3 Types of Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then that means one minute of video is worth 1.8 million – making it one of the best and fastest growing tools for digital marketing.

According to Cisco, by 2019, videos will account for more than 85% of online traffic in the U.S.. Which makes sense when you think about it. When was the last time you logged into Facebook and didn’t see a video in your news feed? Probably a pretty long time ago. In fact, 55% of people watch videos online every day.

If video marketing isn’t currently in your digital strategy, it should be! But with all of the video already out there, it can be difficult to cut through all of the clutter. Below are three types of video you can use in your marketing to help your brand stand out.

360° Video

What is it? 360° video is shot with a special 360° camera that captures all directions, giving the viewer a 360° view of whatever it is that’s being filmed.  This type of video allows the viewer to explore the video’s surroundings, giving them the option to tilt up or down and side-to-side. If you’re watching a 360° video on your computer, simply press “Play” and then once the video starts, click and drag your mouse anywhere on the screen to explore.

How can I use 360° videos for my marketing? 360° videos are a great tool for real estate agents, hotels, or other brands who are trying to sell, or showcase, a location of interest to its audience.

TAG’s favorite example: This example is from QANTAS, Austrailia’s largest domestic and international airline, which used 360° video to take its user on a virtual tourism experience to one of their most popular and scenic holiday destinations.

Interactive Video

What is it?  Interactive video is a different type of interactive experience. An interactive video will often include prompts asking for user action or input, which in turn, impacts the sequence or events in the video, making it a personalized experience for the viewer. This type of video also allows for user feedback, making it easier for you as a brand to tap into your audience’s needs.

How can I use interactive video for my marketing? Some brands have had a lot of success by incorporating interactive video for educational and promotional content, along with recruitment efforts. Essentially, interactive video is a great tool to use if you’re looking to test products, track your consumer behavior and even collect audience analytics right from the video platform.

TAG’s favorite example: Deloitte is a multinational professional services firm that provides audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services, employing more than 244,400 professionals globally. While taxes may not be your idea of a good time, their interactive recruitment campaign will have you looking into their current openings because it’s that good!

deloitte

Virtual Reality

What is it?  Virtual reality, or VR, is a fully immersive experience for your user. The 3D environment, that’s often computer-generated, transfers your user into a virtual landscape, where they’re allowed to explore the virtual environment and interact with objects within that virtual sphere. Virtual reality is experienced through a headset and as the user moves, the goggles track those movements and updates the display.

How can I use virtual reality for my marketing? Virtual reality allows for your clients or consumers to not only hear things from you, but to see and feel. If your marketing objective is to provide your audience with an experience, allow them to explore, educate or to entertain them, VR might be the best option for you!

TAG’s favorite example: The American footwear company Merrel used virtual reality to engage with its audience members over the release of their new hiking boot, the Capra. The company known for its high-performance boots took participants along a dangerous mountain hike to showcase the durability of their new release.

Want to take your video marketing to the next level and stand-out from the competition? TAG has the capability to produce 360°, interactive and virtual reality video! Contact us today to give your campaign the creativity it needs!

How to Improve Workplace Productivity

“When the cat’s away, the mice will play.”

It can be difficult to keep your employees focused, especially if your office is an open layout. One employee starts talking about grievances with a friend, another jumps in, and before you know it, a half hour of work was just dedicated to helping “Bob,” instead of staying on track with the task-at-hand.

In fact, according to an Inc.com article, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average American is productive for only three hours of their 8-hour day.

THREE HOURS. You’ve binged watched “Making A Murderer” for longer than that.

So you’re wondering, ‘How do I increase my productivity at work?’

The good news is, it’s not just your short attention span that’s affecting your productivity, it’s also your work environment. Everything from noisy co-workers, to whether you sit by a window plays a role in how much you get done in a day.

Below are steps you can take to ensure you’re pulling your weight around the office:

1) Balance collaboration and concentration

86 minutes are lost each and every day because of noisy work environments

You can: Find a quiet space to escape if you feel yourself getting distracted or unplug from the group discussion with headphones. It’s suggested that there’s one enclosed room per every 12 employees.

2) Find the right light

Windows in workspaces provide 17.5% more light exposure than artificial lighting

You can: Sit in a workspace near a window. Not only will it have a positive effect on your productivity, but it’s also been said that people who sleep near windows sleep an average of 46 minutes more each night.

