insight

Insight

Public Relations: A Successful Strategy Requires Integrating Organic Tactics

By Aisling Mäki, Senior PR Account Executive Your organization might be one of many that has, by default, come to rely on organic social media as your sole public relations tool. After all, social media is free, relatively easy to navigate, and allows you to instantly connect with your public. Social media, however, shouldn’t be... View Article

INSIDE INFERNO Insight

Lessons on Life and Leadership Plucked from the Pages of My Books

Reading is my passion. I have always loved it. There’s something exciting about the heft of a book in hand, the smell of ink on paper, and the anticipation of cracking into a new tome. As far back as I can remember, reading has sparked so much joy, inspiration, and curiosity. I started reading very... View Article

AGENCY INSIGHT Insight

Video Storytelling – Post-Pandemic

Liza Livingston, Account Supervisor   I was visiting my family in Atlanta Easter weekend, and we were all hanging out in the kitchen enjoying the morning together – something many families have just recently been able to do again. The daily Ad Age e-newsletter arrived in my inbox featuring Google’s newest ad – Get back... View Article

INSIDE INFERNO Insight

Managing Through a Parent’s Eyes/Parenting Through a Manager’s Eyes

I have had the awesome responsibility of managing people for the past 24 years. I’ve had the incredible honor of being a parent for the past 23. While each of these endeavors involves its own unique set of challenges – and skills necessary to overcome those challenges – there are many areas of overlap that... View Article

Insight

Everything You Need to Know about Blockchain and Digital Marketing

Marketers have long been on the front lines when it comes to adopting new technologies. From augmented reality and voice search to artificial intelligence and blockchain, to get ahead, you need to understand how these technologies will disrupt digital advertising — or risk being left behind. While people are more familiar with the concept of... View Article

Insight

The Quick Start Guide to Building Your Brand Identity

Developing a brand identity is an important part of building a successful business. After all, your brand identity is more than simply how your business looks. It defines who you are, what you look like, and how you communicate. Before we discuss what goes in to creating a strong brand identity, let’s talk about the difference... View Article

Insight

Leveraging Locals: How to Work with Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing is all the rage in digital advertising. It’s a cost-effective way to truly make an impact on an audience with the help of someone they can trust. Since the approach boasts a return on investment more than 10 times higher than traditional marketing, 48 percent of businesses have increased their influencer marketing spend this... View Article

Insight

As media evolves, your PR strategy needs to, too

Written by Beth Wilson, PR Director at inferno.  Social media, digital newsrooms, access to data and analytics, integrated marketing — developments such as these in the public relations industry have required professionals to adapt at a fast pace. Change is good, great even. But, change is also hard. How, exactly, should you embrace and incorporate... View Article

Insight

Promoting Your Podcast on Social Media Is Easier Than You Think

Podcasts may seem like an underdog in an era where video marketing dominates social platforms. With so much emphasis on visual marketing in our news feeds, audio formats sometimes struggle to stand out. But behind the scenes, podcasts have slowly, steadily been increasing their listening audience. According to one study by Edison Research, 26 percent... View Article

Insight

Why Design Matters for Social Media Graphics

You don’t have to be a marketer to know that social media graphicsmatter. Instagram is the fastest-growing social platform by a large margin, after all. That’s because humans tend to prefer visual information. In fact, we are hard-wired to prioritize visual information; half of the human brain is directly or indirectly involved with processing it.... View Article

Insight

How to Track Email Engagement Metrics

In an ideal world, email engagement for your marketing campaigns would sit at 100 percent every time. More often than not, however, you are competing with emails from friends, family, and coworkers for your subscribers’ attention and email engagement. Not to mention trying not to trip the spam filter. Marketers know the potential that emails... View Article

Insight

4 Simple Ways to Increase Your Domain Authority

When we talk about search engine optimization (SEO), domain authority has become an industry standard. Originally developed by Moz, domain authority attempts to quantify how well a website will rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Websites rank somewhere on a scale from one to 100, and the closer you are to 100, the higher you... View Article

Insight

10 Marketing Terms to Know When Working with an Ad Agency

When you first start working with an agency, you’ll likely hear words or phrases that you don’t know. Or, perhaps you’ve heard them, but the meaning is slightly different in a marketing context. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the more commonly-used marketing terms in our latest blog post. This is by no means an... View Article

Insight

Conversational Commerce and the Rise of the Chatbot

Chatbots were around before the internet, in one form or another. From ELIZA and A.L.I.C.E to SmarterChild and Siri, humans have been interacting with chatbots since the 1960s. Recently, however, marketers have been exploring the potential of chatbots to automate customer service via conversational commerce. Simply put, conversational commerce is an automated technology that enables... View Article

