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Digital Marketing Download: There’s an App for That

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There is an app for everything these days, and now there are apps that help improve other apps. From revamping Instagram, to making You Tube kid friendly, these apps have got you covered.

Get all the details in this week’s Digital Marketing Download:

Introducing some new players to the #digitalmarketing download. Are they here to stay?

A video posted by BLASTmedia (@blastmedia) on

 

A New App Revamps the Instagram Experience. SwipeMy.Pics is a new Web app designed to let you view Instagram in a way that concentrates only on photos. The app eliminates ads, likes, comments, hashtags and captions, allowing you to focus one the images alone. It also lets you to swipe through photos and even zoom in, which is something that you can’t currently do on Instagram.

Google Launches ‘You Tube Kids,’ a New Family-Friendly App. Google has launched an app with little ones in mind. You Tube Kids automatically filters content specifically to family-friendly videos, channels and clips. Children can search sections such as shows, music, learning and explore. The app also comes with parental controls and timer settings.

Google is Piloting Sponsored Results for App Searches. Google is offering app developers a new way to promote themselves. They have plans to pilot sponsored search results in Google Play. Sponsored ads will include an orange ad tag and will direct you to an app instead of a website. This will help users discover new apps, while driving additional ad revenue for Google.

Stay on top of the weekly news with our Digital Marketing Download by following BLASTmedia’s Instagram.

how marketers leverage snapchat

3 Easy Ways Brands Can Leverage Snapchat

Posted by | Marketplace Chatter, Social Media | No Comments

Snapchat, the mobile application for sending photos and videos, made waves last week with the announcement that it is seeking a new round of funding that would value the company as high as $19 billion.

$19 billion.

If you haven’t yet paid attention to the social giant, then hopefully that was your cue to ship shape and hop on board if your target market includes teens and millennials. But how? 

Brands like ESPN, National Geographic and Yahoo News have dished beaucoup bucks for a feature spot on the Snapchat Discover page. Although costs for this Snapchat prime real estate will inevitably fall, and there are opportunities for branded Our Stories and Snapchat influencer marketing, there are still other ways to have your brand seen within the app.

Brands like Red Dress Boutique and Karmaloop have learned to leverage Snapchat without big budgets by delivering succinct, yet effective messages first to their core audiences, then relying on their content to drive (dare I say it?) a viral following. Here are four ways current brands are driving interest and engagement on Snapchat:

  • Coming soon. Showcasing an upcoming product, look, or service offering through Snapchat rewards your current fan and user base with the inside information. Sharing this news with your current brand evangelists not only fuel their love for your brand, but also makes them a true ambassador by encouraging their connections to follow you on social media platforms for equal opportunities and early insights. Check out how Red Dress Boutique shares their new lines with followers – it’s easy and involves ZERO design work:

red dress boutique snapchat

  • Coupon codes. What can be better than getting a sneak peek at the next SKU or color wave of your favorite product? Savings for said favorite product, of course! Brands can leverage Snapchat by utilizing a 24-hour coupon offering (think “once this snap is gone, so are the savings”), or if part of a larger marketing initiative, call attention to a custom URL and track session duration and site purchases for a measurable impact.
  • Company culture. Your consumers want to know the names and faces behind their favorite company. Humanize your brand with team members’ top picks or shots from around the office. The more creative and engaging, the better! Bonus points for brands who call on their followers to share, then cross-promote their UGC on other social media channels to drive additional engagement!

Some say Snapchat is the new television. If you’re overwhelmed by its potential and how the popular app can be part of you digital strategy, contact Lindsey Groepper for additional information!

Skippable vs Non-Skip Video Ads | The Digital Download

Posted by | Digital Advertising, Digital Marketing, The Digital Download | No Comments

In our second episode of The Digital Download, the BLASTmedia team dives into the key features and the future of digital video ads. Join us as our digital advertising team takes a look at how traditional media is evolving and leading into new, unique digital video ad campaigns. We’ll discuss some of our favorite campaigns, and provide new ideas for future ad strategies. Our digital video experts also talk about what makes successful Skippable or Non-Skip video ads before discussing the future of Facebook Video and how it can be successfully used for future campaigns.

BLASTmedia thaws winter cold with hot client coverage

Posted by | Blastmedia Clients, Client Successes | No Comments

Feb-media-coverage-BLASTmedia

The month of February delivered some weather that has some of us at BLASTmedia packing our bags for warmer locales – and the rest of us trying not to hate on our luckier colleagues!

We know we’re not the only one’s struggling with the cold. From Boston to Nashville, a big chunk of the country is frozen.

Fortunately, there’s nothing that warms our hearts more than earning coverage for our clients during this winter blast. Our strategic, campaign-based outreach continues to help the brands we serve connect with their targets, and pique the interest of top-tier media.

