TAG Expands Service Line Offerings

TAG Expands Service Line Offerings

 

Davenport, Iowa – The region’s most comprehensive marketing and communications services provider is expanding its client offerings. TAG has established a Public Relations/Public Affairs practice within the agency. In making the announcement, TAG Chief Executive Officer, Mike Vondran says, “Focus on new, ‘break-through’ digital marketing tactics has ignited TAG’s success and client growth in recent years. But, it also has distracted many TAG clients from more traditional, ‘tried-and-true’ marketing activities. By offering a ‘one-stop-shopping’ solution, our clients will now benefit from a more coordinated and highly effective marketing program.”

According to Vondran, this new TAG specialty practice is a response to growing client recognition of the value of broader, coordinated customer outreach beyond the ‘social-sphere.’ Services provided by the new practice include general interest media and trade press relations, government affairs and advocacy, guerilla marketing and special events. “These tactics influence and strengthen brand image when employed in conjunction with additional web-based and social media marketing,” Vondran adds.

TAG’s Public Relations/Public Affairs practice is led by TAG Senior Vice President, Ken Croken, who joined the firm earlier this year. Croken served as Chief Marketing Officer at Genesis Health System. He previously led the consumer technology practice at Edelman PR Worldwide in New York City and was the corporate communications “lead” for the global government industry marketing division of IBM Corporation in Washington, D.C.

Commenting on the announcement, Croken says, “While the marketing and sales landscape has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, one key principle has not. Comprehensive and relentless brand management is critical to consumer preference and business success. New trends and shifting circumstances only underscore the imperative of a ‘go-to-market’ strategy that employs all effective tactics, not just the most recent.”

TAG, established in 1990, began with a firm foundation in broadcast production and media. Since then we’ve evolved to meet the needs of our clients and build their brands. TAG provides web design and development, social media marketing, video production, SEO, public relations, public affairs and much more. We invest in the stories and success of our clients and meet every challenge with creative thinking and enthusiasm. For more information visit www.tagteam.agency.

How to Create a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

You start your day getting up, showering, brushing your teeth, grabbing a cup of coffee on the run and finally making it to the office. What’s the first thing you do? Check your email. We all do it. In fact, the average office worker receives 120 emails every day! With so much to sift through, a lot of emails can get lost in the shuffle. Create a successful email marketing strategy to keep your company top-of-mind and to engage with both current and prospective customers.

Create Segmented Email Lists

Have you been sending every email to every person who’s ever subscribed to your emails? Yikes! It’s time for that to change. To continue to build your email lists you can solicit subscriptions on your website and social sites. But, instead of simply having an individual provide their name and email address, create a more robust form. After they provide the basics, ask additional questions to get to know the customer. How often do they want to receive emails from you? What are they interested in hearing about from your business? What do their buying habits look like? Questions like this will allow for you to create separate email lists and speak directly to their interests when crafting your emails, increasing your chances of conversion.

Establish Your End Goal

Before you begin writing your email, start by figuring out what it is that you want your audience to do. Are you looking to increase traffic to your website? Attend an event? Write a review? Then, what does a successful campaign look like for that specific objective? Not only will this strategy help you to write your send, but it will also prove to be beneficial when it comes the measuring its success and showing real, measurable ROI.

Content Creation

Once you’ve established a goal for your email, writing will be a breeze! Make sure the content provides your audience with enough information to pique their interest, but short enough to where they aren’t reading paragraphs. Call-to-action buttons (Learn More, Contact Us, RSVP, Book An Appointment, etc.) are particularly helpful in inciting action from your audience while increasing the chances of a click-through to a website or other landing page. Make the content as personal as possible. Sprinkle in verbiage that makes your audience feel like you’re just talking to them, as opposed to the hundreds of people on your list.

Mind Your Design

When writing your email, incorporate as much of your brand as possible – i.e. logos, color schemes, fonts, etc. so that it’s an accurate representation of your brand standards and so that your audience can identify that the email is from you and isn’t spam. Before you go ahead and schedule your email or press “send,” send a preview to yourself and view it on a mobile device, desktop and tablet to catch any formatting issues proactively rather than retroactively.

Consistency is Key

Remember when we were creating segmented email lists and asked our audience how often they’d like to hear from us? Well, it’s time to make good on those requests. Some people may want to hear from you once every week, while others may opt for less frequent communication. Or, if you can’t commit to sending more than a couple emails every month, tell them! It’s important to set a clear expectation up front and then follow through.