Insight

Get Social: A Quick Guide to Choosing Your Social Media Marketing Channels

When it comes to social media marketing, you want to be strategic. It’s important to remember that not everyone is going to be interested in your products or services, and not every social media platform is right for your business. Just because there is no fee associated with setting up a social account doesn’t mean... View Article

Insight

The Art of the Insta-Brand: Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Instagram Brand

Developing an Instagram brand strategy has been a huge focus for digital marketers over the past several years. As social media has become an essential part of everyday life, marketers are always looking for ways to take advantage of the time and attention people spend consuming social content every day. Think about the last 10... View Article

Insight

An Introduction to Responsive Website Design

Responsive website design is not a new concept. We’ve been building responsive websites for our clients for years. What is new is the idea that responsive website design is fast becoming the industry standard for mobile development. While the internet may still be filled with poorly-designed, non-responsive websites, users today expect more from their mobile experiences.... View Article

Insight

8 Ways to Encourage Professional Development

As the old adage goes, “you are only as strong as your weakest link.” This is true of chains, and this is true of businesses. You are only as innovative and informed as your least innovative and informed employee. A business is like a hive, and while everyone has different roles, they all work together... View Article

Insight

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started with Geofencing

Location-based technology is opening up a whole new world of opportunities for marketers to communicate with customers in real-time, called geomarketing. New capabilities and uses emerge every day – such as geotargeting, geofencing, and geofilters. Geofencing is one of the most common ways that businesses enter the world of location-based marketing. Put simply, geofencing is... View Article

Insight

The Sneaky Link Tracking Secret Every Marketer Should be Using

When it comes to online marketing, proving the value of paid social and other digital ad placements can be a struggle. Thanks to link tracking, however, marketers can demonstrate the importance of links shared online — for free. Savvy marketers know that UTM (Urchin tracking module) link tracking is the cornerstone of content analysis, making... View Article

Insight

5 Types of Interactive Content to Help Boost Engagement

Every marketing team shares similar goals. They want to reach new customers, boost engagement, and increase conversions. Interactive content achieves all three objectives with ease. In the last decade, there has been a fundamental shift in marketing. Gone are the days of one-sided conversations, where brands talked at people from billboards and TV screens. Now,... View Article

Insight

What Small Businesses Need to Know About Google Marketing

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or a remote village in the Amazon, you’ve heard of Google. The tech giant got its start in 1996 when a couple of Stanford Ph.D. students figured out how to catalogue and search all the information on the rapidly growing internet. This company-turned-verb has blossomed into one of... View Article

Insight

How to Protect Consumer Privacy Without Ditching Personalization

Consumer privacy issues are complicated. People are deeply uncomfortable with the idea of companies tracking, monitoring, and storing their online activity and personal data – but many also crave the highly-personalized services this surveillance enables. Our attitudes toward privacy and personalization often appear to contradict one another. A recent study from Verint Systems shows that... View Article

Insight

What Everyone Needs to Know About Online Privacy and Social Media

© New York Times In the early days of the internet, online privacy was not a concern for most users. Many of the early adopters were advanced computer users who were so excited by the novelty of this new mode of communication that data security and online privacy were afterthoughts. Luckily, the technological limitation of… View Article

Insight

How to Track and Measure Brand Awareness for Print Campaigns

Brand awareness is the extent to which customers are able to recall or recognize your brand, product or service. But when we talk about brand awareness, we’re really talking about the first step in building a relationship with potential customers. Relationships of any kind are built on trust — and people can’t trust you if... View Article

Insight

You Only Have 10 Seconds to Nail Your Digital First Impression

"You only get one first impression” — or so we’ve all been told. While we’d argue that ever-shortening attention spans allow us to have more chances at first impressions, we don’t dispute the importance of making a lasting one. Unfortunately, you may be making the wrong kind of lasting impression if you neglect the tenants... View Article

Insight

2 Content Marketing Trends You Should Already Be Using in 2018

We’ve all seen the trend pieces: The top X marketing trends that will shape 2018, social media and content marketing trends to look forward to in 2018, content marketing resolutions for your business… You get the idea. At the outset of every new year, marketers love to predict what technologies or trends will shape the... View Article

Insight

Email List Segmentation: What You Need to Know

Email marketing is far from dead. It’s an essential tool that has a median ROI of 122 percent – more than four times higher than other marketing formats, including social media, direct mail, and paid search. Social platforms might be the media-darlings, but when it comes to conversions, email marketing still runs the show. One… View Article

