The Content Management System that drives your website, an open-source or a custom proprietary CMS, is an important decision that requires much consideration and can have effects on your business long after the decision has been made. The choice between an open-source and a custom proprietary CMS elicits strong reactions from both sides’ and many blogs have been written. These differing opinions can create a lot of confusion over what choice you should make in choosing a CMS. This article hopes to explain the similarities and differences of open-source and custom proprietary CMS without the bias that many web developers who are committed to a single platform may have.
Becoming a brand superstar takes a bit more effort than before. Your online reputation matters to consumers, but it can seem daunting to tackle by yourself. So, grab your notebook and pen and let’s start learning how to best manage your online reputation.
After many weeks spent in isolation, the travel fanatics of the US are heading out once again. While many of these adventures would typically entail thoroughly planned cross-country travel or flights that span the globe, the more recent travel trends these past few months indicate quite the opposite.
SEO or search engine optimization can help your customers find you. Everyone is online now (more than likely watching way too much Netflix and eating way too many snacks) so it is time to make sure you are accessible. There are new ways to do that every day with SEO.
Spending time with your closest friends and family are moments to be cherished.
To do just that, months ago my wife, Kendra, and I (and another couple) planned a St. Patrick’s Day weekend getaway. We had so much fun at McHenry’s Shamrock the Fox (River) last year that we decided this was the year to finally take in the world-famous Chicago St. Patrick’s Day parade. In the world of #cancelled, our plans were obviously derailed. After talking to our friends, Amy and Greg (famously known as Sparky), we decided to do a staycation before the virus hit the Peoria area. (Obviously, we’re now in hunker down mode out of respect of CDC warnings and our fellow human beings – that means you!)
The easily consumable format of podcasts fits well into our busy lives. We hardly ever have to turn our favorite hosts off, whether we’re home, in the car or at the office. In fact, fans of the medium spend on average over six hours listening to podcasts every week. A reported 80% will finish all or most of each episode when listening.
Can You Measure Experiences?
Measuring return on investment is a marketer’s way of proving their efforts bring in results. While there are equations and metrics that offer ways to calculate ROI for traditional and digital advertising efforts, what about the growing popularity of using experiential marketing instead?
As of July 2019, there are over 3.5 billion people globally using social media, according to Hootsuite and We Are Social’s latest installment of their 2019 Global Digital Statshot report.
Uninterested in reading the full 107 slides of information? Check out some of our biggest takeaways.
Instagram announced the total number of likes and video views are being removed for some users in select countries. The experiment is currently rolling out in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan and New Zealand, with no current plans to expand public.
Product placement was one of the most subtle forms of advertising, but it’s growing popularity may be turning it into more of a distraction than a seemingly natural choice.
Video marketing can be an effective way to catch a consumer’s attention. Creating clips of content can aid in brand promotion, sales efforts or brand awareness and engagement in a more interactive manner than print advertising.
Companies often dedicate staff solely to producing electronic newsletters and marketing email strategies. But there are so many brands proliferating in the ever-expanding email world, how does your brand stand out in the clutter of email? Over half of consumers state they delete brand marketing emails/newsletters without opening. Just 13.6 percent state they open all of them. How can your brand create marketing messages that stand out in this clutter and get opened?
Remember how excited you were to discover that your favorite movie had a sequel? Do you also remember how justifiably angry you were when it failed to meet your expectations? Well, rest assured that this part 2 won’t break your heart. In fact, we want to better enable you to identify, categorize, and obtain the necessary skills to improve user experience (UX as it’s commonly referred to).
TV isn’t dying, it’s evolving. Here’s how OTT Services & Connected TV has changed the traditional media landscape and how you can use it to your advantage.
Videos have changed dramatically over the past decade. In 2019, people can shoot videos on their smartphones that are higher quality than some of your favorite childhood television shows. Attention spans are shrinking, and video production is improving. With the changing marketing landscape, it’s important to utilize your resources wisely and create impactful content.
What if you thought of your brand not as a thing but as an experience? And what if you translated that so your customers and potential customers could soak it in too? It’s called user experience, and it makes a huge difference in how and if people interact with your brand.
