Zach recently celebrated his two-year anniversary at TAG and has been creating inventive designs and eating oatmeal every morning but today, we ask him about his creative process and other thought-provoking questions.
If you had to describe yourself using a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?
I am a knife because of how sharp I am.
What helps you get into that creative space to design?
I am most creative when I am able to really focus on what I’m doing with a clear mind, so I will do things like go on a walk during my lunch break to help me get into that space. I also do a lot of sketching quickly, get a lot of ideas out before taking it to the computer.
You have a time machine. You can go back to any time period to have dinner and conversation with 3 people. Who are they and why?
First, I would pick Walt Disney to hear about the humble beginnings of what has become a massive company.
Second, I would pick one of my ancestors like my great great grandfather because I don’t know really anything about them and it would be interesting to learn more about where I come from.
Third, Steve Jobs, because I could hear about the early days of Apple, but more importantly, I hope he would be able to tell me about the early days of Pixar as well.
Tell me one thing about design that everyone outside of that world might not understand?
How valuable it is. A lot of work goes into making things look good and function well, and it can have a massive impact on how we interact with the world around us.
You find yourself trapped in the board game Jumanji, do you think you survive or is it Game Over?
Am I allowed to watch the movie before entering the game, so I can remember how to get out? Regardless, I’ll make it out.
What are your 3 favorite projects you have worked on at TAG?
Three of my favorite projects I’ve worked on are: Logo and website design for Smokestack, packaging re-design for Hungry Hobo, and I still think it’s cool when I see Genesis buses driving around town with artwork I created on them.
When is your ideal bed time?
I used to be a pretty devoted 11:00 pm guy, but recently I have been getting up earlier and have transitioned to more of a 10:00 pm person (sometimes it’s more like 9:30. Teenage me would be shocked).
Finally, what is your favorite part about working at TAG?
My favorite part about working at TAG is getting to be creative with a great team every day!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Currently, there are over 100 million active users on Pinterest. That means that there are more than 100 million users who could potentially interact and engage with your content. What has turned into the go-to place for individuals to collect and organize everything they love, now offers businesses an ideal platform to showcase and market their products—especially if their products are visually appealing. Could your business benefit from Pinterest? Keep reading to find out!
Advantages of Pinterest over other social platforms
Pins have a longer lifespan than posts or tweets: Because over 80 percent of pins are classified as “re-pins”—compared to 1.4 percent of tweets that are re-tweeted—pins have the potential to reach more users over a longer period of time. While the average lifespan of a tweet or Facebook post is measured in minutes or hours, the average pin can come up in user searches months or years after it was originally pinned. And because Pinterest is commonly used to help users plan for big life events—like a wedding, baby or new home—pins chosen by these users are likely to be active for longer periods of time.
Search with Lens: Pinterest is trying to close the gap between its app and the real world, and it’s that much closer to doing so with Lens – a search function that allows users to upload pictures of items from their camera roll or in real-time and will, in turn, deliver like items or ideas. For example, you see some lady at lunch wearing these shoes that you just have to have. Take a picture of them, upload it to Pinterest using Lens, and Pinterest will find items that look like those shoes and will even populate other clothing items that would pair well. Or, if you’re at home and you’re wanting to make dinner with a particular spice, take a photo of it and then upload it through Lens to get recipes that include that ingredient! Lens makes it easier for both you and your customers to find what they’re looking for. The easier it is for your customers to find you, the easier it is to make the sale.
Drive consumer purchasing behavior: Because Pinterest is visual by nature, businesses can use their products to catch the eye of potential consumers with fun, visually-engaging content. Pinterest acts as a product review platform, shopping catalog and customer advice column all in one convenient location, which means that (if done correctly) businesses can market their products and close deals all in one space. In fact, 25 percent of customers reported buying a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest, and admitted to only buying products once they could see the product in real life settings—like through photos on Pinterest!
You set the terms: Thanks to its pinning board capabilities, Pinterest allows businesses to get as specific or as broad as they would like. You can set up a tightly defined board that only covers one product or service that you offer, or you can create general lifestyle boards—the choice is yours. Users also have the power to follow only the boards that they are interested in, which makes Pinterest more appealing because it does not require an “all-or-nothing” attitude—like Facebook or Twitter.
Is Pinterest right for your business?
Visual appeal: Are you selling a product? Is it a visually-appealing product? Do you have high-quality, web-ready photos of your products? If the answer is yes, yes and yes, then chances are, Pinterest is right for your business. The trick to a sound Pinterest presence is quality over quantity. Remember, if you want your audience to engage with and respond positively to your photos, you must make sure your photos are clear, concise and of the highest quality.
Gender split: Is your target market mostly female? 85 percent of current Pinterest users are female, so if your business predominantly targets women, Pinterest is the place for you.
Industry dominant: Just like all marketing platforms, certain industries will benefit more from one platform than others. Due to its visual nature, industries that benefit from Pinterest include fashion, event planning, home and lifestyle, flooring and health and beauty.
Social presence: Does your business already have a Facebook or Twitter account? Pinterest works best if you are able to cross promote your boards or pins on various social platforms, so before you create a Pinterest account, make sure you’re up and running on other social platforms, as well.
Pinterest is a wonderful tool businesses can utilize to capture their audiences’ attention, and communicate with essential target markets—plus, it’s fun! Here at TAG, we love Pinterest, and we’re ready to help you utilize its capabilities to its fullest potential to help your business skyrocket in the marketplace. Are you ready to become a Pin-master? Contact us today!