Here are a few of our hottest hits from recent weeks:

FOX news featured Pelican’s rugged bags in a story spotlighting the top tactical Valentine’s Day gifts for men, and also recommended Pelican cases in its roundup of high-tech gear to help consumers prepare for the next big storm.

New online dating service SparkStarter – which promises to help singles find romance, with a little help from their friends – was highlighted in VentureBeat on Valentine’s Day.

Wasp’s State of Small Business Report attracted the attention of Inc., resulting in a story exploring why employers are finally starting to hire again. Wasp’s report was also called out in Intuit QuickBooks’ Small Business Center’s piece, “Why 2015 is poised to be a great year for small business.”

Finally, SMS Audio’s new BioSport was included in the print March issue of Men’s Fitness (circ. 576,626) in a tech feature on “dapper trackers” – fitness monitors as stylish as they are useful.

MensFitness

Are you ready to launch your own sizzling media relations campaign in 2015? Contact Lindsey Groepper, and find out how BLASTmedia can help.

Digital Marketing Download: Digital Advertising Updates, Musical Snapchats

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Pump up your digital advertising game while you blast music in your Snapchats! We’re talking about creative and insightful Snapchats with 50 Cent bumping in the background… come on!

Get all the details in this week’s Digital Marketing Download:

YouTube Makes A Move Against Brand-Sponsored VideosYouTube clarifies a standing ad policy to block “graphical title cards.” That means sponsors can’t promote brands and products on YouTube channels without Google getting a piece of the money. To get the same sponsorship and brand awareness, you know need to use YouTube’s paid product placements.

Facebook Ads Get SmarterDigital marketers can jump for joy as Facebook announced Product Ads, a smarter version of their advertising platform. This new, automated process will pull from brand’s product catalogs to create ad campaigns with recommended targeting based on user’s interests and whether they’ve already been to the brand’s app or website.

And, drumroll please…

You Can Finally Play Music While Recording Your SnapchatsIn another Snapchat update made to make you more creative, the social network announces the ability to add bump and grind music (or any other kind of music) to your Snapchats! The update is said to cut out middleman app, Dubsmash and even rival some of Vine’s capabilities.

Don’t miss any of the latest digital marketing news! Read the weekly news on the BLASTmedia blog and follow us on Instagram.

201405-BLASTmedia-Blog-ProgrammaticAdvertising

Is programmatic the only strategy a CMO should explore?

Posted by | Digital Advertising | No Comments

If you know anyone who works in marketing (or, to be frank, can read), it’s a fair assumption you have heard of programmatic advertising – digital advertising’s current flavor of the month. Those who offer programmatic are touting themselves as the future of digital advertising, and those who don’t offer it are quickly figuring out how they can integrate programmatic into their current offerings.

If you were to ask 10 people what programmatic advertising was, you would most likely get 10 different responses. A small number of digital advertisers actually know how to implement a successful programmatic campaign, a larger number have a general understanding of how to implement a successful programmatic campaign, and the largest group of digital marketers have no clue how to execute but are buzzword bingo masters.

Per AdAge, the simple definition of programmatic ad buying is any ad buy that gets processed through machines. At a higher level, it is the automation of buying digital inventory and optimizing for top-tier results. Within the digital advertising landscape, programmatic ad buying is the closest thing to traditional ad buying that exists. This is why a large increase in ad dollars is being spent within the programmatic space.

On paper, having an algorithm make split-second buying decisions based on past successes seems like the logical choice. It eliminates the need to have multiple employees reviewing your digital advertising spends in the moment they are happening and allows for employee resources to be used elsewhere within the process.

However, brands that strictly spend money through programmatic ad buying are going to fall short of their marketing goals. At this time, agencies offering the opportunity to blend programmatic with humanized ad buying are going to deliver the highest ROI. While on a national scale programmatic can deliver high-level results, localized or regional campaigns can suffer without a human element. As outlined in the adidas retail sell-through case study, utilizing multiple platforms and understanding how the sales funnel works is important when considering how to deliver your brand’s best ROI.

Filling the top of the funnel with general brand awareness campaigns, then nurturing those leads with a middle-of-the-funnel engagement campaign before hitting them with a heavy call-to-action campaign focused on increasing sales is a road map for sales funnel marketing. Knowing that programmatic is a good way to fill the top and middle of the funnel, the question remains: How do you convert that into sales? This is where a good agency that blends programmatic and humanized ad buying will obtain the best results.

Wondering if you are getting the best ROI from your digital advertising campaigns?

As brands consider their marketing strategies for 2015, the importance of a trusted digital advertising strategy is crucial. With tried-and-true sales funnel methodology from the digital advertising space, BLASTmedia can meet any of your digital needs. If you are looking for help achieving your digital advertising goals, BLASTmedia can help – contact Lindsey Groepper for more information.

