Our Blog

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.

3 Factors that Affect the Ambiguity of Keyword Rankings

Google keyword rankings have long been a critical component of SEO, and marketers have thus used them as their main measurements of success. However, semi-recent Google updates have made it more difficult for markets to pinpoint direct correlations between these keywords and the ranking of their respective content. One of these updates, for example, broadened the range of which Google’s Keyword Planner tool shows how many people are searching for a particular keyword. Rather than saying a keyword has been searched for 1,500 times in a month, it now gives a broad range of 1,000 to 10,000. In addition to Google’s amendments to data presentation, here are three factors affecting the ambiguity of keyword rankings.

  • Location. Location tracking on smart devices has come a long way, to the point where search engines can now pinpoint users’ exact locations at any given point in time that they are conducting a search. This is called “geotargeting.” In the past, a search for “Italian restaurants in Atlanta,” would have yielded results solely based on those Italian restaurants that were the top ranking in terms of search. Now, Google takes your location into account when delivering you results—prioritizing to a degree those restaurants that are within your proximity. Thus, it’s difficult to say that one result ranked over another due to its relevant keyword with location being a driving factor.
  • Device. Similar to location, the type of device you are using is another factor that affects the ambiguity of keyword rankings. Google is able to see which device you’ve searched from at any given time you are searching. Geotargeting is based on the IP address or GPS location of the device that is in use. Obviously this ties in with location because that particular device will reveal where you are when searching, or whether you are moving. You can also consider device as a factor when delineating between desktop or mobile. Search engines, and particularly Google, have started prioritizing mobile optimization over desktop when showing search results. That means Google will show results based on how well they appear on mobile devices. If your site is optimized for desktop, but not for mobile, it may show up in a desktop search, but not a mobile search.
  • Personalization. Google generally delivers search results that are personalized to that specific user based on his or her search history. For example, if your IP address has visited a site that sells Nike shoes, and you browse the search terms “running shoes,” then Google will likely place Nike at the top of your search results. However, someone who searches for “running shoes” who has not previously been to the Nike site may or may not see it in his or her search results. Cue personalization when it comes to the ambiguity of keyword rankings. In this scenario, is Nike really ranking highly for “running shoes” on its own, or is it due to that specific user’s personal search history? The answer is difficult to discern.

It is important to be aware of these factors that affect the ambiguity of keyword rankings so you understand that the data you are looking at in terms of ranking metrics may not completely reveal what is really happening. Keyword ranking data is a useful tool to measure the success of your SEO efforts, but it should not be the only tool.

If you need help strengthening your SEO efforts, the McNutt & Partners team can help. Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

 

5 SEO Trends Poised to Affect Digital Marketing

The digital marketing world is a bit SEO-obsessed, and for good reason. Search engine optimization (SEO), affects the ease of which people are able to access your content, whether it is via your website, blog, social media, search engine ads and more. Essentially, SEO done correctly gives you everything you want out of digital marketing efforts—traffic driven to your brand. As technology evolves, so do SEO trends. We’ll take a closer look at five of these SEO trends that are poised to affect digital marketing this year.

