December 17, 2012
Digital marketing is one of the most quickly evolving industries in history. Keeping up with what’s new is a big job and one that the Envisionit Media team takes very seriously. Therefore, we wanted to kick off the week by sharing a few digital highlights that may influence your marketing, social media and digital activity this week.
We’d love to hear what YOU think is newsworthy. Please share your favorite digital news with us in the comments section below!
Nielsen & Twitter Establish “Social TV” Rating
There has been a lot of talk about “Social TV” lately, but most of us have been waiting for something that will help justify the movement. Today Nielsen and Twitter anounced a partnership in which they will work together to measure TV show engagement via the “Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.” The new rating system will be an standard industry metric allowing developers and advertisers to create valuable ”second screen” and advertising experiences. The insight gained will also influence content produced by TV networks.
5 Ways You can Help Sandy Hook Shooting Victims
While social media arguably made things more confusing for the press during the terrible events of Friday December 14th (reporting the wrong name of the shooter and driving traffic to the WRONG guy’s Facebook & Twitter pages, for example) it also brought a lot of good. Check out the fundraising campaigns that were started by people who used the power of social media to accelerate donations.
Our favorite example of usuing social media in a time of crisis is WallofLove.org: a site that hopes to show that there is more good than bad in the world. Join the movement by sending your square image of love to email@example.com.
9 Awesome Facebook Fan Page Ideas
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November 20, 2012
Some people can talk to anybody about anything. That’s Nicole. As senior social strategist (say that three times fast), she’s starting conversations everywhere by creating awesome, innovative social media programs for brands. And she’s always keeping it interesting by researching what’s new in social media and technology, then applying it to clients’ programs.
Before joining Envisionit Media, Nicole ran her own small digital agency which focused on digital content creation. She’s also the founder of MsCareerGirl.com, a savvy blog filled with smart career tips and advice on life after college. Nicole loves doing speaking gigs about social media in her spare time which lead her to be a guest on Oprah & Friends XM radio, an adjunct professor at DePaul, and to be quoted in publications like the Chicago RedEye and US News & World Report.
Senior social strategist. Senior social strategist. Senior social strategist.
A very short interview with Nicole:
What’s the one thing everyone should know about you?
I love Twitter a little too much. Tweet me @MsCareerGirl.
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
I’d like to trade places with Oprah because I’d love to see how she gets it all done running so many companies simultaneously. I’d also like to know what it feels like to be paid a fortune to inspire and empower women around the world every day — I think I’d love it!
October 30, 2012
Working as an intern, becoming a contractor, and then being offered a full-time position at EIM is a journey that is truly too great for words. When I came across Envisionit, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass. After an interview and a review of my portfolio, I was lucky enough to be hired on the spot as an intern!
During my internship, I was able to work on logo concepts, create stationery collateral pieces, work on several social media backgrounds, among many other things. It wasn’t just the projects, but also the atmosphere of the company that allowed me to enjoy my time as an intern.
My internship was coming to an end, but I believe it was through my eager interest that helped my internship grow into a three month contract as a production artist. This extended opportunity was perfect in all aspects; I was approaching graduation and I loved working for this agency. I was given more responsibilities and continued to work closely with the creative directors, working on revisions or adding on to existing projects. This three month period allowed me to not only become more comfortable with my ridiculous commute from Naperville, but it also helped me gain more experience and knowledge in what it meant to be working at an agency. The organized structure helped me become more organized, and the deadlines challenged me to work more efficiently; and it took this job for me to truly understand the importance of teamwork.
When I had been offered a full-time position, I was completely overwhelmed with pure joy and gratefulness. It was hard to believe that I had actually made it here! I give so many thanks to Envisionit Media for paving the path for me to start my career and become successful in what I love to do. I couldn’t have imagined this being a better journey than it already was and is going to be!
October 25, 2012
When in the development lifecycle should you start thinking about SEO?
If you’re like a lot of people, the answer is “let’s just get this damn thing built and then we’ll worry about SEO later!” I feel your pain—redesigning your website can be expensive, time consuming, and frustrating.
The last thing you want to think about is keyword research, and besides, can’t you just hire an SEO company to work some magic once you’re up and running? Well, maybe. But the SEO company’s first recommendation might be “this site sucks, it’s all in Flash, and you need a redesign.” Have fun at your quarterly review.