3) Transform your office with a royal makeover

Shades of blue promote tranquility and stability in the workplace and green encourages growth and prosperity while improving creativity

You can: Blue can have a positive effect on your employees. But, if you use too much, it can leave them with the “blues.” Instead of an entire room, choose an accent wall to paint blue in order to keep everyone in balance.

4) Master ergonomics 101

Providing workers with an ergonomic office chair can make them up to 17.5% more productive, while stand-up desks are proven to increase performance

You can: Better equip your employees for success by making sure they’re comfortable in their work environment. They spend an average of 8 hours per day in a chair, so make sure their workspace is making them both happy and productive.

5) Promote smart snacking

Productivity levels spike by 20% when employees are adequately nourished

You can: Encourage healthy at-work eating by stocking the break room with protein bars, granola, fruit, yogurt, jerky, and nuts.

6) Create an office oasis

Employees generate 15% more ideas when plants and flowers are present in the workplace

You can: Aside from having positive effects on your employees, plants can also improve your air quality. Strategically place plants around the building to help with productivity and office aesthetics.

7) Control the clutter

Employees spend an average of 6 weeks per year just looking for things

You can: Keep employees focused and on-task by making documents and information easily accessible, so they can spend more time working and less time looking.

As you can see from the video, TAG does a great job of implementing these tips to help our employees be as productive as possible. Find out more about TAG’s culture here.

Sources:

“INFOGRAPHIC: 9 Ways Office Design Creates a Productive Workspace.” Best Practices, Tips and Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2017.

The Best Places to Pig Out in Dubuque

The Best Places to Pig Out in Dubuque

Discover some of the best food around when you try any of these local restaurants in Dubuque! We asked members of the TAG team in the Dubuque office what some of their favorite places to grab a bite are. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Lot One

AJWeb developer, Andrew Haas, is a big fan of Lot One.

“You can find a great craft beer selection and the best tacos in town at Lot One.”

This laid back watering hole has pub style food and a fantastic, casual atmosphere. And the Reubens are amazing—actually, everything’s great!

If you’re looking for a great breakfast place, check out Lot One’s Sunday Funday menu. Every Sunday they’re cooking up some of the best omelets and pancakes in the area! There’s something on the menu for everyone at Lot One.

Kathleen HerberRubix

We can’t start our day without our morning coffee. For Kathleen Herber, Vice President of the Tri-State market, that means making a trip to Rubix.

“Rubix has great coffee, welcoming staff and a great atmosphere. You can’t beat it!”

The key to the excellent coffee is their locally grown coffee beans. The menu also includes delicious food and fantastic organic juices as well. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried their bacon chicken mac and cheese flatbread. If you’re looking for quick, delicious and diverse offerings, Rubix is your place!


L.May Eatery

We love L.May Eatery for the creative options, atmosphere and cocktails! From brick oven fired pizzas to amazing entrées that are changed seasonally, you literally can’t go wrong here! Better yet, they use locally grown ingredients and they have THE best sangria and martinis around. And the appetizer menu is fantastic, hands down best bruschetta in town!

You literally just can’t go wrong at L. May!

Copper Kettle

MikeThe Copper Kettle is a great place to relax with friends and family and enjoy great food and craft beers. The easygoing, lively bar & grill is a great spot for sports fans too, with multiple TVs. The service at Copper Kettle is fantastic and unparalleled.

From fresh salads and burgers to scotch eggs and white truffle parmesan fries, the eclectic menu is full of unique items. And if you haven’t tried the scotch egg yet, you should!

TAG CEO, Mike Vondran has been going to the Copper Kettle since he was a child.

“It’s fun to go back and have a flood of great memories every time. Besides, the food and service is outstanding.”

 

If you haven’t already, stop into the Copper Kettle, L. May Eatery, Rubix or Lot One for some of the best food around—you won’t regret it! These aren’t the only places that we love to frequent, but they’re some of our favorites. Is there a Dubuque restaurant we should be talking about? Let us know! Join our conversation on Facebook!

Expanding Our Presence in Dubuque

Expanding Our Presence in Dubuque

Kathleen HerberIn 2012, TAG was proud to open a second office in Dubuque, Iowa, filling a need in the region for a marketing and communications firm with an emphasis on strategic planning and growth.

As the Vice President Tri-State Region, Kathleen Herber and the team work to expand the reach of the TAG community through developing partnerships with local businesses. We have been partnering with firms within the Tri-State area for more than 25 years, and our expansion is a result of the local market needs that have been growing exponentially over the last few years. TAG is uniquely qualified to serve those investing in brand development and management as a full service firm. We pride ourselves on providing real continuity and genuine focus on brand and its successful integration and execution with real passion.