  • Voice search. In 2017, it was estimated that 60 million Americans used virtual assistants like Google, Siri or Cortana at least once monthly to search for information or connect with a brand. This equates to about one in five Americans, or 27.5 percent of smart phone users. On top of that, more than 35 million Americans used voice-enabled virtual home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home at least once monthly in 2017. What does the growing popularity of voice search mean for SEO? It calls for optimizing conversational phrases as keywords. There is a distinction between the way people speak aloud and the way they type words into a search engine, so SEO must take this into account.
  • Mobile-first. Google announced earlier this year that it would be moving to mobile-first indexing in crawling pages to determine search rankings. Typically in the past, Google has used the desktop version of a page’s content for indexing purposes. With mobile-first, it means that the search engine will use the mobile version of a page over the desktop version when crawling content. Google has made it a point to let developers know that content gathered via mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over desktop content; however, the move is toward gathering content increasingly via mobile sites. In terms of digital marketing, this means that developers should prioritize the mobile versions of their sites and pay attention to mobile ranking factors.
  • Video prevalence. Video’s presence in the digital media realm has grown exponentially—and is poised to continue to do so. One-third of online activity is spent watching video, and by 2019, internet video traffic is expected to account for 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic. In addition, video on a landing page is said to increase conversions by 80 percent or more. As technology is making it easier for people to enjoy video content, search engines are rewarding brands that appeal to the trend. Video and image recognition by search engines could be key to the future of digital marketing.
  • Social media search. With internet users spending the majority of their time on social media anyway, an increasing number of people are skipping the traditional search engines and typing their search terms directly into their social platforms. Think about searching Twitter to find news on a celebrity, searching Pinterest for your next DIY project or searching Yelp for the best Mexican restaurants in your area. Because each social network falls into its specific niche, sometimes searching within a network itself can get a user the results he or she is looking for faster. As an SEO trend, social media being used as search engines means that marketers need to optimize content for these social platforms just as they would for traditional search engines.
  • Quality content. Producing and promoting quality content in one’s digital marketing efforts has been an SEO trend since day one, but it’s a critical one to continue to highlight. Yes, you should generate content on a consistent basis, but the quantity of your content means nothing if it is not substantial, relevant to your brand and interesting to your followers. Marketers should look to enrich their content with video, infographics, graphics and engaging topics that will make their brands appear both credible to their audiences and appealing to search engines.

Pay attention to these SEO trends when planning your digital strategy to keep yourself at the forefront of consumer wants and needs! If you need help strengthening your SEO efforts, the McNutt & Partners team can help. Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page!

Mother’s Day Spending and Other Mom Stats

They birthed us, they reared us, they put up with us and they still love us—moms are pretty amazing! This week, Americans are gearing up for our annual celebration of all things maternal—Mother’s Day on May 13. With restaurant reservations maxed out, flower delivery drivers populating the roadways and jewelry stores unloading inventory, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days of the year in the retail realm. Here’s what the National Retail Federation has to say about Mother’s Day spending—and a few other fun mom facts.

The magic number is $23.1 billion

The NRF’s annual Mother’s Day survey, which it has been conducting since 2003, predicts that Mother’s Day spending will reach a total of $23.1 billion in 2018. This would be second only to last year’s $23.6 billion in the 15-year history of the survey. In addition:

  • 86 percent of Americans will celebrate Mother’s Day this year.
  • Each person celebrating will spend an average of $180.
  • Individuals aged 35-44 will be the biggest spenders at an average of $224.35 per person.

Here’s a breakdown of consumer spending:

  • $4.6 billion on jewelry (purchased by 34 percent of shoppers)
  • $4.4 billion on special outings including dinner/brunch (55 percent)
  • $2.6 billion on flowers (69 percent)
  • $2.5 billion on gift cards (45 percent)
  • $2.1 billion on clothing (36 percent)
  • $2.1 billion on consumer electronics (14 percent)
  • $1.8 billion on personal services like a spa day (24 percent)
  • $956 million on housewares or gardening tools (19 percent)
  • $813 million on greeting cards (77 percent)
  • $494 million on books or music (19 percent)

And just for fun, here are a few other Mother’s Day facts that may pique your interest.  

  • The latest Census data from 2014 revealed that there were 43.5 million mothers in the world between the ages of 15 and 50. These mothers gave birth to 95.8 million children.
  • The youngest mother ever to give birth was only 5-years-old. The oldest woman to give birth was believed to be 70.
  • Ann Jarvis started the idea of Mother’s Day following the Civil War in 1868, when she was inspired to promote friendship and understanding between mothers on both sides of the conflict.
  • Jarvis’ daughter, Anna, created the official holiday in 1908. Woodrow Wilson signed Mother’s Day into law in 1914.
  • The carnation flower was traditionally worn and used to indicate whether or not your mother was living on Mother’s Day. If you wore a red carnation, she was living. If you wore a white one, she had passed away.
  • More calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year.
  • Around one-fourth of all flowers purchased throughout the year are purchased on Mother’s Day.
  • The United States is not the only country that celebrates Mother’s Day. Countries like the UK, Australia, India, Brazil, Germany, Japan, the Philippines—the list goes on—have designated days to celebrate the holiday. Around 50 countries total celebrate Mother’s Day.

