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Check out our insights into the world of media and marketing, along with project spotlights, featured blogs from our client pages and other musings on how to optimize brand recognition in today’s technologically-driven environment.

Here Are 7 Things You Need to Know About Veterans Day

While many of us have our sights set on the Thanksgiving turkey or that big college football rivalry, there’s another special day in November that should not go overlooked. Born out of an acknowledgement of the end of one of history’s most significant wars, Veterans Day falls on Nov. 11 each year. Though our appreciation for our nation’s veterans should be a constant in our lives, today specifically people across the world will take time to gather and recognize our veterans’ incomparable contributions to preserving our way of life. Check out these things you need to know about Veterans Day—including a few statistics about veterans today.

Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day.

Americans tend to get these two holidays confused—thinking that perhaps the only difference is that one is in the summer and one is in the fall; however, it’s important to note the distinction. Veterans are people who served in any branch of the military in times of war or peace. Thus, Veterans Day serves to honor all of those—living or dead, though it is largely focused on thanking living veterans for their service. Memorial Day, on the other hand, exists to remember those military members who died serving our country.

The end of World War I inspired the date of the holiday.

Nov. 11, 1919 marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The “eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” of 1918 signaled the end of the war, known as “Armistice Day.” The name was changed to “Veterans Day” in 1954 at the approval of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Other countries celebrate Veterans Day too.

The United States’ victory in World War I was dependent on help from the country’s allies, so it makes sense that other countries would want to celebrate their veterans as well. Countries like Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also celebrate their World War I and II veterans in similar fashion on or around Nov. 11 each year. Australia, Canada and Great Britain call the holiday “Remembrance Day.”

The first Veterans Day parade was held in Birmingham.

Birmingham, Alabama hosted the nation’s first Veterans Day parade in 1947—but the location was not random. Birmingham native Raymond Weeks was a World War II veteran who led a delegation to Washington, D.C. to inspire Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower (then the Army Chief of Staff) to create a national holiday honoring all veterans.

The parade is still an annual tradition in Birmingham to this day. Events leading up to the parade include a National Veterans Award Reception and Dinner on Nov. 10 and a Veterans Memorial Service before the parade on Nov. 11. Read more about the National Veterans Day Parade.

The veteran population is expected to decline over the next few decades.

The United States’ total veteran population is expected to decline from 20 million in 2017 to 13.6 million in 2037, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Minority veterans, on the other hand, are predicted to increase from 23.2 percent of the total veteran population to 32.8 percent over that same time period.

There are still millions to thank.

Despite the projected decline, there are still millions of veterans to thank this Veterans Day. As of October 2019, there were 18.2 million veterans in the United States. Nine percent of veterans are women.

Saying “thank you” is one of the most appropriate ways to honor our veterans.

“Happy Veterans Day” may be OK to some, but it is more appropriate to simply thank a veteran on Veterans Day. “Thank you for your service.” “Thank you for sacrificing so much.” “Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do” or a simple, “Thank you” will do. You can also thank your local veterans through actions instead of words, like attending Veterans Day celebrations or just by performing acts of kindness that will benefit them.

Summary

In reading these things you need to know about Veterans Day, think about how this information impacts not only the lives of you and your loved ones, but the welfare of our country. On behalf of the McNutt & Partners team, we genuinely thank you for your service.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Digital Storytelling: Comparing Social Media Story Platforms

Since the dawn of man, storytelling has been ingrained in us as human beings. From cave paintings to circles around the campfire, our venues for telling stories have varied through the millennia. It’s no surprise that today we are seeing a surge in storytelling in the digital realm—via social media story platforms.

For marketers, stories are a way to make sure that your content is seen beyond social media platforms’ restrictive algorithms. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are some of the current leaders bringing us a means to share our social media stories. But how do they all compare? Which story platform is most frequented by users?

