Video might be the secret digital marketing ingredient you haven’t added yet

Online Video

A solid digital marketing recipe takes more than just sugar and spice. Video is the zest of the social media world. If it’s not in your strategy, its absence is definitely noticeable at a time when a good branded video experience can make 39 percent of viewers more likely to research your brand or product further and 19 percent more likely to share other content from your brand.

So, here are some video-sharing platforms to consider integrating into your digital marketing strategy—and fast.

YouTube

YouTube ranks as the world’s second largest social network and second largest search engine, meaning posting video to YouTube puts you in a good place to be found by potential customers. And, YouTube is getting into the e-commerce referral game with interactive features allowing viewers to buy products and services directly from the video platform.

Facebook

Video will rule Facebook in 2015. In the last year alone, video uploads have increased by 94 percent with Americans watching at least one video on the social network each day. Users will see four times more video in their Newsfeed in 2015—will your video be one of them?

Twitter

Twitter is introducing Promoted Video in 2015. Video ads will autoplay for six seconds, and Twitter’s beta test found that these native videos generate better engagement and more views than before. In addition to better user experience, these promoted videos also offer a Cost Per View ad buying model—meaning marketers only pay when a user clicks to play the video.

Instagram

200-million users strong, Instagram generates high engagement rates with 15 times more engagement than Facebook and 40 times more engagement than Twitter. And, this Facebook-owned platform now offers 15-second autoplay video advertising spots, though targeting ability is not as advanced as other channels. If brands can tailor their content to Instagram’s aesthetics, they can really bring in the engagement from this platform’s new sponsored videos.

Snapchat

Snapchat is growing as a marketing tool, allowing businesses to share messaging while being casual and relatable to their audience. Snapchat is perfect for showcasing your personality, and it’s also a good choice for teasing products, promoting sales and even hosting contests.

 

While there are many other video-hosting platforms available, these are the major players for 2015, and it will pay off BIG TIME to get them into your digital marketing strategy. From social media platforms to email campaigns to websites, video is perfect for showing off your brand and sharing your messaging in an engaging, meaningful way that drives traffic and conversion across channels.

For help creating an integrated digital marketing strategy that makes the most of video, get in touch with the team at TAG!

New trends in digital billboards allow for greater message targeting

Digital billboards provide exciting new opportunities for businesses to fine tune marketing messages and content that is relevant in that exact moment to consumers, based on the time of day, weather and user feedback.

New digital billboards equipped with technology allow advertisers to change messaging based on certain parameters. For example, a car dealership can set its messaging to change to an ad about windshield wipers whenever it is raining.

The creative possibilities are endless for the new options in outdoor advertising that are coming into our marketplace. The new features will make outdoor advertising more effective by changing the digital billboard messaging instantaneously.

Here are some of the new digital billboard trends and options available:

Weather triggers

Weather Triggers

This option is ideal for businesses that offer weather-related services. Messaging can be changed based on the temperature, current forecast and other weather conditions, such as wind speeds.

For example, a restaurant owner that wants to sell ice cream can change its message to feature a sundae when the temperature is 85 degrees or higher.

Countdown

Countdowns

Generate hype for a new product launch or store opening with the countdown option. There are automatic and manual countdown options that allow the advertiser to automatically count the days, hours and minutes to an event. The countdown updates automatically without the need to continually update the art.

Day Parting

Day Parting

Cater messaging based on the time with day parting. Day parting allows advertisers to change the creative based on the day of the week, time or by including a text box that can be updated at any time with relevant information.

Social media

Social Media

Create synergy between outdoor and social media marketing campaigns. Digital boards can pull real-time photos, status updates and more from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.

User-generated content

User-Generated Content

Research shows consumers trust their peers when it comes to brands, so let customers do the talking with user-generated content in outdoor advertising. Digital boards can be programmed to pull user-generated content from a microsite created for a specific campaign or from social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

Kerry Johnson

 

Kerry Johnson is the Vice President of Media Management at TAG Communications. She has 18 years of experience in media sales, buying, planning and research.

The 2014 World Cup: A Social Media Phenomenon

About half the population of the world tuned in to the 2014 World Cup football tournament. An event that big was bound to create a buzz on social media, but the numbers are staggering—record-shattering, in fact.

The #GERvARG final boasts the highest number of tweets per minute ever.

Examining Twitter alone, staggering numbers of tweets were sent from all over the planet. Tweets about the World Cup peaked at 618,725 tweets per minute (during the final match between Germany and Argentina), breaking the tweets per minute (TPM) record. The Brazil versus Germany semi-final broke the record for most-tweeted event ever at 35.6 million tweets, and by the end of the final game the World Cup saw 672 million total tweets.

On Facebook, the final stats boast 350 million users interacting with over three billion posts about the World Cup between June 12 and July 13.

In one of the first astounding social phenomena of the World Cup, over 10 million Facebook fans compiled 20 million interactions during the United States versus Portugal match on June 22, and the game boasted a larger television viewership than the average for the 2013 World Series—by 10 million viewers.

