Content remains king

shutterstock_248890441Content. The little seven letter word that everyone is talking about. And you should be, too. In this age of marketing, content is paramount. What is content? Content is anything you put out that people engage with. Articles, blogs, social posts, radio, TV, online advertising, anything and everything.

When you begin to think about a new campaign, you have to think about the new campaign as an ecosystem. This ecosystem contains all the ways you plan to reach potential customers or clients. As the marketer, you must have a strong content ecosystem.

Today’s content ecosystems look vastly different than content ecosystems even just a few years ago. Today’s content ecosystems are filled with social media, blogs, sponsored posts, advertorials, print, broadcast and pretty much any other way you can put your advertising in front of people.

While content is important, it’s imperative to produce content that connects to your audience. This is how you secure your customers. It’s not always about creating content yourself, but curating the best content available.

With traditional advertising mediums like broadcast, print, etc., once you distribute the content, there’s nothing left to do but count impressions. With digital, there is a constant flow of content. If there is an article or blog written about your industry, leverage that and share it with your followers. If someone produced a fancy video of your product, leverage it. If someone wrote a great review, share it. Content curation will save you many hours of producing your own content and help you keep the cycle moving forward.

In this day, content is critical to driving brand awareness and giving your customers a reason for sticking with you. And at AcrobatAnt, we believe in great content. We are here to help your marketing department create and curate the best content that delivers results you can take to the CEO.

The Ant Farm has a fresh coat of paint and then some

Phase one of our office redesign and renovation is complete and the Ants are excited and inspired by the sleeker, cleaner look.

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The earth tones have been replaced with a fresh and modern color palette that reflects a creative environment. An desks have been rearranged and positioned to create more interaction between employees and also to help with the work flow. 10548111_10153233700776580_7044311393898893702_o

The blue table is now black, the brown carpet is now multicolored and the officeoverall feels happier and bright to AcrobatAnt. There’s now seating under our staircase and a big, steel desk at the front – featuring a very prominent letter A – welcoming guests. 12495923_10153233700631580_7514008136984586002_o

When asked which aspect of the redesign was his favorite, Danny Sadler,Creative Director, had this to say, “We wanted our office to be a place for when clients or guests come through the door, they get a sense of what we are about.” 12819168_10153233700706580_8233534876064799325_o

Another big focal point of the redesign was accentuating the texture and character of the historic building. The majority of the exterior walls were kept white so the exposed brick would stand out. The exposed brick helps bring some added warmth to the office and reminds us all what the Lincoln Plaza once was, a giant school on the corner of 15th and Peoria.

Keep your eye our for more changes in Phase Two of our redesign.

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Super Bust: Ads that fell flat

There are always a few people at every Super Bowl party that only come to watch the ads. Unfortunately for them, there wasn’t much to watch in between timeouts. Even though 30-second spots cost a whopping $5 million, there seemed to be more duds and misfires compared to years past.

Granted, some companies still delivered when it counted, Doritos. But there were no dancing babies, not many talking animals and not a lot of LOL moments in the pack.  There was a puppy-monkey-baby, but that thing was by no means “cute”. It was scary.

Instead of picking our what commercials we all seemed to like, this year the Ants are highlighting four commercials we could barely sit through. One thing we all learned this year, besides that Hyundai makes some cool cars, is that even when you spend $5 million on airtime, you still have to budget for creative. So spend wisely!

4. Sofi: Loans for Great People.

super bowl blog 4After this spot aired, who else looked around the watch party and considered which people were great or not? Then immediately suggested to the list of “un-great” people that it might be their time to leave, because there’s only room for on the couch for greatness.

3. Heinz: Meet the Ketchups.

super bowl blog 3This one had all the makings of a great commercial. Wiener dogs dressed like hot dogs, a cute kid and people in funny costumes, but nothing happened. No dog tripped and caused all the others to fall, the Ketchups just stood and waited. Nothing happened. We expected the Ketchups to end up on the ground, covered in adorable wiener dogs, but no. Luckily we have the Internet. Surely we can find what we’re looking for there.

2. Doritos: Doritos Dogs.

super bowl blog 2Doritos Ultrasound was top notch. However, their second ad stunk like a wet dog. Dogs want Doritos, but they can’t enter the store because of some dog-hating manager. So, what do the dogs do? They all stand on each other and walk in disguised as a human. Oh, how original! Nobody has ever used that trick before. Hey, at least there were dogs.

1. Xifaxan: GutGuy.

super bowl blog 1Ah yes, just what everyone was thinking, “Why hasn’t there been an ad about controlling bowel movements yet?” Actually, no. No one said that, or possibly has ever said that. This ad was the biggest stinker of the bunch. As soon as the turtle-looking lower intestine came on the screen, everyone at your watch party suddenly needed to know the score of the Puppy Bowl (Team Ruff won by the way). Valeant, the company behind the drug Xifaxan, should have crumpled this one up and flushed it down the toilet.

Well, that’s it. Another year of, for the most part, disappointing Super Bowl commercials are behind us. Let’s hope that Super Bowl commercials return to their former glory next year, otherwise what are all the non-sports fans going to watch? Let us know which ads were your favorites and which ones you thought were duds in the commercials.

Mobile is key.

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You’ve probably heard it before time and time again, mobile advertising is the hot trend right now. But mobile is more than a trend, it is here to stay. This year looks to be a breakout year for mobile advertising and for a good reason. “Consumers today are addicted to instant gratification and ads need to serve up not only what they’re trying to sell, but the benefits as well,” said Tamara Green, AcrobatAnt Media Director. As mobile advertising has matured, so have the data companies. From precise geo-location data to more refined demographics, consumer data collected through mobile advertising is robust.

In order to be successful with mobile advertising, you have to deliver memorable content. “You have little time on mobile and an even greater challenge to gain the consumer’s attention because consumers are easily distracted as they swipe across to the next image/page/comment/post/status/etc.,” Tamara said. In mobile advertising, you have less than five seconds to capture the consumer’s attention. Meaning that creativity in message delivery is more important than ever. A simple banner ad will no longer sustain the results they used to. Advertising content needs to be dynamic, personal, engaging and customized for the target audience. It needs to look like it was made just for that single consumer.

With Facebook video now dominating the newsfeed, it’s time to really consider spending the money to integrate video content into a campaign. Integrating video is also one of the keys with mobile. There isn’t just one media type to satisfy the needs of a brand. It needs to be a well planned mix of all mobile has to offer based on data that has been collected. Paying more attention to data will guide and help a campaign improve over time. Tamara added, “Consumers are more and more demanding that the click takes them somewhere, tells them something, provides some benefit. A click with no benefit, just content will result in the consumer dropping off and possibly passing you by.”

To learn more about how we can help you, or if you have any questions regarding mobile advertising, send us an email or give us a call.

Insider Info: How the Ants celebrate the holidays

Everyone celebrates the holidays a little differently. Some families have certain traditions that others don’t partake in. For the Ant family, celebrating the holidays starts with our 12 days of Christmas.

Now in its fourth year, the 12 days of Christmas signals the start of the holiday season and also the start of dressing up, taking pictures and sharing on social media for all to see. From hat day and pajama day, to twins day and throw back Thursday, the Ants put everything on display for their clients and followers. It’s a way to show people who normally aren’t around the Ant Farm just how creative and fun we can be.

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We aren’t all fun and games. We also give back!

Women in Recovery is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts. Women in Recovery is a program designed to help keep non-violent women out of prison and give them the tools they need to reunite with their children and break the cycle. Oklahoma incarcerates more women per capita than any other state. Which is why this program is so important to our community. While in the program, women learn parenting and life skills, as well as learning what it takes to have a successful career and stay out of the prison system.

We support the Women in Recovery program in different ways each year. During Christmas, that means sponsoring graduates of the program and their children. This year, we sponsored 10 children and 50 women graduating from the Women in Recovery program. All from funds gathered from employees and matched by the AcrobatAnt partners.

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All these activities culminate in our Christmas party where we exchange handmade gifts to our Secret Santa recipients and have a fun and funny white elephant gift exchange. The Ants also enjoyed drinks, playing games and each other’s company at our holiday party.

From everyone at AcrobatAnt, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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User Experience: What is it good for?

shutterstock_177174377Since the advent of the Internet, people have always put their personal style into the websites they build. Now more than ever, user experience and how a user will interact with a website is in the forefront of designers’ minds. And recently, that also means taking into consideration how a website performs. Specifically how long it takes to load a page. In a recent study, data showed that if a page takes longer than three seconds to load, nearly 40 percent of users will leave the site. Let that sink in a minute. Your website has less than three seconds to grab the customer. If not, they’re on to your competitor. But if you have your site optimized and ready to handle a user’s request, they’ll proceed.

We asked our resident web developer and designer, Mattie McClain, what she had to say about user experience. “I have always believed user experience is the most important element of a design, and right now user experience is everything in the web space. Users want to find what they need, quickly. When we started seeing mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, suddenly a website that looked and functioned great on a large screen was no longer relevant — or even useful!”

And when talking about how to make a site that not only performs well, but also looks great on a phone, you need to make your site responsive or mobile-friendly. “Zooming in on a screen filled with tiny print and unnecessary links on a smartphone was not anyone’s idea of a great user experience. Responsive design corrected this and has become the key for producing a seamless user experience across all devices. It allows us to give users the effortless experience they now expect: what they need, only when they need it,” Mattie said.

She is right. In this day and age, consumers don’t like to wait. Period. The way we communicate and interact on the Internet has changed drastically. We communicate in less than 140 characters, and your website needs to load in less time than it takes to read a tweet.

As a full service agency, AcrobatAnt is here to help your business get on the right digital track. We pride ourselves on delivering results that work for our clients and their users. So the next time you are standing in line at Starbucks and are browsing the web on your phone, think about the experience a potential consumer would have on your site.

Ant’s Choice Blog: Tulsa’s The Best Place To Be in October

There are many great events that happen in Tulsa throughout the year, but in October, two very big events take place. One that even attracts international guests and performers alike.

One of those events is the Tulsa State Fair. The fair technically started this year at the end of September, but ran through the beginning of October. Featuring all the rides, games and fun you would expect at any other county fair, but the Tulsa State Fair is massive. There are livestock and horse shows, competitive exhibitions (like home brewing, fine art, etc.) picking and fiddling championships and even the Miss Tulsa State Fair pageant.

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Besides the competitions going on and the rides and games on the Midway. A lot of people go for the food. And it’s just not any food. At the Tulsa State Fair, the selection of food vendors is second to none. You can find cereal-coated corndogs, maple bacon donut burgers and all the standard fair food you would expect.

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The Tulsa State Fair is a big enough event to satisfy most people for a whole month, but in Tulsa, we don’t stop with just a fair. At the end of the month, the adults have their own event. Enter, the Linde Oktoberfest. Ranked as one of the top Oktoberfest events in the world, the Linde Oktoberfest is not to be missed.

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The Linde Oktoberfest is more than just drinking beer. Yes, it is a big part, but the event also draws in some of the best entertainment from across the country, and in fact the world. With bands coming from as far away as Germany, you can expect to be as close to the real thing outside of Germany as possible. One of the best new additions to the entertainment lineup this year was Das Glockenspiel from Cleveland, OH. Providing the masses with some comic relief and great themed skits throughout the weekend.

