February 28, 2014
Digital marketing, at its core, is rooted on the basis of performance. Even in the case of Branding campaigns, where conversion metrics are not necessarily the foremost concern, advertisers want to know that their dollars were spent wisely; and, more often than not, website analytics are a strong indicator of how well-received a brand initiative was within the target audience.
Whether promoting a brand’s image or focusing on a specific Direct Response goal, the question on every marketer’s mind is, undoubtedly, ‘who gets the credit for performance’? While it’s often posited as a self-serving inquisition, assigning accurate credit to various marketing initiatives, also known as attribution, is very much an important metric for determining the success (or lack thereof) of any campaign.
We need to go further
Even though digital marketing has become extremely advanced, the one area where the industry has lagged is in this one. Attribution has mainly become one of “last click” or “last view”; meaning whichever advertising a consumer sees or interacts with just before the determined goal wins 100% of the credit for that conversion.
You don’t need to be an expert to see how flawed that thought process is.
Luckily, in the past few years, advertising agencies and technology companies have began to understand the importance of not just the last click, but of all touch points before a conversion takes place. Google Analytics, a standard for many advertisers’ websites, does now provide multi-channel attribution information (which will be covered in this blog next month). However, as some of us can attest, most advertisers are not exactly jumping at the chance to give their agencies or publishing partners access to their analytics data. In this common occurrence, relying on this platform for attribution reporting is simply not an option.
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February 19, 2014
We asked EIMers one simple question: What are your favorite apps?
The responses were overwhelming. In fact, we learned a little bit about how everyone spends their free time. We travel, eat out, exercise, think, create, share, joke, and even get a little work done.
With tens of thousands of available apps to choose from, it’s always interesting to see which become necessary tools for our lives, which in turn helps us understand how to help others build, market, or improve their own apps.
Here’s how our staff weighed in.
Winner: Uber – By far the most popular. Nearly everyone mentioned it. Perhaps this has to do with the record breaking cold this winter.
Runner Up: Lyft – Uber’s black cars beat Lyft’s stranger-driven cars.
Winner: FitBit – This app communicates with a wristband that collects activity data and reminds you to keep moving.
Runner Up: Nike Training Club – Data + Exercise + Social = a digital pro’s dream.
Winner: OmniFocus – Like a To Do list on steroids, with a Ph.D., and an assistant.
Runner Up: Quip – Works like Google Docs but adds checklist functionality.
Winner: AdAge – Can you blame us?
Runner Up: (Tie) The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times – Old media in a new way.
Winner: Amazon – With a little wifi, the app is better than the website.
Runner Up: Cartwheel – One resourceful EIMer uses Cartwheel’s discounts at Target with their in-store and manufacturer coupons for maximum discounts.
Winner: SnapChat – This article will self-destruct in 10 seconds.
Runner Up: Foursquare – The mayor is in the house!
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February 10, 2014
Since the dawn of the interwebs, designers and developers were restricted to using web-safe fonts to ensure that website content loaded properly. Web-safe fonts were declared “safe” because every computer came with them preloaded on the hard drive, which meant websites could reliably load content in those fonts. Since the fonts used on a website affect a major part of the look and feel, web-safe fonts greatly restricted branding opportunities.
Browsing from one website to the next, you’ll see classics (Read: boring) like Arial, Courier, Times New Roman, Georgia, Verdana, the unfortunate Comic Sans, and a few others that make up the 12 or so web-safe fonts. The only way to deviate from this set was to embed a font into the site’s code. But this was costly option because of licensing fees, extra development and testing. Even after all that, loading issues could cause a website to fall back to the original web-safe fonts.
Enter Google Fonts
Google Fonts changed the game by hosting a library of crafted, quality fonts…and for FREE! A website’s code can now pull fonts hosted by Google, as well from as the user’s hard drive for fallback fonts – growing font choices by orders of magnitude. Websites can now easily display any of the 1,173 fonts from the 632 font families that Google hosts instead of relying on the web-safe fonts or spending a lot of time and money embeding unique fonts. Or worse, uploading images of designed type, which isn’t crawlable by search engines.
