What Every Creative Advertising Agency Needs To Know To Endure The Digital Transformation

Let’s face it: the transformations that are taking place in the digital world have altered the definition of being a creative. Understanding the impact these changes have on creatives and figuring out how to navigate them can be an overwhelming task. Here is what every creative advertising agency needs to know in order to endure the digital transformation today:

Big Ideas Can Arise From Anyone Or Anywhere

Everyone from creative technologists to consultants are constantly challenging themselves to think of new ways to stay innovative in the rapidly changing digital world. Because of this, we have to recognize that people all around us, regardless of title or industry, are pitching ideas that could be the next big thing. To avoid missing out on those big ideas, I encourage you to keep your door and your mind open when conversing with co-workers.

Learn Through Collaborationcreative advertising agency

Technology alone is no longer the single center of digital transformation—it’s people. I learn new things, and processes in the digital scape, by discussing projects and goals with others. Can you remember a time you were working with someone and they showed you something new in a program you have been using for years? It’s easy to think that because you have been around a technology, you are familiar with every aspect of it, but you might be surprised by what you learn from the people around you. Acknowledging the wide range of abilities our fellow creative partners possess can inspire us to go further and elevate what we are capable of.

Make Learning A Constant

If you are seeking to improve your craft and entice your clients, continue to expand your field of knowledge and gain perspective on the world around you. There are several different ways to do this. For example, I have an Alexa in my home and I like to develop skills for it, as well as listen to podcasts and audio books in the car. Learning can feel like a chore, so do it where you are most comfortable and really dial in to how you learn best. For me, it’s audio and visual.

You should even Consider using down time to learn. Yeah, we all like to recoup during less busier times, but why not take advantage of your free time to bolster your skills? Remember when you used to love to create? It could have been when you were a kid coloring in a coloring book, or when you were in college creating projects where you had all the authority and made all the creative decisions. Think of digital the same way.

Read our article: 4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Looking For Creative Marketing Solutions

Work Backwards If You Have To

Discover what else you can learn from a familiar program or subject by working backwards. I recently re-upped certification by Google in Analytics and filled in some of the holes in my knowledge base. I use Google Analytics just about every day, but never knew all the things it could do. Just because you do something all the time OR because you are supposed to be a professional, doesn’t mean you can’t keep working on your skills.

Inspiring People

With creativity finding new platforms for expression, our renewed focus on humanity has played the most important role in digital transformation. Having a variety of options that work to improve our lives has never been easier due to the merging of creativity, data, and technology. Although mixing all of those elements into a stew of color, light and imagination can certainly hurt our heads, it is all worth it when something incredible arises from it that inspires people.

We Are Currently In The Second (And Maybe Third) Chapter Of Digital Innovation

Major companies like Amazon, Kickstarter, Uber, and Netflix have altered what we thought was possible in today’s world. Thanks to their innovation, we have become accustomed to a life of convenience and have higher everyday expectations. Advertising agencies play a massive role in inspiring people, so the way we use technology matters significantly for the next chapter of digital innovation.

Free Marketing Consultation

advertising budget

5 Things To Consider When Planning Your Advertising Budget

The media landscape is constantly changing. New technologies and trends are emerging rapidly and existing platforms continue to evolve, providing more ways to spend your advertising budget. Today’s media plan looks far different than even last year, with more media channels, more devices, and even more opportunities to connect with shoppers. How do you find the most effective balance with an advertising budget and media plan that make sense now? Read more

creative marketing solutions

5 Creative Marketing Solutions That Will Work In 2021

Solutions come in every flavor. Every client has different pain, and it’s an agency’s job to seek out and offer solutions. Once the pain has been established, the solution is what will solve or compound the problem. Great agencies can put creative thoughts into a campaign and make it memorable. Here are 5 creative marketing solutions that will resonate with the consumer in 2021.

Read more

Email Marketing

Tips To Make Your Email Marketing Program Most Effective

About 124.5 billion business emails are sent and received each day. With this high volume, it’s crucial to make your emails stand out. A smart email program provides opportunities to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects, leading to increased sales and revenue growth. Segmenting—by target audience, relevant message and place in the buying cycle—is key. In fact, research shows that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales because of lack of segmentation. And Lyris’ Annual Email Optimizer Report found that 14.30% of respondents experienced better deliverability and greater revenue when segmenting their email marketing. Read more

advertising approach

5 Tips To Improve Your Advertising Approach

When you have a tight marketing budget, you don’t have room to play with different advertising campaigns. You have to spend every bit of the budget where you know it will be most effective. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can improve your advertising approach without breaking the budget.