Let’s say a customer spends an average of $60 in your store every 3 months. They live in the same place for 20 years. Their lifetime value is $4,800.
Now let’s say, the first time they went into your store they didn’t have a great experience. You didn’t take interest in them, they didn’t feel valued, and you never followed up after they left. You didn’t lose $60, you lost $4,800. (Calculate the lifetime value of your customers here)
That’s why relationship marketing is so important. Relationship marketing is the act of developing customer loyalty and building long-term relationships through interaction and engagement.
IPSY and Caseologyexcel at forming relationships with their customers. You don’t have to be a monthly subscription service or a phone case company to engage with your customers. Here are a few easy things you can do to create relationships with your customers.
1. Develop an emotional connection.
Brand loyalty is built when your customers feel like you understand and value them. By personalizing your customer’s experience, they’re more likely to return AND they’re more likely to leave you a positive review – which is really important because 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying!
2. Share exclusive offers and content.
Make your customers feel like they’re part of a special club! Offering them coupons and promotions through an email or on your website encourages them to continue to shop with you. Specials on their birthdays, reward points when they review a product or your brand, and discounts on premium products are great ways to do this!
3. Use technology to your advantage.
Social media is your friend! You can gauge your customers’ perceptions of your brand by what they say on social media. Use these platforms to communicate with your customers and really listen to their feedback. Regular communication with your customers, digitally or otherwise, is the best way to cultivate relationships. By doing so, you’re adding value to your brand.
At the end of the day it’s most important to remember that your customers are humans who want to feel valued. After all, they are why you do what you do!
If you’re looking for guidance to begin building relationships with your customers, contact TAG!
Branding guidelines, brand standards, style guides. Whatever you call them, they are an important piece of building your brand. Branding guidelines set a foundation for your brand by creating a framework to operate in that’s consistent no matter what medium you choose.
So what are brand guidelines? Branding guides consist of essential rules for how to craft the visual pieces of your brand including typography, imagery, photography, logo usage, image style and more depending on the size and need of your business. These guidelines should point your communication toward your target audience with a consistent look and feel.
Consistency is vital in maintaining brand integrity. A guideline helps you maintain integrity by maintaining consistency in your branding efforts. And consistency makes you more recognizable in the market, assisting in building the way your brand is perceived. A guide plays an important role in perception. Every touch point between your brand and your audience should be used to reinforce a consistent perception.
Deviating from your guidelines can be harmful to your brand. Straying from your guidelines, be it typeface, color palette or tone, makes it harder to recognize your brand in the market. Not to mention it can make your brand look unprofessional. Consistency among all of your brand’s communications should always be your goal.
It’s easy to think that you can put off creating branding guidelines until a later date, but it’s important to start building that foundation right away. By using brand guidelines, you ensure that there’s an organized, cohesive approach to the points of engagement and communication with your audience that creates consistency in your communication.
At TAG, we recommend brand guidelines to all of our clients. Does your brand need help creating a guideline? Visit our website today to see how we can help grow your brand!
Landing pages are an integral part of an inbound marketing plan. A landing page is the heart of lead generation, and if you’re not creating a custom landing page for every campaign you run, you should be!
But while quantity is important, the quality of your landing page is what will drive leads. We’ve created a list of six things to keep in mind when designing your landing pages to make them as effective as possible!
Simple, Clear Cut Communication The average attention span is about 8 seconds—so get straight to the point! Exciting headlines that stand out and are optimized with keywords are ideal.
Aesthetically Pleasing Landing pages should be branded similarly to the rest of your website, including your logo and name positioned in the same place on every page.
Logical formatting is important to keep the reader on the page. Headlines, copy, images and forms should all be arranged in a way that is easy to understand and makes sense, while highlighting the value of your offer.
Avoid visual clutter and distractions. There is a fine line between visuals that enhance your point, and those that distract from your point. Visuals are an important part of your landing page, but make sure they add to what you’re trying to get across and do not sidetrack the reader.
Builds Trust and Credibility Social proof, like testimonials, is a common technique used to build trust on landing pages. Specific testimonials are what really helps grow visitors’ trust as opposed to general comments. Pictures in conjunction with these endorsements can go a long way as well. They help your reader connect the words with a face, making the comments more meaningful.
Engaging Grab your reader’s attention with a headline that makes them want to know more. Copy should be concise while being entertaining enough to keep the user on the page. Using videos, images, and infographics in conjunction with copy is a great way to achieve engagement as well. Just be sure to use high quality images!
Mobile Optimization More than 50 percent of searches online are done from a mobile device. It’s more important now than ever before that your landing pages are mobile optimized. This is another important reason you need to be clear and concise with your copy. No one likes to read long amounts of copy on mobile devices!
Call-to-Action This is the last, and most important, element of your landing page. Use contrasting colors to make your call-to-action really pop on the page! Don’t let your readers miss this because it’s too small, or blends in with the rest of your page. Like all of the copy, it needs to be compelling enough to make the reader follow through.
In order for a landing page to be successful for lead generation, you will need a way to gather information from the readers. To do this, you can use a form, click-to-call button or give away free content in the form of a download.
Landing pages are an important part of your inbound marketing strategy and vital to lead generation. Is your company building effective landing pages? If not, we can help! Visit our website today to learn more about our services!