Author Archive

It’s GIF, Not JIF

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First things first; it’s “GIF”, not “JIF”.

The 2012 Word of the Year stands for Graphic Interchange Format. Hence, “GIF” instead of “JIF”. Essentially, a GIF compiles multiple bitmap (BPM) files into a single animated image. GIFs generally have low frame rates, making them small and easily shareable on formats like Twitter.

So how do you make them? The best approach for quick and easy GIF creation is through sites like GIPHY and Make A Gif. First, you’ll select a video you want to convert. It’s best to choose videos or frames that will make sense to your larger audience. On both GIPHY and Make A GIF, you’ll upload the URL from a YouTube or Vimeo video into the converter. While you can use already-existing GIFs, try creating ones that relate to or are of your own branding.

Ideally, your GIF should be somewhere between two and six seconds in length. This ensures it’s ability to be shared across all platforms.

So where do you use them? GIFs can add to your online presence and personality, making it more visually interactive. You can uploads GIFs to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Many companies and brands use GIFs to communicate with customers over Twitter specifically.

Humor resonates well with an audience; don’t be afraid to use it when you can.

Keys To Creating Successful Videos for Social Media

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by Jack Hummel, Social/Digital Strategist

 

Imagine you’re in a pitch meeting and you have three to five seconds to sell your idea.

Sounds dramatic, right? But when it comes to advertisements and videos on social media, it’s reality.

Since the development of platforms like DVR, Snapchat and Instagram story feature, we’ve become reliant on the ability to “skip”. Whether it’s commercials or your paid ad, now more than ever, you have less time to capture your audience.

Be Urgent

Why is urgency so important in digital advertising? For one, our attention span is now shorter than that of goldfish. A 2015 study from Microsoft revealed that humans lose concentration after approximately eight seconds, 4 seconds less than recorded in 2000.

When reaching audiences with social videos, you should hook viewers with relevance in the first few frames of video. Whether it’s design, imagery or content, your first three seconds ultimately determine the success of your video. It’s once you’ve captured your viewers that you can then explain how your product or service works.

Be Platform-Specific

For videos on social media, there’s no blanket approach. It’s important to be specific to each platform you’re advertising in. When creating social video content, think mobile-first. According to Facebook Product Management Director Fidji Simo, 65% of video views happen on mobile devices. Another reminder when marketing social videos to users on mobile devices is to enable sound-off viewing. Think about it; when you’re at your desk, in public, or lying in bed, chances are you aren’t turning your sound up for everyone around to hear. Whether with captions, text overlay, or other creative design, incorporating text can take your social videos to the next level. Designing content that work with and without sound helps you reach larger audiences, whether they actually hear it or not.

Be Creative

Lastly, and most importantly, be creative. Those three to five seconds come and go very quickly. In a world where everyone is scrolling, it’s your design, creativity, and individuality that will bring that scrolling to a pause. From there, consider your messaging as well as the option for a call-to-action? Okay, we’ve seen your ad, now what?

 

We’re All Just Personas

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by Rebecca Kappel, Strategy Director

“Knowing our customer and communicating with them in their language, in the places they go in an appropriate way… everything else is tactics.”

     – Peter Bell, Product Marketing Senior Director, Marketo

 

I’m a Virgo INTJ.

 

By all accounts, I am:

“picky and critical” (check)

“industrious, methodical and efficient” (check)

“strategically capable” (check)

“imaginative yet decisive” (check)

“comfortable out of the spotlight” (yep)

“bent on deconstructing and rebuilding every idea and system they come in contact with” (hell yeah)

“self confident and mysterious” (hmmm)

 

Spot on.

 

So are we all that easy to peg? Individual characteristics can be run through testing and given classification. But how do we determine group motivations and ideals?

According to a study by The Edelman Group, 51% of the 11,000 consumers surveyed think that brands that they have chosen to engage with (ie, follow on social media) don’t understand their needs.