The 2014 World Cup not only outstripped the 2013 World Series on television, it was also bigger on social media venues in the United States than the Super Bowl or even the Olympic Games. These are impressive statistics for a country in which soccer is generally treated like the red-headed stepchild.

Twitter page

Part of this is due to the accessibility of World Cup content on social media. Facebook users could follow the official FIFA World Cup page and follow or join real-time conversation on the Trending World Cup page. Twitter jumped head-long into the World Cup spirit, adding a sidebar with the World Cup schedule and hosting a World Cup page with schedules, scoreboards and trending posts.

Consistent branding also allowed FIFA and social media platforms to aid recognition and interaction with World Cup content. One means of doing this was through creating and collecting identifiable hashtags and handles, from teams and players to individual matches to multilingual incarnations.

Individual matches could be followed in real-time on pages that collected tweets specifically pertaining to that match. Hashflags were born, miniature national flags appearing next to the names of hashtagged countries like #USA (United States), #ESP (Spain) or #MEX (Mexico) and adding a little something extra to World Cup mentions.

FIFA

Finally, users posted about the World Cup because they were asked to. Both Facebook and Twitter prompted users to engage with special entry bars on official pages. Twitter even set up a “World Cup of Tweets” bracket, showing which teams would advance purely based on the number of hashflag mentions each country received. The FIFA website kept a feed of trending teams, players and tweets, inviting visitors to “#joinin the conversation” with a tweet or Facebook post.

Geotag

Whether due to the overall accessibility, recognizability or direct invitation to engage, users have indeed engaged globally in this event. In social media venues, at least, the 2014 World Cup shows a world that is truly #allin.

To harness some of that power and reach when promoting your own social media campaign, keep those three characteristics in mind. Content should be accessible, branded and inviting. These are strengths found in TAG’s successful social media strategies, as well. Learn more about our strategic planning process here.

The TAG team studies events and campaigns like the World Cup to stay on the cutting edge of innovative and successful digital marketing. For creative solutions to your social media needs, TAG… we’re it!

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!

Salesman or Spokesman?

Social media means something to everyone, even if you aren’t an active user. For some it’s a social hangout, to others it’s a way to publicize business. For advertisers, social media is a tool that changed the industry. Honestly, it changed the world, but that’s another story.

Facebook, Twitter, Google Paid Search, Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Foursquare, etc. What do they all have in common? Well, they all have the potential to generate sales. Yes, sales. The purpose behind social marketing can be seen as two fold; to build an audience while also building brand loyalty and to drive sales.

Steps for Social sales success:

  1. Strategy: As advertisers, we start with a strategy – first priority is to identify what platforms fit our clients need. Why do you want to use social media for your business? How can you use social media to sell your story?
  2. Platform: Which social media platforms are right for your business? There are multiple ways to reach your customers. Don’t limit yourself to the traditional Facebook and Twitter platforms.
  3. Delivery: How will you tell the story you want customers to hear? Connecting the dots from brick and mortar to virtual and back again. Aiding in a clients understanding of the work we do for them also helps connect the dots to the success of their business.

Take a company like Patagonia. Their Facebook page doesn’t have advertisements for products they sell; it has stories about the people that use their products. The stories they share depict a lifestyle that lives and breathes their mission. By sharing these stories Patagonia grows their own customer base. People read the stories and become inspired to live their life along the mission of Patagonia. This inspiration should be every company’s goal when it comes to implementing social media.

At TAG, we understand the value in a social presence for your business. We also understand the complications that go along with having a social presence. Lucky for you, we’re here to help! Check out our white paper on social media for your business by clicking here to get you started.

Three tips for executing a successful inbound digital marketing campaign

inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is the process of using multiple digital mediums in tandem with one another to communicate information about a business. The goal is to educate the consumer so that the leads come to you.

Read on for three tips to execute your inbound digital marketing campaign to perfection.

Realize you need more than just one type of presence

A website is the foundation to any business’s digital presence. However, it is not the end all be all. Blogging, social media and email not only boost a business’s Search Engine Optimization (the ability to be found in a web search) but also ensure a business can communicate with customers on the platforms they prefer at times most convenient for them.

Mobile optimization goes hand-in-hand with web presence

Sixty-four percent of mobile users leave immediately if a website is not mobile optimized. As mobile device usage continues to climb, mobile optimization guarantees your site is easily readable and simple to navigate for visitors, allowing them to learn more about you.

Do not underestimate the power of social media

Social media is word of mouth in the fast lane. Users from all over the world are able to learn about your products, ask questions and share their opinion in an open forum setting. Depending on your business, some platforms may be more effective than others. Experimenting or hiring an agency is a great place to start.

This is just a taste of how integrated digital marketing can work for your business. To learn more, click here to download our free white paper.

How to tell it is time for a new logo

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A first impression is memorable.  A quality logo will help your business stand out from its competition and keep your customers at your side.

