How to Utilize Pinterest to Grow Your Business

How to Utilize Pinterest to Grow Your Business

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

Web Development Buzzwords: Do You Know What We’re Talking About?

Web Development Buzzwords: Do You Know What We’re Talking About?

Developing a website can be intimidating. Sometimes, it can even seem like web developers are speaking a different language! With the help of our web development experts, we’ve put together a list of 10 development and design terms to help you navigate the world of the web.

Responsive
If a website is responsive, it looks good and functions properly on every device from your desktop, to your phone and anything in between. More and more people are turning to mobile devices to do their Facebook stalking or Googling, so a responsive design is key to having a successful website. For more information on why your website should be responsive, check out this blog post!

“Above the Fold”
If you’re a newspaper reader, you might be familiar with this term already, and it’s pretty easy to understand. When something is “above the fold” it is displayed on your screen without having to scroll. This section is where important pieces of content should be located so that they can’t be missed by website visitors.

Back-End and Front-End
You’ll hear developers refer to the back-end and the front-end of websites. The back-end is the part of the website that visitors do not see, and the front is the part visible to visitors—it’s that simple!

Hosting
A web hosting service is a type of internet service that enables websites to be accessible online, making it available to the public. There are different types of hosting available.

Domain
A domain is the name that the website is branded as. Domains are purchased and can be a combination of letters, numbers and hyphens. For example www.tagteam.agency is a URL, but the domain is tagteam.agency.

Placeholders
In website design, developers and designers often use stock images, video or text while they wait for the content that will actually live on the website. These are referred to as placeholders, and are only used for a limited time until they can be replaced.

Parallax scrolling
Parallax scrolling is a fairly mainstream technique in web design and development.  This refers to the method of moving the background images lower than the foreground images, thereby creating an illusion of depth. Checkout some great examples of parallax scrolling, and get inspired!

Sitemap
Planning out your website’s content can be a difficult task, but it is crucial to its overall success. In order to plan out your content, you’ll need a sitemap. Similarly to your home’s blueprint, a sitemap will help you to plan out the organization of your website.

Wireframe
Like the sitemap, wireframes are done in the early stage of designing. They aren’t very detailed drawings, and are only used to organize content and structures of pages before designing them graphically.

SSL
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layers. It’s a networking protocol used for managing server authentication, client authentication and encrypted communication between servers. SSL keeps sensitive information, like credit card numbers, secure. Without an SSL, data is sent from browsers to web servers in plain text leaving that information vulnerable. Before entering your credit card information, take a look at the URL and make sure it has “https” at the beginning to make sure your information will be secure.

Database
A database is a structured set of data stored in a computer that is organized so that it can be managed, accessed and update easily.

You don’t need to be a web developer to understand some of these web development buzzwords! If your company is ready for a new website, give the experts at TAG a shout!

Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Five Key Social Media Strategies to Make Your Brand Stand Out

Are you ready to take your brand’s social media presence to the ultimate level? Make your business stand out amongst a sea of competitors with these five must-use social media marketing strategies.

1. Make your content stand out: How can you make your business stand out amongst your competitors? Easy—make your social media content stand out with eye-catching visuals, interesting links and crazy-good headlines. Programs such as Canva or Recite allow you to create engaging visuals with user-friendly platforms and step-by-step tutorials. When it comes to writing the ultimate social media headlines, keep in mind that less is more. In fact, headlines with eight words or less or proven to perform 21 percent better than longer headlines. It’s also been proven that headlines that end with a question mark or three explanation points get twice as many clicks than those without!!!

2. Strengthen your network: If you find that you are not getting the engagement you would like on your company’s social media platforms, it may be time to strengthen and expand your network. To do this, try creating or joining various LinkedIn groups to spark more connections and conversations around your products or services. You can also follow your competitors or industry-leaders’ profiles for some inspiration, and ensure you are keeping up with latest industry trends. It’s always a good idea to stay on top of what your competitors are up to.