Digital Marketing Download: Facebook Updates, Twitter Acquisition

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Are your Facebook ads HOT or NOT? Okay, so it’s not a matter of swiping left or right, but Facebook is now straight up ranking your ads 1 through 10 in hopes to optimize targeting relevancy and lower ad costs. Noble Facebook, very noble.

What other tweaks and turn of events happened in the digital landscape this week? Check out our digital marketing download:

#DigitalMarketing Download: #Facebook updates and #Twitter acquisition

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  • Facebook Adds A New Way To Sell Items In Groups. The addition of a new feature for Facebook Groups was released on Tuesday designed to make it easier for members of a “For Sale” group to list their items. The new “Sell” feature allows members to easily create a post and set a price and pick-up/delivery location. Bring on the in-laws for sale jokes!
  • Twitter Acquires Niche, a Talent Agency for Social-Media Stars. Cha-ching! Twitter’s acquisition of Niche Project Inc. will help users of the social-media company’s Vine video service get advertising revenue from the short clips they produce. Sounds like Twitter wants a piece of the New Hollywood pie!
  • Facebook Starts Telling Brands How Relevant Their Ads Are to Viewers. Facebook will now tell advertisers how relevant their ads are based on a 1-10 score. The platform update will also tweak less relevant ads to become more relevant, potentially boosting the ad’s performance and lowering its price. This move appears to be the latest way Facebook is trying to get a grip on the firehose of content flooding people’s news feeds, according to AdAge.

Get your kicks on BLASTmedia’s Route 66 of digital marketing. Check out the lay of the digital land each week, right here.

How to Start a Career While You're Still in School

How To Start Your Career While in School

Posted by | Just For Fun, Marketplace Chatter | No Comments

Considering the competitive job market, it’s never too early to begin thinking about your career. What do you want to accomplish during your college years? Who do you want to become? Setting yourself apart from the crowd, while still juggling a full schedule and social life is difficult. So, we’re here to help! Below are a few tips to getting your career started while still in school from a fellow college student in the middle of her career hunt.

  1. Utilize social media: With social media being so dominant in the present generation, every college student should utilize the free tools given to them. If you enjoy writing, consider starting a blog. Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, whether personal or professional, so that employers can catch a glimpse of who you really are. LinkedIn is also another free resource that young professionals should use. From LinkedIn, you can connect with many professionals in your field – as well as join groups to stay informed about different companies. Let’s not forget Twitter and Facebook. Both sites give you great ways to keep up in the news and your industry of choice. Be careful though, everything you put on social media can be seen and you would not want future employers to see you as unprofessional. For Facebook specifically, consider only friending professionals that you’ve personally connected with in person and always double check your posts before pushing live – nothing turns a potential employer off more than those late-night check-ins at your favorite college hangout.
  1. Dive into your school resources: No one can prepare you more for the real world other than the individuals who actually teach the information. Whether it is a liberal arts professor or a professor in your specific field, get to know them. Professors are great secret weapons for college students. Your professors have been in fields similar to where you want to be and have contact lists larger than an average phonebook. Utilize the knowledge they share and get connected. Another resource to consider is your university library. Reading various studies or books cannot only strengthen your vocabulary, but it can provide knowledge in areas you may have never researched before. Enhancing your knowledge and never ceasing to learn only makes you further well rounded and prepared. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors to facilitate mock interviews, or ask them out for coffee where you can pick their brains about getting started after graduation.
  1. Send thank-you notes: Whether you meet someone for the first time or you visit a company for one day, always write personal thank-you notes. When you take time to write a professional thanking them for his or her time, they tend to always remember your act of gratitude. Right after an interview, I will always send a thank-you note. Emails are fine, but personal letters seem to be a hit with professionals. Regardless how long or short the note is, everyone enjoys being appreciated.
  1. Internships, internships, internships: If you have not heard it once, you have heard it a million times. Starting sophomore year, every student should start searching for internships. As a young professional, a factor that makes you look credible for the job you desire is if you had past experience doing similar work. As soon as you can, get your name out in the open and start searching for internships that may interest you and that are still available to apply for. Some professionals will say that their internship led to a full-time job. That does not always happen, but you may get lucky! The best internship advice is to start connecting yourself with professionals. Networking is the key to landing the internship you desire. From personal experience, mentors of mine have been key players in giving me great introductions to people at companies I want to work at. Point blank: utilize all the special connections you have.
  1. Challenge yourself and set goals: Have you ever came across the expression, “If it doesn’t challenge you – it won’t change you?” If you never push yourself, it is likely that you will not get the results that you were hoping for. In the midst of challenging yourself, set specific goals too. Whether you want to accomplish working at a widely recognized company or you hope over 50 people will read your next blog post, set goals that will challenge you. 

Want to learn more about how to start your career while still in school or what internship opportunities are currently available at BLASTmedia? Get in touch with Meghan Matheny for more information!

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