Whether you celebrate it with a party, a meal, a quick visit or a phone call, we wish you a Happy Mother’s Day 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.

 

 

 

 

6 Components of a Successful Content Marketing Campaign

Planning a campaign to communicate a message to your brand’s audience involves just that—planning—in order for it to be cohesive and effective. You want your campaign to be distinctive, but a successful content marketing campaign employs the same staple characteristics across the board. Here are six components to focus on when planning your next campaign.

  • Audience. The first step to creating a successful content marketing campaign involves defining your audience. Who is it that you want your campaign to appeal to? Think about demographics like gender and age, as well as location and even industry. Targeting a specific audience is something you will do with the theme of your content, but it is also easier than ever with social media platforms’ built-in targeting tools. This step will ensure that every effort you make regarding your campaign is aimed toward the group that will be most responsive to it.
  • Content.Perhaps the most significant component of a successful content marketing campaign is right there in the phrase itself—the content. What will your campaign consist of? This is where you will decide on the basic elements of your campaign and what form your content will take. Will your campaign consist of social media ads or promoted posts? Email marketing? Blogs? All of the above? Once you have defined your audience, it is time to start creating the content that you intend to present to them.
  • Theme. This is where your creativity comes in, and where you have the opportunity to make your campaign stand out from the others to effectively capture the attention of your audience. Your theme should be captivating, unique and appropriate for the message you are conveying. For example, if you are advertising a Mother’s Day special, you would want to make the visual branding of your content coincide with what comes to mind when you think of the holiday—femininity, caring, love, etc.
  • Call to action. A key component to your content is the call to action. What are you trying to achieve with this campaign? If you want your audience members to visit your website, then invite them to do so. If you want them to take advantage of an offer, then invite them to do so. Or, if you want them to ask for more information—invite them to do so! Give them incentive to pursue your business. Your offer should be something that offers value to your target audience. It should be something that sounds exclusive, such as a free consultation, a webinar, case study, etc.
  • Distribution. The type of content you have created will determine how it will be distributed to a degree; however, it is up to you to invest in the promotion of your content. There are a variety of ways you can push your content out to your audience, including social media sharing and paid promoting, sponsored blog posts, distributing to your email list, etc. You might consider using more than one method, as different members of your target audience may respond to different types of media.
  • Follow-up. The follow-up not only involves following up with your clients and prospective clients, but also analyzing the response that you receive to help you with the efficacy of future campaigns. In regard to the former, the clients who have responded to your content are ones that you can now start building a relationship with. Continue to offer them valuable content in order to enhance the credibility of your brand in their eyes—and to keep them coming back.

A content marketing campaign is your opportunity to present a fresh, engaging offer to your brand’s current and potential followers in an effort to direct their attention to your business. Making sure your campaign employs each of these six components will set you up to realize the positive results you are looking for.

If you need help creating your next content marketing campaign, the McNutt & Partners team can help! Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Charging for Digital Content vs. Granting Free Access

We’re all in business to make money—that’s a given. To make money, you charge consumers for a product, a service or knowledge that they need or want, but that they cannot (or do not want to) produce on their own. In the digital realm, however, charging is not the only option—and it may not always be the best one. Considering charging for digital content vs. granting free access, you must take into consideration what brings the most value to your consumers—and what will keep them wanting more.

When would a business be deciding between a paywall and free access?

A paywall is what you set up when you want to charge users to access your digital content. It prevents them from being able to access it until they pay a prescribed amount. Unless you establish a paywall, internet users can access your online content for free, (which may be what you want).

The digital content in question could be an individual video or video series, photography and graphics, written literature such as a news article, or even your website itself. These days, it is less likely for businesses to block an entire website. The majority of websites are not doing so, and therefore it could make them look bad compared to the competition.

Deciding between charging for content vs. granting free access is not always completely black and white. It’s a debate that has raged on since the internet’s earliest days. News outlets, for example—already part of a struggling industry—continue to waver between whether to charge for the consumption of media or to provide it gratis. In that instance, the tension exists between those who believe online users have a right to the content and those who believe they should support the organizations providing it by paying for it.

