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.

Sound Off: Exploring the Idea of Sonic Branding

You’re walking down the sidewalk on your lunch hour and a familiar tune pops into your head. Did you hear it on the radio this morning? Was your co-worker singing it? Where did it come from? The fact is, you may not have even heard it that day at all. Thus is the idea of sonic branding. A term that sounds more complex than it is, sonic branding is something that we (consciously or not) encounter practically every day.

What is sonic branding?

You know that branding involves curating a specific “look” for your business or product. Sonic branding, on the other hand, has to do with the way your brand sounds. In other words, sonic branding refers to creating auditory associations with your brand for consumers. It employs the power of sound and music to help consumers make connections with your brand.

Sonic branding can exist in multiple formats, from fully-produced jingles and theme songs to signature sounds that involve little more than a few notes on a keyboard.

The idea is that when people hear your sonic brand, it will stay top of mind. There’s a good case for it to do so, as 45 percent of the population are reportedly auditory vs. visual learners.

A few familiar examples of sonic branding

The best way to illustrate sonic branding is to look at a few examples that you are likely already familiar with.

Visa

Visa uses a recognizable two-note signature that is not only used in the brand’s advertisements, but in a million points of sale across 25 countries when people use Visa’s “Tap to Pay” function.

MasterCard

Another major credit card company, MasterCard, recently debuted its new “sonic brand,” explaining the phenomenon in a YouTube video that describes how the sound will be used. In the video, MasterCard states:

“It’s the sound equivalent of our iconic red and yellow circles. From the music you’ll hear in our commercials, to the acceptance sound while shopping, our unique melody will reinforce our brand every time a consumer interacts with MasterCard.”

MasterCard goes on to say that its sonic brand will be adapted for use across several platforms, as well as geographically to appeal to various consumers.

NBC

Some examples of sonic branding existed before the term was even coined. The National Broadcasting Network (NBC) boasts a familiar three-note chime that dates back to the 1920s. It originally consisted of seven notes when it was developed in 1927. By the early 1930s, it was shortened to the three notes that we know today.

McDonald’s

Beyond just sounds, jingles fall under the umbrella of sonic branding. Think about “Da, da, da, da, da! I’m lovin’ it.” Even without the words, McDonald’s widely-known jingle is one that most of us could pick out of a lineup. It’s become so familiar, in fact, that it’s gone through several iterations that vary by musical genre.

Why is sonic branding effective?

Music is a universal language that can be spoken and comprehended across all cultures in spite of idiomatic differences. Thus, it’s a powerful way to connect with various audiences while reinforcing brand identity.

It’s something we can all attest to—just think about sonic branding the next time a jingle or theme song gets stuck in your head! Just like visual associations with brand insignia can be strong, so can these auditory connections.

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.

 

 

Why We Use Cloudflare for Website Security

The internet can be a scary place. Among a web of unregulated content, you want your site to be as secure as possible. That’s where we come in—with the help of Cloudflare! Here’s a little more about why we use Cloudflare for website security—and what it means for your digital assets when you work with us.

What exactly is Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is a cloud service providing (among other things) CDN, web application firewall, DDoS protection, and managed DNS services. In other words, their services make websites that use its platform faster, more secure, and more reliable.

Cloudflare is one of the leaders in the web security space. According to their website, they are “one of the world’s largest cloud network platforms.” Their users include some of the largest companies, institutions, and web brands today. These include Discord, IBM, the Library of Congress, Reuters, OkCupid, and many more.

Let’s break it down further

There are four overarching categories that Cloudflare serves to enhance. These include performance, security, reliability and insight, as outlined on Cloudflare’s website. Under the umbrella of those categories, it seeks to:

  • Accelerate internet applications
  • Enhance mobile experiences
  • Ensure application availability
  • Protect against the risk of DDoS attacks
  • Prevent customer data breaches
  • Block against abusive bots
  • Provide a reliable, innovative infrastructure
  • Integrate with and augment popular analytics services

Why do we use Cloudflare for website security?

Here at McNutt & Partners, we use various parts of Cloudflare’s services (from security to domain registration) for virtually every website, app, and other service we manage.