How Google Fonts helps your branding and SEO
Access to more fonts expands your design options, which can help create a unique experience for your users and a stronger brand identity.
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January 24, 2014
For a period of time today, Twitter became even more popular than usual. Why? Because Gmail was down and helpless people everywhere were suddenly feeling like they had nowhere else to turn and nothing else to do.
As digital marketers, we understand the feeling of withdrawal that occurs when one of our most relied upon technologies is down. We also know that there are lots of brands out there that would do anything to capitalize on a top trending Twitter hashtag. And as a Twitter addict and a social media marketer myself, I get both sides of this story.
Here are a few interesting moments from today’s unofficial #gmail outage Twitter fest:
Let’s start with the fact that once upon a time, gmail didn’t exist.
Great points here, people.
Interesting timing for a promoted tweet, @Outlook.
While we’re at it, meet @Cotap a solution suddenly worth checking out.
When in Rome, ladies…
Thanks to those who were “kind” enough to give us ideas on what to do during the outage. Actually…no thanks.
And of course, we appreciate those who were just plain honest.
What were your favorite tweets of the #gmail outage?
October 29, 2013
No matter what your business, a fierce competitor is always just a few clicks away. A key step in thwarting that abandonment is by building your influence, but the recipe isn’t simple. It takes the right design, copy, product and tone. That’s why we picked Webs of Influence by Nathalie Nahai as our latest Book Club book. It reinforced a lot of what we knew and expanded our understanding of ways to develop a brand’s influence online.
Here are some key takeaways:
Design for your Customer
Influence is not universal. What influences one type of person may not influence another, so the demographics of your customer plays a crucial role in the design, content, and architecture decisions for a brand’s website. Much research has been done on how different types of people – even entire countries – react to the many design elements of a website.
For instance, Nahai cited studies that ranked countries on an individualist to collectivist spectrum. The United States is a highly individualist country. So it favors websites that reward individual actions, incite personal opinions and highlight individuality in the message, tone and design. But if your website is intended for the Chinese – a highly collectivist culture – an emphasis on group actions and universal rules will increase effectiveness.
Test, Optimize, and Repeat
Data should be at the heart of your decisions. If your website isn’t converting well, there are many different ways to analyze why users are dropping off.
Eye- and click-tracking software gives amazing insights into the effectiveness of a website’s design. Once employed, these testing methods can help you tweak your site to direct the user’s focus to the call to action. You may find that different colors or simple adjustments to design elements improve conversion. But you won’t know if you don’t test, optimize, and repeat.
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July 1, 2013
Two weeks ago, I attended the Conversion Conference in Chicago, a two-day event filled with speakers and workshops centered around website conversion rate optimization (CRO). Reassuringly, a significant number of the techniques utilized at envisionit media today were complemented with a few new fresh concepts. As it is always critical to stay current in this ever evolving digital landscape, I thought it would be valuable to share 5 tried and true methods for improving conversion rate.
1) Understand Your Customers
Before design begins, you need to truly understand your customer. What do they need, desire and fear? How do they shop? What are they looking for in a solution? This research should guide the development of your user experience and, once the site is live, be used diligently as you hone your CRO.
Persona development is an efficient method for nailing down your target demographic. After launch, live observations where people try to accomplish specific tasks on your site while talking through their experience and decisions can assist as you optimize user experience.
2) Design With Purpose
With every page, you should ask, “What do I want the visitor to do here?” Keep the design focused on the desired outcome. Too often,pages are cluttered or use design elements that are “cool” but fail to guide the user down the desired path.
For better performance, it is key to eliminate clutter and anxiety while increasing clarity and relevance.
3) Analytics + Theory = Hypotheses
Analytics tell us what is happening on a website but they don’t explain why users behave a certain way. The data is agnostic. To make hypotheses based on it, you need design, usability, and conversion theory. For example, your analytics software will tell you that your homepage has a high bounce rate, but you’ll need to dig deeper to discover that your value proposition isn’t clearly stated or perhaps your product is overpriced.
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March 11, 2013
Until recently, scrolling through a website was a routine action that was so natural that it required little thought. For even the least savvy computer user, thinking about scrolling was as unnecessary as thinking about breathing. Breathe in, breathe out. Scroll up, scroll down.
