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Library Marketing 101: Fun, cheap, and easy ways to promote your library (with a little pre-planning) ! Alexandra Simons Librarian, History/Political Science/Gov.

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Presentation on theme: "Library Marketing 101: Fun, cheap, and easy ways to promote your library (with a little pre-planning) ! Alexandra Simons Librarian, History/Political Science/Gov."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library Marketing 101: Fun, cheap, and easy ways to promote your library (with a little pre-planning) ! Alexandra Simons Librarian, History/Political Science/Gov Docs Chair, Marketing Committee University of Houston Libraries

2 Before you dive in  Set your goals – what do you want to accomplish?  Find out what your students, faculty and community really want from your library

3 Develop a Marketing Plan

4 How do I do that? Form a marketing committee

5 How do I do that? Form a marketing committee Use someone else’s strategic marketing plan and make it fit your organization

6 How do I do that? Form a marketing committee Use another library’s strategic marketing plan and make it fit yours Check fun and useful guide books

7 How do I do that? Contact your college’s marketing department and find out what they’re doing, especially with branding

8 How do I do that? Contact your college’s marketing department and find out what they’re doing, especially with branding Go online to see what other community colleges are doing

9 How do I do that? Contact your college’s marketing department and find out what they’re doing, especially with branding Go online to see what other community colleges are doing Use free survey programs to find out what your users want from you, for example:

10 Strategic planning helps you…  Define what your users want and need  Pinpoint library services most important to users  Develop a consistent message  Market a recognizable brand  Streamline communications

11 SWOT analysis Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats By identifying these key factors, your plan will target the most effective ways to market your library. Strengths Comfortable and flexible facility High satisfaction Heavy usage of building and equipment Weaknesses Odd study hours No service points in stacks & reading areas Outreach schedule at odds with customer needs Opportunities Word of mouth marketing Integration into upper-level classes Unification of all service points in Access Services Threats Lack of integration into Blackboard, other UH sites Lack of communication Insufficient quiet space Example from the UH Marketing Plan

12 We’ve got the plan! Now what?

13 Start Getting Creative!

14 Some fun, free, ( or at least cheap) ideas!  Use social media outlets to spread the word

15 Some fun, free, ( or at least cheap) ideas!  Use social media outlets to spread the word Start a word-of-mouth campaign utilizing your patrons’ positive experiences

16 Some fun, free, ( or at least cheap) ideas!  Use social media outlets to spread the word Start a word-of-mouth campaign utilizing your patrons’ positive experiences  Create YouTube videos using your campus’s graphic design & marketing students

17 Some fun, free, ( or at least cheap) ideas!  Use social media outlets to spread the word Start a word-of-mouth campaign utilizing your patrons’ positive experiences  Create YouTube videos using your campus’s graphic design & marketing students  Create blogs using free blogging software

18 Some fun, free, ( or at least cheap) ideas!  Use social media outlets to spread the word Start a word-of-mouth campaign utilizing your patrons’ positive experiences  Create YouTube videos using your campus’s graphic design & marketing students  Create blogs using free blogging software  Collaborate with other community colleges to plan and promote events

19 Using Social Media  Make sure you have a strong brand and a consistent message

20 Using Social Media  Make sure you have a strong brand and a consistent message  Don’t overwhelm your patrons – send out announcements and messages for specific events

21 Using Social Media  Make sure you have a strong brand and a consistent message  Don’t overwhelm your patrons – send out announcements and messages for specific events  Check with your campus marketing department to get guidelines and/or restrictions on using social media

22 Using Social Media  Make sure you have a strong brand and a consistent message  Don’t overwhelm your patrons – send out announcements and messages for specific events  Check with your campus marketing department to get guidelines and/or restrictions on using social media  Go to YouTube, Facebook, and other sites to see what other libraries are doing

23 So, how do I put it all together? 2 case studies

24 Case Study 1: UH Libraries Mobile Site Launch The Web Services department asked the Marketing Committee to help advertise its new mobile site. Consistent branding and a strong message helped spread the word!

25 Case Study 1: Mobile Site Launch Post cards, posters, and table tents featuring real students! We know how to use the QR code!

