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Cookie Cutter Websites: How One Site Doesn't Fit All

By Matt Thompson

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Your business needs a dominant online presence in order to grow and become successful in today’s ever-expanding market. When many business owners begin the process of developing a website, they are faced with the tough and often confusing choice of template versus custom web design and development.

When you’re embarking on the journey to create a new or improved website, it may be tempting to choose the cheaper template – but don’t be fooled. Saving money now could lead to losing money later. Discover our complete guide to choosing between custom and template websites. You'll learn how much of an impact this choice could have on your business' future.

We love using the “House Analogy”

If you wanted to purchase a new home, you would have 3 choices: resell property, open lot subdivision, and fully custom. Websites follow the same basic structure with: template, custom template, and fully custom.

The first choice you have when buying a home would be to buy a resell. This means that you would be buying a home that someone has already been living in. You would get exactly what they have. Their countertops, floors, cabinets, wall colors, etc. It is very possible that others might have something that is very similar in style and design.

In the web world, that is called a template. Someone else has made that template and you have very limited customized options. Not only that, they have sold that template over and over again. This can cause major issues down the road when looking to optimize the site. One of the major issues that most encounter is your customers seeing the template and saying to themselves, this looks just like other business’ websites so are their services and products just like the other guy’s as well?

The second option for buying a home would be to head out to a subdivision that has open lots. You pick your lot and then pick a floor plan that has been pre-approved to fit that lot. You will have the ability to customize some of the items such as the floor types, wall colors, cabinets, counter tops, etc.

In the web world, this is called a customized template. You can upload all of your content, images, and you can even change the color scheme. The issues are still pretty much the same. You might pay a little more for this option. In fact, we would have to say that a large portion of smaller web design firms even use this option. The majority of these firms likely don’t possess the skill, time, or manpower necessary to produce a fully custom website. A custom template is a good option for a small business, unless you have aspirations to grow or change in the future.

The last option is a fully custom house. This means that you have met with a builder and an architect. These folks have sat down with you and have designed a home that completely fits your needs today and the future. Do you have now or will you have a large family? Will you ever want to add a room over the garage? Will you want an additional garage to park a recreational vehicle? In other words, custom home builders understand that your needs change and will want to construct your home so you don’t have to move and build a completely new one at a later date.

In the Web World…This is a fully custom website. It gives you everything that your organization currently needs and enables you to grow and change over time without having to completely scrap the foundation of the site.

The fully custom solution will certainly be a larger investment but, think of it this way: why are you asking your customers to spend their money with you, when they can easily see that you don’t even invest in you?

Here's just a handful of items that a custom website will give you:

More Professional Appearance

When a potential customer or client visits your business’ website, they should get a great first impression of who you are. A polished, professional website with custom content and design is a great way to show off your top-quality products and services while establishing a level of trust that many template websites simply cannot portray.

By utilizing a template you are bypassing the opportunity to invest in your brand and stand out from your competitors. Inserting content into predetermined spots may get your message across, but what’s the point if there’s no one willing to stick around to read it?

Responsive Design, Guaranteed

60% of web traffic comes from a mobile device, and 70% of mobile searches result in an action within an hour. Your website has to make a good impression on every device, and many template websites fail to adapt and respond the way custom designed sites do.

Far too many businesses make the mistake of neglecting their website’s content and layout, which can quickly impact how long a user stays on their site and where they rank in searches. As a result, Google flags their site as a poor source of information and their site’s search engine ranking goes down the drain.

The Flexibility You Need

It’s often difficult to add custom content to template websites. Without this flexibility, template websites often end up with a mess of content and photos that don’t quite match your business.

Custom web design allows you to create a site that represents your business’ goals and values, along with integrating the perfect user experience. The days where you can have an average design and stale content have passed. With a custom web design that comes with a custom content management system, you can easily update your site and drive measurable results.

The Key is Consistency

Your brand is everything. It’s what makes you stand out from the crowd and is often your potential customer’s first impression of you. To create a consistent voice across all platforms, you need your business cards, emails, and website to be cohesive. In order to maintain this consistency, your business needs a custom website built around your brand.

Why Businesses Choose Splash Omnimedia:

Splash Omnimedia invests the time and effort into learning what matters most to your business and your audience. Our team of designers and strategists work closely with your business in order to create the perfect custom website. Your design will consist of a blend of specialized layouts, unique features, and consistent branding that mesh with your business’ needs and goals.

With a custom website from Splash Omnimedia, your business will receive the personalized care and support of a team of over 30 specialists, all dedicated to your website’s success. We offer the support that many template web developers lack. Discover the difference a custom website can make on your business’ success. Contact our team of expert designers and strategists today!

How to Read Minds: A Guide to Buyer Personas

By Mike White

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Buyer personas are a semi-fictional, generalized representation of your business’ ideal target customers, the customers that are genuinely interested in investing in your goods and services. Personas are vital to relating to your target customers as real people with real wants and needs. They are also useful when your business wants to build value or solve a problem. By gathering information on your audience and constructing a deeper understanding of who they are, you are able to create a more effective marketing strategies and campaigns built around acquisition and retention. 

Buyer personas, like mind reading, are a way of gathering information and creating a generalized idea of the person you’re trying to reach. It’s a type of “marketing caricature” that describes a typical customer or client. Knowing the different types of customers who regularly use your business can help you market to them specifically and better meet their needs. A typical business will often need multiple buyer personas that work together in order to accurately pinpoint the various types of people that their marketing efforts should cater to.

Crafting the Perfect Persona

The best part about creating buyer personas is that they’re not hard to make. The key to the perfect persona is making sure you take the time to ask the right people the right questions. You then take the information you gather and present it in a way that your business will be able to use effectively. 

It’s vital to collect accurate information about your target audience. This information can be collected from a variety of places including: website analytics, social media platforms, in-person interactions with customers, surveys, and more.

Social Media

Social media pages offer a great source of information on the types of people interested in your goods and services. You’re able to collect information about your customers based on their interactions with your pages and their ability to speak freely to your business. Feel free to ask your customers questions and listen to their feedback to better understand who they are, their priorities, and reasoning for interacting with your business.

In-Person Interactions

One-on-one communication is a great way to get to know your customers and gather the valuable information needed to build successful buyer personas. Gathering in-person interactions can be as easy as hosting an event at your business, setting up a booth at a trade show, interacting with customers during their visit, or even offsite at a public place such as a coffee shop.

Surveys

Surveys will tell you a lot about who your customers are and what their preferences and desires are. People enjoy describing themselves through brief surveys that offer big rewards. Utilizing email marketing to convince your customers to complete a survey is a great way to gather the vital information needed to focus on buyer personas

Building Your Buyer Personas

When you begin building your company's buyer personas, start with the most general information first. Fill in the client's name, age, location and occupation. After that you can start filling in more detailed information. Much of this will come down to educated guesses and what you can gather from researching your client or customer base. Be sure to avoid stereotyping, and focus on thinking outside of the box.

Use the information you’ve gathered to fill in more specific information such as name and type of employment or business, their job titles and other information. After careful analysis and critical thinking, your marketing team will be able to construct accurate buyer personas.

Working With a Marketing Team

Working with our professional marketing team is the best way to build a comprehensive and well-rounded set of buyer personas that will help develop your overall marketing strategy. Buyer personas can take a lot of time. As a successful business owner, we know it can be difficult to put the proper amount of time and effort into gathering the necessary information to build a successful marketing strategy.

We know the best practices to construct the best buyer personas for your business, so contact Splash Omnimedia today! We may not be able to read minds, but we can develop a targeted strategy that will drive your message to the right audience.


Logo Design: Your Key to a Lasting Impression

By Matt Thompson

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Splash Omnimedia

First impressions are everything. When it comes to your business, your logo is almost always the first thing your potential customers see.

A logo says a lot about who you are as a business and what your mission is. A well-crafted, personalized logo can solidify and promote your brand, as well as create a visual appeal that can better attract customers. 

These vital aspects of logo design and presentation ultimately contribute to the overall success of your business. Creating a partnership with a creative team of marketers like us can help ensure that your logo will correctly represent your business, help you reach your target audience, and align with your goals and objectives.

So what goes into creating the perfect first impression?   

Emotion and Graphic Design

A good logo represents your business. A great logo tells your story.

Logo design begins with extensive research and creative graphic designers. Our team sits down and brainstorms ideas based on the goals and objectives your company wants to portray. We experiment with the basic elements and principles of design and apply our extensive knowledge and creative ability to the first stages of mock-ups.

One of the best tools for generating an emotional response is color. The colors that you choose for your logo can affect the way that your target audience perceives your business and can even influence the type of clients that your business attracts. Knowing the different emotional responses that people have when they see colors can help you decide which colors are right for your business.

A well-designed logo can embody your business and tip off customers to the character of your business. You may choose to include your tag line in the design of your logo, which can help convey your mission and goals more clearly. Your logo is vital to the creation of consistent branding and is used in places like your: company stationary, business cards, billboards, website, and social media.

Giving your Brand a Facelift

If you’ve been in business for a long enough amount of time, you probably have established a certain level of credibility and recognition. These businesses oftentimes have established what is known as brand recognition, or the ability to be identified by customers by simply viewing your logo, tagline, or marketing campaign.

If you’ve recently decided to have your business’ overall ‘look’ updated, but you’re not ready to part ways with your old, dated logo, we could have the perfect solution: a logo refresher. This is extremely common for businesses that have evolved over the course of time. Even large brands with massive recognition update their logos from time to time. Take a look at big names like Apple and Google, who have evolved their image over time.

A logo facelift can help convey your business’ message a little more clearly. For example, Disney chose to make their logo better represent their company by creating a magical design and Coca-Cola has continually updated their logo over the years in order to adhere to modern trends. 

All in all, revamping your logo is a great way to bring your business’ look closer to what you represent.

Your Business, at Face Value

As we’ve mentioned, your logo is your business’ first impression to most of your potential customers. If your logo represents your business poorly, it can be hard to achieve proper brand recognition.

You should look at your logo as an image that presents itself to potential customers as a condensed statement about your business’ mission and goals. It should be consistent across both your traditional and digital marketing and deliver a strong branded message. Your logo is going to be everywhere.

If there was one thing that could represent your business, what would it be?

Professional Logos Promote a Professional Image

Some business owners decide to save time and money by creating a logo on their own. More often than not, it is very obvious to potential customers and the negative effects of poor design are quick to follow.

Our creative team of experienced, passionate designers have proven time and time again their ability to create superior, impactful logos for each of our clients. We take the time to learn about your business’ goals and mission and use that knowledge to design exactly what we feel will deliver optimal results.

At Splash Omnimedia, we help businesses just like yours create personalized logos that emphasize a quality and impactful brand. To get started, contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia today! 

Meet Splash Omnimedian, Manning Kolb

By Mike White

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Manning and Kelly with dog Murray

Manning Kolb started at Splash Omnimedia in 2015 as an intern and joined our team as a full time Account Analyst in September of 2016. He lives in Lexington with his wife Kelly and black lab Murray. When he's not busy crunching numbers, Manning loves spending time with family and friends. He's a self-proclaimed movie buff (500+ in his collection), with Goodfellas as his favorite. We asked Manning to share a little more about himself:

Where are you from?

I was born in Stone Mountain, Georgia but I consider Lexington my home.

What is your favorite color?

Blue.

What exactly do you do at Splash?

I am an Account Analyst, which means I'm constantly crunching numbers and matching figures.

What did you do before working here?

I studied Business Administration and Marketing at the University of South Carolina - Aiken.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My wife and puppy. I mean that figuratively and literally (they're both early risers).

What's an interesting fact about you?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a movie star (I've made more home movies in my life than I'd sometimes like to admit).

What moments can you think of that "shaped your life"?

Joining a fraternity in college definitely helped me learn a lot about myself and who I wanted to be. I would also say that getting married to the girl of my dreams was a defining moment in my life.

What do you think the world needs more of?

Laughter and joy.

What are you most proud of?

My marriage and the journey my life has taken me on (so far).

What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to go out on the lake or watch a good movie.

What do you like to learn about?

I love learning about new things, but I'm also a sucker for history.

What are you most thankful for?

My wife and my family.

4 Reasons Your Customers Still Love Print Ads

By Matt Thompson

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Newspaper and tablet;

The year is 1995. 

The internet has begun to connect people in a way that was previously believed to be impossible. Instant messaging, emails, and webpages are substitutes for phone calls, handwritten letters, and business interactions. For most, the idea of continuing to advertise through traditional media is SO 1994 – especially for print. 

So, why is it that magazines, newspapers, and billboards still prove to be totally radical forms of effective advertising?

It is no secret that print publications are much less common than they were pre-Y2K. In fact, in 2014 alone, nearly 100 magazines stopped printing and closed their doors for good. 

However, the biggest argument for print publications is this:

Print is real.

Print publications are a tangible form of communication that can easily draw people in, despite the digital world we all live in today. Print publications have the ability to bring in audiences from every demographic and offer a unique advertising platform for businesses of all types. When used in conjunction with online tools, traditional forms of marketing can be some of the most effective tools for targeting customers in the right place, with the right message.

Utilizing Print Advertising

Trust me, I’m a Print Ad – To put it gently, the internet can be a crazy place. For many consumers, it can be extremely overwhelming. Getting your target audience to trust your online ads alone to make a purchase can be difficult. By utilizing print advertising, you’re able to show your customers the level of value you place in their business and gain their trust.

Easy Mode: Print Ads & Targeted Marketing – Targeting specific groups of consumers is an easy way to increase your opportunity by delivering relevant information. With traditional advertising, you have a lot of control over who sees your ads, so you’re able to tailor your message in order to better reach your intended audience.

Converting the Hard-to-Reach Customer – Deliver results with the Sunday Paper. Have your message delivered straight to your customer’s mailbox with targeted information they’ll want to read. Direct mail has one of the highest conversion rates for attracting new customers and converting them. This significant boost in conversion is a definite plus for print ads.

Working With Online Advertising – The key to print advertising is developing a strategy that seamlessly integrates into existing online marketing. Driving customers from print ads to an online form that captures information is an excellent way to not only keep your customer engaged, but fine tune your existing strategy to better reach your target market.

The year may not be 1995, but that doesn’t mean print advertising isn’t relevant

The internet connected the world in a completely unique way. Splash Omnimedia has proven the world of digital and print advertising are best when joined together. Ensure you’re creating a message that is heard by the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.

Want to learn more? We retired our beepers in 2001 but we’re on email! 

Join our newsletter or contact us today!

Is Direct Mail Still Relevant?

By Matt Thompson

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direct-mail

Direct mail delivers printed promotional or informational messages right to the doorstep of your target audience. Weather it's a postcard, flyer or brochure, direct mail is a marketing tool that can seamlessly connect the physical and digital attributes of your brand to create a stronger, more lasting bond between you and your customer.

The US Postal Service reports that 98 percent of Americans check their mail daily, and 79 percent of consumers say that they typically act on direct mail immediately after reading it. Direct mail is a time-tested, trusted method that, when used in conjunction with other advertising mediums as part of an integrated marketing strategy, can help your business to better reach current and potential customers.

So what things make direct mail relevant as part of an overall marketing strategy? Here are four unique benefits of using direct mail campaigns:

1. Personal- Receiving a personalized message sent directly from you makes your customers feel special and valued. This direct contact initiates or enhances a relationship with your customers and can make your target audience feel like you value them individually and that you understand their interests and needs.

2. Targeted- Direct mail campaigns can be highly targeted, with a mailing list tailored specifically to the members of the audience you are trying to reach with your message. Mail gives you the ability to segment your audience and specifically target groups or individuals that you feel are most likely to respond. How you choose to segment the audience to send your direct mail to depends on your business. Target audiences can be defined by age demographic, geographical location, proximity to your business, home or business owners, families with children of a certain age, etc. The list is virtually endless.

3. Tangible- Direct mail pieces are held directly by members of your target audience, which literally establishes a physical connection to your business and your brand. A direct mail piece is something real and familiar that may even be kept for reference. Some direct mail pieces are even displayed on refrigerators, meaning your message stays in front of your audience longer.

4. Versatile- With a variety of different formats to choose from, direct mail has several different applications and is a suitable medium for promoting a wide range of businesses and services. From brochures and magazines to postcards and pamphlets, there are many options to chose from when determining the best medium for your message.

What makes an effective direct mail piece?

When it comes to creating an effective direct mail campaign, there are a few proven tactics that seem to make all the difference.

  • Attention grabbing visuals- 94% of customers judge direct mail pieces by appearance
  • Short, sweet and to the point- in the age of immediate gratification and all-things digital, readers typically respond best to simple, easy to read information that they can digest quickly.
  • A strong call to action- Use a strong call to action to engage your audience and point them directly to your website.

Some people believe that traditional advertising methods are a thing of the past. However, traditional marketing mediums, like radio, television and print advertising, still have their place and serve a unique purpose in modern advertising strategies. The most effective way to make marketing work for your business is to weave traditional and digital efforts together to reach your target audience exactly where they are. The most effective marketing strategies utilize and leverage a balanced mix of both traditional and digital advertising. 

Could direct mail be a viable option for your business? Contact the pros at Splash and find out how you can use direct mail as part of your integrated marketing campaign to help you better reach your target audience.

The Hawk and the Fish: A Business Parable

By Matt Thompson

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haircut

The other day I was sitting on my porch reading the paper when all of a sudden, a fish fell right out of the sky and into my lawn. Confused, I looked around, convinced I was witnessing some elaborate prank.

But there it was. A live fish. In my yard. How did it get there? I wondered.

The mystery was solved seconds later when a hawk swooped down to reclaim its dinner (most likely its stolen dinner from a nearby fishing boat) This caught the attention of my dog, who leaped off the porch and charged the bird of prey.

Half amused and half alarmed, I watched the hawk and the dog circle and claw, bark and jump, each trying to intimidate the other off. All the while the fish just lay there. Forgotten. 

That's when it hit me. Maybe this whole bizarre thing was really a parable in disguise. 

Some businesses work so hard to beat out the competition, they forget all about their fish the customer.

Eventually the dog tired out and the hawk gave up. If that fish had legs it could have walked itself right back to where it came from. And as I scooped the fish up into the newspaper and into the trash, I couldn't help but relate it back to winning and losing in business.

It's not always the lowest price or most aggressive sales pitch that makes the sale. In the end, the number one focus should be the fish, the customer.

(Not that any fish wants to be eaten, but work with me here.)

Customers want to feel heard and understood. And sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges of running a business and neglect that personalized message that says "Hey- you're important and we're here to make your life better."

And when a client feels listened to and cared for, guess what? They'll stick around. And they'll tell their friends. Because that's a story worth sharing.

Ready to connect with customers in a fresh way? We can help.

Changing the Game: The $6 Hair Cut Trap

By Mike White

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haircut

Being in the marketing business, I notice a lot of ads. But a few years ago, one commercial made itself particularity memorable.

The commercial tells the story of Dave, a barber shop owner in small town USA. Dave has been in business for years and charges $25 per haircut. One day, a competing chain opens a trendy new salon across the street. Their grand opening sign screams in big letters:

$6 HAIRCUTS!

Now Dave is faced with two options. Adjust his price, or keep his rate of $25. In a wise move, the barber buys a large sign and hangs it outside his shop. The sign simply reads:

WE FIX $6 HAIRCUTS

Soon after, the competition closes their doors for good. And we applaud Dave's for sticking to his guns. But why did Dave's sign work? Let's take a closer look at our barber-shop hero's strategy. Dave: Changed the game. Recognized his worth. Positioned his brand.

If you're facing a similar situation as Dave, my encouragement to you is this:

Change the game- Stop competing on the other guy's terms. There is always going to be someone willing to do the same job for a lower price. And while change is a part of growth, don't compromise quality for the sake of the sale.

Recognize your worth- Figure out what sets you apart from competition and do it well. Value what your customers value and they will go where the value is.

Position your brand- Your marketing should always be supporting who you are and what you're about. Start with a solid marketing strategy that clearly communicates your value to your ideal customer . Don't keep it a secret. Make yourself easy to find, especially online.

When you consistently offer real value, your customers, and your bottom line, will thank you.

Did your website get a bad haircut? We can fix that.

Drop us a note and let us know how we can help.

Snapchat for Success: 10 Seconds to Better Business

By Mike White

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snapchat

It's not just the cool kids sharing photos on Snapchat anymore. Over half of all new users are over the age of 25. Although Snapchat's key demographic is still largely 18 to 24 year olds, it's hard to pass up the chance to connect with the 158 million daily snapchat users, or Snapchatters (yes, that's what they are called).

New to the mobile app? Here's the breakdown: Users can post a photo or video (known as snaps) that can be viewed by their friends, or followers. Snaps have a short life span, lasting anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds before disappearing forever.

Snaps can be shared as private messages or can be added to your ‘story’-- a daily collection of your photos and videos that only your followers can see. The appeal of Snapchat is that it’s always current and fresh, so after 24 hours, the story disappears and you start over.

Fun features like camera filters and face swap keep users connected and coming back for more.

While ten seconds doesn’t seem like much time to build your brand, it’s just enough time to start a casual conversation with new and existing fans of your brand.

Ready, Set, Snap

Ready to connect with new and existing clients in a fresh and interactive way?

Here’s what snapchat has to offer:

Snap Ads

Last June, Snapchat rolled out Snap Ads Between Stories. The feature allows a brief ad to appear as users transition from one story to the next.

Designed specifically for mobile, Snap Ads utilize the winning trifecta of sight, sound and motion. According to Snapchat, ‘two thirds of Snap Ads play with the sound on, and all Snap Ads are full screen, helping them command up to two times more attention than video ads on comparable platforms.’

The win for advertisers: After viewing the ad, users have the option to visit a mobile website, relevant article or install a new app.

Geofilters

Geofilters are location specific graphics that appear over a snap image. Like a virtual photo booth, users can select your custom Geofilter to enhance their photo and show their friends where they are and what they are doing.

There are two Geofilter options for businesses to choose from depending on their needs and budget. How do you know which one is right for you?

Let’s say you’re opening a new coffee shop in town. And you’re hosting a soft open community event in which guests are invited to tour the space, meet the staff and sample the food. By adding a geofilter, patrons can automatically let all of their friends know where all the action is. For a local event like this, the On-Demand Geofilter will get the job done. The best part-- On-Demand Geofilters are easily customizable and start at only five bucks.

If you’re a regional business with multiple locations or an online store, a Sponsored Geofilter is a worthy investment. For example, if you’re a cosmetics company who wants to promote National Treat Yourself Day, you could design a filter that allows snapchat users all over the U.S. to “try on” various makeup looks with the unique filter. According to Snapchat, a national Geofilter reaches a whopping 40 to 60 percent of daily Snapchatters -- a big value that more brands are willing to dish over thousands of dollars for.

Sponsored Lenses

Sponsors Lenses are the most interactive way to advertise to your audience. Lenses are activated when Snapchatters press and hold on the image of their face in the app.

You can include prompts such as ‘raise your eyebrows’ or ‘stick out your tongue’ to que a fun animation. Users have the option to share these video or image to their friends or post it on their story.

So to continue with the makeup example. Say your company just launched a new eyeshadow line for Summer. With Sponsored Lenses you could create a lense that shows a user’s face with your new line of products with an animated beach as the background.

Tell Your Story

Not sure if you’re ready to invest your business dollars in this new media platform? You can still connect with your target audience by sharing daily personalized stories for free.

One of the major appeals of the platform is the amount of creativity it allows your brand to express in a casual, no pressure kind of way. Regardless of the product or service you are promoting, Snapchat gives you the opportunity to share your unique personality and get people interested in what you have to say.

Snapchat has proven that it is not just a passing fad, it’s here to stay. As Snapchat takes off in the business world with impressive engagement from users, adding snapchat to your marketing strategy is a smart, creative way to build your brand and differentiate yourself from the competition.

At Splash Omnimedia, we are all about giving you the edge when it comes to building your business. If you’re ready to connect with more people in a fresh way, let’s talk.

Super Bowl 2017: Ads Overview

By Matt Thompson

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ads

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, every single person in America knows that this past Sunday was the biggest sporting event of the year. 

This year’s Super Bowl was a whirlwind of action and emotion as the New England Patriots made a historic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons and won the game 31 to 28 in the first-ever Super Bowl overtime, and Lady Gaga performed an incredibly stunning halftime show, fit with sequins and hundreds of drones.

But football and entertainment notwithstanding, Sunday was also the biggest day of the year for American Advertising. With upwards of 100 million people tuning in, the Super Bowl is a big opportunity to engage with viewers that advertisers just can’t afford to miss--and they’re willing to pay top-dollar for the privilege to be a part of it.

The Super Bowl commercial competition is really a game within a game, and it’s definitely a risky one. If a company swings and misses, it could potentially be a financial nightmare.

With so many impressions on the line, the competition to be the best runs hot. Companies just can’t afford for their ad to flop or get lost in the shuffle, meaning that ads often require pop song soundtracks, big special effects and celebrity appearances to get the attention of the audience. Advertisers pull out all the stops and give it everything they’ve got hoping to stand out and really make a bang.

In an increasingly digital and social media driven world, it’s very difficult to get consumers to engage, even during an event as big as the Super Bowl. Unless it’s a big-name brand like Budweiser or Coca-Cola, it’s hard to break through the noise and really make an impact. 

So how did the ads stack up this year? Who is the best of the best, who flopped and what does all of this mean for advertising for future Super Bowls?

The Good

These spots were the most shared and talked about on social media during and after the game.

  1. Budweiser “Born the Hard Way”
  2. This is the fourth time in five years that the Budweiser Super Bowl ad came in first place on the list of most shared. Not only was it the most viewed Super Bowl ad on YouTube, it earned 435,892 shares on Facebook--nearly twice as many as the next most shared ad.

  3. Mr. Clean, “Cleaner of Your Dreams”
  4. The second most shared ad of the year, with hilarious and well-timed comedy, took a more light-hearted approach and definitely won over the audience. The spot generated 226,767 shares.

  5. Air BnB, “We Accept”
  6. With over 100,000 shares, this spot sparked a conversation and left viewers feeling hopeful, especially after co-founder, Brian Chesky, took to Twitter after the ad aired saying that Air BnB will “seek to provide short term housing over the next five years for 100,000 people in need.”

Other ads that caught our attention:

The Bad

Although the intent and the message of this ad were definitely inspired, the execution was simply lacking. Fox and the NFL rejected the entire spot, aiming to avoid politics and believing the commercial to be too controversial. So 84 Lumber chose to edit the spot and run and shortened version that directed viewers to the website Journey84.com to see the resolution of the story. However, the website crashed shortly after the spot aired.

The Unimpressive

Yellowtail aired an ordinary everyday ad that would have been just as well received on an average Tuesday night as it was during the big game.

Honorable Mention

The honorable mention for the most anticipated ad was Netflix, with their first ever participation in the Super Bowl ad frenzy. Entertainment networks alluded to the drop of a new trailer with a still image on Friday afternoon before the big game. During the game, Netflix aired a gripping and visually striking 30-second trailer for the second season of the hit series Stranger Things.

The Future of Super Bowl Advertising

As with everything in the world of advertising, things are constantly changing, evolving and growing. However, based on trends from this year and other previous years, we can make a few predictions about what the future holds for Super Bowl advertising.

  • More social and political messaging
  • On a day as big as the Super Bowl with millions of opportunities to make an impression, in years to come, the tone and message of a lot of advertising during the big game will continue to lean more towards making statements than selling a products.

  • Moving away from using hashtags
  • This year, hashtags were only used in 30% of ads, down fifteen percent from last year. For the first time, more ads chose to incorporate URLs.

  • More digital and social media ads prior to the game
  • Currently, a 30-second advertisement costs an average of $166,666 per second. It’s no wonder, then, that more and more companies each year are choosing to release commercials through YouTube and Facebook prior to the big game in an attempt to get the most bang for their buck.

  • Big Names Opting Out
  • This year’s game featured no Doritos ad for the first time in 10 years and no Pepsi ad for the first time in six. In the future, we may see an influx of household-name brands choosing to skip the big game altogether.

Regardless of how you felt about the game or about the ads, the Super Bowl is the perfect time to take a step back and think about how you’re using marketing and advertising to reach your target audience. You may not be able to make a bang as big as Budweiser or Coca-Cola, but if you want to grow your business and reach out to your customers, we can help! Ready to get started with a customized marketing strategy designed to fit your specific needs? Contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia today!

Meet Splash Omnimedian, Maddy Lucas

By Mike White

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ME

Maddy Lucas is a recent graduate of the Media Arts program at the University of South Carolina. She’s in a band, loves her cat and has a passion for the arts, especially film making. She writes blogs, social media and web content at Splash.

Where are you from?

My father was in the military, so I was born in Vicenza, Italy, but I was raised in Lexington, South Carolina.

What is your favorite food?

My roommate’s cooking. She could make a salad and it would be the best salad you’ve ever had in your life. But also pizza. Pizza is one of the seven main food groups.