We use Cloudflare for web security for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is its world-leading DDoS protection. A DDoS, or distributed denial of service, is a type of attack in which computers and other devices from around the world (often malware-infected “zombies”) flood a server with garbage traffic. They do this in an attempt to render it inaccessible to legitimate users. Cloudflare has enormous network capacity and sophisticated mitigation techniques. This allows them to absorb and discard most DDoS attacks without the performance of the website being affected.

In addition to its DDoS protection, Cloudflare’s web application firewall provides a layer of protection against a wide variety of attacks. These attacks would attempt to inject malicious code into or steal sensitive user data from websites.

The service’s different plan levels allow us to tailor the level of protection to the needs of each site we manage. For many of our websites, Cloudflare’s excellent free plan is exactly what we need. This includes their performance-boosting CDN (content delivery network). Cloudflare’s global CDN caches copies of static files like images, stylesheets, and JavaScript files. It then serves them to end users from locations worldwide, instead of the single source location of the website itself.

Why is website security important?

Security is a critical consideration in all websites and apps in 2019. Not all aspects of security can be shored up with a service like Cloudflare (for example, strong passwords and two-factor authentication for administrative user accounts). However, Cloudflare does form an important part of our defense-in-depth strategy.

Armies of bots and humans with tools are constantly scanning the internet, looking for opportunities to deface websites or inject malicious code to steal user data like credit card information and more. Cloudflare helps protect against those bad actors, sometimes preventing them from even being able to reach the site they’re trying to attack. We value the security and privacy of our clients and every one of their customers, so we use Cloudflare to help protect them.

Summary

The fact that we use Cloudflare for website security means that our clients’ sites remain protected to the best of our ability against the threats of the internet. In what can sometimes seem like the Wild West, we seek to help keep order.

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.

 

 

 

 

The Actual Influence of Online Reviews on SEO

Nothing beats word-of-mouth when it comes to generating business leads. In the digital climate, word-of-mouth translates to online reviews. Statistics reveal that people are more likely to make a purchase when their fellow consumers have recommended a product or service. In fact, 93 percent of consumers say online reviews have affected their purchasing decisions, according to Podium. Positive online reviews not only help in terms of influencing consumer decisions, but also in terms of SEO. The influence of online reviews on SEO is one that you’ll want to pay attention to—and here’s why.

The main point

Search engines like Google rely on online reviews to help manage search rankings. That means that the influence of online reviews on SEO is a direct one. According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews make up 10.3 percent of overall SEO ranking factors. In other words, search engines want to show you results that other consumers have ranked highly.

Here are a few more specifics regarding the influence of online reviews on SEO.

Prioritizing consumer opinions

Search engines trust consumer opinions in making their ranking determinations—and why shouldn’t they? It’s validly a more neutral opinion than what a business says about itself. Good reviews signal to Google and other search engines that your business is legitimate—and that people are responding positively to their interactions with your business and/or products. That being said, it makes sense that Google would want to rank these businesses higher than ones with poor reviews—or with no reviews at all.

Voice assistants are also getting in on the action. When searching for the “best” type of business in a given location, Google equates “best” with those businesses with high ratings. For example, “Best coffee shops in midtown Atlanta” would yield results from highly-ranked coffee shops in that area.

More reviews, more traffic

It’s simple—the more reviews a business or product has, the more traffic is going to pages associated with your brand. Traffic is another driving factor in SEO. Search engine algorithms see active pages as ones that they should prioritize higher in the ranking. Again, this goes back to trusting consumers. If consumers think a page is viable enough to frequent, then Google will think it more viable as well. And what attracts people to your pages? Positive reviews that will help them make buying decisions.

Reviews educate search engines

Search engines are regularly crawling the internet to reassess their rankings. When people create content about your business and/or product(s), they are helping to educate search engines on what your business and/or products(s) are all about. The explanations, descriptions and keywords contained in review copy help point search engines in the right direction in terms of knowing how to categorize (and rank) your digital assets.

Search results and review sites   

When we talk about online reviews, where are we looking? Some of the giants of the online review world include Google My Business (leaving a review on a Google listing), Yelp and Facebook. On Amazon, product reviews are also obviously king. With an abundance of reviews, your listings on these actual sites could come up in search results for your brand (or keywords related to it).

Summary

The influence of online reviews on SEO is apparent. After all, it’s the word-of-mouth of the internet! The more you have people positively talking about you online, the better chance that search engines will follow suit.