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The other great addition this year was the Seigi’s brat eating challenge. Featuring world-renowned eater Joey Chestnut, this challenge was for real. In 10 minutes Chestnut managed to gobble down 66 brats. On top of that he celebrated his flawless victory with a couple liters of beer.

Not only is there great entertainment and beer, but also great food. From schnitzel and sausages to flakey and delicious strudel, you leave know your German food tooth was satisfied.

Both of these events are why Tulsa’s best month is October. No doubt about it. If you haven’t been to the Tulsa State Fair or the Linde Oktoberfest, you are definitely missing out on some great Tulsa traditions.

Ant’s Choice: Food Truck Wednesday

What started out as a small gathering of delicious food trucks on Wednesdays has turned into a weekly lunchtime ritual for many Tulsans. Trucks come from all over town and converge at Guthrie Green from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., once a week, and provide visitors a great mix of cuisine to choose from. IMG_7819

If venturing out to this event, be prepared to wait, as lines can stretch on. It’s worth it, believe us. The food offered is different than what you find at your typical lunch restaurant. You’ll see interesting combinations, dish options and pairings. There’s everything from gourmet grilled cheeses and French-Korean fusion bahn mis to delicious fish tacos and artisan mac and cheese. There are so many options, one trip isn’t enough. You’ll leave wanting to come back to try something new, or perhaps after one trip, you have a favorite food truck and will continually crave it on Wednesdays.

After asking around the office to see what food truck Ants crave, here are just a few of the answers:

Lale
Favorite truck: Lone Wolf
Favorite dish: Kimchi fries. “They’re just so good.” IMG_4087

Matt D.
Favorite truck: Mr. Nice Guys
Favorite dish: Jerk chicken tacos. “So much flavor your head explodes.” IMG_7822

Brooke
Favorite truck: Lola’s
Favorite dish: Gypsy tacos. “I wish I could eat Romesco sauce on everything.”  IMG_4086

David V.
Favorite truck: Andolini’s
Favorite dish: Pepperoni pizza. “Quality ingredients and big slices!” IMG_4090

By no way is this a definitive best of Food Truck Wednesday list; all the trucks aredelicious! As the weather starts to cool off, there’s no better time than now to go to Food Truck Wednesday for your first time. You won’t have to wait out in the heat and eating is a lot more comfortable, too.

Let us know what trucks you love most. Reach us through Twitter, Facebook or in the comments section.

Ant’s Choice: Boomtown Tees

IMG_5909This month, we checked out local T-shirt store, Boomtown Tees to see what they were all about. After talking with Cheryl Quetone, who is the store manager, we learned a lot about the place. Read our interview with Cheryl and let us know what you think in the comments.

How long have you worked at Boomtown Tees?
5 years. I was originally at Joe Momma’s and Blake (owner of Joe Momma’s) approached me with the idea of a T-shirt shop and I was 100 percent on board in helping him open the store.

When did the store open?
I think our official open date was May 18, 2010. I know for sure we were open Blue Dome Fest of 2010.

Why a T-shirt store?
Tulsa was growing and although we were proud, we also still loved the nostalgia of things like the Camelot, the Rose Bows and Bells.

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Are all of the T-shirt designs you sell from local artists?
Yes. Some are local artists’ recreations of old logos and some (i.e. rest in pizza, I’ve never been to Heaven but I’ve been to Oklahoma, etc.) are original designs celebrating Tulsa and Oklahoma in general.

Do artists come to you for shirt designs or do you approach local artists to create the t-shirts you sell?
We have some in-house artists who do many of the designs we sell, but we also hire freelance artists to help create art for custom orders.

Do you print the T-shirts in-house?
We do all printing in-house. And all of it is screen-printed. While a lot of places have a minimum order of 40+ shirts or so, we have no minimum order as long as it’s a one or two color print. We also print all of our Boomtown brand shirts in-house.

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What’s the price range for the T-shirts you sell?
Our shirts in the store all range between $15-$30 per shirt.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Boomtown?
I love our location. We are always getting to meet new people and hearing peoples stories about growing up in Tulsa, coming back to town after many years or bringing a loved one here for the first time. It’s a great way to start a conversation about Tulsa whether they’re a first time visitor, returning after a long time or just born and raised here.

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Do you offer custom T-shirts?
We do. Our custom order prices vary depending on the brand of t-shirt and the different ink colors. Email sales@boomtowntees.com or go to www.boomtowntees.com for a quote. Our turn around time for custom orders is one to two weeks.

Thanks to all of the folks at Boomtown Tees for letting us invade their space. If you haven’t checked out Boomtown Tees yet, you should. It is worth a visit. And after you visit Boomtown, check out the newly reopened White Flag and grab a great burger. We hear the Uma Thurman burger is amazing.

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Boomtown Tees
114 S. Elgin
Tulsa, OK 74120
918.938.6000
sales@boomtowntees.com
Store hours:
Tues.-Sat. 11:30 – 7:30
Sunday 12:00 – 6:00
www.facebook.com/boomtowntees
www.twitter.com/boomtowntees
www.instagram.com/boomtowntees

 

Ant’s Choice: Center of the music universe

In its third year, the Center of the Universe Festival (COU Fest) is quickly becoming one of the best music festivals around. With consistently over 100 bands spread across three stages and countless local bars and venues, COU Fest has the momentum it needs to continue growing and bringing in the best acts to Tulsa.coufest

But just like other festivals, COU Fest is more than just music, it’s a massive bizarre of shops, food trucks and everything in between. There is definitely something for everyone, even the kids.

Being hosted in the Brady Arts District, one of the many up-and-coming districts in Tulsa, means festival-goers have prime access to some of the best restaurants around. Which not only lets you cool off in some much needed air conditioning in the Oklahoma summer heat, but also means you don’t have to leave the festival grounds to score an awesome dinner with your friends. image1 (1)

One of the things that COU Fest continues to get right is their scheduling of acts. No matter what bands you want to hear, the stages are close enough together that you’ll be able to make your way over and listen to all your bands of choice. And the times are staggered, too. Allowing you to hear snippets of multiple bands no matter where you are headed. There is always music playing somewhere, which keeps your attention throughout the long two-day festival.

Center of the Universe Festival draws in people from all over. And if you haven’t been, you need to. The festival may even be bucket list worthy to some. We’re already looking forward to the lineup for next year. For more information and to learn all you need to know about this amazing Festival, head over to centeroftheuniverse.com.

Or find it all over social media.

Facebook:
Center of the Universe Festival

Twitter:
@COUFest

Instagram:
@COUFest

10 best practices on how to talk to your agency

When it comes to talking and dealing with your creative agency, there are a few tips that help get the most out of your partnership that you may not know, especially if you’ve never worked with an agency before. We polled our office and got some good feedback on how best to talk and deal with an agency. Hopefully these tips will help next time you and your agency hit the roadblock. (In no particular order)

1. Understanding the problemshutterstock_258823979

Allow us to do that. You may want to try and define the problem yourself, but including your agency in that process can be very beneficial. The more information we have about your brand and your goals the better equipped we will be to offer valuable input and produce something that delivers the results you want.

2. Include as much information as possibleshutterstock_261566594

The more information the client can give to the agency at the beginning of the project, the better. Sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as knowing what you do want. Provide all input/assets at the start of a project. Often, changing direction or new information mid-project causes the scope and budget to change.

3. Be transparentshutterstock_164665187

With transparency, time is used effectively and problems or issues are defused. It allows for the relationship to be authentic, in which trust is created, and the client and agency can work in harmony. There is a mutual respect in what the client brings and what the agency brings in the relationship.

4. Give good feedbackshutterstock_228790603

Client feedback is crucial to the creative process. Before providing feedback, gather a full consensus from your team so everyone is on the same page with any design or copy edits. This will save time and production costs in the long run.

5. Be concise shutterstock_256115929

The more concise you can be, the more likely the agency won’t miss something. Use bullets or organize content so it’s easy to make sure things aren’t missed. Writing one long paragraph may lead to items being missed.

6. Be clear about requirements, optional items and wish list itemsshutterstock_161233412

Be very clear about what is required and how success will be measured. Separately, indicate wish list items and optional items- if we know the ultimate wish list, we can try to achieve it. Itemizing must-have and ‘nice-to-haves’ is a good way to give the creative folks freedom while making them aware of what would exceed expectations.

7. Remain present and engaged in conversationsshutterstock_254080660

Remain present and actively engaged in the conversation, whether it’s in person or on the phone. Remove distractions and be open and honest, both in listening and communicating back to the agency. If you are demostrating that you are making the project a priority, the agency will too. Direct and honest feedback is the best way to communicate.

8. Give accurate and achievable deadlinesshutterstock_184538510

In order to do the best work possible the agency needs deadlines that can be met while maintaining internal agency processes that are in the place to ensure the best product from the agency. There are times when rushing something is unavoidable, but with proper planning and preparation clients should be able to provide the agency with the time necessary to develop great work. Rush deadlines should be the exception, not the rule.

9. Know what your objective isshutterstock_277496639

What are you looking to accomplish? Are we driving traffic to a website or event? If not, what is it you want to happen? This is very important information to provide when it comes to creating a campaign that is not only creative, but also effectively meets your need and produces the results you were expecting.

10. Be clear on what not to includeshutterstock_107966306

If competitors use certain elements in their branding, pass that information along to the agency. If there are certain themes or colors to steer clear of because of industry connotations or CEO preference, it is better to know upfront rather than to find out after the first design options have been developed.

Let us know in the comments if you have any other best practices when it comes to communicating with creative agencies. 

Another year, another great Saint Francis Tulsa Tough

FullSizeRender (1)Saint Francis Tulsa Tough has been around for a while now as the go-to cycling event, drawing a crowd of people that come from all parts of the country. But this event is more than a crowd pleaser. Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is all about the community.

This year marks the ten year anniversary of Saint Francis Health System sponsoring the event. And as a sponsor, Saint Francis does it to help give back to the community and encourage Tulsa residents to remain active and have some fun.

They even have a cycling crew, the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Divas. Which is comprised of women of all ages and backgrounds, that come together not only to ride in Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, but also to stay active and enjoy each others camaraderie year round.

image2Saint Francis Tulsa Tough consists of three days of criterium racing, two days of Gran Fondo races and the “come as you are” all-ages Townie ride, which is very popular among enthusiasts and families a-like.

Each day of the event takes place in a different district of downtown Tulsa, showcasing what our city has to offer. And offer it does. With the recent revitalization of downtown, there is something for everyone. From restaurants, bars and comedy clubs, to bowling, grocery stores and Drillers baseball.

This year’s event could have taken a turn for the worse when a cyclist collapsed near Cry Baby Hill, the toughest section of the ride. But luckily, Officer Don Holloway was there to help. The cyclist collapsed and Holloway sprang into action. He made a call to EMSA and then started giving the man CPR. A great action that Holloway thinks of as just part of his job.

