Research

Advertising, Market Information, Research

Identifying Your Employer Brand

Branding is quite arguably the most important aspect of any business, no matter how large or small. A company’s brand goes well beyond just a logo and a slogan. A brand is a promise you make to your customer. With an understanding of your brand, your customer will know what to expect when it comes to interacting with your business or purchasing products and services. Your brand is who you are, who you want to be and what you are perceived to be. That perception is from the eyes of your customers. But what does your brand look like from the viewpoint of potential employees? If you have never thought about your employer brand, now is the time.

A solid employer brand will ensure that candidates are a perfect fit with the organization. Similarly, your employer brand is an opportunity to allow potential applicants who don’t fit your organization’s culture to opt out. An employer brand brings you quality candidates quicker. The truth is that you can’t afford NOT to have a well-defined employer brand. A report by CareerBuilder states that businesses lose more than $14,000 for each position that remains vacant for three months or more. A study conducted by recruitment firm Hudson RPO reveals that firms with strong employer brands saw revenues increase by 20% while companies with weak employer brands grew by only 8%.

At Velocity Agency, we are experts in performing audits of organizational reputation. We stay on top of market trends, and we can identify how potential talent views your brand. We will design a unique brand strategy based on who you wish to recruit and what that market desires from an employer. Your employer brand can be showcased through website design, social media, events, and more.

Don’t think you have an employer brand? Well, you do! And Velocity Agency is here to help you identify it. When done right, your employer brand is an invaluable asset to your organization. We can’t wait to help you discover another facet of your organization’s identity and to help you find the right talent!

Mobile Technology, Research

Smartphone App Fatigue

Smartphone users are suffering from app fatigue. It seems like every week there is a new app I’m downloading: Uber, GetMyBoat, Afterlight, Enlight, PDF Pro, etc. The bad news for app makers is that I probably won’t keep the apps very long. It’s not just personal experience saying this, it’s data.

A new survey conducted by Research Now reports that 49% of US smartphone users use 6-10 smartphone apps a week. A Pew Research Center report adds a little more depth and says 30% of US smartphone app downloaders had 1-10 apps downloaded on their phone as of February; another 32% had 11-20. This report revealed different  usage numbers with 46% of respondents using 1-5 apps per week and only 35% using 6-10.

When looking at long-term usage the results get worse. According to AppsFlyer, most apps are not even kept a full day. Data from July 2015 showed 29.1% of apps download by Android users were retained for at least a day but it was only 25.5% for iOS users. At the end of 30 days 3.3% of Android and 3.2% of iOS users still had active users.

You should keep this data in mind when you are creating an app. The reality is that unless your app provides some sort of utility people won’t use it. For some brands this might be easy, like Kraft creating a recipe app. For others you will need to be creative, like Charmin who developed the ‘Sit or Squat’ app to help people find public restrooms. These apps provide a utility (i.e. solve a customer problem) that extends beyond the brand and may only be tangentially related to what you sell.

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, Research

The Influence of Social Media in Sports Marketing

Social media has an enormous impact in the sports marketing industry. If athletes aren’t connected and tuned in, they’re not even in the game. All sports have extremely loyal fan bases. Most fans have participated in competition within their preferred sport, whether youth, collegiate, corporate, intermural, or through other avenues. This is why fans support the sports industry. It offers a relatable experience.

Most professional athletes get to live a lifestyle the average fan can only dream about. They are participating in something they love and are given the physical ability to showcase their talents on a grand stage. Most fans will never get the chance to physically interact with their favorite player or sports team, so they use their support as a means to interact and relate to each other. Social media provides an outlet and opportunity for fans and athletes to digitally connect and interact with each other at any time.

Social media can be utilized from many different angles. Not only is it useful for player-fan communication, but for promotions, endorsements, and joint ventures, etc. There are numerous partnership opportunities with companies who are searching for a professional athlete with relatable attributes to become a brand ambassador. Athletes should embrace their celebrity status by strategically making their brand relevant through leveraging their personal highlights and benefits.

For instance, Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional footballer (soccer player) for the Spanish club, Real Madrid. Ronaldo is one of the world’s most renowned Federation International de Football Association (“FIFA”) players. This isn’t just because of his spectacular play and accumulated accolades, but his shocking 33.1 million Twitter followers and 106 million Facebook page likes. His team of strategist are the real deal. They found a niche that relates to the fans and networks, which catapulted him into a super brand. Ronaldo has created his own clothing line and has racked up endorsement deals with Nike, Herbalife, Clear, Novo Banco and more.

Social Media has innovatively revolutionized sports marketing. Every athlete, no matter how popular, should utilize and benefit from the advances of sports marketing in social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram are just a few of the unique platforms at their disposal. It is imperative to let the world genuinely but respectfully, get an understanding of who you are as a brand. People want to know you. Give your audience insight. Do so correctly and the possibilities are endless.