How Often to Post3. Be consistent: In order to stay top-of-mind amongst your audiences, it’s important that you market and post consistently across all social media platforms. When it comes to posting, it’s important that you strike a balance between being informative and annoying; posting too much about your products can cause your consumers to become annoyed, and unfollow you. While frequency for posting varies from platform to platform, research suggests that the posting “sweet spot” for Facebook is two times per day, seven days a week. Publishing five to 10 posts per week is usually a good rule of thumb.

4. Show you care: Did you know that followers typically expect a response from companies within one hour of posting? Show your followers you care by responding to your followers’ comments and reviews—good or bad—in a timely manner. In addition to responding to customers, don’t be afraid to retweet customers’ praise and thank individual customers for their continued support. The more personal you can get with responses or posts, the better!

5. Go campaign crazy: In the age of diminishing organic social reach, paid campaigns offer a great way to expand your reach and thoroughly engage your audience. Now–a-days, companies with the best social media presence are using contests and other social media campaigns to successfully gain visibility and generate leads. To keep up with this trend, try providing your audience with valuable incentives that encourage audience participation, and platform your company as an industry-leader.

When it comes to leveraging your company’s social media presence, remember …. TAG, we’re it! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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!

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

The Importance of Brand Guidelines

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!

What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

What Can Marketers Learn From Political Campaigns?

When it comes to marketing, brands can learn a lesson or two from political campaigns.

Be human, trustworthy and transparent

Don’t forget to show some personality! It’s important and necessary to get your message across, but it should be done in a way that makes the audience feel at ease and comfortable with your brand. Just like no one wants to vote for someone that they cannot trust, people don’t want to do business with brands that they deem untrustworthy.

From the start of both a marketing and a political campaign, the goal and messaging needs to be defined.  If messaging isn’t defined from the beginning, it leaves your intent and meaning up to interpretation.  Identify what you’re trying to communicate and be active in advertising that message.

Video is still effective

Video is an extremely effective tool, especially for search engine optimization. It’s much more likely for your audience to remember a video than it is for them to remember a simple text message. Video, especially online, has seen a growth in spending over the last few years. In fact, it’s estimated that candidates will allocate 30 percent of their advertising budget to online media sources this year!

Promote your message on multiple channels

Political messages have been invading your television, radio, mail and social media feed for the last few months. Promoting messages across multiple platforms and channels is something that politicians have become very good at. From mail pieces to radio and television commercials, and now social media, politicians are everywhere.

In order to win a political campaign, a politician’s goal is to get their message in front of as many people as they possibly can. Facebook, Twitter and blogs are growing in popularity among political candidates. These aren’t the only social options though. Candidates can consider more ways to increase their content by using sites like Slideshare, YouTube, or Google+, too.

Social Media

While promoting your message across multiple platforms is important, social media can be a double-edged sword. Social media is a great tool because such a large population is on these platforms. It extends your reach and your ability to have a conversation with your target audience. Those factors are great for any candidate and brand!

But the bad news is that things on social media can change in a second. Social media is a two-way conversation, and followers are bound to post, share and comment on the content you publish—both positively and negatively.

 

Politics may not be your favorite topic, but political ads and campaigns can teach us some great tactics about marketing. What have been your key takeaways from a marketing standpoint this election year? Join the conversation on our Facebook page! And if your business could use some help with your marketing efforts, visit our website!

Reasons Your Website Needs to be Responsive

Reasons Your Website Needs to be Responsive

With the majority of people using mobile devices to access the Internet, websites that work across numerous platforms have become increasingly more important.

Mobile websites can be designed in two different ways; developing a responsive design, or using a mobile template.  If you have a significant amount of web traffic from mobile devices, the difference between the two options is definitely something you should consider. A mobile template requires a mobile-only website or subdomain built specifically for your site, meaning that the website will not adjust based on the size of the screen it is being viewed on. On the other hand, a responsive design means the web pages being viewed will reformat on their own to adjust to the size of the screen the website is being viewed on.