What exactly do you do at Splash?

I write content mostly, but I’m also the official jokester.

What have you learned about yourself while working here?

I’ve learned that you never really know what kind of field you’re going to end up in. I didn’t expect to be working in marketing. No complaints here, though. I actually really like it.

What did you do before working here?

I worked in housing at the University of South Carolina

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My cat. Literally.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I like to play videogames and I play the bass.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would it be called?

Awkward, clumsy and still, somehow, alive

What do you think the world needs more of?

Jake Gyllenhaal

What are you most proud of?

The friends I’ve made

What do you like on your pizza?

Cheese. Extra cheese. Feta cheese.

What do you like to learn about?

Movies and cinematography.

What are you most thankful for?

My mom. I think she did a pretty great job raising me.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Better.

How a Traffic Jam Can Help Turn Your Marketing Around

By Matt Thompson

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Splash-VehicleWrap-Collage2

Effective advertising begins and ends with making a memorable first impression, and vehicle wraps are a great way to spread your business’s message everywhere you go. When paired with other forms of traditional and digital advertising, vehicle wraps can round out a comprehensive marketing strategy and help you increase your brand awareness with your target market.

What Exactly is a Vehicle Wrap?

A vehicle wrap is essentially a mobile billboard. It’s a digitally printed, vinyl decal that is installed on your vehicle. Vehicle wraps come in various sizes and can encompass the entire vehicle or just a portion of it, depending on your specific needs. The graphics are in full, eye-catching color and are printed on heavy-duty vinyl material.

Vehicle wraps are a great marketing tool for businesses of every size, from large companies with entire fleets to local mom-and-pop companies.

Why Vehicle Wraps Make Great Marketing Tools

Vehicle wrapping is an extremely efficient form of outdoor advertising. Since it goes with whoever is driving the vehicle wherever they go, it has the capability to reach people right where they are. In fact, a vehicle wrap has the power to generate as many as 70,000 impressions a day, depending on where you live.

The flexibility and mobility also means that you can position your vehicle, and your message, virtually anywhere you want. Whether in a parking lot, at a red light or stuck in a traffic jam, your target audience will look out their car windows and see your message. Vehicle wraps are up close and personal. This gives you a unique opportunity to reach people of all ages, genders, income levels, backgrounds and professions. You could turn every person you pass into a potential customer.

4 More Benefits of Vehicle Wraps

In one of our previous blogs, we talked about 4 big benefits of integrating vehicle wraps into your marketing mix. Here are four more benefits that you may not have considered.

  1. They’re non-aggressive. Even though most people notice them and they generate thousands of impressions, vehicle wraps reach people where they are without disturbing the normal flow of their day. With vehicle wraps, potential customers can easily see your message without any significant interruption to what they are doing. People tend to respond more positively to subtle, soft-sell advertising that isn’t in their face. Vehicle wraps are an excellent way to make a lasting impression on your target market without being obtrusive, annoying or distracting.
  2. They’re mobile. Vehicle wraps are by far one of the most proactive forms of advertising, because, instead of waiting for potential customers to see your message, you’re taking your message straight to them. Your message has the ability to travel as easily as you can, anytime and to anywhere.
  3. They’re cost effective. Vehicle advertising is good for any size company because the investment is minimal in comparison to the number of potential impressions you could receive. When you break down your investment, vehicle wraps cost about $1.50 per day. This is a small price to pay when you consider the number of impressions generated daily from driving around town, or even just parking. In fact, vehicle wraps cost a mere $0.77 per thousand impressions.
  4. They generate positive associations with your brand. Vehicles wraps can be used to not only grab the attention of potential customers, but also to gain traction for your business by creating buzz and increasing awareness. 75% of people surveyed say they have a favorable opinion of companies they see on vehicle advertising, and 56% said they perceive a business to be well-established and more successful if they incorporate vehicle advertising into their overall marketing strategy.

Vehicle advertising has become one of the most dynamic and powerful advertising platforms over the last several years, and its popularity is only expected to grow. Make sure you don’t just blend into the crowd. Expand your reach and get your message in front of your target audience right where they are by incorporating an eye-catching vehicle wrap into your marketing strategy. Our graphic design team has the tools and experience to create unique wraps in all sizes that will amplify your brand, whether you have one vehicle or a hundred.

Contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia to find out how we can help you incorporate vehicle wraps as well as other traditional and digital advertising to get the most out of your marketing strategy.

Behind the Booth: Benefits of Trade Show Exhibiting

By Mike White

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trade-show

A trade show, or trade fair, is an industry-specific exhibition where companies can meet with industry partners and customers, examine recent market opportunities and trends, study the activities of their competitors and showcase their latest products and services.

There are many benefits to having an exhibit at a trade show, like having a powerful platform for reaching out to current customers and meeting new ones. The most important benefit is that exhibiting at trade shows can help you to build a more established and recognizable brand for your business.

Many business owners choose not to exhibit at trade shows because of the cost. It’s no secret that developing a great, unique and eye-catching exhibit, training staff members and traveling to events definitely isn’t cheap. However, when used as part of a well-executed marketing strategy, having a trade show exhibit can be an extremely profitable and worthwhile venture.

If you’re still on the fence about a trade show exhibit for your business, here are some benefits that you may not have considered:

  1. Generate highly targeted leads. Every trade show you attend is an opportunity to reach out to potential clients and expand your customer base. Every person in attendance at a trade show is a potential lead to be captured. 72% of exhibitors surveyed said they exhibit at trade shows primarily to generate new leads. It’s a unique opportunity to build awareness of your business’s brand, products and services and fill your pipeline with new potential customers. After the event is over, follow up with the people you met quickly while it is still fresh in their mind.
  2. Learn what is and isn’t working. Trade shows are a great opportunity to talk to your current and potential clients and evaluate the tactics of your main competitors. Take the time to learn from what the competition is doing. See which booths attract the most traffic. Use the information you gather to learn what is and isn’t working in order to improve your business strategy.
  3. Build partnerships with other businesses. Trade shows are not just about interacting with potential buyers. They’re also a great time to forge new alliances and network with industry colleagues. 70% of exhibitors surveyed say one of the biggest perks of trade shows is being able to create, build and strengthen industry partnerships.

Once you have decided to make the investment and exhibit in a trade show, how do you decide which one is the right fit for your business? Asking a few pertinent questions will help you to make a rational decision about the ROI of a specific trade show and determine if it’s the right one for you. Here are some questions you can ask to help you determine if a trade show aligns with your objectives:

  • What is your overall goal? Are you trying to gain new leads, get publicity or make sales?
  • What type of audience will be attending the show?
  • What does a lead cost?
  • How many leads have the potential to convert to customers? (In essence, what is the conversion rate?)
  • What is the profit of an upfront sale?
  • What is the long term value of the customer?

Trade shows offer unique benefits to all types of businesses. A business of any size, big or small, has an equal opportunity to network with current and potential clients and generate new leads through trade shows. 80% of trade show attendees have buying authority, meaning that 4 out of every 5 people walking past your exhibit could be potential customers.

Stand out from the competition and grab their attention with customized, unique displays. Our graphic designers can assist you with your exhibit design from start to finish and create eye-catching table-top displays, back wall displays, large graphical structures and more. Leave the design and display elements to us and focus your attention on building your brand presence at the show! Contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia today to find out more about incorporating trade show displays into your overall marketing strategy.

Is Your Marketing Strategy Ready for 2017?

By Matt Thompson

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2017-marketing

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2017, and 365 new opportunities to market your business, define your brand and expand your reach. Is your marketing strategy prepared for the year ahead?

Don’t let your business get lost in the shuffle. Utilizing the top marketing trends will give you an edge over the competition and help you to make the biggest impact, reach out to your target audience and build a firm foundation for your business in 2017.

The marketing industry never slows down, and it’s dominated by businesses that have the initiative to plan ahead, take risks, and anticipate change. 

Even though data is making it somewhat easier to target consumers, discerning and understanding which methods are most valuable for your business can be challenging. It’s often difficult to stay focused on both your immediate and long term marketing goals while also trying simultaneously to wade through the waters of everyday business life. 

That’s why it’s important to not only familiarize yourself with popular marketing trends, but to also work with a reputable and trustworthy marketing partner who can help you decide which trends would be most beneficial for your business specifically.

One thing is certain: in 2017, communication is key, and everything begins and ends with consumer experience. There are some things that consumers will be looking for this year, particularly when it comes to business marketing efforts. Regardless of the marketing trends you choose to take advantage of this year, here are a few things that your target audience members will definitely be looking out for.

  1. Customer experience. Every single customer matters, regardless of how much or little they spend with you. This is the year to hone your efforts and focus all of your energy on customer experience and satisfaction. With so many options available for just about every industry under the sun, the way to gain customers and keep them is to make them feel like they are valued and respected. You could have the best marketing strategy, the best deals and the best products and services in the world, but if you don’t focus first on customer experience, your customers will seek those things elsewhere, even if it means they have to pay more for them.
  2. Personalized, consistent involvement. These days, personalization means so much more than just knowing someone’s first name. Consumers not only desire but expect their world to revolve around them and their needs. Big name brands like Coca-cola, Disney, Netflix and Amazon have set the bar high. This means that involvement with consumers is no longer a one-size-fits-all formula, but a fundamental commitment to excellence and quality, not only in person and across all web and social media platforms, but in every other channel that has the potential to influence the overall customer experience.
  3. Better videos...and more of them. It’s no secret that in 2017, video will reign supreme. In fact, it’s estimated that 74 percent of all web traffic this year will be video, so it stands to reason that businesses that fail to incorporate them will be left behind.
  4. Social Media engagement. It is becoming more obvious that social media is no longer a simple marketing channel used to sell products and services, but a platform to increase customer engagement and heighten overall consumer experience. 2017 is the year to move away from advertising and hard selling through social media and move more toward focusing on engaging your audience, both collectively and individually.
  5. Dense content. Consumer attention spans have steadily declined, and people have grown more impatient and demanding as technology has progressed. Because the majority of people scroll through endless streams of posts, articles and advertisements every single day on social media, they typically only scan and skim rather than actually reading. That’s why Sujan Patel, growth marketer and entrepreneur, says, “In 2017, content will get shorter, sweeter, more unique, and punchy.” This year, make every word count, because most people probably won’t be reading them all anyway.

So now that you know what your customers are expecting of you this year, what are the top marketing trends to utilize in 2017?

  • Content Marketing- Content marketing is simply consistently creating and distributing valuable, relevant content to a clearly defined target audience for the purpose of driving consumer actions. This could be through rich text on web pages, through engaging and educational blog posts, through specific and unique landing pages, and much more. 40 percent of businesses in 2016 were using the strategic approach to content marketing, and that number is expected to continue to rise this year. When and if you get it right, content marketing has the potential to fuel many inbound marketing techniques, including SEO, social media and email marketing. In fact, content marketing is the top-rated technique for driving incremental sales.
  • Mobile Marketing- Mobile undoubtedly has one of the largest impacts on search marketing. To take a page from Google’s marketing playbook, you should always live by a “Mobile first” mantra. With more and more web users turning to their mobile devices for searching as well as social media engagement, it is absolutely crucial to have an adaptive, responsive mobile design to optimise user experience and conversion rates. Mobile marketing is best when incorporated as an integral part of a multi-platform strategy, striving to make finding your business, products and services not only possible, but simple, smooth and consistent from virtually any device.
  • Social Media Marketing- This seems like a no brainer, but is definitely still worth mentioning. Social media is the place to be--hands down. If you’re not incorporating at least one social media platform into your overall marketing strategy, chances are, you’re not reaching your audience, or for that matter, your potential. Research shows continued growth for social media usage overall, and an increase in popularity for lesser-used platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest in 2017. Social media users are starting to demand an even more engaging and vicarious experience, especially with the onset of 360 degree images, live video and real-time posting.

    However, using social media incorrectly is just as bad for your business as not using it at all. Don’t just use social media platforms to blast generic content that your audience will most likely ignore. Use it to send unique, personalized messages, start real conversations and engage with your customers right where they are.

    In addition, you can expect to see an increase in paid social advertising. Because social media use has steadily continued to increase and users are expecting a more personalized experience tailored to fit their specific needs, it is becoming more difficult to achieve results from organic social traffic alone. In fact, in 2016, Facebook changed its algorithm to prioritize posts shared by family members and close friends making it harder for posts from companies and brands to be seen by users. This means that if you want your posts to be seen by your target audience members, you will have to incorporate paid social media advertising into your marketing strategy. It is predicted that, in 2017, marketers will spend up to $35 billion on social media advertising.

  • Email Marketing- Because social media platforms have started changing to adapt to current trends, businesses--especially small- and medium-sized businesses--have lost some element of control over what they can share and communicate with fans and followers. Because of this, email marketing has spiked and become a vital resource for communicating with your target market. In 2017, email marketing has emerged as one of the most critical ways to grow and nurture an audience.
  • Video Marketing- Social media has paved the way, and now consumers are beginning to demand relevant, in-the-moment content that gives them a window into everything they want to know. Especially with live video updates on Facebook and personal, minute-to-minute posts via Instagram and Snapchat, consumers have come to expect more video content every day. For example, this year’s Presidential debate was streamed live online for the very first time, drawing in millions of viewers. Marketers agree that videos bring the highest level of Return on Investment (ROI), and businesses that incorporate video into their marketing strategy grow revenue 49% faster than those that don’t.
  • More intense audience segmenting- 2017 will bring new, unique ways to segment and reach out to target audiences with messages that are catered specifically to them. With social media engagement increasing, people are sharing more personal information about themselves every day, giving businesses new opportunities to find out who in their target audience is an authentic lead or potential customer based on a number of factors, including interests, cultural values, lifestyle characteristics, consumer attitudes and purchasing trends. All of these things have clear action implications, opening new doors for businesses and brands to market to specific people that have the highest probability for purchase.

While there are several other marketing trends for 2017 that you should pay attention to, like SEO, paid search and display advertising, these top trends are a great place to start a well-rounded marketing strategy for your business. Regardless of which marketing trends and tools you want to incorporate, having an experienced marketing partner is the best way to integrate each platform and make sure all of the pieces come together seamlessly. Contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia today to find out how we can help you create a fully integrated, cross-platform marketing campaign to make 2017 your best year yet.

Happy Thanksgiving, from Our Family to Yours

By Mike White

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thanksgiving

This week, as we all sit down to a Thanksgiving feast filled with all our favorites, watch parades, football games and dog shows, and spend time with those nearest and dearest to our hearts, it’s important to take time to reflect on 2016 and all of the things we’re most grateful for. While we look back on this year and contemplate and celebrate the things that matter most, we at Splash Omnimedia would like to take a few minutes to express our sincere gratitude and say thank you.

In life, as in business, those two little words can go a long way. These two small words when put together affect people in a big way. “Thank you” not only connotes appreciation and gratitude, but also has the power to transform our health and attitude, make us happier and more positive, and help us maintain healthy relationships.

This time of year is the time to look back on a year that went by much too fast and ponder how much we appreciate the things that we’ve been so graciously blessed with. We at Splash Omnimedia want to take some time to express our appreciation and thank each of you from the bottom of our hearts for your love, support and business during 2016. During this season of gratitude, we want to say thank you to all of our clients, our employees, and our friends and families.

We Are Grateful

To our clients: 2016 has been a year of tremendous growth for Splash Omnimedia, and we are so thankful for each and every one of you. Our growing base of clients gives us an incredible sense of pride and accomplishment. We are so grateful for the opportunity you’ve given us and the trust you’ve placed in us to help grow your business. Thank you for your patience and your confidence in us. We will continue to work hard with and for you every day in order to help you achieve your business goals and objectives through marketing. With commitment, hard work and fresh new ideas, we will continuously strive to put our best foot forward and hit the ground running to help you get the most out of your advertising. Thank you for choosing Splash Omnimedia as your marketing partner.

To our Splash team members: You are the glue that holds Splash Omnimedia together. In the day in and day out of everyday life, you make this all work. Thank you all for your commitment to excellence for our growing list of clients. You are what makes coming to work every day fun and exciting. Each one of you contributes so much to making this business the best it can be, and there is no doubt that Splash Omnimedia will continue to flourish in 2017 and for years to come because of your hard work. Thank you for your dedication to Splash Omnimedia and our clients and for your willingness to share your ideas, time and talents. You are truly the most fun, devoted and enthusiastic team of professionals, and none of this would be possible without you.

And to our families and friends: We are so grateful for you. You make life rich and meaningful. You celebrate with us in times of triumph and offer wisdom and guidance when things seem difficult. Thank you for your continued prayers, endless encouragement and unconditional love and support. We are so blessed.

Today and every day, we thank God for the people He has placed in each of our lives.

Thank you so much for helping us make 2016 the best year yet. Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Splash Omnimedia.

Meet Splash Omnimedian, Morgan Finley

By Matt Thompson

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morgan-grad

Morgan is “Sweet like a flower, but roars like a lion.” She is an only child, born and raised in Lexington, South Carolina. She enjoys concerts, thrift shopping, $3.26 hazelnut iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts and dancing to “Sorry” by Justin Bieber in her car. She graduated from Clemson in May 2016 and is now a graphic designer for Splash Omnimedia.

Where are you from?

Lexington, South Carolina. (L-Town, what?)

What is your favorite color?

Yellow and gray and black

What have you learned about yourself while working here?

I've always been challenged by how I manage my time, but working here on multiple designs and projects at a time has allowed me to really grasp how and what to focus on.

What did you do before working here?

I was a student at the best school in the universe, Clemson

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The fact that Adam Levine exists

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I have a nose ring that makes me look like a bull

What moments can you think of that shaped your life?

(*Strokes chin) hmm...the first concert I ever went to (Jonas Brothers), going to college, joining the concert committee at Clemson

What do you think the world needs more of?

Smiling faces

What are you most proud of?

Tajh Boyd thinking I’m funny as shiitake mushrooms; being in the behind the scenes of All Time Low’s straight to DVD movie; giving Ed Sheeran a tiger towel (because his logo is so similar to Clemson’s)

What is your favorite thing to do?

Go to concerts and go thrift shopping

What do you like to learn about

New design trends, new bands, new pop culture happenings that melt my brain

What are you most thankful for?

My family

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Literally a happy human with (hopefully) a happy husband and happy children

Black Friday Ideas That Can Help You Drive Sales

By Mike White

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shopping-bags

The year is quickly coming to an end and Thanksgiving is practically here!

 It’s no secret that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest shopping events of the year. After filling up on food, family and football, Americans will be ready to line up early and fight off intimidating crowds in order to get a shot at the best prices of the year on gifts and things. 

Whatever your business goals and objectives, you should get in on the action and take advantage of these opportunities to reach out to current and potential customers and get your business out of the red and into the black for the 2016 fiscal year.

The statistics for Black Friday and Cyber Monday speak for themselves. 55% of Americans say that they plan to visit a store or shop online this year during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Last year, shoppers spent $4.45 billion in stores on Black Friday and $3.07 billion online on Cyber Monday, and the spending is only expected to increase this year.

In order to stake your claim on your share of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, it’s important to start preparing now. With Thanksgiving only 14 days away, shoppers are starting to make their lists of what they will be looking to purchase when the big day finally arrives and creating a plan of attack and execution on just what stores they will be shopping in.

Typically, there is a little “cat and mouse” when it comes to black friday deals, and stores wait to see what their competition is going to dish out before serving up their own sales. This can leave some businesses, particularly small and mid-sized businesses, ill prepared for the biggest shopping day of the year simply because they’re waiting for their competitors to “jump first,” so to speak. One way to combat this is to be proactive instead of reactive. Rather than waiting until the competition decides what their deals and sales will be, go ahead and decide on yours in advance and stick to them when the time comes.

Many big-name stores like Wal-Mart, Macy’s and Toys-R-Us have already pre-released some of the deals that shoppers can expect to see on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in order to drum up buzz and excitement and drive more customers into stores and to their websites.

Even though your business may not be able to offer the same products and discounts as the big stores, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a crack at the Black Friday business. No matter how small, your business doesn’t have to be overshadowed.

Reach out to your target audience with these five Black Friday and Cyber Monday tips to help you boost sales and increase revenue.

  1. Go with the “personal touch.” Small businesses definitely have a distinct advantage over the big-box stores because they can offer something extra that big businesses can’t: the personal touch. On a day as hectic and chaotic as Black Friday, being able to provide a more personal experience to shoppers can go a very long way. Provide extra support and service. Have conversations. Give shopping advice and personal attention to each customer. Even though people love low prices and great deals, they also like to feel special, valued and appreciated.
  2. Give your loyal customers a preview in the days leading up to Black Friday. A simple way to do this is to create a gift guide themed email. Gift guide emails see a 48% higher transaction rate than purely promotional emails, and they are a great way to highlight your Black Friday deals early for your most loyal customers. You can also use this as a way to segment out your VIP subscribers and offer something exclusive just for them as a thank you for their business.
  3. Offer a free gift with purchase. Sweeten the deal for shoppers by offering a free gift with a purchase over a certain dollar amount. This is not only a great way to encourage spending, but also gives you the opportunity to showcase another product. Try something small but useful that also encourages a repeat purchase. For example, lotions, perfumes, makeup and product samples are all great for free gifts because they give the shopper an opportunity to try it out and, if they like it, they may come back to purchase it in the future.
  4. Create a doorbuster campaign. Creating an early morning doorbuster campaign that offers the lowest prices on your top-selling items, but only for a few hours, is a great way to drive traffic and bring people in early to shop. Make sure to give shoppers plenty of notice about your doorbuster offers via advertising, especially through emails and social media.
  5. Host giveaways via social media. Get shoppers excited about the day and into the spirit of the season by hosting sweepstakes and giveaways on social media channels. These can come in all shapes and sizes, from coupons to contests and quizzes. By doing this, you also give yourself the opportunity to get current and potential customer’s information by requiring them to provide their email address in order to enter. It also gives you the ability to require people to like your Facebook page or follow your business on Instagram or Twitter in order to participate, which can help you to build your social media fan base.

Now’s the time to get your plan and strategy in place for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Promoting your sales and deals now through emails, your website and social media channels will help drive traffic in-store and online when the big day finally arrives. For more information on how you can make sure your advertising is prepared for the holiday season, you can contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia. We can help you create a comprehensive marketing strategy that is sure to drive business and help you get the most out of the holiday shopping season.

Is Your Marketing Prepared for the Holidays?

By Matt Thompson

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santa-calling

Fall is coming to a close and the holidays are quickly approaching. 

Statistics say that between 20 and 40 percent of annual sales for small- and mid-sized businesses take place during November and December each year. 

In fact, most business owners say that the months between October and December of this year will not only be the best of the year in terms of sales and revenue, but will also set the tone for 2017. 

Don’t make the mistake of not effectively utilizing a seasonal marketing strategy this year.

The holiday season is the perfect time to connect with your target audience. With the right message, you can show your current customers how much you appreciate them while simultaneously reaching out to new, prospective customers.

 The holidays have been statistically proven to lead to a 50 percent boost in ad impressions as well as an 150 percent increase in direct traffic and a 60 percent increase in conversion rates.

So how can you make holiday marketing work for your business? Here are our top three tips for creating a seasonal marketing campaign.

  1. Start Early

    40% of Americans say they typically begin holiday shopping the first week of November. In order to maximize your holiday sales, you need to start planning and executing your seasonal marketing strategy early. To get a head start on the season, your marketing plan should begin promoting holiday ads weeks in advance. Starting early will help you stand out and make an impression on your target audience. This helps prime and prepare consumers to choose your business as their default destination for their holiday shopping. Starting early also gives you the opportunity to test out your message on your target audience to gauge their reaction and adjust accordingly.

  2. Take Advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

    55% of Americans say that they plan to visit stores or shop online on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two huge opportunities for your business to gain exponential sales and revenue through discounts and deals. In 2015, Black Friday shoppers spent a whopping $4.45 billion in stores and online and Cyber Monday sales reached a record high of $3.07 billion, with each shopper spending an average of $125. Statistics suggest that the spending for 2016 will only increase. Use seasonal offers and sales to show your current customers how much you appreciate them and their business and show prospective customers what you have to offer. Surprise buyers by offering deals they’d be crazy to ignore. Make sure that your advertising promotes your Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and brings people into your store and to your website.

  3. Celebrate the Spirit of the Season.

    In Holiday advertising, season’s greetings definitely matter. The holiday season is the time for authentic, meaningful messages. Create something share-worthy that will delight your customers and evoke responsive emotions. Celebrate the season by promoting holiday feelings of togetherness, comfort, family, friendship, thankfulness, love, hope and peace.

Tips to help make your holiday marketing effective

Using these three tips will help you create a holiday marketing campaign for your business. However, even if you follow all of these tips, your advertisements will be just one in a sea of many. What makes seasonal ads great and how can you make sure that your marketing efforts stand out and get noticed by your target audience? Here are a few things that will help you make your holiday ad campaign as effective as possible.

  • Choose the right marketing mix. Using the right combination of traditional and digital marketing mediums can help you reach your target audience right where they are.
  • Deck the halls in your store, on your website and on social media platforms. Get festive and help people celebrate and get into the spirit of the season.
  • Timing is everything. Even the best advertisements can flop if not done in the right place at the right time.
  • Be personal. Your target audience is much more likely to engage with your brand and your products and services if they feel you value them as an individual and not just as another dollar sign.

Is your marketing strategy ready for the holiday season? Now is the time to make sure that your seasonal advertising sends the right message and really makes an impact on your target audience. Want to create an advertising campaign that really wows the crowd? Trust in the experts at Splash Omnimedia! To create a comprehensive holiday marketing strategy, contact us today!

Meet Splash Omnimedian, Amanda Rekers

By Mike White

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Amanda3

Amanda was born and raised just up the road a ways in Charlotte, North Carolina. She loves Jesus, her family and friends and pizza. She is madly in love with her husband, Mark, and enjoys “relishing in wifely-ness.” She likes to cook and to travel. She is a “fabulous facilitator” and is responsible for sales and new business development at Splash.

What did you do before working here?

I’ve always been in the ad business, but before working for Splash, I was in account management.

What have you learned about yourself while working here?

How to come out of my comfort zone and be able to be more bold than I ever thought I could be.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Usually my dog needs to go to bathroom.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I’m a 3rd generation part owner of a hardware company in Charlotte.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would it be titled?

"The Manny Diaries," because all of my closest friends and family call me Manny.

What do you think the world needs more of?

Jesus. No hesitation.

What are you most proud of?

My husband, Mark.

What do you like on your pizza?

Pineapple or pepperoni. I like hand tossed or thin crust, not thick. New York style is the best.

What do you like to learn about?

I love to learn. I’m kind of a nerd. I’d have to say history, places around the world, pop culture, celebrities, health and fitness.

What are you most thankful for?

My family.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

A famous Broadway singer or interior designer.

SC Strong: A Story of Devastation and Hope

By Mike White

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OldMill_Damage_242

This week marks one year since the 1,000-year flood, when torrential downpours fell on Columbia, causing deep waters to wreak havoc on the state. Hundreds of South Carolinians lost their homes and all of their possessions, and several people even lost their lives. 

A week of steady rain caused by a slow moving Hurricane Joaquin left all of South Carolina covered in dangerous waters. Accumulations in some areas reached nearly 25 inches. The catastrophic flooding went down in history books as one of the most prolific rainfall events in all of modern US history.

Over the span of a week, there were nineteen confirmed deaths caused directly by flood waters. Houses and buildings were left demolished and devastated. Roads were dismantled. Bridges were ruined. Dams were capsized. Nearly 30,000 SC residents were left without power. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes and many people lost everything when their cars and houses were swallowed in flood waters. 

Highway patrol reported over 500 traffic accidents and over 600 road closures due to flooding in a matter of just a few days. The US Coast Guard was deployed to help with home rescues. Eight swift-water and eleven aircraft teams, along with 600 National Guardsmen were deployed to assist with evacuations and rescues. The head of the National Guard said the economic loss for the state would total nearly $10 billion. The cost of road repairs alone is estimated at more than $130 million.

Like a lot of homes and business in the Lexington area, Lexington Old Mill was hit hard. The dam breached and water rushed into many businesses, especially affecting those on the first floor. The Old Mill Brew Pub, The Creekside Restaurant, Freeway Music, the Watershed Fellowship and Rainy Day Books were just a few of the business at the Old Mill that experienced profound damages and losses. The Brew Pub experienced significant structural damages and the roof of the back patio was in danger of collapsing. At Freeway Music, more than three inches of water demolished flooring and baseboards. Creekside Restaurant was under more than two feet of water during the worst part of the storm, Rainy Day Books lost hundreds of books and Watershed Fellowship was completely flooded. 

Many other businesses in the Old Mill were severely impacted as well and some even lost everything. However, despite the weight of the losses, what matters most is that the community came together to help each other in a very big way. Pastor Kevin Thumpston of the Watershed Fellowship said on Facebook that more than 200 volunteers, some from as far away as Hilton Head, came together to vacuum, clean up water and rip out walls and carpeting. Even though the flood waters were a force to be reckoned with, the strength and hope of the Old Mill community proved stronger.