If you didn’t make it out to this year’s event, make sure you do next year. So you can enjoy the fun activities put on by Saint Francis and everyone else involved. Maybe you’ll even join the Townie ride, who knows.

For more information on the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough event, visit www.tulsatough.com.

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Celebrity Status

image3 (2)When you step inside Celebrity Restaurant, you get transported back in time. To a time when people cared about service, relationships and treating people with respect. And you shouldn’t expect anything less when you learn that long-time owner, Mike Samara, is a 91-year-old World War II veteran.

During the war, Mike served as a surgical assistant with an infantry division. He got a couple weeks worth of specific training and then was sent off to fight and help save lives in France, Belgium and ultimately Germany, where he stayed until the war ended.

When Mike took over Celebrity Restaurant in 1963, there had been three different owners in the previous year alone. All failing to turn the bar around and make it a success. Mike decided to take a different approach when he took over the reins. He brought in outstanding food, like the signature fried chicken — which is his favorite dish, and provided excellent service to everyone. His famous smile rubbed off on all who passed through the doors and before he knew it, Celebrity Restaurant was a runaway success.

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If you’ve never been to Celebrity Restaurant, you should go. Not only for the great food, but also for all the stories hanging on the walls. As the name implies, many famous people have stopped in and enjoyed the food and drink offerings of Celebrity Restaurant. Like Bob Hope, one of the funniest comedians ever, who made it his duty to make sure our service men and women were entertained while fighting for our country. The posh chairs and inviting staff make sure you are comfortable while dining on great dishes made by great people.

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Mike owes much of the success of his food offerings to his first cook, Mattie. Whose fried chicken recipe is still in use today, as are the same iron skillets from 1963.

What started out as a private club is now the cornerstone of 31st and Yale. Mike Samara has not only left a lasting impression on what it means to be a great restaurant owner, but also on what it means to serve your country.

This Memorial Day, take the time to thank all the military members that went out of their way and served this great country we are lucky to call home.

Thank you.

About Celebrity Restaurant:
3109 S. Yale Ave.
Tulsa, OK
918-743-1800
celebritytulsa.com

Hours:
Open for lunch Monday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Open for dinner Monday-Thursday 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

We love moms

MomsDayCollage (1)Happy Mother’s Day to all the great and caring moms out there. Every year we celebrate this day as a way to say “thank you” to moms for everything they do.

We polled the office to find out what everyone’s favorite Mother’s Day video is and then voted for the overall best one. But, we couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are the top two favorite Mother’s Day videos, as voted on by the Ants.

A little advice — keep a box of tissues close by.

World’s Toughest Job
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB3xM93rXbY

What the Ants thought:

“I loved the World’s Toughest Job campaign because it keeps you interested and hooked throughout the video. It entices you to keep watching and find out what this crazy, unheard of job position is.” — Lale

“If this doesn’t make you want to call your mom and thank her for everything, I don’t know what will. The setup is priceless and the reactions are even better.” — Matt

Here’s to the moms
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRDyP2DcEds

What the Ants thought:

“I like this because it’s a happy, contemporary celebration of moms everywhere. The videos and the photos make the message of gratitude and love even more powerful.” — Anna

“Any time you can use real people in a genuine setting, it adds a very emotional element for the viewers. That’s what I enjoy about this ad; it’s relatable. It reminds them of the impact their moms had on their lives.” — David

Here are a couple more that didn’t make the top two, but are just as great and memorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SwFso7NeuA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBMQcW6S11Q

Ant’s Choice: Early person gets the produce

Saturday mornings are best spent at farmer’s markets. And one of the best Tulsa farmer’s market to spend your morning at is the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market off 15th and Peoria.

A couple weekends ago, a few intrepid Ants left the colony and ventured out our front door to marvel at all the amazing foodstuff and other products the various venders have to offer. From vegetables, flowers and grass-fed beef to herbs, breads and even clay goods, there is something for every food lover. And something even if you’re not interested in the food at all.

When it comes to selection, Cherry Street Farmers’ Market makes sure it’s all represented–if it’s in season. That’s one of the best perks to shopping at a farmer’s market, you get access to vegetables, fruits and other goods that literally just came off the farm. It’s about as fresh as you can find. We talked with a couple of venders and they all said that the majority of the foods they had for sale were picked within the last 24-48 hours. And you can definitely taste the difference.

One vendor, Blakely Family Farm, has some of the best eggs we’ve ever had. Hailing from northeastern Oklahoma, Rae and Lyle Blakely have been selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market for the past 18 years. It takes over two hours to set up, but as the owner said, “My favorite thing about [selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market] is meeting all the people that come.” image2

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Needless to say, for the next however long they are selling those eggs, the Ants will be buying them.

For the non-food goers, Fat City Clay offers a number of amazing handmade clay products. From coffee cups and pitchers, to bowls and plates, every product is unique and beautiful. We spoke with Joe Staskal, from Fat City Clay, who’s been selling at the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market for 15 years about what makes him keep coming back year after year. “The people are my favorite thing about doing [the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market] every weekend. It’s like another day off for me.”

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The common thread here is the goods are just as good as the people around the market.

If you want to get some fresh goods, and don’t mind waking up early, we highly suggest you check out the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market. Which happens every Saturday from now through October, starting at 7 a.m. and ending around 11 a.m.

What do you like about the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market? Let us know in the comments.

CONTACT INFO:
The Cherry Street Farmers’ Market
15th St. and Peoria Ave.
www.cherrystreetfarmersmarket.com
www.facebook.com/cherrystreetfarmersmarketassociation
www.instagram.com/tulsafarmersmarket
www.twitter.com/tulsafarmersmkt

Meet the Ants—Sarah Haertl

Behind every great ad, there’s a problem-solving Ant who knows how strategy and tactics work together to achieve positive results. Here’s your chance to meet one of our crew.10940638_369303236587977_3056284665325395157_n

Sarah Haertl
Director of Sales and Marketing

How did you first meet the Ants?
I relocated to Tulsa from Wichita as Regional Director of Marketing for the BOK Center. One of my first assignments was to hire a creative agency to design a national trade publication campaign for the venue. The objective was to sell the BOK Center and Tulsa to national promoters, artists and agents as one of the top concert markets in the country. From the first meeting, I knew the Ants were special. We just clicked. I loved the Ants’ passion for their work and their out-of-the-box ideas. To boil it down: They just got it.

What did you like about the Ants?
Working with the Ants from the client side was easy. It was the perfect blend of professionalism with edgy, creative ideas. Our meetings were fun and productive, all at the same time. It’s easy to see why so many Ants have stayed here for many years. This team knows how to have a good time, while getting the job done.

What would you like a prospective client to know about working with the Ants?
Having been a client of the Ants, I can confidently tell prospective clients to expect the best working relationship you’ve ever had with an agency. We meet deadlines. We over-deliver. And the work is good—really good!

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned or done since you’ve been here?
My first project was the marketing plan and media buy for Center of the Universe Festival. I love this project because it lets me utilize my concert marketing experience. I also believe Center of the Universe Festival is a great asset to the city of Tulsa. It’s a “quality of life” enhancer that makes Tulsans proud of their city. How could I not be excited about the opportunity to help make my community better?

What have you learned about being on the agency side of the marketing equation?
I’ve gained an even greater respect for all those creative people. The work our designers create and witty prose our writers craft is unbelievably good.

What do you for fun or stress relief? What’s your favorite pastime?
I would love to say something daring like skydiving or swimming with sharks, but honestly, I work out and read, both for stress relief and for fun. On a side note, I did bungee jump when I was in college and I’ve promised my 12-year-old daughter that I will take her sky-diving for her 18th birthday, so I guess I’m not completely boring.

You’re so shy, Sarah. How can we bring you out of your shell?
I am a people person. Don’t ask me to do any technical like set up a computer or assemble furniture. My idea of torture is reading the instruction manual to anything. Set me free in a room full of people, and I’m in heaven. I love talking to people and hearing their stories. This business is about relationships. Even though I’m still relatively new to Tulsa, I hope my willingness to get out there and meet people will help ensure my success.

Why Great Danes?
I blame Scooby Doo. As a child, I was obsessed with him. My weekly ballet classes were the same time Saturday morning as Scooby Doo. This was long before VCRs or DVRs. My mom told me I had to choose between the two. That decision was easy…bye, bye, ballet. I currently have two Great Danes and they call them gentle giants for a reason. They are kind and loving and—and as painful as it can be—they really want to be lap dogs. Ours weigh close to 200 pounds each, so that’s a whole lot of dog… and a whole lot of dog slobber! (You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?)

Ant’s Choice: Breathing new life into vintage home goods.

Located off 12th and Harvard, Retro Den is a vintage home store not to miss. The outside is bright and vibrant and the inside is just the same. When you first step inside, you are surrounded by beautiful succulents and other plants, some of which have been growing for over 20 years. But when you look past them, you see what the Retro Den is really about: quality and reasonably priced vintage home goods that you can actually use.

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Retro Den does a nice job of arranging their items into different areas and rooms—just like IKEA. This gives you a sense of completeness. Looking for an entire dining or living room solution? They have it set out and ready to purchase. The wide-open interior makes it easy to survey all the goods and find the hidden gems.

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Their glassware selection is second to none. Having been there many times, there is always a new set ready to be taken home. Need new glasses? Check. A serving tray? Check. If glassware is your thing, you need to stop in and see the amazing and diverse collection they have.

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Retro Den isn’t only about selling vintage items. Owners Ashley and Ashley have done a great job of curating local craftsmen to supply them with amazing furniture and accessories. From handmade pillows and paintings, to custom bar carts and desks, they even have a reupholsterer in-house to make sure their items are in the best condition possible.

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If you’ve never been to Retro Den, you need to go. There’s no question about it, Retro Den is one of the best stores in town for vintage goods. Oh, and they have an interesting system for rewarding frequent shoppers. Buy an item, post it on Instagram and tag @retrodentulsa and you get 10 percent off your next purchase. Pretty cool, right?

About:
Retro Den Tulsa
1216 S. Harvard Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74112

918-794-7118
www.retrodentulsa.com

Hours:
Tues. – Sat., 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Was $4.5 million worth 30 seconds at the Super Bowl?

The last minute of this year’s Super Bowl was amazing, but what about this year’s ads? There are mixed reviews. Some people say they were weak, while others believe it was a good change of pace. But we aren’t here to weigh in on whether the ads were good or not, but rather was the money spent advertising worth it. And it was a lot this year. The cost of a 30 second spot was $4.5 million, up from last year. And $9 million for a 60 second.

Which got us thinking, excluding production costs, which can run upwards of $1 million, how many products would Super Bowl advertisers have to sell to cover the cost of airtime?

We worked out the numbers for some of the advertisers and found out that they would have to move a lot of units to cover the airtime. Check it out for yourself.

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AcrobatAnt named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News

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Tulsa, Okla. (January 30, 2015) – AcrobatAnt was recently named Tulsa’s Best Advertising/Marketing Agency by Tulsa Business & Legal News on its “Besties of 2015” list. The annual awards are voted on by Tulsa’s business community and are awarded in a variety of categories.