Learn more about collecting local reviews for your business. Or, read more about responding to existing business reviews.

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.

 

 

Online Linguistics: Exploring the Origins of Internet Slang

Since humans first started communicating with one another, the nature of language has always been determined by both ability and situational need. Ability, meaning the means through which people are able to communicate. Situational need, meaning the way humans communicate depends on what they need to communicate in a given situation. Since the internet became a dominant form of communication, it has exposed humans to a whole new world of online lingo. From abbreviated expressions of emotion to new words entirely, internet slang shines in today’s linguistic spotlight. The origins of internet slang, however, may have more to do with past forms of media than we may realize.

Internet slang’s predecessors

When looking at the origins of internet slang, we have to consider its communicatory predecessors: TV, phone and radio. In 1937, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials developed the “ten codes,” for radio for the sake of brevity. For example, “10-4” means “message received.” Among other places, the ten codes are used by both law enforcement and truck drivers on CB radios, where CB slang is a language all its own.

Another example from radio is “FYI,” which was in use long before its presence on the internet. FYI, standing for “For Your Information,” was the name of a breaking news radio program in the 1940s.

In regard to telephones, think about 4-1-1, the number that pre-Google was used to dial for information about listings in a local directory. That evolved into the phrase, “Give me the 4-1-1,” which translates to, “Fill me in on the latest info.”

Then, on TV, some words created and popularized by various shows have become official dictionary entries. For example, the word “cowabunga” first appeared on “Howdy Doody” (1947-1960) and was further popularized via “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1987-1996). Another, the official word “d’oh,” an interjection used to express dismay when something has gone amiss, comes from everyone’s favorite cartoon dad, Homer Simpson. It was added to the dictionary in 2001.

LOL and beyond

The internet’s barrier to expressing physical emotion (especially before the era of FaceTime and Skype) has much to do with the origins of internet slang. In the 1980s, people used constructions like *smiles* or *shrugs* to indicate emotive action.

By 1989, “LOL” had surfaced. The phrase signifies “laughing out loud” and is still used today. It has even translated to speech to express that something is funny, as people say “LOL,” well, out loud. “LOL” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2011.

And things evolved from there. This Mental Floss article outlines “16 Old School Internet Acronyms” that came from a Web usage manual from the 1990s—many of which might be foreign to the majority of us. Other favorites from the MSN and AOL messenger days include “G2G” (Got to Go), “BRB” (Be Right Back) and “TTYL” (Talk to You Later).

Like we said, many of these have since been given the boot by the internet, as new generations of internet users have devised their own ways of talking online. In fact, to present some of today’s commonly-used internet slang words here would likely only serve to date this article, as internet speech seems to evolve as quickly as people are able to trade messages online.

Categorizing internet slang

Though specific lingo gets dated quickly, the categories into which we can place internet slang are more constant. As the internet became more widely used in more diverse capacities over the past two decades, the language of the internet expanded to match. When considering types of internet slang words, most fall under one of these categories.

Acronyms

Perhaps the oldest form of internet slang, this evolved out of a need to type fewer words while conveying the same message.

Ex: “OMG” for “Oh my god!” “NSFW” for “Not safe for work,” “TL;DR” for “Too long; didn’t read,” “TIL” for “Today I learned”  

Acronyms to express action  

A subset of the first category, these acronyms express an action indicative of emotion.

Ex:  “LOL” and “ROFL” for “Rolling on the floor laughing”

New words inspired by tech

New technology yields the need for new words.

Ex: Social network, Tweet, trending, selfie, meme

Combinations of existing words

Along the lines of new words comes combinations of two existing words.

Ex: Cyberbullying, clickbait, photobomb

Short phrases

Sometimes less is more. Such is the mantra of this category of internet slang.

Ex: “I can’t even,” and “All the feels”  

The future of internet speak

From the origins of internet slang to the future, the rules will remain the same that language will be dictated by technological ability and necessity. If we’ve come this far in the past couple decades of mainstream web use, time will only tell what’s to come as trendy lingo fizzles out and new slang takes its place. Though some argue that internet speak is “dulling down” the English language, the other side of the coin suggests that it is in fact enriching it—not taking away what was there, but only adding to our communicative fodder.

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.

