making apps and programs, librarians are using these twin passions to create some terrific marketing videos for their libraries. Below are 10 great library videos, everything from parody to patron endorsements to ghouls in the stacks.

1. The Research Games — Part One: You Learn or Die

This parody of the Hunger Games from Texas A & M Libraries draws you in immediately with its high production value and professional narrator. Throughout the story different aspects of the library are marketed, such as the reference librarians, the text-a-librarian service, the library’s holdings and the cafe.

2. Library Palooza: Innovative Library Marketing

This video details SUNY Albany’s Library Palooza, a welcome event held the day before classes in the fall semester. Librarians market the library using giveaways from their vendors, by partnering with other departments across the campus, and by creating a fun environment that includes photos with the school mascot.

3. Research Rescue | Episode 1 “Stuck”

This entertaining first episode of a multi-part series from the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has plot, drama, and, best of all, librarians as actors.

4. Effective Library Marketing: Think Out of the Box

These video details Southeastern Louisiana State Library’s “Learn to Love Books All Over Again” day, a Valentine’s Day-themed event to celebrate reading and eBooks. What is the key to a successful library marketing event? “You have to serve food!”

5. Marketing Your Library Preview

The importance of directing your message to specific audiences to better meet your goals is emphasized in this library marketing video, which advises to “create specific messages, deliver them, and then measure your success.”

6. Brand Launch by Richland County Libraray

A great video that accentuates the service orientation of the library staff with endorsements from library patrons. A satisfied customer is often the best marketing tool for your library products and services.

7. White Plains Public Library: Transforming Lives, Every Day

This simple but very well-done video has the patrons, through their personal stories of how they use the library and why the library is important to them, market the libraries services and holdings — from databases to computers, reference help, tools for managing stock portfolios, computer classes, job search resources, and English language classes, there is a patron and a personal story for practically every service the library offers.

8. University of Maryland Gangnam Style Parody

This terrific parody of the song takes place in the university’s library. While none of the library’s services are mentioned, a video like this makes the library cool and just makes people want to go there. With over 190,000 YouTube views and counting, this is a marketing effort that will reap results for years to come.

9. “My Library” — ARY Campaign

This short but very effective ad for the Cedar Rapids Public Library is incredibly creative and well done, with kids voices at the end each claiming the library to be “theirs.”


10. Libraries Will Survive

Central Rappahannock Public Library staff and patrons singing and dancing to their own version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” It goes something like this: “Come on now walk, in our door, find inspiration and knowledge — how-to-books to ancient lore…”

Bonus! The Haunted Library

From a branch of the New York Public Library comes this spooky marketing video with a terrific surprise ending.

With today’s video-making apps and your creativity, there is no limit to the number of ways you can market your library’s services with videos. We hope you find some inspiration from the above videos to take your library marketing campaign to the next level.

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

Four Ways to Promote Your Ask-a-Librarian Service

promote

Your Ask-a-Librarian service is a powerful research tool for your patrons, most of whom have come to expect quick and easy access to information and answers. Here are four promotional ideas to get the word out and help your patrons take advantage of this service.

1.  Instructional Sessions and Classes

One of the best ways to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is to tell your patrons about it directly in informational literacy classes (for academic libraries) or computer and other instructional classes and workshops (for public libraries). A live demo in a class or group setting will really grab your patrons’ attention so they remember to use the service the next time they need information remotely.

2. Posters with QR Codes

Another great way to promote your Ask-a-Librarian service is by placing posters around your library building (and campus community, for academic libraries) advertising the service. Be sure to include a QR code to take patrons directly to your Ask-a-Librarian information page, where they can learn more about and use the service.

3. Social Media

Does your library have a blog, or a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account? A great way to inform your patrons of an online service such as Ask-a-Librarian is to reach them when they are already online. If they are reading about your Ask-a-Librarian service from any of your social media accounts, then they are either on a computer or a smart phone, and they can go straight to the service and utilize it immediately.

