Local Brands Create Global Images and Universal Consumer Bases

By Michael Harris-Arzon

I will never forget the day I first started tracking the Ardynn MG brands online, looking for our initial exposure rate. This was king before Google Analytics or analytics from anyone really.  It was a chore of emense magnitude that yelled results that I was not happy with.  Granted I knew there would be issues since I fired our developer and bought out all of our partners before we even launched Ardynn Media Group to the public.  But buried in the dismal SEO data I was able to piece together from Alexa and the manually crunching of numbers from Google Search I found that we had a tremendous presence in India of all places.

I had never pictured us as a global brand, and honestly I thought that the Internet was a US commodity/entity.  Let’s face it, all of the websites I visited or found during searches were American based companies.  Seeing that professionals in India were profoundly interested in how US Real Estate companies conducted their business and the type of advice that I (and other beginner bloggers) had to write about.

Our original blog and content source was called Marketing With Ardynn Media and in the first year we reached monthly views of over 600,00 international readers.  You must understand that this was before social media was common place and there were no such sites such as Triberr that acted as blog accelerators.  So for a novice content creator these numbers were unbelievable.  Then the unthinkable happened, we lost the domain because I forgot to renew with GoDaddy.  This was before auto renew was an option and smart phone notifications, so we were limited to email notices (which ours got buried in the 250 emails per day we received at the time).

The loss of that domain was the first mistake that lead to learning more about maintaining an online brand presence.  Even though the name was trade marked, it had been purchased by another Comapny that wanted to charge us $7,000 to get it back.  I mean what was a boat company going to do with a useless, trademarked domain?  We contemplated legal action and decided to use the funds it would take for other marketing measures.  Born of this tragic event was our current news feed The LIME Magazine.

Soon after that first year, Facebook and Twitter started to become known to the public at large and I immediately knew they would become tools like none other when it came to branding, whether it be personal or professionally bound.  No longer was our original content simply consumed, but the engagement factor lead us to have actual relationships and even derive business from people around the globe that we/I had never met in person.  How exciting it was to have that first paying client from London and a second from Hong Kong.  We were officially a global brand.

Having built such a brand so quickly and effectively led Ardynn MG (Media Group) into areas of business that we had never dreamed of.  Who knew that we would become major political players in our local market.  And all because we understood, better than any other, the potential reach of social media.  So stop thinking of yourself or your brand as a local entity, when we all have a global presence whether we want it or not.  So learn the rules of international business and take charge of the resources you have been granted.


Crucial Tips for Advertising Grads and Professionals Alike – Copyright

In today’s age of copy/paste/save image/share, many professionals have found themselves with a dual career….that of their chosen field AND marketer. And just because technology allows for the ease of sharing multimedia content, DOES NOT mean it should be shared. The consequences of copyright infringement can not only be extremely costly, but can pose a seriously negative impact on your personal/professional brand.
While the sources and content mentioned in this post about Creative Commons license are a great starting point, I have always tried to steer clients away from such usage. As mentioned, you really don’t want to find yourself up against the Metallica of Photographers because you used, or worse altered, a piece of proprietary video/audio/imagery.  
Another reason I advise clients away from Creative Commons licensing is that these images, videos and audio tracks are used A LOT more frequently and, particularly with marketing collateral, a brand wants to be unique and remembered. If 10,000 other bloggers are using the same image, then what is there to help you be remembered?!? Consumers are very visual and images are more memorable than a clever headline.

There are a multitude of resources for bloggers, marketers and professionals to use that are either subscription based or single use/purchase based…….ROYALTY FREE. It is well worth the cost and is tax deductible. I have used various services over the years and have found iClipart.com the best for my needs at this point and time.  

Each professional or person should sit down and go over their marketing and business plans when making the decision to purchase a subscription.  

If you are a blogger that is simply writing for your own benefit and not aiming to build or target a large audience then take the time to take a picture yourself and save the money.

Professionals and Brands MUST ENSURE they are protecting themselves at all times and they want to make sure that the license they purchase allows for multiple use, and gives the ability for client/ reader sharing. There are services out there that allow a marketer to purchase the rights to an image for single usage, but not allow for that image to be shared by others. If this is the case then make sure that you or your development team can block the image/video/audio from being shared, copied or saved to camera roll.

A special warning to those that are talented enough to overlay a soundtrack onto a video. DO NOT ever use a song from an artist that is living and where the copyright has yet to expire (which is 100 years in most cases!). Even if the artist is dead, someone owns the rights to that song!

While using Tailor Swifts latest hit as the background for your next Open House video may seem like a great way to draw attention to it, recording artists are suing for copyright infringement more now than ever before. Thanks to technology, they lose more money than they make.

Why take chances that are easily avoided. Just because you are a little guy, does not mean you can’t be got! Remember the 10,000s of people that were fined for downloading illegal copies of songs from Napster.

Royalty Free Image/Video/Audio Sources

Images and Video Sources:

  • iClipart.com
  • iPhoto.com
  • iStockphoto.com
  • Shutterstock.com
  • Imagesource.com
  • GettyImages.com
  • fololia.com

Audio and Song Sources:

  • Premiumbeat.com
  • audioblocks.com
  • GettyImages.com
  • gmpmusic.com
  • epidemicsound.com

Michael Harris-Arzon

The Simplistic Professional