“Our physical growth is in direct response to the business growth we’ve seen in the last several months. The Tri-State region has really welcomed TAG with open arms and has been so very kind in terms of expanded relationships. Our mission at TAG is to become our client’s most valued business partner and we are very grateful that so many Dubuque area businesses and industries have given us that opportunity. We look forward to further growth and expansion in the months and years to come,” adds Mike Vondran, CEO of TAG.

Brand value in this digital age comes in a variety of messaging platforms, and while the marketplace is recognizing this, they rely on partners they can trust to truly capitalize on their brand equity and strategic messaging. That’s where we come in. Our mission is to be recognized as the most valued business partner by our clients. We’ve built our team based upon the ability to adapt, and move quickly and effectively in an evolutionary and responsive way.

Mike HeadshotWe’re building brands, and now with our additional space, we’re going to be able to make an even bigger impact for our clients. We’re excited to continue work in the Dubuque area with our unified commitment, uncommon energy and adventurous spirit!

As a Dubuque native, this expansion means a great deal to Vondran. “Dubuque is my home. I was raised in this community and it provided me with a very firm foundation to build upon. To come home and truly be a part of the local community once again is very rewarding. I am excited to see where we can go in partnership with this great community.”

If you’re in search of a full service agency to build your brand and work with you like no other agency will visit our website!

 

TAG Announces Staff Promotions As It Enters 26 Years in Business

Michael Vondran, CEO of TAG has announced the following staff promotions within the TAG executive team effective January 1, 2016.

Don_Mug_400_400_80_int_sDon Farber to Chief Creative and Digital Officer. Don has been serving as TAG Executive VP for the past two years. In his newly expanded role Don will drive all creative and digital services of the firm. “Don has been an outstanding leader as Executive Vice President, he has built a great team and is now ready to evolve the services and vision for TAG’s creative and digital teams. We look forward to great things with Don in the lead,” said Vondran.

“The world for our clients and ourselves continues to evolve with digital communications driving brand and sales, I’m confident Don will continue to enable TAG’s growth as the digital communications leader in the region,” said Randy (RJ) Jacobs, President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).

Natalie Johansen-Murray to Executive Vice President/Strategy. Natalie has been serving as VP of Natalie MurrayClient Strategy and Experience for the past two years. In her new role she will continue to provide leadership and business development assistance to the TAG account management team while also growing the strategic planning, research and Brand Summit products within the firm. “Natalie’s driving focus has been to build the best possible client experience when working with TAG, this will continue and expand with focus on emerging and evolving service lines,” according to Vondran.

“TAG is a team of enthusiastic and intense members, Natalie’s leadership will continue to strengthen our position as the regional leader that Builds Brands,” said Jacobs.

Kathleen Herber to Vice President / Tri States Market. Kathleen has been serving as Market Kathleen HerberDirector for the past two years growing and managing account relationships from the firm’s office located in Dubuque, Iowa. “Kathleen has been a tremendous addition to our TAG team, her focus on client development has been instrumental in our regional growth. Her new role will only amplify and enhance our efforts in service to TAG clients in the region,” stated Vondran.

“TAG’s expansion into the Tri-State region has been an exciting journey, Kathleen’s skills and client focus will only enhance the growth of our team to provide valued services to our client partners in the region,” declared Jacobs.

Five reasons to hire a professional Media Buyer

Media Buyer Image

Media buying may seem like a straightforward affair, but coordinating effective and efficient messaging across radio, television, print, outdoor and digital platforms can be more complicated than your company might be prepared to handle alone.  Here are five reasons why you should hire a professional Media Buyer instead.

  1.  Tools of the Trade.  Professional Media Buyers have specific software and other tools at their disposal that your company would typically not invest in.  These tools allow Media Buyers to use industry formulas and audience ratings subscriptions to make educated recommendations based on data-driven results.
  1. Big Picture.  Professional Media Buyers have the ability to see your company’s big picture.  Often times individual Sales Reps are focused on the products they provide and aren’t looking out for your company’s best interests.  Media Buyers look at all media objectively and make the best decision based on your target customers and overall marketing goals.
  1. Practice makes perfect.  Professionals are professional for a reason.Experienced Media Buyers have honed their negotiation skills and have established long term relationships with media partners that can lead to premium opportunities that an unexperienced buyer would not be able to leverage.  Experienced Media Buyers have industry knowledge and are able to recommend the right media mix to deliver your companies message to their target market.
  1. Budget friendly.  When planning what to buy, Media Buyers evaluate various factors which include but are not limited to station formats, pricing rates and demographics to create an optimized buy that serves your company’s campaign goals. Going it alone can end up being more expensive without the expertise of an experienced Media Buyer.   
  1. Everything in one place.  By working with a Media Buyer you are able to avoid the hassles of being inundated with calls from Media Sales Reps, having to decipher Media Invoices and the time spent researching all the different mediums available. Media Buyers become the point of contact for all media reps thus freeing up your time.