OK, so SEO is important, but what should you be considering while you’re in the design process? Here are some bullet points that we’ll flesh out below.
- Keyword targeting and site architecture
- Search-engine-friendly URLs
- 301 redirects
- Analytics and tracking
- Site speed (the silent killer)
Keyword Targeting and Architecture
What keywords are you going after? If it’s a re-launch, are they the same keywords that you were ranking for before, or are you looking to expand your reach? Either way, you need to think strategically about the keywords you will be targeting.
That means that each keyword phrase will need a unique page of content and each landing page should be no more than two clicks away from the homepage. In fact, by doing keyword research in conjunction with designing the site architecture, decisions about what pages to include and how to organize them will fall into place much more easily.
Another note about site architecture: key pages should be no more than two clicks away from the homepage, in order to a) make them easier for visitors to find and b) to effectively pass the link juice from the homepage to the landing pages on the site.
But what about aesthetics? Yeah, I know, aesthetics are important. And so are the actual humans that will be using your site. You have to balance the demands of search engines and real people—and helping people find what they want is part of good usability and SEO. If Ryan Gosling was using your site, you would want him to say “you’re the perfect combination of user-friendly design and search engine optimization.”
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October 23, 2012
Cynthia came to intern with us as a college student. She was ambitious, focused, and oozed raw talent. Working as a designer for an eBay luxury goods e-consignment store and styling company during college was the precursor to today: working as a full-blown production artist.
Now, she works with creative directors and art directors to make sure design projects are in tip-top shape. Her most recent projects include a few email campaigns and digital marketing efforts, working on logo concepts, print collateral, and generally being awesome.
We’re pretty lucky to have someone with Cynthia’s hard work, dedication, and drive on the team.
A very short interview with Cynthia:
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I can probably beat you in a game of pool or bowling.
Fill in the blank: I can cook …
Anything that can be thoroughly cooked via microwave or toaster oven.
October 19, 2012
What if you could snap your fingers and be living in your ideal future? Turns out, you can, and not by magic! We know of just the tools to help you visualize your ideal life and future and make it happen. MagicFuture (formerly MagicNumber) is a platform for education and inspiration to help happy people fulfill their potential through self improvement tools. And, we have the privilege of helping them bring their wisdom, insight, and inspiration to life online.
After having developed and then obtained some key learnings for the MagicNumber beta site, EIM started on a journey to evolve the site to create greater usability for members and a more cohesive experience, tying in all tools offered–including features for goal setting, habit forming, and a vision board to paint a picture of what they are trying to achieve.
Creating User Value
To engage new users and spur growth, we helped MagicFuture implement a “Try it, risk free 21 day trial!” Seeing the value of user insights and how important it is to hear from its members, the Magic team has always encouraged feedback. Many of the things that we included in the latest MagicFuture release were spurred by comments from their community
Building The MagicTools to Build a MagicFuture
Achieving your desired future starts with knowing you want it, but it takes the right tools to stay determined and on track. And there was always so much more behind MagicNumber than just that tool alone–MagicFuture brings them all to the forefront in a more cohesive toolkit.
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- MagicGoals – Subscribers can set and track goals towards achievement.
- MagicHabits – Subscribers can set and form habits that will enhance their lives.
October 15, 2012
Since the beginning of the internet, a continuing battle ranges between marketing and IT. Marketing wants more tags on websites, while IT has pushed back, saying too much tagging will slow down websites and make us sad.
But one day, tag management came along and has provided marketing and IT with a quick, easy solution to coexist in peace.
Tag management is applying one tag to every page on your website. This tag then references a management console where you can apply multiple tags to your site pages without slowing down, breaking, or bothering IT (and no one wants to bother IT). The console allows you to create tags and rules for specific pages on your site with the click of a button. This solution speeds up marketing initiatives and empowers your agency. (Not to mention keeps IT happy.)
Do I need tag management?
This question is answered simply by taking an inventory of your current and future tagging and marketing initiatives. Do you have one or more of the following tags on your site?
