March 7, 2014
Happiest Birthday wishes to our Research Analyst, Eugen!
Eugen is our go-to for research (and just about anything) from our office in Romania. From outreach to pitches, there’s nothing he can’t do and we simply don’t know what we’d do without him!
March 7, 2014
In recent years, the increasing popularity of social media has turned it into an important marketing tool. So whether you use it to create brand awareness, engage with your consumers or attract new ones, social media presence has become almost essential for any business.
There are many social media platforms you can choose for your business. Besides Facebook and Twitter you might also want to consider Pinterest. Why? Pinterest has become the online content sharing platform with the fastest growth which offers great opportunities for your business.
First of all, it allows you to showcase your products urging the consumers that love your brand to Like or Repin your posts. This way you increase your brand’s visibility.
Moreover, Pinterest has the ability to drive traffic to your website. Pinterest works on an internal sharing system so each time somebody repins an image, it carries with it the original link to your profile and product page.
Finally, it converts this traffic into sales. Statistics show that many users have purchased a product after pinning it. Also, Pinterest shoppers are willing to spend more money compared to Facebook and Twitter shoppers. (Source: www.richrelevance.com)
Considering these facts, Pinterest seems to be the perfect tool to use for your business, especially if you have an e-commerce aspect to your site Pinterest is often used for shopping inspiration, tracking and product discovery. This means that if I go on Pinterest and create a board with design ideas for my new home, chances are that I really want to buy those products. By having the external link anchored to my pin, I can easily click and get to the product that I want.
Another important feature of a Business Pinterest Account is the free analytics tool. This option helps you track your activity. You can find out how many people are pinning from your websites, seeing your pins or clicking your content.
Pinterest has the potential to grow more exposure for your business, increase your sales and engage with your consumers for free. Why not give it a try?
March 6, 2014
Today we’re talking to our Media Director, Inga! See what she has to say to our crazy questions below:
- What is your job title & responsibilities?: Hi there, I’m the Media Director at AY Digital. My day consists of wrangling in new and exciting online media opportunities for our clients, working with the creative team, social team and a lot of other fun project management shenanigans.
- What website do you use regularly that you think more people should use?: That’s a tough one since I use about 10+ websites daily! If I had to really pick one, it would be General Assembly. This website has great online courses for anyone looking to get into the media and technology fields as well as anyone already in these fields who want to learn new & valuable skills to advance their careers. I’m a big fan of the “online class” format which gives working professionals the ability to learn at their own pace without breaking the bank.
- You have 3 words to make our readers cringe. Have at it.:
- I’m cringing while typing this. MOIST.
- Irregardless (not even a real word, stop using it people!)
- What is your favorite picture of all time? NO SELFIES: My grandparents’ wedding photo from 1947. Who said people in advertising don’t have feelings? Just proved you all wrong.
- Aliens have contacted earth, you’re asked to write a message to them. You have 140 characters, what do you say?: Greetings frnds we come in peace lets conquer the galaxy together & drink lots of amazing wine tell us secrets of the universe k thx bye
March 5, 2014
Sunday night, Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres officially broke records for the most retweeted post in the history of Twitter! Within the first hour of her impromptu group “selfie” with front row Oscar stars- she received over 1.2 million retweets. She later announced she received an email from Twitter saying it temporarily froze the website.
To be able to create that much engagement within minutes is a clear example of how social media has completely changed the game. It allows for fans and viewers to feel like they’re involved in real-time. Social media has officially created a way to connect two separate worlds, opening doors fans and stars never imagined possible. What Ellen did on Sunday shows us the immense power of social. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon folks- if you’re not with it get with it!
March 4, 2014
Writing about writing is not easy. Even if you have been doing it for years, you learn new things every day. Writing to be informative is not enough these days. Writing detailed articles is a big no-no! The attention span is getting shorter and people are scanning, not reading. So read on to see how I got you to do just that.
On one side writing is fun. There are good days when words just flow and ideas come together. But, on the other side, it’s a lot of hard work. You always have to come up with interesting articles about older subjects seen from different angles. Besides this, online you have to do it at high speed.
Sometimes, writing for an online magazine is a risky lottery. You have to get good at it fast. You have to think up articles, research, and convince people to read and feedback. Here is where things get complicated: a lot of articles depend on social media.
Writing for an online magazine doesn’t stop at the last full stop. You have to find the perfect pictures or videos to illustrate your articles. You have to learn the basics of Photoshop. Then you have to try your luck with sharing your work on Facebook or Twitter with the right catch phrase.