Brand consistency takes you beyond the hard sell and provides a perception of quality and professionalism that adds to your brand equity in immeasurable ways. While the old adage is “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the reality is that we all do just that — starting with our first look at a brand. That’s the power of a brand — and the importance of consistency. So how do you make sure customers open your cover and turn the page?
In honor of National Video Game Day, we wanted to highlight one of our members who knows a thing or two about video game creation. Check out how Dave took a passion project and made it into an out-of-the-box marketing tactic.
News flash: Consumers trust influencers more than celebrities or ads. What’s an influencer? Those titans of social media, measured by their followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and their own blogs. With an influencer, it’s as much about a persona as it is about a brand. Now how can you capitalize?
You probably already know about ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliance requirements for your building and your services (ramps, railings, closed captioning and more), but did you know your website should also be ADA compliant?
We’re not talking about putting railings on your computer, but rather making it easier for those with disabilities to access your website, find out more about your products and services and otherwise engage with your organization. The fact is, like installing a ramp to improve access to your building, enhancing your website for ADA compliance is good customer relations.
If you want to brand or rebrand, all you need is a new logo, right? Some colors, some fonts, maybe a tagline if you’re feeling frisky, slap it on anything and everything and you’re good to go…aren’t you? Not so fast, because a logo isn’t a brand. A logo is PART of your brand, yes. But your brand goes farther, and developing it takes more than color and letters.
You’ve likely experienced information fatigue yourself – so imagine how your customers feel, being pushed and pulled and inundated with sales and product pushes from every side, more than ever before. From search engines and native placements to social media and apps, it takes more effort and creativity to connect with customers.
Think all those words and pictures and stories and relics and redos and revisions you undertook while developing your website are just that - rubbish? Nay, your digital sawdust is far from useless. We can use it to build more content, and then still more content, to expand your audience, increase your page views and build your brand. After all, you can have the greatest content in the world, but if no one sees it, it doesn't matter. What's in your sawdust?
Set it and forget it may be a life hack for a lot of things but – SEO isn’t one of them. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a must-have when you launch a website, but what you may not know is that the best SEO takes some care and maintenance to keep it robust. Did you know the top spot in Google results gets over 36% of all clicks, but number 2 only gets 12.5%? SEO matters, and you can’t stay at the top without it. SEO is your site’s 24-7 sales rep!
The old Visit Mason City Welcome Center display was informational with some interactive displays. However, it didn’t really stand out to guests passing through the center.
What the heck is HTTPS – and why should I care? It’s a question our clients are asking more and more, thanks to more and more buzz across the web.
As human beings, our attention span has shrunk to 8.25 seconds – less than that of a goldfish! Is it any wonder microsites and branded blogs are reporting increased conversion rates of up to 200%? These little workhorses are quick, not-so-quiet secret weapons. So why don’t you have one?
Has your web development firm said those three little letters to you yet? S-E-O? if you’re building a website you’ve likely heard it more than once. But did you know SEO is more than making sure your site is at the top of the search results? So how does Technical SEO differ from a total SEO approach – and why should you care?
Digital Advertising—it’s more than just “the new hotness.” If you’re a business owner, marketing manager or business professional, then you know that digital advertising is no longer optional if you’re trying to reach consumers. From smartphones to tablets and streaming video sites, digital has become THE cost-effective means to reach potential clients. Yet, as essential as it is, the details of a digital campaign still remain murky for many advertisers. This is why many businesses rely on digital agencies for guidance. Here are four points that you should keep in mind when crafting a campaign with your advertising partners:
If you’re thinking trade show marketing starts on the show floor, you’re only half right. Effectively leveraging a trade show presence does make a huge difference – 38% of attendees say visiting a booth impacts their intent to purchase – but with 64% of trade show visitors being new customers, pre- and post-show marketing takes on more importance than ever before. So how do you stop traffic?
What if we told you 40% of the population has over $44 BILLION in buying power? In about five years, that could be tripled. Meet Generation Z. That’s the name coined for the up-and-comers following behind the Millennials.