For more information about media buying and the services that TAG offers, visit our website.

Five tips to choose a web development partner

Your business website is more important than ever in today’s digital-savvy world. Often times your potential customers find your website before engaging with you directly. Your website needs to reflect your brand, drive business, collect leads and serve as a 24/7 inbound marketing machine.

There are many factors that go into choosing a web development partner for your new website. But we’ve narrowed down the top five considerations for choosing a firm to trust the future of your business’ online presence to.

Website Grader

Start with a discovery meeting

A discovery meeting is critical to creating a website that will work as an inbound marketing machine for your business. Designers, developers and copywriters are experts at creating websites; but, you are the expert in your business and industry. The discovery meeting allows your website design team to get to know your business goals, market expectancies and what you need the website to do for potential customers.

Only after a discovery meeting will you get a website that truly works for your business 24 / 7, and a true estimate of the cost to make it do exactly what you need it to.

Will the website be responsive?

The way we access the web is changing. Mobile and tablet usage is on the rise and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Mobile users want a website that is easy to read without having to turn or enlarge the screen. If your website doesn’t dynamically resize itself on a mobile device, 61 percent of people will leave and go to a competitor’s that does.

Is the website designed just for your business?

One way website developers cut corners is to use a template design for your website. While this can keep costs down, it also means there could be another business out there with a website that looks just like yours. In order to get the most ROI out of your website, it’s best to have it designed and developed specifically for your brand, business needs and objectives.

Use an open-source CMS instead of a proprietary one

A CMS, or content management system, is the back end of your website where you will be able to edit and make changes to the content. Some web developers use a proprietary CMS that was developed in-house. This can be problematic because you’re tied to the developer as long as you have the website.

However if your website is developed in an open-source CMS, you can cut ties and take the website with you when you go.

Optimize for search with a Google-certified specialist

Your brand new website won’t be very useful if your potential customers can’t find you. Search engine optimization is becoming much more about content on the page, than meta tags included into your website’s code. Writing for the web is an art form. It’s not like writing for print. Working with a Google-certified specialist to choose keywords that matter to your industry, and an experienced copywriter to weave them into the content throughout your website, will increase your search engine ranking.

Click here to learn more about the TAG web design and development process and how we can help turn your business website into an inbound marketing sales machine.

We have a few free tools to help you asses your current website and vet potential web developers. Click here  to download your free website grader determine the strengths of your current website’s marketing presence. And click here to download a web development services checklist to get all the right interview questions to ask potential web development partners.

 

Eight questions to ask before hiring a marketing firm

Choosing the right marketing firm for your business can be a lengthy and sometimes expensive process. With thousands of different marketing firms available worldwide, who all offer great design and a wide variety of conventional and digital marketing services, choosing the wrong partner can be very expensive and can hurt your brand. You have to research your options and make sure that the firm is the right fit for you, your brand and your business goals.

Here are 8 questions that will help you make the right decision

Do they practice what they preach?

You wouldn’t trust a dentist with bad teeth or a tailor in ill-fitting clothes, would you? When you are researching marketing firms check their website, social media pages and online search ranking. Most marketing firms will display their top capabilities on their own website. Make sure that the site is mobile friendly and research the quality of their content. For social media, see how often they post, what type of content they share, and how much engagement there is.

Who are their clients?

Depending on what type of business you have, you want to make sure the marketing firm can handle all your needs but also gives you the attention that you require. A good balance of large clients and smaller clients is recommended. If you compete in a certain industry, it helps if the firm has previous experience in a related sector as well.

Are they forward thinking?

The marketing industry moves fast. What worked two years ago might already be replaced by something completely new. You want to make sure that the marketing firm understands the most current marketing strategies. Check out their blog to see how often they post and how current their content is. A good marketing firm understands that it is their job to be your trusted marketing partner and keep you up to date on the latest marketing techniques and development to ensure you reach the highest return on investment.