Snapchat

Snapchat, a platform based on fleeting content, was the first among these three to introduce stories—in October 2013. Despite it being the first, Snapchat’s relatively small user base compared to Facebook and Instagram makes it the least preferred among the three, according to a survey by HubSpot. Only 13 percent of 275 U.S. consumers surveyed said they preferred to watch Snapchat stories over stories on Facebook and Instagram.

In addition to it falling last in line, Snapchat is also a fairly difficult platform for smaller businesses. In order to find your account, Snapchat users would have to know it existed and would have to search for you specifically (rather than the follow suggestions available on Facebook and Instagram).

Instagram

Among these main social media story platforms, Instagram was the second to bring stories to the table—and it has since been highly successful with the feature. Despite its success, Instagram still came in second in HubSpot’s survey of preferred social media story use. Seventeen percent of the survey sample said they preferred to watch stories on Instagram.

Though Gen Z wildly prefers Instagram over Facebook (often dubbing Facebook the “old people” platform), Instagram had just more than 500 million active users in 2019. That’s about a third the amount of active daily users on Facebook (we’ll get to that number in a minute).

But just because Instagram came in second in this small survey does not by any means mean that marketers should shun the idea of using it as a storytelling platform. Instagram’s stories allow for various interaction opportunities, such as questions, polls, stickers and more. Especially if you want your marketing to appeal to a younger demographic, Instagram stories can be a viable tool.

Facebook

If you’ve done the math, you already know that Facebook dominated the survey about users preferred social media story platforms. A whopping 70 percent said they preferred to use Facebook stories over Instagram or Snapchat. Keep in mind that the survey covered a wide range of demographics—so the results likely would have been different if it was targeted to a specific age group.

Let’s also keep in mind that Facebook had 1.59 billion active daily users in 2019. With Facebook being the world’s current overarching social giant, employing its stories feature in your marketing strategy surely couldn’t hurt. Facebook stories is the first thing that users see above their news feeds—which gives your content a better chance of being seen than via an organic post. Like Instagram, Facebook stories also allow offer the opportunity to promote user interaction in the form of polls, filters and beyond. (Remember, Facebook owns Instagram, so this makes sense).

Summary

If you haven’t yet experimented with social media story platforms, in your digital marketing, now is the time to start. Though popular among younger crowds, Snapchat may not be the first story platform you want to peruse—especially if you are a smaller business. If you have your Instagram and Facebook pages linked, it can be especially easy to post to both at the same time. If your target demographic is more mature, give Facebook stories a shot first.

Don’t want to deal with any of it? The McNutt & Partners team would be more than happy to help!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Happy Halloween! McNutt & Partners’ All-Time Favorite Halloween Costumes

For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it’s just another day of the week. Whatever it is to you, Halloween is on its way, so we thought we’d take a break from our normal blog banter and get festive. Some of us reflect on beloved costumes from Halloween past, while others could barely remember a single costume in their Halloween histories. Either way, we had each person on our staff dig up a costumed memory! Read on for McNutt & Partners’ all-time Favorite Halloween costumes.

Crafty Kids Costume

Hanna: “My mom was very crafty, so she would never buy our costumes growing up. She would use things we already had at home—like our clothes, stuffed animals, paint, dad’s tools, etc. So one year, she dressed me as Little Bo Peep—complete with paper towel roll staff.”

Don’t Forget the Dog

Caitlin: “My favorite Halloween costume was last year’s. My husband Matt and I were characters from Twin Peaks (Nadine and Jacoby) and our dog Dale was his namesake character from Twin Peaks in an FBI Jacket. Also, a bunch of my friends surprised us at our Halloween party dressed as other Twin Peaks characters!”

Pasta-tively Festive

Katherine: “I’m the person that starts planning my next year’s costume before this year’s Halloween is even over. In recent memory, I’ve been sushi, the Mona Lisa, Bo Peep from Toy Story, the Chiquita banana lady and Miss Scarlet from Clue. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but there was one that I liked so much I repeated it from childhood to adulthood. When I was 8 or so, my mom saw this costume idea in a magazine. It was…wait for it…spaghetti. Yes, I was spaghetti for Halloween when I was 8. Red sweat suit (sauce), brown puffs (meatballs), yellow yarn and a colander hat (noodles). I brought this costume back when I was in college (see photo above), and this time I added the Parmesan purse.”