4. Signs on Computer Monitors

Finally, placing small and unobtrusive announcement “bubbles” in the upper right-hand corner of your library’s computer monitors will certainly catch your patrons attention without being a distraction. One of the best methods to create these announcements is to use dialogue bubbles from MS Word. Type in your message, laminate the announcements, cut them out following the dialogue bubble outlines, and then attach one to the upper-right corner of each of your monitors using Velcro or another adhesive method.

These are just four ideas to get you started with your Ask-a-Librarian promotions, but you can come up with many more. The key is to be creative and have fun! When you connect your users with your library’s services, everybody benefits.

Michael English is an academic librarian and freelance writer/editor.

Library Marketing Tips, Part 4: a Tool, a Trick and a How-To

Library Marketing Tips Part 4: Tools, Tricks and How Tos

There are enough topics around the subject of library marketing for an entire blog. In fact, Jill Stover posted to her blog, Library Marketing, Thinking Outside the Book, for 3 years and it has some amazing ideas. That said, we’re on the final week of Library Marketing Tips, so we’ve decided to throw in a few Tools, Tricks and How Tos to think about, try out and share. If you’re finding this post randomly, you might be interested in parts 1-3, linked below.
Library Marketing Tips, Part 1: Avoiding the Noise (Templates Inside)

Library Marketing Tips, Part 2: The Morning News, Videos and Slideshows

Library Marketing Tips, Part 3: Word of Mouth, the Best Form of Social Media

Tool – Google Analytics

This is one of our favorites. Google Analytics allows you to go extremely deep with information about your site, but what makes us love it in its simplest form is that it lets you see where people are coming from (other webistes and search terms), what they are doing on your site while they are there (which pages get the most clicks and traffic) and at what point they left (exit pages). It’s free to sign up with a Google account and requires you to paste some code into your website. This may take a “pretty please” to your webmaster or IT Manager, but it’s well worth it and once they enter the code, you have access to the information on your own, requiring nothing else from them (unless what you find out about your site should be changed to provide a better experience for visitors).

Here are two blog posts (The Huge Collection of Google Analytics Tips and Google Analytics Maximized: Deeper Analysis, Higher ROI & You) that give a little more detail on what you can do when you’re ready, but after getting the GA code on your site, here are a few things to get you started:

1. Traffic Sources – This lets you know how visitors found you, via websites and search terms. This one is great because it can help you see whether your Facebook page and/or Twitter Tweets are worth the effort (you’ll find they will be). One thing Google Analytics has helped us find out: People search for our name over a dozen different ways to get to our site, including misspellings (“text a libranian”).

2. Content – This one is great because it shows you where people are going on your site, the busiest pages. You can see how many patrons are visiting your “Ask Us” or “Ask a Librarian” page and if it’s not up to par with some other pages, find the one most visited and make sure there is a prominent link to that particular page to see how you can direct more traffic to encourage patrons to ask questions (or more specifically, how to utilize your new text message reference services).

3. Site Overlay - As a part of the Content section, Site Overlay is where things get really interesting. It puts an “overlay” (as the name suggests) on top of your site and then gives you %s on where people are clicking to when they’re on that page.
There are many other great tools that are part of the Google Analytics package, but these are a great place to start seeing how people are finding your site and what they’re doing once they get there.

Trick – The “Marketing Possibilities are Everywhere” Exercise

This isn’t so much a “trick” as in a magic trick, but more of an exercise in getting your mind to think about all of the places where marketing can take place. If you’re already a marketing oriented person, you may already do this, but if not, it’s a great exercise. For a whole week, challenge yourself each day to write down at least 1 unique way of marketing a service that isn’t already being used. It’s ok if you find out later that it already is, it’s the exercise that’s important.