One Year Later, We're Still SC Strong

As we look back on the flood of last year, the damage and destruction caused by rain and flood waters is still evident. In many areas where flooding was severe, rebuilding is still underway. Here at the Old Mill, for example, restoring the dam and repairing all of the damages will continue to be an ongoing process for many months to come. For many families who lost everything, the process of rebuilding their homes and lives continues to be a struggle. 

But, through the chaos and disarray, what should stand out the most is the strength and the hope of the people of South Carolina. Despite all of the destruction, loss and devastation, something miraculous happened. Communities and neighbors came together to help one another, and we proved ourselves to be #SCStrong.

During this desperate time, we saw the people of South Carolina come together to help one another. We saw neighbors helping neighbors and strangers helping strangers. Stories of hope, kindness and selflessness showed South Carolinians going out of their way to lighten the burden of these tragic events for their friends, families and neighbors. Kind strangers went into neighborhoods in speedboats and canoes to rescue neighbors trapped in their homes by flood waters. 

Neighboring states, including North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee also came to our aid by sending volunteers and supplies. At Splash, we watched as clients like HVAC, roofing and rebuilding companies came to the aid of those in need and provided their services at a discounted rate, or sometimes even free of charge.

Through this tragedy, we learned about our own strength and that our hope could not be drowned. We came together as a community to help each other. We are SC Strong, and that is definitely something worth celebrating.

How Marketing Affects the Brain

By Matt Thompson

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marketing-brain-and-heart

Do you know how to engage your target audience’s brains and emotions simultaneously? A catchphrase in the marketing world is ‘neuromarketing’, which refers to the process of scientifically determining why people purchase certain items and what things affect their decision making process when it comes to the things they purchase. 

If the reasons people buy certain items can be pinpointed, that information can then be used to create positive and meaningful mental and emotional connections in order to create successful marketing campaigns that specifically appeal to consumer’s heart and mind equally.  

Great marketing campaigns appeal to a target audience on a level that is subconscious. People have a gut reaction to inputs from outside sources in three seconds or fewer. Emotions process inputs five times faster than your conscious brain. That’s why appealing to emotions makes a much more lasting impression than appealing to rational thought alone.

Marketing that is compelling and influential affects the brain through more than just perceptions and rational thought. Powerful marketing targets consumers by emotional persuasion and creating mental connections to products and services. When you hear a certain jingle or phrase or even see colors paired together in a certain way, your mind automatically goes to thinking of a particular brand. It happens to us all every day, whether we realize it’s happening or not. When you hear “I’m lovin’ it” or see red and yellow paired together in just the right way, you automatically think of McDonalds. You can use this same technique to engage your target audience and help them to make subconscious mental and emotional connections with your brand too.

Humans and Their Perceptions

Before we delve into neuromarketing, it is important to understand how the brain works and how we gather information. The human brain processes images faster than any other medium, and it is estimated that we process up to 90 percent of all our information visually. In fact, the human brain can process an image in as little as 13 milliseconds, according to an article by MIT News. This rapid, subconscious processing is what allows us to form a gut reaction in less than three seconds, and when it comes to advertising and marketing, it’s that gut reaction you should target. Using photos, videos and even brand mascots can help you reach your target audience to build visual connections to your products and services.

Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing uses neuroscience techniques to study the brain and delve into how it is directly affected by product advertisements. In these studies, images or products are placed in front of individuals while they are connected to an MRI or EEG machine, which then records the activity in the brain.

One such study involved Frito-Lay and Cheetos, and was reported on by Forbes. The study found that the mess created by the orange powder coating on the Cheetos was pleasurable to the individuals as indicated by increased activity in the areas of the brain responsible for pleasure and fun. In response to the results of the study, Cheetos created an advertising campaign that directly targeted audiences through these senses in order to create mental and emotional connections to their product.

Using Neuromarketing to Promote Positive Experiences and Drive Sales

Good marketing appeals directly to the emotions and the subconscious minds of potential customers. Here are a few ways you can promote positive experiences and emotional and metal connections to your products and services in your advertising campaigns:

  • Get Visual.When creating marketing campaigns, use captivating images and videos to relate to and draw in your target audience. Brand mascots can also help humanize your brand by allowing your target audience to associate your business with a familiar face.
  • Sounds Like Success. Using music in your tv, radio, and online advertisements that conveys your brand's essence and values is an extremely effective way to grab your target audience’s attention and leave a memorable imprint.
  • Focus on Relating More Than Selling.Truthfully, your approach to sales matters just as much as your products or services. Consumers are more likely to be driven to purchase if they feel connected to your business, products or services. Relating to your target audience through emotions and mental connections is far more effective than hard selling. Hard selling often comes across too strong and can be seen as aggressive. By focusing more on relating to customers, you are actually focusing on building, maintaining and enhancing customer interactions in order to create long-term customer satisfaction and repeat sales opportunities.
  • Color is everything. Different colors evoke different thoughts and emotions in consumers. For example, red can mean anger, frustration, love or passion. Many restaurants use red in their logo and product packaging because red is attention grabbing and is thought to make consumers feel hungry. Trust in a comprehensive marketing professional who can help you decide what emotions you want your business, products or services to evoke in your potential customers and determine which colors will fit best with your brand.

The Total Package

It is estimated that potential customers need to hear your message an average of seven times before they remember it and respond. When developing a marketing strategy, incorporating neuromarketing across all platforms, like TV, print, radio, social media and your own branded website will create a powerful association with your brand in the minds of your customers.

To create your next successful marketing campaign,focus on creating positive experiences in the minds and hearts of your viewers, readers and listeners. This can be accomplished by using a color scheme that evokes certain feelings, utilizing actors and models with positive facial expressions and incorporating captivating visual and auditory elements.

At Splash, we know just what it takes to help you use marketing to appeal to your target audience’s brain and emotions and to build lasting relationships with your customers. To get more information on creating a positive marketing campaign and to get help reaching your target audience, contact us today!

Choosing the Right Marketing Partner for Your Business

By Mike White

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marketing-partner-puzzles

There are few decisions concerning your business that are more important than choosing the right marketing partner. 

Business-savvy professionals know that choosing a qualified marketing partner is the most efficient and effective way to create awareness of their products and services while building a strong, solid reputation among their target audience. 

Most businesses are too busy handling the day-to-day operations to give marketing the attention it truly needs. And in an ever changing market, it's tough to keep up with what's in and whats out. That’s why choosing the right marketing partner is essential. 

Selecting a marketing partner is a strategic process. Before you begin your search, it is important to consider what your marketing budget will be. You should also determine who from your business will be involved in the final selection and who will be responsible for the day-to-day communication with your marketing partner.

Think about what types of services you’re looking for currently and what potential services you may be interested in the future. It’s important to do your research and lay the groundwork for your expectations before you begin your search in order to save yourself time, hassle and money in the long run.

The right marketing partner will compliment your business and will ask questions to determine the areas of opportunities and challenges within your business. As with any relationship, clear expectations and a thorough understanding of what each party can offer the other will help establish specific guidelines for moving forward. It is important to select a marketing agency that will help you achieve your business objectives through implementing a marketing strategy that is tailored to your specific business needs.

What should you look for in a Marketing Partner?

As you interview and consult with agencies, the right marketing partner should easily stand out to you. You should make appointments to speak with a range of different types of marketing agencies to better understand what each one can provide for you. This will help you to determine the level of service and price point that are best for your business. Here are some things you should look for when choosing a marketing partner for your business.

  • Experience and quality. Spend some time looking at the portfolios of each of the marketing companies that you’re considering. What does their work look like? How much experience do they have? These are some of the most important things to know before moving forward with hiring a marketing partner for your business.
  • A wide range of services. The right marketing partner will be able to help you decide which advertising and marketing mediums will be most effective for your business and will be able to implement them strategically to help you reach your goals and objectives. Depending on your specific business needs, it is important to have a marketing partner that can help you integrate a comprehensive marketing plan using both digital and traditional marketing tactics.
  • Understanding of your industry. It is important that your marketing partner be familiar with your industry. This will allow them to take their personal knowledge of current industry trends and thought leaders, in addition to a developed network related to your business, and put them to work for your business. This will also help them to create content and select the specific marketing mediums that are most suitable for your company’s needs. They should be able provide specific timeframes and set forth a clear understanding of what is possible and how your marketing efforts will compare to specific industry standards.
  • An advocate for your brand. Since your business will be just one on a list of many, you need a marketing partner that views you and your business as a priority and not just another dollar sign. You deserve a partner that will be engaged in your business and will help you to evaluate the best marketing options to help you meet your specific goals and objectives. Your marketing partner should know your business and your brand inside and out and should be there to cheer you on, lead you in the right direction and help you succeed.
  • Longevity and stability. You should develop a clear understanding of the history of any marketing company before selecting them as your partner. How long have they been in business? What is their employee turnover rate? Asking these questions can help you determine whether or not a potential marketing partner is consistent and stable. The last thing you want is a company that is unstable, erratic or inconsistent. It is important to choose a marketing partner that is trustworthy and dependable.
  • Good communication. You do not want to waste your valuable time tracking down someone that can assist you with a question or lose out on a potential marketing opportunity. Find a partner that can quickly respond to your needs. If someone cannot respond quickly and efficiently to basic questions and initial communications, what will happen when an issue arises? Save yourself potential headaches by choosing a reputable agency that is agile and available to communicate with you about your business needs.
  • A thought leader. Why hire a marketing partner that is stagnant and has no new, fresh ideas? You want a marketing partner that is a trailblazer who is willing to work with you to develop new ideas just for your business. A thought leader will help you to develop creative strategies and techniques that are unique and tailored just for you.

Choosing a marketing partner for your business is the place where gut instinct and informed research come together. It is important for you to feel heard, understood and respected. Whatever partner you choose, make sure that your business will be seen as a partner and a priority and not just another dollar sign.

The right partner is easy to work with, carries out agreed upon projects efficiently and effectively and produces expected results. Businesses that partner with Splash Omnimedia have the benefit of experienced marketing professionals that can identify the best channels and methods of engagement for their specific target audience.

Is Splash Omnimedia the right marketing partner for your business? We'd love to get to know you. Contact us today to find out if we're a good fit for your business. 

Meet Splash Omnimedian, Tom Baire

By Matt Thompson

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commercial

“I’m going to start by saying I don’t have a favorite Pokemon, my favorite color is red and I actually do love long walks on the beach.” Tom is originally from Olean, New York, but took a leap of faith and moved to South Carolina in 2006. He loves spending time with his family and friends and enjoys traveling and seeing new places. He is the Video Production Manager at Splash.

What exactly do you do at Splash?

Scripting, shooting and editing for all video and photography. I also make sure everyone’s computer is working properly, keep Chuck in line (which is a full-time job, in and of itself), and take crap from Lauren on a daily basis.

What did you do before working here?

Before I moved to Columbia, I worked at a grocery store. Before I came to Splash, I worked at ABC Columbia TV station as creative services producing TV commercials.

What have you learned about yourself while working here?

I guess I’ve learned that I can be challenged and have success at trying new things.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My daughter. The promise of a new day. I always strive to be better every day.

What’s an interesting fact about you?

I don’t really know. Let me ask my wife.

What moments or experiences can you think of that “shaped your life?”

I think the biggest one is my decision to take a leap of faith and move so far away from home on my own.

What do you think the world needs more of?

Kickball games and hockey

What are you most proud of?

I would have to say the life my wife and I have built together since being in South Carolina

What do you like to learn about?

Changing technology in my field, editing techniques, camera equipment, software (Nerd)

What are you most thankful for?

My daughter. We adopted her, so she was truly a gift from God.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Batman (grrr voice)

What You Need to Know About Radio Advertising

By Mike White

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Radio Advertising

When you are getting the word out about your business, you want the best reach you can get for your buck. 

While most marketing is driven through digital channels, traditional advertising mediums like radio can also be extremely effective marketing investments.

Using radio as part of your marketing mix can help you effectively increase your reach within your target audience. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen report, 93% of adults in the US listen to terrestrial radio in a given week.

Your radio ads will reach people while they are working, driving, sitting in waiting rooms or just relaxing. This strong exposure makes it a great fit into your marketing mix. Used in conjunction with other channels, it reinforces your brand and keeps you in the minds of your current and potential customers.

Benefits of Radio Advertising:

  • Time efficient: Radio spots can be produced and modified relatively quickly when you have a new product, service, or event coming up.
  • Cost effective: Radio advertising is a much more budget friendly option than most traditional forms of advertising. Compared to TV and print, radio is a much better value. Producing a radio spot requires fewer resources and takes less time, meaning you save money. Typically, a good radio spot will cost you less and will reach more of your target market.
  • The use of sound: Radio spots use voices, music and sound effects to connect with their target audience. You can paint a picture in your listener's mind to create an attention-getting message that will lead to a memorable impression.
  • Audience specific: You can ensure that your message will get the most exposure among your target audience by selecting the station and time that your radio ad will run. Because different stations air different types of music and programming that each appeal to vastly different audiences, your target market is already segmented for you. This makes it simple to share your message specifically with the people you want to hear it by buying ad time on the stations and during the programming where it will be most effective.
  • Measurable results: By using direct response advertising, you can track the results of your radio ads quickly and accurately. Direct response radio ads track results instantly based on target market, station and location, which means that you can find out whether or not your advertising is working effectively relatively quickly.

While television is an effective way to appeal to your target market, the medium can be expensive. Studies have shown that commercials need to run repeatedly to get the best results, causing television stations to structure their pricing to make it more attractive for you to purchase advertising in chunks. It is best to work with a marketing company because their ongoing relationship with TV stations may help with the cost and placement of your ads. 

In order to get the most bang for your buck, it is important to have a complete strategy before beginning your television advertising. Here are few steps you can take before making the commitment:

Incorporating Radio Advertising into Your Marketing Mix

No one channel can give you a well-rounded marketing campaign. By combining traditional marketing methods like radio with digital marketing that includes content marketing and social, you can draw a larger audience than either channel could alone.

Mentioning your website in your radio ads is a great way to bring prospects to your site and to your business. While a study published in The New York Times revealed that nine out of ten listeners forgot a phone number by the end of the ad, nearly one in three report visiting the website of a company that they heard advertised on the radio.

The best time of day to advertise and the best radio station for your business will depend on the audience you wish to reach. For instance, if you are trying to attract professional Millennials, buying ads during drive time on a local station with a large 18 to 35 audience would be a good fit. Local stations provide demographic information about their audiences so that it is easy to find the one that best fits the targets of your current campaigns.

By using professionally produced commercials created by a company with strong experience in this field, you can create an ad that will be heard by a large number of qualified prospects that will bring them directly to your brand. Thinking of adding radio ads to your marketing mix? Contact Splash Omnimedia, your marketing pros.

Is Television Advertising Dead?

By Matt Thompson

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Watching Television

With competition from Netflix, HBO, Hulu and a host of other online video providers, the television industry has undergone considerable changes over the last few years. 

 Last year alone, 1.1 million people canceled their cable subscription, making some question television's longevity. However, even with that number combined with the growing number of consumers who have never subscribed to cable, only 20.4% of all U.S. households were cable-free at the end of 2015. 

Which means nearly 80% of all U.S. households still have subscriptions to cable television.

What this tells us is that television is a force to be reckoned with. Commercials are an influential marketing tactic for your business, depending on your goals and target audience.

Combined with a clear call-to-action directing viewers to your website, television offers excellent benefits, making it an extremely effective advertising medium. Here are some additional advantages of TV:

  • In the US, Watching TV is the nation's most common leisure activity
  • Offers a large audience, targeted through location as well as specific shows and channels
  • Consumers are attracted to creative, well-made television commercials
  • Commercials convey your message through sight, sound and motion, which builds an instant connection with the viewer
  • Reaches viewers when they're most attentive
  • Ability to show a product or service and demonstrate its benefits

While television is an effective way to appeal to your target market, the medium can be expensive. Studies have shown that commercials need to run repeatedly to get the best results, causing television stations to structure their pricing to make it more attractive for you to purchase advertising in chunks. It is best to work with a marketing company because their ongoing relationship with TV stations may help with the cost as well as getting the best spots for your business.

In order to get the most bang for your buck, it is important to have a complete strategy before beginning your television advertising. Here are few steps you can take before making the commitment:

Make A Budget

Television can be pricey, and that is just for running your commercials on TV and does not including the cost of producing the video. Without a professionally produced video, your commercial may be lost in the shuffle. Your commercial needs to stand out with professional scripting, videography and editing.

Set Goals For The Commercial

Perhaps you would like the airtime to announce a new product, promote a current service, or increase sales during a specific timeframe, like the holidays. Maybe you need to do some reputation management and would like to use TV as way to make your company look and feel more human.

Identifying Your Target Market

This will guide where and when you advertise. Which programs are the members of your target audience most likely to watch? What time do their favorite shows run? Think local. If your market consists of people who live near your business, many stations have time slots available for local advertisers.

Have A Call-To-Action

Use language and graphics that encourage viewers to visit your website, download a coupon or make a phone call. By using a call tracking phone number, you have the ability to track that these phone calls came directly as a result of your commercial.

Will It Work For You?

As you can see, television has both its advantages and disadvantages. If you are on a tight budget with limited resources, television may not be the best fit for your business. However, there are some great options to utilize your commercial across several online platforms, extending your reach and budget resulting in even more return on investment.

Here at Splash Omnimedia, our video production team ready to assist you in making your video vision become a reality. We have the tools and expertise to create a professional commercial and the media relationships needed to navigate the television sphere. If you are ready to make an impact through TV, contact Splash Omnimedia today!

How to Engage Customers with Offline Advertising

By Mike White

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Make a Buzz With Offline Advertising

Offline Advertising Benefits

Although the reach of digital marketing is undeniable, there is still a world of opportunities for consumers to be reached through offline advertising. According to a study done by Google, traditional offline mediums like TV, radio, outdoor and print still play a unique role in encouraging online searches for businesses, products and services.

Marketing that utilizes a strategic mix of both offline and online tactics help businesses reach a wider variety of potential customers. Traditional, offline advertising gives you the ability to bring your products or services to your target audience through TV, radio, direct mailers, newspaper ads, billboards and more.

Incorporating offline advertising that compliments your efforts online builds substantial buzz about your business. Successful traditional advertising is tied to a company’s online presence and points the target audience to the businesses’ website or social media platforms in order to learn more about a specific product or service.

Here are some offline marketing methods to consider integrating into your overall marketing strategy:

Television

People who are watching TV often have their mobile phones or tablets right at their fingertips. Integrating TV commercials into your strategy can drive potential customers to their web-connected devices with immediate calls-to-action.

Radio

By incorporating both terrestrial and digital radio, you can put your message in front of your target audience as they go about their daily lives, whether working, playing or driving. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen report published in Business Observer, 93 percent of adults in America listen to AM/FM radio weekly. Imagine the exposure!

Print Advertisements

In an environment where everything seems digital, print can often give a solid, authentic feel to your message while still reinforcing and driving consumers to your digital platforms. If your target audience is reading the newspaper and magazines regularly, that is where you want to be.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is unique in that potential and current customers are inviting you into their homes where they can keep your literature on the fridge or table reminding them daily of your existence.

Business Cards, Brochures, and Flyers

Wherever you go, always have a stack of business cards. You never know who you're going to run into! Likewise, print materials like brochures and flyers are an easy way to give more information about your business to people at networking events or as they go about their day.

Billboards

If you serve a local geographic area, billboards could prove to be prosperous. Since the message must be brief, it is imperative to direct passersby to your website.

Networking Events

Whether you are the one actually holding the event or if you are attending a business expo, networking events are an excellent way to learn more about your potential customer base, demonstrate your expertise and show off your products or services.

How to Make Your Offline Advertising Work:

  • Be selective and only choose offline advertising channels that will help you to better reach your target audience
  • Make the goal of your offline advertising to drive online conversations
  • Utilize customer reviews to help track the ROI of your offline advertising by asking customers how they find out about your business
  • Use Google Analytics to track and measure the change in traffic to your business website as well as searches for your business on Google before and after running traditional advertising. This can help determine whether or not your offline advertising is producing real, measurable results and driving customers to your products or services

To effectively reach your target audience, offline and online marketing tactics are best used in conjunction with one another to provide a seamlessly integrated marketing strategy. Offline advertising should compliment your digital presence, not detract from it. To implement an effective integrated marketing strategy, the overall intention of any offline advertising should ultimately be to increase online traffic, which in turn, will help to increase overall sales and profits.

In a world where all media is intertwined, using every opportunity at your disposal will help you make a meaningful, lasting connection with your target audience. This includes a mix of both online and offline advertising. 

At Splash Omnimedia, we know exactly how to combine the right media channels with the right messaging for your specific marketing needs. We believe that you must be where your consumers are--and they're everywhere. We can help you to utilize both traditional and digital media in a way that’s most effective for your business needs. We can create a fully integrated marketing strategy that will position your business as the leader in your industry and help you build meaningful relationships with your target audience. Contact us today and let's get started.

36 Video Marketing Ideas for Your Business

By Matt Thompson

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(And Where To Share Them)

Video Marketing Ideas

Lights, camera, action! Video marketing offers some major advantages like improving your SEO standings, engaging followers on your social networks, and increasing sales on mobile devices. Videos are easy for people to consume allowing you to share your expertise with the world, connect with customers on a personal level, and show people why they should care about your business - all in less than a minute.

Video engages your audience making it an extremely memorable form of media. Incredibly, 80% of users recall a video they viewed in the past 30 days. The elements of video, sight, sound, and motion, elicit an emotional response and help your business come across as human and sincere.

Even though video marketing has been around for some time, it is relatively new to many business’s marketing strategies. So if you are new to the video scene or a seasoned veteran, below are 36 ideas for fresh video topics that will help take your marketing to the next level:

1. Tips and how-to tutorials

2. Interviews with industry experts

3. On the street interviews

4. Video infographics

5. Product demonstrations

6. Customer testimonials

7. News update

8. Speaker at an event

9. Introduce your team

10. Longer interviews with key members of the company

11. About us

12. Customer Q&A’s

13. Behind the scenes

14. Product reviews

15. Stop-motion videos

16. Webinar invites

17. Animation videos

18. Important company announcements

19. Entertaining content like parodies and office life

20. Presentations/Slideshow

21. Holiday greetings

22. Time-lapse videos

23. Before and after

24. Tour of the office

25. Product or service pre-launch

26. Whiteboard strategy session

27. Tell a story that means something to the customers

28. Competition announcement

29. Busting myths

30. User-generated video

31. Thank customers

32. Thought of the day/week series

33. A day in the life

34. Have a job opening? Have an employee explain why they love working there

35. Live customer care

36. Fun or witty GIF or Vine

Impactful Places to Share Your Videos Online

You have a well produced video with an engaging subject, but now what? Depending on the length and content of your video, there are a number of choices to share your video for the most exposure. Just remember, no matter where you post videos online, alerting your customers of their existence can dramatically increase your reach!

  • Social media. Tailoring your video for each social media platform and audience produces the best results.
  • Facebook Live attracts more prospects and transforms them into followers.
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine owned by Google, the #1 search engine.
  • Vimeo has excellent video quality and no advertising after the video has played.
  • Website landing page. Video on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%.
  • YouTube ads help gain the attention of prospects and those unfamiliar with your brand.
  • Blogs and email campaigns engages your current audience and can be easily shared.
  • Snapchat and Instagram Stories only last 24 hours allowing you to post several videos throughout the day.

At Splash Omnimedia, our award-winning video production department has years of experience to help you reach your audience through this captivating medium. We can work with your current ideas or help you develop concepts and bring them to life for you and your audience. If you are ready to stake your claim and stay competitive, contact us today!

Faster, Higher, Stronger: 20 Years of Olympic Logos

By Mike White

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The Rio Olympics are well underway so we wanted to take a look back at the Olympic logos throughout the last twenty years. Like any well-designed logo, many of the Olympic symbols are instantly recognizable, memorable, and actually make you want to attend the event. They even go as far as communicate the Olympic movement's core values and principles. But which ones fall short, becoming big Olympic fails?

Olympic Logo Winners

The Olympics have one of the most iconic symbols that has been incorporated into the logos commemorating the international event for nearly a century. The five interlocking rings were originally designed by Pierre de Coubertain, co-founder of the games, in 1912. Through the five rings and six colors (including the background), the symbol represents every country making it truly an all-inclusive international symbol.

Using the symbolic rings throughout promotional materials didn't become popular until the 1930's and can be found somewhere in the logo almost every year since. In addition to the rings, the graphics now include typography and symbolic illustrations of the human figure.

You could say the Olympic logo is a little like reinventing the wheel every two years with the goal to create something new and fresh while offering a feeling of familiarity. The question is, which hosting cities actually accomplish this? Le's see if the designers rose to the challenge and embraced the motto of the Olympics, Citius, Altius, Fortius which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger."

Milton Glaser reviewed the Olympic logos commenting on each individual graphic giving them a score from 1-100. Glaser is a seasoned graphic designer who knows his logos as he created the famous I ♥ NY logo. At the top of the list he ranks Athens 2004 with a 90 out of 100 for using the olive branch to represent the games in a fresh and unexpected way. He comments that it looks less like a corporate logo therefore we feel more affectionate toward it.

Next up is Rio's current Olympic logo with an outstanding 85 out of 100. Glaser says that the athletes joining hand at the op are executed in a way that works well with the other elements and that it feels like something new.

Sochi Olympics Logos

We wanted to include London's logo for its extreme uniqueness from the other Olympic logos in the last 20 years. Glaser actually scores this at 80 out of 100. Similar to how many people felt about this logo, Milton comments that as an assembly of forms, he finds it unattractive. But, because of its aggression, it persists in memory. It raises the old question of the struggle between novelty and familiarity. Do you think the Olympic logos should be more traditional or modern?

Okay, enough of the good stuff! Let's jump to the bottom of the list. Can you guess which logos Glaser scored the lowest in the past 20 years? Sochi 2014 received a failing score of 40/100. Calling it inappropriate and unattractive.

And drumroll please! Torino 2006 also scored a 40 out of 100 making it one of the most poorly designed Olympic logos in the past 20 years, according to design genius Milton Glaser anyway. He cited this mark is ambiguous and difficult to understand; a relationship to technology is insufficient. He says that it attempts to appear contemporary, but fails.

Do you agree with Glaser? Which Olympic logo sticks out in your mind when you think about the games?

The 21st Century Dilemma: Offline vs. Online Advertising

By Matt Thompson

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Where Should You Invest?

Offline vs. Online Advertising

The world of marketing has changed dramatically in the last few decades. The explosion of affordable online advertising options has given even the smallest businesses a broad menu of advertising choices. However, offline advertising media, such as direct mail, print advertising and vendor events still have a place in most business marketing plans.

While each approach has their benefits and drawbacks, we don’t believe there has to be competition between the two. Together, both approaches can drive traffic to your website and help make your business successful. The trick is to know when to use each type of advertising.

When to use Online Advertising

Online advertising comes in many forms like email marketing, social media management, or search engine optimization. It can be the big banner ads that you see across the top of web pages or informational blogs educating the customer about industry trends. 

There are a number of reasons why you might choose to use online advertising. Since there is no print and postage costs associated with online advertising, it can be generally more affordable than print or direct mail campaigns. You also have the opportunity to create as small (or as large) a campaign as you need with the ability to track each page view, click, conversion, and more.

Online advertising makes sense when...

  • You want to target a specific audience. Digital advertising can be targeted to users who already have an interest in your particular industry or product, no matter where they are located. You can be specific or as general as you need with setting the parameters of your target audience.
  • You need a quick turnaround time. The processing time for online ads is significantly shorter than traditional approaches. If you know how to maneuver the different online platforms, you can envision a campaign, customize the design, and promote it all in the same day. You also have the ability to make changes much faster giving you the flexibility that you need.
  • You want to engage your readers and potential customers. Online advertising allows you to poll your readers, show them a video or otherwise interact with them, something that's very difficult for most businesses to do with traditional offline advertising.

When to use Offline Advertising

Despite the many benefits associated with web-based advertising, there are still a number of reasons to use traditional advertising methods like brochures, TV commercials, and radio ads.

Offline advertising makes sense when…

  • The market for your product or service is small and localized. If you market your product primarily in a small area, advertising in the local newspaper or via a billboard can help you create a presence in the community as well as support the local economy.
  • Networking and relationship-building are central to your business’s success. Manning a booth at local fairs and other vendor events can help you become the "face" of your company for a relatively modest investment. Such events also let you get out and meet your customers and potential customers face-to-face, rather than as an impersonal scribe online.
  • Physically touching or holding your ads is important to your audience. Traditional advertising like direct mail pieces and newspaper ads can be felt, written on, and held on to for as long as the prospect has a need for it. Whereas the life of a social media post, email, or display ad is much shorter.