Maybe Billy Mays?

James: “I literally don’t remember any of them. I think I was Billy Mays once, but I wouldn’t have had any props—just the blue shirt and khakis. It was just after Billy’s death, a tribute to the greatest (and loudest) pitchman of modern times.”

Disney on Repeat

Emily: “My favorite Halloween costume was probably a costume my mom sewed for me. She’s pretty good at sewing and made me a Disney Cinderella dress when I was 7 or so. I liked it enough to wear it two Halloweens in a row, which was interesting because I was kind of a tomboy as a kid.”

A Three Hour Tour

Jon Van Wezel: “(My favorite was) Gilligan. Because I ran into one Skipper and two Gingers that year. They seemed happy to see me.”

Side note. When asked for a photo of his costume, Jon’s response was: “Mine was in the ‘90s. Great memories, no evidence.”

All Hipster’s Eve

Luke: “My favorite Halloween costume was a few years ago when I dressed up as a hipster. It was low-cost, comfortable and something I had never done before. Plus, it was nice to wear flannel and long pants with boots in the cold. I just took stuff from my own wardrobe, mixed and matched it and voila: I had a costume that required little effort to put together but ensured laughs and a good time all the same.”

Happy Halloween!

If reviewing McNutt & Partners’ all-time favorite Halloween costumes hasn’t got you in the spirit, well, go watch Hocus Pocus or something. Happy Halloween from the McNutt & Partners team!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

A Look at Facebook’s 3 New Interactive Ad Options

As technology advances, so does the way that marketers can opt to serve up advertisements to brand followers and potential leads.  Though traditional marketing forms still serve their respective roles, today it’s all about what can not only capture attention, but keep consumers engaged among the myriad of media that’s thrown at them on a daily basis. Along those lines, Facebook recently rolled out three new interactive ad options involving polls, games and augmented reality. Each of these will launch to a limited set of marketers this fall as it goes through the testing phase.

Polls Ads

The first among Facebook’s three new interactive ad options is all about giving consumers a choice. Instagram added a polls feature to its Stories earlier in 2019; however, now Facebook is adapting the concept further for its platform.

Advertisers can now add a poll to sponsored videos that appear on the mobile news feed. For example, if the video is showcasing a dress, the poll could ask consumers whether they like the dress better in red or blue. Marketers won’t see individual responses to the polls, but they will see how many of those who interacted selected each option.

Playable Ads

Instead of just giving consumers something to read, listen to or watch, give them something to do! That’s the idea behind the second of Facebook’s three new interactive ad options. Like polls, this one will be available in mobile-feeds only and not stories. With playable ads, marketers can:

  • Show off an app or game with a lead-in video on the News Feed.
  • Allow Facebook users to preview an app or game from the ad.
  • Offer a call-to-action to install the app from the ad.

Learn more about Facebook’s playable ads.

Augmented Reality Ads

Brands like Michael Kors got a head start on Facebook’s augmented reality ads option in 2018; however, this fall the feature will become available to even more marketers. Like polls and playable ads, the augmented reality ads serve to generate more engaging ad experiences for consumers. For example, rather than viewing a pair of Michael Kors sunglasses on a model, consumers can actually “try on” the glasses using the technology—to see what they will look like on their own faces.  Similarly, Sephora lets people “try on” various lipstick colors via the augmented reality ads.

Summary

With ecommerce becoming the norm, marketers should want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to patronize them at the exact point that they interact with their advertisements—which in this case, is online.  With Facebook’s three new interactive ad options, the social media leader is paving the way for this form of marketing to become not just an add-on to brand advertising, but an expectation of such.