Whether or not a paywall is right for your business’ content depends on too many factors to delineate right from wrong across all scenarios. Here, we’ll look at the pros and cons of charging for content vs. granting free access to help you make a decision.

Charging for content

  • Pros
    • You make money each time a user opts to consume your content.
    • It often legitimizes your content and paints it more professionally. Think about a paid dating app vs. a free dating app. Which one do you think of as being more credible?
    • You can feel justified in providing the entire gamut of content since the user paid for it. This gives you incentive to enhance the quality of the content you are putting out there, which in turn associates your business with a quality product.
  • Cons
    • Some users will immediately turn away upon encountering a paywall. This could include loyal customers that otherwise would have patronized your business outside of the digital realm.
    • The users who do pay for your content may not go beyond that. The ultimate goal is to drive consumers to patronize your business, but if they felt that they got all that they needed from the content behind they paywall, they may not pursue you further.
    • The money you make from a paywall may not offset the money you would have made with advertisers who would rather advertise on a free site.

Granting free access

  • Pros
    • Your content will naturally garner more organic traffic. If people are not hindered by a paywall, they will likely spend more time on your site. It will also not deter already loyal customers.
    • Considering the content you are providing is more limited than what you would offer with paid access, it will drive consumers who like what they see to pursue your business further.
    • By not charging for your digital content, you may be able to justify charging more for your product or service elsewhere.
  • Cons
    • Compared to a paywall, you do not make any money for the consumption of your content.
    • Your content may be perceived as lower quality for the sole fact that it is being offered for free.
    • If your end goal is to have customers calling you on the phone or walking into your business, then you will not want to give everything away for free online. Thus, a con to granting free access is the fact that it could lower the number of actual leads approaching your business.

Your industry, the type of content you are offering, the nature of your customer base and more can all play into whether charging for content vs. granting free access will prove more beneficial for your business. In either scenario, you have specialized knowledge that you want to disseminate and that you intend to get compensated for at some point along the way—whether it is upon first access or later down the line.

If you need help deciding between charging for your content or offering it for free, the McNutt & Partners team has worked with clients in both scenarios across a variety of mediums. Contact us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

Why We Use Trello for Project Management

Organization is critical to any business’s smooth operation, but so is making sure that the organizational tools you employ are optimal for your business’s particular needs. With more than 30 clients’ social media accounts and more than 75 websites to manage, our team at McNutt & Partners had to find an efficient solution for keeping all of our tasks in a row, and the one we landed on has not made us look back since. Using the app Trello for project management, we’ve been able to efficiently outline our in-house responsibilities per client at any given time while tracking our progress and sticking to a prescribed output schedule. In other words, we would be lost without Trello!

What is Trello?

Trello is a task management app that visually organizes what you are working on and who is working on it. Trello reflects the Kanban system, a scheduling system developed by an industrial engineer at Toyota to improve manufacturing efficiency. Imagine a white board filled with post-it notes in rows according to category, and each note represents a task to be performed within that category. That’s essentially how Trello works.

Using Trello, one can assign due dates to tasks, delegate tasks to certain individuals or teams, create checklists, set reminders and even integrate the system into one’s email. Multiple people can have access to a Trello board at one time, so that an entire group can be in the know, and users can contribute their individual efforts. Trello isn’t only useful for business, but it could be used to manage personal errands, family chores or even vacation itineraries. The possibilities are extensive.

How is Trello organized?

Boards>lists>cards>card contents

Keep that hierarchy in mind. Like we mentioned, a Trello board (the name for a set of tasks, i.e. “Client Blog Schedule”) is akin to a white board with individual post-it notes representing the tasks, except that it is in digital form. A board consists of lists, which are laid out horizontally on the page so that you can easily view what is going on with your project. Within a list are cards, which represent individual projects or tasks that fall into the category of that list. Cards are movable within a list and from list to list with a simple click, drag and drop.

When you click on a card, it opens you up to a selection of functions. You can attach pictures and documents to the card, create multiple checklists, choose colored labels, add a description, assign a due date and time, designate a person to work on the task and more. You can also create Trello cards via email, which can be helpful when tasks pile up in your inbox and you need to organize them quickly.