Insight

3 Local SEO Tips to Help Your Neighbors #ShopLocal

When it comes to marketing your small business, search engine optimization (SEO) is no longer optional. Think about the last time you wanted to find a local business to refinish your antique dining room table, fix your favorite winter boots, or sell you that wonderful cookbook your mother-in law raved about at the holiday party.... View Article

Insight

Getting BIG Results from Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing has been a huge trend in digital for the last several years. Gone are the days of the blanket celebrity endorsement. Reaching consumers – Millennials and Gen Z in particular – is all about connecting with the social media influencers they care about. Some of these are traditional celebrities, like Kim Kardashian, but... View Article

Insight

4 Steps to Brainstorming Success

How do you come up with your ideas? What’s your creative process? Where do you find your inspiration? Everyone from our clients and our peers to our own mothers has asked some variation of this question. The truth is that there is no secret wellspring of ideas or a surefire method for producing them. We... View Article

Insight

Crisis Communications: The Doomsday Prepping of Public Relations

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter It’s a well-known fact that the best time to prepare for a crisis is before it happens. Schools and businesses hold routine fire drills, people stock their cars with emergency blankets and tools, and families fill their pantries with an emergency stash of water and canned goods. We’re told to... View Article

Insight

Why Your Business Needs Facebook Advertising

By Susan Waggoner, Digital Marketing and Advertising Specialist People are joining different social media sites every second of every day. Today, almost seven out of every ten Americans use at least one social media platform –  and this number is growing. While many platforms are successful, one continues to reign supreme: Facebook. This channel is... View Article

Insight

Child’s Play Helps Adults Build Stronger Teams

By Trish McLaughlin, Senior Copywriter If you want employees to play well together, give them more opportunities to – literally – play well together. From law firms and hospitals, to factories and corporate cubicles, encouraging employees to play board games together can actually build trust and improve communication and cooperation. In her book Reality Is... View Article

Insight

5 Reasons Your Business Should Use Social Media Advertising

By Susan Waggoner, Digital Marketing and Advertising Specialist Over the past ten years, the popularity of social media has increased significantly, with over 2.28 billion users reported in 2016 – and that number is only expected to grow. With the opportunity to reach this many people, why would you not advertise on social channels? If... View Article

Insight

How to Succeed in Video Without Really Trying

Dear Reader, this blog post is designed to tell you (mostly) everything you need to know about the science of video marketing. Now, let’s assume you are skilled, hungry, clear-eyed and eager – anxious to ensure your video content rises to the top of news feeds. It can! Make no mistake video advertising is hard... View Article

Insight

B2B and B2C Marketing Success – Summed Up in One Word

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Whether you’re selling shoes, managing financial portfolios, or renting chickens (yes, that’s a real thing), your marketing won’t succeed without one key factor: Empathy. It’s a simple advertising principle that should be the foundation of every project. But with so many bounce rates, social shares, influencers, purchase paths, sales funnels,... View Article

Insight

The New Reality – Finding Opportunities in VR and AR

For decades, pop culture has dreamed about the possibility of virtual reality – and now, it’s here. We may not be hopping into virtual worlds to fight sentient programs like in Tron, but we can get a detailed look at a landmark thousands of miles away. We can strap on a headset and immerse ourselves... View Article

Insight

Wit & Whimsy: The Brilliance of Absurdist Marketing

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Within advertising (TV ads in particular), there has long been an inherent suspension of disbelief. But in today’s overcrowded marketplace, sometimes brands have to go to extreme lengths to stand out from the crowd – hence the rise of absurdist marketing. Absurdist marketing isn’t really about what your company can... View Article

Insight

Paid Social: What, Why, and How

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter In the early days of social media, brands could rely on social channels to tap into a large pool of potential customers at a very low cost. With the rapidly growing user bases and relatively low barrier to entry, you could build a social media empire almost entirely through organic... View Article

Insight

4 Steps to Cultivating an Authentic Brand

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Before the advent of the digital age, brands controlled all levels of communication from print and television advertisements to radio testimonials. Now, with mobile technology at our fingertips, brands no longer control the communication flow. Instead, everyday consumers, empowered by technology and social media, can voice their opinions, share their experiences,... View Article

Insight

Why Brand Authenticity Matters

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter With sponsored content filling up newsfeeds and reports of fake news on the rise, consumer trust is more important than ever. The average consumer has an abundance of brands to choose from and a wealth of information at their fingertips ­­– and they’re looking at more than just your product offerings.... View Article