 

 

10 Takeaways from AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 Report

Whether we acknowledge it consciously or not, advertising is a phenomenon that is all around us—all the time. Driving to work, checking social media, watching TV—ads are everywhere in our daily lives. Though competition is stiff, there are some brands that come out on top when it comes to ad spending. Each year, AdAge releases a report revealing the United States’ biggest advertising spenders. The 64th edition, AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 Report showcases the top 200 advertising spenders in the nation. Here, we’ll look at some key highlights. 

The top 10 

We’re not going to try to list all 200 of the brands listed in AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 Report, but here’s a look at the top 10 (numbers reflect total U.S. ad spending 2018 in millions): 

  1. Comcast Corp; $6,122
  2. AT&T; $5,362
  3. Amazon; $4,470
  4. Procter & Gamble Co.; $4,305
  5. General Motors Co.; $3,139
  6. Walt Disney Co.; $3,132
  7. Charter Communications; $3,042
  8. Alphabet (Google); $2,960
  9. American Express Co.; $2,798
  10. Verizon Communications; $2,682

For the entire list, click here. 

Total spend has increased 

In total, the top 200 brands spent $163 billion in 2018. That’s a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year. 

Internet vs. retail

Internet ad spending topped $106 billion in 2018, which was a significant 15 percent increase over 2017. On the other hand, retail ad spending decreased 7.1 percent, rounding out at $15 billion total. 

Big spender 

Though it appears at number 100 on AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 report, Facebook experienced the biggest spending increase in 2018 of any advertiser on the list. The social media giant increased its ad spending 236 percent in 2018 to reach a total of $475 million. Among the top 200 advertisers, 125 increased their spending in 2018. 

Geckos making gains 

Based on that headline, can you guess which was the most-advertised brand in the U.S. in 2018? According to AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 Report, Geico was the most-advertised brand with $1.5 billion in U.S. measured-media spending. 

The king of household advertising 

Number four of the 200 top spenders is Procter & Gamble Co., headquartered in Cincinnati. Procter & Gamble was also the biggest household product advertiser, comprising 53 percent of that ad market in 2018. Procter & Gamble is responsible for brands like Tide, Downy, Crest, Luvs, Pampers, Bounty, Charmin, Pantene, Febreeze—the list goes on. 

Ride share rivals 

Uber ranked number 67 on the top 200 spenders list compared to Lyft’s 134. Uber spent approximately $701 million on U.S. advertising in 2018 and $1.3 billion worldwide—11.5 percent of its total revenue. Last year, Uber’s rival Lyft spent 16.3 percent of revenue on advertising. This year, its total U.S. ad append was $345 million. 

Streaming yields spending 

Streaming service Netflix ranked number 44 with its $1 billion spend in the United States in 2018 ($2.4 billion worldwide). The number marks a 70 percent increase over the previous year, making Netflix second to Facebook for overall spending increase. 

Taking it back to TV

Speaking of kicking back on the couch, TripAdvisor stands out on this year’s list for cutting its overall ad spending in 2018. Ranking number 160, the travel brand reduced the amount it was spending on online leads and increased its ad spending in the TV sector. 

Internet ad spending reigns supreme 

Among ad spend categories, internet came out on top at $92.4 billion in 2018, followed by TV ($68.2 billion) and then radio ($17.6 billion). Internet is expected to continue to dominate in the next few years, as it is projected to account for 53.3 percent of U.S. media ad spending in 2021. 

AdAge’s Leading National Advertisers 2019 Report not only gives us insight into what’s happened over the past year, but also helps to forecast where we’re heading in the ad industry. 

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. 

7 Benefits of Digital Billboards

Outdoor advertising has gone hand-in-hand with capturing the attention of drivers for decades. Also called out-of-home advertising (OOH), this form of marketing to the masses involves conveying a message on a large scale—in this case specifically, we’re talking about billboards. However, the static billboards of the past are slowly being supplanted by a more effective form of OOH advertising—digital billboards. The benefits of digital billboards have to do with speed, efficacy, cost savings and more. 

OOH advertising is thriving 

Before we get into the benefits of digital billboards, it’s worth mentioning that OOH advertising in general continues to grow. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), OOH ad spend is on an upward trend, having seen a growth rate of 1.9 percent in 2018 with a projected growth rate of 2.5 percent in 2018. The OAAA also says that out-of-home advertising was second to digital media in terms of growth from 2017-2019. These figures include digital billboards as part of the overall OOH category. 