Example: Every time I fly, I wear my Mosio T-Shirt. Why? Besides the fact that I love it and that it’s very soft, there are thousands of people at the airport, including a few hundred that will be on the plane with me. Those are all brand impressions, I literally see people looking down at the logo. Plus, in some cases, someone will ask “What is Mosio?” and I get an opportunity to talk about our company and what we do. Our shirts are intentionally simple. No huge letters or slogans, no website addresses, just the logo, making it the only thing the eyes can focus on. We offer Text a Librarian T-Shirts on a site called Spreadshirt. We don’t make any money from them, people pay what we pay, but this is another great opportunity to promote your service or strike up a conversation about the service.
Mosio T Shirt
(You always get a second chance to make a brand impression)

So what ideas can you think of? What places would be great to put a marketing message? Write them down, 1 or more a day, for a week and see how your thinking has changed. After finishing the exercise and thinking about marketing for a week, begin thinking about the areas and places where you could market your own library services. See what new comes to mind and how it can be done in your library or community.


How To – Manage Social Media Presence Multiple Places

So you have a presence on: Myspace, Facbook, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc, etc, etc, and managing them all can be a hassle. First, we’re not advocates of having an account on every social network on earth. In fact, we think it’s better to have fewer with focused strategies on how you’ll use them. Even adding 2-3, plus your own website, email newsletters, printed materials and anything else can be a full time job in and of itself. Luckily, there are several tools you can use to help you manage your social media output.

HelloTxt - Originally, I was going to post about how you can use the Facebook Twitter Application to post Tweets to your Library’s Facebook page, but with the sporatic reports of the Twitter App on Facebook not working I thought it best to write about another useful site called HelloTxt, that has been gaining steady growth since I first heard about it more than a year ago. It lets you post once and updates to any of 45 social networks through their APIs. If the last thing you want to do is join another “thing” (we can understand this), then we at least want to give you the link to the Twitter Facebook App that lets you post your Twitter tweets to your Facebook Page’s Wall.

Start Pages - We recently wrote a post about how you can use start pages as virtual reference tools, it included Netvibes, Pageflakes and iGoogle, all of which can be also used as a way to manage multiple places at once. In fact, they are the absolute best way to do that. Each has varying options for widgets, gadgets, flakes, modules, etc (they differ in what they’re called based on the service, but all mean the same thing). They give you quick access to: Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, Delicious, 43 Things, blogs and a handful of email programs.

So that’s all of them, Library Marketing Tips 1-4. We hope you learned some ideas on how you can better promote text messaging reference services to your community. Mobile messaging is growing at a rapid pace in the U.S., there is a lot of excitement around the mobile channel, so getting the word out to patrons and your community gives you an opportunity to extend your outreach by expanding the walls of your library on mobile devices.

Library Marketing Tips, Part 1: Avoiding the Noise (Templates Inside)

Library Marketing Services

There are quite a few books on the topic of library marketing, and OCLC’s Geek The Library Campaign is definitely getting people talking, but this post is the first in a weekly series talking about marketing text messaging reference services in your library. We think they work well for any other services you offer, use what you like. The mobile channel isn’t going away, people in the U.S. every day are texting more than they are talking and they’re using text messaging in more ways than simply communicating with friends. Maybe you know this, have decided to implement text messaging reference at your library, it’s finally ready to go and now what? Start promoting the service!

Libraries as a Marketing Vehicle?
Less than 2 years ago, an agency in the UK considered libraries a new channel in direct marketing. Regardless of what your personal reaction to this is (let me guess: not positive?), the idea is worth mentioning: placing marketing materials inside the book will get at least one view or impression. I’m sure plenty of folks were pleased to find that the idea didn’t take off too well. I’m one to appreciate creativity even when execution might be hard to pull off, but execution is 99% of the battle in marketing and great execution requires great planning. That said, we can learn something from those whose job it is to think of new ways to grab people’s attention.

Just because you print up posters does not mean they’ll get seen and just because you create a Twitter account does not mean people will follow (or even read) your tweets. Sorry, but it’s true. (Side note: we love Twitter, use it daily and it’s ok by us that teens don’t tweet). In the end, it’s about deciding what gets you the most for your budget, time and resources. So what to do? Whenever possible, do something different from what has been done. Write a list of what is usually used to promote news, updates or services and then choose something new and unusual. If you have strict guidelines about how new services can be marketed, no problem, there’s still room for flexibility and creativity or you wouldn’t be reading this post. This isn’t about skipping all methods used in the past, some can be great, the point is to avoid the noise.