How does McNutt & Partners use Trello?

The most use that we get out of Trello is regarding our social media and blogging schedule. With daily posts going out for 30-plus clients, keeping our schedule in an easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain format is absolutely necessary for the sanity of everyone involved—and not to mention, to keep our clients happy.

Following the hierarchy mentioned above (boards>lists>cards>card contents), here’s how our social media and blog board is organized:

>Blog and Social>(client name)>(title of blog or social post)>card contents. Within our cards, we include checklists of tasks associated with the social post or blog, attachments of graphics or Word documents needed to complete the post or blog and a due date for the post or blog.

Our Blog and Social board is not our only board, just the one that we use most frequently. We also maintain boards for website work, direct mail, overall client progress and tasks, etc.

How much does Trello cost?

Another great thing about Trello—it’s free! The free version is the one we use and includes unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists and attachments. It allows you to attach files up to 10MB onto a card from your computer, or link from Google Drive, Dropbox, Box or OneDrive. The free version also offers one Power-Up, a function of Trello that allows you to integrate other applications your team may be using into your boards.

There are two additional levels of Trello pricing, Business Class, which costs $9.99 per user per month when paid annually, and Enterprise, which costs $20.83 per user per month when paid annually. With the higher tiers, you essentially get unlimited Power-Ups, the ability to attach larger files and enhanced security, among other offerings.

Why do we like Trello for project management?

Trello is an extremely visual application that helps you absorb both the big picture and individual tasks with ease. Its user interface is simple, yet provides enough detail to cover all of your bases so that nothing should fall between the cracks when tracking progress. With the ability to add multiple people

to a board at any given time, Trello is a great tool for collaboration and accountability among team members.

If you are looking for a way to organize your life, whether for business or personal applications, Trello for project management is one that won’t disappoint.

The McNutt & Partners team 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.

 

 

How to Work Well With Your Digital Marketing Agency

The start of any relationship—both personal and professional, can come with a bit of hesitation from both parties involved. It’s a natural part of anticipating what will come next—and how each of you will react in different situations. Ideally, both sides ultimately end up benefitting one another and cultivate open lines of communication to allow that to happen. The model holds true for the relationship between businesses and marketing agencies. If you have just started to work with an agency, you may be feeling a mix of emotions—nervous about whether it will work, excited about what’s to come. There are a few things that you as a business can do to make sure that you work well with your digital marketing agency in order to get the most out of the experience as possible.

  • Make clear your businesses’ goals and needs. Your digital marketing agency wants to know what it is that you are looking for out of your relationship with them. Is your goal to optimize your website? Gain more social media followers? Drive sales to a certain demographic? Outline these goals at the outset. Also, make sure you understand your needs so that your agency can better address them. If you are in need of a way to better engage your social media followers, for example, then let your agency know so they can start working on strategies to improve your brand’s public-facing exposure.

 

  • Be responsive to the needs of your agency. It’s not as simple as hiring your digital marketing agency and saying “go.” There are certain pieces of information that your agency will need in order to get started. This includes access to your digital assets like your website and social media accounts. Be patient in getting your agency the information they need to have to be able to help you. Expect that your agency will be asking you questions both in the initial phase of your relationship and throughout the duration, and keep in mind that it only serves the purpose of helping you achieve the goals you have for your business.

 

  • Understand that your input is key. To work well with your digital marketing agency, you must understand that your agency’s ability to be effective is only as good as the material you provide them. If you want your agency to be able to represent the character behind your brand and what it stands for, then they need to understand what exactly it is that you stand for—and they won’t know that unless you tell them. For example, if you want your agency to write a blog about the history of your business, then understand that you need to provide them with the appropriate information to write that blog. You are the expert about your business and your industry, and your agency is there to put it all together in a package that is appealing to the consumer.

 

  • Communicate on a regular basis. Regular communication is critical to a healthy business-to-agency relationship. Establish a point of contact at the outset who will be the direct line for communication with your agency. This person should be easy to reach and readily responsive. Sometimes all that’s necessary is a quick text message exchange. If you think it will benefit you, schedule regular face-to-face meetings or phone calls with your agency. Discuss what has been working, what hasn’t, and review any changes you think you need to make to your marketing strategy moving forward.