Market Information, Research

Sports Fans Overtake Digital Media

Following the release of a Nielsen report on sports and the media, we’ve uncovered the most fascinating facts about last year’s viewership. Nielsen is already calling 2014 the year of Digital Viewing, as fans of every sport turned online to follow their favorite teams.

sports media consumption velocity agency new orleans

The first big story comes from the year’s biggest enabler: the smartphone. Back in 2010, smartphone usage was at an impressive 30%, which meant almost a third of the U.S. was using one. In 2014, however, penetration increased to a staggering 75%. Smartphone market penetration showed us how crazy we are about our teams, from following Twitter updates to watching whole games online.

In October of last year alone, fans consumed over 7 billion minutes of sports content digitally. An ever-growing base of 72 million sports-watchers are taking over the digital media world.

The rise of sports apps also influenced our exuberant media consumption. Most of today’s sports apps include a blend of personalized content from our favorite teams and athletes, which means increased interaction. Verizon even offers exclusive live games as part of their partnership with the NFL. The top-ranked apps include ESPN Sports Center, MLB At Bat, and Team Stream.

Another big contributor was our sports culture obsession with Fantasy Football (heck, there’s even a show about it). Yes, grown adults pretending to own imaginary teams (many of whom work here) drove media consumption up. In 2014, fantasy leagues exploded with a yearly growth of 484% on desktop and 847% on mobile.

Let’s not forget about the World Cup. Every four years, more Americans become enamored with a sport they usually don’t care about. Whether you call it soccer or fútbol, it remains the most watched event around the world. U.S. viewership increased with the increasing success of the U.S. and Mexican teams, which are the most followed in the nation. The Brazil World Cup also helped establish Univision as the de-facto soccer network, streaming countless matches on their website free-of-charge.

Even one of the most mocked sporting events in America had a good year. The winter Olympics showed a healthy 208% increase in hours consumed from 2010.

As the U.S. sports audience grew in 2014, so did its cultural mix. The NBA was at the forefront of this multi-cultural shift, showing what’s in store for other sports in the coming years. A ten-year comparison showed an increase in viewership of 62% in the African-American demographic and a 57% increase for Asian-Americans. Although Hispanic and White fans also watched more minutes, their gains were modest at 14% and 13% respectively.

The biggest winner, however, was College Football. With the introduction of the new playoff format, both semi-final and final games became the most watched programs in cable TV history. The NCAA also aired 97 games with an audience larger than 2.5 million, along with record viewership of bowl games. This unprecedented viewership increase wouldn’t have been possible without the underdog story of Ohio State, which upset Alabama and defeated Oregon in the National Title game.

2014 was an exciting year for sports, and we hope this year holds up to the new precedent. As fans continue to increase consumption across different media platforms, there is an increasing opportunity for brands to connect with them.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information, Research

The Times They Are a-Changin’

The New York Times Magazine, one of the most read print magazines with over 1.5 million copies sold per week, is getting a makeover. The reason? To introduce both the physical publication and digital magazine to the new era of web design.

New York Times Magazine Re-Design Velocity Agency Advertising New Orleans

Screen shot from www.nytimes.com/pages/magazine/

 

 

That’s right, the 118 year old publication is re-writing the rules of print design for the better. Remember that just a mere 20 years ago, print used to influence the way we designed for the internet. Today, The New York Times Magazine readership lives both on and offline, and editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and design director Gail Bichler are very aware.

The re-design hopes to bring online and print editions (and readers) closer together, with a classier and more modern look. To begin, the Sunday supplement is getting a heavier paper stock to give it a more literary, book-like, feel. Old typefaces have been replaced with custom design: slab-serifs for blocks, call-outs and headlines, and elegant sans-serif fonts for body copy.

The page spreads now look cleaner, as the magazine went from a 12 to a 7-column layout. Former GQ art director Anton Ioukhnevets stripped down the layout to make it feel more web-like, adding emphasis on fluidity and visuals. Both the print and online editions use full-bleed images and the same approach to typography, which distinguish it from the more traditional and conservative look of The New York Times.

Changes to the online version bring in a responsive layout along with a strong sense of organization, thanks to the airy negative space.

Check out the online version here and get the Times this Sunday for the print edition.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Market Information, Research

Retargeting Digital Strategy | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Retargeting velocity agency new orleans advertising

How do you only display digital ads to users interested in your brand? The current solution is retargeting. Over the past decade, new online technologies have made it possible for websites to interact with your browser and privately track your navigation.