For most products and services, the best marketing plan will combine both online and offline advertising options. The main deciding factor when choosing online or offline advertising is determining where your target audience spends the majority of their time. If they are in the age demographic that spends a significant amount of time on Instagram and other social media platforms, digital marketing may be your best bet. Whereas, the baby boomer generation may read the newspaper or watch TV more. 

Before getting started, it is important to take the time to get to know who you will be targeting and your budget to determine which advertising tactic is best for your business.

Here at Splash Omnimedia, we do it all.  What's your next move? Whatever it is, we can help.

Beware of These 6 Content Marketing Challenges

By Mike White

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(And How To Overcome Them)

Content Marketing Challenges

Content marketing is one of the most powerful tools available for connecting target customers with your business. Telling your brand’s story through engaging content gives your audience the opportunity to feel invested in you and your company. In fact, 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships.

Content marketing has become more than just a buzzword and is now one of the most critical elements in a digital marketing strategy. However, if you’ve ever had to make a case for content marketing to your business partners, board of directors, managerial team, or even to yourself, you probably already know that there are some associated challenges of integrating content into your overall strategy.

Let's take a look at 6 of the biggest challenges associated with content marketing and how to overcome them:

1. Redefining Marketing In Your Mind

Often one of the greatest challenges of content marketing is overcoming your own thoughts about what marketing should be. Many new to content marketing are so used to traditional marketing tactics where you hand out coupons or discounts to draw people in with the thought that customers will buy from you immediately. Effective content marketing offers a different kind of value that doesn’t always include instantaneous results. It is a process that includes demonstrating your expertise by educating prospective and current customers about your industry, products and services, and company culture. Nowadays, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. It can be difficult for business owners to wrap their head around how becoming a thought-leader in the industry or telling your brand’s story is going to deliver a high return on investment. But when conversion rates are nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters, the numbers speak for themselves.

2. Producing Engaging Content

Creating content is easy. Creating quality content is much more difficult. Without focus and clarity, content can come across as meaningless noise and people have gotten really great at tuning out the noise! Engaging content excites and informs your audience on a consistent schedule. It should be relevant to a question or issue they have right now and educate them on the answer. Understanding your target audience and intimately knowing their challenges is essential in producing focused, valuable content in order for it to be truly profitable. Also, keep in mind that content comes in all different forms of communication from blogs, videos, landing pages, white papers, etc. Having knowledge of these different platforms will help diversify your content and keep your audience intrigued.

3. Maintaining A Publishing Schedule

After narrowing down your target audience, discovering what moves them to action, and choosing the best platform to get your message across, the next step is making a schedule and sticking to it. Consistently creating quality content is key to customer engagement. Many marketers will tell you that publishing at least once per day is essential for content marketing success. However, balancing quantity and quality is crucial. All of that work is pointless if the content does not compel your audience to open and view it. It's better to publish one outstanding post than six mediocre posts every week.

The real challenge? Maintaining that schedule for the lifespan of your business if you hope to build and sustain a sizable audience. Sure you may have to tweak it over time, but content marketing does not have an expiration date, it is here to stay.

4. Insufficient Resources

Having enough time and resources to create and distribute quality content is a struggle for anyone tackling content marketing. A lot of people see content marketing as “free marketing,” but even if you choose to do your own, you’re going to pay for it in one way or another. Producing engaging content on a consistent basis requires ample amounts of research, skills, and time to do it right. One option that many successful business owners have taken advantage of is outsourcing the creation and distribution of the content. This may seem counterintuitive to content marketing because who knows your company better than you?! But, the last thing you want as a business owner is to get caught up with content marketing, and forget about actually running your business.

5. Increasing Competition

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers are producing significantly more content than they did a year ago. Which means there is a lot of competition out there. No matter what industry you’re in, HVAC, pest control, or construction, chances are someone else has already been blogging about it. The best way to combat this? It’s simple: understand your audience better than anyone else and make the best content that you can.

6. Measuring the Effectiveness of Content

Since content marketing offers so many opportunities to make an impression, it can be difficult to attribute the conversion of a lead to a certain action. This makes it a challenge to prove return on investment of specific content marketing efforts. With that being said, there are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your content including: content downloads, website traffic, social media chatter, form completions, Google Analytics, email list subscriptions, click-through rates, conversion rates, and more. One of the best overall ways to figure out if your content is effective is to look at the length of your sales cycle. The shorter your average sales cycle becomes, the better your content marketing ROI.

Making the decision to integrate custom content into your marketing strategy is a major commitment, one that cannot and should not be rushed. Content marketing is the long march down the field, with a lot of smaller plays along the way. This marketing approach is not just a few blogs here and one video there, it is a process that requires consistent delivery of quality content to build your audience and ultimately your business.

At Splash Omnimedia, we embrace these challenges and meet them head on by attending trainings and conferences with the most influential thought leaders of content marketing. We have content specialists who live, breathe, and eat content and are prepared to conquer any of these challenges you may be experiencing. If you are ready to take your content to the next level, contact us today!

Convert Leads into Customers with Content Marketing

By Matt Thompson

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What is content marketing?

Content Marketing Is King

In today's world, customers want to be informed about your services and products, feel connected to your business, and be entertained along the way. 

We live in the age of the educated where the average customer guides themselves through 60% to 90% of the traditional sales funnel before ever picking up the phone to call you.

When they have a certain need or even a curiosity, they turn to the search engines to get the answer to their question. How can you, as a business, market to this buyer-driven environment? In what ways can you ensure that your business is the one to answer their question?

Enter content marketing.

Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as: "strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action."

Content marketing allows you to foster a relationship with your target audience and be the ones they turn to when they have a question related to your business. By creating and sharing compelling content, you will become the thought-leader in the industry and once your potential customers find you as a trustworthy, credible source, they are more likely to buy from you.

Instead of interrupting potential and current customers with your marketing message, content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that draws your audience in by providing ongoing, quality content that speaks to them at every stage of the buyer's journey. Businesses that use content marketing find it to be a powerful communication tool that helps them position the most relevant content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.

What are the advantages of content marketing?

The idea behind content marketing is that by offering valuable free content to a prospect as they work their way through the sales funnel, they will in turn reward you with their business. The main objectives for this strategy are to engage customers, boost brand awareness, and drive sales, but have many more benefits including:

  • Develops lasting relationships with your current and potential customers
  • Boosts audience engagement
  • Improves brand awareness and recognition
  • Increases customer retention and loyalty
  • Generates traffic to your website to improve lead generation
  • Higher visibility in search engines
  • Builds social media following
  • Helps customers move through sales funnel more quickly
  • More opportunities for up selling and cross-selling

Where does content fit into a marketing strategy?

Content is a central component in an overall marketing strategy, not an afterthought. An effective content marketing strategy includes a systematic approach to creating and sharing useful material on a consistent basis. It requires you to understand your target audience like no other form of marketing. You first have to understand their pain points, challenges, and goals in life in order to know 1.) what information will be beneficial to them and 2.) how, where, and when they will be searching for it.

We keep using words like valuable, compelling, relevant, useful, and quality because this is the key to content marketing. To be successful, the content must offer value to your pre-defined target audience. Buyers are overwhelmed with information on a daily basis. If you just look at your Newsfeed, you probably don’t know where to click anymore. Quality content is relevant and helps the audience with an issue they have right now. It should grab their attention and compel them to want to read more, but it extends much further than a fancy headline or email subject line. The “meat” of the content should improve their lives in some way, whether that is intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually.

Content can come in many forms and the best platform is largely dependent on, you guessed it, your target audience’s preferences. Having a clear picture of where they spend the majority of their time online will help you choose which form of communication will work best as well as at what frequency. Here are a few examples:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Email campaigns
  • SEO friendly web pages
  • White papers and reports
  • Social media
  • Infographics
  • Apps
  • Podcasts
  • Print and digital publications
  • User-generated content
  • Case Studies
  • And more!

There is no doubt that content marketing is an essential part of a marketing strategy, one that seems to raise a lot of questions about how to implement it in a way that will be worthwhile for your business. That is why next week, we will be covering the challenges of content marketing and how to overcome them. A few challenges include producing quality content consistently, insufficient resources, and maintaining long-term sustainability.

According to Marketo, consumers spend an average of 79 days conducting online research before buying. That is more than two months! Here at Splash Omnimedia, we make it our business to shorten the sales funnel and drive inbound traffic through powerful content. Contact us today if you are ready to reach and convert potential and current customers that are already searching for products and services like yours!

How Social Media Can Catapult Your Business to the Top

By Mike White

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Social Media For Small Businesses

Social Media for Small Businesses

Seventy-eight percent of all Americans are on at least one social network. Most users sign on every day, and more than half of all social media users follow at least one brand. 

Social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, have become a key element in many people's lives and for more than just personal interaction. Many use it as a source for daily news and it is often where people turn when they have a question, comment, or complaint for a business. 

An influential social media presence can expand brand awareness, promote traffic to your website, and build a community of followers.

If you are wondering if social media would be beneficial for your business, consider this:

  • Facebook has 214 million users in the U.S.
  • 41% of U.S. small businesses are on Facebook.
  • There are 128 million LinkedIn users in the United States.
  • 70 million Americans are on Twitter.
  • 42% learn about products and services via Twitter.
  • Over 89 million Americans are on Instagram.
  • 176.1 million people in America use YouTube.

Where Small Businesses Can Thrive

When compared to top brands that dominate the social media landscape, it may seem impossible for small businesses to compete with their elaborate campaigns and unlimited budgets. However, small companies can leverage social media to reach their exact target audience without over extending their budget. SMB's offer unique products and services to smaller groups of customers in local areas. 

Most small businesses can't match the volume of content large corporations are able to create or the manpower, time, and money needed to do so. Instead, small businesses should focus on taking calculated steps toward expanding brand recognition, increasing website traffic, and promoting online referrals. Having a clear strategy for social media efforts will help create the strong personal connection with prospective customers businesses need to expand their reach. A strategy must take into account company goals, target audience, and what the competition is doing. 

A few of the ways to leverage social media for a brand's success includes:

Choose the Right Networks

Each social media platform have different demographics and engagement options. Once your target audience has been identified, choosing the best social networks will be simple. It's better to have a well-managed presence on one channel than to have neglected profiles on all of them. For example, if your business is image-heavy and skewed toward homeowners, look at Pinterest. Home Depot has earned over 488 thousand followers by posting regularly updated boards on topics like outdoor living and storage and organization.

Post the Perfect Amount

The sweet spot is a little different for each network. Researchers with Social Media Examiner say that you should post between five and seven times a day on Twitter but only one to four times a day on Facebook. By sticking with a number that keeps you in front of fans' eyes without overexposing your brand, you can keep their interest high. When users see your content regularly, it gives you more chances to convince and convert.

Create and Adapt Content For Each Platform

A good portion of a social media community manager's role is creating and adapting content for each specific network. This includes revising content in under 140 characters for Twitter, creating images and graphics to accompany Facebook and Twitter posts, resizing and recreating those same graphics for Instagram, and more.

Post Educational Information

The ultimate goal of any marketing efforts is to get potential customers back to your website. Creating informative content about your industry and products or services that is equally well-written and entertaining will help attract prospects and drive them back to your website.

Involve Your Followers

A&E picked up a Shorty Award for Best Use of Tumblr for their Critics' Choice Awards Fan Art Red Carpet. By inviting amateur artists on the microblogging platform to contribute their interpretations of red carpet photos, they dramatically increased engagement, reaching over four million users. High engagement can significantly increase both your web traffic and can enhance your SEO rankings.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

More people are reaching out to brands on social media when they have a problem that needs solving. And, they expect results. Surveys indicate that a person who posts on social media expects an answer from a brand within an hour. By monitoring social media for mentions of your brand, you can demonstrate publicly that you care about customer satisfaction.

With so many people spending so much time on social networks, if your brand is not part of the conversation, you are missing out. By using these channels wisely, a business can build relationships that lead to long-term sustainability and success. No matter what size of business, maintaining a powerful social media presence takes a surprising amount of time and effort. Social media platforms are not always easy to navigate and have endless options from page customization to paid advertising. An effective social media manager needs to possess skills in copywriting, design, basic photography and videography, creativity, quick decision-making, good judgement, strong communication skills, analysis, and the list continues!

Here at Splash Omnimedia, our social media strategists create campaigns that are all about connecting you with new and existing customers. If you are ready to elevate your brand and drive revenue through social media, contact us today.

7 Brands with Fourth of July Campaigns

By Matt Thompson

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Happy Fourth of July From Splash Omnimedia!

Made In America: The Best of Independence Day Ads

Independence Day, along with the long weekend, has come and gone but not without many American businesses showing off their patriotic spirit. While most celebrated the holiday by sprucing up their websites, emails, and social media posts with red, white, and blue, others used it to bring attention to bigger issues at hand like #SaladShaming. We picked out 7 brands that had very different campaigns from easy DIY to humorous, cause-related, and downright disgusting (ahem, #7). Enjoy!

1. M&M's "Red, White and Blue Poke Cake"

This Independence Day, M&M's U.S.A. kept it simple by reposting a short video by How Sweet It Is showing how to make a delicious patriotic dessert using red, white, and blue M&M's. Jessica Merchant, the chef behind How Sweet It Is, was commissioned by M&M's to create fun desserts for their Pinterest page.

2. Dixie "We, the Salad Men"

Dixie is known for it's sturdy plates with an ability to hold the beefy-ist of meats. In this 60-second spot that was pushed out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram throughout the holiday weekend, Dixie wants men to come together against #SaladShaming. Commenting that "maybe it's your third bbq of the weekend" or "maybe you're just going through a thing," either way if you want to stack your plate with leafy greens, you shouldn't have to feel ashamed. Along with the "We, the Salad Men" anthem, Dixie released a Facebook carousel ad featuring different hearty summer salad recipes just for men.

3. Hobby Lobby "In God We Trust"

Through a full-page Hobby Lobby "In God We Trust" ad, the arts and craft store reminded Americans of the nation's Christian heritage. The ad that was promoted on social media and now included on their website, featured 14 quotes from Congress, the Supreme Court, Founding Fathers and more referencing the United States' ties to Christianity. According to their website, Hobby Lobby runs full-page, faith-themed holiday ads each Christmas, Easter, and Independence Day.

4. Lowe's "Happy 4th"

Lowe's inspired visits to their stores this Fourth of July by posting a gif of their products in a patriotic fashion. The home improvement megastore created a flag made of red, white, and blue flowers as well as used seeds to spell out Happy 4th.

5. Ad Council "We Are America" ft. John Cena

This year, the Ad Council released a short video urging Americans to celebrate their diversity as part of their "Love Has No Labels" campaign. (You may remember their video that went viral last year featuring skeletons behind a screen). Throughout the video, you can see wrestler John Cena walking through a busy sidewalk filled with waving American flags. The message is that patriotism is more than "flag sequined onesies," it is love for your country and to love America is to love all Americans. In addition, the video urges people to upload a photo of themselves to the "Love Has No Labels" campaign website, where it will be combined with other users' image to create a portrait of diverse America.

6. Old Navy "Giant Fourth Of July Celebration"

Old Navy kept it fun with a short stop motion, brightly colored video of summer clothing dancing across the screen. You may notice something different about this advertisement compared to the others on the list, it is the only one that actually includes a sales announcement.

7. Nathan's Famous "2016 Hot Dog Eating Contest"

If you were anywhere near a TV on Monday, you probably caught a glimpse of grown men and women shoving beefy goodness down their throats along with Nathan's Famous logo plastered on everything between the backdrop, cups, shirts, and championship belt trophy. In a genius effort to remind citizens of America of the famous hot dogs every Fourth of July, Nathan's Famous holds an ESPN-televised hot dog eating contest in Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY for the last 42 years. This year Joey Chestnut, the eight-time winner and defending champion, managed to devour 73 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

6 Reasons Marketing Savvy People Love Email Marketing

By Mike White

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Email Marketing: Do You Really Need It?

Local Search Engine Optimization

When you're cleaning out your email inbox and see that there are tons of boring, "junky" emails, you may hesitate about utilizing email marketing for your own business. After all, does email marketing get results? When it is done correctly--it does! According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the US.

So what makes email marketing so effective? Savvy marketers love email because it provides a direct line of communication to an already engaged audience. These individuals have shown interest in your products and services by subscribing to your emails therefore inviting you to send them information on a regular basis. Email marketing gives you the opportunity to stay connected with your customers by sending daily, weekly, or monthly promotions, newsletters, new product announcements, and event invites. It even allows you to recommend products or services to a customer based on their past purchase behavior.

Great email is based on providing attention-grabbing and relevant information to your audience. Ensuring your emails are opened, read, and clicked-through requires effective subject lines, high-quality content your prospect needs, and responsive and visually-appealing design that makes it easy to navigate. This won’t only help avoid your emails being marked as spam, it will help acquire new customers and encourage repeat business.

Consider these seven benefits to making email marketing an important part of your inbound marketing strategy.

1) Excellent ROI

As mentioned above, the ROI can be enormous. A significant reason is due to the fact that you can reach a huge number of customers for a fairly low overhead cost. Just think about it, with many traditional media options you have to pay for the design, printing, postage, and fees paid in exchange for exposure. Of course, there is a cost associated with professionally designed and responsive email marketing, but statistically speaking, when you pay $1 for a $43 dollar ROI, the results are surprisingly positive from a financial perspective.

2) One of the Best Lead Nurturing Tools

Email marketing is excellent at making sure your leads stay connected and engaged with your business throughout their entire buying process. By providing equally informational and entertaining content, you can encourage prospects and customers to check out your services/products, blogs, white papers, reviews, and more continually bringing them back to your website until they are ready to buy.

3) Increase Customer Loyalty

You can build deeper connections with your audience through email marketing that will help convert them into loyal fans of your business. The key is to avoid over-promotional communication that won't feel authentic to the recipient. When you offer insight into your industry, services/products, and company's culture, you begin to develop a trusting relationship that makes them feel at ease.

4) Break it Down Now

Email marketing gives you the ability to break down your master list into segments and personalize the messaging which allows for extremely targeted marketing. You will see an increase in conversions simply because the message is so relevant to the recipient. For example, if you want to target a particular geographical area you serve during the month of July, you can find everyone in your database in that area and send them a coupon.

5) Spreading The Love Is Simple

When is the last time you clipped an ad out of a magazine and gave it to your friend? With email marketing, subscribers can forward enticing deals and useful pieces of information to their friends and families with the click of a button.

6) Easy-To-Understand Metrics

Unlike some forms of marketing, email marketing is incredibly simple to track. You can see how many people opened an email, clicked a certain link, unsubscribed, marked it as spam, and whether your email even made it into your recipient's inbox. This provides you with valuable feedback to help you figure out which subject lines peaked their interest, what content recipient's have found engaging, and the best day of week and time of day to send.

With email marketing, there are few risks, the costs are relatively low, and the potential is great. If you have already connected with customers, either online or off, email marketing is an excellent way to remain top-of-mind until it is time to close the deal. Plus, you can easily target your messages to the different stages of the sales process. However, many report having a low response rate and don’t seem to get their promised results. This is often due to a lack of an overall email marketing strategy. Email marketing actually requires a great deal of research and preparation. Any effective email marketing strategy should take into consideration who your target customers are, their preferences, and which messages are most applicable and interesting to each of them.

As you can see, there are many benefits to email marketing. If you aren't taking advantage of this marketing tool, why not? Contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia today and let us help you create an email marketing strategy that can take you places you never thought you could reach!

Learn To Leverage Local Search Optimization

By Matt Thompson

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Put Your Business On The Map With Local SEO

Local Search Engine Optimization

Over the last few weeks, we have expressed just how important search marketing is to the survival of your business in this day and age. SEO and SEM have already been big players in the modern marketing landscape and as we continue to dive deeper into this era of technology, local optimization is becoming impossible to ignore.

97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products and services. Consequently, search engines are showing more results based on a user's location, making local SEO an essential component for any business looking to attract local customers.

Local SEO helps searchers find what they are looking for, this includes practical information such as the address of the business, phone number, and the hours of operation. However, you don’t need a brick and mortar store to leverage local optimization. Local SEO is highly-targeted and helps any business who serves one or more geographical areas connect with searchers looking for exactly what you offer in a particular area.

Just like SEO, local optimization needs to be woven into your website, considered each time you update your content and whenever you are promoting your website online. So what are these additional things needed to boost your appearance for local searches?

Accuracy Matters

When you list your business anywhere on the web, it is imperative that your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent and precise. For example, if you have a street number in your address and it is listed on your website as "Street 123" but then later listed on Facebook as "St. 123" it will negatively affect your website's visibility on the search engines. When there are discrepancies between listings on different directories, this hurts the user experience resulting in a lower ranking.

Fill It Out Completely

Search engines also place value on thoroughly filling in your company's information on online directories. This includes your NAP, description of your services, and a number of quality photos. Of course this means you have to first get listed on directories like Yelp, Angie's List, Yellowpages.com, CitySearch, etc.

Local Optimization Example

Think Local

Let your customers know that your business is local and relevant by including local keywords into your website's content. Naturally using local key terms in the title tag, H1 heading, URL, "About Us" and "Contact Us" pages, as well as embedding a map that shows the location of your business will add tremendous value.

Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

The way mobile phone search has blown up in recent years is also a clear driving force behind local SEO. People like convenience and using your cell phone to search online is quick and easy. The numbers prove it: 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase.

Request Those Reviews

Customer reviews have a direct impact on local listing search rankings. Encourage your customers to post reviews about your business on Yelp and other review sites. And why not when 88% of consumers consult online reviews before they purchase local services? However, it is important to spread out reviews over time and across all platforms to ensure that the reviews are helping and not hurting your business's visibility.

Local Optimization Going Forward

Local SEO removes the guesswork from local marketing. It's not like dropping leaflets through a letterbox or putting an ad in a local paper, which may or may not be seen by someone interested in your service. Local SEO reaches local customers when they are looking for your service and ready to buy. As proximity-based searches continue to increase in popularity and technology improves, local searches will become even more intuitive and hyper-specific to the user's needs. By implementing a local SEO strategy now, you will position your business for success down the road.

At Splash Omnimedia, every decision our search marketing team makes is based around hard analytics. From keywords rankings, website traffic, and search marketing trends. The information we find influences how we develop and implement your website's SEO, SEM, and local SEO strategies. Given the prevalence of local searches, optimizing your website and local listings can help you drastically increase your bottom line. If you are ready to get started, contact us today!

SEO Made Simple: How To Position Your Website For Success

By Mike White

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Why You Need SEO

Search Engine Optimization

SEO is all about your website, the user, and connecting the two. Every minute, consumers are searching for products and services related to your business. 

Search engine optimization helps your website be found during these searches thus attracting more qualified leads to your site and increasing conversion rates. Search engine optimization is the master when it comes to pulling in prospects and positioning your business to achieve long-term online success.

So what exactly is search engine optimization? SEO is the ongoing process of improving the visibility of your website on search engines, specifically in the non-paid, organic results. The order of the results are based on complex algorithms that search engines use to determine what is most relevant to its users.

With SEO, you earn your ranking by incorporating search engine friendly elements into your website called on-page and off-page SEO. These elements are the ticket to communicating your offer with the search engines so they can recommend your website for relevant searches. A successful search engine optimization strategy will have a combination of on-page and off-page SEO tactics.

  • On-page SEO refers to optimized content and HTML source code that is woven into the DNA of your website. On-page SEO helps you create an outstanding user experience by favoring websites that are responsive (specifically on mobile), have a fast page load speed, and include quality content in a variety of formats such as text, multimedia, images, infographics throughout the blog posts, page copy, etc

    Other factors include incorporating selective and relevant keywords naturally into title tags, meta descriptions, heading tags, alt text, etc., formatted page URLS, social sharing, google authorship, domain authority, the list goes on.

  • Off-page SEO refers to the promotion of your website that occurs off of your website. Off-page SEO showcases your business on search engines through quality link building, social media, and consistent online business directory listings.

    For more information on the specifics of on-page and off-page SEO, you can find a detailed outline on our SEO Services page.

The Advantages of SEO

SEO is a smart, and necessary, move for businesses of all sizes. If you follow these SEO tactics, then your business will begin to reap the many benefits of search engine optimization.

Attract Quality Customers

Without SEO, you run the risk of your website being invisible to searchers. SEO will help you gain better rankings in search engine result pages which translates to more targeted prospects finding you, visiting your website, and becoming customers.

Increased Website Usability

The purpose of the search engine's algorithms are to encourage great, seamless user experiences. When you follow the on-page SEO best practices, it will help you increase the quality of your website by making it friendlier, faster, and easier for users to navigate. This in turn will help improve conversion rates.

High Return On Investment

SEO increases your sales without proportionately increasing your marketing costs. It helps position your website in front of customers throughout their entire buying process. Whether you are attracting, retaining, or cross-selling a customer, having optimized informative and quality content will continue to increase traffic and improve click-through rates.

Bypass Competition

People naturally associate the top results as the best, most established, quality businesses. Having a higher ranking will not only mean increased brand awareness and trust, but also mean the difference in the potential customer choosing you or the competition.

SEO As Part Of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

For best results, search engine optimization should start early and be updated often. Successful SEO needs to be woven into your website as you develop it from start to finish. This means you need to be thinking what you want to accomplish down the road. Creating an SEO strategy will help you identify your long-term and short-term goals, target audience, and what they are searching for related to your business prior to getting started. It is also important to get started early if you want to outrank your competition. Once they establish their presence on the search engines, the more difficult it will be to overtake them.

Once you generate a steady stream of traffic from SEO, you need to constantly be maintaining and improving your SEO in order to keep those rankings you worked so hard for. As we mentioned in Demystifying Search Marketing: Quick Guide for SMB's, SEO is the marathon of search marketing because it is an ongoing process throughout the entire existence of your website. Consistently adding new, informative, and quality content will be key to holding onto your ranking. Then, with SEO it is possible to measure and track your results which allows you to make needed adjustments.

At Splash Omnimedia, we offer the value and benefits of an integrated SEO strategy through our Search Engine Optimization services. Using only industry-best practices, we plan, implement, and manage an on-site and off-site optimization strategy. If you're ready to take your company to new heights of online profitability and success, let's talk.

A Crash Course In Search Engine Marketing

By Matt Thompson

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Be Found Where People Are Looking For You

Irrigation Display Ad

Highly targeted, cost-effective, and measurable, search engine marketing helps build brand awareness and attract meaningful traffic to your website.

In last week's Demystifying Search Marketing: Quick Guide for SMB's, we established that Search engine marketing or SEM is a type of paid advertising that can get your website found on search engines. You determine which keywords are used to trigger the advertisements, so when a prospective customer searches for something related to your business, your ad shows up in the results.

Unlike traditional media, SEM gives you the opportunity to promote your ad to an extremely engaged audience, who are actively searching for offers like yours. It is also highly targeted giving you the ability to specify age range, location, time of day, device type, and more. This allows your ads to go much further as it increases exposure only to an established target audience as well as those already interested in your products and services.

The SEM Breakdown

There are a number of advertising formats to help you reach the right audience for an excellent return on your investment. Pay-per-click and cost-per-impression being the two most popular models.

Imagine asking your local TV station not to invoice you unless someone views your commercial and then gives you a call. This is essentially how pay-per-click (PPC) works. Also known as cost-per-click (CPC), these ads are paid for only when someone actually clicks-through to your website. On the other hand, cost-per-impression (CPM)'s are billed at a flat rate per 1,000 impressions, regardless if it was actually clicked on or not. You're not charged additionally for any clicks that the ad receives. Less common forms of online advertising include CPA and Revshare models. Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is a model of online advertising where advertisers only pay per lead. Revshare is where you receive a portion of the profits from the client you're referring.

The advertisements are displayed either on search engine results pages (SERPs), the sides or top/bottom of web pages, or social media platforms in a number of formats including:

  • Text Ads: Includes a link to your website and a description or promotion of your product or service.
  • Digital Display Ads: Image-based ads that often appear in the side, top, and bottom sections of websites in various sizes.
  • Video Ads: Video ads are growing in popularity as better internet speed performance and online advancements make it fast and easy to watch videos on the web.
  • Retargeting Ads: Extremely effective, retargeting ads entice a user to visit your website by taking into account the user's past web history.
Irrigation Display Ad

There is a science to choosing the right ad network for your business, and what works for one, might not work for another. Below are just a few of the ad networks that are considered effective:

  • Facebook: Includes promoted ads, sponsored stories, carousel ads, etc.
  • LinkedIn: For B2B marketing.
  • Google Adwords: Offers PPC ads and can be highly targeted.
  • Bing: Similar to Google Adwords, but with less competition.
  • YouTube Ads: Can appear as banner ads, in-video overlay ads, in-stream video ads, and more.

Measured and Tested

"The sprint" of search marketing, a SEM campaign can be implemented faster than search engine optimization or SEO. However, if you aren't careful, paid advertising can become expensive quickly. 