Analyze

Email isn’t something you can “set and forget.” Every month, sit down and look at how each individual email performed. What were your open, delivery, and click-through rates? Does certain content receive more engagement than others? What kind of devices is your audience using to open and view your emails on? Do certain times of the (AM/PM) day have an effect on email performance? After each send, take a look at your email’s data and draw some conclusions in order to determine the most valuable content for your consumers and your business.

Want more? Let’s talk! TAG’s Digital Media Team can help you in all areas of Email Marketing – from design and email list creation to copy, and beyond!

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Generational Marketing: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennial’s & Gen Z

In order to effectively communicate your messages, you need to know who you’re talking to.

A lot of marketers like to create a persona who embodies the ideal audience member for their brand.

For example, Old Navy’s target buyer persona is named Jenny. According to Old Navy’s former president Tom Wyatt, Jenny is:

  • Aged 25-34
  • College educated
  • Married with kid(s)
  • Earns between $40,000 and $70,000 annually
  • Interested in: apparel, fashion and beauty – on a budget

 

By creating a persona that aligned with their brand and tailoring ads to speak to “Jenny,” Old Navy exceeded both of its upscale sister brands, Gap and Banana Republic, in profits.

So, after you’ve established who you’re talking to, along with their likes and dislikes, it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. For example, if your target buyer persona is a sixty-some year old man, you’re going to use different strategies and platforms to share your messaging than you would if your persona was a twenty-something female.

Below we’ll walk you through what each living generation looks like, where they’re consuming media and how to target them with your marketing messages.

Baby Boomers

The first generation we’re visiting is the Baby Boomer. This generation spends the most money, yet they only make up 5-10% of digital marketing efforts.

  • Aged 54 – 72
  • Spend time reading blogs and online articles
  • Spend 27 hours per week online
  • 19% more likely to share content than any other generation
  • Facebook is their most-used social platform
  • Watch an average of three hours per day of traditional TV, most likely to consume traditional media
  • Interested in products and services for themselves, their children and their grandchildren
  • Famous Baby Boomers: Fabio, Madonna, Phil Robertson

The Takeaway: Traditional media, for Baby Boomers, is still alive and well and a great way to reach members of this generation. A carefully crafted and targeted Facebook Advertising campaign is also an opportunity to reach members of this generation, especially with Baby Boomers being more likely to share content than any other generation. If you do decide to create Facebook Video Ads targeting Baby Boomers, remember that they shouldn’t be as fast-paced as a Facebook Ad targeting Millennials or members of Gen Z.

Source: Smart Insights

Generation X

Members of Gen X make up 31% of the total U.S. income, yet they only comprise 25% of the population.

  • Aged 38 – 53
  • Make a middle class income
  • Outspend all other generations in: housing, clothing, eating out, and entertainment
  • 81% have a Facebook profile and use it to keep up with their children and to consume news
  • Spend seven hours per week on social media
  • 85% watch traditional TV, 62% read a newspaper and 48% listen to the radio regularly
  • Famous Gen X’ers: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon

The Takeaway: Traditional media continues to work with marketing efforts targeted to members of Gen X, with high consumption rates in traditional TV, radio and even newspaper. This generation is more likely to spend money on nights out and entertainment than other generations because of their middle-class income, so try a campaign geared towards selling them an “experience” rather than focusing on a specific product or service.

Source: Vision Critical

Millennials

The largest group out of the living generations with over 92 million members in the U.S., and they make up a quarter of the nation’s population.

  • Aged 23 – 38
  • Least likely to shop for goods in-store
  • 95% believe their friends are the most credible source of product information
  • Spend a total of $600 billion in the United States annually
  • 41% use Facebook daily
  • Spend 25 or more hours per week online
  • 65% start interactions with a brand online
  • Consume more digital video and media than the average person
  • Most used social platforms: Facebook (83%), Instagram (53%), Twitter (37%), and Pinterest (34%)
  • Famous Millennials: Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez

The Takeaway: Millennials are learning about new products and purchasing them online so digital advertising is key. With this generation putting so much emphasis on peer recommendations as the most credible source of product information, encourage your social media followers to write a review of your business on Google or on Facebook. While not every review written will be positive, be sure you respond to everyone who takes the time to share their experience with your brand online. Doing so will build up your brand transparency - something that’s important to Millennials.

Sources: MediaKix, WordStream, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Ascend

 

 Gen Z

Makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.