“Our focus is always on keeping our clients happy, so it’s great news for the Ants when others in the community appreciate our work, too,” said Danny Sadler, AcrobatAnt owner and creative director. “We’re especially honored because we know there are so many good agencies in Tulsa.”

Founded in 2008, AcrobatAnt is a full-service advertising, marketing and digital agency. The company’s client list includes national and regional brands as well as local names such as Saint Francis Health System, Oklahoma Central Credit Union, Mazzio’s, BOK Center and Sonic.

Ant’s Choice: Kolaches so good, you’ll want a second. Or third.

Each month, a group of Ants is heading out on the town to discover a little more about the little gems Tulsa has to offer. We’re putting in the legwork to keep you informed, one place at a time.

The first thing you notice when walking into Oklahoma Kolache Co. is the atmosphere—from the simple black and white pictures to the copper pans hanging on a door, Oklahoma Kolache Co. has a warm, cozy and inviting atmosphere that makes you want to stay for hours. The amazing customer service helps, too. Victoria, who’s worked there pretty much since it opened, gave us an amazing rundown of everything on the menu. Every question we had, she answered. And her favorite kolache? Mushroom and Swiss.

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Which may not have been what you were expecting to hear, as the traditional Czech kolaches are normally filled with fruits and cream cheese. But at Oklahoma Kolache Co. they offer both sweet and savory options. And they make everything in house, including some killer kielbasa. Tulsa’s very own DoubleShot Coffee Co. is served here, which makes it a great place for a cup of joe or the latte of your dreams.

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Our group tried seven different kolaches while we were there and we couldn’t pick a favorite. They were all that good. Even the kolache of the day, the Cherries and Cream cheese, was perfectly balanced. Just sweet enough to make you happy inside. The one item on the menu that threw us all for a loop was the Dirt Bomb, a cupcake/ muffin mix that is dipped in butter and then rolled in cinnamon and sugar. It was the bomb dot com.

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We talked to the chef, Matt, and he has some favorites of his own, like the Ranchero. But what he really loves is making new combinations for the daily special. Which not only keeps you coming back everyday because they’re so good and unique, but it also lets Matt’s creativity run wild. Past daily specials include: Snickers, Corned Beef Hash, Pistachio Truffle and Chocolate and even a take on the Rueben. All are wrapped up in a warm and fluffy dough that has the perfect amount of crunch.

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One thing is for sure, we’re all in agreement that it’s a dangerous thing Oklahoma Kolache Co. is so close to the office.

Ant’s Take:

Cayla // Kolache: Sausage Gravy
Take: “I’ve never eaten anything with the name ‘dirt’ that tasted so amazing as the Dirt Bomb.”

Rachael // Kolache: Ham, Egg and Chive
Take: “It is all around an ideal place to spend a morning eating, drinking and chatting with friends.”

Lale // Kolache: Banana and Nutella
Take: “I’ve yet to taste a bad kolache here. And the coffee was delicious.”

Shannon // Kolache: Pork Belly with Blackberry Sage Jam
Take: “Everything is well executed from the menu to interior design. I’ll definitely be going back.”

Angela // Kolache: Homemade Kielbasa and Cheddar Cheese
Take: “It was hard to not get another one after the first. The Crème Brûlée latte was the perfect side kick!”

Matt // Kolache: Ranchero
Take: “ I’ve had everything on the menu. Now I need to catch all the daily specials. So long, New Year’s resolutions.”

What’s your take on the Oklahoma Kolache Co.? Add it to the comments below.

Visit them for yourself:

Oklahoma Kolache Co.
1534 E. 15th Street
Mon–Sat: 6–11 am
918-295-8822
oklahomakolache.com

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Clean your desk and start the year off organized

It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day

The second Monday of each year is a day many dread: National Clean Off Your Desk Day. It’s not that our desks don’t warrant a cleaning, it’s that we just don’t want to do it.

This year, the Ants decided to challenge each other to clean our desks. And, many of us did.

Here’s some background from a recent press release as to why this day exists and is celebrated.

“This special day was originated by Anne Chase Moeller, the daughter of Mr. Chase of the Chase’s Annual Events—the very book where special events are listed. Anne often helped out in her father’s office and shared his incredibly cluttered desk. In order to create a place where she could work, she would spread a cloth over his chaos and then do her work. When she finished, she would put her things away, including the cloth and leave. The end of 1982 she declared that he would clean off his desk at least once each year. Naturally, being in the business, they entered National Clean Off Your Desk Day into the record book for the second Monday in January, and the rest is history. The record book has since been sold to a larger publisher, but the event is still celebrated each year. It is a great time to get a fresh start for the new year.”

So, whether your desk is closed off from others, out in the open, a cubicle, at home or a pop-up desk on the kitchen counter, keeping your workspace free of clutter, organized and clean will help you prepare for another year of work.

Here are some tips to help keep your desk in order this year:

Keep a clear space on your desk
The majority of us work on computers now, but it is important to have an area free of clutter for other tasks.

Put unnecessary supplies away
Staplers, tape, hole punches and other supplies you may use once a day or less should be put away in a drawer.

Have cleaning supplies near
It’s always nice to have cleaning supplies close by, but it also encourages you to keep your desk tidier.

So many cords, so little time
Cords tend to take over desks. Keep them organized and out of they way. There are many gadgets and gizmos out there that can help.

Continually clean
Making time in your schedule to clean weekly will help you stay on top of it and not feel as stressed out. Also, maybe you won’t have to participate in this event next year.

Here are some before and after pictures from around the office of desks that are now spotless:

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Ants sponsor Women In Recovery apartment and get valuable lessons in return.

WIR ApartmentOn the way back to the office from the Women In Recovery apartment, everyone was quiet. With our rowdy bunch that is a pretty rare occurrence; but as we left the little home that will soon house members of the program, we took with us a few lessons in gratitude.

Our group gusted up the stairs along with the cold front and into the modest two bedroom apartment where we were greeted by two program participants as well as Mimi Tarrasch and Diane Hughes from the Women In Recovery administration. After a quick tour of the apartment that we helped to stock, furnish and decorate, we all sat down to talk about what the apartment will mean to the women and/or children who live there.

First and foremost, this home is a safe place. It is a place where participants can rebuild their lives without fear of being assaulted, burgled, having to move without notice or otherwise not have any control over what happens inside those walls.WIR sign

It is a home to women who have been living in jail, under bridges, in a car if they were doing really well, squatting in abandoned buildings with no heat or running water or other such things to survive. As one participant said, she had reduced her life to living like an animal in a cage. Now that she has been inside the program for about a year, she is grateful that she no longer has to do that.

It is a step towards independence. The goal of Women In Recovery is to keep nonviolent female offenders out of prison by helping them learn to become self sufficient, productive citizens. Gradually they increase their work hours and take on the responsibility of paying their living expenses.

If you would have asked her a year ago as she was sitting in jail if any of this was possible, Melissa* says she wouldn’t have believed it.  While living in her addiction for the last nine years, she thought there were only two ways out—suicide by cop or suicide on her own. Now Melissa is living in an apartment, working and in talks with her supervisor about taking a management position.

When talking about the remarkable transformation of her life, she said simply, “I can find gratitude in anything now. In anything.

For more information or to donate to Women In Recovery, please call 918-991-6200

*Name changed for privacy

AcrobatAnt named one of Tulsa’s fastest growing companies for third year running.

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The Ants celebrated last week at the Tulsa’s Fast 40 Dinner as AcrobatAnt was named #16 on the list of Tulsa’s fastest-growing privately held companies by The Journal Record. We’re proud of how much we’ve accomplished in the last few years and looking forward to many more great years to come!

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Take the mask off.

 

There’s usually more to a logo than meets the eye. And we’re going to help reveal the meaning on some of the best designed and most well thought out logos out there. Each logo below has a hidden message. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal look at these world-renowned logos.

 

 

FedEx-Express

Most people probably already know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, but did you know that when FedEx was presented with the logo, the agency chose not to tell the FedEx executives it was there. Luckily, one of the spotted it and it was chosen as the winning logo. Go figure.

 

 

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Amazon’s logo actually has two meaning to it, not only does the logo have a great smile, but the arrow points from A to Z. highlighting the fact that Amazon carries a wide variety of products. And the smile is just not for a happy logo, but represents their great customer service.

 

 

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Baskin Robbins’ hidden feature isn’t actually all that hidden. The pink parts of the BR in the middle make out the number of flavors they have. And if you don’t know, it’s 31. That’s a pretty impressive amount of flavors.

 

 

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Goodwill’s logo may look like a Lego head, but it’s more than that. It is actually a big G. Which the g is taken from the Goodwill text at the bottom of the logo.

 

 

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The London Symphony Orchestra logo might be one amazing organic-looking brush stroke, but it is so much more. Not only does the line spell out LSO, but it also looks like an orchestra conductor. You might have to look at it for a few. Start from the outside and work your way in.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Research first. Post second.

Anyone who writes social media was reminded of a good rule yesterday when DiGiorno Pizza used a hashtag that they shouldn’t have. And that rule is do your research before using a hashtag that may seem good for your brand, but turns out it isn’t.  Here is the tweet in question:

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If you are not aware, the #WhyIStayed hashtag is used for domestic-violence victims to speak out and tell their stories, not for pizza companies to promote pizza. It’s unfortunate that the person who posted it did not research before posting. The person that posted the now infamous tweet spent the next few hours apologizing on Twitter to people that were offended.

So, what’s your take. Honest mistake or just a brand going too far?

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Pick the right medium.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” But what exactly did he mean? Well, we won’t get into that today; however, the quote lends itself to advertising quite well. Because the medium you end up using dictates your message.

Whether you are using billboards, radio, television, print or online, each one is good for different types of messages. The following is a best-use list of which medium is best for what messaging.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Say This, Not That.

Have you ever heard of the abbreviation KISS (keep it simple stupid)? Because that should be the golden rule when you write. Keep the language simple and tailored to your audience.

When a patient picks up a doctor’s rack card, he or she should be able to read every word on the card and understand it. If they can’t, then you aren’t sticking to the golden rule.

We have a list of buzzwords or jargon that we try not to use when writing for our clients. But we’ve picked our favorite, or most hated, buzzwords to stop using. We also translated them into plain English. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Cheers! AcrobatAnt is named one of the country’s fast-growing companies.

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Thanks, Inc. Magazine, for naming AcrobatAnt among the country’s fast-growing companies. We’ve enjoyed some wonderful titles locally—Best Place to Work in Tulsa, Fastest Growing Companies in Tulsa—but this is our first time in the national spotlight. Looks like our “Pure. Simple. Honest” approach is working. Time to break out the bubbly!

Read more about the local businesses who made the list here.

For more information about Inc’s 5000 visit their website.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: When design makes you say, “What?”

What makes a design good? Maybe it’s how copy flows, or maybe how the designer pulls in a client’s colors and fonts. Or maybe it’s how the images and graphics look like they are in certain places on purpose and not just placed randomly. Maybe it’s all of the above.

To illustrate what good design is compared to bad, we had one of our designers, Cayla, take some made up copy and turn it into two flyers. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.

Bad

Let’s start off with the bad one first, because it’s laughable (although that picture is awesome).