Developing user personas is an effective way to understand your audience and provides a framework for your brand message. At Jager Boston, we love to dig in and learn what motivates people. When developing customer profiles, we look to discover three big things: Drivers, Obstacles and Mindset. To accomplish this we take into account existing data and develop mechanisms to gather new insights. These fall into two categories: Qualitative and Quantitative.

 

Qualitative

Qualitative persona assessments are more that gut feelings and intuition. They can be simple or complex, but they must be based in actual assessments. Qualitative data can be gathered through customer surveys, interviews, focus groups, and exit surveys.

At Jager Boston, we have conduct all of the above to learn what makes consumers tick, and then use those insights to create messaging that speaks to just the right folks. We have learned that IT professionals value collaboration over process; that potential talent recruits don’t mind wearing a suit and tie if the environment is collaborative; and that healthy thirty-somethings will buy life insurance if they are offered great rates.

 

Quantitative

Quantitative assessments need data, period.

Using your existing analytics platform, we can pull metrics on frequency, repetition, transactions and revenue per user. Tracking the customer journey through pixel placing and ad retargeting can determine how people best interact with your brand experience, and shed light on which tactics and channels yield the best results.

If you don’t have a history of well tracked analytics, don’t fret. It’s never too late to start gathering data. We make sure to set objectives, goals and KPIs and then measure against those markers during campaign implementation. Working in three month tracking periods, our digital strategists assess and adjust based on that continual knowledge gain.

And we never rest. A surprising barrier to effective data analysis is, strangely, success. Campaign successful? Great? Why? Let’s do more of that.

 

Most Importantly, Know Thyself

Understanding your organization’s ability to manage data is critical. You will need the resources to both gather and monitor analytics in house or the budget to engage with an agency to watch that activity. Knowing and accepting this at the beginning of a campaign effort will allow the team to scale their efforts accordingly. At Jager Boston, we work both along side and in front of our clients, providing increased or decreased support as your needs and capabilities change. Our agency persona: Focused on mutual success, Invested in your business outcome, Collaborative always.

 

Find out your personality type: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

 

Pivot!

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by Rebecca Kappel, Strategy Director

Creative strategy is a lot like moving a couch

No, really, stick with me.

 
Can you move a couch by yourself? No.

Can you push a couch through a doorway that’s too small? No.

Even if you are really strong? Still No.

Can you move a couch without knowing where you are moving it to? No.

Is everyone strong enough to carry a couch? No.

Do you sometimes have to take the legs off the couch, even if it’s a hassle? Yes.

If you don’t have the right screwdriver and you cut the legs off the couch to get it down to the basement, do you then have to prop it up on bed risers and every time you go to move it, you have to re set up the risers? Yes. (What, TMI?)

Teamwork makes the dreamwork, as they say. Bringing together different perspectives and experiences ALWAYS yields a better result. It’s sometimes uncomfortable and scary, and omigoshiwishicoudljustgetitdone, but your solo product will NEVER be as good as what your team can produce. At Jager Boston, we rely on our varying skills and perspectives. We call it collective genius and we believe so strongly in it that we reorganized our structure to make the best use of that genius. Every client and every project benefits from the minds behind our brand and digital strategy, creative development, and content generation teams.

Can you push a couch through a doorway that’s too small? Even if you are really strong?

Force can only get you so far. Full knowledge of the parameters and desired results of a project are what determines a truly successful outcome. Even the most brilliant creative won’t move the needle if its not laid in front of the right audience. Our brand and digital strategy teams use thoughtful precision to determine the who, what, where and why for our clients. And then our creative team recovers that couch. (What? Too literal?)

 

Can you move a couch without knowing where you are moving it to?

It would be really, really stupid to pick up a couch without knowing where you were setting it down. Your would be exhausted before you were even halfway done. Knowing what determines success before you start a project is critical. That definition of success can be as small or grandiose as it needs to be. For a postcard advertising an event, success can be defined by event attendance mapped to a unique URL on that card. For a large scale brand campaign, success could be measured by multiple Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and overall market share growth measured by preference and awareness surveys. No matter how big or how small, this definition should guide both tactical strategy and creative execution.

 

Is everyone strong enough to carry a couch?