  • Aged 6 – 22
  • Digital natives (they don’t know a world without the internet, smartphones)
  • Multi-task across five different screens
  • Have an attention span of 8 seconds – less than a goldfish
  • 85% learn about new products on social media
  • 50% of Gen Z’ers don’t think they could live without YouTube
  • 24% think Facebook is for “old people,” but use the platform to stay in touch with family and relatives
  • Most used social platforms: YouTube (95%), Instagram (69%), Facebook & Snapchat (67%), and Twitter (52%)
  • Famous Gen Z’ers: Shawn Mendes, Kylie Jenner and Yara Shahidi

The Takeaway: With an attention span that’s less than a goldfish, it’s important to peak Gen Z’s attention in three seconds or less, otherwise they’re already scrolling onto the next piece of content. Then, once you do capture their attention it’s important to get right to the point – what do you want them to do? You’ll find success in reaching and engaging members of Gen Z with YouTube bumper and/or TrueView ads, as they’re most likely to be on YouTube than any other social platform.

 

Sources: Vend, AdWeek

 

Want more? TAG’s team of professionals does this for a living. Let’s talk about your target buyer persona and build a killer campaign!

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Marketing to Generation Z


Knowing your target audience is important to effectively market your business. For example, audience members for an interior design business are typically going to look, and act, a lot differently than audience members for a company selling beef jerky. Defining your audience is key in getting your business’ message in front of people who are ready to engage and convert.

Just when you think you’ve mastered marketing to Millennials, a new generation comes running through the doors full speed ahead. Allow us to introduce you to Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. There are over 23 million people in the U.S. alone who identify as members of Gen Z and it is considered America’s most diverse, multicultural generation to date.

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is characterized by their initiative and entrepreneurial skills. They grew up during tough times (post 9/11, the recession) and over half of the generation is already actively saving for retirement, in fear that they will never have social security to claim.

Celebrity endorsements really resonated with a Millennial audience and this remains true when talking to members of Gen Z as well. But, Gen Z puts importance on transparency so if celebrities are in the ads they’re seeing, they prefer the endorser discloses that they’re getting paid to talk about a brand or product. Authenticity is (major) key! 

What social platforms do they prefer?

While Gen Z spends most of their time on YouTube, they do still utilize other social platforms – but for different reasons.

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Source: Defy Media Acumen Survey (March 2017)

They’re most likely to keep in touch with friends on Snapchat, while Facebook is where they keep tabs on Grandma. YouTube comes out on top for where Gen Z is interested in getting shopping recommendations (product reviews) and how-to videos (tutorials).

Gen Z loves technology – and as they should. They grew up with accessibility to technology and don’t know a world without the internet, cell phones or Mark Zuckerberg. Gen Z’s dependency on tech has already impacted the way businesses are marketing their products and services. They consume information online – with YouTube leading the charge. YouTube is how members of Gen Z learn how to change a tire, bake a cake, learn an instrument, and more! In fact, 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly and 50% believe they can’t live without it.

With so much focus on digital, traditional media (TV) has taken a back seat. But don’t get it confused, video consumption continues to grow – it’s just on more non-traditional platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and ConnectedTV. In fact, these platforms are instrumental in getting video messages across to members of Gen Z.

How do I reach Gen Z?

Gen Z is really in-tune with brands that are being genuine and authentic in their marketing, more so than any other generation. They identify and focus on meaningful brand interactions and are most likely to dismiss marketing efforts that come across as insincere. Because Gen Z prioritizes transparency, social channels, like Instagram, give consumers the opportunity to

learn and interact with businesses more organically. Gen Z prefers unobtrusive brand messaging, which is evident in the rise, and success, of influencer marketing.

Your business can also reach members of Gen Z by creating a YouTube channel and uploading engaging and informative content. Or, if you’re looking for paid advertising opportunities, YouTube TrueView and/or Bumper Ads will deliver your messages on platforms Gen Z is already using in a cost-effective manner.

To put together a comprehensive marketing approach for Gen Z, talk with the TAG Team. We build brands that matter.

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Digital Tactics


Often, the biggest hurdle for advertisers is making sure that the right message is seen by the right people at the right time. And over the years, advertisers and marketers have developed and implemented creepy, but cool, ways to make that happen through the use of different digital tactics.

Digital targeting takes on many different forms and can be executed multiple ways – it really just depends on what’s best for your message and your target audience. Below are five digital tactics that the TAG team has found extremely effective.

1. Mobile Targeting

Advertisers have the ability to target their intended audience through their mobile devices. Targeting ads on a mobile device are cool because you can capture, or target, people who have visited your competitors – online or in-store – with your messaging. Mobile targeting also allows you to vary your messages by time of day, what they’ve searched for online, or what’s happening with the weather!

2. YouTube

Bumper ads are the 6-second, non-skippable ads that play before a user’s video on YouTube. Because of their length, bumper ads are great for building brand awareness and they act as a nice reinforcement for other digital strategies. Another digital tactic we love is YouTube TrueView which are longer in length and more educational than a bumper ad. TrueView ads are connected to Google, meaning you can get extremely granular with your targeting because it knows your audience’s search history and patterns. Just be careful your messages don’t become too targeted because you may miss someone in the upper funnel.

