Blog - BLASTmedia

Digital Marketing Download: Facebook’s Safety Check, New Digital Subscription Services, and Google+ Polls

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When will Facebook use it’s location services for good? Why can’t I get HBO Go without cable? What is Google+ actually good for? If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, this week’s digital marketing download is for you:

  • Facebook’s new “Safety Check” lets friends know you’re okay after a major disaster. Unveiled this week in Japan, Facebook’s latest new feature, Safety Check, uses the city listed in your profile, your last location if you’d opted in to Nearby Friends, and the city where you’re using the Internet to determine your location when a disaster strikes. If you are thought to be in the area of the disaster, the feature then sends a push notification asking if you are okay. According to Facebook, “If you’re safe, you can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update.”
  • CBS and HBO announce digital subscription services. This week, HBO announced that in 2015 the premium cable channel with offer a digital service without a cable subscription. Only a day later, CBS announced the launch of “CBS All Access,” a digital subscription service that will feature both live streaming and on demand content. As more content becomes available outside of the traditional TV viewing experience, we’ll be on the lookout for more changes in the online video advertising space.

 

Get the latest Digital Marketing Download every week, follow BLASTmedia on Instagram

3 Ways to Leverage User-Generated Content

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user-generated content

Agencies and brands across the world are quickly learning that the most compelling (and cost efficient) way to collect content is straight from the source. That’s why user-generated content – stories, photos, and videos produced by end-users and consumers – has become immensely popular among brand managers, social media executives, and content marketers alike. But once it’s procured, what do you do with UGC? We’ve got three ideas that will get your wheels turning.

  • Populate your product pages. In an effort to fill website product pages with keyword-rich copy, it can be easy to overlook the inclusion of one of the most valuable pieces of UGC there is: the product review. Whether good, bad, or ugly (that’s another conversation), the incorporation of unique, detailed product reviews on your website is invaluable when it comes to consumer education, but especially search engine optimization. Because comments on a website are indeed content, search engines like Google will evaluate them for long and short-tail keywords, which will in-turn increase the ranking of your website for certain searches. Furthermore, first-hand product reviews allow potential purchasers to better understand the product’s functionality versus jargon-packed verbiage. The end result? Higher conversion rates at a lower cost.

UGC STAT:  51% of millennials say consumer opinions found on a company’s website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from family and friends.

  • Create compelling ad copy. Seeing is believing when it comes to customer buy in, which is exactly why lots of brands are beginning to incorporate consumer quotes and peer photography directly into their advertisements across the digital space. As Social Media Today put it, adding user-generated content into your ad efforts helps to provide “social proof” for consumers. Basically, it helps them realize that “if someone else uses this product and likes it, then I will probably like it too.” Over time, this will eliminate the need for a second opinion prior to product purchase – a win-win for both consumers and marketers.

UGC STAT: Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform.

  • Increase engagement on social media. For social media managers that want to create an engaging community online, interactive and genuine material is a must. It encourages product use, empowers buyers to share, and allows consumers to feel like their stories are being heard – all of which add up to create a successful social media campaign. Take for example T-Mobile’s Breakup Letter campaign, which asked users to write a custom break up letter to their carrier and share it via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. When all was said and done, over 80,000 T-Mobile branded breakup letters were posted to social media – a smashing success.

UGC STAT: On YouTube, user-generated content get 10 times more views than brand-owned content.

Want advice on wrangling your customer base to share compelling stories via social media? Contact Lindsey Groepper and ask how an integrated marketing campaign can change your brand for good. 

Chart-Topping Client Successes

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BLASTmedia_Blog_ClientSuccess

We live up to our promise of tackling and executing targeted, campaign-based strategies and tactics. As a result, our clients have seen huge successes across all marketing platforms, from digital advertising and social media, to public relations. Intrigued? Check out our recent “chart-topping” client successes:

Interested in taking your company or product to gold, or even platinum? Client successes come in all forms. Email Lindsey Groepper to find out how BLASTmedia can provide you with measurable results!

Digital Marketing Download: Facebook’s Local Awareness Ads, Twitter Sues the Government and Google Primer

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A new survey by Piper Jaffray showing the increasing popularity of Instagram and decreasing use of Facebook among teenagers might have been a popular topic among major news outlets, but it wasn’t the most surprising thing happing in digital marketing this week. Have 15 seconds? Here are three things happening in digital marketing right now that you might not have seen coming.

 

This week in #DigitalMarketing: New #Facebook ad targeting, Twitter vs. the U.S. government, and #Google’s new #app for startups.