Top 5 Tips to Improve Advertising

Use SEO

Well over 75% of consumers use Google and other search engines to find businesses of all sorts. If you want your business to show up on their search, your website needs to rank as high as possible. Search engine optimization (SEO) can help pull your website ranking up. You can do this by creating rich content built around certain keywords and adding them to your website.

Read 3 Key Benefits of SEO

Track and Leverage Your Data

When a consumer provides data, use it to your advantage. Send out promotions and offers. You can do this by email or direct mail.

Take it to the next step. Analyze the data you have. Do you see any indicators such as age, gender, economic status, etc.? That information allows you to do targeted marketing to a particular indicator.

Change Your Media Mix

If you have been using the same media for advertising for a significant period of time, it is time to shake things up by changing the mix. Now, that is not to say you should abandon what is working. What you need to do is find out what is not working. Then, shift that effort/cost into a new media and see what happens. You might try a new social media channel or see if a PPC ad can generate some interest.

Stay Relevant and Consistent

Your advertising must jump out from everything else going on. That means it must be meaningful and relevant to the audience viewing it. Without relevance, the ad fades into the background.

It is also critical for advertising to be consistent. Customers love consistency. It builds trust and makes them more interested in what a company is doing and saying. Consistent content creation, advertising approach, logo/color presentation, and even customer service has a significant impact on building the all-important client trust.

Keep Your Buyer Personas Current and Focused

Just as your business evolves, so does your clients. Technology, product development and consumer attention move at frightening speed. If your buyer personas don’t keep up with what your target audience is looking for, you will be wasting your advertising budget on ads that don’t connect with your target audience. Refresh your buyer personas at least a couple times of year to keep them relevant.

Focus your advertising approach to the buyer’s journey. Some of your mix should attract prospects, while other parts nurture existing leads. Still more should bring qualified leads towards making a decision.

Each of these options will help you improve your advertising efforts, without spending a lot of money. You can adopt all of them or pick the ones that would work best for your company. Which one will you use first?

This article can also be found on Data Captive.

Inbound marketing will help you grow your business by attracting website visitors, converting them into leads and closing leads into customers

video marketing strategy

How First Person Experience Videos Can Make an Impact on Your Video Marketing Strategy

Also published on Top Digital Agency August 8, 2018. 

A popular and recent trend in video ads, particularly for many technical products, is the effective use of camera angle from a first person perspective, allowing viewers to engage in a more immersive experience. Most styles of these video ads often do away with spokespeople and voiceovers, letting the experience talk. From the perspective of a video marketing strategy, first-person video marketing is very effective as they deliver a more personalized user experience

The strategy of using a first-person angle in videos is to offer viewers a first-hand and personalized view of what’s it like to experience the products. Moreover, these videos cut past the fluff and buzzwords, showing the viewers precisely what they will get. The other important part of this video marketing strategy is to make the user experience more memorable, motivating them to use the products.

The use of a first-person perspective in marketing videos utilizes an emotional appeal, making it easier to forge a bond between you and viewers. Here are some reasons why first-person content is helpful:

Presence

Using the first-person angle in your videos anchors them in the moment. It can benefit you as the viewer feels like he or she is participating in an active experience, rather than feeling distant or remotely connected. This sense of presence makes your content more relatable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXQP3wr3sG0

Ownership

It is more difficult to be passive and wishy-washy in your video statements when you make claims using the word “I” or “we.” As a result, imbuing the content with ownership through the first-person perspective can make it more authoritative and develops trust with your viewers.

Check out this similar article about the Top Trends in Social Media

Authenticity

Presence and ownership often lend themselves to a unique sense of authenticity. The implied ownership makes your content more credible and believable compared to “source-less” content, even when there is no name associated with the audio or voice.

Reflection

People often think before speaking. Therefore, when your audience views video ads made from the first-person angle, usually it confers a tacit implication of recollection and reflection. Using the first-person perspective conveys that you have put some consideration and personal thought into your words, which can lend it more credence.