It's important that you go in with a strategy and a goal in mind. From researching and selecting the right keywords, to determining the most effective demographic parameters for your target audience, setting up landing pages that are optimized for conversions, and monitoring the results closely.

With paid advertising, every ad, every keyword, and every dollar spent can be tracked through the vast amount of features and data that the available platforms provide. It's actually possible to calculate both a long-term and short-term ROI from each and every incoming website visit. Depending on the results, keywords and other specifications can then be adjusted, tested, and readjusted for maximum effectiveness.

We Can Help

Your head may be swirling after this crash course into the world of search engine marketing. It can be overwhelming with ideas of different models, formats, and networks. As a Google Partner, our team has extensive and ongoing training providing us with the education needed to effectively manage your online marketing and help you get the most out of your budget. Contact us today if you are ready to leverage the search engines and drive your ROI. Don't just make an impact, make a Splash!

Demystifying Search Marketing: Quick Guide for SMB’s

By Mike White

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A Race To The Top

Search Engine Marketing

Have you ever had brochures or flyers professionally designed and printed for your business? Did you then lock them away in a cabinet, never to be seen again?

Hopefully not. More than likely, you took full advantage of those promotional materials by showing them off at trade shows, handing them out to potential customers, and hanging them anywhere there was wall space.

Most businesses today understand the importance of having a user-friendly, responsive website. A common mistake companies make is making the investment to commission a brand new website with all the bells and whistles, but failing to implement a digital marketing strategy to attract meaningful traffic. 

This is essentially locking their website in a cabinet where the only thing it's generating is dust!

A sound search marketing strategy will encompass a blend of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and local optimization tactics to deliver a steady stream of interested prospects to your website.

With over a billion websites on the web, search marketing is necessary if you want your website to stand out above your competition. By leveraging the major search engines, you can increase your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through both organic (unpaid) and paid strategies. While there is much to be said about each of these tactics, it is important to first have a firm grasp on the basics:

  • Search engines: In the U.S., the major search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and AOL with Google being the most used.
  • Search engine results page (SERP): The page displayed after you type a keyword search into let's say Google. These pages contain the two different types of results: organic and paid.
  • Website Visibility: How well your website ranks in search results can have significant implications on your website traffic and overall success. Consider the following, 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results and the top three search results receive nearly 60% of all the clicks. If your website is not visible on the first page of results for the keywords and phrases your audience is searching then you're highly unlikely to even earn an opportunity to compete for their business.

Both organic and paid approaches have their own advantages depending on what you want to accomplish. Both can successfully promote your brand and drive traffic to your website, but have two very different ways of getting there.

SEM

The Sprint: Search Engine Marketing

When you search for a specific keyword in Google, you may have seen the results at the very top of the page with the word "Ad" in a tiny yellow box. THAT is SEM. Search engine marketing or SEM is a type of paid advertising that can get your website found on search engines. 

Search engine giants like Google and Bing each have their own paid search engine marketing platforms with each offering a variety of ad formats. The most common ad formats today include text, image, and video ads and are generally offered in either a pay-per-click (PPC) or cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM) scenario.

In terms of implementing SEM, it is the sprint with the shortest distance to the finish line. SEM can be put into action relatively quickly and can be modified based on budget and results. Utilizing search engine marketing can help get eyes on your new website, landing page quickly while testing to see which keywords and key phrases yield the best results. The level of control over paid search allows you to include what keywords trigger your ad, time of day, device type, ad position and much more making it a highly-targeted and flexible form of advertising.

The Marathon: Organic Search Engine Optimization

After the paid advertisements, lies the organic results where websites and other content such as videos, maps, and local listings are shown. These results are ranked based on a formula of unique algorithms that each search engine considers to determine what is most relevant to its users. Search engine optimization or SEO is the process of getting your website naturally placed higher on the search engine results pages.

Marathons, compared to sprints, are run over an extended period of time. Similarly, SEO takes time to establish. The methods used to obtain high rankings are extensive and should begin before you even create your website. It will then need constant tweaks, reviews, and shifts in order to continue providing stellar results. Just like in a marathon, the trick is to sustain performance levels over time and pace the work rate.

Although SEO does not always yield immediate results like SEM, search engine optimization can outperform paid search traffic and deliver a high return on investment (ROI) over the long haul. Search engine users are more likely to trust a brand when it appears in one of the top organic listing positions. Considering the top organic results on Google SERPs receive on average 36.4% of all clicks, the number 2 spot earning 12.5%, and the third spot takes 9.5%, SEO is well worth the time and energy required to achieve these high placements.

Local Optimization Example

The Mile Markers: Local Optimization

If you serve a specific geographic area, local optimization should likely be at the center of your SEO and SEM strategies. 4 in 5 consumers use local keywords when conducting a search online including terms like "nearby," "in South Carolina," "closest restaurant," "6.2 miles away," etc. Since major search engines, Google in particular, like to give the people what they want, they have begun to put more emphasis on local business listings, geo-targeted keyword terms, and consistency across the internet.

The Finish Line

The ultimate goal of marketing and advertising is to drive people to the center of your marketing efforts i.e. your website. Once on your website you can educate them on your products and services, cultivate them through their buying process and lead them down the path ultimately convert them into paying customers and brand advocates.

By improving your website's visibility with search marketing, you have the opportunity to outrank your competition, and win the attraction of prospective customers.

However, SEO, SEM, and local optimization alone cannot help you reach your highest marketing potential. Social media, branding, blogging, and other marketing approaches complement these organic and paid marketing tactics. It is the combination of each element into a comprehensive marketing strategy that will help you grow your business exponentially faster.

In another blog, we provided an overview of the digital landscape in part one of our series entitled The Modern Marketing Solution Your Business Needs To Thrive. Stay tuned over the next three weeks as we dive deeper into the world of digital marketing and search marketing with in-depth looks into the material covered today:

Here at Splash Omnimedia, we have a team of search marketing strategists who specialize in SEO, SEM, and local optimization. These specialists can help you develop, implement, and monitor a search marketing strategy that can will drastically boost your brand visibility, website traffic, and your bottom line. If you're interested in exploring how search marketing can impact your business specifically then we'd love to chat. Don't just make an impact, make a splash, contact us today!

The Modern Marketing Solution Your Business Needs To Thrive

By Matt Thompson

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Today’s Digital World

75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.

Remember the good ol' days when marketing your business was fairly simple? You could run an ad or two in local publications and maybe a handful of spots on your favorite radio station then answer the phones Monday through Friday from 9-5. For many small business owners that was it. And for some, it actually worked.

Now that we are done reminiscing, let's face it. It's much harder these days. "Closing time" is a thing of the past. Now, consumers shop for products and services 24/7, from a growing number of devices and from almost anywhere, including their porcelain throne! 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom.

Success in business today requires you to be visible, relevant and accessible to your audience across an increasingly diverse set of media outlets. Digital marketing has adapted to, and often fueled this important shift in how we attract, engage, and convert customers. Marketing has moved online to meet the demands of today's highly connected consumers. The transition has significant implications for all businesses.

Unlike traditional marketing, online marketing tactics enable businesses to connect with consumers at a much deeper level, creating a whole new benefit-sharing relationship. Educating consumers on products and services, customized offers and gaining valuable feedback are much easier to accomplish online.

Digital marketing presents a number of other advantages compared to traditional approaches:

  • Generates higher ROI (return on investment)
  • Far greater exposure and frequency to a highly-targeted audience
  • Personalized content tailored to customer’s needs and preferences
  • Convenient, portable, and connects you with the mobile consumer
  • Trackable, measurable results in real time

Speaking to the Informed Consumer

The advancement of technology and growing number of digital platforms has evolved the way customers shop for products and services. Customers have access to information all the time and any place they want it. In addition, customers rarely make a purchasing decision without doing their own research first.

It is not enough to have a presence across the digital landscape. You have to create a personalized, educational, and relevant experience to keep your customers engaged and coming back for more. To do this, you must know them better than anybody else so you can communicate with them when, where and how they will be most receptive to your message. The greater your understanding of the customer’s behavior and preferences, the more likely you are to engage them in profitable communications.

Navigating The Digital Landscape

There are a number of ways businesses can incorporate digital marketing into their overall marketing strategy. It is important to note that digital marketing is dependent on technology which is ever-evolving and fast-changing. Here’s a snapshot of the current leading online marketing tactics:

Websites

48% of people say website design is the biggest factor when choosing a business. Your website is the hub of all of your online and offline marketing efforts and should keep the customer engaged all the way through the customer’s lifecycle by ensuring it is attractive, informative, and responsive.

Search Engine Optimization

Google is the most popular search engine on the Internet, so why wouldn’t you leverage it? 98% of searchers choose a business that is on the first page of search result. Through search engine optimization, you can organically rank higher on Google, and other major search engines, so you can get more visitors to your website.

Search Engine Marketing

Good exposure depends on a mix of organic and paid search tactics. Search Engine Marketing, a type of pay per click advertising, can get eyes on your page quickly. With this tool, your paid placements show up alongside organic results when customers search for terms relevant to your brand. This puts your offerings right in front of people who are getting ready to buy.

Local Optimization

According to Google, an estimated 73% of all online activity is related to local searches. Customers turn to local search to learn the name, phone number, address, and hours of the business. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. Developing these local profiles can have a major impact on your business.

Online Reviews

61% of shoppers check out online reviews when deciding who they want to do business with. They consider these reviews as important to their decisions as recommendations from friends and relatives. To ensure that you are getting the benefits from review sites, it's important to cultivate excellent customer service and to encourage happy customers to share their experiences online.

Social Media

Over three-quarters of all Americans are on at least one social network and over half of all users follow at least one brand. Your company needs a presence on the networks most relevant to your customers to keep your brand in their minds for when they are ready to buy.

Email Marketing

Email is the most used digital application in the world with over 99% of internet users having at least one email address. With email marketing, your business can create deeper relationships with a highly-targeted audience at a fraction of the cost of traditional media.

YouTube

When you think of YouTube, you may only think about it as a social media platform. What you might not realize is Google owns YouTube which is why YouTube videos are ranked routinely high on Google’s search pages.

Digital Marketing Is Here To Stay

We’re not saying that traditional marketing no longer has a place in your marketing strategy, but if you are not utilizing digital platforms effectively or at all, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Digital marketing will continue to be used by companies in all of their marketing efforts; the key is choosing the right tactics for what you want to accomplish. By creating a digital marketing strategy that integrates your branding, messaging, and speaks to your target market, you will be able to create endless relationships that will ultimately help improve your bottom line.

At Splash Omnimedia, we know that having a strong digital presence is paramount for any company that has a desire to grow and succeed. We know that for most navigating the digital landscape can be confusing and downright intimidating. The rules always seem to be changing and it can be difficult to even know where to start. 

If you are uncertain where to start or are unsure which digital marketing approaches are right for your target audience, we would be delighted to help.

We can create a digital marketing strategy that will connect you to your audience in meaningful ways, positioning your business as the local leader in your industry.

Don’t just make an impact, make a splash!

The Key To Unlocking Extraordinary Success

By Mike White

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Why Great Communication Matters

Major Payne: Failure to Communicate

At the root of every successful marriage, friendship, sports team, and business is highly-effective communication. Done exceptionally well, relationships flourish. Internal teams work in sync, customers have clear expectations, and overall everyone involved thrives. In business when communication gaps exist things quickly break down, tension rises, deals fall through, and customers are lost.

The role communication plays in growing a successful business extends well beyond landing new customers. Yes, it’s important to keep a steady stream of new clients flowing through the funnel but, once you’ve done the hard work of earning their business, now it’s time to nurture the relationship. After all, just because someone chooses to do business with you once doesn’t automatically make them your customer for life.

It cost 5X more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one and a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 125%. Customer retention is the doorway to extraordinary success and communication is the key to unlock it. Asking for feedback, educating them on your products and services and providing them incentives are all effective reminders that you value them as a customer. However, when poor or infrequent communication occurs, customers feel forgotten, neglected, and undervalued. Before you realize what's happened a competitor comes along and sweeps them off their feet.

Consequences of Communication Failure

Opportunities Are Missed

Having the ability to upsell an existing customer to a “better” product or cross-sell them another service is the most efficient path towards increased sales. Once someone has experienced at least one of your products or services and found it valuable it’s likely they will find value in your other offerings as well. Upselling and cross-selling should be baked right into your ongoing marketing strategy. If it’s not, more than likely you have a ton of missed opportunities right within your existing customer base.

Low Customer Retention

You want to keep customers happy and maximize the lifetime of your relationship. But honestly, if you’re not in consistent communication with them then you aren’t maintaining much of a relationship, and without a solid relationship it is hard to keep a customer happy and loyal. If you don’t identify and relieve their ongoing pain points, they will find someone else who will.

Brand Reputation Weakens

Remaining silent is one of the loudest forms of communication. As consumers when we see a negative online review for a business and the business hasn’t provided a response it sends us a red flag. Why didn’t they respond? Did they fix the problem? Most consumers interpret remaining silent as the company’s lack of concern or care. Be proactive about your reputation and make a plan of action of how you should properly respond to reviews, especially when they are negative.

You Can Forget Referrals

Earning referrals isn’t easy and nearly impossible if you aren’t staying in contact with your customers. Ongoing communication throughout the customer’s entire buying process will ensure they have a positive experience that makes them want to share with their friends. But not all referrals begin organically through word-of-mouth. If you know someone has had a great experience, simply ask them for a referral! It’s not “tooting your own horn” it’s just getting the ball rolling—and done correctly it can fuel future growth.

It’s not Easy But, It’s Worth It

Our hyper-connected culture has provided businesses with an increasing number of ways to communicate and connect with their customers. For small businesses with limited budgets and resources this creates significant opportunities and challenges. Websites, digital advertising, online directories, social media, online videos, tv commercials, magazine ads, billboards, direct mail, text messaging, mobile advertising, email marketing, the list of options is almost endless. With so many options to consider it can be challenging to determine which marketing and communication tools will be most effective for your business. Like fly fishing, you’ve got to know when and how to use the right flies.

“Good communication is like fly fishing. You need to use the right fly. Cast it at the right time. And place it directly on the rising trout. That's how you catch the fish. Too often, bad communications is simply the result of those who don't know when and how to use the right flies. And they end up just scaring the fish away.” -Greg Matusky

At Splash Omnimedia, we help clients develop highly effective marketing and communication strategies. Luckily, it comes pretty naturally to us, and we want to help you communicate more easily too. You work hard to position your business to be the best choice in your industry. Now let us help develop a strategy that will launch your business towards something amazing. Don't just make an impact, make a splash! Contact us today.

Why You Need A Custom Website (And How We Can Help)

By Matt Thompson

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You Never Get a Second Chance To Make a First Impression

Splash Team

Your business is unique, and the website that represents it should be, too. There are plenty of templates that can be deployed in a few clicks. Even some free ones. But, they will never give you the same benefits of a one-of-a-kind custom designed site.

We've created custom websites for some of the top businesses in the southeast and one of the first questions we receive is why would I want a custom website?

A fresh, original website will bring your business to life. You get a look that is wholly your own instead of sharing a cookie cutter appearance with everyone else that picked the same theme. A custom designed site reflects your business' personality and branding that your current customer's have come to expect and enjoy all while showing new visitors that you are serious about your business.

Most importantly, a custom website gets you results. Websites that are custom designed are very SEO friendly and will help your business rank well in search engines. A lot goes into SEO rankings like keyword search, unique and quality content, responsiveness, load time, backlinks, proper titles and descriptions, and the list goes on! A template will not cover any of the necessary steps to get your page optimized like a trained development team.

The second question? Can you make us one? Okay, maybe not every time! But many do ask about our process of creating a website from scratch. As mentioned, custom websites are very personalized so we have spent numerous hours developing the smoothest and most in-depth 7-step process for getting you exactly what you want and need:

1) Getting to know you

You will quickly realize when you begin working with us that your mission becomes our mission, your vision becomes our vision, and your goals become our goals. Through interviews and our detailed survey, we come to understand your brand, who you strive to be, and how this should be represented online.

2) Creating your unique design

Before digging into programming, we'll create an outline of the full website layout, navigation, and design of the entire website. This will give you a clear idea of what the final product will look like once the coding is complete.

During this phase, our skilled writing staff begins creating SEO friendly content while our video and photography production team gets the website videos and/or pictures of your building, staff, fleet of vehicles, etc. needed to make your website look professional.

3) The moment of truth

We meet with you to show you our design by going through every page with the design team. We discuss any and all input you may have to get it to your specifications. Using your feedback, we amend the design and get it ready for coding.

4) Going under the hood

Once we have revised our design to meet your specifications, our coders get to work creating your smooth and fully functional website. Using HTML, CSS, and advanced coding, our development team designs eCommerce portals, design web forms for customer contact, and autoresponders, plus much more!

5) Test, test, test

We never send a site into the wild until we are 100% confident that every button, form, and link functions as it should across all devices and all browsers. Our team has developed our detailed Splash Web Standards Checklist to ensure that every site is fast, functional, and delights our clients and their customers.

6) Bringing you up to speed

We will teach you how to use ePeak, our preferred content management system (CMS), to keep your site fresh and up-to-date. This way, you are empowered to make real-time changes on personnel pages, update your blog with sales and industry news, and ensure that everything you have online is the representation you want-without any web coding experience needed.

7) Launch day

We don’t call this the final stage, as it is truly just the beginning! Our partnership continues after the launch through ensuring that you get the traffic and conversions you need through a comprehensive and ongoing marketing plan and to answer any questions you may have.

Your website is the digital hub of your business, the place where your social media, search engine queries and online advertising meet. We are committed to creating a site that is as distinctive and vibrant as the company it represents.

You only have seven seconds to make a first impression, are you going to make yours great? If you are ready to make a lasting first impression and keep your customers coming back for more through a professional, custom website, contact us today!

5 Questions To Ask When Creating the Ultimate Marketing Playbook

By Mike White

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You Can't Make An Effective Marketing Strategy Without These Elements

Splash Team

Imagine if the coach of your favorite football team decided the team would no longer be using a playbook. They would also not waste their time watching game film or performing any activity even remotely strategic to prepare for upcoming games. Instead of approaching games strategically, would exclusively depend on the individual talent of the players. Even if you’re not an avid football fan you know this would be absurd. You won’t find this happening in professional sports because successful coaches know if they want to win the game, having a strategy is key.

Successful businesses, the ones that consistently experience systematic growth year after year are equally not winning by chance. For these businesses their playbook is their marketing strategy, the tool that guides them every step of the way, taking them to the end zone time and time again.

So you know you won’t win the game if you don’t have a playbook, but how do you choose the right plays to go in the playbook in the first place? Or in business terms, what exactly makes a marketing strategy effective?

Here is a list of 5 questions that will help you start the process of developing a marketing strategy that will ensure you dominate the field.

1) What do you want to achieve?

Determining realistic short-term and long-term goals will guide the focus of your marketing efforts. Of course everyone’s ultimate mission is to grow their business, but more specifically you may want to improve customer retention, boost brand recognition, and/or cross-sell to existing customers.

If you are unsure what you need to work toward, you may want to consider conducting a SWOT Analysis of your business. Determining your business's strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities will help determine what you need to accomplish in a year, 3 years, or even 5 years.

2) Who is your ideal target audience?

You can’t create a strategic marketing plan without identifying your key players, or target market. In today’s world, target audiences have become extremely specialized and segmented. Examining the demographics of the top 3-5 groups of the most profitable and loyal customers provides insight into the audience you should be targeting. What has worked in the past is often the best indicator of what will work in the future.

Through research and experience, you can create buyers personas detailing their age, gender, race, income, education, and where they are most likely to get information (i.e. word of mouth, social media, trade associations). If you work primarily B2B, it is also important to note their position, ranking status, and average day on the job.

3) What motivates your target market into action?

A key component of a marketing strategy is having engaging, segmented messaging that speaks to each individual at every stage of the buyer’s purchasing journey. Understanding the motives behind a person’s purchasing habits and how this relates to your offer is critical.

This is where the buyers personas make the greatest impact. Delving in further than demographics, begin to analyze what moves a certain individual to purchase your products or services. Their fears, challenges and pain points, personal and professional aspirations will determine the tone, writing style, and phrasing of the message. Just keep in mind, effective messaging should always include the benefits of your products/services, ways in which you are different from the competition, and a clear call-to-action.

4) How can you best reach your target audience?

Knowing where and how your target market prefers to shop will determine which marketing approaches will be most effective. Does this specific group of people tend to educate themselves before making a purchase, perhaps by reading online reviews? Do they do most of their shopping online or in-store? Do they read the newspaper or listen to the radio? Are they influenced by social media? With so many different tactics available, having a marketing strategy will focus your efforts on the most efficient and profitable to use.

5) How do each of these elements work together to make an effective marketing strategy?

When a coach creates the playbook, they have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the team as whole as well as each player individually, who they are up against, and whether or not they are ready for the Superbowl or just need to win the first game.

Without knowing where you’re going or how to get there, your marketing efforts will be disorganized and ineffective. By combining each component into one comprehensive plan, you are in a much better position to promote and sell your products or services and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

We have found that a major roadblock for many businesses is the amount of time and expert knowledge required to develop and implement a cohesive marketing strategy. The last thing you want to do is dedicate the needed time and efforts to your marketing but negatively impact your current business in the process. Here at Splash Omnimedia, we have the expertise and marketing specialists ready to create a marketing strategy for your business that will attract, convert, and retain the most profitable customers! If you are ready to get started, contact us today.

Splash Omnimedia: A Look Behind The Name

By Matt Thompson

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More Than Media, the Story of Us

Splash Team

No, we're not a pool company. We don't build pools, clean pools, or repair pools. We don't make diving boards, water slides, or slip and slides. Our company's name is Splash Omnimedia, and we're in the business of creating innovative marketing solutions.

Our clients trust us to help them make a proverbial splash, and position them to fully reap the rewards of the waves those efforts send out. This isn't just what our job is; it's what we love to do!

First and Foremost, We're Communicators.

At Splash Omnimedia, it's our goal to get people talking, and our name has certainly done that over the years. In fact, it may surprise you how many times a week we field questions about our company's name and find ourselves responding with our tried-and-true 30 second elevator pitch.

Spoiler Alert: The rest of this post will take longer than thirty seconds to read.

Today, we want to try something different.

We're going to give you a glimpse of the reasoning behind the name of Splash Omnimedia, and we'll begin by discussing our quest to find the perfect descriptor for our company.

Opening Our Eyes To Omnimedia

Ten years ago, we put together an exhaustive list of potential business names that all summarized what we hoped to accomplish with our new company. Each name had its merits, and yet we had to choose just one to use. Every day we would review the list, think about the names there, and maybe strike just a few names off.

As the days went by, it became difficult to scratch even one more name off the list. Then "Omnimedia" caught our eye. It was unique. Maybe even a little unusual, but it seemed to define what we wanted to accomplish.

Omni - a stem that comes from the Latin word "Omnis" meaning "all".

Media - the plural form of medium that describes forms of communication that possess both a wide reach and the ability to influence people.

Defining Our Mission And Values

We quickly realized that the word "Omnimedia" not only defined what we envisioned for our new company to do, but it would also serve as a daily reminder of the culture we hoped to create. See, the only other words we could think of that contained "omni" all related to God, and witnessed to his ability to guide our lives and our successes.

Omnipotent. Omniscient. Omnipresent.

As active Christians, we believe that God is all powerful, all knowing, and present everywhere. As small business owners, we wanted to create an atmosphere at work where we keep him involved in all things. Let us be the first to contribute the successes of Splash Omnimedia to having built our business upon faith and trust in God.

He has strengthened our efforts over the years, has influenced the ways we grew our business, and has even led us to some of our clients and some of them to us. We pray daily over our employees, our vendors, our clients, and their businesses. We know that God has carefully shaped Splash Omnimedia into what it is today.

Splash Omnimedia Today

Our company is made up of marketing minds that are skilled at creating in-depth marketing strategies. Each day, our team looks for innovative ways to help our clients' businesses find success.

We leverage traditional media opportunities as well as emerging new trends in digital inbound marketing to deliver each of our clients with a powerful marketing mix and a high ROI.

Looking to increase the return on your marketing? We can help.

Find out what full service marketing partner can do you for you!  

4 Ways Vehicle Wraps Drive Up Business

By Mike White

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4 Benefits of Professionally Designed Vehicle Wraps

Vehicle Wrap Portfolio

You're driving home from work, stuck in traffic as you begin to reflect on the day. Like other successful business owners, you find it difficult to take your mind off of the demands of the profession. Today is no different. Today your mind has turned to brainstorming innovative approaches to attracting new customers.

That's when the big, bold design of a vehicle wrap catches your eye. You notice that it's for a local business, not just a large corporation and that the design is so powerful you find yourself thinking about it multiple times over the next few days. You begin to wonder if vehicle wraps would be an effective way for you to increase your brand's visibility.

You are not the first business owner to consider mobile marketing and certainly not the last. Vehicle wraps boast the lowest cost-per-impression compared to any other form of outdoor advertising. For this reason among others, many businesses have been integrating vehicle wraps into their overall marketing plan for years.

Let's take a look at other reasons vehicle wraps are an excellent tool to help drive business:

1. Commands Your Attention

A graphic wrap designed by professionals will reach out and grab the attention of passerby's for miles around. In the outdoor advertising industry, vehicle wrapping has gained a ton of traction for it's high impression rate and low cost. As it has become increasingly popular, just slapping your logo and phone number onto the side of a once-white van will no longer do.

To differentiate yourselves from the competition, your vehicle has to be transformed into a "moving billboard" with a unique and creative design that communicates a message that will move your potential customers to action.

*Tip: Repurpose your mobile marketing tool with a visually-appealing graphic wrap promoting a new product, service, or event.

2. Professional Graphics Rev Up Visibility

Americans love their vehicles. In any given week, the average American has driven 302 miles. More than 95% of those drivers and passengers are reached by mobile advertising. By making it memorable with a custom design, your wrap extends its visibility to the sidewalks by passing pedestrians, throughout neighborhoods where customers and employees live, even in the carpool line at school.

*Tip: Mobile flexibility allows you to position your vehicle ad almost anywhere you want. Parking your vehicle(s) in busy settings like local sporting or cultural events, home improvement stores, and neighborhoods dramatically increases awareness.Vehicle Wrap Comparison

3. Propels your Brand into a Household Name

Vehicle Wraps that are expertly designed with the same branding elements from your other marketing campaigns will positively reinforce your identity and strengthen your brand--- ensuring your name comes to mind when they are ready to buy.

Mobile marketing is also a great opportunity for business owners to legitimize their company by getting their brand and logo out where potential customers can more actively see them.

*Tip: To really maximize your branding opportunity across all of your marketing and advertising efforts including your fleet of wrapped vehicles, consider adding a brand mascot. Mascots help your audience to better remember, trust, and understand your company and products as well as generate interest and increase exposure.

4. More Fun With A Fleet

Taking advantage of your fleet with effective advertising will exponentially increase your company's exposure. A fleet of ten wrapped vehicles can generate between 300,000 and 700,000 daily impressions. It has been proven that consumers that are reached repeatedly with a message show higher advertiser awareness, brand recall, and purchase behavior. Fleet vehicle wrapping boosts brand recognition 15x greater than any other form of advertising.

*Tip: Driving in groups of two or three during peak hours commands customer's attention.

All Vehicle Wraps Are Not Created Equally

A professionally designed wrap by a firm like ours will turn a vehicle wrap into a return-on-investment advertising campaign. We understand what a wrap should entail based on the target market and how to perfectly unify your message with existing marketing efforts. Our designers work with you and your company to create an eye-catching design that you will be proud to display on your vehicles.

See how we have helped other businesses get the attention they deserved through our gallery of expertly designed vehicle wraps here. If you are ready to drive new business by adding vehicle wraps to your marketing mix, let's schedule a conversation!

7 Inbound Marketing Strategies That Deliver Real Results

By Mike White

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Give Your Business The Boost It Needs

Inbound Marketing Graphic

Most companies strive to maximize their appeal to niche market audiences, but that doesn't mean this appeal must always revolve around the product or service in question. 

Inbound marketing is a concept that aims to draw visitors in, rather than sending marketers out to deliver your message to prospective customers.

 That all sounds pretty ideal, but how does one actually apply this concept in an age where consumers are bombarded by information 24/7? Here are the top seven ways to accomplish this seemingly impossible goal.

1. Cast a wide net

If you want to draw your audience in, you have to at least meet them halfway. This means maintaining a solid presence on the same websites, social media platforms, and real-life locales that your target audience frequents. Don't limit yourself to just the major, obvious options. Instead, cast a wide net by exploring less-conventional platforms, and experimenting with audiences on the fringes of your target market. You might be surprised by who takes the bait, as well as how it reflects on your brand's reception.

