Advertising And The 2015 Oscars: What We Can Learn

OscarsThis year’s Oscars were a strange affair, given that most of the ostensible highlights of the show came from host Neil Patrick Harris actively deriding the Academy’s choices of nominees.  Racial/social politics were at the center of the entire act, which created an uncomfortable contrast with the rah-rah nature of the Oscars themselves.

This left advertisers -in both offline and online marketing- in something of a bind, trying to find successful ways to promote their products during one of the biggest TV events of the year.

So, let’s take a look at a few hits and misses…

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Shared Advertising: Making Videos That Make The Rounds

2014 top advertising

5.82 million shares

So, in what’s now becoming a new advertising tradition, we’ve got lists coming out of the most-shared ads of 2014 according to their official numbers.  That’s all well and good, and lets us catch up on the ones we (somehow) missed, but what’s lacking is much context.

What links these videos?  What may make the difference between one that is shared and one that isn’t?  And what inspires people to send car insurance adverts to their friends anyway?

After looking over the top lists for the year, we’ve got a few ideas…

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Piecing Together The Puzzle Of Inbound Marketing

inbound marketingLet’s go back to the basics today.  One of the most frequent misunderstandings we encounter when trying to explain Inbound Marketing to people is that they think “Inbound Marketing” is a single process.  It’s not.

Rather, “Inbound Marketing” is a blanket category for a number of related-but-independent online activities that a company may be engaging in.  These all combine into an overall Internet Marketing Strategy that contains many or all of those individual activities.

It’s a big topic, but we wanted to give you a quick breakdown of the major pieces involved in Inbound, and how they fit together into a much larger overall marketing strategy.

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Superbowl advertising just wasn’t as good this year

Lost dog Budweiser - Super Bowl advertisingSo, based on the numbers, the really big winners at the Super Bowl were the media companies.  A whopping seven outta the top ten most-shared ads were for movies, plus a mobile video game.

That in itself should worry marketers who are getting too invested in social media for its own sake.  Given last year’s famously-high levels of interaction were somewhat disappointing… and almost solely focused on Twitter.  90% of all interactions happened there.

So, what lessons about advertising might we draw from all this?

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February 2015 Desktop Calendars

February 2015 Desktop Calendars are here

This month we have some images from a recent trip to beautiful Hawaii from Josh Dolin. Enjoy!

To submit your own favorite photos email us at social@tempocreative.com.

Most screens will use the size that is shown in the image (1900×1200), just click and then right click the larger image that appears and set as desktop background!

To enjoy (instructions): If the image size is not correct for your screen, click the size of the wallpaper you’d like below each image, and a larger version will open in a new window. Right click on this image, and select “Set as Desktop Background”. Then enjoy a beautiful custom calendar all month long!

Hawaii Beach Rainbow Desktop Calendar trans

Hawaii beach rainbow

Alternative desktop sizes:1920×1080 1600×1200 1024×768

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Web Design In 2015: Is It Time To Get Scrolling?

scrollingWeb design trends change as often as fashion trends, or so it seems.  As researchers continue to conceive of ever-better ways of serving up webpages to people, it means periodic redesigns or even complete re-thinks of how you’re serving your materials.

The big topic for 2015 is scrolling.  Users, it seems, don’t like clicking on things.  Research has suggested that every hyperlink on a page may subliminally stress the viewer because each link forces them to interrupt their thought and make a choice: click or don’t click.

Scrolling – especially on mobile devices – is far easier and can be done automatically.  It’s just like turning pages: swipe swipe swipe.

The issue is, of course, that approach ignores a lot of the interactive potential of the Internet, as well as limiting your options for how you present your product.

So let’s look at a few of the issues here.

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Finding Your Audience on Instagram

instagram marketingOne thing that’s become very clear about social media marketing is this: it’s a fast-changing field, with the influential sites changing every few months.  Aside from the few “core” social media services (like Facebook and Twitter) a serious social media marketer is going to need to spend time investing in new services, when an audience can be found there.

Instagram is currently one of those hot new players.  What was dismissed for years as a teenage social service for selfie-sharing has grown in 2014 to be one of the fastest-growing social sites on the web.  Likely, this is due to those teenage Instagram users growing up, and even getting the rest of their family into it.

So, if you’re moving onto Instagram, how do you find an audience and get people interested in your content?  It’s about far more than just picking pretty pictures.

We’ve got some tips…

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Boost Lead Generation On Your Website With These Easy Tips

lead generation formDespite all the multitude of social media sites and all manner of offline advertising, your website is still going to be the hub for nearly all of your outreach.  If a customer is in any way interested in your business, you’re looking for ways to funnel them towards your website to explore what you have to offer.

Some very basic and easy design strategies for your website and content can greatly boost the number of leads you get.  Once you get someone to your website, you want them to keep exploring.  Smart design will bring them there, keep them there, and inspire them to move further through the sales process.

Here are a few of our favorite all-around suggestions…

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Pinterest Just Got More Pinteresting! Are You Optimizing For Smart Feeds?