I wouldn’t ask my mom or my middle schooler to pick up the other end of my couch, no matter how much I dearly love them (middle schoolers- ugh). Picking the right partner, with the right capabilities, is critical to achieving your best execution. That word “partner” is really important. A partner is invested in the business. When any employee becomes a partner in a company, their perspective changes. They are more likely to have a full understanding of the greater good, sacrifice their own agenda, and remain conscious of the bottom line. This is how we approach client relationships at Jager Boston, as true partners.

 

Do you sometimes have to take the legs off the couch, even if it’s a hassle?

It would be SO MUCH EASIER if you didn’t have to unscrew all of those legs and then reattach them ten minutes later. But without that step, you would accomplish nothing. A willingness to let go of pre-existing opinions and assumptions allows for freedom of strategic and creative thought. Take a step back. Pull things apart. Ask why. Maybe we can’t effect change. But maybe we CAN. And, hey, sometimes the legs break off the couch. Sometimes you have to head in a direction you didn’t expect or don’t even agree with. Reanalyzing and reassessing should be part of every project. Something not working? Fix it.
If you don’t have the right screwdriver and you cut the legs off the couch to get it down to the basement, do you then have to prop it up on bed risers and every time you go to move it, you have to re set up the props?

Long boring story. To summarize. If you don’t do it right the first time, you’ll spend the next few years wishing you did.

Of course, this theory only works if you truly understand the purpose behind both the “yes” and the “and…”. As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Give and take goes hand and hand with creative development. And when that is well managed and friendly, the end product is focused, beautiful and effective.

 

Complete Your Twitter Profile

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by Jack Hummel, Social/Digital Strategist

 

Communicating who you are and what you do starts well before your first 240 characters.

One of the first steps in improving your Twitter is to complete your profile.

Name: When choosing your @username on Twitter, make sure it reflects your company name as well as your brand. While it’s required to stay within a 50-character limit, the fewer characters the better.

Bio: You don’t need to include your mission and vision statement. You have 160 characters, so make them count. It’s important to showcase who you are, what you do, and convey your personality.

Location: Simple; let your followers know where you are.

Website: Link to your website; homepage, current campaigns, etc.

Profile Picture: This is a big one. Not only is your profile picture seen with every tweet you post, but it’s also the first thing potential followers look at when coming across your profile or content. It’s important to make sure it’s sized properly, and visible in high quality.

Header: A header image is the large, horizontal picture at the top of your profile. Think of it as a secondary profile picture; it’s where you can convey more of what you do as well as your personality.

Pinned Tweet: A relatively new feature on Twitter, pinned tweets allow you to pin any Tweet you’ve posted at the top of your profile so it’s immediately seen by those looking at your profile. Whether it’s a current campaign, high volume post, or video, pinning tweets can be a great call to action on your page.

 

Make It Count

Regardless of your business, ultimately, you want your tweets to gain attention and reach your intended audience. Twitter is fast moving. Users are constantly trying to process content, or they’re scrolling past it. Your tweets need to be frequent and attention-grabbing so that your followers (and potential new followers) are inclined to engage. Recently, Twitter increased its character limit from 120 to 240, but many argue too many characters is a bad thing. Much like a name or bio, getting your message across in the simplest and fastest way possible is the key to Twitter.

 

Use Hashtags

Despite what you may think, Twitter established the use of hashtags. The original purpose of the metadata tag was to allow for easier searchability. Incorporating hashtags can not only help connect you with your target audience, but can also increase your online traffic. When utilizing hashtags, use ones that have already been made popular (#MotivationMonday, #B2BMarketing). It’s also important to be specific and not overuse the tag. Be smart and do your research on popular tags. Using hashtags within your Twitter bio has also become a growing trend. When someone searches a specific #hashtag that you’ve included in your bio, your profile will also appear as a result. Moral of the story? #DontTweetThroughANeverEndingHashtag. Use them to #BuildBusiness.