8 Ways to Optimize Your Email Signature

The days of deciding between “Sincerely” or “Yours truly,” are over. In today’s digital environment, we have much more to consider when it comes to signing off on our correspondence. In a business setting, your email signature can make the difference between capturing a lead and letting one go. A well-designed email signature also paints you and your company in a more professional light in the eyes of your client base. From making it aesthetically pleasing to flawlessly functional, here are a few ways to optimize your email signature.

Tell people who you are.

This might sound obvious, but if you have nothing else in your email signature, you should at least have your name and title. People receiving your emails should have no trouble identifying you at the outset. Since you are representing your company, you’ll want to be sure to include your company name as well.

Make your contact info clear.

Your email signature should include all of the various ways that a recipient can contact you, including your phone number and business website. It may be redundant to include your email address (since if you’ve sent someone an email, he or she already has your address); however, some people opt to do so.

Link to social.

Efforts to optimize your email signature should include sharing your brand’s digital assets, like your social media accounts. This not only lets people know where online to find you, but it also gives them direct access to follow your pages. Don’t just list your social media accounts, however. Consider incorporating each social icon as a clickable link to that respective account.

Stay consistent with your branding.

If your brand colors are navy and gray, then you might want to avoid a bright purple and green (as cheerful as it may seem) in your email signature. Stay within the color scheme of your brand, and include your business’ logo. It’s just another chance for followers to make that visual connection with your company.

Employ an easy-to-read design.

Your email signature should be easily digestible. Anything too complex, and email recipients won’t take the time to consider its contents. Use design hierarchy to make this happen—emphasizing more important information in larger text higher up in the design. Then, gradually scale down the size of less important information. You want readers’ eyes to automatically go to what you want them to read first.

Make it mobile friendly.

You may be emailing all day long from your desktop, but don’t forget that many of your recipients are opening your emails from their mobile devices. Check to make sure that your email signature design reads well on both desktop and mobile. In addition, if you have your phone number listed, make sure it is clickable for recipients to be able to contact you directly from their smart phones.

Consider a photo.  

If you’re in an industry (like real estate or recruiting) where it’s important for your email recipients to connect names with faces, then you might consider including a photo in your signature. While not required to optimize your email signature, a photo is a little something extra that might help in the right situation.

Keep it simple.

Admittedly contradictory to adding “a little something extra,” you should also be sure to avoid information that is irrelevant or unnecessary. Favorite quotes at the end of email signatures, for example, can help show a little personality, but no one wants to read a novel. Some companies may require you to include legal language at the end of your signatures—in which case you should keep the rest of your design relatively simple.

Summary

In the hustle and bustle of a million things to do, your little email signature may not seem like high priority. However, just think about how many emails you send a day! When deciding how to optimize your email signature, think of each message you send as a mini-advertisement for your brand.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

Content Management: WordPress’ Effect on the Internet

When browsing websites, you may notice their distinct qualities—layout, user friendliness, use of photos, moving elements. However, for a significant chunk of websites out there, there’s one part that the average internet user doesn’t see that makes them have more in common than it may appear on the surface. We’re talking about the structure upon which these websites are built—their Content Management System (CMS). More specifically, we’re talking about the Content Management System, WordPress. WordPress’ effect on the internet as the dominant CMS on the web today is significant. Let’s explore more.

A little about WordPress

WordPress is one among many CMS’ out there (and keep in mind that not every site uses a CMS); however, it’s currently got the market share of 61.4 percent. That means that 34.6 percent of all websites online use WordPress! (Numbers current as of the date this article was written.) It’s also the CMS that we use here at McNutt & Partners.

WordPress is an open-source software, which means that it’s free for the public to download and use. All you have to pay for is a domain and WordPress hosting and voila! You’re good to build and run your website.

Since 2003 when WordPress was established, it has continued to grow in popularity as updates have been released. Consider this chart outlining the growth in WordPress (and competitors) from 2011 to today.

WordPress’ effect on the internet

The purpose of a CMS is to make it easier for people to build websites—and by “people,” we mean even those that were not classically trained in web development and design.