A number of leading brands such as Google, Apple and Samsung use this video marketing strategy. Apple, like its main competitor Samsung, uses the first-person perspective in nearly all its product advertisements. Especially as many of its products are handheld devices, the viewers get a first-hand experience via the videos.

Flashy and over-the-top video ads do not get the same traction anymore. Customers want to know what they will get when they open the box. This is one reason why product unboxing videos have become so popular. They are posted by customers on YouTube for almost any product you could think of. As this is exactly what consumers are seeking, you could let your new video advertisement unbox a product for them.

Integrating Social Media & SEO Efforts For Enhanced Search Engine Results

targeted advertising

How Does Targeted Advertising Work?

Back before the Internet, it was difficult to escape ads. If you were watching TV, then you had no choice but to watch the commercials. However, because users have more control over what they view online, advertisements are easy to ignore. As a result, marketers are using targeted advertising to expose their ads to users who are more likely to show interest in their products or services. This reduces the chances that someone will ignore the ads. Let’s know more how this targeted advertising actually works.

How Does Targeted Advertising Work?

In order to target an audience that might be interested in a product or service being advertised, advertisers will use data collected on the user. This data can include demographic information as well as behavioral data. For example, if a person views a certain product on a website, their browser will submit this piece of data to third-party advertising networks. That information will be stored in a browser cookie, which is a snippet of code that shows sites that the person has viewed. When the person visits a different website that has the same advertising network, ads for the product the person viewed on the first site may show up. For example, if a person was checking out a new sofa on a furniture website and then visits a social media platform, like Facebook, they might find an ad for the sofa they were just looking at show up on their feed. This is a result of targeted advertising.

Like this article? Here’s another: 5 Tips To Improve Your Advertising Approach

Types of Targeted Advertising

There are several types of targeted advertising. The following are a few common examples:

  • Social media advertising – Many social media platforms will place advertisements in your feed or on the side of your pages. They have access to a lot of demographic information about its users that can help target different people.
  • Behavioral advertising – Many sites will use past purchasing decisions to advertise to their visitors. For example, Amazon often recommends different products based on the purchasing behaviors of its customers.
  • Search engine advertising – Search engine ads, such as Google AdWords, target users based on their search engine queries to match the keywords they use with those used by their ads.

How To Use Targeted Advertising Effectively

While targeted advertising can be incredibly effective in helping you find an audience that has a need for the products or services you’re advertising, it does have one drawback: some people may be put off by the ad if it looks like you’re using personal information about them in order to target your ad. This can come off as an invasion of privacy, after all. Keeping that in mind, the following are a few tips on how to use targeted advertising:

  • Be transparent – Make sure that you let visitors know that you’re collecting data and how you are using that data. The more transparent you are, the less your audience will feel like you’re spying on them.
  • Create control – Although you’ll want to use the visitor data on your site to target your ads, you should provide users with a sense of control by implementing security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, DoS, and more. This lowers the chances of someone stealing user information and it helps protect visitors.
  • Don’t use sensitive information – You don’t need to use every bit of information you collect to target your ads. For example, you should avoid using information such as health conditions, race, relationship statuses, and sexual orientation to target ads.
  • Targeted advertising can be an incredibly effective way to market your products and services. This is because it helps you identify audiences that will find your ads relevant. This makes your marketing campaign much more cost-effective as a result.

Learn The StoryBranding Process

b2b marketing trends 2020

Guide to B2B Marketing During Covid-19

Companies around the country are affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic. However, even if business is slower than normal, it does not mean that you should stop your marketing efforts. While you may not see short-term results during this pandemic, your marketing strategy can put you in the position to see results over the long-term. This is especially true once things get back to normal. With that in mind, the following are the steps you should take to improve your B2B digital marketing efforts during COVID-19.

1. Use The Time You Have To Your Advantage

One of the everyday challenges in business is to reach potential clients at the right time. During the pandemic, prospects and clients alike are going to have more free time on their hands. They may have had to shut up shop temporarily and are just waiting to open back up. Others may be working from home, which means that they may be working sporadically throughout the day. You can take advantage of the time your audience has by hosting webinars or producing more long-form content.

2. Re-Evaluate Your Audience’s Perception Of Value

As you know, the pandemic has changed the way we look at a lot of things. Many companies are re-evaluating what is important to them. They are also re-evaluating their budgets and their perception of value. You need to make sure that you stay on the same page as your prospects and clients. This means that you should re-evaluate what your audience’s perception of value is.