Retargeting or re-marketing aims to fix a problem most marketers face online: users abandoning or “bouncing” from their client’s site before completing an action (“converting”). Whether you want a user to buy a product, submit a form, and/or sign up for a newsletter, retargeting will follow your website visitors throughout their online sessions. Regardless of their navigation after visiting your site, tracking pixels allow your digital display ads to appear. Thus, increasing brand awareness to an interested user.

Because retargeting allows you to communicate with users that already visited your website, your creative should be dynamic and act as a reminder to come back. The creative should also reflect consistency with the specific pages visited. However, you need to be careful not to appear intrusive or you will lose the prospective customer/client.

As with everything online, some privacy concerns arise over retargeting practices. The technology basically adds a cookie to a user’s browser, which then follows the user around the Internet. This process is maintains personal anonymity, as no identifiable personal information is ever transferred or documented.

Like traditional digital display ads, retargeting allows you to track conversions and determine which creative is most effective. Also, reports show a dramatic drop in cost-per-click for retargeted content, as users that have visited your website are more likely to click your ads.

This technology can be used in various ways. An eCommerce site will benefit from targeting users that visit specific product pages and tackle shopping cart abandonment. In this case, ads can focus on further educating users about specific products, increasing probability of conversion.

Also, retargeting is widely utilized in email marketing campaigns. Once a user opens your eBlast, the process of tracking hyper-targeted display begins. As a byproduct, this increases user retention and attraction.

Remarketing is now a benchmark in effective and efficient digital marketing strategies. The immediate result of targeting interested users is an increase in conversion rates. Brand awareness is merely a starting point. Honing in on interested users narrows the conversion pathway and dramatically increases the possibility of increasing top-line revenues.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information, Research

SEO & Google’s Algorithm: How It Works | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Google is making the search engine leg race to the number one spot more exhausting than ever and with the company’s estimated 600 changes to its algorithms made annually, the finish line may never be in sight. Search engine optimization (SEO), however, remains such a crucial ingredient to ensure organizational success.

In layman’s terms, an algorithm is a recipe that instructs a computer on how to complete a given task. Google’s algorithms pertain to yielding search engine results that are relevant to the users search queries. Today, Google’s algorithms take into account around 200 factors when determining website relevancy, a pool that is consistently growing and changing.

In it’s toddler years, Google search engine visibility was somewhat easy to obtain by stuffing a website with relevant or irrelevant keywords. As the search engine evolves, it is becoming more targeted at finding these non white-hat SEO techniques and penalizing websites for these practices. Today, Google continues to release major updates to the algorithm like Panda, Penguin, and the new Pigeon that can change a website’s traffic overnight.

Now more than ever, website relevance has to be about brand building through relevant, useful content related to what users are searching for. Keyword stuffing and paid links are now replaced by content strategy and development, a task that takes time. Strong content formation includes a hefty chunk of information that is both up to date and relevant to the users search and has not been respun, republished, duplicated or crowded by keywords.

Links are still valuable however, but their value is changing. Link building, much like keyword stuffing, became one of the easier SEO techniques to achieve higher rank results. Because of this, webmasters began building links independently via paid links or article farms. In order to fight these practices, Google introduced the algorithm update Penguin to seek out websites purchasing links or utilizing other spammy link building techniques and dropping their ranking position on search engine results. In the age of Penguin, it’s important to recognize that black-hat practices of buying links are no longer going to help your website by increasing search engine ranking position; it’s now about building relevant, qualified links by influencers in your network and submitting your content to social news sites like Reddit, Digg, or Google+ rather than submitting to article farms where your content will be republished on other sites.

Outside relevant content writing and qualified link building, another of Google’s algorithms focuses on website design optimization in regards to user experience. Google introduced the Panda algorithm update to seek out websites with low quality content and poor user experience. Websites that introduced high-quality content and constantly introduced new, fresh content into the mix were rewarded with increases in organic traffic. Sites with low quality content, broken links, and poor functionality lost out with Panda and organic traffic dropped exponentially – sometimes overnight.

It becomes more important than ever to have a team of people who understand how to utilize classic search engine tools and combine that with superior content formation in a timely and consistent basis. Paid links and keyword stuffing are no longer king , solid brand building with relevant, unique content on a sturdy foundation is.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Research

WINDOWS 9 LEAK: WHAT WE KNOW | VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS

Last week, a supposed leak from Microsoft revealed the unreleased Windows 9.  Here’s what we know. Leaked sources revealed the company’s September 30th invitation, which stated: Join us to hear about what is next for Windows and its enterprise. And now we are all sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for more information.

We don’t even really know if Windows 9 is the correct name for the operating system, however Microsoft’s Chinese division briefly posted, “Microsoft’s latest OS Windows 9 is coming soon, do you think the start menu at the left bottom will make a comeback?” on Weibo, but then promptly deleted it.  Affiliates at local website cnBta, however, were able to snag the information to carrot and stick eager PC users with.