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This week Facebook introduced a new local awareness ads feature, designed to drive local business awareness. According to Facebook, “with local awareness ads, businesses can quickly and easily find new customers by showing ads to groups of people who are near that business’s neighborhood.”


On Tuesday, Twitter took legal action with the goal of providing more transparency for users. The lawsuit alleges that the U.S. government’s regulations of what Twitter can and can’t publish about national security related surveillance violates its First Amendment rights. 
Google introduced an iPhone app this called Primer. The app, which according to TechCrunch is “aimed at teaching startups the fundamentals of marketing – with a Google spin, of course” is free to download on iTunes.

 

Want to make sure you get the latest digital marketing download every week? Make sure to follow BLASTmedia on Instagram

5 Ways Cookies are the Referees of the Ad Game

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5 ways cookies are the refs of the ad game

Fall is here, and attention spans are disappearing faster than the leaves as they fold into ten second play increments. As the season pushes forward, game outcomes are more and more commonly disputed – often as the result of a “bad call.” Referees shoulder a great deal of responsibility, interpreting every move on the field and every rule to ensure the game runs smoothly. In this way, the referee closely resembles the tracking cookie. Storing the important data like minutes of game play (or minutes on site) they follow your position up and down the field (or through your web browser). Successful referees on the field and on the web interpret data and behavior to bring audiences an experience with maximum entertainment and minimal annoyance. What else can refs teach us about cookies in advertising?

1. They’re impartial
Despite the occasional slip up, a good referee is unbiased. The jersey on a player’s back and the name scrawled across it are merely secondary to the action on the field. The same is true of browsing behavior. Cookies don’t need to know a name any more than the football needs to know what mascot dances upon the sideline. While privacy is a serious matter, retargeting cookies on main advertising platforms are disallowed from collecting personally identifiable information (PII). The cookie, much like the referee, holds the power to manipulate a lot of information – but thanks to protocols, Peter Parker, and a fan base ready to revolt at the slightest hint of falsity, we know that power comes checked with great responsibility.

2. They pay attention to every move
Have you ever browsed a website, only to find it shadowing you all over the web later on? How does your internet browser know you still haven’t ordered tickets to Sunday’s game? And why is that Fantasy Football website you’d never heard of until last week suddenly everywhere? As comedic great Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Look to the cookie!” The cookie isn’t out to tackle, stalk, or to poke holes in privacy. Nay, the cookie is there to measure, to follow the position on the field – or in the purchase funnel. Well placed retargeting campaigns shouldn’t feel like a crazed fan trying to get past security, but rather should exist as a referee – assisting in the background.

3. If it’s controversial, they’ll replay
Whether it’s a forgotten item in a digital shopping cart, a long visit duration on a website, or an incomplete form fill, cookies will take notice. They watch as browsers penetrate the consumer red zone and cross over the final yard line, and take serious note when it appears the ball may have been dropped. Replaying the experience with a secondary digital ad, often inclusive of a discounting nudge, is a great way to ensure pass completion. Recent studies even suggest this may be a key offensive strategy for upcoming holiday ads, as an average of 98% of shopping website traffic doesn’t convert on the first visit.

4. When they get it wrong, you hate them
Ad refs exist to enhance your experience with relevant and timely information. Poorly executed ads are plentiful, whether they misidentified your team (by way subpar targeting) or made a lackluster judgment (by insisting upon a purchase). A bad call will incite annoyance so prevailing audiences will turn on refs, players, and fellow spectators alike in a terrifying and uncalled for Steve-Bartman-like rage. A bad call will turn consumers against brands, products, and cookies altogether. Avoid common mistakes such as excessive frequency, un-tailored content, and unmonitored targeting (such as including users who have already made a purchase, or filed a complaint form).

5. When they get it right, you don’t even notice them
A successful strategy will include well-defined parameters which make the content a win for both viewer and advertiser. These campaigns analyze behaviors, tailor content, and segment audiences. When retargeting campaigns are successful and follow the rules, much like a referee, you will not notice their existence. They will fade into the sidelines as you focus on the beautiful game before you.

 

While terminology and collection methods will evolve over time (with up-and-coming systems like ID based tracking in Facebook’s Atlas platform), basic principles of anonymous data collection are here to stay. Learning how to use tracking responsibly could be key to reaching sales and lead goals, but should also be beneficial and unobtrusive to browsers. It is time to tackle the digital landscape, without blitzing the browsers.

Could your digital advertising strategy benefit from a referee? Get in touch to learn more.