People say that media manipulation is something new. Seeing the main picture, drawn in 1913, things don’t seem so modern, do they? We are all letting ourselves manipulated. It’s a vicious cycle when journalists and advertisers depend on clicks provided by you, the reader. By the way, thank you for reading.
If it is not shared, it’s dead online. You have to come up with interesting subjects, but you have to write about them so everybody can relate. Everything depends on the click, the share, the like and the tweet.
There are “ever green” articles. General ones which you can write over and over again, adding ideas based on some new study. One day carbs are good, the next day they are a common evil. And then there are new articles. Today something is newsworthy. Tomorrow you won’t know what to do to get your brand promoted online.
Welcome to the dark side. We don’t have cookies, your browser does, but we will keep you informed, entertained and you will join, don’t be naïve. You will learn at least one new thing with each article. This is a promise. Information will become knowledge which will turn into experience. It’s all about connecting the dots and knowing what news presents to unwrap.
March 3, 2014
Thanks to the continued advancement of our beloved smartphones, the need for an expensive camera is dying out for the everyday photo taker. You may or may not be aware, but there is a collection of applications that take you beyond Instagram filters, giving you more control over the editing capabilities on your smartphone.
So, today we’re sharing some of the top apps that will help you “cheat” your way into being a respected smartphone photographer.
1. VSCO Cam
VSCO CAM is for the hipster photographer. It gives you that faded, tastefully vintage look. You know, the look where you try really hard to look like you’re not trying? It has your standard enhancement features but also offers an array of less intense filters that give just enough “art” to your photo.
PICFX is a slightly more advanced application. It offers several booklets of photo filters to choose from. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. The great thing about PICFX is that it allows you to control the intensity of your filter whereas with Instagram and VSCOCAM the filter is what it is. In addition to being able to control the level of your filter choice, you can add layers and additional filters on top of each other to achieve your wildest photo editing dreams.
SNAPSEED is for those who mean business. You can do everything you can do in the above applications, plus 100 things more. It may be more than you need. However, if you’re really into the Iphoneography and want to have as much control as you could possibly have without being on your computer- this app is for you. On top of standard features, filters, intensity adjustment; this app allows you to choose focal points in your photograph to apply edits to. If you feel that your sky is too bright, then you can highlight the sky and adjust only the sky. It’s a pretty incredible feature. Snapseed also gives you more control over standard features; it allows you to manage enhancements individually by percentage of intensity, as many times as you want. If you’re into complete control- this is an app you want to look into.
These three apps are our top three when it comes to smartphone photography. In addition to these, consider looking into OKdothis- it’s an app designed to feed you ideas for your next photo shoot. People get on and share their concepts with the world to help inspire fellow photographers. It’s a writers block source for photographers!
There, now you know all you need to know to have the coolest Instagram feed out of all of your friends. Start impressing.
February 26, 2014
CPC, CPA, CTR and a whole host of other alphabet soup acronyms can measure a successful ad, but they can’t create one. There is a major difference between impressions and impressing and it’s often found in the content not the analytics.
Proponents of a hard scientific approach to advertising can tell you with who, when and where an ad is successful, not the what, why or how. Those last three “unknowns” are where the content of the ad come in to play and where a 300x600 banner becomes more than a checked box in an excel sheet. It’s where we find the truth in advertising.
The truth is that vision is more important than hindsight.
The vision for an ad is formed with research, continues with insights, begets overthinking, invites second guessing, empowers gut feelings, and strengthens tenuous connections. Once you can see the forest for the trees, you inevitably mutter “of course” because the irrefutable truth of a well-crafted ad is difficult to find but easily identified.
(Via Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This by Luke Sullivan)
Many of those other headlines could have run with that ad, but none of them fit as well as Bill and the motorcycle. Now, those who love three letter acronyms may have you run all of the headlines above and allow real-time-optimization to suss out the truth. The problem with this is in the impressions they’ve bought and paid for. You have one chance to make a first impression and if it’s with a half-baked idea, it’s going to hurt your brand. Especially if you’re a new brand. Your name and logo will be filed away with a quip about girlfriends rather than your product becoming one with man. This categorization isn’t quantifiable by analytics; it only becomes clear on social media.
The measuring sticks fall short when it comes to emotional and behavioral responses to ads. It’s why so many advertisers are happy to just run anything, look at the numbers and then run some more without studying the heart of the ad and its success - which are undeniably intertwined. Social media takes the true feelings of an audience and dials it up to eleven. There is cutting vitriol, unwavering fandom and an almost primal instinct to be heard (and to show off a bit). That’s a recipe for enough truth to feed the entire advertising world. You can gauge the success and truth of an ad when it’s being quoted, shared, adapted, altered, repurposed or - if the gods be good - turned into a reaction GIF.