PinterestGiven Pinterest’s recent meteoric rise in social media marketing, especially among female users, it’s no surprise that they’d start refining their processes to help push quality content to the top of people’s feeds.  They’ve just implemented a new Smart Feed feature with Google/Facebook like intelligent systems trying to do more than simply rank pins by time posted.

This new Smart Feed opens up plenty of new opportunities to get your Pins noticed, shared, and promoted.

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What Internet Marketing Conferences Will You Attend in 2015?

marketing conferencesWith the new year here, it’s time to start making plans for 2015… and those plans should include some conferences!  The world of Internet marketing is moving faster than anyone can keep up with, and conferences are perfect for allowing plenty of people to present their own observations on the industry.

Plus, just as online marketing is booming, so are conferences on the subject.  No matter your own focus, there’s undoubtedly a conference in 2015 you should look at attending… or even making a bid to speak at!

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January 2015 Desktop Calendars

Happy New Year! January 2015 Desktop Calendars are here

To submit your own favorite photos email us at social@tempocreative.com.

Most screens will use the size that is shown in the image (1900×1200), just click and then right click the larger image that appears and set as desktop background!

To enjoy (instructions): If the image size is not correct for your screen, click the size of the wallpaper you’d like below each image, and a larger version will open in a new window. Right click on this image, and select “Set as Desktop Background”. Then enjoy a beautiful custom calendar all month long!

Owl Desktop Calendar trans

Owl desktop calendar

Alternative desktop sizes:1920×1080 1600×1200 1024×768

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New B2B Internet marketing strategies you need to be watching!

2015 marketing One of the toughest parts of online marketing is how fast the field changes.  Advertisers in previous decades had it easy.  Print, radio, and television were relatively static and “understood.”  Big changes were few and far between.

On the other hand, Internet marketing strategies have to be updated almost every year, if not more often.  A combination of fast-moving technology changes, societal shifts, and active manipulation on the part of Google pretty much guarantee online marketing is never stable.

A number of new trends started taking hold in 2014, and they’re likely to keep running strong in the year to come.  Not every one of these internet marketing strategies will necessarily be right for you, but you could at least consider adding them to your online messaging arsenal.

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Finding Your Audience With Your 2015 Online Marketing Strategies

marketing strategyIf you take a look at any of the major surveys of online marketing in the last couple years, such as those from IAB or Hubspot, there’s a key trend that’s becoming disturbingly clear:  Everyone is being driven to produce more and more and more content, in an effort to stand out.

Unfortunately, this means the consumers are getting buried under an ever-increasing pile of marketing messages.  Your average buyer now potentially sees thousands – yes thousands - of ads every day.

They’re losing their ability (or desire) to keep up with it.

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Holiday social media marketing is about your customers

holiday marketingThe boom in social media and quickly-shifting audience expectations mean you need to be creative to work the holidays into your social media marketing. Given the spirit of the season, are you looking to give back and make your customers happy?

Buyers today are acutely aware of how commercialized Christmas and other year-end holidays have become.  This can make it challenging for even a well-meaning business to engage in online marketing without seeming insincere.  This challenge is especially big on social media, where users are generally expected to show their human faces, rather than hiding behind corporate personas.

This creates a tricky balancing act in terms of making your messaging and positioning mesh with the holiday spirit.  The solution, of course, is to focus on your customers.

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Holiday Email Marketing Ideas

holiday email marketing

Infographic from visual.ly

The holidays are almost upon us.

Are you thinking about ways to add festive cheer to your email marketing campaigns?

Christmas and the other year-end holidays are about coming together, appreciating our customers, and giving a little back.  Customers already expect year-end sales.  To stand out in the rush of holiday emails, you need to be able to stand out.  Be willing to give a little more.

Competition will be fierce for people’s money this year.  Your emarketing can be what keeps you on their mind for holiday buys.

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December Desktop Calendars

December 2014 Desktop Calendars are here!

To submit your own favorite photos email us at social@tempocreative.com.

Most screens will use the size that is shown in the image (1900×1200), just click and then right click the larger image that appears and set as desktop background!

To enjoy (instructions): If the image size in not correct for your screen, click the size of the wallpaper you’d like below each image, and a larger version will open in a new window. Right click on this image, and select “Set as Desktop Background”. Then enjoy a beautiful custom calendar all month long!

Snowflake Desktop Calendartrans

Snowflake 1920x1200

Alternative desktop sizes:1920×1080 1600×1200 1024×768

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Your Web Design Should Be Focused On Your Customer Relationship

customer websiteYa gotta have a website!  Ya gotta have a website!  Ya gotta have a website!

That’s what everyone says, and that’s what virtually all companies believe.  In fact, it’s probably even true, given how many consumers now do all their product research online.

However, what’s discussed far less often is what you’re actually supposed to do with that website once you’ve got it!

In the past, simply having a website was “good enough,” but today’s web design needs to be much more focused than that.  Your website should have a real purpose:  That purpose should revolve around building, strengthening, and maintaining your relationship with your clients and leads.

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Adaptive Content Means A New Way Of Thinking About Your User Interactions!

adaptive contentThere’s been a growing problem with web design in the last few years, and it’s a problem that’s been getting more pronounced as time goes on:   The “be all things to all people” approach simply isn’t delivering like it used to.