Here are five tips for a fresh look:

  1. Keep it simple – The company name should be easy to read and the typography thought out. The icon shouldn’t be confusing. You wouldn’t put a whimsical font in a doctor’s office.
  2. Make it applicable – Your logo should be versatile enough to use in various formats: pens, signage, letterheads, etc.
  3. Don’t go back in time – What was popular 15 years ago isn’t now.  A logo does not need to be trendy.
  4. Recognize it – A successful logo is easily recognized and professional. Don’t overdo it and don’t change a logo out of boredom. The general public doesn’t see the brand as often as you might think.
  5. Make it appealing – A logo can be the difference between a product being appealing or not. When you’re at the store choosing to buy something, a well-designed logo and label might help make the decision for you.

If your logo falls short, it could be time to say goodbye and start over.

Don’t know where to start? Ask one of our TAG Graphic Designers Brian Buckles and Chelsea Liske.

 

Why White Space is Important in Design

Print

What was the first thing you noticed about this banner? Chances are it was either the happy couple or Something Borrowed, they both drive home the same message. It was effective in standing out because it was not overcrowded with copy, images and logos.

Using white space is an effective way to draw your eye to a particular point, and can also improve message retention. But in order to use white space effectively you have to know what it really is.

It’s a simple answer isn’t it? But white space, also known as negative space, is more than just a blank canvas. That “white” area could actually be composed of color or texture. It even exists in those spaces between and around words. The most professional-looking ads have been designed with white space in mind.

Many times people want to fill every square inch of the space. However, it is better to use the less is more approach, and use negative space to put the emphasis on actual content. When you don’t use negative space, the viewer is overwhelmed by images and text, making it difficult to retain the message. You can’t do that without some white space.

These elements are the most important when it comes to using white space:

  1. Consider the main message  – Be sure that you are surrounding the most important part of your ad with enough white space.
  2. Who is the customer  – They are not all the same, you need to adjust accordingly.
  3.  Appropriate margins – To help the ad look purposefully designed, use enough negative space so that you don’t crowd the edges. This doesn’t mean that elements of the ad can’t bleed to the edges, but your core message needs to be surrounded by enough white space. Sometimes this may mean that you need to reduce the size of text or an image for it to be more effective.
  4. Create a hierarchy – Adjusting the white space around visual elements can create various levels of importance and help the eye move through the ad.

Chelsea Liske, Graphic Designer

TV still the top way to reach consumers, but digital media adds another option to the toolbox

media

There are many new non-traditional media choices out there, but the average American is still watching close to 4 ½ hours of television a day. Those numbers have only dropped slightly since 2008, and television advertising is still the dominant way to reach consumers according to Nielsen.

But those stats don’t mean that you should dump your entire media budget in TV, or that digital media isn’t here to stay. It just means there are more options available in the toolbox to reach your target customer, and they work best when they’re utilized together.

That’s because while today’s consumer may be spending just as much time watching TV as they were four years ago, they’re watching it with an iPad, laptop or tablet in their hands. Show creators know this, and that’s why you’re seeing hashtags in the bottom corner of your TV screen, so fans know how to connect with the TV show on Twitter.

Television advertising works very well when combined with digital tactics such as Google AdWords, Facebook ads and social media marketing.

Print and radio also are not dead. There are still key demographics taking in both mediums on a regular basis. The key to a successful ad campaign is identifying your target demographic and using a variety of mediums that reach them best in order to get your message across in a way that sticks.

That’s where a partner like TAG can help. We can help you identify the mediums that will best reach your target audience and plan a media budget that will get your message in front of your ideal customer.

Kerry Johnson, Vice President of Media Management

Exploring social media options for your business beyond Facebook

So you’ve mastered the art of social media marketing on Facebook. Congratulations, you have taken a giant step forward towards achieving your social media marketing black belt.

But alas, young grasshopper, you’ve still got a ways to go.

Several new up and comers are joining the ranks in influential social media sites, and we as your TAG Sensei are here to share. Read on for our top five social sites for businesses we’d like to give shout outs to:

 

tweet

1. Twitter.com: Similar to Facebook, but popular with younger audiences and in major metros. If your product or service is geared towards consumers aged 24 or younger or attracting customers in larger markets, Twitter is the route to go.

 

pinteres

 

2. Pinterest.com: Use this bulletin board style website to “pin” content that fits into your target demographics’ interests. Create boards ranging from fashion, to hobbies and interests – oh, and don’t forget, a board displaying your products or services.

 

jasoninsta

3. Instagram.com: Use this photo sharing website to upload your favorite photos to bring your business to life for your followers. Connect it to your other social media networks and watch your Klout score – a number 1 through 1000 representing your total social media influence – rise.

 

youtube

4. YouTube.com: Use this video sharing website to visually showcase the services or products your company has to offer. Tutorials and how-to’s work better than commercials.

 

WPRES

5. WordPress.org: Use this blogging website to verbalize your expertise in your line of work. Teasing just enough information to get them excited about your topic, but not enough for them to execute anything without your assistance.

 

Click here to find out how TAG can help your social media campaign!