The benefits of digital billboards

Digital billboards are allowing advertisers to take their messaging to new levels of efficiency. Here are a few reasons why: 

 

High visibility 

Digital billboards are taking priority over static ones, and as a result they typically exist in some pretty prime locations—like high-traffic intersections. High traffic means more people viewing your ad—and the digital format attracts more attention than billboards’ printed counterparts. 

Quick turnaround 

Need a message out there quickly? Digital billboard ads can be uploaded in a matter of hours. Previously, it took weeks to get a print poster up on a billboard after it was created. Conversely, just as it’s easy to get a digital ad out there, it’s easy to stop it when you no longer want it to run, which helps with time-sensitive material. 

Easy to edit 

If you need to make a change to your advertisement on a digital billboard, it’s as easy as it was to upload it the first time around. Switch out one photo for another, update event time that may have changed, reflect a reduction in price—this ability to make quick changes is included in the benefits of digital billboards. 

Multiple messages 

With traditional billboards, you’re stuck advertising the same message—all day, all night, for weeks or months on end. Digital billboards give you the ability to target your messaging to specific times of the day or specific days of the week. For example, if you have a Friday sale, you can set the ad only to run on Fridays. If you are a restaurant advertising breakfast vs. dinner specials, you can set those ads according to the time of day. From another perspective, multiple messages means multiple advertisers being able to showcase their content in the same space. 

Cost effective 

Another great thing about digital billboards? No printing required! That fact alone makes digital billboards far more cost effective than traditional ones. Going back to our first point, cost effectiveness also has to do with the fact that digital billboards will be seen in the most high-traffic areas, meaning more eyeballs on your content. 

High quality 

Don’t worry about weather damage or printing quality with digital billboards. As long as you’ve provided a high-resolution, well-designed ad, the quality should remain consistent thereafter on the digital screen. 

Space for creativity 

Versatility is another among the benefits of digital billboards. The possibilities extend from fixed images to motion graphics, video and more. Digital billboards already stand out against the backdrop of the natural landscape, but adding moving elements to your ads can take that to another level. 

Digital billboards have made OOH advertising not only more affordable and accessible, but also more engaging and entertaining for consumers. Need help designing your next digital billboard ad? 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. 

Comparing Facebook Boosting vs. Facebook’s Ads Manager

Nearly all social media platforms offer some means of paying for posts to be seen beyond organic reach—and Facebook is no exception. If you’ve ever seen the “Boost” button to the bottom right of a Facebook post, that is one way of doing so. One question that we’ve heard frequently from clients has to do with Facebook boosting vs. Facebook’s Ads Manager. What’s the difference between the two? What does one have to do with the other? Let’s break it down. 

The simple answer 

In a phrase or less, the answer is this: Facebook boosting is just another ad option in addition to those you can create in Facebook’s Ads Manager. Therefore, the two are not mutually exclusive—think about boosting as an option under the umbrella of Facebook ads as a whole.  

Let’s break it down a little further. 

What is a boosted Facebook post?

A boosted Facebook post is a post to your page that you have paid to reach a higher number of Facebook users—beyond the platform’s organic algorithm. A boosted post allows you to target your audience based on a plethora of factors—from age, gender and location to interests, careers and education.

The boosted post will appear as a “Sponsored” post on the news feed of people who see it. When you boost a post, you select three essential factors: 

  • The audience you want to target
  • Your budget for the course of the ad
  • The length of time you want to run the ad 

So, is a boosted post an ad? Yes. In fact, they appear in Facebook’s Ads manager so that you can track progress for the duration of the campaign. The difference is, they are not created in Ads Manager. Facebook basically gives you a shortcut to promote a post by placing the “Boost” button right there on the post. 

What is Facebook’s Ads Manager?

Facebook’s Ads Manager is a platform through which Facebook guides you in creating ads for your page or content. Again, boosted posts are considered an “ad,” and therefore their tracking information appears in the Ads Manager; however, there are more customized types of ads available for creation in Ads Manager beyond boosted posts. 

