August 31, 2011
You know what they say, “All good things must come to an end…” While I’m sad to say that next week marks my last week as a web marketing intern here at EIM, I’m proud to say that I’ve truly enjoyed my time here over the past few months. To say I’ve learned a lot during my summer internship here would be more than an understatement.
Working at a small interactive agency like EIM really gave me the opportunity to gain a lot of hands-on experience. I got to work on several client tasks such as search engine optimization, pay-per click ad management, social media management, and weekly / quarterly reporting. While working closely with the web marketing team, I’ve learned all about the different aspects of search engine optimization including keyword analysis and research, meta-tag writing, content enhancement, video optimization, and link building as well as how to effectively utilize various online marketing tools and resources like social media, keyword tools, and Google Analytics. In addition to learning more about interactive marketing, my internship at EIM has also helped me develop my skills in collaboration, time management, internal communications, and problem solving.
Overall I feel like my time here at EIM has been a great success. I came into this internship as a fresh college grad with very limited knowledge and experience in interactive marketing and now after spending my summer here at EIM, I feel confident and well-prepared to take on the interactive marketing world as a full-time professional! Thank you to everyone at EIM for making my internship here a great experience…I will be sure to keep touch!
…And to close out my last blog post as an EIM intern, I’ve compiled some helpful tips for students or recent grads looking to make the most of their internship with an interactive agency:
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August 29, 2011
We’re proud to announce that we’ve been nominated for an OMMA Award! Our favorite restaurant that serves malt crust pizza is one of three finalists in the Web Site Excellence Food and Beverage category.
Winners are announced September 26—but you can register to vote for Roots Handmade Pizza for a Member’s Choice Award.
In the meantime, we’d like to congratulate all of the nominees, and the envisionit Roots team! This just might call for a malt crust pizza party.
August 26, 2011
We’re pleased to announce that envisionit media is on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list for 2011! That means we’re one of the fastest growing privately owned companies in the United States. Pretty big deal, huh? And it’s an even bigger deal that it’s the third year in a row we’ve made the list.
So like our annual holiday party gift exchange, signing the conch shell after you get hired, and getting cookies on your birthday, getting on the Inc. 500|5000 list might just be a new company tradition.
Congratulations are in order to everyone who made the 500|5000 list—and a big hat tip to our employees, clients, and Inc. Magazine for making this all possible.
August 25, 2011
You know malt liquor, malt vinegar, and malt balls. But malt crust? You read that right. We just launched Roots Handmade Pizza online and the images of housemade pizza and other menu items speak for themselves. But say you want to learn about this whole malt crust deal. The site breaks down the Quad Cities style strip-cut pizza with its signature crust that features a not-so-secret ingredient: malt. On top of offering up a new pizza style to Chicago, the restaurant also serves more amazing food options—think hand-stretched mozzarella sticks, fresh signature salads, make-your-own options, and housemade sausages—just to name a few. And if you need something to wash down that housemade goodness, you can select from over 70 Midwestern brewed beers, specialty adult soda classics, or Roots root beer.
Our team needed to deliver an online experience that would do justice to the restaurant’s extensive food and beverage menus while reflecting its easygoing, fun vibe. We all know there’s heavy competition in the Chicago pizza scene, so creating a site that rivals the nation’s top pizza restaurants was no small feat. We needed a site that would help make Quad Cities malt crust pizza the talk of the town.
We made sure the Roots site is a robust, scalable website. We incorporated an ecommerce system that synchs real-time with the restaurant’s POS system for pickup and delivery, with an engaging online user experience highly reflective of the owners’ vision and the new store experience—one that showcases all key brand attributes of Roots Pizza. That means always keeping the focus on high quality ingredients, hand-tossed pizzas, and housemade pastas, pizzas, and sausages.
With a successful opening and an awesomely yummy-looking website, the gentlemen behind Chicago’s The Fifty/50 restaurant group are pleased with the end result and excited for what the future of Roots holds.
August 24, 2011
Adding user-generated content to your website is not something you’re unfamiliar with. These days, most websites have some form of user-generated material on their site, whether it be text, images, or video. But what if we took that to the next level and utilized those images provided by your clients, customers, or brand evangelists and incorporated them into your actual website or digital marketing photography?
Instagram, a free iPhone app–and other products like it–have made this possible. Recently, I’ve downloaded the Instragram app and have gone crazy turning my photos into fun, professional looking shots. The app allows you to create a blurred background, as well as apply treatments like black and white, sepia, etc. These photos are then shared via Instagram’s own social network, as well as Facebook and Twitter. What better images are there than those taken by your customers, in action using your product, service, or visiting your restaurant, bar, etc? There has always been the argument that user-generated images won’t be a high enough resolution, but there are even software programs now that can turn those low-res images into high-res (our fave: Alien Skin Blow Up 2. Funny name, I know).
At EIM, we assist our clients in running social media campaigns, sometimes contests with photo submissions. What if we took that one step further and turned those photos into digital artwork that we can use in our marketing efforts? We may have just cut back on photo shoot costs or stock imagery, and created a truly unique user-generated experience. Featured here are a few of my favorite images we shot at a client’s rooftop lounge. You just may see these on their website or in their latest print ad in the near future!
August 23, 2011
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile website for Brookdale Senior Living (BKD), the nation’s largest owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the United States and a leading national provider of senior-related services.
Having already worked on several projects together, Brookdale (BKD) came to us to develop a mobile web property that would complement their dynamic, information-rich website, enabling on-the-go visitors to search community listings and find information about any of its 554 individual senior living and retirement communities. Through the collection of online requests and easy-to-update info about their broad array of service offerings, Brookdale also looked to this new mobile site as a tool for their sales staff.