A few quick tips on what to consider when avoiding the noise:

1) Avoid the Noise.
Yeah, tough one, right? Seriously though, it’s simple enough. If you see stacks of postcards on a table, placing more postcards there isn’t going to help. One of my favorite stories is about Arizona Iced Tea during their initial roll out to grocery stores: they were looking at slotting/shelving fees and noticed that it would be cheaper to be near the fruits and vegetables than on the drinks aisle. Pay more and be one of many drinks in an aisle (noise) or pay less and be near healthy fruits and vegetables? Seems like a no brainer.

Noise

Noise

2) Choose more than one method, include one you absolutely know will work.
Prior to being in the mobile industry, I worked in internet advertising and guerrilla marketing, both when they were considered very new. I saw over 400 campaigns take place and always noticed one thing: the brands utilizing more than one method or medium to promote their product or service had higher levels of success. By using several methods, you have a better chance at increasing your reach. If someone sees you in both (or even more) places, you are increasing your frequency. Both are good things. We’ll be covering some methods and ideas we’ve seeing working by some of the libraries having success in future posts, but one of the things they have in common is using more than one method to get the word out. Another interesting element is that the librarians where SMS reference services are successful are seeing the value of the service and are excited to be able to offer it.

3) Make sure you are using the proper terminology in your instructions.
This one is very important and while it should go without saying, we’re saying it anyway. Make it easy to understand and it will get used. Patrons are texting to the service, not “calling” it. Links to templates you are free to use are below and have some simple, but useful terminology. It’s also important to note that “Standard Message Rates Apply” somewhere on your materials.

4) A great call to action is the only way you’ll grab attention and hold it.
You can come up with a great call to action phrase without sounding like an infomercial. Your call to action can be in the form of asking a question, followed by a request:
“Need Info? Have a mobile phone? Text a librarian!”
“Want info on the go? Text us!”
A great call to action goes a long ways.

5) Use mobile phone icons or graphics in your materials.
When you show a mobile phone image, you increase your chances of getting noticed by those interested in using their mobile devices for communication. Make it as big as possible on your materials to get people to notice.
Mobile + Information

Ultimately, you have to decide what will work best in your library, which area will get the most attention in the spot with the least amount of noise. Personally, I’m a fan of the business card-sized flyers because they are small, can be tucked into a book, put in a wallet or purse and used later. Other people prefer posters, table tents or bookmarks. If you find any of those interesting, keep reading, we’ve created some templates to hopefully make it easier for you.

Promotional Perfection from East Baton Rouge Public Library

(Promotional Perfection from East Baton Rouge Public Library)

Library Marketing Microsoft Word Templates
If you’re looking for a place to get started, here are some Microsoft Word templates we’ve created for you. In the efforts of leaving them open to promoting the service in your own voice, we made them somewhat content-neutral (we recognize the call to action could be a lot more exciting). You may download and customize them as you see fit for your library.

Library Marketing Materials - Poster Template

Click on any of the links below to open the templates on your computer:

* Library Marketing Materials – Business Card/Flyers Template
* Library Marketing Materials – Table Tent Template
* Library Marketing Materials – Bookmarks Template
* Library Marketing Materials – Poster Template

Please note: The little phone logo on the templates is what we use for Mosio’s Text a Librarian. It was developed with the help of Kelly Barrick from Yale University Libraries (thanks Kelly!) and we feel it does a great job of visually explaining what mobile reference is all about. You are more than welcome to use it on these templates we’ve provided, but if you are not interested, here’s a list of creative commons flickr “mobile phone” photos. Either way, it really makes no difference to us, the goal here is to offer free templates, not sneak a logo in front of anyone.

Patrons at your library who use text messaging are going to think that being able to text you is interesting. It’s new, it’s different and many are using text messaging for more than just communicating with friends. Get their attention, give them a compelling reason and they’ll give it a try. Good luck and see you next week!

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