26 Case Study 1: Mobile Site Launch Campus Newspaper Ad

27 Case Study 2: McIntyre Library’s “How I Met My Valentine”  Used Facebook to launch the contest

28 Case Study 2: McIntyre Library’s Valentine’s Day Contest  Used Facebook to launch the contest  Posted fliers around campus and in the library

29 Case Study 2: McIntyre Library’s Valentine’s Day Contest  Used Facebook to launch the contest  Posted fliers around campus and in the library  Had participants come to the library to get their prizes

30 Case Study 2: McIntyre Library’s “How I Met My Valentine”  The first contest went so well, they added an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” campaign!

31 How do I know if the campaign was successful (or not)? Follow-up and Assessment

32 Follow-Up and Assessment: Finds out if your pre-planning paid off

33 Follow-Up and Assessment: Finds out if your pre-planning paid off Figures out why and if patrons responded to your campaign

34 Follow-Up and Assessment: Finds out if your pre-planning paid off Figures out why and if patrons responded to your campaign Helps plan for future campaigns

35 Follow-Up and Assessment: Finds out if your pre-planning paid off Figures out why and if patrons responded to your campaign Helps plan for future campaigns Lets you tweak your approach to better meet your patrons’ needs

36 Follow-Up and Assessment: Finds out if your pre-planning paid off Figures out why and if patrons responded to your campaign Helps plan for future campaigns Lets you tweak your approach to better meet your patrons’ needs Gives you statistics to take back to library and college administration (maybe you’ll get some $$$!)

37 Last Thoughts You may find that you don’t really need or want to do marketing for your library, at least not right now. That’s OK! Just keep in mind that there are lots of examples and tools to choose from if you do decide to take the plunge! Sometimes the most outrageous and silly ideas turn out to be winners! Don’t be afraid to be creative.

38 Questions?

39 Thanks! Please let me know if you have any additional questions or would like to follow up with me on your own marketing ideas. Most of all, have fun! Alex Simons

40 Some Helpful (and FREE) Resources Blogging software Organizing & editing photos Managing social media – Use Chirpstats to learn more about your Twitter followers – who’s following YOU – post from anywhere to anywhere

41 Some Helpful (and FREE) Resources Assessment Multi-Use A Helpful (but not FREE) Resource

42 References  Dempsey, K. (2009). The accidental library marketer. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.  Dowd N., Evangeliste M., Silberman J. (2010). Bite-sized marketing: Realistic solutions for the overworked librarian. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.  Drake, M. A. (2010). Academic library challenges. Searcher, 18(9), Retrieved from  Empey, H. & Black, Nancy E. (2006). Marketing the academic library: building on the your library” framework. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 12(1), 19.  Germano, M. A. (2010). Narrative-based library marketing: selling your library's value during tough economic times. The Bottom Line, 23(1), 5. Retrieved from QD QD  Halpin, P. (2006). Marketing the proprietary college library. Florida Libraries, 49(1), Retrieved from e9ca703&fmt=HPDF: e9ca703&fmt=HPDF:  Harris, A., & Rice, S. E. (2008). Gaming in academic libraries: Collections, marketing, and information literacy. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.  Jennings, E., Tvaruzka,K. (2010). Quick and dirty library promotions that really work. Journal of Library Innovation, 1(2) Retrieved from  Lauby, S. (2009). 10 must-haves for your social media policy. Mashable.com, accessed 4/21/1110 must-haves for your social media policy  Lewis, A. (2006). Nonprofit Organizational Assessment Tool Marketing. UW Extension website, accessed 4/25/11Nonprofit Organizational Assessment Tool Marketing  Mathews, B. (2009). Marketing today's academic library: A bold new approach to communicating with students. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.  Seattle Central Community College. (2006). Seattle Central Community College Library Marketing Plan. Accessed 4/2/11.Seattle Central Community College Library Marketing Plan  van Leemput, G. (2011) Social media policies: trust better than control. J. Boye.com, accessed 4/21/11.Social media policies: trust better than control  Verostek, J. M. (2006). Affordable, effective, and realistic marketing. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 12(1), 119. Retrieved from


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