2. Maintain a healthy dose of universal appeal

An effective inbound marketing strategy caters specifically to its target audience. But maintaining a healthy dose of universal appeal can have a massive effect on your overall exposure. For instance, including current events or trending subjects into your campaign can boost your brand's appeal. Remember that exposure to those outside of your target market could still lead to a valuable third-degree connection.

3. Avoid all "salesy" approaches

Today's consumers are savvier than ever; and in an age of ad-blockers, commercial fast-forwarding, and spam filters, consumers have the upper hand when it comes to controlling their ad experience. Although consumers are increasingly avoiding ads, they are still buying products. So how can companies bridge this gap? Providing valuable content content via inbound marketing is one effective strategy, but it should prioritize the value of the content over the bottom line. Ironically, this has shown to be more effective in making the sale.

4. Measure results

Measuring the efficacy of outbound marketing is somewhat limited—you experiment with different ad platforms, look at sales, and make inferences from there. With inbound marketing, you get a much more nuanced picture of your campaign's success. Even standard versions of Google Analytics can detail valuable information like who's clicking the ad/content, how long they're engaged in the content, whether or not the content is shared, and what ultimately leads to a sale. Although Google Analytics is one comprehensive starting point, more in-depth research, and content marketing specialists are necessary for a complete picture.

5. Constantly refresh your understanding

Your marketing campaign should always be guided by concrete data, but even a one-year-old statistic can be out of date. If you think you understand the values and interests of your target market, think again. Although there are often varying value systems and interests within a single target market, there are regular shifts and developments that occur over time. So if the research you're using doesn't produce the results you want, conduct some of your own real-time research from your target market to constantly gain a better understanding.

6. Focus on Estimated True Value (ETV)

A weighted ETV model can help ensure a complete understanding of positive social metrics and positive link data. For example, you can aggregate social interactions across multiple social channels, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. This model allows you to segment the data by platform, which provides a deeper understanding of exactly how each social channel is contributing to the amplification of your message. For example, if your original content was published on YouTube, but the top-performing item shows up on Facebook, this can help you tailor your campaign to more effectively accommodate the habits of your target audience.

7. Be social

TopRank Marketing Agency recently reported that 82% of consumers trust a company more when the CEO/leadership team are active social media users. Note the emphasis on the word "active"—it's not enough to simply have a Facebook page or Twitter account. You have to regularly update these accounts with relevant, high-quality, and valuable data that consumers can see for themselves. Considering we live in an era where news articles include bylines that estimate the time it will take to read a certain piece, consumers probably won't spend a lot of time perusing content from a source they aren't familiar with. Because of this, social media can allow you to send out small bites of information in hopes of building trust and ultimately making a sale.

Call in the reinforcements

Although the strategies outlined above help to offer insight and understanding of how inbound marketing can benefit your campaign, it's clear that a lot of work, research, and expertise is required for effective application of these principles. This is where we come in. At Splash Omnimedia, we strive to keep all of our clients as informed as possible about our process and the theories behind it, while providing the labor and expertise necessary to execute these concepts in the most effective way possible.

Although these principles apply essentially across the board, we also recognize that each case requires unique attention depending both on the nature of the company and the response of the campaign thus far. Our personalized approach is part of the rationale behind keeping our clients informed about our theory and process. This strategy enables a dialog that allows us to develop the subsequent marketing campaign in accordance with how the brand has been situated thus far and the kinds of strategies that have worked in the past.

6 Reasons a Responsive Website is Good for Business

By Matt Thompson

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Create a website that draws in new business.

Responsive Website Across Websites

It's not enough to have a website that is packed with useful content and optimized for SEO. To continue to get the best exposure to current and potential customers, you need to have a site created with responsive design.

Responsive design is design that adjusts to fit every screen, no matter how big or small. While this can seem like a minor thing, especially if it requires migrating your site to a new platform, it can actually be decisive in your digital marketing marketing success.

A few reasons responsive design is a must:

1. More people are on mobile.

Fifty-one percent all time spent online is now spent on mobile phones. And, as more people move to tablets and larger-screened phones, that number is only going to rise.

When surfers have trouble using a site, they navigate away. And, each person who leaves your site because they can't properly access it is an opportunity lost.

Would you advertise your business in a newspaper that was failing or one that was increasing readership day by day? You want to be where your customers are. By making your site fit the browsing habits of the people you want to reach, you can ensure that you will get the exposure you need.

2. It provides a better user experience.

Mobile phones are far from standardized. There are dozens of Android handsets on the market, each with different screen sizes and resolutions, not to mention iPhones, which have their own large market share. Instead of optimizing for a specific screen size and browser and hoping that you've picked the one that is most commonly used among your audience, responsive design lets your audience's screen govern how your site appears. It doesn't matter whether they are on their desktop at home, their tablet or their phone on the go, they get an equally pleasant user experience.

3. Google prefers it.

When it comes to search engine optimization, Google is the primary search engine we optimize for. And, when Google made mobile-friendliness an important part of their ranking criteria, responsive design was one of their recommendations.

There is no secret formula to ranking well on Google. They keep their algorithms private. However, they have dedicated deep research to how people use the web and craft their search engine offerings to match that. They've also always been up front about their desire to give sites that serve users' needs better placement. By providing a site that fits with Google's suggested best practices, you increase your chances of ranking well on the searches relevant to your business.

4. Mobile sites are often less user-friendly.

Before responsive design took hold, many webmasters chose to make a mobile version of their sites to meet the needs of people on mobile phones. However, these mobile sites often had fewer features than the full versions of the websites. Surfers would have to switch to the full site if they wanted to access certain pages, and these pages did not always work well on a mobile screen. This led to frustrated prospects, which can mean the difference between them going to your business or someone else.

With responsive design, there is no need to maintain a separate mobile site. Surfers can access your full website no matter what device they are using.

5. It saves you money and time.

You could make separate mobile and desktop versions of your site. But, that would mean keeping two sets of code up to date and doing SEO campaigns for two sites. With responsive design, every change you make is put into effect on your site across the board. This can save considerable time and money that would otherwise be spent updating two sites and essentially duplicating your work. Freeing up this portion of your workload or budget means that you have more resources to dedicate to other marketing activities.

6. Every user gets an up-to-date version of your site.

If your site is broken into desktop and mobile versions, that means updating both. But, there are chances that changes will not make it to both versions. This can leave mobile or desktop users in the dark about changes to your address, operating hours or other important information. Having a single, unified responsive design means that there are no out of date pages that can hamper a user's online experience with your business.

You are responsive to your customers. Your website should be too.  Talk to us today about how we can update and streamline your site to make it work for every user who arrives there, no matter what their interface.

7 Signs You're Over DIY Marketing

By Matt Thompson

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With marketing, just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you can do it well.

DIY Marketing Limits

Modern marketing tools can be deceptively user-friendly. Because everyone has access to free tools like blogging and social media, hands-on business owners feel like they should be handling them on their own – or at least that someone in the office should be able to handle it.

Hey, that makes all the sense in the world when your business is just getting started or is still small and growing. If you don’t have much of a marketing budget, every little bit that you can do yourself helps.

But just because DIY marketing is possible doesn’t mean that it gets the best results – especially as your business grows and your marketing doesn’t grow with it. If you’re noticing these frustrations when it comes to time, sales, and production, it’s a sign that you’re reaching the end of DIY marketing.

1. You don’t have any time to do your marketing.

Are you finding that blogging, updating social media, placing ads, and other marketing tasks just never seem to get crossed off your list? You have a business to run, after all – and marketing it can be a full-time job on its own.

When you are too busy with the core functions of your business, it can be hard to take time for effective, consistent marketing. But without a strong marketing presence, it can be almost impossible to bring in the volume of new business you need to continue to sustain you.

DIY marketing may have helped you get a bunch of new customers through the door – but if you’re having to put off your marketing to handle them all, your marketing (and growth) are going to stall.

2. Your sales are down because you’re focusing more on marketing than on your business.

If your response to problem sign #1 is to throw yourself back into your DIY marketing, you’ll find yourself struggling with this problem next. As your marketing and your business grow, it becomes more and more difficult to balance the two of them yourself. At some point, there are only so many hours in a day.

To make the best use of your talents, you should be dedicating your hands-on time to the things you do best: the core functions of your company, especially sales. Spending hours on marketing efforts takes valuable time away from your actual business, leading to unneeded stress. By handing the reigns over to savvy marketing experts, you can spend your valuable time doing only that which works best for you and your company.

3. You are doing only one kind of marketing, rather than diversifying.

Do you have an active, engaged Twitter feed, but you've never gotten around to making a Facebook page or a blog? Often, business owners who either don’t have time for their marketing or don’t want it to take time away from their business will react by focusing only on one or two kinds of marketing.

But if you understand what makes digital marketing successful, you know that doing one or two kinds of marketing just doesn’t work. To be truly effective, you need to diversify your marketing to reach the widest audience possible. When you work with a marketing agency, they can dedicate an entire team of skilled marketers to ensure that all your bases are covered.

4. Your sales team says they’re not getting leads from your marketing channels because you’re only doing a little bit of everything.

Your last blog post was six months ago, you only tweet when you think about it, and you still haven't made that Instagram account. “Diversifying your marketing” doesn’t just mean doing a little bit of a lot of kinds of marketing. Infrequent updating and neglected accounts can actually hurt your business online, as these are often red flags to customers of non-serious or even scammy businesses.

It’s also difficult to grow or even generate sales from any particular marketing channel when you only invest a little in it. Rather than consistently driving potential customers into your sales funnel with your marketing, you’re just catching whoever lands in your net at that moment. That’s just not sustainable for long-term growth and success.

5. You are always scrambling to do the “next big thing” in marketing, and getting frustrated by the learning curve.

Have you ever spent hours trying to set up a social media aggregator or another online resource because you are not familiar with the technology? Those hours you spent chip away at your time spent on the core functions of your company. Instead of trying to learn every new thing that comes along, why not hand it off to someone who has already developed the needed skills? Not only does it free you up for more important tasks, it will streamline the process because they already know what they are doing.

6. You want to grow your sales, but you don’t have the manpower or the resources to grow your marketing.

Sales growth doesn’t just magically happen; you need a concerted marketing effort to find the customers who need you and just don’t know it yet. But that kind of marketing takes time, equipment, and specialized knowledge. Skilled marketing professionals can interpret your ideas into action. By describing what you want to do to the professionals at a dedicated marketing agency, you can see your great idea put into motion to benefit your business.

7. Your competitors are doing more with their marketing and getting better results.

It can be incredibly frustrating to look online or in your mailbox and see a clever, effective marketing campaign that came from your competitor. Development of great marketing ideas can take time, experience, and resources that most businesses can't afford to spare. By hiring someone to develop your campaigns for you, you can be the one who has the killer campaign while your competitor says, "Why didn't I think of that?!"


When You’ve Reached Your Limit, Call in the Pros

Here’s the thing with all the warning signs we’ve discussed in this post: it all comes down to how much time you or your employees have to commit to your marketing. If you’ve hit the maximum of time that you can dedicate to your marketing, your response shouldn’t be to start cutting corners with your marketing or your business. It should be to find a person or an agency that can dedicate the time that your marketing needs and focus on gaining the knowledge and experience that gets you better marketing.

You care about your company and you want everything done right. This can often make you feel that the best way to get something done is to do it yourself. But smart professionals know when to handle something on their own and when to delegate the task to someone else who possesses the time, skills, and resources needed to accomplish it efficiently.

If you are finding that your marketing efforts are not working as well as you would like, consider handing the job to a dedicated marketing agency. They can handle your promotional presence while you dedicate yourself to your company and the things that you do best.

Use This Social Media Hack to keep Customers Happy

By Matt Thompson

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social media

More and more savvy business owners are finding ways to engage with their clients on social media. They send out tweets, photos, and specials. They answer client questions and use their social media presence to draw people to their online outlets. 

But there is one kind of social media update that many businesses forget: reaching out to customers when something goes wrong.

It's All About Reaching People Quickly

Twitter and Facebook have the advantage of allowing you to quickly inform many people about issues or problems. You don't need to worry about whether someone opens up your email or not, since your message shows up right in their social media feed.

If you experience an outage, a shipping delay, or another problem that will affect large numbers of clients, posting a message online is one way to keep them abreast of any issues.

Common Fears – And Why They Shouldn't Hold You Back

Hey, we understand: you may not want to share negative news online because you worry it will make your business look bad. But customers are far more likely to be understanding if they are informed about a problem in advance than if they stumble across it themselves.

Think, for instance, of a time you tried to do a transaction online and you seem to get caught in a loop or your entries do not seem to be working. Or a time that you called a customer service line only to be put on hold for 20 minutes or more. Wouldn't it have been better to know what is going on than to wonder and waste time trying to solve the issue on your end?

Your customers feel the exact same way. A few instances where a social media message can allay customer fears and frustrations:

  • Times when you are experiencing unexpected high volume on your customer service lines.
  • Power outages and adverse weather that cause you to close a location for a few hours or more.
  • Breaches that have possibly exposed clients' financial or other personal data.
  • Last minute changes to events.

No system is perfect. And sometimes things go wrong. But by making the issue known as quickly as possible, you allow customers to cope with the situation and, when necessary, make other arrangements.

Believe it or not, by being upfront and honest, you’ll create more loyalty among your customers.

Develop a Social Media Policy

This, of course, does not mean that you should not use discretion and PR savvy when posting. Have a policy in place in advance so that, when you do have to take to social media with bad news, the situation does not wind up becoming a social media nightmare. A few key points to include in your policy:

  • Don't just hand social media to the most junior person in the marketing department. These profiles are part of the public face of your business. It takes skill and tact to handle these interactions, particularly when there is an issue to resolve.
  • Explain the issue as simply as possible and let customers know when you hope it will be resolved. Knowing what to expect makes clients feel more at ease.
  • Ask customers to share your status. This can help you get word out more quickly and keep more customers informed.
  • Abstain from humor. It can feel like a self-deprecating mea culpa might present you in a better light, but there are no strong indicators of tone online. A message that comes off flippant might upset already frustrated customers.
  • Have someone monitoring social media accounts after the announcement is made and until the issue is resolved. This way, customer concerns are addressed in the open. People can look at your online pages and get answers based on questions that others have already asked.
  • Never post an angry or defensive response to a customer complaint. It can feel satisfying, in the moment, to fire back when you receive vitriolic messages. However, this can spiral out of control and look bad for your brand. Keep responses helpful, when possible, and neutral at worst.
  • Add an update when the issue is resolved. Include clear contact information that clients can use if they are still having problems.

No business ever has 100% smooth sailing. Lag time, downtime, and other issues are to be expected. But when you use your social media presence to communicate and keep your customers in the loop, you can come out on top, no matter what life throws at you.

Go the Extra Mile: Take Your Billboard on the Road

By Matt Thompson

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Why Vehicle Wraps?

vehicle wraps

Vehicle wraps are reclaiming their place in on-the-go advertising. Essentially a mobile billboard, vehicle wraps create eye-catching advertisements that can reach tens of thousands – if not millions – of potential clients. Because of their shape, vehicles make the perfect canvas for this effective form of mobile ads.

In 1991, a UK company covered nearly every inch of one taxi’s paint with wrap vinyl. They developed this technology as a response to a German law that required all taxis in that nation be a particular shade of beige. The biggest problem with painting the German taxis is that the beige color was ugly; nobody wanted to buy an unfortunate looking car and repainting them was expensive. Used car companies could not pawn off the ugly used taxis at any cost. Wrapping a pretty car in beige vinyl was infinitely easier and more cost effective.

Today, vehicle wraps and other vinyl vehicle wraps are taking the advertising world by storm. This brilliant revolution in marketing converted otherwise anonymous company vehicles into traveling billboards that are able to reach hundreds of qualified clients in a single mile.

According to the Numbers, Vehicle Wraps Get You Noticed

The U.S. Department of Transportation says that the average driver drives 13,476 miles each year. In a recent Arbitron National In-Car Study, researchers polled 1,858 Americans regarding their travel habits and use of media, 98 percent of the respondents said they had traveled in a vehicle in the previous month. Of those polled, 71 percent said they noticed billboard advertising during their travels.

The researchers also found that Americans spend an average of 20 hours in their vehicles each month, typically covering more than 200 miles in the time. Interestingly, the number of hours traveled seems to rise with income, with wealthier individuals traveling more miles than those with less money.

The study also shows that 59% of these travelers notice advertising on a vehicle. Imagine getting more than half of all drivers in your area to notice your brand message simply by applying vehicle wraps. Vehicle wraps can reward your marketing efforts with thousands of impressions from qualified customers in your immediate area.

Vehicle wraps make an immediate impression on your potential customers as well. Nearly a quarter of respondents in the Arbitron survey said an outdoor ad motivated them to visit the store that same day, while another third said the ad prompted them to make a visit to the advertiser’s location later that week. Outdoor ads, like vehicle wraps, will stimulate visits to your store.

So How are Vehicle Wraps Making a Comeback?

Simple: These are not your dad’s vehicle wraps. The big change is in the vehicle wrap’s design, which has begun to embrace the medium, rather than dealing with it.

vehicle wrap design

There are two ways to design a vehicle wrap: 

1) You can try to stare at a vehicle and try to figure out where best to fit a logo, your company name, your slogan, and a phone number; or 

2) You can create an eye-catching design that makes your vehicle stick out and really shows off your brand.

It may not sound that different, but compare the bland vehicles you’ve seen in the past with the truck in the photo at the top of this post, or to this vehicle we just designed:


Vehicle wraps are an inexpensive way to make tens of thousands of impressions on qualified customers. Are you really willing to waste your mobile advertising on a less-than-stellar design? 

Just like any other kind of advertising, in order to make the most of vehicle wraps, you need to get a design that wows potential customers and knows how to get your brand message across.

How to Use Blogs to Jumpstart Your Email Marketing

By Mike White

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A quick, easy email marketing campaign you can use to get started.

Email Marketing with Blogs

If you've been reading these blogs for a while, you know that there's several reasons we love including business blogs in your marketing:

  1. Blogs help with your SEO efforts.
  2. Blogs can help you create compelling content.
  3. Blogs help jumpstart your social media marketing.

But that, ladies and gentlemen, isn't all that blogs can do. Just as you can use blogs to get your social media marketing going, you can also use them to jumpstart your email marketing.

As the marketing tactic with the highest ROI of any other marketing tactic (more than $40 for every $1 spent!), email marketing is a critical tool in any business's box. However, since email marketing does require a good bit of time and effort, many businesses end up skipping email marketing or letting it flounder.

It makes some sense: if you've only got so much time on your hands, email marketing is a huge investment. However, if you're already doing blogs, you can start doing email marketing now, and build a foundation upon which you can grow your efforts.

Here's how.

1. Create a blog digest email that sends subscribers the latest blog entry or entries.

Not sure what kind of emails to send in your email marketing? You can always set up an email that will regularly go out to subscribers with your latest post(s). You can even do digests with different frequencies - send out once a week, collecting that week's posts, or send out daily, as soon as you update with a new blog post.

Besides creating an ongoing email campaign that you can just set up and then forget about, this is a great way to grow your blog readership. Not all of your customers are going to be familiar with RSS feeds or follow you on social media in order to get the latest blog updates, because both of those require more time and effort on their part. By offering blog updates via email, you make it much easier for them to consume your content.

2. Use your blog to collect email addresses.

The first step is great if you already have a strong mailing list of potential customers - but what if you're starting your email marketing from scratch? Don't buy an email list; put a simple subscription form on your blog pages and invite readers to sign up to receive blogs right to their inbox.

Now, what we mean by "simple subscription form" is this: name, email address. You may want to split "name" into "first name" and "last name", depending on how you store this information, but that's the extent of the contact information that you'll need for these emails.

"But why stop there?" you ask. "This is my chance to start marketing to them - why would I only get the barest information from them?"

We'll tell you a little thing about marketing: What you ask from potential customers must be equal or less than what you are offering them. In other words, people are aware of how valuable their contact information is to you. They're not going to give up all their info just for a few blog posts from you. The more information they give, the larger the commitment. Maybe they're not ready for a big commitment quite yet. 

And don't forget what makes these email addresses so valuable: these are people who are raising their hand and telling you that they're interested in what you have to offer. And the thing is, once you have an email from these blog readers, you can grow that into further opportunities to get more information from them.

3. Use your blog to promote other email-collection opportunities.

Do you have an ebook that visitors can download? Do you host webinars? Are you going to be at an event or trade show?

These are all opportunities to ask for more information from your blog readers. Because this information is more valuable than a short blog post, you can ask for more information from the potential customer, such as their phone number, address, or business. Just put your download or registration behind a form, and people who are truly interested will give you the information you seek.

But don't just rely on social media posts or emails to tell people about these opportunities - include on your blog posts a written or visual call-to-action announcing the opportunity and encouraging them to sign up for it. There are several options for how to do this: a pop-up lightbox that appears shortly after someone visits a blog post, an ad-like call-to-action at the top or sidebar of the page, or a button at the bottom of the post.

You can also discuss the opportunities in the blog posts themselves: including an excerpt from an ebook in a post, video clips or the presentation slides from a webinar, or discussing what you'll be doing at the event or trade show, for example. Make sure to include the link to the opportunity throughout the blog post, so that people can go straight to the form if they want to.

However you do it, sharing these opportunities on your blog posts just makes sense. People who are reading these posts are already interested in the information you have to offer - why not see if they're interested in learning more? If they are, that tells you something about whether or not they'll be a strong potential customer. And if they are, you now have more contact information on them, so you can start marketing more toward them.

You can create separate email campaigns for the contacts collected via this method, nurturing these leads with more information or special offers meant to convert them into becoming your customers.

Again, all of this just from your blogs.

By starting with a regular business blog, you can create your first, straightforward email campaign; start building an email list of interested potential customers; and promote other, more in-depth email collection (and therefore marketing) chances.

Do you see why we’re so thrilled about business blogging?

3 Reasons to Reveal Your Business Secrets

By Mike White

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If you know you're better than your competition, why not prove it?

Reveal Your Business Secrets

When it comes to developing your business blog - your style, your audience, what you discuss - you need patience. A successful business blog is not going to happen overnight.

What if you're not patient, though? What if you want faster results?

Well, there are drastic measures you could take. But there's a reason that most businesses don't do it. It will go against many of your instincts as a business owner - not to mention terrify you.

Still interested?

Okay, here's one way you can grow your business blog exponentially: Reveal your business secrets.

Reveal the Right Secrets

If you just read that and didn't have a heart attack, congratulations! You've put your blood, sweat, and tears into your business - it would be odd if you weren't even a little proprietary about its secrets and the machinery that runs it.

Sure, if your customers only knew this or that about your business, they might be more understanding of why you do what you do. But if you reveal your secrets, the common fear goes, your competition will copy you. Or your customers may not like your reasoning and get angry.

Yet, if you want fast results on your business blog, revealing those business secrets may be your ticket.

The trick, of course, is to know which secrets to discuss on your blog. You want to give your readers a glimpse into the what and the why behind your business, without giving away unnecessary details that wouldn't influence them, anyway.

For instance, if you've got a very high-end product, you might discuss on a blog post how you choose vendors to create each element on the product - but you don't necessarily need to discuss which vendors you work with.

You might also discuss prices - yours versus your competitors', or how your products and services come with these benefits, hence why your prices are slightly higher.

In other words, ask the hard questions that your customers want to know and that your competition probably already knows:

  • What are your prices?
  • How do you calculate that?
  • What are the real differences between these products?

Why Would This Work?

  1. It will attract traffic.
  2. People want to know that they're getting a fair or good deal when they buy from you. This means that they're often asking questions about prices or the "real" price, especially if you're in a quote-based industry. Many times, they'll search the web for the answers.

    Because no one's talking about those things, however, most of these searchers are turning to forums and personal anecdotes to get those answers.

    Want that traffic? Answer the tough questions that customers have, the ones that demand you pull back the curtain a little bit, and they'll come to you. Better yet, because your competitors aren't doing this, you'll have barely any competition in these search results.

  3. It will put your competitors on their heels.
  4. Talk about changing the game. When you start revealing things like industry secrets and standards on your blog, your competitors won't know what to do. Their customers will be going to you, since you're giving them the answers they want instead of a sales pitch.

    Even if your competitors copy you and reveal their own secrets, you were the first to talk about this taboo stuff, weren't you? Why did they wait so long? Call them out on it, and customers will have something to put in their "dissatisfaction" column about your competition.

  5. It helps change the customer service conversation with your customers.
  6. Oftentimes, customers are dissatisfied because they feel like there are dishonest reasons for your prices or a policy you have. By explaining it on your blog, you're giving yourself an opportunity to explain, giving you happier customers in the long run.

    You will also be seen as more genuine or honest, so when something goes wrong, customers will trust you, not feel like they've been tricked or cheated.

    What If I'm Not Ready for Such Bold Measures?

    That's fine! Not every business is suited for revealing their secrets on their blog, nor is every target market going to read those blog posts. There are benefits to taking time to build your blog and your audience.

    But if you don't have that kind of patience, you'll need to go bold. The world is not easily shaken by small gestures.

    And trust me, if you're being bold with your business blog and your marketing in general, your competition isn't going to immediately copy you.

    But they are going to be terrified of how you are shaking up the game.

Online vs. Offline: Where Should Your Ads Be?

By Mike White

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Where your ads go is just as important and how you create them.

Ads Online vs. Offline

With the rise of the internet and the success of online marketing tactics like blogging and web video marketing, the game has changed. Buying your annual yellow pages ad and a few TV spots is not going to cut it anymore.

However, this doesn't mean that advertising is dead. Although they may not be as effective as inbound marketing techniques, ads can still play a role in your marketing. As always, it depends on your business and your target market.

When it comes to advertising nowadays, you have two major options: online and offline ads.

Online Ads

These include ads like:

  • Search ads, Pay Per Click (PPC), and Adwords ads: These are usually text-based ads that will appear in search results (highlighted in yellow or with "Ad" next to them), although some search engines have introduced more elaborate ads, including images.
  • Display ads: These are the ads that you'll see on websites themselves, usually at the top (banner ads) or the sidebar.
  • Retargeting ads: These are the display ads that will show specifically to people who have visited your website or completed a specific action (such as putting an item in their shopping cart).
  • Social media ads: These are the ads that go on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and can either look like traditional display ads or can look like regular stories on users' feeds.

These kinds of ads are great for immediate, take-action-now kinds of goals. Download this ebook, Start your free trial, or Shop now! People are usually looking to do something online, after all; your ad offers them an idea of what they should do.

Online ads also allow for exact targeting when it comes to who sees them. You can set it for people in a certain area, or on a certain website, or whose behavior online meets certain criteria (such as visiting your website). This helps you show ads to exact who you want to see them - meaning they're much more effective.

The important thing to remember is to tailor each ad campaign to the kind of online ad - an ad and call-to-action that works well for a search ad may not work as well as a Facebook or Twitter ad. Understand what your target customer is doing and looking for in each situation in which they'll encounter the ad, and come up with what will most appeal to them in that moment.

Offline Ads

These include ads like:

  • Print ads in magazines and newspapers
  • Billboards, benches, and other community-space ads
  • TV ads
  • Postcard direct mailers
  • Pre-movie ads at movie theaters

These ads are better at announcing specific deals or offers or helping you build brand awareness about your business. While they are not always as effective as online ads, you can still get a lot of mileage from them if you plan and implement them well for your target market.

While you may not get the same kind of targeting with offline ads as you do with online ones, you can get a different kind of targeting. Niche magazines or publications, for instance, can help you target people with specific interests - interests that you cannot always infer or notice online. TV ads, meanwhile, can help you target people of a certain demographic - again, not always noticeable online - or people with certain sensibilities (Are they watching a serious or comedic program?)

The challenge with offline ads is that people are used to ignoring them, so you have to do something that will get their attention and then stick in their mind long after they've seen your ad. Knowing your target market is more important than ever in order to create an ad that blows them away.

The good news is that technology for offline ads is somewhat reviving them, as with billboards that respond to immediate information (such as the Mini Cooper personalized billboards or the British Airways billboard that identifies planes as they fly overhead). Getting creative with your offline advertising medium - and not just your message - can help you stand out from the crowd.

So Which is Right For Me?

As always, it depends on your target market. Consider what you want them to do and how best to reach them. Then, once you have decided on online vs. offline, create an ad that will most appeal to them - that way, you can maximize the effectiveness of reaching them.

6 Ways to Reach Customers on Their Mobile Devices

By Matt Thompson

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Your Customers are Mobile. Are You?

ways-to-reach-mobile-customers

Your customers - both current and potential - are on their smartphones. A lot. Are you reaching them?

We've created this handy infographic to show you 6 ways to get started reaching out specifically to your mobile customers.

Which just leaves the question: If you're not doing anything to reach your mobile customers, what's stopping you?

(Click on image to enlarge.)

ways to reach mobile customers

How to Step Up Your Content Marketing Game

By Mike White

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Are you maximizing the potential of your marketing content?