Insight

3 Email Marketing Tips to Keep the (Brand) Love Alive

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter If there's one universal truth about relationships, it's that they will change over time. From the so-stoked-to-try-the-latest-widget phase to the frustrated-by-too-many-emails phase to the definitely-can't-live-without-the-exclusive-deals phase, customers’ feelings about your email marketing tends to ebb and flow. Part of managing email marketing is figuring out how to deal with the churn... View Article

Insight

4 Copywriting Tips: Never Write a Boring Headline Again

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Crafting compelling headlines is both an art and a science. You need to convey the essence of the content in a way that entices the reader to crave more, without giving away the meat of the story. Plus, in the age of web 2.0 headlines, you must also consider search... View Article

Insight

What PR Can Do for Brands – and How to Measure it

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter In the world of public relations, analytics are key. To keep clients happy, you need to be able to clearly and effectively communicate exactly what your efforts are accomplishing for their business and back it up with both qualitative and quantitative evidence. We’ve talked about using web analytics to fine... View Article

Insight

3 Tips for Working with the Media

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Between the 24-hour news cycles and the growing emphasis on the importance of public relations, journalists are inundated with story ideas, and many field hundreds of emails daily. With all that noise, it’s not surprising that most PR pitches get lost in the shuffle. If you want to avoid ending up... View Article

Insight

5 SMART Marketing Resolutions to Make (and Keep) in 2017

Photo credit: Eduburdie By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Get fit. Save more. Quit smoking. With the dawn of the new year, like clockwork, we compile lists of bad habits to break, hopes for the future, and all the things we’d like to do differently in the coming year. It’s a time for resolve, renewal, and... View Article

Insight

When to Check Your Marketing Analytics: A Quick Guide

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter For some, marketing can seem more like magic than medicine. Return on investment can be unpredictable, and many business owners are dubious about marketing’s real-world benefits. Solid metrics give you the insight and evidence to prove your efforts are not in vain — so long as you know how often... View Article

Insight

Three Tips for Data-Driven Success

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Understanding marketing analytics allows marketers to be more efficient, see more success, and minimize wasted advertising spend. Despite these compelling benefits, many organizations fail to realize the potential of analytics to help measure and manage marketing performance to maximize effectiveness and optimize return on investment. Online advertising can do incredible... View Article

Culture Insight

Community Service: Fueling Creativity with Fuelanthropic

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Creativity is the heart and soul of an advertising agency. It’s what gives life to messages about products or services that might otherwise be unremarkable in the minds of consumers. Without creativity, there is no breakthrough, no vision, no kindling to fuel new ideas. But how do you cultivate creativity... View Article

Insight

4 Reasons to Use Numerals

By Trish McLaughlin, Senior Copywriter If you want to get your numbers — open or click-through rates, for example — up, consider using numerals in your subject lines and headlines. According to Business 2 Community, subject lines or headlines that promote content with numerals, such as “6 Steps,” “5 Tricks,” or “9 Things,” are more... View Article

Insight

The Anatomy of a Great Creative Strategy Statement

By Brandon Davis, Senior Copywriter If you’ve ever worked for (or with) an agency, you’ve likely heard of a creative strategy statement (or creative brief, or creative platform). So what, exactly, does that mean? And why waste time writing one when you can just get started on a project? Simply put, the creative strategy statement... View Article

Insight

Five Tips for Yummier Content

By Trish McLaughlin, Senior Copywriter You cannot force-feed your audience content. The internet is an endless buffet of information, and your audience is going to fill their plate with what’s most appetizing. To boost your content’s appeal, try these tips. Use Flesch-Kincaid to carve your copy into bite-size pieces There’s a reason Flesch-Kincaid is now... View Article

Insight

5 Simple Steps to Social Media Success

As a small business owner, promoting your company is crucial to its enduring success. Social media offers unprecedented opportunities to market your brand and connect with customers, but in today’s ultracompetitive world, it can be difficult to set your business apart from the crowd. According to Statista, an estimated 78% of Americans now have at least... View Article

Insight

4 Keys to Motivating a Sales Audience

By John Hilgart, Senior Strategist Your company has a great new product or service: It solves a customer problem. It has a competitive advantage. It boasts an attractive price point. It even fills a gap in your product portfolio, giving you an opportunity to win market share you’d previously ceded to your competitors. It’s time... View Article

Insight

Time Management Tips

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Time. It’s the critical element that every project manager has to grapple with on a daily basis. In the “hurry up and wait” world of agency life, time management is crucial. Not only are you juggling different projects for a variety of clients (each with their own timelines and bumps... View Article

Insight

What Does “Strategic Partner” Actually Mean?