Identifying your customers’ current needs

Understanding that customers may not be purchasing products or services from you in the short-term doesn’t mean that you can’t offer value. Put yourself in their shoes. What kind of content will they find helpful during this time? How can you help them? Of course, not all of your clients’ companies may be suffering. Some may be thriving at the moment. Identifying these businesses is essential as you may be able to target them more effectively.

3. Engage Your Audience In A More Personal Way

Most businesses aren’t doing exceptionally well at the moment. Not to mention that people are, in general, somewhat on edge. There are countless reasons for this. People are worried about their companies. They are worried about their health. They are stuck at home under stay-at-home orders. With that in mind, generic sales pitches aren’t exactly going to win them over. Instead, you should focus on hyper-personalization across all channels.

Using hyper-personalization

Hyper-personalization is the use of behavioral and real-time data across multiple channels to personalize the prospect’s or customer’s experience. It’s different than traditional personalization in that you also use purchasing, browsing, and other real-time data. The result? First of all, you’ll get to know what your audience’s current needs are better. Secondly, you’ll create a unique experience tailored to those needs. Such an experience helps you build longer-lasting relationships.

4. Have A Plan For The Future

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t predict the future. Anything can happen, which is why you should make sure that you’re prepared. This means that you should have a plan in place in the event that it lasts longer than you expect. On the other hand, you should also plan for the end of the pandemic. When it does end, you will likely need to make more adjustments to your marketing strategy. Just keep in mind that an effective marketing strategy is one that can adapt to various situations. Using this guide should help you do just that.

Follow these steps to make sure that your digital marketing strategy is effective during the pandemic. It might not be apparent right away, but there are still marketing opportunities that you can take advantage of despite COVID-19.

 

soft sell

Soft Sell Advertising: What it is, Why it works, and How to Execute

When it comes to advertising, businesses as a whole tend to be aggressive. They let you know exactly who they are, what they do, and why you should buy from them. Even in inbound marketing, companies will try to tie the topic of conversation in with their products or services in some way. However, this isn’t the only course of action. You can also reach your target audience and successfully engage them by advertising in a more subtle manner. Such a strategy is known as soft-sell advertising.

What Is Soft-Sell Advertising?

Soft-sell advertising is a more subtle form of advertising. The goal behind soft-sell advertising is to evoke a positive emotional response. The idea is that the customer will then subconsciously connect the response they had to the brand that invoked it. Businesses that implement soft-selling marketing will often create ads that are warm or humorous, as these tend to be the ads that invoke the most positive feelings.

The History of Soft-Selling

The idea of soft-selling first emerged in 1914, when Theodore MacManus published an ad that would become the model for the soft-sell. The ad was essentially an essay on the burden of being the best in one’s field. The ad was for Cadillac, yet Cadillac wasn’t mentioned a single time. Nor was there an illustration that ran with the ad. Yet the ad was incredibly successful.

The Benefits Of Soft-Sell Advertising

The following are some of the reasons why you should incorporate soft-selling advertising into your marketing strategy:

  • Less pressure on customers – Because soft-sell ads don’t push products or services, customers will feel less pressure to buy. The pressure is apparent in hard-sell ads, and it’s often off-putting. Using soft-selling ads, you give your audience the ability to discover your brand and make a purchasing decision on their own time.
  • Increase brand awareness – Even though you’re not pushing your brand into their faces, audiences will be more likely to share your content. The reason? People don’t share ads, they share content. When you create a soft-sell ad, you have to focus on the quality of the content and not on the sale. If you are able to create high-quality content that invokes a positive emotion, your audience will share that content. People will share content that elicits a positive reaction to their friends, thereby increasing your brand awareness.
  • Build more trust – Another result of having to focus on content quality is that you’ll build more trust. You’re basically offering your audience something of quality without asking for something in return. This shows them that you care about more than just sales. As a result, they’ll be more likely to explore your brand further. Not to mention that building trust is essential to building long-lasting relationships.