Marketing With Content Has Been Rewritten 

Marketers since at least the 1950s had previously enjoyed a high level of control over the message they presented.  They would craft branding and positioning efforts to appeal to the widest audience possible, and in part this was because the number of marketing outlets was relatively small.

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Fixed Navigation Bars Improve The UX Of Your Web Design

sticky navigationThe User Experience (UX) of a website has become a matter of increasing concern for web design in recent years.  There are actually (at least) two sources of pressure here:  Users increasingly demanding easy-to-use websites, and Google openly giving SEO benefits to websites they judge to have good UX.

The problem, of course, is that “UX” can only be loosely defined.  There’s no One True Style Guide to creating a good user experience.  It’s largely subjective, based on what the website is trying to do, and what the users are trying to do with it.

However, one option that seems to be beneficial to nearly every website is the addition of fixed navigation bars.

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Small Business Saturday Shines The Spotlight On The Little Guys

small business saturdaySmall business marketing now gets a boost over the Thanksgiving weekend!

If you’re in retail -or merely living in North America- you’ve undoubtedly heard of “Black Friday,” the shopping holiday that comes on the Friday following Thanksgiving.  While not the truly busiest shopping day of the year -which, unsurprisingly, is December 23 – it’s one of the top days for any retailer.

You might have even heard of “Cyber Monday,” the related holiday where online retailers run all their best promotions.  And these are usually among the best days for e-tailers, especially since they don’t benefit from last minute Christmas shopping.

Well, the problem with this setup is that it was leaving out one of the most important economic blocks in the country: the small businesses, especially ones who can’t afford to compete on prices with large “big box” stores and Amazon-style online stores.

So, the newest entry into this weekend of shopping holidays is Small Business Saturday, and it should be taken advantage of in any small business marketing plans.

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Internet Marketing Builds Local Businesses Too!

local seoThere’s a common misconception that Internet marketing is largely for online-focused businesses which lack a physical presence, but this really couldn’t be further from the truth.  Internet-based marketing and messaging can bring huge benefits to local businesses, ones that rely on foot traffic and steady regular customers.

After all, there’s no doubt that more and more consumers are using mobile devices in their everyday shopping.  It’s becoming commonplace for consumers to look up businesses while on the road, allowing Google to tell them the best/nearest store for their needs.

So, strong placement in locally-based searches can bring big payoffs to your local traffic.

Search experts MOZ recently conducted a study looking at various factors affecting local search rankings.  Let’s take a look at what they found, and which Internet marketing strategies are currently most effective at drawing in local customers.

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November Desktop Calendars

November 2014 Desktop Calendars are here!

This month’s calendars are from Charmon Stiles. “Black and white photography has always been my favorite way to capture texture and grit while showing elegance and emotion in an image.”

To submit your own favorite photos email us at social@tempocreative.com.

Most screens will use the size that is shown in the image (1900×1200), just click and then right click the larger image that appears and set as desktop background!

To enjoy (instructions): If the image size in not correct for your screen, click the size of the wallpaper you’d like below each image, and a larger version will open in a new window. Right click on this image, and select “Set as Desktop Background”. Then enjoy a beautiful custom calendar all month long!

Sleepy Cat Desktop Calendartrans

Sleepy Cat calendar

Alternative desktop sizes:1920×1080 1600×1200 1024×768

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Facebook is banning like-gating. What does this mean for your Social Media Marketing?

facebook like gateOK, I can already hear some of you who haven’t used this feature say “What was like-gating?”   It was a feature which could be implemented on Facebook company pages where users are forced to “Like” a page\brand before being allowed access to elements of that Facebook page.

In fact, they’ve gone so far as to basically outlaw all forms of Like-for-Play.  As Facebook put it in their documentation:

You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check-in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page.

Given that there are many apps and plugins that utilize some form of like-gating, this is causing quite a bit of dismay among certain elements of Facebook marketers.

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Google Is Now Offering Small Ranking Boost For SSL Implementation

ssl certificateGoogle isn’t shy about using its clout to try to shift the online marketing biz, and they’ve made that absolutely clear with the latest tweak to their page ranking algorithms:  any website using a Secure Socket Layer certified HTTPS web address gets a small signal boost.

Google was the first to point out that this is not a big boost.  According to them, it will actually affect fewer than 1% of global searches.  However, they also say they may start giving it a bigger boost specifically to encourage more use of SSL.

Ideally, Google says, they want everyone using secure browsing.  And they’re willing to give out a freebie in exchange.

So what does this mean for your website?

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Important Factors In Choosing An E-commerce Shopping Cart

e-commerceModern e-tailers big and small have a truly overwhelming number of choices in online shopping carts.  Virtually every major player involved in cloud computing offers them, along with literally hundreds of upstarts.  While each offer the same basic product, they’ve each got their own variations.

Plus, of course, there’s always the question of whether they can back up their own marketing claims.

Largely, which e-commerce shopping cart you choose will simply depend on your own needs, along with consideration of your future expansion plans.  They’re also a “you get what you pay for” situation.  Better services usually take larger per-transaction cuts.

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