Is Your Content an Afterthought

If I asked you to think of the content in your marketing, what would you think of? The text on your website? Your blog or social media posts? Would you even think of the text in your ads?

We've said before that the content is one of the most overlooked aspects of a website, but it's also one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing in general. Yet, if you're using inbound marketing techniques as part of your overall digital marketing, you need to have really high-quality content in order to win over potential customers.

Really, whether it's for an inbound or outbound marketing effort, you need to have really high-quality content.

So what counts as content anyway, and how can you ensure that you're maximizing every piece of content in your marketing?

What's Included in "Content"

Once you start looking for it, content pervades your entire marketing. Content includes:

  • The text on your website
  • Blogs
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Social media posts
  • E-books
  • Infographics
  • Online presentations
  • Your ads (radio, TV, print, display)
  • Catalogues/magazines
  • Print brochures or rack cards

In other words, "content" is any kind of media that you create for potential customers. Whether it's a short web video you want them to watch, a radio ad you want them to listen to, or a brochure you want them to read, you're creating content.

The thing is, many businesses treat each of these items separately, working on them one at a time or letting completely different people handle each of them.

However, as we know, digital marketing as a whole is much more effective when your efforts are coordinated. This holds true with your content.

Imagine that you are a heating and air conditioning company. You've got a spot for a TV commercial, a blog post on your website, and a brochure at your office. It's August, which is the prime time for air conditioning repair. Which collection of content sounds like it will be more effective?

  • A. A commercial about your air conditioning repair services, a blog post about solar panels, and a brochure that lists all of your services.
  • B. A commercial about your air conditioning repair services, a blog post about troubleshooting common problems with an air conditioning unit (and when to call in the experts), and a brochure that explains all that goes into air conditioning repair (with information on your special preventative maintenance subscription).

The answer, of course, is B. See how each piece of content revolves around the same theme (air conditioning repair)? When your content is coordinated, even though each piece has its own individual goal, they are all as a whole working toward the same goal - in this case, getting people to call you when their air conditioning breaks down.

So how do you get this kind of coordination? Simple: through a content strategy.

Content Strategy: The Value of Planning Ahead

If your content isn't coordinated, you may be unintentionally sending mixed messages to your customers. Many businesses tackle their marketing one step at a time. That can work, but it's not as effective as have a solid game plan in place beforehand.

What you want to do is sit down and come up with a plan. Do particular products or services do better in some months as opposed to others? Do you need to prepare for a new product launch or announcement at one point in the year?

Outline general themes and topics that you want your content to address for the whole year, breaking it down into exactly what you'll be focusing on per quarter, month, or week. Then identify what kinds of content you want to use in that quarter/month/week. Do you want to do radio ads? Several blog posts? An email blast?

When it comes to creating each piece of content, you'll know the larger context in which it will go. Need to write a blog post? Look at that month's theme - now you will know what to write about, and you could even include a link to that web video that you're uploading earlier that week.

This way you are not only maximizing the value of your marketing content as a whole; you're maximizing the value of every individual piece of content, because it is not trying to stand alone.

You will also see more opportunities for intersecting content (such as sharing your new web video on a blog post, or referencing an ebook in your radio ad). Not to mention, you will minimize your chances of writing the same things over and over.

In short, a content strategy doesn't just make your life easier when it comes to creating content - it helps take your marketing from "getting it done" to "knocking it out of the park".

3 Surprising SEO Benefits of Using Video on Your Website

By Matt Thompson

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Win the battle for searchers and search results with web videos.

Using Video on Your Website

Even though changes from search engines have led many marketers to transition from buzzwords like "search engine optimization" toward alternatives like "content optimization" and "online optimization", do not worry. Whatever you call it, the goal remains the same: get in the first set of results for particular web searches and win over the clicks of the searchers.

And it's still true that web video is a powerful tool you can use to get there.

Web video is a strong element of digital marketing, in part because it's so versatile and can play a role in almost any online element of your digital marketing. This is especially true when it comes to your website and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

As it turns out, web video on your website brings several SEO benefits that can help give you the edge when it comes to fighting for searchers and the top search results. When you put a video on your website, it can:

1. Help you get into the search results (and stand out when you're there).

More than half of all internet traffic video. That means that search engines (like Google) have a vested interest in offering and highlighting video results to searchers. So including a video on a web page can help you climb the search results more easily.

In addition, most search engines will display a thumbnail of the video right next to the website's link on the search results page. Studies have shown that these thumbnails get a lot of engagement from searchers, even if they aren't in the top 3 results.

2. Offer SEO opportunities in your video information.

One of the main things search engines do is try to understand what a particular page of your website is about, and many of the search engine optimization strategies we use in marketing are focused on communicating that to the search engines as clearly as possible.

When you add a video to a web page, you have opportunities in the title of the video, the description, and any other meta tags, as they're called, to tell search engines what the web page is about.

3. Send back positive signals to search engines.

Another metric that search engines factor into their search rankings is how long visitors tend to stay on your website. Videos are incredibly effective at engaging visitors - studies have shown that people will engage with content that includes video at twice the rate of content that does not. And because videos have a set length, searchers may stay on your website longer to watch it, making it look like a more valuable search result to the search engines.

This is one of the reasons web videos are such powerful digital marketing tools - not only do they engage and interest your customers, not only is it flexible enough to go nearly anywhere of yours online, but it can also give your search engine optimization efforts a boost.

So if you're not including web videos in your marketing, the only question is: Why?

The Coolest Web Design Trend Businesses are Missing

By Mike White

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Who doesn’t want a website design that really wows customers?

Parallax Websites

One of the things you want in your web designer is someone who is aware of the latest advances and trends in web design - but who is also keeping track of when something is just a fad, or when it could be the next step in the progression of web design.

That has been our process with, say responsive web design - as we've seen for ourselves the benefits of this approach to website design that incorporates both desktop and mobile designs into one, we've become convinced that it's more than a fad. It's a trend that's going to stay.

And recently, we're starting to become bigger and bigger fans of parallax websites.

Parallax: Changing the Way You See Website Backgrounds

Parallax design is a visual style in which the background of the website (usually an image or images) moves at a different speed than the content in front of it as the visitor scrolls down the page. It's a very cool visual effect that you have to see to believe. You can check out a particularly interesting example, a website with behind-the-scenes information for the movie The Life of Pi, here.

If you've never seen a parallax website, there's a good reason why: it hasn't really caught on, especially with business websites. You'll more often find it now on "edgier" websites or websites aiming for a cutting-edge impression.

But there's no reason that parallax design should be limited to these websites.

In fact, it could be the web design choice that revolutionizes your website.

3 Reasons You'll Love a Parallax Website

  1. It's unique. You think you haven't really seen parallax websites before? Neither have your customers. Or even if they have, they most likely haven't seen it used for your industry before. By using parallax design, you can help your business stand out from your competition and stick in your customers' minds.
  2. It keeps visitors engaged. Sometimes, for various reasons, you need long web pages. If you have an important process with several lengthy steps, for instance, or have a lot of information to share about a particular service, you'll end up with a long web page that you're asking visitors to read. Using parallax design on pages like this can help keep visitors engaged the entire way down the page. (And keep in mind: when search visitors spend more time on a page of yours, it sends positive signals back to the search engines, helping your search ranking.)
  3. You can keep it simple. Instead of the flashy and obnoxious graphics of yesteryear, you can still get cool effects, like images flying in from above, below, or the side; images fading into view; and neat overlays. But with parallax design, these effects are controlled by the user scrolling up and down. This way, you are still engaging and impressing the user without interrupting them. That provides a better experience for your visitors (which makes them much happier than if you're interrupting them).

Summary: If you're looking to do more with your website, and not just do a basic redesign, consider getting a parallax website or including parallax pages in your website.

3D Animated Logos and Video: The Perfect Pairing

By Matt Thompson

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The next step in digital design also works wonders for your videos.

3D Animated Logos

Have you ever noticed how logos seem more ... active lately? On commercials and web videos, we're no longer getting the immobile, boring logos we used to. Now logos are jumping and spinning around the screen, or growing and changing shape. Some of the movement is subtle and simple, while others go all out.

These are the result of 3D animation – the kind of animation you might associate with children’s movies. But in the business world, 3D animation is being used to add interest to their logos and other designs.

You might even be surprised at why ...

Why Use 3D Animated Designs?

3D animation can be effective at “spicing up” or adding interest to an otherwise dull logo. Especially if your business is more established, you may have a logo that was designed years or decades ago, or it may have been a simple design, in order to stay “safe” with the design.

For some of these businesses, the best move is to update the logo with a new design. In these cases, 3D animation can be an effective way to take the new design.

Conversely, if you’re not ready for the full effort of a logo redesign and rebranding effort, you can use 3D animation to liven up the original logo. This can be especially helpful if you’ve put a lot of previous effort into building a brand identity.

3D animation is also great for clearing up confusion. Let’s say your business has a very vague name, like “ABC Solutions”. Can you tell what on earth ABC Solutions does? You can’t immediately tell what they sell – it could be a product or service, or both, for all you know.

Now imagine that you see a 3D animated logo for ABC Solutions where the words “ABC Solutions” gets shredded like a piece of paper. Would you be surprised that the company offers shredding services for other businesses?

People are very visual creatures, and 3D animation can help you use that to your advantage with your logo.

Where Do Videos Come In?

Internet usage is dominated by videos, with online video consumption rising every year. 

This has led to a rise in web videos as part of a business’s digital marketing strategy. They’re particularly effective not only because people are hungry for video – they’re also versatile in what kind of videos you can make (informational, sales-based, meet the team, etc.), which gives businesses lots of options in what their web video strategy can be.

Meanwhile, TV commercials continue to have their place in businesses’ digital marketing strategies, although it’s less dominating than in previous decades.

And, as it turns out, 3D animated logos and videos are very well-suited to each other.

With any video, whether it goes out on the internet or out to TVs, ending and/or beginning with your logo is an important part of the video. It’s your stamp on the video, directly associating the message with your company.

And because they are animated, 3D animated logos work really well in videos. A 3D animated sequence makes your logo really stand out at the end of a video, and makes it seem like a natural extension of the movement of the video. Your potential market may remember an animated sequence more readily than a static logo. It can even help you stand out from your competition, especially if none of them has converted their logos to a 3D animated format yet.

Better yet, with a firm like Splash, where our 3D animation and video production people work so closely together, it’s very easy to incorporate your 3D logo

Is 3D Animation Right for My Business?

As always, the answer depends on your business and your target market. But you may want to consider it if:

  • Your logo is older or lacks in that “wow” factor.
  • Your logo is vague or is unclear about what your business does.
  • You want to really show off a new logo design or revamp the original.
  • You want to add visual interest to your logo for your videos.

Just keep in mind that 3D animation of your logo will be most effective if you use it as part of a larger strategy – say, a web video strategy or combination web video and TV commercial strategy.

It's the Buyer's World. We Just Market in it.

By Mike White

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It's the customer's world. We just market in it.

Knowing Your Target Market

Here's a quick quiz: What's the most important thing for a business to know in order to be successful at digital marketing?

  • A. What a great website is, and how to get one.
  • B. All the latest marketing tools and tactics, so you can make sure they're part of your digital marketing strategy.
  • C. What your competition is doing, so you can do it better.

Trick question: The answer is none of the above.

The most important thing you need to know about your business is your target market.

If you read our blog posts at Splash, you'll see a common refrain: "depends on your target market". What's the best way to design and organize your website? It depends on your target market. What kind of key phrases and topics should you target with your SEO? It depends on your target market. Is email marketing or social media right for your business? It depends on your target market.

Effective Marketing

The reason your target market is so important is because they're who you have to convince in order to make a sale. Understanding them is the first step to figuring out what will most convince them.

But what kind of information do you need to know about your target market? Luckily, we've created a colorful visual to help you remember:

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

Share this Image On Your Site

Responsive Website Design: What It Is & Why You Want It

By Mike White

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You don't have to be a web designer to reap the benefits of responsive design.

Responsive Website Design

Have you ever come across the term "responsive web design" (even in our own blogs) and wondered, "What on earth is that?"

Luckily for you, here's a quick (and largely non-technical) rundown on responsive web design.

What It Is

As we've explained before, for a while, when phones first started accessing the internet, it was considered "best practice" to create a desktop website and a mobile website. If you had a visitor on their laptop, they were shown the desktop site; if the visitor was on their phone, they were shown the mobile site.

This, however, meant a lot of work. You had upkeep on two sites, after all! And as newer phones and tablets came out with different screen sizes and resolutions, it became harder and harder to keep up. You were either designing three, four, or more websites to accommodate everyone, or you were getting websites designed for the lowest common denominator.

Then responsive web design was introduced, and the game changed.

Instead of designing multiple sites for multiple devices, web designers would build one site whose design would change to respond to the device viewing it. With a responsive site, as the screen gets smaller, the text may get smaller, pictures and text may rearrange from side-by-side to stacked on top of one another, and some areas may disappear entirely.

So while the desktop website may at first glance appear "shrunk", it is actually a different design for the elements of the desktop site.

Why You Want It

Having a mobile site already comes with benefits; a responsive website takes these to the next level. In addition to getting a cool website, you're getting:

  • Only one website, instead of two (or more!)
  • Future-proof design (since it can adapt to any new device's screen size)
  • Better mobile and local SEO

All of this means that you're saving time, money, and effort - and, at the same, increasing your ability to gain new customers and give them the best possible experience on your website, no matter which device they're using to access it.

That's why we at Splash are big advocates of responsive web design. Whether you're an HVAC company in Columbia, SC or a financial services institution in Charlotte, NC, responsive web design gives you the versatile, effective website your company needs.

If you'd like that kind of web design for your website (as well as a comprehensive approach to marketing that just can't be beat), contact us today to schedule a conversation and discover what we can do for your business.

Why Good Web Design Really Matters to Your Customers

By Mike White

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The importance of good web design

Good Web Design

Some of the most difficult decisions you make in businesses are compromises: getting the most value you can for your customers without sending your costs through the roof. It’s no different with your website. Surely, you think, your potential customers don’t require the most expensive, award-winningest website design in human history to be impressed.

And you’d be right – they don’t. But what they do need is a good website design that meets their needs.

We’ve talked before about how you won’t be happy just using any old business website template; trust me, your customers aren’t going to be happy, either. And since customers speak with their money, their disappointment could be very costly to you in the long run.

Here are some reasons why good web design matters to your customers:

  • First Impressions Count: While appearances can be deceiving at times, most of us tend to put a great deal of stock in appearances when trying to make decisions about things. Websites are no exception; if a website’s layout and design are bad, or even if they simply don’t fulfill that website’s intended function, then many people will simply move on to view other websites and forget about yours.

  • Layout is Key: Good web design demands that your website’s layout be well-considered. A website is primarily a means of conveying information to others; anything that inhibits the flow of information is acting against your website’s purpose. It should be easy and intuitive to navigate from any part of your website to any other part, or at least between the main page and other pages. Being stuck at the end of a one-way link isn’t going to win you any sympathy. This is especially true in mobile design; a layout that doesn’t work well with mobile devices is only going to lose you potential customers, not gain any.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Good web designers also bear in mind that many people will come to your website from search engines, and plan accordingly. That includes not only optimizing the content on the pages of your site, but also incorporating structural SEO techniques. The result will be a website that is not only friendly to the search engines (which will then send more traffic your way) but also to the searchers (who will thus be more likely to buy).

Want to get a truly great website, not just a neat design? Request a proposal from Splash Omnimedia, and get a better website (and better marketing) today.

Why the Death of the Yellow Pages Is Great for Business

By Mike White

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Long live digital marketing!

Death of the Yellow Pages

We’re living in the age of online search engines. Which is distressing for many businesses, who relied on safe, expected marketing methods like spammy mass mailers, boring ads on TV, magazines, and radio – and print directories like the Yellow Pages.

“How are we going to find customers now?” they panic.

But don’t lament the old Yellow Pages phone books – because today’s marketing is so much better for business (and customers). Why? Because instead of searching for ways to get in front of people (who may or may not be the target market you want), digital marketing is all about reaching out to and connecting with the right people.

Here are just some of the ways that digital marketing leaves the old-school Yellow Pages in the dust:

  1. Website – The potential for business websites is astounding. More informative than a company brochure, more in-depth than a simple listing, more genuine than a cheesy ad headline – a business website can help you really show potential customers who you are and what you do. And rather than relying on a print directory’s authority, you can build your own authority with informative blog posts, downloadable resources, and customer testimonials.
  2. Search Engine Optimization – You can find customers who are looking for you, looking for what you offer, or are just looking for answers. You can even capture people who are looking for any of these things who are physically nearby. Did a tiny text box or crowded Yellow Pages ad do that? No matter what today’s searchers are looking for, you can get them to your website and your business much more effectively than hoping they stumbled upon you in that giant directory.
  3. Social Media – No longer do big brands, with their giant TV/print/radio ad budgets, monopolize brand recognition among customers. With social media, you can cultivate and nurture your own camp of incredibly loyal fans. And with social media, it’s easier than ever for them to shout your praises to their friends and families. Better yet, with social media, you can get more immediate, direct feedback from your customers.
  4. Email Marketing – Ever wish you didn’t have to send out a massive direct mailer to reach those customers you really wanted to? Now, with email, it’s easier than ever – and because strong email marketing only targets those who have provided their email addresses, you know that these are people who are already interested in what you have to offer.

So if you’re worried about your business’s marketing after the death of the Yellow Pages and old school marketing, say, “Good riddance,” and contact Splash Omnimedia for a proposal today – and learn how we can transform your marketing and get you real results.

How to Use Search Engine Placement to Build Your Brand

By Mike White

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Believe it or not, search engines can be very helpful in building your brand.

Search Engine Placement

Your company's ranking among major search engines like Google has a lot to do with building your brand. The more well-known your brand is and the better reputation it has, the more likely you will end up at the top of a Google search. This will build trust among consumers and will help your company make as much money as possible.

Advertising in Google and other search engines can help you place high in their database and successfully build your company brand. Placing high quality ads on Google can drive traffic to your website, increase your sales, and make your brand name a household name. Those ads should lead people to a landing page that makes your company look trustworthy and reliable. A poorly built landing page will turn people off and make them doubt the professionalism of your company. This can result in your brand never growing or flourishing, which is likely to put your company out of business. At the same time, when your landing page is well done and well matched to your ads, Google rewards you by lowering the costs of those ads, allowing you to run more of them.

Make sure that nothing on your website could be considered spam in any way by Google, because they are very hard on websites that contain even a trace of spam. If they detect spam on your website, your search engine placement will be very low and people will usually turn to your competitors rather than ever doing business with your company.

In a very real sense, the name of the game with building your brand is about making your business as known and recognized as big brands like Coke, Nike, and Apple - even if on a much smaller scale. If you think about any of those brands, you can practically taste or feel their products using only your memory. You know what they are, what they stand for, and what they look like online and in the real world.

Keep those examples in mind as you work on your search engine placement - both organic and paid, in social media, and in every other way you market your business. Always put your best foot forward, offer valuable information, and aim for helping people know, like, and trust your business.

Keeping your branding in line and on track can be a big task. If you'd rather spend your time working in and on your business than also trying to juggle the enormous job of advancing your brand, it's time to call in the professionals.

If you've got questions about building your brand online and off, contact the pros at Splash Omnimedia. We'll be happy to help you create a strategy that will work now and in the long term.

Why Today’s SEO Isn’t What You Think It Is

By Matt Thompson

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The focus of SEO has changed – and for the better.

Search Engine Optimization

It's no wonder that businesses have learned to be wary of search engine optimization services. For years, SEO was all about keywords, directories, and links - a very technical and tedious enterprise, very open to being gamed and cheated. But many businesses didn't mind if what their SEO person did was technically against the search engine's "rules", so long as they got onto the first page of search results. As a result, the SEO field included a lot of spammers, keyword stuffers, link farmers, and cheap tricksters.

Then the search engine smackdown began.

Algorithm Updates and Penalties Shook Up the SEO World - Sometimes Overnight

See, search engines want their users to get the most relevant search results. But these sneaky SEO techniques meant that too many irrelevant and spammy sites ended up in the search results, which frustrated searchers (and by extension, the search engines).

So they punished the spammers and cheaters. All the quick and easy tricks that so many iffy SEOs had used to artificially boost search engine rankings were targeted and penalized. With algorithm updates like Google's Penguin and Panda, more sites were identified and knocked unceremoniously down the search results. Some were removed from a search engine's index altogether for their bad practices.

But it wasn't enough to target the spammers and cheaters; search engines wanted to make sure they were giving their users the best results possible. They wanted to find ways to improve their algorithms. So they expanded the ways they look at websites to better understand what they're about.

Search Engines Really Do Want to Know Who You Are as a Business

Instead of relying on the keywords and descriptions that website owners provided, search engines began analyzing the entire website, looking for a more realistic use of keywords and phrases, how long visitors spend on the site, and even how fresh the content is. While links to the website were still important, they decided, it would be all about the value of links: is this a link that someone is sharing naturally with others, and that others would trust?

The result is that SEO nowadays includes: the structure and design of your website; creating quality content that targets keywords organically; using social media marketing to organically gain social signals; and using pay per click (PPC) and display advertising to drive well-targeted traffic.

That means that today's SEO services should be a crucial part of website design and building, content creation, social media marketing, and search engine marketing (SEM). Keywords alone aren't good enough anymore.

Result: Better SEO for Your Business

Though this complexity can sound bad, it's actually a great step forward, for both searchers and businesses. Look at it this way: SEO today is about organically connecting you with people who are searching for you (and maybe just don't know it yet). While this new, search engine-friendly SEO means it might take longer to see some results from your SEO efforts, it also means that you'll get better, more consistent traffic in the long term.

It also means you can be more assured that you won't be hurt in the next round of algorithm updates. Because you're trying to reach others organically instead of trying to trick and game the system, you don't have to worry about being caught.

If you'd like to get SEO that's comprehensive, up-to-date with the latest search engine updates, and measurable, look no further than Splash Omnimedia. Find out what we can do for your business. 

Case Study: Could a Mascot Help with Your Branding?

By Mike White

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Mascots can help provide the consistency needed for a strong brand identity.

Mascots and Branding

Mascots are more common in brands than you might think. Just off the top of my head, the kinds of brands who use mascots include: kid's cereals and other grocery store food products, cleaning supplies, amusement parks, tire manufacturers, fast food stores, auto insurers, batteries, alcoholic beverages, and even social media sites. That's a wide variety of businesses who found it advantageous to use a mascot as part of their brand building.

Yet mascots can easily be overlooked when it comes to creating a brand identity. It's not a one-size-fits-all solution for every business, but it can be incredibly effective for branding and marketing.

So let's examine the case of one of our clients, Comfort Services, and what adding a mascot to their brand identity did for their marketing.

Inconsistency Was Killing Their Marketing

Remember how we said that consistency in marketing was important? Well, Comfort Services had splintered marketing efforts. Traditional media, direct mail, TV, and radio all had different messages and no consistency. Their website was similarly struggling, and not getting them many leads.

We knew that a strong brand identity could help Comfort Services be consistent in their marketing, but we didn't have the time for a long-term, from the ground up rebranding campaign.

Then we had an idea: could a mascot help with their branding and marketing efforts?

The Short Answer: Yes

The turtle united the various marketing campaigns more quickly and efficiently than the subtler move of adjusting the messages alone. It provided a visual consistency to all the marketing messages that underlined the consistency in the messages themselves.

The turtle was also very effective in building the Comfort Services brand. In addition to the TV, radio, and direct mail marketing campaigns, the turtle appears on the Comfort Services website, Facebook page, business cards, brochures, banners, door hangers, hats, koozies, magnets, t-shirts, and more. If it's related to Comfort Services, it most likely has the Comfort Services turtle on it.

That's what makes the turtle mascot so effective. It signals the Comfort Services brand, no matter if it's on brand collateral or a key TV ad campaign. It brings the branding and marketing consistency that Comfort Services so desperately needed.

It's no wonder the turtle is still an important part of the Comfort Services brand. In fact, you can see him on the Comfort Services website here.

Could a Mascot Help with Your Branding?

If your marketing and branding suffers from inconsistency, a mascot could be exactly what you need to revitalize and refocus your efforts. However, just as you should be careful and thorough with your logo or any other element of your brand identity design, you shouldn't just throw together a mascot. You should take the time to choose a mascot that represents your business's values and culture well and come up with a strategy for incorporating it into your branding and marketing efforts.

Of course, if you'd like an expert consultation and guidance every step of the way, you can always contact us at Splash Omnimedia. As you just read, we not only have experience with branding and brand identity design in general, but mascots in particular.

Build Your Brand with Graphic Design

By Mike White

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Graphic design plays a role in every part of your business’ growth.

Graphic Designs to Brand Identity Designs

When it comes to promoting your business, you know that you need effective, quality graphic designs to use on your brand collateral materials - things like your business cards, website, letterhead, and more.

But if you're looking to build a full profile of brand identity designs and not just a loose collection of "brand" materials, there are two things you must do:

You must have a consistent look.

We have addressed the importance of consistency in your brand identity design several times, but we cannot state it enough: consistency is what makes your brand's look your look.

It can be easy to get carried away with the possibilities for each new brand collateral piece, or to spend all your efforts on creating a great looking website and just slap your logo on everything else you print.

Adapting your look for a particular medium (print ads, business cards, a brochure, etc.) is one thing; a completely unique look for each one is another. You should be able to collect every design created for your business and see a unified look to the collection. If instead you see a mishmash of colors, textures, and messages, you have a problem.

Many businesses end up with an inconsistent look to their brand collateral when they treat each piece like a completely separate product. The way to avoid this is to have a defining look to your brand identity design that is then applied to and tweaked for individual projects.

Don't underestimate your Logo

At Splash, we recognize how important the logo is to your brand identity design that that is the first design we tackle in our process. Because the logo is often the simplest and most direct expression of your brand identity, it is critical to get it right before moving onto other designs.

What makes the logo so difficult a design is that it's a balancing act. Your business needs a strong logo that represents the goals and target audience of the business, yet is also simple and visually appealing enough to be easily remembered and recognized.

Using a professional brand identity designer helps you get a logo that not only looks great but is effective and memorable. As a graphic designer, they understand how to use elements like color and layout effectively. But as a brand identity designer, they will go further, to create a logo that really communicates your brand identity - who you are as a business.

And since the logo is the starting pointing for building a full brand identity design, a great logo is a solid foundation for the rest of your design.

Your graphic design has the best shot at awesomeness when you start with a marketing consulting session first. Contact the pros at Splash today to schedule yours.

Successful Logos Have These 5 Things in Common

By Matt Thompson

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What makes a great logo? 

Great Company Logo

While your logo is not the entirety of your brand identity design, it is an important part of it. Quick and easily recognizable, your logo can often be the first identifier of your company to potential and current customers. Designing the most effective logo for your company can be a tall order, though.

That's why it's helpful to see what has worked for other logos, to gain inspiration for the design of your own. There are plenty of brands that you could recognize from the logo alone. You can look at them and ask yourself, "What did they do right?"

You'll notice that successful logos tend to have several features in common. Here's our top five:

  • Simple
  • One of the reasons logos work so well for branding purposes is because they're so easy to identify. The best logos are almost instantly recognizable to customers. Year after year, brand after brand, the truth is that simpler logos are much more effective when it comes to instant recognition than more complex designs. In addition, simpler logos are easier to incorporate on a variety of brand materials, which is key to the next feature, adaptability.

  • Adaptable
  • You want your logo to go places - make sure you're not losing anything when it does. Great logos still work in black and white, in tiny spaces, or blown up to billboard sizes. They'll look great on your website, on your business cards, on your brochures, on your emails, and any other brand collateral you make. In other words, an adaptable and functional logo works anywhere you put it.

  • Color Coded
  • We've talked before about the importance of color when it comes to your brand identity design. While your overall look may include several colors, your logo is where you establish your main, defining colors. Colors can communicate a lot about your company to customers, so make sure you're picking the right one or two for your logo. (That's another point - fewer colors tends to work better than many.)

  • Unique
  • Just like your brand name, when your logo is too similar to another company's, your customers can easily confuse the two of you. Even if you think that a logo similar to a well-established brand can help you, in the long term, you'll lose on the opportunity to establish your own brand. You'll always be the knock off. Your business is better than that; go for the unique logo that reflects that.

  • Timeless 
  • The best kind of logo is the one you only have to design once. It's a logo that appeals now, next year, and 50 years down the line. So while the latest trends in graphic design may be appealing, you don't want to end up dating yourself. Go for a classic, timeless design that will stick around for customers to recognize for years to come.

Many elements go into a logo's design and your brand identity design as a whole. But the benefits of a well-designed logo (and effective branding) mean that the time and effort you put into getting it right from the beginning are well worth it.

If you'd like to get a great logo for your company (and incredible brand identity design to go along with it), request your proposal today.

Where the Magic Happens: 2 Reasons Graphic Designers are Your Company's Best Friend

By Mike White

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Great graphic designers bring a lot more value to your brand than just a neat looking design.