Bad

Here’s where it went wrong:

  • The copy rambles.
  • There is a liberal use of gradients and interesting color combos.
  • Clip art and drop shadows.
  • The call to action asks you to call, but there is no phone number.
  • And finally there is no address for the event center.
  • It is very busy and lacks white space.

Good

This is one good-looking flyer. Take a minute to look it over and compare it to the bad flyer above.

Good

Here’s why this one is good:

  • Copy is short, sweet and to the point.
  • The colors all work well together and make sense.
  • The background is clean and simple. Copy is easy to read.
  • The call to action is clear and has a number to call.
  • The specific event center is named and place of meeting is listed.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Seven tips that lead to great copywriting.

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However simple it may sound to you, copywriting is a hard task. But with time and practice, you can be a great writer. And deliver great ads. We’ve scoured the Internet and the agency to see what causes the most frustration for designers, account executives and our proofer (thanks for having our back, Megan) when it comes to copywriting mistakes.

Here are the top seven responses:

Not including a call to action
Including a call to action (CTA) on your advertisements seems like something you learn on the first day of school, but unfortunately it can happen.  CTAs do not always have to be full sentences, they can be as simple as including a phone number. As a writer, you need to provide your audience with something to do. You have all this great copy that pumps a consumer up, but forget to give them a way to act on it. Shame on you copywriter.

False sense of urgency
Creating urgency in an ad is a skill in itself. That’s because people really just don’t like to do what you ask of them today; they’d rather complete it tomorrow. Why should I sign up for the seminar today if it’s three weeks away? In order to have a real, genuine sense of urgency, you have to provide people with reasons why they shouldn’t put off what you need them to do. Maybe you do this by telling a touching story that makes them act or maybe you give a reward to the first 100 people to register.

Use of buzzwords
Ah, buzzwords. Buzzwords are great for confusing people. And that’s about it. Do you ever read something that is full of words you think are made up or misused? Those, my friends, are buzzwords. Confusing the consumer is definitely not going to make them buy from you. In fact, they probably won’t even finish reading the ad. Use plain English. Here’s an example.

Buzzword version:
I am going to utilize my robust bandwidth to double down and be pro-active about our content.

Plain English:
I’m going to use my time to focus and write new blog posts.

See? Simplicity rules.

Longwinded descriptions
This goes along with using buzzwords. The shorter the description the better it is. The next time you go to write something, pretend that you are giving an elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet with just enough information to get your point across. Nobody is going to read paragraphs of irrelevant information about your new hospital wing or product. Just tell the consumer why they can’t live without it.

Relying on spellcheck
Spellcheck is great. But it doesn’t always catch everything. Common mistakes and misspellings are what the software excels at, but context isn’t really a strong point. Language is complicated and relying on a program to realize you used its when you meant it’s will cause errors. Take the time to read what you wrote over a few times. Run spellcheck, read it over and then read it over again.  That way you don’t have an unhappy client on your hand when you provide them an ad with simple errors.

Not writing to your audience
Finding out who your audience is and writing to that audience is one of the most important parts of copywriting. In order for your ad to be effective, you need to know who you are writing for. An easy way to figure out who your audience is and how to reach them is to do research. A quick search will give you some general information and the best ways to make a connection with them. An older audience may not be as comfortable signing up on a website as they would be calling someone, whereas a younger audience usually doesn’t want to interact with people at all. Using research will help you effectively reach the audience.

Listen to the client
When you meet with your client, go into the meeting prepared to listen and ask for clarification. Make sure you know what they are really looking for. One way to do this is by asking questions. Clients don’t mind questions at all; in fact, it can show that you are listening and interested in learning more. If your client is asking you to explain a new product to the consumer and not sell it, do just that. It might be hard not to sell, but do what they ask first.

Let us help you
If you need some help reaching your target market and getting some results, we can help. Visit our website and see how we help our clients reach their targets. And see the cool work we do at acrobatant.us. Or if you prefer talking it over in person, give us a call.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Four: Offseason Game Changers

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

You’ve presented the facts to your client and bosses, and shown that you can handle onsite events. What’s next? It’s time to start building a larger presence for next year’s event.

The time in between events can be used to not only promote the event, but also build a bigger fan base and gain influence within the event’s community. One great way to do this is to promote the event throughout all social media channels. This will help you gain followers and drive home the brand’s key messaging. This doesn’t mean to plainly tell followers when the next event is, but give followers a reason to read what you post. It could be as simple as keeping followers up-to-date on the latest news related to the industry, or posting facts about the event.

Another great way to keep the event top-of-mind during the time in between events is to host the occasional tweet chat or even a webinar. Tweet chats are a great way to interact with the event’s followers. Tweet chats also help you promote your event or brand hashtag and also gain awareness and followers. Use tweet chats to show followers that you follow what is happening in the industry even though the event is months out. If something big happens in the industry, chat about it.

The goal during the time in between events is to keep the event relevant and gain more influence within the industry and followers. This way, when it rolls around to event time, you can guarantee a larger turn out and maybe even attract new sponsors as well.

We hope this series has given you the tools necessary to be an onsite all-star. And if you need anything, we are just a phone call away.

Want tips on how to pull off a successful tweet chat? Download the White Paper here.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Three: Post Event to Do’s

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

After the event is over, the real work starts. From putting together reports to thanking everyone who attended, preparation for the next event starts with how you ended this one.

Provide a good summary of the event
One way to make sure attendees get the most out of the event is to put together a post-event summary that highlights the key points that were brought up by speakers and workshops at the event happened. This can be distributed through social media and more traditional routes.

Prepare a report on social media interactions
This report should highlight how many people interacted with the event on social media leading up to, during and after the event. Include the impressions earned, new Twitter and Facebook followers and engagement. These numbers can give insight as to how social media worked for your event. They also provide you with concrete numbers to show how well you performed. Also, you could make a page dedicated to showing off which key influencers had the most mentions, tweets and other vital statistics.

Thank attendees and influencers
This goes without saying, but thanking attendees and key influencers can help make sure you get some repeat customers and also keep a good pool of people coming to your event. Key influencers can turn into speakers at future conferences and events.

Build from mistakes
It is always great to have an event that went off without a hitch, but if something did go wrong or maybe the caterer was late for a lunch, use it as a learning experience. Onsite events can be hard to get perfect every time, but when they are, they are truly a great experience.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Two: Onsite Social Media

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

So you’ve done all the preparation and are finally ready for the event to take place. What’s next? Well, being onsite is a big responsibility and your goal is to make it a memorable experience for not only the people there, but also the people on social media. Your presence on social media can help make the event a success. Here’s how you can do it.

Create a memorable experience for attendees
It doesn’t matter if your event is a week long or one-day, creating a great attendee experience is very important. From the event layout to securing industry-leading speakers to providing quality food, all of those things can help an attendee remember the event and walk away feeling like they didn’t waste their time.

Position the event as a leader
Positioning your event as a best in business event is something you can accomplish through tactful social media posts and use of promoted posts. It is important to get industry leaders and known people onboard the event. If you can get people in the industry to retweet and share your posts, then it shows that your event is something to attend.

Engage with attendees onsite using social media
Whether you use Facebook polls or tweet chats, getting attendees talking about the event on social media can help with exposure.  Providing details of what is going on and who is speaking next, or what time the social is happening can give people who didn’t come a virtual experience. By providing people who couldn’t make it with an idea of what is going on, hopefully they will attend next time.

Build loyalty
If you put on an event that allows people to have a good time while also learning from industry leaders, then you can bet that many attendees will not only return the following year, but also tell their friends in the industry to not miss out on the event.  A successful event can also do wonders to increase followers and fans, this helps you secure an even larger market share and improves your reach throughout the year.

Download a case study
See how we engaged with attendees onsite during the smart grid industry’s leading event DistribuTECH. By employing the techniques we’ve covered and even a few more techniques, we help make DistribuTECH a yearly success. Download the case study here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 


Effective Social Media Tactics Part One: Event Preparation.

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events. 

There is a lot of planning and background work that goes on during the months, weeks and days leading up to an event. Here are some of the techniques and best practices we have developed over the years to make onsite events successful.

Establish a unique hashtag for the event
A unique hashtag can be useful in many ways. Unique hashtags are useful as they allow you to easily monitor mentions of the event on social media and also track the reach and how many impressions were made on people during the event.

Identifying and interacting with key influencers
One of the first things to do when starting to plan for an event is to get to know key influencers related to the event or industry. This gives you additional information when writing and developing content for the event. Also, by searching out key influencers you will be able to familiarize yourself with the industry, gain first-hand knowledge and add valuable assets by gaining their support.

Generate buzz for the hashtag and event
Once you have established what the hashtag for the event is going to be and sought out key influencers, the next step is promoting that hashtag in social media posts before the event. This gives the hashtag exposure and at the same time provides you with more engagement during the event. Promoted Posts and Tweets could be utilized here to make sure you reach your target audience.

Boost registration and social media growth
Great event preparation combined with social media know-how can boost event registration and result in more followers and likes. A pre-event contest or promotion conducted on various social media channels can help the event gain more exposure and lead to greater likelihood of people within the industry attending the event.

Download a case study
Our case study on DistribuTECH’s “Be a WinAIR” contest has valuable insight on how a well prepared pre-event contest can boost registration and gain exposure to help make your event go off without a hitch. Download the case study here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

You are what you spec.

To borrow (and rephrase) a standard question from a famous interviewer, if you were a typeface, which typeface would you be? AcrobatAnt challenged its art directors to set their own names in a typeface that reflects who they are and their point of view, then let other office colleagues try to match the art director with the typeface. Here are our results, a mix of surprising and expected. What typeface are you?

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Danny Sadler
Franklin Gothic Condensed

AcrobatAnt’s creative director chose this traditional font because he can subtly kern certain characters to make them flow together better. He likes its tall X height (the torso of the letters, the middle ground above the descenders and below the ascenders). Casual. Readable. Just a good, classic face. A foundation face that’s powerful and carries its weight. Good for invitations, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dell Chambers
Da Streets

He’s an illustrator and painter, so you can guess what kind of typeface Dell would choose: a brush font. There’s nothing demure about this one. Edgy. Fun. Aggressive. With some “pow” to it. He says it fits his personality. For the record, he didn’t fool anyone in the office. Dell tied with one other art director for getting the most correct votes matching him with his typeface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chance Walentiny
Sloop

Chances likes plenty of things about this classically elegant script typeface. See the way the H thins out? Chance especially likes how each character has little details and nuances that make a big difference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cayla Spears
Eyes Wide Open

Cayla must’ve made her typeface choice while looking in a mirror. She picked one that’s girly, but just sort of girly, not too girly. Not too elegant, either. Hers is a down-to-earth option that’s easy enough and thick enough to kern. Most of all, she picked it because it looks like real handwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bryan Cooper
Flemish Script

You think you know an art director, but no one in the office matched Bryan to the font he picked. To him, though, it made perfect sense. His fine art often focuses on the historical, Victorian and ornate. He loves antiques and collects old photography. And with this particular typeface, the thick and thin elements aren’t too exaggerated, making it a nice, easy script to read. Great for monogramming, too, as a fellow art director pointed out.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Jinni Giltner
Mohave

Jinni goes for the tall, dramatic and condensed type. Her choice is available in regular and bold. Caps only, no lower case, so her headlines are shouting all the time. She likes this newer approach to clean and simple. Nothing crazy. And she likes that the G doesn’t mess with the spacing, as it so often does.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Skaggs
Steelfish

It’s simple enough. Not the least bit obnoxious. Will’s pick catches your eye, but doesn’t have even one letter that’s hard to work with. It’s agreeable, has a good weight and looks good kerned, too. There are no other variations, but it works as is. Everyone likes Steelfish. (Nerd alert: If this typeface looks familiar, it’s because it’s used for the end credits of The Big Bang Theory.)