 

  • Be transparent with your agency. Your agency needs to grasp the big picture in regard to your business’ operations and marketing efforts, even if they are not working on them directly. If another group is working on a project for you, then let your agency know. Also, make sure your agency clearly understand the ways that your business functions, and keep them up-to-date on new projects or initiatives you have coming down the pipeline. Doing so will help your agency be able to better support you and make recommendations.

 

  • Be open to feedback. Remember, you hired your agency for a reason, so do not get too defensive when they make suggestions for improvement. Running a business is an emotional endeavor, and it can seem off putting if another entity comes in and tells you that what you are doing is not working. However, considering the agency you are working with is a reputable one, remember that they are only offering constructive criticism to help your brand achieve the highest level of success that it can achieve.

 

  • Give feedback of your own. Don’t be afraid to offer your own suggestions! Collaboration is the name of the game if you want to work well with your digital marketing agency. You hired them because they are the experts, but you know your business better than they do. Collaboration between these two perspectives can create some exciting results for your brand’s growth and development.

Remember, your digital marketing agency is here to help, but you have to do your part in helping them to help you!

McNutt & Partners is a full-service digital and traditional advertising agency suited to meet all of your marketing needs. Call us at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

10 Suggestions for Shooting Successful Social Media Video

Video has made is presence known as the dominant species of the digital marketing realm. Video pops up on our news feeds, as advertisements on websites, in emails and texts—the list goes on and on. Its prevalence in the digital world is proof of the fact that people respond to it better than any other type of digital medium. At the start of 2018, one-third of all online activity was spent watching video. In regard to social media video specifically, it generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined!

In marketing your brand, social media video can have a tremendous positive impact on your reach, while providing existing followers entertaining and useful content that they will want to consume. Use these suggestions when shooting your own social media video to create professional content that will represent your brand well.

  • Plan your content beforehand. Your video will appear more professional if everyone participating feels comfortable with the content prior to shooting. If you have people speaking on camera, make sure they know the point they need to communicate to the audience. If your video does not involve people speaking directly into the camera, then plan out each of your shots so that you can be ready to take into account angles, lighting and sound dependent on the environment.

 

  • Pay attention to lighting. Even the best smartphone cameras can still produce grainy video quality in a dimly-lit environment. Choose well-lit settings for your video, and use artificial lighting to highlight a subject when possible, such as if he or she is standing or sitting still and talking directly into the camera. In addition, if you are doing a moving shot, pay attention to the transition between dark and light areas. Utilize natural light effectively if you can’t control the lighting where you are shooting.

 

  • Avoid reflections. Along the same lines, nothing is more distracting when viewing a social media video than having the shooter’s reflection visible in the shot. Keep this in mind if you are shooting with a shiny object, like a car or a glass panel, in the background. To keep yourself out of the shot, position yourself at an angle from the subject.

 

  • Keep your camera steady. Thinking this is easier said than done? It doesn’t have to be. Invest in a product like a gimbal for your smart phone that’s purpose is to keep the camera steady when shooting through motion. You could also get a tripod to help with still shooting. If these options aren’t available, there are ways to position your body to minimize shakiness when shooting video with a smart phone or camera.

 

  • Overlay captions. Think about scrolling through your Facebook feed. More often than not, you likely don’t turn the sound on when you are browsing social media in a public place, at the office or even at home. In fact, 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. If you don’t have to have sound in your social media video, then you won’t be missing out—so long as you include text captions that viewers can read along with. Even if you do have people speaking in your video, you should still include captions so that people in that 85 percent do not skip over it.

 

  • Speak clearly and slowly. If you do need to have speaking in your video, then enunciation and the projection of your speakers’ voices will work wonders in creating a professional product that will impress your audience. Have the speaker practice ahead of time, use plain language and choose short, clear sentences. Also, don’t rush—people tend to talk faster when they are nervous. If you are the speaker, slow down and think about what you are saying.

 

  • Use a mic for better sound. If sound is part of your video, then you will want to amplify its quality with a microphone. You can purchase a mic made to attach to your smart phone, like this one available on Amazon, or get a lapel mic that connects to your smartphone. You will especially want a microphone if you are shooting in noisy places, such as outdoors or in public, where you can’t control external sound.