Graphic Designers are Your Company's Best Friend

We've discussed before the benefits of getting your brand identity designed by a professional; the advantage of going to a professional holds especially true when it comes to your logo.

Your logo represents your company in the minds of consumers. Whether you are creating a logo for your new business or hoping to update your current logo, a graphic designer has the experience and expertise to help you get the logo your business needs.

So here are two reasons you want a graphic designer on your side, creating your company's logo:

  1. A Graphic Designer Can Get You the Right Logo - The First Time
  2. An experienced graphic designer can help you pinpoint exactly what should and should not be included in your company's logo. It is crucial to have a logo that is appealing to the eye, easy for people to identify, and intriguing enough that people think of your company when seeking out the goods or services you provide.

    When you work with a graphic designer, you get to take advantage of their experience and expertise with designing logos. They'll be able to advise you on the best colors to choose, how simple or complex you want your design, and how to get a logo that can go on any kind of brand collateral you can imagine. Great graphic designers are also aware of your target market, so they can create a logo made to appeal to them.

    And if you work closely with a graphic designer to create the right logo from the beginning, you'll save the time, money, and rebranding efforts of a redesigned logo.

  3. A Graphic Designer Can Get You the Updated Logo Your Business Needs
  4. On the other hand, if your current logo is lacking, a graphic designer can help you bring it up to your standards. Nothing is worse than having a company logo that has gone stale. Updating your logo is especially important if your company changes direction from its original intention.

    A graphic designer can help you walk through choices such as whether to start over with a completely new logo or to find a way to update your current logo to better reflect your current brand identity. There's no one right answer for every company.

    At Splash, that is why we start our brand design process by researching your company - so that we can make sure our design thoroughly and accurately reflects your company.

Don't Hesitate - Make Sure You Get a Graphic Designer You Trust

At the end of the day, working with a graphic designer to create your logo will give you an edge over companies that don't.

If you want to get busy creating a brand identity design that's fresh, new, and powerful, you'll need graphic designers in on the project. At Splash Omnimedia, our graphic designers are skilled not only in creating the perfect logo for your business, but also the rest of your brand collateral.

If you'd like to get the look of your brand identity design right, contact Splash Omnimedia today for a proposal.

The Basic Guide for Using Web Videos in Your Business’s Social Media

By Mike White

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When done well, web video and social media can be a dynamite combination for your marketing.

web videos in social media

Web video is an insanely effective piece of content for business. Whether it's helping you climb search engine results, define your company image, or educate customers to choose you, video is quickly becoming the go-to tool for smart businesses.

But when it comes to their social media marketing, many businesses hesitate to include web video in their strategy. That's a shame, because video consumption online is only going up, and using video in your social media marketing offers an excellent brand-building opportunity.

And it's not so difficult to pull off as you think.

Make videos that your target audience will love.

When many businesses think about web video and social media, they think of viral videos. While viral videos make for exciting stories and enticing goals, they're not easy to make. And in fact, you don't need your web video to go viral worldwide - just with your target audience.

That's why your best chance for success with web video and social media lies in understanding your customers. What interests them? What makes them laugh, or gets them all up in arms?

Create a video that your customers will love. Make it quirky enough to catch their attention, but also informative or interesting enough to keep it. If you're building your brand, give them insight into who you are and why you do what you do. If you're trying to get them interested in your products or services, make it easy for them to act. If you're trying to get them to share, retweet, or repost, tell them so.

Share your videos where customers can easily find and share them.

Since social media is built around sharing what interests us, great videos can spread like wildfire. But social media can be a double-edged sword: horrible videos can spread just as quickly, but for all the wrong reasons. That's why you should focus on creating quality videos that appeal to your target market.

So when it comes to web videos and your social media, make it all about your target audience. Know exactly who they are and what they like, create videos that appeal to them, and make it easy for them to find and share those videos with their friends. If you can accomplish this, you will likely have an effective tool for boosting your own business potential and creating a brand.

If you're ready to do more for your business with web video and social media marketing, contact the team at Splash Omnimedia.

Target Practice: Using Brand Identity Design to Hit Your Target Audience

By Matt Thompson

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Know your customer well, and you can build a brand identity that they’ll love.

Brand Identity Design

Your brand identity is so much more than who you are as a company. It’s also how your customers—past and prospective—see you.

Or, put another way, your brand identity is what people respond when they’re asked, “What is that company?”

No matter what business you’re in, how people see you matters. That’s why, when it comes to creating your brand identity and designing your brand’s look, understanding your target audience is so crucial.

In fact, that’s where the process of creating your brand identity should start: with your target market.

Define Your Specific Market

Know who your market is by defining your service or product. In doing this, answer questions that show:

  • who would be best served by using your product
  • how it can help your potential customer
  • what problems it solves

In other words, what makes you different from every similar product or service out there? What needs do you meet that have been unmet? Think especially about the benefits your product or service offers your customers.

Once you have identified your general target market, you can begin to think about your ideal customers in more detail…

Research Your Ideal Customer

To have a truly appealing brand identity, you should conduct in-depth research of your potential clients. Find out:

  • who they are
  • what kinds of activities they like
  • what they do with their free time
  • where they work or learn
  • how old are they
  • what they are most interested in spending their money on

You want to understand your potential customers so well that you know what about you will appeal to them. Are you a rebel like they are? Or are you the consummate professional they desperately need? Are you traditional and established, or trendy and edgy?

When you understand who your prospective customers are and how to appeal to them, you can craft your brand identity to do just that.

Make Your Brand Identity a Cornerstone of Your Marketing

Now that you have a brand identity based in an understanding of your target audience and its personality, wants, and needs, you should make that brand identity the key component of your marketing strategy.

Because you’ve built your brand identity on what appeals to your target market, you’ll find it’s not only easier to convince them to buy from you—you’re more likely to nurture loyal, repeat customers. Why? Because they won’t just love your product; they’ll love you.

That’s what we offer at Splash Omnimedia: comprehensive marketing based around your business and brand. We are experts at creating a brand identity and an effective, measurable marketing to go with it.

Creating Content to Fit Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy

By Matt Thompson

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Content for your search engine optimization strategy

Search Engine Optimization Strategy

Content is key when it comes to search engine optimization strategy, but what is content? Most of the time content refers to text, but as the Internet continues to evolve, content takes on other attributes that are just as important as text. Photographs, video, infographics, pictograms, and so much more have become very important pieces of content.

SEO focuses on keywords and keyword phrases, because those are the tools that the search engine uses to rate the value of a page. Page value is equal to reader experience and it is rated by the quality of the experience that readers express through clicks, links, and social media. The higher the quality of experience, the higher the page will appear in the search index. To achieve that goal, you need content, but not just quality content. You need content that wows your reader.

Content needs to be created for the reader, not the search engine. To create content for the reader, writers must produce content that appeals to the reader’s emotional side. This may be achieved through humor, fascination, empathy, pride, and even anger. Text that works in conjunction with a photo or video is an example of how to mix content to create a higher response. Subject matter is important, and the writing and the media must be of the highest quality. Competition on the Internet is fierce. There is a massive amount of really good content out there that your site will have to compete with for page rank. Succeeding online means creating content that out-performs all of your competition consistently.

Have a conversation with the team at Splash Omnimedia about your SEO content. We’ll be happy to provide some tips and pointers after we take a look at your site.

The Importance of Graphic Design in Your Custom Website

By Matt Thompson

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Graphic design and your website

Graphic Design in Your Custom Website

Graphic design plays a very large role in determining how well a website is ranked. Google and other websites pay very close attention to quality rating. It is part of the criteria that search engines, primarily Google, use to rank websites.

Graphic design plays a very large role in determine user experience. A positive user experience has its own rewards, especially with changes induced by Google Panda. Some of those rewards are better links, high interaction with social media, and higher user interaction, all of which lead to better user experience. Better user experience leads to high page rank, which in turn leads to higher chances of consumers finding your webpage during an Internet search.

What search engines are looking for are beautiful sites that have really accessible content that is of high quality. Graphic design plays a large part in how your site appears. Sites that are cluttered and poorly organized do not tend to rank well. Sites that are crammed full of advertisements also do not tend to rank well. Beautifully laid out, simple formats with user friendly color schemes tend to rank better than those sites that are cluttered.

A website is an investment in marketing for businesses and for personal use. The idea is to attract readers to your content, and to do that, you have to embrace the game played by search engines. Good graphic design is one of the key elements in creating a beautiful and simple custom website that increase user experience. It can make the difference of getting on page one or page ten in the search results.

How is your site’s graphic design doing with user experience? Ask Splash Omnimedia’s graphic design team for an analysis of your current site.

Web Video: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Do Without Them in Your Marketing Strategy

By Mike White

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Building your marketing strategy with web videos

Web Video in Your Marketing Strategy

Web Video: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Do Without Them in Your Marketing Strategy

  1. Web videos present your marketing case to your public.
  2. Many companies offer visualizations to promote products. Telling them about your product is one thing, but letting them actually see the finished product is another one entirely.

  3. In a web video, you actually build a relationship with your customers so they relate to you and your product.
  4. Customers have the opportunity to decide if your product fits their needs. Discussing why customers need your product is important. Creating a web video enables you to discuss it efficiently. Pictures are fine, but videos help tell the story.

  5. Video is web presence, a department store in moving color.
  6. This is a device that keeps your product from simply being a picture on the page. A moving description of an item is effective marketing. Imagine your customer looking at your merchandise, creating a mental note to give it a try.

  7. The competition is astronomical and a web video may be the deciding factor between your product and another.
  8. The better product is not always the deciding factor. A better marketing blueprint has a lot to do with how well a product does in sales.

  9. Visual aids have been a part of marketing way before the internet became an item, and they have always made a difference.
  10. On the web, videos are an essential part of the marketing strategy for an industry of any size.

Tell the team at Splash Omnimedia what you’ve been doing with video – or have been afraid to try! We can help you determine your web video marketing needs, and the best way to integrate video into your marketing strategy.

Marketing Consulting Firms Know Your Content Has to Win Your Audience

By Matt Thompson

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Professional marketing consulting firms understand that content is king.

It's true. Content is king. Good content can open doors for you, not only in driving qualified prospects to your front door, but also in enhancing your position with search engines. One of the primary determiners of search engine positioning is website content.

The key to writing good content is keeping your audience in mind. Be sure to write content that your audience will understand, appreciate and most importantly, relate to. Good things happen when good content is present on your website. And Good marketing consulting firms know the importance of providing good content. Remember, content – not fancy graphics – sells the products or services on your website.

Consider the following sources when trying to generate good content:

  • Editorials
  • Industry leaders
  • Trade show speakers
  • Customer comments
  • Reviews
  • Interviews
  • Feature articles
  • Press releases
  • TV News clips or stories
  • Interactive features – polls, feedback, discussion groups, forums, chat

Your customers and prospects are visiting your site for its content. All your designs, artwork and flashy graphics don’t help if your content is weak. Content is still king and good marketing consulting firms recognize that fact. And of course good content will help with search engine positioning.

Make sure to select a marketing consulting firm that understands who you are and what you are offering. This is essential information in order to write relevant content that your audience will understand and appreciate.

For more ideas and information about professional web design, contact the web pros at Splash.

Good Web Design - Why Navigation Matters

By Mike White

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Efficient navigation is a key element in effective web design.

Navigation is the hand-holder of your website visitor. It's the guide that leads the visitor around your site. The navigator can either be helpful and quick-witted or a dummy that gets everybody lost and frustrated. Or anything in between.

Here are some things to remember as you consider appropriate navigation for your site.

Avoid industry slang in your site navigation.

Keep in mind, the navigation’s not for your level of understanding; it’s for your prospective customer’s level of understanding.

Use familiar page names in your site navigation.

Make sure your customer’s expectations are met when it comes to page names. The goal is to give your visitor an easy way to navigate around your website. Use common names like: Contact, About Us, Products, etc.

Be brief.

Summarize in a couple of words what your visitor will find. You don’t have much room and your visitor doesn’t have much time. Be as concise as possible.

Provide dropdown menus.

Make it easy on your visitor; provide dropdowns for pages with subpages. This allows the visitor to quickly scan content without having to click through multiple pages.

Make every menu item click-friendly.

Make sure every item in your navigation is clickable. Don’t force your visitor to jump through hoops to get to the page they want.

Be sure your logo clicks to ‘home’.

This may be obvious, but bears repeating. Always let your logo take your visitor back to your home page. Your visitor will expect it.

Splash’s website designers know how to create top-notch websites. Contact us today!

How Does your Marketing Activity Directly Impact Sales Growth? Measure it.

By Matt Thompson

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“Half my advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half”.

Lots of business executives have felt like John Wanamaker, the department store bigwig from the 19th century who expressed these sentiments of frustration with advertising many years ago. In the interim, companies have sought to measure their marketing effectiveness, but without much success. Essentially marketing has remained one of the few enterprise activities that doesn’t use metrics that mean something to bean counters like CEO’s and CFO’s.

But indifference to metrics is fading fast. Corporate America is searching for, and starting to find, better marketing metrics. What does that mean?

They’re searching for better ways to measure the effect of their marketing activities on sales growth and the bottom line. Companies are devoting ever more attention to strategies for linking market share and customer satisfaction to the company’s bottom line.

So how does all this talk of marketing metrics affect your company? In a big way. How do you know that your marketing budget is being put to good use? How do you know that the dollars spent on marketing are generating a significant ROI? Sometimes the process of implementing effective marketing, and measuring the effect of those strategies, is best left to professional marketing analysts. The marketing pros.

Contact Splash Omnimedia now to find out how your marketing activities are impacting your sales growth. Call today for a no-strings consultation.

Improve Your Business Performance with Website Optimization

By Mike White

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website optimization

Without web site optimization, you're just another face in the crowd.

Web site optimization is still one of the best techniques around to improve your business's performance. If your existing marketing plan isn't working, it may be time to tweak it.

Here are three ways to improve your web site optimization for the year ahead:

  1. Redesign your website: If it's been a while since your website was developed, it may be time for a redesign. It's a known fact that a website that's optimized for search engines will improve your search engine ranking and drive more targeted traffic to your site. It's important to stress that you should keep your customers in mind as well when you're going through your redesign. Make sure the keywords your redesign focuses on are relevant to your business and appear naturally throughout the website.
  2. Improve backlinks: An important part of website optimization is to create valuable links to your site. The best way to do this is to exchange links with other websites that are related to your business. Make sure you are linking with quality sites that are helpful to your customers. If you are currently linked to sites that have no relevance to your business, or are of low quality, remove the links as soon as possible.
  3. Use social media: Create a social media campaign to help build your online presence. Post informative content that's related to your business and that bring value to your customers.

The web site optimization specialists at Splash Omnimedia will help you create a marketing plan that will drive more targeted traffic to your website.

How to Use Content Marketing to Improve Your Organic Search Engine Optimization

By Mike White

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5 Tips for improving organic search engine optimization using content marketing.

Content on your website is one of the best ways to improve organic traffic to your site. Here are five ideas to use content to market your business.

  • Create a company blog: Daily blogging for your company is the ideal way to use content to market your business. Blogging is a great platform for sharing company news, company achievements, special announcements, product and service reviews, how-to guides, and a great way to answer frequently asked questions about your company, products or services.
  • eBooks: Publishing an eBook is a great way to brand yourself, or your business as the expert in your field. eBooks can be a valuable tool to educate your customers, improve customer loyalty, and improve customer relationships.
  • How-to guides: How-to guides are another great way to brand your business the expert in the field.
  • Press releases: Press releases are great to educate your customers and the media about special company announcements, product releases, and special promotions.
  • Article marketing: Publish articles to the web about your company, products or services, or other important information about your particular industry.

Let the experts at Splash Omnimedia create a content marketing strategy to improve your company's organic search engine optimization.

Stand Out From Your Competition - Develop a Custom Website

By Mike White

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Brand your business a success with a custom website.

There are millions of websites on the web today, to stand out from your competition you need to develop a custom website. Websites play a vital role in marketing your products and services. A professionally designed website adds credibility and brands your company a success.

Your customers have 24/7 access to your business through your website, for some, this is the first contact they have with you, it needs to be an appropriate representation of your business.

As the cornerstone of your online marketing efforts, your business website serves many purposes; here is a list of some of them.

  • To sell your products and services
  • To project your successful image
  • To educate your customers
  • To brand your business
  • To stay connected with your customers
  • To help your customers and bring value to them
  • To supply 24/7 service to your customers
  • To establish better customer relationships
  • To instill credibility and trust with your customers

Let the design professionals at Splash Omnimedia design and develop the cornerstone of your marketing strategy. We have the experience and the know-how to create a website that will brand your business a success. 

Why Professional Website Design is Worth the Expense

By Mike White

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Professional Website Design - Worth every penny!

Professional website design can be costly, but it’s well worth the cost. Your business website is the centerpiece of your online marketing efforts. You need for it to be professionally designed and developed so that it works for you, not against you.

A professionally designed website will:

  • Differentiate you from your competitors: A professionally designed website will set you apart from your competition, and help create a powerful brand for your business. You don’t want your website to look like a thousand of your competitors’ sites, do you?
  • Create a powerful online presence: Because your website is the centerpiece of your online marketing strategy, a site designed by an expert will present a powerful online presence.
  • Work for you – not against you: You need a business website that will do the work for you. A professionally designed site will relay the valuable information your customers look for, improve your ranking on search engines, drive more traffic to your doors, and increase your profits.

Many business owners don’t think they can pay for professional web design. The truth is, they can’t afford not to make this investment.

Contact the expert design team at Splash Omnimedia to discuss getting a professional website design that will work for you.

Creative Website Design - Does it really exist?

By Matt Thompson

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Creative website design AND functionality equals success.

It can be very challenging to come up with creative website design ideas. Many business owners think their site needs to have all the bells and whistles, the coolest graphics, and award winning layouts. Keep in mind, the most creative website design sometimes isn’t the best.

Here are five tips for creative website design that will work for you:

  • Leave white space: Don’t clutter your website just to fill in the spaces. Leaving white space on your site pages makes it easier for visitors to read. Don’t let your message get lost.
  • Focus on your ‘About Us’ page: Use the ‘About Us’ page to take the opportunity to emphasis your company’s achievements. Here’s the perfect opportunity to let people know who you are and what you can do for them.
  • Use keywords: Make sure you place keywords on every page of your site to optimize the site for search engines. Keywords should flow naturally when being used.
  • Keep your audience in mind: Understand who your audience is and write for them. Write content they will understand and appreciate.
  • Never leave them guessing: Make sure every page has an effective call to action to let the visitor know what they should do next.

Let the creative design team at Splash Omnimedia create a creative website design for your business that is functional and practical.

Marketing Strategy - Who is your ideal customer?

By Mike White

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An effective marketing strategy focuses on the right customers.

A lot of businesses don’t take the time to identify who their ideal customer is. Creating a marketing strategy that focuses on the customers and clients you want, will bring greater results with your marketing. Marketing to the wrong people is a waste of valuable time and assets. Decide who you want your ideal customer to be and learn everything about them.

To find out who your ideal customer is, ask these questions:

  • What age, gender, location and education are my customers?
  • Where do they get their information about products/services from?
  • What are their buying habits?
  • What’s important to them?
  • Who can benefit from my products?
  • Where do they gather online?
  • What are their needs?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of who your ideal customer really is, and how to effectively market to them. By focusing on the customers you want, you can weed out the ones you don’t want. You know – the ones who cause problems and waste your time and valuable resources.

For more information about creating a marketing strategy that focuses on your ideal customer, contact the expert marketing team at Splash Omnimedia.

Professional Website Designers vs. Do -It-Yourself Design

By Mike White

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website designers

3 Reasons you should use professional website designers for your business website.

Because of hard economic times, some business owners are tempted to turn to do-it-yourself website design instead of hiring professional website designers to develop their business website. While you may save money building your own site, chances are you will lose money in the end, because your site won’t be working for you.

Here are three reasons you should be using professional designers.

  1. Professional website designers understand the importance of optimization.
  2. Your business website needs to work for you. A fully optimized site will bring more traffic to you site, and along with that traffic new leads. Professional designers understand how to optimize your site using keywords that consumers are using to locate your products.

  3. Easy navigation is an essential part of a great website.
  4. Navigation is important to a successful website, and do-it-yourself sites can leave visitors confused and frustrated. Professional designers know how to direct visitors from one page to the next, and include effective calls to action telling the visitor what they should do next.

  5. Your website is a reflection of your business.
  6. Fact is, most do-it-yourself websites look like do-it-yourself websites. A key part of projecting a successful image is to have a professional looking website. In order to do that, you need to hire a professional to create your business website.

Hire the best design team at Splash Omnimedia to develop your website; contact us for an obligation free quote today.

Local Search Engine Marketing - 3 Reasons to target your local market

By Matt Thompson

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search engine marketing

Use local search engine marketing to attract consumers in your area.

If you own a business that provides products and services locally, you need to focus your marketing on the local market. Using local search engine marketing is ideal for increasing the right traffic to your website. If your storefront is in Columbia, SC, and you only serve that area, why would you focus your marketing to attract a global audience?

Here are three reasons you should utilize local search engine marketing.

  • Less Competitive Keywords: Thousands of businesses that sell the same products or services as your business all vie for the same keywords. It can be impossible to gain an upper hand on your competitors unless you utilize local keywords.
  • Increase targeted local traffic: By using local keywords, you are targeting the consumers who are searching for products and services in your area.
  • Increase conversion rates: Because you are marketing to local consumers, conversion rates will increase. Consumers who are within your area are more likely to purchase products and services from your local business.

Hire the local search engine marketing experts at Splash Omnimedia to develop a marketing plan that will bring the results you are looking for.

Marketing Techniques for Small Business Owners

By Mike White

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success strategy marketing

6 Marketing Techniques to improve your marketing strategy

Marketing your business should start with developing an effective strategy. Here are six tips to improve your results.

  1. Social Media: Social media is one of the top online marketing techniques you should be using. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn are a perfect platform to brand your small business. Social media allows you to connect with your customers.
  2. Email Marketing: Email opening rates are improving because of the increased use of mobile devices. Use a variety of email marketing campaigns that include coupons, newsletters and sales alerts. It’s a great way to stay in front of your customers.
  3. SEO: Search engine optimization is a must in any marketing plan. Optimize your website so that search engines and prospects can find you.
  4. Print Advertising: Print advertising is still a great way to market. Flyers, magazine/newspaper adds, billboards and handouts are highly effective in branding your company.
  5. Mobile Marketing: Market to the millions of mobile device users. SMS text marketing is the perfect way to deliver valuable coupons to customers. Make sure you create a mobile website to take advantage of the changing trends of consumers.
  6. Content Marketing: Deliver content to the web via articles or blogging. By providing valuable information to consumers, you will brand your business and increase customer loyalty.

Let the experts at Splash develop a marketing plan with the best marketing techniques available. Request a free no-obligation proposal today.

Local Search Engine Optimization - What's the difference between SEO and local SEO?

By Matt Thompson

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Local search engine optimization – Focusing your marketing efforts locally.

local search engine optimization

Local search engine optimization is gaining popularity as more business owners are focusing their marketing efforts on their community. Which one is right for you?

  • SEO: SEO or Search Engine Optimization is optimizing your website and web content so your business can be found on the top search engines. SEO focuses on using keywords that pertain to your business in all web content. This way, when consumers worldwide search for products or services on search engines like Google, your website will come up in the search results.
  • Local SEO: Local SEO focuses on a local community, rather than globally. The same emphasis is placed on keywords. However, targeted locations are added. An example: If you have an air conditioning service the Columbia, SC area your keywords could be, "air conditioning repair in Columbia, SC". That way, when people look for air conditioning repair who live in Columbia, your site will come up during their search. Additionally, marketing on Google Pages and local directories will play a key role in your marketing plan.

Let the SEO experts at Splash develop a local SEO marketing plan to fit your needs and budget.

Local Search Engine Marketing - How to market locally

By Matt Thompson

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Local search engine marketing will explode your local customer base.

Local search engine marketing is vital to growing your local customer base. By focusing your marketing on the local level, you will be able to dominate your competitors and increase your bottom line.

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing are where consumers are turning to locate the services and products they need. Studies have proven that consumers use these search engine sites when they want to locate products and services locally. By utilizing local search engine marketing, YOUR services and products will be what they find.

To maximize your local marketing, work with a professional local search engine marketing team that knows what they are doing and can provide all the tools to do the job.

Creating a search engine optimized website should be the centerpiece of your local marketing. Expert designers know how to utilize keywords that are location specific that will help drive traffic to your site. An example is if your business is providing carpeting in the area of New York City, then your website content would include—‘professional carpet installation in New York City’.

Let the expert marketing team at Splash Omnimedia create a local search engine marketing plan to fit your individual needs and budget.

Social media marketing – How to get the most out of your posts

By Matt Thompson

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social media marketing

Social media marketing – How to get the most out of your posts

Using social media to get your company’s message out is one of the most powerful marketing tools available today. The numbers of those using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media platforms are staggering. Millions of users are watching video, sharing pictures and networking on these sites.

To get the most out of your social media marketing, timing is everything. Here are some recent statistics on three different platforms about how to maximize your reach.

  • Links that are posted on Twitter receive the most clicks between 1:00pm and 3:00pm EST Post early in the week, and never post after 8:00pm or on Fridays after 3:00.
  • Facebook postings should be done between 1:00pm and 4:00pm EST to receive the maximum benefit. Specifically, Wednesday at 3:00pm EST is considered the optimal time to post.
  • The best time to post on Tumblr is Monday or Tuesday between 7:00pm and 10:00pm EST.

It’s important to get the most out of every post you create on social media. Follow these guidelines and you will rapidly increase your following.

Does your social media marketing strategy need some love? We're here to help. 

Print Advertising – Are promotional brochures a waste of paper?

By Matt Thompson

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print advertising

Print advertising is still a viable marketing tool in this digital age.

Promotional brochures are still a very powerful marketing tool for your business. A well designed company brochure can be a valuable marketing tool for your business. They are reasonably priced and a great way to relay your message and share your product and services information with consumers.

Your company brochure gives you an opportunity to leave behind your product and services information after a meeting or networking event and is a great valuable handout to your customers and potential customers.  Brochures are a great way to deliver your company’s message and branding.

Some tips for powerful promotional brochures:

  • Keep your company brochure limited to your top three products or services.
  • Be sure your contact information is visible and includes your website URL so customers can find more information about your company and your complete line of products and services.
  • Make sure you include a powerful call to action. Tell them exactly what you want them to do next.
  • Your brochure should be professionally designed and printed. It is after all a reflection of your company, and you want to make a great impression.

Request your free no-obligation proposal today for all of your promotional brochure and marketing materials needs.

Corporate Videos - The power of online video marketing

By Matt Thompson

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Corporate videos will drive more traffic to your website.

Web video advertising has become a valuable marketing tool for your business. Cisco Systems predicts 90% of traffic on the web will be driven by video. It is estimated that consumers watch 46 years of video every day worldwide.

Wouldn't you like your video to be one of them? Posting video to social sites, like YouTube and Facebook and having others share your video will drive that traffic to you.

Video is more personable than written content. Consumers like to see who they are dealing with and like to establish a relationship with the businesses they patronize. Chances are they would rather watch a video of you or a spokesperson explaining your vision or sales pitch than read about it.

Video will allow you to set yourself apart from your competition. Not everyone has caught on to the power of video yet. Here’s your chance to beat your competition and offer what they are not.

Creating a corporate video is far less expensive than producing a television commercial. If video isn’t currently a part of your marketing plan, correct that immediately. Millions of people are waiting to see and hear your message.

For more information about filming your next corporate video, contact the experts at Splash Omnimedia.

How important is your logo in brand identity design?

By Mike White

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Ask any five year-old, and you’ll get a quick lesson in brand identity design

brand identity design

There’s a video circulating online that’s just adorable. It was an experiment done by a marketer who wanted to gauge the effectiveness of brand identity design on children. He flashed a series of logos on his computer screen and had his little girl try to identify the company each logo represented.

She did pretty well. Shockingly well, when you consider that at age five, it’s likely her television viewing habits are at least somewhat limited by her parents. She had already made associations between many of the logos and the products the logos promote.

Where had she likely seen all of these logos?

  • TV commercials
  • Signage
  • Employee uniforms
  • Delivery trucks
  • Product packaging

Your logo is a crucial element of brand identity design, even if your business is small and local rather than global. Your prospective customers are paying attention, even if they aren’t consciously thinking about your logo. It’s making inroads on their attention every time they see it – so it’s important to be sure your logo communicates all you want it to, and nothing you don’t.

Brand identity design isn’t a one-time task you can check off and forget. In fact, most of the most-recognized logos in business have undergone multiple changes throughout the years.

If it’s been a while since your logo was tweaked, or if you’ve never had one done professionally, now’s the time. Contact the brand identity design pros at Splash Omnimedia for a brand identity design consultation.

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