It is unknown if PC users will be able to upgrade directly from their well worn Windows 7 straight into Windows 9, or if they have to venture into the alien territory of Windows 8.  For anyone who has had experience with the Windows 8 interface, or who knows someone who knows someone who has, gets that it is a difficult system to navigate.  It is Windows’ first attempt to conform to touch screen technology and it offers little user instruction.  And because it’s custom designed tablet was almost double the price of existing tablets, a lot of PC users just stuck with what they already had.

Perhaps the most exciting component of all this suspense is the grapevine whispers claiming that this new version of Windows is rumored to be free.  Microsoft sales actually plunged 13% just after it launched Windows 8, a statistic noted by consumer market research conducted at NPD.  Maybe by making it free the public will be less versed in the business’ financial blunders.  Though the information cannot yet be confirmed, leaker group WZOR and other leaker collectives agree that the price of the new operating system will nominal, if even a matter at all.

Of the very little information that we do have about Windows 9, most of the hype surrounds around the new, but old, Start Menu that is rumored to be making a comeback.  The Start Menu’s All Apps combines your usual desktop apps with the Windows 8 Metro Apps, giving you the best of both worlds.  All jokes aside, Microsoft is trying.  With the speed-bumps the company hit after launching Windows 8 and the exhausting leg race the company faces every day against Apple’s chart-topping products, we are excited to see what else the persevering company has in store with it’s latest revision.  Rumored to be available as early as April 2015, this may be an exciting year for Microsoft.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

 

Research, Social Media

Getting Your Thing To Succeed Using Social Media In 2014

It’s been established that if you want your thing to succeed in today’s information based society you must be advertising online and using social media. Online ads and social media campaigns have the ability to target exact demographics and give consumers, businesses, and event planners the ability to interact in a much more powerful and engaging way than traditional forms of advertising like television, radio, and news.  However, choosing which social media sites to utilize has become a very important and often overlooked step in getting your thing to succeed in the social media world.  From the giants of social media like, FacebookYoutube, and Twitter to sites that target more specific niches like Playfire and CultureInside Gallery, where you focus your attention could make or break your thing.

A few years ago experts were touting that one should use every social media outlet at his disposal in order to maximize a brand. This is a completely outdated and unrealistic concept in 2014. There would simply be to many sites for you to manage and too much information for you to create in order to stay engaged with your audience.

 Then there’s this question: the world is a really big place and there is tons of information out there, how does one get noticed amongst the clutter that is consuming these vast social media sites? First, you’ve got to figure out what your thing is and then determine what your goals are. If your only goal is to get 10 thousand likes on Facebook, then you using social media wrong. All of those likes are meaningless unless you are engaging with your consumer. Remember, the point is to engage with your community so that they know of, and better relate to, your thing. Many people, businesses, and event coordinators have forgotten this fundamental concept and simply spam the Internet looking for meaningless follows on Twitter and petty likes on Facebook. They somehow don’t realize that spam isn’t engaging, and that it’s actually bad for their brand image. New and established brands alike have to stay away from this temptation if they want anyone to take their brand seriously. The companies and people that are engaging in these spamming activities have either: A. Gotten lost and forgotten what social media is supposed to be (a community of interested, likeminded individuals that otherwise could not, or would not, engage with one another) or b. have never understood what social media is and are dinosaurs trying to claw their way out of their imminent extinction.

I’m not saying that Facebook, Twitter and the other giant online communities aren’t useful or engaging, they are. My point is that there could be a better alternative you’ve overlooked or a niche within one of those sites that you should target instead of the entire world. Don’t be a dinosaur, be innovative, and stay on your toes. The Internet evolves much to fast for followers and you will never get anywhere if you don’t evolve, pick up your tools, and start creating. If your goal is to reach the entire world, yes choose Facebook, but if your goal is to get more people to your art gallery, weightlifting competition, LAN-party, or whatever your thing is, don’t rule out the possibility that there might be a niche site better suited for your needs.

Here are the steps to figuring out which social media site is right for you.

 Step 1: Determine what your thing is

Closeup of a happy young woman smiling isolated on white backgro

Step 2: Define your target demographic

i.e. Who cares about your thing?

pie-sample

Step 3: Google it! See if a social network for your niche exists. If it doesn’t, by all means make one! If your community exists in a giant like Facebook; great! Go there.  Just make sure your engaging!

 google

Step 4: Engage with the online community that cares about your thing. Because isn’t that what social media is all about?

 Community

 

P.S. Google keeps updating its algorithm and is trying to make engaging content king. Vast knowledge of SEO eventually is not going to matter. Work with Google, not against it. You will lose if you choose the latter.

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