Think about it in terms of the old paint-by-numbers. Give most people a blank piece of paper and tell them to paint a detailed mountain landscape from scratch—what you get probably won’t be too pretty. However, give them a paint-by-numbers guideline, and anyone’s an artist. The same is true for a CMS like WordPress. It serves as a guiding hand in building and maintaining a website.

With WordPress having the dominance over the CMS market that it does, we can give it a significant amount of credit in allowing the internet to progress as it has—as an unconfined space for people to promote and share content.

A few fun facts about WordPress

Learn a little more about the most widely-used CMS on the internet! (Courtesy of Broadbandsearch.net)

WordPress is multi-lingual.

Full versions of WordPress are available in more than 60 languages. On top of that, content on WordPress accounts for more than 120 languages.

WordPress blogging is even more popular.

Many blogs alone use WordPress—so many that WordPress blogs get more than 409 million monthly views. In addition, a blogger writes a new WordPress post every six seconds.

Several of the world’s top websites use WordPress.

Global companies like Disney, Target, Playstation and many more use WordPress as their CMS. Other notables include TechCrunch, The New Yorker, Time, Inc. and more.

WordPress.org and WordPress.com are distinct.

WordPress.org is the free, open-source software that we have been walking about. WordPress.com was created by WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg and offers one free version (with limited features) and four paid plans, ranging from personal to VIP. Read more about the differences between WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

WordPress plugins allow for customization.

Think of plugins as various tools that you can use alongside WordPress. For example, we use the Yoast plugin for our client sites to help with SEO. Plugins can help with analytics, design, security and more. There are currently more than 55,000 plugins available for WordPress!

The WordPress team is made up of volunteers.

The cool thing about WordPress’ effect on the internet is that its major impact is thanks to a (relatively small) team of volunteers. In fact, fewer than 1,000 people are currently working on WordPress. Compare that to Amazon’s half a million employees!

Summary

WordPress’ effect on the internet is undeniable. As a free and open-source CMS, it’s opened up a world of possibilities for everyone from the internet novice to the skilled developer.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

Using SWOT Analysis to Make Smart Business Decisions

A bright idea is the first step to making your business dreams a reality; however, don’t let that bright light blind you. Going into business without a solid plan in place only serves to hurt you in the long run. Plan, strategy—whatever you call it—it’s important to have one to ensure that your company is running smoothly. At McNutt & Partners, we use what is called SWOT analysis to not only assess our own company’s status, but to help our clients do the same. Follow along as we discuss using SWOT analysis to make smart business decisions.

What is SWOT?

No, we didn’t misspell “SWAT” (no flak jackets here). SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The point of SWOT analysis is to guide business leaders in considering all of the factors involved in making a business decision. The decision could be to implement a new internal company initiative, to attempt a new strategy for obtaining leads, or even to edit an existing plan that has already been set in motion.

Using SWOT Analysis to Make Smart Business Decisions

In addition to implementing a specific action, SWOT can also be used as a means of making an overall assessment of a business itself—whether that business is still in the idea stage or has a longstanding reputation in the industry. Here, we’ll talk about how we use SWOT to help our clients assess what is and is not working in regard to their business models—and how that affects their business decisions.

Strengths

“S” in SWOT stands for strengths—meaning what strengths does your business decision (or your business model as a whole) possess? Ask yourself—what problem am I trying to solve? What niche am I trying to fill? The strengths portion of the analysis is an internal factor, meaning that you already have access to the resources that affect those strengths (finances, experts/staff, location, etc.) Make a list of the strengths associated with your business, product or service.

Weaknesses

Where there are strengths, there are weaknesses. Second in the acronym, weaknesses are also internal factors; however, these are the negative ones that threaten to detract from your strengths. Let’s say you have a new product you are trying to market. What are the barriers to doing so? What does your business need to do to be competitive? For example, do you need a patent? Say you are lacking in some of the areas mentioned in the strengths description above. If your weaknesses are lack of resources, for instance, note them here.

