Monthly: June 2015

Professional Development

THE WORLD OF WEB DESIGN

evolution

I entered the world of web design by default. A Journalism & English major with a shrinking interest in current events and a growing disdain for poverty, I sold my creative soul to corporate America for a retirement plan, paid vacation and the occasional barbaric rush of cubicle warfare.

I was a copywriter, a butcher of the English language, grinding prime cut prose into chuck for the masses. Branding, call outs, call to action, proof points, tag lines, I wrote the words behind the smiling faces on brochures for everything from timeshares to proper hand washing techniques. I began to view the world in 150 words or less. Life had become a series of tag lines, marginalized and boxed into bite sized chunks, no knife, no fork, no thinking required.

It was easy, it was mundane, it was boring. I had a no sense that what I was doing was ever correct because like any assembly line, productivity was the objective. Keep it short, keep it simple, make it snappy. I had become skilled in the art of compartmentalizing and organizing what would otherwise appear to be gibberish and one day I was asked to expand those skills to content writing. This was my first foray into the world wide web.

1_0_How_the_World_Wide_Web_Works

So vast, so unchartered (keep in mind this was 2003), I was in the wilderness with a set of skills I equated to a set of sticks to rub together for survival. Up until this point I used the internet for reference, music and directions. It never occurred to me there were real people writing online. I guess I assumed it was all scanned printed material managed by gnomes.

I had no computer skills outside of Microsoft Office and HTML code was an esoteric language invented by the Aztecs. I started off using text fields (WYSIWYG editors) to upload my content. One day the graphic designer in the office asked me to add some photos and a banner I had written copy for to the header. Seeing my tagline in bold digital splendor sparked a creative volt that had been dormant since my first slice of office birthday cake.

I was interested again, engaged. Here was a medium that combined my new skill in organizing words as calls to actions and quick bits of information within an art form. Organizing blocks of content as shapes rather than simply paragraphs. I learned to utilize HTML and CSS as tools rather than a language. Once I understood how to use these tools to organize the world of web design was illuminated. I was hooked. Here was a way to communicate to the masses with creativity, a way to organize ideas through an ever expanding digital world.

web

I went back to school for graphic and web design and found that the years I spent copywriting were integral to organizing web content. As time went on email newsletters, blogs, and social media became the new communication. Its hard to know where a job will lead. What skill is important and what is a menial task. But as long as your world remains large and there is an eagerness to explore it, there will always be a new possibilities.

Digital Innovation, Market Information, Research

Snapchat Vibe

Snapchat-Icon

Most people’s social media experience is limited to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but odds are you have at least heard of the popular smartphone app Snapchat, with over 100 million daily users and 400 million “snaps” made per day. Snapchat is a social media application that allows you to send photos or videos to your friends and family. The app also lets you video chat with friends who happen to be on at the same time as you. It’s a convenient way to instantly connect with people who are probably closer to you than the 500+ friends you have on Facebook. This is because Snapchat friends can only be added through a user’s address book or through an exchange of usernames.

In an effort to become more profitable, Snapchat has recently began to allow big-name brands like People Magazine and Food Network to advertise on their platform. While there have been many complaints about Snapchat’s controversial $750K fee charged to companies looking to buy ad space, everyone agrees that the popular app among teenagers is gaining more and more headway each day. That being said, many major companies are disgruntled with the fact that-like the users’ snaps-their ads will disappear within 24 hours. Additionally, Snapchat mostly targets teenagers and young adults whose income level might not necessarily appeal to big businesses. With these thoughts in mind many companies may choose not to do advertising on Snapchat.

However, many brands still choose to market themselves on snapchat because of the great advertising opportunities the app affords them. Advertising a new product or rebranding an image on Snapchat has been proven to help a company’s profits in the long run. This was the case for McDonalds who recently promoted their “Love is Endless” animated commercial to Snapchat in an attempt to revive its reputation after a reported decline in global sales.

Another example of a brand effectively using Snapchat is Audi’s innovative idea to live “snap” Superbowl XLVIII. Audi strategically collaborated with the Onion to interact with the Millennial demographic. By Audi live snapping the game, the brand was able to bring awareness to their brand while garnering more than 5,500 new followers on Snapchat.

