Andy is our Lead Web Developer and understands things many earth lifeforms can’t even begin to comprehend. We ask him questions about what a developer even means and more importantly, which character in Star Wars he would be.
If you weren’t a developer and somehow became a superhero, whose superpowers would you choose to wield when Thanos and his army of minions invade Earth?
Being a bald man, I feel the need to give love to the few bald superheroes out there, so I’d have to choose the powers of Professor X. Not only does he look good, the mind control would come in handy also.
For people who don’t understand what a developer does, how would you put it in layman’s terms for people trying to comprehend what you do?
A developer basically takes a visual design, and uses coding and programming languages to translate it into what you will use and interact with on the internet.
If you could create the ultimate band/group of people to play together living or dead, who would be in your dream group and why?
I would have loved to hear what Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan would have done together. Mostly because Bob picked up where Woody left off, and seeing them grow together would have been wild.
What do you enjoy about programming? Do you like it for the sake of creating or the challenge or both?
The thing I enjoy most about programming is solving the puzzle of how to get everything to work. I’m a sucker for puzzles, and one with so many parts and variables excites me.
If you could have Jack Nicholson (your favorite actor) be in any movie during his prime, what would it be? (It can’t be Over The Top)
You know what would have been fun to see Jack as? Dumbledore in all the Harry Potter movies.
You have been at TAG for quite a few years now, any projects that you are particularly proud of or especially enjoyed working on?
I’ve always had a lot of fun working on multiple versions of the Hungry Hobo website. We’ve always been able to push the limits in terms of design and development on those, and they came out really cool.
If you could be any character in the Star Wars galaxy, who would you choose and why? (excluding Jar Jar Binks, no one wants that Andy)
I totally would want to be Lando Calrissian because he’s suave, charming, and wears a cape.
What is your favorite part about working at TAG?
I love working in a creative collaborative environment, and that the work we produce benefits from that.
Understanding your nonprofit’s brand identity is key when telling people what your organization is and its mission. Effectively marketing your non-profit and showcasing its identity gets your message out to more people, allowing for wider reach. You want to reach as many people as possible, and updating your web presence, utilizing social media and public relation events, you can start to gain a following.
TAG has assisted HAVlife™, an organization aimed at Preventing Lost Potential™ in youth ages 10 – 15, in crafting its brand identity and expressing how important the nonprofit’s mission is. TAG approached crafting an identity reflecting the nonprofit’s mission and resources it offers to students. By giving HAVlife™ a platform and web presence, it would be easier to showcase the organization and its mission.
Designing the HAVlife™ website, TAG clearly defines the HAVlife™ brand with a playful and unique user experience, while showing exactly what the mission is. Featuring videos of students pursuing their passions of artistry, athletics and music, the mission shines through. The site also includes the corresponding chapter pages of the HAVlife™ organization which include Dubuque and Johnson County. Each of these pages feature their own donation buttons and events corresponding to the area.
Marketing your nonprofit across various forms of media is also a necessity. TAG utilized digital design by creating Snapchat filters and digital media, including Facebook and Twitter, to market HAVlife™ to different audiences. Consistently posting and showing people that your organization is active in the community will expand your audience.
Presenting your nonprofit through public relations and hosting fundraisers is a great way to engage people. HAVlife™ hosts several annual fundraising events including the Martini Shake Off™ and a Golf Outing. These events have grown exponentially over the years, with the 2019 Martini Shake Off raising over $65,000 for local community organizations aimed at Preventing Lost Potential™.
If you are interested in learning now the TAG team can help market your nonprofit’s mission, contact us here.
Anne is our Vice President of Digital Services and recently returned from maternity leave and has not slept in months. She comes back to TAG because as Cardi B says, “I got a baby, I need some money.” We want to welcome her back with questions about her work ethic and other existential questions:
You have a baby now; did you mark it immediately to make sure people could identify it was yours?
I think people will definitely know she’s mine. She can’t even walk and already has a closet full of shoes, and is practicing her side-eye to give when people are saying something crazy to her. She’s got a big personality, loves to be around people and smiles when she farts. She’s a real blessing in our lives!
Working with social media, what do you find to be the most fascinating trend or impact regarding people interacting online?
Social Media has really opened the door to building relationships with people and brands who may be traditionally outside your circle of influence. People have access to influencers, celebrities, politicians, athletes, and brands in ways that never existed before. This isn’t necessarily a trend but it certainly has influenced the way that people are able to communicate, and has shaped the way brands tells stories and advertise online. People are now using social media to have meaningful conversations, inspire change and engage in new communities of people.
So, we hear you plan on starting Real Housewives of Quad Cities, will you be one of the featured housewives or do you see yourself more as the Andy Cohen of the show?