Examples Successful Soft Sell Advertising

Soft sell advertising has grown in popularity, both in regards to inbound marketing and outbound marketing. The following are a few examples of effective soft-selling ads:

  • Yeti – Yeti is a company that sells coolers and outdoor accessories. They filmed an entire series of videos called Hungry Life showing a well-known chef spending time in nature, where he picks plants, goes fishing, and prepares his meals outdoors. Although Yeti’s coolers do make an appearance, they are never showcased or talked about. Yeti is obviously targeting a specific audience by showcasing a specific lifestyle. That audience will then make an emotional connection between that lifestyle and the Yeti brand.
  • Burt’s Bees – Burt’s Bees uses their founder as the spokesperson. This is perfect because he essentially represents their main buyer persona. The Nature of Burt video introduces Burt, who explains who he is. He’s likable and funny, and their target audience can relate to him. What makes the video so effective is that it builds an emotional connection between the viewer and Burt, all without ever promoting the brand or its products.

Implement a Soft-Sell Advertising Strategy Today

Because many companies focus many of their marketing efforts on generating brand awareness, they tend to be overly aggressive. However, soft-sell marketing can be incredibly effective in terms of engaging your audience and building trust. As such, you should be sure to include soft-sell marketing tactics in your inbound marketing strategy.

user generated content

Sourcing User Generated Content

One source of content generation you may not have tapped into yet is user-generated content. Content marketing is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy. However, it can take a lot of resources to produce your own content on a regular basis. Even if you’ve managed to regularly generate high-quality content, you should look for other ways to create new content for variety’s sake, such as high quality user generated content.

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content refers to content created by consumers and not brands. Such content includes videos, pictures, reviews, articles, and more. For instance, if a consumer takes a picture of themselves using your product and posts it on Instagram, that’s user-generated content. The following are just a few of the benefits of user-generated content:

  • Free publicity

Your audience is essentially promoting your brand on your behalf. As a result, user-generated content can help increase brand awareness.

  • Free content

Creating your own content requires a lot of resources. User-generated content requires none — your audience is creating the content for you. While you don’t own it, you can share it and reap the benefits of it.

  • Positive word of mouth

Customers trust other customers more than they trust brands. Positive user-generated content can, therefore, help to boost your brand reputation by creating trust.

How To Source Usable Generated-Content

Considering how beneficial this free content can be, you’ll want to do everything you can to encourage it. However, the biggest challenge lies in the lack of control you have over the content. You can’t control the message, format, or quality, after all. But there are a few ways that you can guide your audience to create the content that will benefit you most. The following are a few tips on how to source high-quality user-generated content:

  • Encourage 

Don’t just wait for your audience to create content relevant to your brand. You need to encourage it. For instance, hold a contest on social media in which users vote on the best submission. You can then give the winner a prize. There are many ways that you can encourage content generation.

Utilize Marketing Audiences on Pinterest Today

  • Provide clear guidelines

If you’re looking for a specific type of content, then you need to provide guidelines. For example, if you want user reviews, consider providing a basic review format. Such a format could list three broad questions that users can answer in order to generate a review.

  • Provide content creation tips

Your audience does not consist of professional content creators. As such, provide tips that they can use to create higher quality content. For instance, if you’re holding a video creation contest on YouTube or on Instagram, provide your users with a list of basic filming tips. Such tips can help cut down on the amount of poor quality content that you might receive.

  • Offer an example

If you’re looking for a specific type of content, then provide an example. When users see what you’re looking for, it will help them create the kind of content you want. For instance, if you’re hosting a picture taking contest, upload a few pictures of your own that would be considered exceptional examples. By providing an example, you also make sure that users understand your instructions more clearly.

  • Identify the channel

Make sure that your audience knows where to send it. The last thing you want is users posting their content on different platforms or sending it to you via different channels. If you’re promoting a contest, specify what platform they should post to or what hashtag they should use. Provide detailed instructions on how to submit content. By making it clear what channel you’re using, it will be easier for you to track and organize user-generated content.

  • Open a line of communication

Provide a channel through which your audience can contact you. This channel should be specifically for users who are creating content. You can do this by providing a specific support email address, a phone number, or a page they can DM on social media.

  • Monitor performance

Track how the content users create for your brand is performing. By doing so, you can identify what types are the most effective. You can then adjust your guidelines and instructions to encourage the creation of that type of content.

Enhance your Strategy Today

User-generated content can go a long way towards boosting brand trust. Not to mention that it’s a great way to expand your content marketing strategy. As such, make sure that you encourage the creation of high-quality user content. You can do this by providing your audience with general guidance and encouragement to drive effective user-generated content creation.

25 Website Must Haves