3. Native Advertising

Native ads are great because they take on the form of whatever website a user is visiting, making your advertisement come across as less intrusive and more conversational. Click-through-rates for native ads can perform up to 10x higher than other display ads, just make sure that your ad doesn’t come off as click-bait.

4. ConnectedTV

Connected TV is defined as a television set that is connected to the internet via built-in capabilities, a media streaming device, gaming console, or Blu-ray player, and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content. As of right now, there are three different ways to advertise on ConnectedTV: in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and home screen placements.

Creepy but cool, right?! What’s even crazier is that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital advertising tactics! If you’re wanting to take your digital strategy to the next level, drop the TAG team a line and let’s talk.

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Croken Joins TAG as Senior Vice President of Business Development

Ken Croken_v2Effective February 5, 2018, Ken Croken is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at TAG. He joins the agency after serving as the Chief Marketing Officer at Genesis Health System for 15 years.

“I’m incredibly excited to begin working with TAG,” Croken said. “This agency is growing its capabilities and innovative strategies every day and I am looking forward to creating new business opportunities for such a talented team.”

Croken will be responsible for business development in the region and beyond, bringing more than 25 years of strategic communication and marketing experience in the consumer technology, entertainment, legal, professional services, and political arenas to the TAG team.

“Ken’s addition to TAG will prove invaluable in our efforts to better serve current and new clients,” said Mike Vondran, TAG CEO.

During his time at Genesis, Croken was instrumental in the health system’s branding efforts including its logo signage. He is also credited for implementing new employee engagement programs.

Online Reputation Management


Over the years, the digital sphere has evolved into a soapbox for people’s opinions and experiences with brands and businesses. And now, more than ever, those same opinions and experiences are directly impacting whether potential customers and/or clients do business with you. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before even visiting a business.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, people are talking about you online, and while you can’t control what people say, you can control your response while maintaining your values with effective online reputation management.

Be the first to know what your customers and clients think.

Between Yelp!, Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, etc. there are countless online spaces for your audience to speak about you, be it positive or negative. And while you can’t necessarily control what they post, you can control when you see it and how you react. Be the first to see when someone is talking about your business online by setting up Google alerts, checking in on hashtags and tags on social media and monitoring reviews at least twice per day. That way, you’ll be able to respond in a timely, professional manner to squash any untruths, or praise any wins!

You can’t control what people say, but you can control how you react.

We’ve all heard of internet trolls – people with negative dispositions who rapidly type away inflammatory and ficticious claims against people, news and businesses. Or, there’s the emotionally fueled review of a one-time experience. How do you distinguish between the two? By treating both claims as important and valid.

You know the old saying, “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it?” Remember this before you sit down to address negative comments or reviews. It’s important to respond to all comments the same – in a professional, respectful and timely manner. Wink® Frozen Desserts does a great job at responding to negative comments about their brand.

Know what you’re posting.

Educate yourself daily on trending hashtags and newsworthy stories. A post from your business could come off as insensitive or offensive, even without that being the intent. Be sure the content that you share goes through an internal, or even external, approval process to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Train your staff.

This means your whole staff. Every one of your employees is a direct reflection of your company so the experience someone has inside of your building should also mirror the experience they have with your brand online. Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your customer service expectactions to ensure a seamless experience, no matter the place!

Need some help? TAG’s team is ready to help you with your online reputation management. Our phones are buzzing around the clock with emails, messages, comments, reviews, and more and we’re committed to providing professional, timely responses. Learn more about how TAG can help with your online reputation management below!

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Changes to the Facebook Algorithm: What it Means for Your Business

Changes to the Facebook Algorithm: What it Means for Your Business

The news is everywhere: Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement last Thursday that Facebook users would begin to see more posts from friends and family, and fewer posts from brands, celebrities and news outlets.

The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview.

But, what does this mean for your business’s Facebook presence?

In the simplest terms, it means that your page’s organic reach will once again be declining and fewer fans will automatically see your content displayed in their feeds. Although these changes may seem daunting, there are several ways to continue to use Facebook to keep your brand in front of your target audience.