 

 

 

 

 

Take our quiz to find out what typeface you should be here.

Download our case study, Fonts Deconstructed, here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Meet the Ants—Kelly Fiddner

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You ran a marathon in Paris? Tell us about that experience.

I’m an absolute Francophile, so being in Paris was like visiting the mother ship. There’s nothing like meandering through the different arrondissements. Incroyable! You have the road to yourself, 40,000 other runners and thousands of Parisians cheering you on. Running next to the Seine? A dream come true!

 

What did you do as a teen that you hope Mia doesn’t do?

I was incredibly shy and not confident when I was young, so probably my biggest wish for her is to be confident in the choices she makes and in the woman she will become.

 

When did the obsession with recycling and living green start?

Being mindful of the things and people around me has been an evolution. I totally missed the whole hippie culture, so I’ve labeled myself a 21st century hippie chick. I’d give anything to live in northern California, own an organic farm or vineyard, do yoga and surf every day.

 

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in healthcare marketing in the last 12 months?

A true interest in digital marketing. And it’s about time!

 

How do you decide what to feature in the healthcare blog?

Healthcare marketing departments have so many irons in the fire and so many internal and external parties to satisfy. In ConsumerFocusedHealthcareMarketing.com, I try to pinpoint their struggles from 30 feet and from 30,000 feet, finding smart solutions to make their lives easier.

 

How do you develop a content strategy?

I start by asking “why,” as in, “Why are we in business?” If we can answer that, the “what” or the content strategy will unfold.

 

Describe the shift from push advertising to pull advertising.

I equate push advertising to using a megaphone to talk to your audience. It’s a one-way monologue with one purpose—to sell product. Pull advertising is a completely different mindset. To pull an audience in, you have to compel them; and to compel them, you have to know them.

 

What’s the difference between content marketing and brand journalism?

Custom content leverages an organization’s intellectual property collectively to provide value, help and resources to its audiences. Brand journalism leverages current events and news by hijacking it and creating relevant brand content around it. Great content marketers do both.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ever since thinking outside-the-box became so inside-the-box, we just did away with the box and got an oval.

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Who’d ever guess that one of the Top 5 Pollstar entertainment venues on the planet is right here in Tulsa? The BOK Center. Prior to the food venues, we have worked with the BOK Center to create some outstanding ads for trade publications, but this new project took our partnership to new heights. Our project was to take their existing concession stands and transform them into irresistible food havens for arena visitors. Thankfully, we have some amazing wordsmiths and designers that bring fresh ideas to life.

This resulted in Graphex 45 award-winning concession stands with fantastic food. And also some earned media in the Tulsa World and other news outlets.

“The concession stand remodeling project was so important to us because we know it will vastly improve the customer experience for guests who attend BOK Center events,” said Sarah Haertl, SMG Regional Director of Marketing, BOK Center. “We enjoy every aspect of working with the Ants. Their enthusiasm for our project and their level of commitment to our satisfaction made this project an enjoyable experience.”

How does it feel working with your agency? Gratifying?

Check out more of our work:

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

UPDATE:

We’ve just learned that our “Bring out Your Inner Rock Star” ad won the Best Trade Pub Ad at the Second Annual SMG Marketing Awards held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. More than 70 SMG marketers from over 49 venues across the U.S. and Puerto Rico voted on the ad produced by Amy Smith. We are excited to be able to showcase our talent on behalf of clients like the BOK Center.

AA-140602_blog_Rockstar

Only Mad Men Like Advertising; Customers Want Content

4934882110_87025eb586_oMarketers who are driving growth and building stronger brand connections with their audiences are doing so by providing value outside of a purchasing need. 

 

As we’ve discussed in our last few blog posts on content marketing, consumers have crept into the driver’s seat and have virtually shut off the world of traditional marketing as we know it. It doesn’t matter whether you sell to businesses or consumers—a buyer is a consumer and vice versa; their behavior is what they’ve acquired in their retail experiences.

A consumer’s brand experience begins online.

Marketing’s dependence on mass promotional campaigns with goals of reach and frequency are being replaced by messaging, information, tools and interactions that target, position and differentiate you from your competitors. This shift in thinking is much different than the promotional marketing efforts you’ve traditionally launched to publicize your product or service or your brand as a whole.

If you remember, we defined content marketing in a recent post, Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm, as:

the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Selling needs to be kept under the radar. What you’re trying to do is build your case and establish trust with prospective buyers. Make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. Make them want to buy from you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. So get to know your customers. Be likable. And by all means, be trustworthy.

Content marketing helps you get found by the people who matter to your business.

Think about the different types of content that contribute to your buyer’s journey. How can you capture attention and inspire them?

Here’s a simple example of the difference between “promotional marketing” and “content marketing.” Let’s use healthcare marketing, which is one of the industries struggling with the move from promotional marketing to content marketing.

Which of the below scenarios is an example of content marketing?

  • Running an ad touting your joint replacement surgery center
  • Creating a video that provides tips on how to treat knee pain after jogging

The print ad is promotional marketing because it will appeal to very few people who need a specific procedure—joint replacement surgery—at the time they see your ad. The content marketing example is the knee pain video because it will connect with a far broader audience who suffer from knee pain.

Understand that content marketing as a philosophy alone will not ensure success. If you take the idea of creating a video on knee pain and run a search for “knee pain video,” it will more than likely result in over a million hits. In order to show up through all of the clutter, you have to create a relevant, compelling program that differentiates you.

How do you begin? By asking the same questions a marketer would normally ask:

  • What are our goals?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Who is our primary audience?
  • What are our differentiators?

Once you determine the answers, you will want to think in terms of providing relevant messaging and content to an audience that may not have an immediate need to buy today. Focus on driving actions unrelated to making a purchase, like signing up for a seminar, requesting information, downloading a case study or white paper, or participating in a webinar. In other words, you are striving for engagement.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Townsend via flickr

Smart Moves for Getting Started with Content Marketing

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Smart marketers understand that today’s consumers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and choose messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently.

 

It’s no wonder then, that content marketing are now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in business and consumer marketing. So what do you need to get started? This is the first question of many that marketers ask themselves.

For starters, a carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation is required to be successful. In the content marketing efforts we manage for clients and ourselves, we’ve discovered six components that are imperative in getting started on the right foot, regardless of the business you are in.

  • Establish target market. Who will you talk to? Everyone? Think again. That net is much too wide. Is your target a specific age group? Parents? Medium-sized businesses in a specific revenue bracket? This is one of the initial steps to take before one piece of content is created. Establish who your target audience is for your content marketing plan and base it on age, location, income and other demographic information.
  • Create reader profiles (or personas). This technique is fairly simple. Start by identifying the attributes needed for someone to be your customer. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. Going through this exercise will help to personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your target audience and create more practical content with their needs in mind.
  • Determine digital distribution. How are you distributing your content? Before you create it, decide where you will host, publish and post it. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because you can disseminate content through a blog, photo gallery or downloads such as ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc. From it, social media should play a major role as distributor, as we advise in Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects.
  • Research keywords. What words do users type when they are searching for your products or services? It’s of the utmost importance to do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.

For example, “urgent care” is a phrase with lots of competition, but in spite of the amount of monthly search volume, it isn’t practical to incorporate into a keyword strategy. A good tool to use is Google’s Keyword Planner; it will help you find “long-tail” keywords and phrases such as “urgent care for children in Tulsa, OK” that will garner better traffic results for your site.

  • Think like a publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates and buying cycles, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. It also allows you to see connections within your content, get ideas on how you can repurpose it and ensures you have key information for SEO.
  • Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure your progress to see what’s working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

These are the critical components to put in place that will ensure you are on the right path for success.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing

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Marketers have always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways and social media is the communication workhorse that can effectively and efficiently do it.

Social media didn’t create content marketing.
Content marketing has been around as long as people have been selling services. What started as published content on the Web, progressed from text to rich content like videos, infographics, e-books, etc. Now that there is more content out there than anyone can reasonably find and consume, we’re applying personalization technology to filter the barrage of information coming at us from all angles into meaningful, relevant, digestible chunks.

Different animals.
There is plenty of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing, but don’t forget they are two different animals with different focuses and objectives. In social media, the hub of marketing activity lies within the networks themselves, with content being placed inside the networks. In contrast, content marketing’s focal point is your brand’s own content hub, like your website or a product-specific microsite.

 The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior. The goals of social media are participation, then behavior. – Jay Baer

 Social media is used by customers and prospects to communicate among themselves and sometimes with companies. Communication in social media is much less structured; it’s conversational and can be reactive. Therefore, its strength lies in brand awareness and customer satisfaction and retention.

 Social media is the new telephone. Content marketing is the new brochure. – Jay Baer

Content marketing is a tool companies use to educate, inform and entertain customers and prospects by creating attention or causing action that moves them down the buying funnel, resulting in leads, sales and advocacy.

A powerful match.
Think of social media channels as the tentacles that can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects. Despite the differences between the two, there is a vital interdependence that can make or break a digital marketing strategy. We’ve always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways, we’re just using technology as the vehicle to do it.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Photo credit: Thanks to mkhmarketing via flickr for the wonderful graphic available under the creative commons license.

Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm

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Content has always been an important part of many marketing plans, but somewhere along the line, something changed old-school marketing into the data-driven digital beast we are all clamoring to master.

That thing is called the internet, and it has transformed marketing communications into a completely new animal.

Your customers don’t care about you, your products, your services…they care about themselves, their wants and their needs. Today’s content marketing is about creating interesting information your customers are passionate about so they actually pay attention to you.

If you prefer a more formal definition, let’s use Content Marketing Institute’s version that defines it as the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience–with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

60 percent of business decision makers say that company content helps them make better product decisions.(Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Content drives the Internet. As marketers, we know that consumers are looking for information that helps them solve their problem. In that respect, content marketing isn’t new.

80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Whatever the label, the goal has always been the same: to share useful information that helps customers solve their business problems in the hope they do something, like return to your site, subscribe to your newsletter or download your latest white paper.

70 percent of business decision makers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source: Roper Public Affairs)

Offer useful, informative, practical content. Create content that makes your readers’ lives easier. Share content that makes them laugh and entertains them. Show them you understand what’s keeping them awake at night and offer solutions. This is the path to building brand recognition, trust, authority, credibility, loyalty and authenticity.