GoogleNo End to Mobile Usage in Sight
Did you know that 58 percent of people search for local businesses on their smartphone or mobile device at least once a day? And 89 percent of people search once or more a week? That’s huge! In 2015, more searches were done on a mobile device than on a desktop. So what does this mean for you? It means that now is the time to update your website using a responsive design. 

Positive and Timely Experience for Users is Key
Sometimes, the first impression a customer has of your business is by way of your mobile website. A positive user experience is important. In fact, there is a 61 percent chance that a user will leave your site immediately and go to a competitor’s page if they can’t find what they are looking for. A positive mobile experience results in a 67 percent higher chance that the consumer will make a purchase, especially if they can easily search for and find what they are looking for on-the-go.

Websites generally take more time to load on mobile devices and are more difficult to read when designed with just a mobile template. With a responsive web design, web content is reorganized, rather than resized, and optimally loads in under two seconds. Bottom line, utilizing a responsive web design is the most effective way to make the most of mobile traffic, as well as provide the best experience to users.

Mobile Social Media
In 2015, over 73 percent of Americans were active on social media platforms, with 55 percent of time spent on social media sites being done on a mobile device. If your company is sharing content that links back to your website without a responsive website design, you’re going to experience three things; high bounce rates, low conversion rates, and frustrated followers—none of which are good for your business. Social media isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. In order to excel in the mobile world, mobile-friendly, responsive websites are a necessity— especially as we move forward into 2016.

SEO
It’s no surprise that Google prefers websites with responsive designs over mobile templates. Creating a mobile website also means creating a URL separate from the desktop version, whereas a responsive design doesn’t need a URL separate from the desktop version. One URL makes it easier for Google to crawl your website and minimize on-page errors. And while improving your SEO won’t happen overnight, creating or improving your mobile website is a step in the right direction.

 

Is your website mobile friendly? At TAG, we can help you with all aspects of your website, including making it mobile responsive. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today or visit our website to get started!

St. Patty’s Day Partyers

St. Patty’s Day Partyers

St. Patrick’s Day is when everyone is suddenly Irish. It’s the holiday everyone celebrates like they’re in college again, and it’s socially acceptable! No matter where you are, you are sure to run into some of these people when you’re out celebrating!

The Pinchers
There’s always that one person who is obsessed with whether you’re wearing green or not and will most definitely pinch you if you aren’t. When did assaulting someone for not wearing green become okay? If you’re one of these people, it’s time to reevaluate your celebration strategy.

St Patricks Day2The Over Achievers
These are the most obnoxious. They can’t limit their celebration to merely wearing a green shirt. They’re decked out from head-to-toe in green, even going as far as to wear green wigs and tutus. They’ll encourage you to “get into the spirit,” but at the end of the night you can generally find them passed out in the middle of the bar with their glass still full of green beer.

The Pros
Sometimes the pros can be mistaken for over achievers. While they embrace the spirit of the holiday and wear green, they don’t go overboard. And they have tricks up their sleeves to make sure they’re not the ones passing out mid green ale.

Party Poopers
These non-participants refuse to wear green and are the epitome of the Grinch for St. Patrick’s Day. However, friends seem to force these people to come to the bars with them in the hopes that they’ll enjoy themselves and learn to love the holiday too.

Actual Irish People Green Beer
If you’re hitting up the local Irish pub, you’re likely to run into someone who is actually Irish and would have likely been at the bar anyway. While some Irish folk get offended by the rest of us taking over their holiday, others don’t mind at all. Especially because they know that if they tell someone they’re Irish, it’s probable they’ll get a free drink out of it—but they probably prefer beer that isn’t green.

 

Keep in mind, if you can’t spot them, you just might be one! And remember that leprechauns can’t be trusted.

 

 

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!