 

Snapchat’s decision to only solicit top-name brands like McDonalds or CNN demonstrates to the “category leaders” that the app’s audience numbers are attractive enough to be on the same playing field as other social media game-changers like Twitter or Facebook. Even with all this success, as with any other global giant, they are bound to run into some pitfalls. A short time ago, Snapchat came under fire after a minor’s nude selfie was dispersed to students at a high school in Chicago. Her boyfriend’s decision to screenshot the image before sending it to his friends revealed the “dark side” of Snapchat. Back in 2011, when the app had first launched, many parents questioned the application’s intended uses. Was it just another social media platform or was it a device that would make “sexting” that much easier? The answer is up to the user. Snapchat can be used for both good and evil, but it is important to remember the consequences associated with the latter.

There are many ways that local businesses can use Snapchat to market their businesses. Although Snapchat is rumored to be “anti-native” advertising, local advertisers can find useful ways to build their brand in a way that’s relevant to users. Companies just need to come up with a creative and dynamic way to get consumers interacting with them on Snapchat. One example of this is Louisiana State University’s radio station, KLSU, who has encouraged listeners to “snap” their song requests to the station.

Our prediction for Snapchat is that eventually users will be viewing “click-through” ads generated in a way that is similar to Youtube’s sponsored commercials. That way, small businesses will be able to market themselves in a way that is both cost-effective and profitable. We’ll be looking forward to see what happens next with the app that has everyone “snapping”.

 

Market Information, Professional Development

SEO Building Blocks

Consistency is the key to success in conducting SEO for businesses, both local and national. In order for your business to succeed in SEO, you must be consistent in the multiple building blocks of digital marketing. Overall, in the early stages of SEO, there are five basic building blocks to follow. Emphasizing and mastering these building blocks will provide a basic guideline and establish a consistent online presence for your business.

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Building Blocks:


k eywords:

Keywords are the most important aspect of establishing your online presence because they allow your business to consistently appear in the appropriate areas of focus. Keywords remain important anywhere from web development to brand awareness. When creating advertisements, you can target your desired consumers via page titles, meta-descriptions, and title/alt image tags.

c ategory:

Along with relative keywords, you must also establish a category for your business. This is easier said than done. This shouldn’t be one of the  broad categories that people use to describe certain products or services; it needs to be tied into the keywords that will optimize search results. Identify a category of business for tools such as Google Places, and use that category to find keywords that will help synchronize consistency and optimization.

l ocation:

The physical location of your business should appear online first and foremost so customers can locate you in person.  But you must also make sure that the addresses of your location(s) are consistently placed online across all third party search engines and websites. Your business can lose out on potential customers if directories feature incorrect location information.

l2 istings:

Referral website listings for a company are crucial to the “networking” aspect of your company and getting your company’s product or service through related sites. The more popular the referral websites, the better opportunity your company has for brand awareness. When establishing an online presence, your company must attach itself to more established sites to better build your online reputation.

i nteraction:

Lastly, once you’ve established your company’s online presence through keywords and listings, you must engage in social interaction. Social interaction is important for the early stages of optimization because of the consumer experience. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding, looking for personalized relationships with not only family and friends, but also with businesses. In the beginning, your responsibility is to reach and out and respond to your customers.

Market Information, Professional Development

Taking Tips from the Experts: Make Your Youtube Legendary

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I know we’re a little late on the game, but the team at Velocity Agency would like to formally wish Youtube a happy anniversary! While Youtube is now well into its tenth year (It shares its birthday with Valentine’s Day), the site has yet to blow out the candles on its celebration. This past week Google continued the festivities and released a comprehensive list of the best Youtube videos, ever.

Over the past ten years, viewers have been unknowingly taking part in a vote for the most memorable and groundbreaking ads of the decade. Millions of views, paired with the opinions of industry experts, have helped to identify the “Top Ads from the First 10 Years of Youtube”. Aside from their remarkable ingenuity, these videos represent a transformation in the world of advertising. Youtube ads have allowed consumers to experience a new level of authenticity, amusement, and most importantly- engagement. Unlike traditional one-sided marketing, consumers are now capable of engaging and responding with their interests and opinions. Consumers are seeing what they want to see. Consumers are actually enjoying ads.

So how can you join the trend and have your consumers pressing replay?

  1. Give yourself some extra time. Advertisements are no longer limited to thirty second clips. Take the time to let your viewer get to know you and your story.
  2. Be epic. Don’t think like an advertiser, think like a filmmaker. Allow yourself room for some creativity and drama. Viewers share content that makes them feel something.
  3. Get people excited. Whether it be for a new product or an upcoming event, publish your ads right before the promotion and keep them running throughout. Not only will consumers be aware early on, the ad will remain relevant for longer.

So watch one of the below videos, get inspired, and start a conversation with your customers. You never know, maybe you’ll be on the list in 2025.



Source: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/a-decade-of-youtube-ads.html

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