When creating an ad in Ads Manager, Facebook prompts you to choose an objective. Do you want more website views? More page likes? More app installs? From there, you are guided through the process of creating an ad. 

One difference when comparing Facebook boosting vs. Facebook’s Ads Manager involves placement. When boosting a post, you can select whether you would like the sponsored post to show up in places like Instagram and Messenger in addition to Facebook Newsfeeds, but the ads you can create in Ads Manager go beyond that. Placements available within Ads Manager include side ads, Instagram stories, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Suggested Videos—the list goes on. 

This theme of specificity within Ads Manager continues in terms of ad formats. Within Ads Manager, you can create carousel ads, single images or videos, collections and more. Further, within those formats you can select various call-to-action buttons, headlines, link text and beyond. 

Facebook boosting vs Facebook’s Ads Manager—which should I use?

The answer depends on what you are trying to achieve. Boosted posts are an effective way of encouraging audience engagement and attracting attention to your page (and therefore, your brand). However, if you have more specific goals in mind, then Ads Manager offers a world of opportunities for trying out different formats, placements, further audience customizations and more. 

Need help creating and managing your Facebook ads? 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. 

Celebrating America: 10 Products That Are Still Made in the USA

America’s holiday is just around the corner—and as we gear up for the Fourth, patriotic sentiments are in ample supply. From grills to guitars, America is a proud producer of many of the goods we use and consume on a daily basis. Here, we’ll highlight 10 products that are still made in the USA as we prepare to celebrate American independence this week. 

Gibson Guitars

There’s nothing more American than rock ‘n’ roll! Orville Gibson began making his guitars in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1894. Gibson guitars are products that are still made in the USA, but now they hail from Nashville, Tennessee and Bozeman, Montana. Gibson produces approximately 2,500 guitars each week, which are made mostly by hand. 

Weber Grills

Independence Day is the ideal time to get grilling on your American-made Weber grill. Weber has donned its iconic rounded-shaped grill since it was first designed in 1952. That’s when George Stephen Sr., an employee at Weber Brothers Metal Works in Chicago, came up with the idea for a dome-shaped grill after being inspired by the marine buoys the company was manufacturing. With the exception of some of its gas models, Weber makes its grills in Palatine, Illinois.  

Airstream Campers

Who wouldn’t want to travel cross-country in an aluminum beauty like an Airstream? Not only are Airstream campers products that are still made in the USA, but they are also the oldest among luxury trailers in the country. Wally Byam came up with the idea for a portable camper in 1921, when he added a tent on top of a Model T. Eventually, the Airstream as we know it was born and stood the test of time even through the World Wars and Great Depression. Production takes place in Jackson Center, Ohio, where you can take a two-hour tour to see just how Airstreams are made. 

Igloo Coolers

Hot summer days and cold drinks on ice go hand-in-hand, thanks to products like American-made Igloo coolers. Igloo has been producing coolers in the United States since 1947, when they were first designed in a small metalworking shop. Today, they are made at its factory in Katy, Texas. Igloo offers more than 500 products at hundreds of retailers around the world. 

Lodge Cast Iron Skillets

Anyone who’s cooked with cast iron knows its captivating culinary qualities. Lodge cast iron skillets date back to 1896 when they were invented by Joseph Lodge. Lodge first opened The Blacklock Foundry, later to be renamed Lodge Manufacturing Company, in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Having succeeded through the World Wars and Great Depression, Lodge’s family still runs the company today. 

Crayola Crayons 

Crayola crayons to construction paper was every kid’s calling, thanks to these products that are still made in the USA. Crayola’s flagship factory is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, also home to the Crayola Experience. The Crayola brand was born in 1903 when company Benny & Smith noticed a need for safe and affordable wax crayons in schools. The name Crayola comes from “craie” (the French word for chalk) and “ola” (for oleaginous or oily). 

Budweiser Beer

There’s no doubt that Budweiser’s red, white and blue branding is as American as it comes. Though Budweiser is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev of Belgium, the beer is still brewed in 12 U.S. breweries across 11 states. Anheuser-Busch’s legacy started when founder Adolphus Busch came to St. Louis, Missouri, from Germany in 1857 and started working at a brewing supply company. Busch married the daughter of one of his clients, Eberhard Anheuser, and the rest is history. 