There are now some new tools trying to measure the resonance of a brand on social, but they will never be automated because what formulas can’t compensate for is the intent or emotion in a user’s post or the heart and truth of an ad.
February 25, 2014
The number one question all marketers had to answer since Social Media started was:
“What’s the ROI?”
And as diligent, good marketers we tried to explain it every way we could.
In the beginning a lot of buzzwords were thrown around: “it’s agile marketing,” “it’s all about consumer engagement,” “it’s collaborative,” “the synergy will be great,” we said and clients stared blankly back at us.
Now the question is not asked as much, maybe because social media became the norm and people know it’s an essential part of the business, or maybe because no answer satisfied their questions and they stopped asking it. Or maybe because for many of them the sheer number of people using social media was enough to convince them they needed social as part of their concoction of marketing services.
One thing that I always explain people who ask that question is that social media is like dating someone. You don’t always remember what they said, but you remember how it made you feel.
And here are some examples, of people, brands and fake funny accounts making you feel all sorts of things:
Scared for humanity:
February 24, 2014
While looking for inspirations on various projects, our design and development team look to the World Wide Web for ideas and trends that we love. I personally enjoy a website that can tell a story and take you through various pieces of information but keep you interested and not just looking at stats. You need to be able to display to the user key details about your product without losing their interest. The GMC Sierra website does exactly that.
You scroll through a visibly appealing story completely describing the trucks and its top features. You have the option to view its interior, exterior, technology, and the details that they’re really trying to sell you on. You go through a tour of the car, from inside and out and the whole time you’re following its story. This is as close to a commercial without actually being a commercial as you’ll find. Oh, and they use submarines, helicopters, fighter jets and the hoover dam to reference the Sierras key characteristics. Check out the site.
February 21, 2014
Today we’re talking to the latest addition to the NY office, our Accountant, Irene!
1. What are your job responsibilities?:
• A/R Management:
• Invoicing clients on a timely basis (within 3 days of new project being signed up)
• Collecting payments from clients on a timely basis (less than 45 days past due)
• Managing Accounting system and CRM system to maintain current and accurate figures for
• Maintaining general ledger and balancing general ledger on an ongoing basis
• Preparing weekly reports for CFO: Weekly Cash Flow and Weekly A/R, Invoice and Payments
A/ P Management
• Calculating payroll
Calculating and managing Accounts Payable payments
• Reconciling all operational bank accounts
General Finance Responsibilities
• Aiding in all internal and external audits
• Aiding in annual tax preparation
• Management Insurance policies – Finance and Legal
• Maintaining historical records
• Complying with Federal, state and Local legal requirements
• Contributing to team effort by accomplishing related results
2. What’s your social platform of choice? Why?:
I enjoy Facebook because I am able to keep in touch with many of my friends, colleagues and etc. plus I like playing the Candy Crush game/etc
3. What’s the last thing you did for the first time?:
Received my Berlay certification for Rock Climbing
4. If you were a soup, what kind would you be?:
Chinese witch doctor soup which my grandma makes I can only say it in Cantonese…
5. Pepsi or Coca-Cola?:
February 14, 2014
Somewhere in the giant black hole of the digital universe millions of numbers and letters swirl around much like stars in our galaxy. This flying data is unseen to us humans but makes up the very language that API’s (Accessible Programming Interface) use to talk to one other. When you share your Facebook status to Twitter or post your Instagram photo to Tumblr, believe it or not there is no sorcery or magic beans involved. Snippets of code begin a line of communication between their API sources and pass data back and forth all day, every day, for as long as we all post.
These API’s exist in any situation where you can access your data from another source, such a mobile banking or ATM’s and are the basis of data infrastructure uniting information across the world. To us, the API is something we rely on daily especially for those us in advertising and marketing fields; our client data can be used to predict future consumer behavior and tell us a trending story about the existing user base and target demographics.
API’s in the past few years are becoming more open and accessible to regular every day users who can use this information to build applications on top of applications, acting like developers who have an established data source to work with. The developers behind the controversial check-in services website “Please Rob Me” simply accessed the API of a location based server (e.g. Foursquare, Facebook) and aggregated streams of user check-ins to their homes. Note to readers: don’t check in to your own home and share the address.
The API data stream usually connects to other sources through code that explicitly tells it what information it wants to receive and in what format it should be provided in. Here is an example of API language at work:
And so if you have some spare time on your hands, feel free to access some open API’s and commence machine communications. Happy coding!
February 13, 2014