 

  • Time videos appropriately. Timing makes a significant difference in how your audience will respond to your videos, and effective video lengths vary from social platform to social platform. On Instagram and Twitter, for example, videos are limited to 60 seconds or less. According to HubSpot, Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged 26 seconds, Twitter videos that received the most comments averaged 43 seconds, and for Facebook, the magic time was about one minute.

 

  • Edit unnecessary material. If your footage includes some incoherent mumbling, random people walking in the background or pauses in the dialogue, cut it out! Editing will make the difference between your social media video looking professional vs. amateur. At McNutt & Partners, we use Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing, but there are a host of editing programs and apps out there that can help.

 

  • Stream live video. Not all social media video has to be the type that is subject to the editing process. Live video benefits brands in several ways, including providing a sense of urgency for people to watch your content. It also allows followers to connect with you in a way that seems more personal and genuine, being that they know you are there in person talking to them. And when social media viewers know a video is live, they are more excited to be part of the action by interacting with it at that moment in time.

 

If you aren’t currently shooting social media video for your business on a regular basis, then now is the time to start. If you need guidance in the video production process, the McNutt & Partners team can help! Call us today at 334-521-1010, or visit our contact page.

 

Lorem Ipsum: What Is It, and Where Did it Come From?

Lorem Ipsum. Say what?

If you’ve ever looked at a website theme, a stock graphic, a pre-made page layout, etc., you’ve probably seen something like the following:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.”

A foreign language? A bunch of gibberish? What does it all mean?

The text referenced above is called Lorem Ipsum, and it is a dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry—and has been since the 1500s. It is used to fill space in a print or digital layout—the space where one’s own original copy will eventually reside.

Other common names for Lorem Ipsum include blind text, dummy text, placeholder text, mock content, filler text and Greek text, (which is misleading based on its origins—more on that below).

The idea is that a layout does not look complete without copy, so Lorem Ipsum exists to give a layout that fleshed-out appearance.

Where does Lorem Ipsum come from?

To a degree, Lorem Ipsum is gibberish, but it is rooted in a real language: Latin. The text’s origins are based on a passage from a piece of classical Latin literature dating back to 45 BC. That means that Lorem Ipsum is more than 2,000 years old!

To get specific, Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of “de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum” (On the Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero. The essay is a treatise on the theory of ethics and was very popular during the Renaissance.

However, while derived from Cicero, Lorem Ipsum itself does not actually make any real sense. It is said that in the 16th century, a typesetter was making a book to demo different fonts. He decided that the text should be nonsense so that people would focus on the visual quality of the fonts themselves rather than what the words signified. Apparently, the typesetter took a page from Cicero’s essay and jumbled up the letters and words to essentially turn it into nonsense.

If you’re curious, a portion of the text that Lorem Ipsum was derived from translates as follows:

“Nor is there anyone who loves or pursues or desires to obtain pain of itself, because it is pain, but occasionally circumstances occur in which toil and pain can procure him some great pleasure.”

What is the purpose of Lorem Ipsum?

Lorem Ipsum serves to provide the appearance of actual copy on a layout without having the viewer get distracted by what the text is saying. Since Lorem Ipsum is nonsensical, there is no chance that a person considering the look of a layout will get distracted by its context. He or she can view and consider the copy based solely on its appearance on the page.

That being said, Lorem Ipsum was designed so that it appears with a normal distribution of letters and word spacing to make it look like real, readable English. Of course, you will eventually replace Lorem Ipsum with wording of your choice in a real, readable language.

How can I produce my own Lorem Ipsum?

If you are creating your own visual layout, there are a plethora of online Lorem Ipsum generators that will create the adequate amount of filler copy that you need. Be careful, however, that you are using a legitimate source. The Latin-based dummy copy has been altered heavily over the centuries of its existence—to the point where some may include vulgar, comedic or embarrassing lines of text in the middle of a passage.

While essentially gibberish, Lorem Ipsum does serve an important purpose in terms of grasping the full picture in terms of layout and design.

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