 

Run Polls & Contests

What began as a user-initiative, either “retweet or favorite to vote”, has now developed into a new function on Twitter. As of last year, Twitter users can no create their own four-option polls embedded directly into tweets. Polls can not only create further engagement, but also allow users to craft their content and receive feedback based on their audience’s.

The $100 Budget

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by Jack Hummel, Social/Digital Strategist

 

High ROI and low cost don’t seem like they go together in the same sentence. But what if they did?

First thing’s first, don’t spend a dime. It’s important to look at your top performing, organic content. If a post is getting higher than average engagement, that’s a great indicator it will perform even better with a set budget behind it. If you only have $100, there’s no room to guess what content will be successful with paid advertisement. When trying to decide which of your posts to boost, it’s also important to look at the number of comments, likes, and shares your content has earned organically.

Next, it’s important to customize your audience. Don’t try to talk to everyone because not everyone’s going to listen. With a low budget, understand how to optimize your targeting. Through Facebook’s Ad Manager, there are two ways:

Building a custom audience allows you to retarget users who have already interacted with your page or website.

Creating a lookalike audience allows you to target new audiences based on your current customers’ behaviors and traits.

Facebook also offers an ability to gauge how well defined your audience is. In the Ads manager dashboard, adjust your demographics so it’s not too broad and not too specific.

With only $100, monitoring your budget is crucial. When running ads with higher budgets, it’s not as important to monitor but with only $100, you should be checking your ads at least twice a week. If, for some reason, a boosted post is not faring well after a few days, you can cancel at any time.

Lastly – always, always, always have a call-to-action. Why not increase your chances of conversion? Social media moves fast. If someone stops scrolling to view your ad, don’t let it stop there. When boosting organic content, you’re given the option of adding a button to your post; Sign Up, Learn More, Message, etc. Even if someone enjoys your content, they may not interact with a like or share but the button option opens up for further interaction.

Aside from the strategy, the design and concept behind your brand, ad, or campaign is just as important. Providing actionable and specific content alone can increase awareness and audience reach. At the end of the day, it’s not a matter of how much you need to spend on social media marketing, it’s about how to get the most out of social media marketing

 

When Prepositions Become Nouns

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by Rebecca Kappel, Strategy Director

 

This year at Jager Boston, we worked to identify and verbalize “what’s different about us.”

Was it our mad graphic design skilz? We have a solid aesthetic and apply visual thinking to every project, from a single postcard to a full campaign. But everyone knows that art and design are subjective. One person’s Rothko is another’s smudged rectangle. There is never one right answer or interpretation.

Is it the personalities of our leadership? If you know us, you know that our leaders are outliers. The marketing industry is full of “experts”. But being an expert in communication in general is what sets Jager and Boston apart. With over sixty years of experience between the two, there’s nothing they haven’t seen. “Ask me how I know?” – Paul Boston.

Could it be our ability to blend left and right brained thinking? Once upon a time, a long long time ago, this industry was about craft. Beautifully inked letters and lovingly spaced blocks of type. The value now is split, and however those percentages fall, being able to blend beauty and strategy positions your brand a step (or two or three) ahead from the start. We have specifically and intentionally grown to meet the left brained needs, while never sacrificing our right brained good looks.

Maybe it’s because we are so fun and friendly? We surveyed our clients and this was actually high on the list. Cause who wants to work with a crab ass? Know that, as a client with Jager Boston, we will get to know you. You may end up knowing more about us than you had planned. And, there is no doubt that someday you will end up across the street at the Hideaway sharing a TJ’s pizza and an unnecessarily strong cocktail. And that you’ll be belly laughing with Greg.

So if it’s not the above, what is it? What makes us different?

With. It’s a little word. But it has big meaning to us. We work with you. Because great results begin with true collaboration. You know your brand and we know communication. We don’t just hear what you are saying, we listen to what you mean. We value client input. (We get it – everyone says that.) We value client feedback. (Now, that’s tougher.) We bring the best of what we have to the table, to sit alongside your best. We own the success of each project with you

Along the way, we have found that:

With crushes goals.

With gets a good laugh.

With changes hearts.

With creates joy

With grows a following.

Work with us. We promise it will be great.