 

  1. Tell a Story
    There is nothing more personal than telling a story, and personal stories of staff, customers and your community will continue to be content that engages, resonates and creates a positive feeling amongst your audience. Find creative ways to portray your messages via stories that inspire, engage and incite emotion.
  2. User-Generated Content
    “The importance of user-generated content, which has already been proven to be the No. 1 driver of social influence on purchase decisions, is greater than ever if posts from friends and family are going to be prioritized above all else,” said Katherine Hays, CEO, Vivoom.
  1. Engage!
    Likes, comments and shares will continue to be a way to push your content into your audiences’ feeds. The more likes, comments and shares, the more relevant the content. The fewer the engagements, the less likely it is for your audience to see your posts.
  2. Video Features
    While Facebook may diminish the amount of views on some video content, like publishers who just overlay text on stock video, thoughtful and engaging video content will continue to thrive on the platform. In order to stand out, utilize features such as native video and live video to differentiate your message in an engaging format.
  3. Effective Advertising
    Get the right message in front of your target audience through Facebook Advertising. But don’t just boost a post to a generic audience, find the right type of Ad and narrow your audience to ensure your message resonates.Visit our blog for our Five Rules of Facebook Advertising for more details.

 

 

At TAG, we take social media very seriously, and it’s our job to stay on top of changes that affect businesses and brands across all platforms.  If you have questions about what this new algorithm means for your business, let’s talk. Our team of social media strategists will help you put a plan in place to make sure your content hits the mark!

 

 

Advertising On Connected TV

If you ask any Millennial or Gen Z’er what it is that they do for fun, a healthy majority will list off curling up on a couch and binge-watching their favorite tv show.

More and more people are turning away from traditional TV and are tuning in via Connected TV (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, YouTube, HBO GO, etc.).

What is Connected TV?

According to Centro, Connected TV is defined as a television set that is connected to the internet via built-in capabilities, a media streaming device, gaming console, or Blu-ray player, and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content.

Right now, 69% of households have a Connected TV, with that number projected to increase year-over-year. Similar to traditional TV’s audience, Connected TV users are using the platforms to watch full episodes of their favorite shows and to tune-in to live events like The World Series and The Emmys.

While the audience that consumes traditional TV is skewed older, Connected TV’s audience is younger and more affluent with a median age of 31. So, if your advertising tactics are strictly focused on traditional TV, you’re missing out on reaching an important audience.

Right now, there are three different ways to reach your audience using Connected TV advertising: in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and home screen placements.

In-Stream Video

In-stream video ads are :15s or :30s non-skippable ads that play either before the user’s program or during breaks. This kind of advertisement is a really great way to repurpose spots created for TV to earn impressions and reach other demographics.

Interactive Pre-Roll

Just like in-stream video, interactive pre-roll ads play before and during the user’s show, but it gives the user the option to interact with the ad. In the example below, Snickers made a game out of their interactive pre-roll ad for YouTube which ends up not feeling like an ad at all, but rather a fun and memorable interaction with a brand.

Home Screen Placements

This option is the least intrusive ad type on Connected TV. These ads are placed on the home screen of a Connected TV app and have the capabilities to feature interactive calls-to-action like, “Click to Learn More.”

Let’s Get Connected

So where do you start? First, define your audiences. Are your clients or consumers viewing more traditional or Connected TV?

Then, figure out the goal of your messaging. Do you want to send your audience members to a landing page and collect leads or are you more interested in earning impressions?

Next, take a look at your options for Connected TV platforms. For example, Netflix is still an advertising-free platform whereas Hulu and YouTube are not.

Finally, it’s time to put together a creative and memorable ad to serve to your audience. That’s where TAG comes in. Let’s talk about your digital strategy and figure out a campaign to deliver measurable results.

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Recipe: Easy & Basic Caramel Apple Pecan Bars

Bundle up and head to your nearest apple orchard, because we’re in the mood for baking!

To continue with the basic theme, Anne and I decided to treat you to one of our favorite Pinterest recipes that will have even your harshest critics coming back for seconds.

We present: Caramel Apple Pecan Bars, a recipe courtesy of The Gunny Sack!

To get started, you’ll need:

  • 1 Spice Cake mix
  • 1 Stick butter, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Granny Smith (green) apples
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Extras:

  • Ice cream
  • Caramel sauce (we used Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping)
  • Chopped pecans

Get Cooking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Combine cake mix, egg and butter and mix well in a medium bowl
  3. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper and grease
  4. Pat the cake mixture into the pan
  5. Peel and chop the apples
  6. Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in medium bowl and mix well
  7. Distribute coated apples evenly over the top of the cake mixture in pan
  8. Top with chopped pecans
  9. Drizzle whole can of sweetened condensed milk
  10. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes
  11. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, caramel sauce and chopped pecans

…and voila! Just like that, you’ve mastered the art of baking!

Can’t get enough basic? Master these four digital elements to give your strategy the face-lift it needs this fall!

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