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Rachel McMullen

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Brand Storytelling: Skip the Stereotypical Ad — Not the Story

Posted by Rachel McMullen on August 21, 2017 at 10:42 AM

It's estimated that about 200 million people use ad blockers and nearly everyone with internet access will press "skip ad" as soon as they have the chance. This is why telling your story is more important than ever. You should be what consumers want — don't get in the way of it.

Logos, slogans, and images are all effective at connecting with a target audience and leaving a lasting impression. But these assets all gain value when they are fully integrated with the brand's larger narrative.

Because of its reach, digital marketing has been especially helpful to the rise of brand storytelling. With ads and marketing content taking many forms across many channels, marketers face an ever-growing need to unify this content under the banner of a larger, consistent theme/brand. The brand's story serves as a natural solution, providing a direction for ad and campaign creation while laying the foundation for a branded experience that can grow and evolve over time.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy

3 Reasons Why Brand Colors Are More Important Than You Think

Posted by Rachel McMullen on November 16, 2016 at 11:12 AM

When brands are looking at crafting broad marketing campaigns, a lot of effort, research and resources are poured into things like ad text and calls to action. However, there's one facet that's so obvious many marketers miss it completely: color.

Ogilvydo posits that because color evokes instantaneous emotions, reactions and physical responses, it can have a profound influence on the choices consumers make (even unconsciously), which is why this seemingly insignificant element of display ads can have an outsize impact on conversions and, ultimately, your bottom line. Here's why brand colors are so important.

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Topics: Interactive Design & Creative

Follow the Pumpkin Spice Trend and Be a Seasonal Sensation

Posted by Rachel McMullen on October 5, 2016 at 11:13 AM

Autumn has always been associated with warm colors, cooler temperatures and the beginning of sweater season, but in recent years, another icon has come to dominate this time of year: the pumpkin spice latte. This drink first came on the scene in 2003, and in the decade+ since, it's become a seasonal phenomenon, with sales upwards of 200 million units in its first ten years, according to Forbes — not bad for a drink that's only available for about three months a year. While thoughts of the pumpkin spice trend may bring to mind the warm fragrances of nutmeg and cinnamon, there's actually a lot that marketers can learn from this unlikely autumnal icon.

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Topics: Social Media Marketing, Integrated Marketing

Are Animated Banner Ads Still on the Move?

Posted by Rachel McMullen on August 10, 2016 at 11:19 AM

There are a lot of myths about banner ads out there. While we've already debunked a few of these, today we'll turn our mythbusting sights specifically to animated banner ads. It's impossible to browse the internet for very long without seeing them, but does animation really make banner ads better? Surprisingly, the answer is no. Here are three reasons why:

Flash Is Dead

As far as support and compatibility are concerned, Flash has been on its way out for a long time. Though banners that use Flash-based animation are easy to create, they isolate quite a large audience right off the bat. Adobe has created Animate, which is friendly with all browsers and devices.

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Interactive Design & Creative

Spring Clean Your Marketing Campaigns

Posted by Rachel McMullen on April 7, 2016 at 11:39 AM

Creating a marketing campaign is a lot of work. After months of research, A/B testing and seemingly endless promotion to get it up and running, it's reasonable to want to rest a little bit and reap the rewards of a campaign well executed. But don't get too comfortable. Marketing campaigns aren't just "set it and forget it"; they require continual maintenance to make sure you're always connecting with your base in meaningful ways and reaching as many new customers as possible. While you might not need a complete overhaul just yet, here's a spring cleaning checklist you can use to spruce up your campaigns as the last of the winter chill melts away.

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Topics: Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Interactive Design & Creative

Increasing "Contact Us" Form Conversions on Your Site in 5 Easy Steps

Posted by Rachel McMullen on February 4, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Increasing "contact us" form conversions is a very effective way to generate new leads for your business, yet it still represents a hurdle for many marketers. Your SEO strategy does a great job driving traffic to your website, where your visitors might poke around on various pages — but when they get to your contact page, instead of filling out your form, they bounce. It happens all too often. Use these tactics and be on your way to increasing "contact us" form conversions on your site.

1. Keep It Short

Lengthy forms are a turnoff to visitors, so ask for the least amount of information you need. It won't be hard to convince eager clients, but for the most part these days, asking for a phone number is like asking someone to marry you before you go on a date. Unless your business is call-based, avoid this field. If you need that additional information, it's better to entice your prospects to give it later.

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Topics: Website Design & Development, Interactive Design & Creative

Why "Click Here" is Dead

Posted by Rachel McMullen on September 10, 2015 at 11:16 AM

If there's one phrase that's been overused in the marketing world, it's "Click here." While this simple call-to-action (CTA) rose to prominence in the 1990s (when Internet marketing was in its infancy), this standby phrase is one relic that's refused to go away despite a need for retirement. This is especially clear when you consider that consumers are using touch-based devices to access content at an increasing rate, which technically makes "Click here" outdated in addition to overused. (When was the last time you truly "clicked" on something?)

While some may feel a nostalgic attachment to "Click here," it's simply not always an effective way to motivate consumers in today's world, especially because this phrase is so common that it's easily overlooked. The world of digital marketing is evolving all the time, and your CTAs need to evolve as well. If you truly want to reach modern consumers, it's time to put this old phrase out to pasture and try crafting your own unique call-to-action. Here's how.

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Topics: Digital Marketing Strategy, Interactive Design & Creative

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