Louisville Sluggers

It’s America’s pastime, and it’s also all in the name. Bud Hillerich made the first pro-baseball bat for Pete Browning, whose nickname was Louisville Slugger, in 1884. According to Louisville Slugger’s website, “The 134-year history of Louisville Slugger all started with a 17-year-old playing hooky from work and choosing baseball over butter.” (You’ll have to read to find out the rest). The baseball bats are still made in Louisville, Kentucky to this day—though they are now produced by Wilson. 

Burt’s Bees Products 

The recognizable yellow branding cultivates a sense of comfort for these American-made personal care products. Born of a 1984-era friendship between Maine artist Roxanne Quimby and roadside honey vendor Burt Shavitz, Burt’s Bees boasts the idea that your body deserves the best nature has to offer. Burt’s Bees is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. 

Slinkys 

A set of stairs and a Slinky meant hours of entertainment as a kid (and even still today). One of the most successful toys in history, the Slinky was coined by naval engineer Richard James in 1945—and it came about as an accident. James was originally working to invent springs that could keep ship equipment steady at sea. Slinky is now owned by Alex Brands but is manufactured in the same facility in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. It now resides in the National Toy Hall of Fame. 

Feeling patriotic yet? We sure are! Happy Fourth of July 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. 

An Overview of Google’s Pay Per Click Ads

In the vast chasm that is the internet, having your brand’s content seen is key—and not just seen, but seen by the right audience. Pay per click (PPC) advertising is a form of marketing where the marketer pays a specified amount of money each time a web user clicks on the advertisement in an effort to drive traffic to websites. Pay per click is a function available on a variety of platforms including social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but it is primarily used on search engines like Google. Here, we’ll look at Google’s pay per click ads, called Google AdWords.

What is Google AdWords?

Ever type something into Google and see those results that appear at the top marked “ad”? Those are the results of Google’s pay per click ads, aka, Google AdWords. Broken down, the ad is a headline, description and link that will appear when people search for certain keywords associated with your ad. The idea is to help you reach people who are searching terms related to your business.

For example, if someone searched “chiropractor in Auburn,” then a Google AdWords listing that an Auburn chiropractic clinic set up could appear there. The clinic would have set a budget, and a portion of that budget is used every time someone clicks the link. As Google says, you “only pay for results, like clicks to your website or calls to your business.”

Google’s pay per click ads can also appear in other formats, such as image ads, mobile ads and video ads. By default, search campaigns also appear on Google’s Display Network, placing your ad alongside relevant websites, YouTube videos, mobile apps and in Gmail. The Display Network serves to, “help you capture someone’s attention earlier in the buying cycle,” and just like when your ad appears on a search, you only pay for clicks or other actions taken, not per impression.

Why use Google AdWords?

Google’s pay per click ads better your chances of being seen beyond organic reach. It can be difficult to come out on top organically, especially when you are dealing with multiple competitors. Here are a few other benefits of Google AdWords:

  • It’s a cost-effective way to drive qualified leads to your site. You set the budget, so you only spend as much as you want to. It’s also free to start an account.
  • You can control the appearance of your search result listing. Having more control allows you to craft your targeted messages more specifically.
  • You have access to tools that measure the impact of your Google AdWords campaigns. The tools track factors like how many times your ad appeared in search results, how many users clicked on your ad and more.
  • You can edit and readjust your ads at any time to test what works best. This includes your budget—you are not locked into a contract.
  • Google offers a free AdWords Keyword Planner that can help you search for and select keywords related to your business.

Getting started

When you get started with Google’s pay per click ads, you are essentially bidding against other advertisers for keywords. Here are a few steps for getting started:

  • Make a list of keywords you would like to bid on. Make sure they are relevant to your business and desired audience.
  • Choose a landing page. Your homepage is not always the best landing page for your ad. Sometimes a purpose-built landing page is best. If you’re building a campaign around a limited-time offer, for example, you may wish to create a landing page with links to all the relevant products, or categories, that the offer applies to.
  • Write engaging ad copy. Your copy will need to attract people to click on your ad. It also contributes to your Quality Score, which (along with your bid) contributes to your ranking.
  • Launch and track your ads. It’s a good idea to have multiple running at once so you can test them against one another.

Using Google’s pay per click ads is an effective way to drive traffic to your website beyond the confines of relying on organic reach. 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.