With these goals in mind, we worked to create an extensive mobile solution that offers the ability to quickly access Brookdale’s database of 550+ communities, including a video gallery where guests can view videos on both iPhone and Android platforms. Tasked to find a solution that would integrate within the site’s content management system, we created a request feature that communicates directly with the community databases and into the sales teams’ inboxes. The resulting mobile site provides an overall user experience that has exceeded client expectations.
August 19, 2011
As we all know, and often write about, Google is always making changes (aka “making us crazy”). Whether an interface, algorithm, or product change, sometimes these stay at the “test” status and never really have an impact on a business’s SEO efforts, other times we’re not so lucky. Either way, it’s important to watch them for cues from Google that you can use to drive new search marketing tactics.
So let’s look at one of my favorite recent updates in Google house cleaning news.
Google Places Pages: Google recently updated their Places pages, de-cluttering and reprioritizing certain elements. In the process, they hid some information that always seemed important to SEOs and provided tantalizing keyword opportunities. However, no big surprise here, the pages are much more streamlined and user friendly.
The biggest change and takeaway is related to reviews. Google has added big pretty buttons inviting visitors to write reviews of the business (as seen in the screenshot below), and they they are no longer displaying reviews from 3rd sites right on the page (they are instead still linking off to some of those sites, though).
This is Google moving into the social realm (in line with Google+), competing with sites like Yelp, and telling us that customer feedback is important.
So what do you do with this? It’s simple! Just like you (hopefully) already have subtle drivers from existing marketing touchpoints to sites like Yelp where customers can share their experiences with your business, it would be a good idea to more actively ask them to also drop praise on your Google Places page. It is Google, after all, so it’s probably smart to build up your presence there. Start with your Facebook page, where you should have a nice community of your most loyal customers. Post a light message thanking them for all their support, share your Google Places link, and see if they’d like to share their positive feedback there.
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August 12, 2011
It’s no secret that Cubs fans are everywhere, not just in the Chicago city limits, not even just in Illinois. This became especially clear to CubWorld.com through engagement with their growing social media community. In fact, it’s the fans outside Chicago who seem to be some of the most active participants on CubWorld’s Facebook page!
With this in mind, CubWorld wanted to find a way to let Chicago Cubs fans’ voices be “heard”—from wherever they may reside. So EIM worked with CubWorld to launch CubWorld Nation.
Fans simply provide their name, zip code, and email address, and voila: the map is marked with an appropriately blue-hued baseball cap, denoting that passionate Cubbie blue is bled in that part of our nation. Excuse me, our CubWorld Nation.
The exact count of fans represented by each hat can be viewed by clicking on the respective hat. And through the power of a Google API, this map comes with tons of flexibility and room for growth. So CubWorld Nation is a tool we expect to see more from — stay tuned for fan photo-sharing, CWNation contests and giveaways, and more.
If you root for those lovable Northsiders, be sure to stake your claim on the CubWorld Nation map. Or just go hat-clicking to see how many Cubs fans live near you!
August 11, 2011
When looking at most business infrastructures there is usually one thing that is most important amongst all of them—the consumer. Your revenue is driven by consumer purchases, and if said consumer is happy with the services your company provides, they will more than likely return for repeat business.
A strong online presence can be everything for your business, so make sure you follow these 4 simple tips when constructing/revamping your website to create the best online user experience for your customers.
1. Have a Mobile Version of Your Website
As we stated earlier, 2011 is the year for mobile marketing and optimization, and rightfully so. With the use of mobile phones for web browsing reaching all time high numbers and constantly climbing, it is important that you have a mobile version of your site so your consumers can access your site, on the go, from their phone.
If your budget doesn’t allow you to build a complete separate mobile version of your website, be sure that you web developers are building your site to be mobile friendly.
2. Constantly Provide Additional Information (Add a Blog or News Section)
Adding new supplemental information to your website can be extremely valuable for multiple different reasons.
Benefits on a Consumer level
The main reason consumers will be going to your website is to find out more information about your product or service, so having supplemental information that’s relevant to your business will strongly benefit them. It can also help push them over the edge to make a purchase.
Not only that, if you are constantly providing new fresh information about the particular space your business is in, your site can become a resource for information which in turn can drive lots of traffic to your site. And believe me there is no such thing as bad traffic to a website.
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August 5, 2011
Making sure that your website has links from other websites is a very important aspect of SEO. Although link building can sometimes be a very slow and very gradual process, the increase in traffic and visibility that results from meaningful links is a great reward.
As an intern looking to learn the ins and outs of SEO, I sought to find out more about some of the different link building practices and strategies out there. When it comes to SEO, things are constantly changing, so it’s important to continuously keep up to date with the latest news about which link building practices work and which don’t. Here are some great link building tips and strategies that stood out to me:
Create “Link-Bait”: It’s all about good content! Create articles, blog posts, videos, infographics, etc. that are well-researched and provide extremely interesting, educational or entertaining content. If you can establish your site to be one of the best resources in a given market space, people will surely link to it.
Guest Post On Other Sites: Find other bloggers in your industry and ask them if you can write a guest post for their site. Blogs are always hungry for fresh content and there are many blogs out there that accept guest posts. This is a great way to get a link back to your own site, build personal brand visibility, and start becoming a part of the community within your market space.
Conduct Interviews: Interview someone in your industry. Some people love to talk about themselves. You’ll raise exposure for your site through the interview and hopefully generate some favorable links or mentions from the person that you interviewed.
(For more of the latest articles on link building tips and strategies, check out this list of 79 Link Building Resources by KISSmetrics)
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