Enter Apple’s Lion operating system in 2011 and suddenly scrolling is reversed. You’re a fish out of water, flopping around your desktop like you’d never used a mouse before, because Apple decided to mirror it’s desktop scroll to it’s touchscreen scroll.
And now ambitious designers and developers are rocking the boat even harder. Websites don’t always move straight down when you scroll anymore. Sometimes the scrolling moves the site in large chunks. Sometimes scrolling gets you out of the bed and into the shower. Sometimes scrolling moves sites horizontally instead of vertically. Sometimes it does both.
It seems that a two-sided revolution has crept up on us, starting with Apple integrating it’s mobile-style scrolling onto it’s desktops, and more recently with designers and developers disregarding conventional scrolling to create standout experiences. With both hardware and software changes, scrolling is no longer second nature, it’s now something that requires thought, preferences, and intention.
It’s always great to see a new frontier open up for digital design. If one-page sites seemed like the cat’s pajamas, imagine the possibilities a one-page site that scrolls off horizontally, vertically and upside down! The purpose of many websites is to tell a story, whether that’s the story of a business or of a product, of an individual or a landmark event, and stories often run through paths that are not straight and narrow. With your scroll path reflecting your content’s dips and turns, the web will be a richer place. On top of that, it allows users to engage more in the site, which in turn creates more engagement in the content of the site. And most importantly it creates that intangible quality that attracts someone on an emotional level. It’s the little unpredictable delight that brings them back for more.
February 6, 2013
Technology has its ups and downs, but for the most part, it gets better. Web browsing, which was once only restricted to our desktops, now has the ability to be done on our tablets and smartphones. However, with this breakthrough came complications. Among mobile devices alone, there are numerous variations of size and resolutions. How could a single website accommodate for all of that? Or more importantly, imagine how much time/money is spent on designing and developing for that large of an audience?
I’m sure a lot of us have come across a website on our phone that is simply not “mobile-friendly.” Responsive design eliminates this problem. Simply put, all it takes is a single design to be compatible with multiple devices. Layouts are “fluid” so that when you adjust the size of the window, the layout and design will correspond with your desktop, phone, tablet, game console, etc.
Another essential fact to realize is that we are using mobile devices just as much or even more than we are browsing on our desktops. If you encounter a website on your phone and it is uncomfortable to view, are you likely to visit that site again? Responsive design is a smart method to consider, not only because it’s designing for the future, but because we can cater to all users.
Visit mediaqueri.es for more examples of responsive design!
January 21, 2013
A few weeks ago I sent an email to the agency asking for thoughts on what made digital marketing in 2012. I wasn’t surprised to get some really thoughtful answers back.
I suppose digital marketing today is all about your perspective, right? Ask our developers, and they may say 2012 was the year of mobile-responsive design. Our paid media gals immediately brought up remarketing. As the social media person on the team, my first thoughts were Pinterest, social analytics and content marketing.
Our Senior Analyst, Vlad, brought up something that touches every part of our agency, though: mobile. Regardless of what business you’re in or what type of marketing campaign you’re running, its official: you can no longer ignore the power of mobile. Mobile devices have changed the way people interact, do business and make purchasing decisions.
Think about your life for a minute…
What do you do while sitting on a train? Waiting in a long line? During TV commercials? I play on my smartphone.
What did you get for Christmas this year? I got an iPad. And I’m apparently part of the 33%+ of Americans that own a tablet or e-reader device.
Where did you find that new recipe? Where do you look up an address as you get into a cab? If I had to venture a guess, almost all of these answers would involve a smart phone, tablet or some type of app.
Vlad reminded me that in 2012, Google Analytics rolled out tablet reports as a compliment to their existing mobile reports. ”One of our clients saw a 10% increase in mobile website traffic in 2012. Of that mobile traffic, about half of it came from tablets,” he said. Most companies aren’t thinking about screen resolution or device type, but they should be. “If your mobile site doesn’t load correctly – or load fast enough – people are likely to bounce and not come back,” said Vlad.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
9 Awesome Facebook Fan Page Ideas
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