Good content marketing should:

  • Be relevant to your reader
  • Close the gap (inform)
  • Be non-promotional/non-selling
  • Be relevant to your company
  • Provide proof

Organizations that are having the most success use an approach to content marketing that involves a high ratio of valuable content with no sales messaging, mixed with intermittent promotional messages. The types of content keep growing, but here is a brief list:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • E-books
  • Case Studies
  • Demos
  • Events
  • Free trials
  • Information guides
  • Manuals
  • Online tutorials, courses
  • Podcasts
  • Presentations
  • Reference guides
  • Surveys
  • Videos
  • Webinars/Webcasts
  • White papers
  • Widgets

Getting started with content marketing can be as simple as implementing one type of content at a time, such as a blog. Then you can begin to layer new content types into the rest of your marketing plan.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Photo credit: Catherine Snodgrass via flickr

What are you willing to pay to reach those hard-to-herd millennials?

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Traditional media may not be able to reach the younger generation you’re trying to engage, but online radio (Pandora, Spotify) and smart TV (Roku, AppleTV, Xbox, Hulu, Amazon basic, etc.) are strategic ways to supplement traditional spending with online spending.

These tactics can be highly targeted, effective with high click through rates (CTRs) and you can tie them back to ROI with good reporting.

Is the investment is worth the engagement? That depends on client’s goals. Keep in mind:

  • Cover traditional media first—online, radio and smart TV are designed to supplement local media
  • These elements can provide a direct link to your website/webpage with great CTRs
  • Engagements don’t necessarily equate to increased sales/action
  • Great on-air spots don’t always translate directly to online success

Also, consider the benefits:

  • Geo-target a market to zip codes in many situations
  • Contextual radio targeting using format type, listener, interests, etc.
  • Contextual radio targeting using genres of programming, specific programming, viewer, interests, etc.
  • Detailed reporting capabilities—CTRs, impressions, etc.—to relate back to ROI
  • Can target specific dates and times as they apply to your business.

For more information, you can reach our Media Director, Tamara Green.

TamaraGreen@AcrobatAnt.com

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

What’s holding back your brand? Use spring cleaning to make it more efficient.

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Maybe the better question is, “What’s keeping your brand from being more productive?” Oh, now we have your attention! Think about it: Are you still using some processes, ideas and standards that are obsolete or getting in the way of your making progress? Consider these suggestions for updating your approach:

  • Email instead of snail mail? Text instead of email?
  • Text to confirm an appointment rather than call
  • Determine three ways to eliminate paper and go digital
  • Use an iPad to visually present your ideas when pitching business
  • Make sure your website is compatible for mobile devices
  • Offer forms online

These ideas are just to get you started.

Now think of 10 other ways your brand can be more efficient and ultimately more productive.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Your brand spring cleaning: out with the obstacles; in with the more-effective.

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As the tidying up of your brand continues, the next step is to let go of anything keeping you from moving forward. That can be something as simple as using old collateral like brochures or business cards, even though they don’t feature your newest logo; or refreshing your website/digital presence.

We understand not wanting to waste paid-for pieces, but distributing outdated materials (printed or digital) can be costly—blocking customers from seeing the new vision you have for your business.

Here’s an even better question: How do you know when it’s time for a switch? Take this short quiz:

  1. Are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
  2. Do you look different from the rest?
  3. Are there too many colors in your color palette?
  4. Are you using too many fonts?
  5. Are your employees trained to be ambassadors for your brand?

And finally, watch for Step 5, our last installation, coming soon.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Clean up your act this spring: Create a brand standard document.

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You may have one idea of how your brand should look. The person working next to you may have another. And the individual on the other side of you may see the brand completely differently. Creating a brand standard document does two things:

  • Spells out to your internal audience the Dos and Don’ts of representing your brand
  • Makes sure your external audience sees and hears a consistent message from your company

When developing a brand standard guide, be sure to include:

  • Approved fonts
  • Approved PMS and hex colors
  • Online guidelines for translating the brand into the digital space
  • Logo placement and guidelines
  • Specs for printed signs, banners, collateral
  • Templates for stationery kits
  • Email formats, including fonts and signatures
  • Presentation templates
  • Brand tone; sample copy and sample imagery
  • Approved manifesto
  • Approved creative brief

This document becomes your brand’s rule book. Following these guidelines gives your brand a consistent look that your audience can spot immediately. You know a Coke bottle is a Coke bottle before you see the name. A brand standard document can give your brand that same instant recognition.

Coming soon: Step 4—Obstacles.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Spring cleaning is a great time to declutter your asset library.

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You know how “stuff” piles up? Stacks up? Collects? Before you know it, you’ve amassed more things than you need and can’t find the ones you do. This happens at home and with your brand, too.

Now is the ideal time to go through all that clutter to figure out what needs to stay, what needs refinement and what can be tossed. Ask yourself, do I need this/these:

  • Photos
  • Artwork
  • Infographics
  • Mission statement
  • Who we are copy
  • Elevator pitch
  • Talking points
  • Promotional materials
  • Customer service practices
  • Policies
  • Presentations

These items (and more) make up your asset library. It’s important for them to be current and consistent. Make sure they’re on message and on target with your brand.

Think of your asset library as your tool box. Finding the right tool for the job—easily and in a timely manner—can save you time and make you more efficient.

Keep your eye out: AcrobatAnt will post Step 3 soon.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Is your brand clean this spring?

Spring clean your brand

Any huge project can be overwhelming—whether it refers to your house or your brand. But when you break down the process into simple steps, progress is easier to make. In this first of five posts, AcrobatAnt can help you spruce up your brand image.

First, you need to define your brand’s goals and objectives. Goals are your general, big-picture intentions; objectives are the results that come from achieving those goals.

For instance, if your goal is to grow your business, your objectives will define the specific categories, demographics and percentages for that growth.

Ask yourself these five questions about your goals/objectives:

  • Do they translate to all departments; am I taking an integrated approach?
  • Will we have to stretch beyond current limits to reach them?
  • Do they represent a consensus; is everyone on board?
  • Are they achievable?
  • Most important, are my goals measurable?

Once you have the answers, you’re ready to move on. Keep watching our blog for Step 2, which we’ll post in the next few days.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Leave trouble and baby behind with Velcro Babysitter

AA-140319_Velcro Babysitter

Our newest client puts worries and babies on hold.

When approached with such a brilliant idea, how can you resist? That’s what led to the acquisition of our newest client—the Velcro Babysitter. “Parents are sick and tired of having to pay teenagers to text their friends all night so they can live it up at bars and gambling venues,” said AcrobatAnt account supervisor and IPM manager, Cynthia Townsend.

After applying the velcro restraining sheet to the wall, the full-velcro harness is slipped over the baby. Now mom or dad can simply press the tot and trot off to the slots or knock back a few at their favorite watering hole. “The upside potential for this market is huge,” said Townsend.

The concept was originally developed by Jed Frindlebork, a local cockfighting aficionado. “I started using Velcro to hold down my prize-winning Jersey Giant. He was impossible to keep out of the henhouse. Then I thought, hey, what about babies? And Bingo – there’s your million-dollar idea,” said Frindlebork. Read full details in our press release.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Meet the Ants

Behind every great ad, there’s a problem-solving Ant who knows how strategy and tactics work together to achieve positive results. Here’s your chance to meet one of our crew.

Amy Smith
Senior Interactive Designer

SeriousAmyHow would you describe your job? 

I specialize in design and front end development of websites, email campaigns and online ads.

How did you get into online work? What was the attraction?

I started writing HTML when I was 12. I got my first AOL screen name when I was 9. I figured out how to set up a profile with my name and basic information, and how to put basic HTML tags in the profile to style it, change colors, etc. Then, I was like, “Oh, this is how whole websites are built!” I wish I could remember the website I went to to teach myself. It was a site that was geared toward teaching kids code—built by another kid. And that’s where I started.

What do you wish every client knew about online?

Clients have recently been requesting WordPress specifically as a CMS (content management system). Usually, WordPress is fine, but when we talk to clients, we realize WordPress isn’t always the best option for their site. Rather than requesting WordPress by name, clients would be better off telling us their needs and wants, then letting us come up with the specific technology.

What have been the biggest changes in online?

Web design has definitely shifted over the last five years to a focus on content rather than gimmicky design. There’s also been a huge shift to viewing websites on mobile devices rather than the traditional desktop or laptop computer. That changes the design thinking.

You’re not the typical image of a house flipper. Where did those skills come from?

I certainly wouldn’t call myself handy, but I’m good with a paintbrush and decent at learning new things. My family combined our expertise and hired professionals where needed. I was best at organizing the projects, choosing all the finishes and the staging—basically the fun parts. Our realtor said several colleagues and clients asked who did the staging. Turns out I might be decent at this designing thing. (My own house was pretty empty of furniture and decor for the several months our houses were on the market.)

AmyShoes

How do you walk in those heels?

No one in my extended family is over six feet tall. We’re a short bunch. I never thought I’d break five feet tall. The day I did was a tremendous relief, but at 5′ 3″-ish (on a good day), I’m still much shorter than most people. I decided to level the playing field with shoes. Over the years, I’ve gradually increased the heel height. Practice, practice, practice. Now it’s nothing to walk in 6-inch stilettos. And truthfully, some of my least comfortable shoes have shorter heels. The secret is really to find comfortable ones and wear them every day. I hurt my calf muscles in boot camp because I never wear flats. My legs were sore until I put on heels.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ants pick up Best of Show and several other Addy awards

Ants and Addys just go together.

1 Little Life

The Ants carried home several Addys at the American Advertising Awards recent competition in Tulsa. Top honors included Best of Show for 1 Little Life brochure for Saint Francis Health System—showing big victories for some of the smallest patients; and a Judge’s Choice Award for the Disguise campaign for ER Extra®—a lighthearted way to deliver a serious message about strokes.

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We also won Addys for a mailer with 3D glasses for Sheridan Healthcare, and our own healthcare microsite. We received Citations of Excellence for the Art in Transit Campaign, our cool capabilities mailer and the bug bus wrap for The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis.

 

View more of our award-winning work.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Ants team up with BOK Center on tasty concession designs.

Of course, Ants are naturally attracted to anything food-related. So when our client, Sarah Haertl asked if we’d design new graphics for BOK Center’s concession areas, we jumped right in. Each area received its own theme and graphic identity. It was a big job that required managing several vendors.

“In scope, this project could easily have become overwhelming,” said Sarah. “Our team at AcrobatAnt seamlessly coordinated the design, production and installation of the remodeled concession stands in the facility. We were in constant communication throughout the process, so we were up to date on the status at all times.”

As one of the country’s most successful venues, BOK Center welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests through its doors every year. The experience they have in the concession areas has a big impact on their overall impression of the BOK Center.

“The concession stand remodeling project was so important to us because we know it will vastly improve the customer experience for guests who attend BOK Center events,” said Haertl. “We enjoy every aspect of working with the Ants. Their enthusiasm for our project and their level of commitment to our satisfaction made this project an enjoyable experience.”

We Ants love a challenge. But, we love helping our clients grow their business even more.

Check out more of our work for other clients. Does your agency wait for you to ask or do they anticipate your branding needs?

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Tips to keeping up with the moving target of social media.