As much as I’d love to be the star of the RHOQC, my life doesn’t have enough activity or drama to make the series a success. I’m more of the puppeteer behind the mayhem (ala Andy Cohen) making casting decisions, editing for drama-filled moments, and living vicariously through women who find spending $25,000 on sunglasses is just in a day’s work. As a perk though, I’d like to be included in each season’s cast trip to somewhere exotic.
While most people know Google or how to operate it, you are Google certified. How does that differentiate you from all of us novices?
Being Google Certified means that I possess all of the powers of the internet. I’ve spent hours in training (40+), studied and taken tests to prove that I have all the knowledge of the inner workings of Google, including Google Ads, Analytics, YouTube and more. Having Google Certified specialists at TAG is a true benefit for our clients because it means that we understand how to best utilize the plethora of advertising options through Google to create, plan, place, optimize and analyze meaningful online campaigns that drive results.
What’s the deal with you and Mr. Chris Bridges aka Ludacris?
My obsession with Luda started a LONG time ago. Ludacris “Stand Up” was the only song that I made the DJ promise to play at my wedding, and I joked with my husband that we should name our first-born Luda so their name would be Luda Kiss (get it?). But really, I just love his music and it always puts me in a good mood.
You’re the host of Donuts and Digital which I’ve heard gets more viewers than the Tonight Show, can we expect big things from D&D in 2019?
Yes, the ratings are incredible! Now that I’m back from my maternity sabbatical, I’m excited to relaunch our series. Viewers can expect some pretty cool things heading into the new year including, new co-hosts, guest appearances, on-location shoots, viewer engagement and more, all with the same great marketing and advertising information they’ve come to expect from D&D!
We were told you own way too many shoes. What is your favorite pair, and is there a pair of shoes you wished you owned?
I mean … how many is too many? Rachel Zoe said that “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” so I let my shoes do the talking for me. I unfortunately just had to say goodbye to my favorite pair (RIP) because I wore them out. They were a gorgeous pair of 5-inch cobalt blue stilettos with spikes all over them. I wouldn’t say that there is a specific pair that I’d love to own, but I’m always looking for shoes that I haven’t seen anyone else wear.
Finally, what is your favorite part about working at TAG?
My favorite part about working at TAG is the people. Our team, clients and partners make this business exciting each and every day. We always get to create something new and share our passion for our craft with others. When you work with, and for, great people, it makes the work so much more engaging!
Many TAG clients are local, or U.S. based. But, did you know we work with international companies as well? TAG clients and services reach all over the globe, making us worldwide! This requires us to be extremely forward-thinking and compliant to assure we represent our clients effectively. So not only are we worried about compliance state-side but also abroad!
International Clients TAG currently works with:
Sandstrom Coating Technologies develops and manufactures quality coatings for customers all over the world. Sandstrom needed a contemporary website with improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The TAG team updated Sandstrom’s brand as seen on their website, to reflect its status in the industry and convey expertise to global customers.
Sivyer Steel Castings produces high quality steel casting products for use in the global construction, energy, military, mining and transportation industries. While the company implemented a plan to restructure in early 2018, the TAG team helped Sivyer launch their turnaround with key strategies focused on reinvigorating their brand. This involved redesigning their website and enhancing social media deployment to include video as well as public relation strategies to better communicate with a work market how Sivyer can meet the needs of the industry.
Crane Merchandising Systems is a leading global manufacturer of innovative solutions for vending machines, cashless systems, software and wireless communications. As a pioneer and market leader in vending, Crane has sought out new ways to enhance how consumers interact with their machines. TAG is engaged in assisting with launching new product brands utilizing strong design and messaging deployed on the web, print media and trade shows. All efforts are geared toward new customer lead development and current customer retention.
Sears Seating supplies superior seating solutions with over five generations of experience. Sears has expanded greatly over the years, establishing Sears Europe in the United Kingdom, signing a manufacturing partnership in India, expanding business in Brazil and even opening an office in Japan. The TAG team designed and launched a website that is adaptable in North America and Europe to help customers navigate their new site to easily receive the highest quality products.
TAG represents clients domestically as well as internationally, all over the globe. No matter the client if they are an Iowa native or a business owner in the United Kingdom, we offer the same services and steadfast dedication to creating and designing the very best. Our website compliance assures that your content will be accessible to all user no matter what country they reside in. For more information regarding our work please visit our website!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.
At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.
Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. - you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.
1 | Mobile Responsive Website
A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.
Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.
2 | Social Media
Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re looking for on your social media accounts.
Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.
3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.
For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”
So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.
4 | Analytics
Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.
If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.
Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.
Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.
59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.
While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.
Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.
Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.
Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.
Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.
Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.
Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.
(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)
Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.
Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).
Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.
A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.
The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.
Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.
When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.
What’s best for your brand?
Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.