By John Hilgart, Senior Strategist Senior copywriter Brandon Davis recently posted on the benefits of having to think inside the box – of having to keep your creativity constrained to the strategy, objectives, brand voice, target audience, client directives, budget, and other project factors that you can’t change. Those constraints are what make for a good challenge,... View Article

Insight

Unlocking the Power of Story

By Anna Condon, Junior Copywriter Storytelling. It’s a key feature of human interaction; it’s natural. There’s a reason we use stories as a means of teaching our children. Stories engage us in a way that logical explanation of the facts can’t. What makes a story? Essentially, a story is a string of events that begins... View Article

Insight

Thinking Inside the Box: How Challenges Can Make You More Creative

By Brandon Davis, Senior Copywriter “No, you can’t do that.” Often, problem-solvers (both inside and outside of advertising) hear those words and cringe. After all, agencies are hired to provide creative solutions and get noticed – so stifling that creativity is counterproductive…right? Nope. Why “the box” matters It’s advice that people love to throw out... View Article

Insight

Peer Recognition: Creating a Workplace that Breeds Loyalty

By Trish McLaughlin, Senior Copywriter America’s job creation engine continues to pump out more opportunities for workers. That means employers need to step up their game to make sure their valuable employees are happy just where they are. There’s no time like the present to consider introducing higher raises, expanded benefits, and attractive new perks. There’s... View Article

Insight

Why Jokes Matter for Your Brand

Robin Williams once said, “Comedy is acting out optimism.” Isn’t that true? Just the act of laughter, that feeling you get when something is really, feel-it-in-your-gut funny, is an act of pure optimism. And regardless of what your business does, isn’t that how you want to feel about it? Light, happy, and optimistic. There’s power... View Article

Insight

More Than Just a Game: How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on the Pokémon GO Movement

Released only two weeks ago, on July 6, Pokémon GO has rapidly become a global mobile sensation. The free-to-play location-based app is available for iOS and Android devices and uses the phone’s GPS and camera to create an augmented reality for users to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures. So what does Pokémon GO fever... View Article

Insight

SEO: Who, What, Why, How, Where, When?

Let’s break this down a bit. “You” know that the business you work for needs customers, clients, or sales to be able to operate. It’s 2016, and hopefully by now you have realized that your website is crucial to ensuring people can find your company, learn about what you do, answer questions they have, buy... View Article

Insight

Choosing the Right Social Channel

Social media has become an integral part of our lives. In fact, the lines between our real and digital lives are becoming blurrier every day. According to Digital Trends, the average American checks their social media accounts 17 times a day. Assuming you’re getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night, that means you are... View Article

Insight

5 Tips for a Business Owner to Start or Grow on Social Media

Develop a strategy and adjust as needed. Social media is a cost-effective way for a brand to get its message out, connect with customers and generate brand awareness. But as with any other segment of public relations, social media requires a strategy, strong writing and creative ideas. It’s important to leverage the right social media... View Article

Insight

Social Media Tips – Part 2

Not all social comments and posts are positive and can, at times, negatively affect the view of a business. What are the best practices for handling a bad review or negative comment on your business to keep it from impacting business? People often rely on referrals and the opinions of others when making partnership and/or... View Article

Insight

Social Media Tips – Part 1

Facebook and Twitter can get a bit overwhelmed with news of the day (politics, events, sports, etc.). How do businesses get their message across when a story or stories dominate social media? Social media has completely changed news distribution as we know it today. Journalists, publishers and brand ambassadors now have direct access to engage... View Article

Insight

7 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Conversions

No matter what industry your business serves, you, more than anyone else, know how you want people to use your website. Maybe you sell products, and your site primarily functions as an online store. Perhaps you are a consultant, and your site is the main way people find out how to get in touch with... View Article

Insight

The Importance of Integrated Campaigns

In today’s evolving digital landscape, there are a number of ways to get your message out to prospective clients and customers. While the channels you use to distribute your message may change throughout any given campaign, one thing should remain central: the message itself. Whatever you are trying to communicate, be it a product offering,... View Article

Insight

Digital Marketing is Here to Stay

Regardless of your size, where your company is located, or what you provide to your clients or customers, digital marketing should be at the forefront. Digital is everywhere, from how we communicate to how we learn. It can be at your desk or in your pocket. You can order food or create a presentation for... View Article

Insight

Dataphilia. Are You Blinded by Data Love?

In the push to embrace data, it’s not just fools who are rushing in. Time and again we’ve seen smart people make bad decisions because they’ve put data on a pedestal. Data is not Prince Charming or a damsel who can spin straw into gold. If you don’t manage your expectations, your romance with data... View Article