BLASTblog_Twitterfabric

Twitter Fabric Will Attempt To Make Nice With Angered App Developers

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Back in the day, utilizing third party apps was a highly popular way to utilize Twitter due to features and functionality that Twitter proper (Twitter.com – desktop version) did not provide to users. With monetization of the platform on the rise over the last few years, Twitter stirred its direction in a way that angered many third party apps by frequently cutting off access to its API after a policy change. How does Twitter propose making nice? According to Mashable.com, Twitter will reportedly launch a new app development platform known as ‘Twitter Fabric’ in an effort to mend these broken relationships.

Twitter Fabric will provide tools to streamline the process of third party app developers in creating Twitter-friendly apps. By winning over these developers, Twitter will take steps to gaining headway against competitors such as Google and Facebook in their quest for the collection of mobile data for advertising purposes.

One feature of Twitter Fabric that has peaked my interest is a tool known as ‘Digits.’ This will allow developers to sign up new users by using a telephone number. It has been reported that Twitter has been working with wireless carriers throughout the world to tap into text messaging systems.

With the value of mobile data on the rise it only makes sense for Twitter to offer an olive branch to app developers that have expressed their unhappiness with the company’s third party app policy shift. As a marketer, the availability of having mobile data is essential to making a well thought-out strategic recommendation for clients.  While Twitter Fabric seems as though it will start to fill in some of the gaps in their revenue channels, it will be interesting to see the acceptance of those app developers Twitter upset in years past.

Digital Marketing Download: Twitter’s Fabric, Retroactive Product Placement, and Facebook’s Real Name Policy

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Your weekly dose of 15-second digital marketing goodness, brought to you by BLASTmedia.

Twitter to launch new app development platform, Fabric 

In order to keep the peace with third-party apps after cutting off access to its API, Twitter plans to launch a new app development platform call Fabric. Twitter would like to collect more mobile data from users by embedding in more mobile apps. If Fabric is launched, Twitter sees this as a variable option to obtain this information.

Universal Music Group & Mirriad announce retroactive product placement

Universal Music Group (the world’s largest record label) is teaming up with UK tech firm, Mirriad, and Havas, a multinational advertising agency, to provide its artists with a new revenue stream: ads in videos after they’re shot. Here’s how it works: Mirriad’s digital product placement technology scans existing videos to identify blank surfaces to insert advertisements or products. Then, Havas inserts their clients, such as Dish TV, Grand Marnier and Coca-Cola, in retroactive ads in Universal artists’ music videos airing on TV, online and mobile.

Facebook changes ‘real name’ policy & apologizes to LGBT community

Outrage spurred after multiple Bay Area-based drag performers had their Facebook accounts shut down for using aliases as opposed to “real names.” After refusing to back down on the policy once due to security purposes, the social network eventually gave in and now allows for user to create profiles under any “authentic name” that they choose. Facebook has since apologized to those affected, as well as the entire LGBT community.

Want your Digital Marketing Download straight from the source? Follow BLASTmedia on Instagram.

BLASTmedia Spring 2015 Internships Now Available

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Spring 2015 Interns

It’s that time of the year again! BLASTmedia is on the search for stellar college students that would like to pursue a career in public relations, social media, digital advertising, graphic design, or video production. We’re looking for hardworking and conscientious students for our Spring 2015 internship program. Through this internship you’ll work alongside BLASTmedia’s talented team to gain valuable experience in your career field, create share-worthy work samples, and have an applied understanding of strategic communications.

Sound like your kind of internship? Here’s some more information to make sure this is the perfect fit for you. BLASTmedia’s ideal intern candidate will possess the following qualities:

  • Junior or senior collegian from Indy-area school or willing to commute
  • Previous internship experience (industry-specific a plus)
  • Exemplary writing ability
  • Aptitude for a fast-paced work environment and hard working attitude
  • Self-starter with the ability to manage several projects at once
  • Collaborative experience working towards a common goal on over-arching project

So, you’ve checked “yes” for all of the above? Great! We are accepting resumes for all four Spring 2015 paid internships listed below until Monday, December 1. We want you to get the full agency experience, and we’ll provide you the necessary training, technology, and software to complete work at a high-level. Interns will be sincerely welcomed to the BLASTmedia family, invited to company outings, staff meetings, and continued education workshops. BLASTmedia interns have the opportunity to learn from industry experts and are encouraged to connect with employees for further professional growth.