- Google Analytics
- A/B testing tools
- AdWords or other pay per click management tags
- Ad serving floodlight or spotlight tags
- Affiliate marketing tags
- Remarketing tags
- Site survey tags
You probably do. The likelihood of you adding, moving, or removing these tags for specific advertising initiatives is even higher. Tag management lets you add tags to specific pages and gives user permissions to add and remove tags when necessary, without hurting website performance or impact the IT team. The system promotes playing well with others, which is why our analytics team recommends it!
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October 5, 2012
When running an Adwords paid search PPC campaign, ad testing plays an important role in campaign optimization.
- Your ad is where you connect with prospects. Assume that a prospect doesn’t know anything about you, the ad is where you tell a prospect what you can offer & what benefit they will get. It’s where you give them incentives to click on your ad and learn more about you. If you don’t do ad testing, you are losing opportunities to turn prospects into customers.
- A good ad increases your Click-through-rate (CTR), and CTR is one of the main factors that affects your quality score and the campaign health. Instead of increasing bids to attain a short term gain, optimizing your ads gives you long term gains in your account.
What to test?
Small Variations: Besides creating an ad with totally fresh ideas, also try creating ads with little variations–like adding an exclamation point, a question mark or ‘ll instead of “will”–and you will be surprised how a small change could change your campaign performance!
Headline: The headline is what your prospects see first, so make it stand out from your competitors. Also, make good use of your headline with limited characters, tell prospects what you sell (i.e. “Custom Fortune Cookies” instead of “Fortune Cookies” or “Birthday Gifts For Mom” instead of “Gifts for Mom”).
A Strong Call-to-Action: You don’t want your prospects to just read your ads, you want them to take action after reading your ads. If there is space left after describing the main offer, try a strong call-to-action and tell them what you want them to do (i.e. Sign Up Today! Join Us Tonight! Book A Table Now!). Remember, a strong call-to-action doesn’t guarantee a better ad performance, and that’s where ad testing comes in!
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October 1, 2012
Rebecca’s not only a new account manager, she’s a brand spankin’ new Chicagoan! Coming to us via Austin, Texas, she’s got a ton of experience managing clients, developing social media strategies (including the social strategy for Texas.gov — yes, she tweeted for Texas), and founding businesses. (She founded a small business marketing consultancy serving clients like Austin Restaurant Week and Autism Trust USA; no big deal.*) Oh, and did we mention she was named a rising star finalist in the 2012 Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power: Women of Influence awards?
We couldn’t be happier Rebecca’s with us to help our clients bring their projects to life and help the EIM teams get it done while they’re designing, coding, writing, or SEOing. She’ll be working with brands in a variety of industries to help build and connect with their audience in a creative way — and hopefully, sharing some of her pro entertaining tips with us along the way.
A very short interview with Rebecca:
What’s the one thing everyone should know about you?
My blog, TheRebeccammendations, won Best Blog for Entertaining Tips in the 2010 Austin Blogger Awards. I’ve migrated it to Chicago to write about local restaurants, shopping, art, music, and entertainment and get to know the hidden gems in The Windy City. You can also follow me on Twitter @LocalizeChicago and @Rbcammendations for tidbits on local hotspots and info I find along the way.
Fill in the blank: I can cook or bake…
Oreo truffles that are quite the hit. Actually, there’s no cooking or baking involved (just refrigeration and some chocolate-dipping skills).
*Kidding, it’s a really big deal.
September 26, 2012
Are organic vegetables better for you than conventional vegetables? Debatable. Is organic search good for your business? Yes. Robert takes a holistic approach to SEO: treating the entire site, not just the symptoms or rankings.
But make no mistake — he’s no SEO hippie, even though he’s in charge of getting more organic traffic to our clients’ sites and turning that traffic into quality leads.
With five years experience as an independent consultant, at Ephricon in Baltimore, and as an in-house web marketer (“pretty much makes me a grizzled vet,” he says), he can do that sort of thing. It’s wholesome, organic SEO at its best.
A very short interview with Robert:
What’s the one thing we should know about you?
I’m also an actor, writer, and filmmaker. Most nights and weekends I’m performing improv or sketch, or working on a TV pilot that I’m going to produce next spring.
Tell us a story in six words.
Joined circus. Sorry ma. Will write.