Going hunting today? If you’re like most of the McTeam, you’ve made Pokémon Go your go-to partner for lunch. And breaks. And happy hour. And…
Is your site mobile ready (i.e. as beautiful on a phone or tablet as it is on that mammoth desktop monitor attached to a computer)? We could spout all kinds of statistics about why it should be – like nearly 70% of Americans own a smartphone, and 45% own tablets. And 71% of Americans use two or more screens daily to view content. But we thought you’d like to hear it direct from the experts themselves – so we asked our developers what goes into mobile design. Here’s what they said.
Quick, pull out your marketing plans for the last three years. How many repeated strategies and tactics do you see? Are you simply changing the year or making a couple swaps and calling it good? Or are you moving with your customers?
More than a buzzphrase, “buzz marketing” first took flight a handful of years ago and is already being taken to new heights. The idea is simple: Leveraging word-of-mouth to drive traffic and increase sales. The executions are where things get interesting, and where any brand can find inspiration:
Turns out styling does matter when it comes to websites. Purists want to believe it’s all about that code, but in reality, code and styling go hand in hand. To ensure that your web site works on any size or type of screen, touch screen or desktop, it needs to be responsive. Responsive design futureproofs your web site, so no matter the next great gadget (Apple Watch anyone?) your site looks great on any screen size.
Whether you know it or not, PR is a critical part of your business. What’s more, that old adage, “Any PR is good PR” is simply untrue… especially in sensitive industries like healthcare and finance. In fact, it’s best to help shape the narrative before your audience (or another organization) does it for you. By carefully crafting a message that is promoted (online, broadcast or in print), you can consciously affect the way your business is perceived. And, if you’re not already making PR a priority, you may be your own worst enemy by making these common mistakes.
It’s a D-D-D-Digital World. And it’s also 2015, so that doesn’t only mean e-mail and websites – that’s the tip of the iceberg, especially if you’re targeting a younger crowd. How? Here are two of our favorite up-and-coming tactics:
Second only to “Should my business have a Facebook page?” the most common question we get from our clients is, “How do I get the most out of my Facebook page?” While we could pontificate ad infinitum on the benefits of social media, the importance of an effective social media strategy, knowing your target audience, choosing the types of posts you make and in general just being a savvy social media strategist… we know, nobody got time for that. So, we generally boil it down to the basics. Here are our favorites, in no particular order.
Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials), Generation Z – they’re the ones driving the future, but how do you drive their spending? Reaching the digital generation takes savvy, creativity and flexibility. Much like the generation itself. Where do you start – or click?
Have you heard? Google changed its search algorithms – again. The buzz is that mobile-friendly websites are the new darlings of the new algorithm, and pundits are speculating that this could lead to an implosion of small business websites that aren’t quite up to snuff on their smartphone friendliness. Truth or fiction?
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So when someone promises you whiz-bang SEO (top rankings! #1 on Google!) at a bang-up price, it’s time to do more than raise your eyebrows. It’s time to search out an SEO firm that walks the walk with real-world results and strategies that succeed. What do you ask them to find out if they’re more than a sassy e-mail?
You got the 4-1-1? (Insert hipster slang voice here.) It’s hard to know if you aren’t mapping out your social media and treating it like a real part of your marketing strategy, rather than the red-headed stepchild your boss’ grandson works on when he’s home from college or interning twice a week. Social media can seem deceptively easy: Click, post, tweet, voila, visibility and you’re done! But if you don’t have a calendar, how can you know if you’re following the 4-1-1 rule to be successfully social?
In a testament to our virtual world and the accompanying seemingly unstoppable popularity of video, consider this: 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Think about that: Over 4 days’ worth of video each minute of each hour of each day. 4 DAYS of video. Now, will your customer sit down and watch 4 days of video about your product or service? Heck no. But, if you can capture even a few minutes of time, estimates say that after watching a product video viewers are as much as 85% more likely to buy. And that doesn’t even account for the intangible brand awareness that comes with non-product videos.
Got a ho-ho-holiday hangover coming off the most wonderful time of the year? Feeling like you missed the window for social media advertising? (After all, holiday shopping generates the most hits for social media advertising.) Fear not, seasonality isn’t limited to end-of-the-season holidays when it comes to social media. So how do you know when to plan your hits? If your budget won’t allow for a continuous presence year-round, consider some other key peaks in clicks.