 

 

 

25 Marketing Terms Defined

A/B, B2C, 1-2-3—what does it all mean? Any industry jargon can leave a novice feeling like he or she just consumed a big, confusing helping of alphabet soup. But that’s OK. After all, if you’re not immersed in it every day, why would you be an expert? If you’re trying to broaden your understanding of the marketing world, we’ve narrowed down a few good-to-know marketing terms defined.

A/B Testing

The process of comparing two marketing strategies with one single variable changed between each. A/B testing serves to show which methods perform better than others.

Backlink

A link on a website that leads back to another site.

B2B (Business-to-Business)

A term assigned to companies that sell goods or services to other businesses. For example, McNutt & partners is a B2B agency.

B2C (Business-to-Consumer)

A term assigned to companies that sell goods or services directly to consumers, such as Apple or Amazon.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate can apply to both email and your website. The email bounce rate indicates the rate at which emails were unable to be delivered to addresses on your list. The website bounce rate refers to the number of web users who visit a site and leave without clicking on anything.

Call-to-Action

Any sort of messaging that encourages potential customers to complete an action, which could include clicking a link, signing up for an email list, or visiting you in store. Learn more about crafting a succecssful call-to-action.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Typically represented as a percentage, the CTR is the number of people who click through one section of a website or marketing campaign to another.

Content Management System (CMS)

A web-based application that manages digital marketing content, such as content for your website or social media.

Conversion Rate

A percentage of people who complete a desired action in a marketing campaign, such as registering for an email list or filling out an online form.

Cost Per Lead (CPL)

The total cost of acquiring a lead through marketing efforts.

Digital Marketing

Any marketing that relies on internet-based means to target a specific audience. This includes email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing and more.

Engagement Rate

A social media measurement that indicates the amount of interaction on a piece of content. Engagement includes likes, shares, comments and link clicks.

Inbound Marketing

The practice of attracting, engaging and retaining consumers in an effort to build trust among brand followers. Inbound marketing involves cultivating content that people actively want to consumer rather than paying to put a brand in the public view.

Infographic

A digital graphic that includes a combination of visuals and text grouped in an easy-to-consume format. The idea is to portray complex material in a visually engaging manner.

Keyword (Keyphrase)

A word or phrase on a web page or in a blog post that will be indexed by search engines for the content to appear in search results. The keyword or phrase should be one that people would naturally type into a search engine.

Landing page

Typically a single-page website used specifically to generate marketing leads. The landing page serves to promote a special offer or product, for example, making it easier to track leads when comparing visitors to the landing page vs. visitors to a main website.

Lead

Speaking of leads, a lead is a potential customer for a business—one that has expressly showed interest in a product or service in some way. This expression of interest could be in the form of visiting a website, engaging on social media or even calling a business.

Mobile Optimization

Formatting digital assets, like websites, to be responsive to use on mobile devices.

Pay-per-Click (PPC)

A form of marketing where the marketer pays a specified amount of money each time a web user clicks on the advertisement. It is used to drive traffic to websites and is associated primarily with popular search engines like Google.

Responsive Web Design

A response to web design that plans for sites to automatically optimize according to the way a user is viewing the website. For example, the site recognizes the device on which it is being viewed (desktop vs. mobile, for example) and responds accordingly.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practice of poising digital assets to rank higher in search engine results. A multitude of factors go into determining a website’s search ranking. SEO involves recognizing those factors and improving those that are within control.

Traditional Marketing

Refers to forms of marketing outside of the digital realm, including print, radio, television, out-of-home advertising and more.

URL

The address of a web page. It stands for Uniform Resource Locator, but is more commonly known as a web address. It specifies a web resource’s location on a network and how that information is to be retrieved.

User Experience (UX)

The overall experience customers have with a brand. It can include everything from users’ particular emotions associated with using a specific product to their attitude toward a brand in passing.

User Interface (UI)

The means through which users control software applications or hardware devices. Good user interface provides an intuitive, user-friendly way for people to experience what they are controlling.

Though these marketing terms defined are only some of the multitude of relevant lingo out there, it’s a least a better start to understanding references you may hear from others or read about online. For a more comprehensive evaluation of your marketing efforts, contact McNutt & Partners at 334-521-1010 or visit our contact page.