Opportunities

Switching gears from internal factors, SWOT’s “O” represents an external factor—opportunities. Here, you should identify variables in the business climate around you that can positively affect your initiatives. Is your product or service meeting a need that is currently in-demand in your respective market? Are industry regulations in a state of change that could give you a push in the right direction? This could even come down to answering the simple question—do your customers give you good feedback (considering you are already in business)? The economy, outside funding sources, and even environmental standards can all be factors that play into your opportunities. Outline your opportunities as part of your SWOT analysis.

Threats

Capping off our SWOT analysis is the “T,” which stands for threats. As the aggressor to your opportunities, you should consider threats in the same categories as we delineated above. Threats are also an external factor—so think about things you have no control over. Are competitors threatening to unseat you? Are your supply resources readily available? Does technology portend to make your product or service irrelevant? People other than you making decisions—from consumers to politicians—are the source of these potential threats. Take a minute and think about what factors are a threat to your success.

So, what now?

Now that you’ve collected the information, it’s time to turn it into action. Interpreting SWOT analysis has everything to do with determining how each of the categories relates to another. For example, use your internal strengths to figure out how to take advantage of your external opportunities. You can also employ your strengths to combat your external threats.

Don’t forget about your internal weaknesses. External opportunities may be able to address them. Also, ask yourself what actions you can take to keep your weaknesses from growing in the face of the threats you identified.

The overall goal 

In using SWOT analysis to make smart business decisions, keep in mind that the overarching purpose is to form a business strategy that will ultimately set you up for success. At McNutt & Partners, we can  help you consider that strategy from the marketing perspective. Read more about the components of an effective marketing strategy.

Need help? McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

What is Remarketing? The Benefits of Remarketing for Businesses

Even if you don’t know what remarketing is as a technical term, you’ve more than likely already encountered it—and continue to encounter it every time you turn on your computer or unlock your smartphone. Sure, we’ve all been annoyed by online ads; however, isn’t it more annoying when the ads are completely irrelevant to your tastes and preferences? That’s where remarketing comes in. Here, we’ll define remarketing and talk about some of the benefits of remarketing for businesses.

What is remarketing—generally?

As a basic definition, remarketing is the practice of placing online ads that are targeted to users who have already completed a specific action online, like visiting a website. These past website users will see the ads located at various points throughout their daily web browsing, such as YouTube, Facebook or non-ecommerce sites like news platforms.

In addition to targeting people who visit specific websites, remarketing can also apply to users who have searched for particular terms. Or, it can work based off of the people on your email list, or those who have previously watched your YouTube channel, for example.

What is remarketing—specifically?

Let’s get technical. Remarketing uses JavaScript tags (pixels) to place cookies in users’ web browsers. The browser cookies then inform the remarketing platform as to which websites users have visited. Based on that information, it adds the users to various remarketing audiences, which determine which types of ads the remarketing platform will then serve up.

The reason for remarketing

As a general consensus, you may think that everyone hates online ads. The truth is, people are more so bothered by the online ads that are not relevant to them. In fact, a HubSpot study found that 77 percent of people would prefer an ad filtering program rather than blocking ads altogether.

That being the case, it’s safe to say that this majority of users does not mind ads so long as the ads reflect their personal interests. You could even go so far as to say that some people welcome remarketing ads because they often serve as reminders of brands or products a consumer has been interested in but not yet pursued or purchased.

The benefits of remarketing for businesses

There are a handful of benefits of remarketing for businesses, including:

(Automated) personalization of ads

A remarketing program takes the guesswork out of ad placement and personalization from your end. This creates improved ad experiences on behalf of consumers.

The ability to achieve various objectives

There are several things you can achieve through remarketing. Promote a specific product or offer, garner email list subscribers, or even recover abandoned online shopping carts. Any call to action can be turned into a remarketing ad.

Guiding consumers to a sale

Because remarketing knows which products or pages a person has already been browsing, it’s useful for reminding people about items they may still want to purchase (or actions they may still want to take). For example, a shopper may have been looking at a particular pair of shoes on your website but opted to think about it some more before making the purchase. Remarketing can bring the product back to the consumer’s attention in hopes of guiding him or her to a sale.