Do they understand digital?

Every business needs an online strategy. With new online marketing solutions such as inbound marketing, social media marketing and Search Engine Optimization, it is key that your marketing firm understands the most current digital marketing strategies. To make sure that your digital brand messaging is in sync with your conventional brand messaging, a full service marketing firm with a strong digital department that can handle all your communication needs is the better choice.

How do they gain insight into your customers and prospects?

To make smart marketing decisions, your marketing firm needs to understand your customers and prospects. You want to make sure that your messaging speaks to your audience and converts impressions into leads or sales. Having a firm that understands your market and your industry and that utilizes marketing research information and industry information to make smart marketing decisions is key.

Do they take the time to understand your business?

In order for a firm to put together a solid marketing campaign, they have to understand your business. You trust them with your most valuable asset, and if they do not take adequate time to learn about your business, you should walk away. The marketing firm needs to understand your history, your vision, your ideal customers, your market area and your business goals. A good marketing firm creates a consistent message across all media that matches your business communication style and your vision. It creates an identity.

Do they explain their processes and do they outsource any of their services?

With more complex services such as Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, some firms will outsource this to save internal costs. It is very important that you understand who performs these services and what their processes are. Having the experts in house also streamlines the process and ensures that they understand your brand message and your marketing goals.

How long have they been in business?

The marketing services industry is very competitive. If the firm folds in the middle of your campaign, you will have to put it on hold and hope that you can convert everything to a new firm. This can be a lengthy and expensive process. Although you can never be 100 percent sure on this, marketing firms that have been in business for multiple years, who bring in new clients on a regular basis and are current on the most recent marketing techniques will be your best choice.

 

We think that TAG is your best option when it comes to working with a marketing firm, but we challenge you to come in and ask us these questions for yourself! Contact us today to start your marketing off on the right foot! TAG…we’re it!

Growing with the region

Policom Ranking

Over the past few years, the Quad Cities region has boomed with activity. From downtown developments, to large scale industrial expansions and residential spurs to the promise of high-speed rail service, the Quad Cities is certainly not lacking in growth.

At TAG, we are proud to call the Quad Cities home. Doing business in a community that embraces the need for growth, change and development, mirrors our internal vision.

We see the development around us as an opportunity to support the companies and industries we serve. As the Quad Cities region continues to bound with progress, so does TAG. Economic growth allows us to hire new, creative staff, expand business opportunities, innovate and create new strategy.

Is your business’ marketing and strategy prepared for growth with the region? What should you be thinking about as your business grows?

  • Communicating your vision: who are you as a company and how do you project your value to the region?
  • Planning for success: are you creating a road map for success when it comes to budget, priorities and timeline?
  • Evaluating progress and staying proactive: strategy is not a set it and forget it plan. Are you consistently evaluating and making changes?

At TAG, we’ve developed a way to help businesses create strategies and tactics that continue to move business forward to achieve long term goals and objectives.

Are you ready to keep growing? Find out how TAG can help!

 

Three ways Google AdWords can amp up your online advertising game

Google tops more than five billion searches daily and reaches more then 80 percent of all Internet users worldwide.

It’s no surprise then, its advertising service Google AdWords is so successful. It allows businesses to showcase their products and services on all that is Google – at a scalable fee.

Read on for three ways Google AdWords can amp up your online advertising game.

Paid Search

Google users rarely visit page two of their search results. Therefore, when a website is not organically in this top dozen or so, Google AdWords’ paid search helps boost traffic to the site by placing a link to the webpage either at the top or side sidebar of the search list.

Under the umbrella of paid search are extensions. The increasing number of blue underlined phone numbers and addresses under search results make getting into contact with businesses easier than ever. Desktop users no longer have to click on the site and search for this information and smartphone users can instantly call or get directions to the business.

Online Display

Online display allows you to show your advertisement on virtually any webpage. Simply choose your geographical target options (location, age, gender, etc.) and it will be displayed on a related site.

Remarketing

The latest addition to Google AdWords, remarketing is the process of “tagging” Internet users who visit your site, and then having your ads follow the person to where they cyber surf next.

For example, when your customer purchases an item from your website, they will see more frequent advertisements from your business on any website they visit in the future. Creepy, maybe. Effective, yes.

Specific strategies and target tactics are the backbone to a successful Google Ads campaign. The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone. Email me today for TAG Team expert assistance in managing your Google Ads.

Brian Marshall is Google AdWords certified.