Now, take a look at our available Spring 2015 internships:

Public Relations Internship 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist the PR team with the execution of public relation strategies for their clients
  • Create content for a number of BLASTmedia’s clients including (but not limited to) press releases, bylined articles, communication audits, media pitches, award submissions, and case studies
  • Research editorial calendars at a number of media outlets to identify opportunities for BLASTmedia’s clients
  • Conduct client competitive research, national news monitoring, and identify industry news for media pitch opportunities
  • Assist in pitching and generating national & trade media coverage, including regular contact with the media

Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of media relations and national news outlets
  • Working knowledge of media pitching, press release creation, and news monitoring
  • Experience with press release writing and/or drafting other media material

Social Media/Content Marketing Internship 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist account executives with the implementation of social media strategies for their clients
  • Create content optimized for each social media profile, including (but not limited to) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest
  • Develop client blog editorial calendars and write SEO-centric client blogs
  • Conduct client competitive research and identify shareable industry news
  • Manage online contests and giveaways

Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest
  • Working knowledge of search engine optimization, keyword research, and publishing in WordPress

Creative/Graphic Design/Video Production Internship  

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist with design and layout for a multitude of creative assets including (but not limited to) social branding, contests and promotions, motion graphics, banner ads, as well as digital assets for various video projects
  • Brainstorm ideas for various creative projects
  • Assist with planning, writing, and storyboarding for motion graphics related projects and infographics

Requirements:

  • Strong knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, and InDesign
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Premiere is a plus
  • Creative portfolio showcasing work samples

Digital Advertising Internship

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist account executives with the implementation of digital advertising strategies for their clients
  • Research ad targeting and keywords
  • Write creative copy for ad production
  • Analyze ad performance while providing insights and recommendations
  • Assist in reporting ad performance to clients
  • Advanced training provided in the area of ad placement on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more

Requirements:

  • Ability to write ad copy
  • Ability to analyze data and make data-driven decisions

Preference will be given to candidates with the following:

  • Working knowledge of search engine optimization and keyword research
  • Working knowledge of digital advertising platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Pandora, and Google+
  • Working knowledge of PPC

Do one of these positions sound like your dream internship? Ready to gain knowledge in your chosen industry and experience agency life? Apply by submitting the following materials to interns@blastmedia.com.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Writing samples
  • Creative portfolio or website link (if applicable)

For Beginners in Creative Work

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BLASTmedia_Blog_work

People that make a living doing creative work know all to well the feelings of self-doubt and dissatisfaction that creep up from time to time.  Sometimes, no matter how experienced or successful you are, you just look at your work and hate it.  It happens.  This is especially the case for the less experienced among us, and even more so for true beginners.

When you run into failures and shortcomings, it can be easy to start wondering if you are really cut out to make what you are aspiring to make.  It’s thoughts like these that lead many to call it quits.

I recently ran across a video I wanted to share – the monologue comes from the talented Ira Glass, who perfectly articulates the challenges of starting a creative career while offering some words of advice to overcome them.  Although I think the message really speaks to the artists and designers and writers of the world, it also rings true for anyone chasing any kind of endeavor. As the video’s creator says, “It can be applied to everyone who starts out in a new environment and is willing to improve.”

The video had an impact on me and I hope it rejuvenates your passion and inspires you to keep fighting the good fight!

Inside BLASTmedia: Friday Highlight Huddle

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BLASTmedia highlights

Think you know everything there is to know about BLASTmedia? Think again! At BLASTmedia we live by the “work hard, play hard” mentality, and love to share our biggest campaign successes with each other. That’s why each Friday we huddle up as a company and share our weekly highlights – personal and professional.

Here’s an inside look into BLASTmedia and one our weekly Friday highlight huddles:

  • SimpliciKey, and its remote control electronic deadbolt, featured in CNET’s CEDIA show floor coverage.
  • Our paid media team started a new Facebook video ad for client adidas just last Monday. In 10 days, the video ad has received 4,645 views and a 10.09% click-through-rate (industry average: 0.05%). The video post has also amassed 265 Likes, 38 Comments, 78 Shares, and 410 clicks to the purchase website – and all for just $0.05 per view (industry average: $0.95).
  • CNBC utilized client StitchLab’s data in “No coal here: Holiday forecast calls for 4% growth.”
  • Technology news site, ReadWrite, included Formstack and its Google Analytics Report in a piece on Big Data, “You Don’t Need a Data Science Unicorn – You Need a Data Science Team.”

Like what you see? So do we! That’s exactly why BLASTmedia dedicates Friday mornings to sharing big wins with the team. If you want even more of an inside look into BLASTmedia’s company culture, or our integrated campaign strategies, send Lindsey Groepper an email.

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