Brand exposure

As with all marketing efforts, the benefits of remarketing for businesses includes heightened brand exposure. Even if it does not lead to a conversion, remarketing places your brand in front of those consumers that are most likely to refer to you in the future.

High click-through and conversion rates

The numbers show that remarketing ads have higher click-through and conversion rates than regular display ads. In fact, WordStream reported that remarketing targets clicked on Google remarketing ads at a rate 2-3 times higher than new site visitors.

Cost effectiveness

Remarketing costs vary; however, remarketing ads have generally been shown to be fairly cost effective for online advertisers. Again we’ll use Google remarketing ads (called the Google Display Network) as an example—courtesy of WordStream. Google’s Display Network ads cost, on average, $0.66 per click, compared to the $1.23 per click of typical Google Search ads.

Summary

If web users have to see ads, they would rather see ads that are tailored to their specific interests. Therefore, the benefits of remarketing for businesses make it a tool that can be useful to have at your disposal.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Influencer Marketing: What Is It, and How Can It Benefit My Brand?

In digital marketing, the purpose of using social media is to convey your messages to a large audience of online consumers—who already spend a considerable amount of their time online and specifically in the social media space. Algorithms limiting the amount of social media users who see business’ content pose a barrier to this goal, thus why content engagement becomes so critical. But what if you had help from someone who is in a better position than you are to encourage engagement? Such is the idea behind influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing?

As an umbrella term, influencer marketing refers to the practice of using content creators with strong followings to improve your brand/product awareness and drive customer leads in the process. Brand influencers typically exist in a certain niche, which ideally should be one that applies to your product or services.

This “content creation” can be in the form of social media posts, blogs, podcasts, TV and even print ads and can range from celebrities to stay-at-home parents. However, for our purposes, we are going to focus on influencer marketing as it pertains to social media.

Social media influencers have an already-established significant social presence. That being the case, they have the ability to expose your brand to numbers of potential followers—more than you could do from your page alone.

It’s important to note that for an influencer to be effective, he or she must portray similar interests and values to what you are promoting. In other words, it should be a fit that makes sense. You probably wouldn’t want a teenage fashion blogger advocating for your potty training book, for example.

Why is influencer marketing effective?

Think of influencer marketing as a mutually beneficial relationship.

When working with an influencer as a brand, you are having someone advocate on your behalf. This someone has already established credibility within his or her niche market and therefore has followers seeking those word-of-mouth opinions about products and services.

In today’s review-driven digital landscape, consumers trust these opinions more than ever. In fact, 92 percent of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all else.

How do the influencers benefit? You’re providing them inspiration for fresh content to share with their followers. Depending on the way the relationship is structured, the influencer may also be receiving monetary or material compensation in return (more on that below).

Working with a brand influencer also gives you the opportunity to have your message broadcast from a fresh perspective. Sometimes your own ideas about how to frame your messaging can get stale, so it helps to have an outsider’s point of view. An influencer can put a new, creative spin on things. In addition, because influencers work on your behalf, it takes some of the burden off of your own marketing efforts.

Circling back—the number one reason to work with an influencer is: exposure! You may have a couple hundred followers on your business’ social page, but a credible influencer likely has thousands (if not more). This equates to more eyeballs on your content.

What does the influencer relationship look like?

There are several ways a brand influencer relationship can be structured, and it comes down to determining which best aligns with the goals you have for working with an influencer in the first place. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Gift your product or service. Offer to send influencers samples of what you are selling in exchange for them promoting it on their page (and tagging you as well). This is one of the most common (and easiest) ways of working with an influencer.
  • Give discounts in exchange for shout outs. If you do not want to give it away completely for free, you can offer discounts in exchange for shout outs.
  • Set up a giveaway featuring your product. Instead of giving the product/service to the influencers, ask them to set up a contest on their pages for which the winners will receive your product/service. The influencer will benefit from engagement, while you’ll benefit from brand exposure.
  • Organize a product demo. Work with your influencer to set up a demo of him or her trying your product. The most effective way to do this is with video; however, a blog post in which the influencer describes his or her experience could work as well.
  • Pay cash for product posts. This may not be the most budget friendly of the ways to cultivate an influencer relationship, but depending on who you work with, it may be worth it.
  • Offer commission. This is a more formal type of influencer relationship, which could be described as a “brand ambassador” or “brand affiliate.” In this structure, the influencer would receive commission based on sales that he or she reigned in.

So how do you find an influencer?

Finding an influencer who will work well for your brand can be as simple as logging onto Instagram and searching for a specific hashtag. For instance, #pottytraining, #pottytrainingadvice or even #momblogger could work for our previous example. There are also websites designed to match up brands with influencers, such as buzzsumo.com, zoomph.com and izea.com.

As it turns out, sometimes influencers will find you! Check your inbox for collaboration requests. However, beware of spam requests as you do this.

Summary

Influencer marketing can be a win-win situation for both your brand and your collaborator. Heightened exposure, fresh perspectives and extended credibility are all benefits that working with an influencer can afford you.

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

We’re a Full-Service Ad Agency, but What Does That Mean?

If you’ve read any of our blogs over the years, you’ve seen our signature call-to-action at the bottom: McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page. So we’re a full-service ad agency, but what exactly does that mean? Here’s some insight!

The big picture

The overarching theme of “full service” means that we’re a one-stop shop for all of your branding and marketing needs. Need a logo? We’ve got you. How about a website? Yup. Email campaign? Billboard? Custom-branded app? Check, check and check.

The benefits

The obvious benefit of working with a full-service ad agency is convenience. With all of your marketing needs taken care of under one roof, it makes your life a whole lot easier. In addition to sheer convenience, working with one agency on all aspects of marketing creates the opportunity to build a sense of trust with that entity. In having influence over various facets of your marketing, the agency gets to know your brand and marketing history better than if your efforts were spread across multiple resource channels.

FAQ

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Here are a few frequently-asked questions when it comes to understanding a full-service ad agency.

Q: Does full-service mean I can’t work with anyone else for marketing?

A: No! When you work with us, you are free to also work with whoever else you choose. We do our best to coordinate with other marketing-based services you may be interacting with. However, due to the benefits outlined above, we do think full-service is the way to go.

Q: How can a full-service ad agency help my brand?

A: A full-service agency like McNutt & Partners works to extend your brand presence across various mediums. Our goal is to give you a presence where you didn’t have one before and enhance that presence where you already have one.

Q: I’ve never worked with an agency before. What can I expect?

A: Upon signing on as our client, we’ll first assess your marketing strengths and weaknesses to see how we can help. We will take inventory of your current brand assets and establish ones that we believe could be beneficial. And don’t worry—you’ll be clued in every step of the way! Full service also means we’re at your service—for anything and everything. Think about it as having a full-time support staff!

What makes McNutt & Partners full service?

We call ourselves a “full-service advertising and digital marketing agency,” but really that can all be placed under the same umbrella. In today’s digital landscape, much of our focus is on digital marketing as consumers’ preferences are intertwined with technology. However, the term “full-service” implies that our specialties for brand marketing extend off of the digital screen. Do we do social media and websites? Yes. But is that all? Certainly not.

Our abilities that make us “full service” include:

  • Digital marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Graphic design
  • Social media
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging
  • Email marketing
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Video editing and production
  • Audio editing and production
  • Pre-roll ads
  • Digital ads
  • Website development and design
  • App development and design
  • Augmented reality
  • Print ads
  • Promotional materials
  • Publications
  • Billboards, banners and signage
  • Brand strategy
  • And more!

And you know, just for the sake of consistency:

McNutt & Partners is a full-service advertising and digital marketing agency. Contact us today for your marketing needs! Call 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.