Nothing in marketing is changing as rapidly as social media. By the time you adjust to one thing, it’s evolved into something else. Certain facts paint a picture of just how sweeping this change can be. For instance, 95 percent of Facebook users log in to their accounts each day.* But, Google+ adds 25,000 new users daily and is quickly gaining on Facebook.** And with its Web assets leverage, Google+ is a serious choice to consider.

Perhaps the most stunning change is occurring in Pinterest. This visual-centric channel is by far the fastest growing of them all. But moving images are equally in demand. For instance, a branded Vine video is four times more likely to be seen than a regular branded video.*** With so many choices for marketers to choose from, it pays to hire a social media specialist that’s in touch with the pulse of the industry. Let AcrobatAnt help you solve your social media puzzle. http://www.acrobatant.us/contact_us/ Which channels are you using to promote your business?

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

*Source: Social Media Today AllThingsD
**Source: Sociable
***Source: 7th Chamber

Raise your site’s SEO power from the inside out, and from the top down.

Evaluating your entire website from a Search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint can be daunting, but it is well worth the effort.  Assigning descriptive names for pages, images and graphics can improve your ranking. And because search engines crawl your site through navigation links, creating good ones helps shorten the path between consumers and your core information and your path to success.

The keys to keywords.

Adding keywords to your web copy is a great idea, but using key phases is an even better way to improve searches. Density of keywords adds power to searches, but arbitrarily repeating them is not good and can potentially get your site banned.

Who’s knocking on your door?

Google webmaster tools show you how search engines interact with your site. And embedding Google analytics in your site will help you find out who’s coming, why, when and how. Learn other ways AcrobatAnt can boost your site’s SEO ranking.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Consumers expect more in 2014. Will you deliver?

The days of generalized category branding are over. Today, consumers expect brands to meet their specific needs, when and where they choose. That’s why in the coming year, social media will become more personal, targeted and relevant.

Micro videos will become more prevalent. Those designed to entertain and engage consumers on an emotional level will be the most successful. Watch for shorter and more compact messages as attention spans continue to shrink.

Brands that make data for digital and traditional marketing more integrated will be successful. And so will those that optimize their marketing to better meet the demands of today’s mobile consumers. Read how in this Forbes article.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpassikoff/2013/12/04/brand-and-marketing-trends-for-2014/

Comment if you think upgrading your social media marketing is a good idea.

Where is social media going in 2014?

Images and short videos will become key viral tactics. And advertisers will need to use all platforms in order to reach generation Y and Z. Consumers are not only more visually literate, they are using phones and tablets to do everything. Responsive design is not only a must, it is the bare minimum. If you’re not just as accessible on mobile devices as on big screens, you’re out of the game before it’s started.

With voice-activated searches, more Q and A type keywords are needed. And ever since Google’s Hummingbird update, context is more important than content in searches.

Read more about these and other social media trends that can better grow your business in 2014.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/georgedeeb/2013/12/11/top-digital-trends-for-2014/

How are you preparing to reach consumers using mobile devices?

It’s all about the user experience.

If your users aren’t engaged and keep having to fight with your website design, it’s time for an update. Over at Extension Engine, they’ve identified seven Web design trends for 2014 that put the user first.

From throwing out the old (skeuomorphism) to ringing in the new (parallax scrolling), we’re proud to say that we’re ahead of the curve.

For example, parallax scrolling allows large amounts of information to be displayed on one page while still looking fresh and being easy to read. Not sure what that means? Check out our healthcare microsite for an example: http://healthcare.acrobatant.com/

Other tips include using application-type interfaces that allows users to be more involved, rather than being passive readers, and using collapsible content to hide intimidating lists and clutter.

When was the last time your website got an update?

http://extensionengine.com/7-web-design-trends-for-2014/

Getting the response you want.

Keeping your website up to date will keep people coming back day after day, but how responsive is your site?

By using responsive design on your website, you can ensure that no matter what size screen your site is being viewed on, people will be able to see all of your content. Responsive design is an important element to consider when deciding on how your website will look, feel and function. Forget designing mobile specific websites. Just implement a responsive design so you can have one cohesive site that everyone will recognize.

Having one dedicated site that is designed responsively will greatly cut down on the upkeep required when you have multiple sites dedicated to the same cause. Read more about how responsive design can have a direct impact on your customers and your business.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/11/08/why-your-business-needs-a-responsive-website-before-2014/

AcrobatAnt Psychotic Circus Halloween Party: a frighteningly good time.

Our 2013 Halloween party will have you laughing and scared at the same time. The agency has been converted into a three-ring psychotic circus where scary clowns will perform for our guests. Our side-splitting sideshow will feature a costume contest, beer, wine and a photo booth.

Managing partner, Diane Davis, takes great pride in our annual Halloween party. Each year it gets bigger and scarier than the last. And with Psychotic Circus as our theme, you can imagine just how crazy scary it will be.

Did you know lots of folks are afraid of clowns? In fact, there’s even an official name for it—coulrophobia. So to all of our invitees—you have been warned!

halloween_post

AcrobatAnt Halloween 2012: Pirates, Ants and one hell of a dance.

AcrobatAnt Halloween 2012: Pirates, Ants and one hell of a dance.

We Ants hosted our biggest Halloween party last year. Our agency was transformed into a ghostly pirate galleon complete with Jolly Roger, grog and hundreds of pirates.

In the middle of the festivities, a flash mob broke out as several Ants performed a 5-minute ditty we’d rehearsed for the past few months. Thanks to Amanda Vavra who whipped us into ship-shape just for the occasion.

This year is our third annual Halloween blast and it promises to be the biggest and best yet. We Ants have chosen our theme, but you’ll just have to wait to find out. Hint—coulrophobes beware! How do you celebrate Halloween?

It’s the agency that keeps on growing.

We’re honored to be named one of Tulsa’s Fast 40 growing businesses by The Journal Record for the second year running. A few of the other honorees include Andolini’s Pizzeria (just down Cherry Street), Elote Café and Catering, MESA, M&M Manufacturing Inc., Pardee Construction and Vacuworx Global.

What’s the reason driving all of the growth here at the Ant Farm? We think it has to do with our culture. A great work environment and coworkers who treat each other like family members make for happy employees, which in turn leads to a happy culture and one of the best places to work in Tulsa.

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The Ants are hiring a social media digital producer

The social media space is ever evolving and we need someone that can keep up with all of it. Do you feel lost without your phone always at your fingertips? Are you dreaming in #hashtags? Are you questioning how other companies have handled their last social media crisis and wishing you could offer up your point of view? If you answered yes to these questions, you might just be the perfect addition to our happy Ant farm. The nuts and bolts to this job are below. Please submit your cover letter and resume to info@acrobatant.com. We are excited to hear from you!

Social Media Digital Producer

THE SOCIAL MEDIA DIGITAL PRODUCER is the agency’s primary advisor on all social media channels, including social networks, content sharing sites, blogs, micro-blogs and wikis. This person must demonstrate extensive social media experience.  The social media digital producer actively participates in a wide variety of social media activities such as blogging, community development and management, social bookmarking, commenting, etc., and is well-connected with the broader social media world.  The social media digital producer must be able to think strategically, but be willing and able to roll up his/her sleeves to help implement social media programs for agency clients.

The social media digital producer must be a storyteller, a tribe-builder, someone who knows how to connect with people in a real and genuine way and help them to be part of something big… and who also can change hats to be the agency’s social media data, numbers and analytics expert.

This person recommends social media channels appropriate for client marketing, and guides clients in adopting social media strategies.  The social media digital producer coaches clients, and agency staff, in how to participate in the social media conversation to help grow customer-brand relationships.

The social media digital producer advises on and monitors the agency’s social media initiatives and participation, and works to grow agency staff participation in and understanding of social media as an agency self-promotion and engagement tool.

The social media digital producer should have experience, or be willing to acquire such experience, in as many of the following areas as possible: social media tools and techniques; traditional, new media, guerilla and “word of mouth” marketing; strategic planning; product marketing; press and analyst relations; business development; technology; operations; sales; financial and quantitative analysis, and project management.

Reports to the Account Director, Manager IPM Team.

Responsibilities:
•    Creates comprehensive social media strategies, defining programs that use social media marketing techniques to increase visibility, membership and traffic across all client brands.

•    Implements and manages social media programs.

•    Experiments with new and alternative ways to leverage social media activities (“marketing R&D”).

•    Monitors social media trends, tools and applications, and appropriately applies knowledge to increasing client use of social media.

•    Strategizes with and educates the client service team as well as clients on incorporating relevant social media techniques into the corporate culture and into all company products and services.

•    Measures the impact of social media on overall marketing efforts including reports.

•    Prepares or assists in client proposals, estimates, timelines, creative briefs, invoices, and marketing/media/public relations planning.

•    Receives client briefings.  Writes client contact reports and meeting notes for all client meetings and distributes to appropriate agency personnel and clients. Quickly and accurately relays client change orders to the appropriate agency personnel.

•    Effectively presents, sells and defends all agency work/proposals to clients.  Supports other client service team members in same.

•    Keeps apprised of clients’ products/services/marketing developments and industry related knowledge.

•    Checks and approves creative/production materials, copy, layouts, production art, and interactive demo materials, and coordinates client approval of same.

•    Renews and grows existing client accounts.

What does your message say about your brand?

branding

One of the most important aspects of branding is deciding on what a brand should communicate to the target market, that is, what message is your brand trying to get across to your customer? This aspect is sometimes overlooked by marketers and can lead to some mistakes that could have been avoided.

One common mistake that is made is an over reliance on buzzwords. Buzzwords can be useful, but relying on them solely to describe your brand or what you do can leave for your brand back in the pack; not leading it.

Read about four other common mistakes made by marketers when it comes to brand messaging. http://mashable.com/2013/08/05/branding-mistakes/

What other marketer mistakes have you seen?

Stalked anyone recently?

There might be 16 personality types, but there are only nine types of Facebook users. And thanks to this nifty infographic from Optify, you can figure out what type of user you are and what types your customers are.

The-9-Types-of-Facebook-User-by-Optify

Using this classification system will allow you to better tailor your content for your primary customer type and help you understand their activity or non-activity on your Facebook page. The nine types are the stalker, baby boomer, newbie, over-sharer, brand promoter, fearful user, curator, gamer and non-user.  Our office has several curators, over-sharers and baby boomers, but we also have a few stalkers. (We keep them in the back.)

Which type are most of your customers?

ICYMI here is your Twitter language lesson

twitter

 

It seems as though the digital landscape changes everyday. New businesses popping up, a new social network becomes popular and hilarious cat videos. More importantly, a new digital language has formed, and it can be confusing. One social network in particular has some of the most confusing language. That one site is, of course, Twitter.

By limiting people to 140 characters, Twitter users have come up with a language that is full of acronyms, many of which can be hard to decipher. For example, ICYMI, AFAIK and TLDR are just a few of the longer, confusing acronyms.

Good news, though, here is a read-worthy article that has many of the most-used acronyms on Twitter and what they mean. Give it a read, so the next time you venture out into Twitter space you don’t get left out of the conversation. http://mashable.com/2013/07/19/twitter-lingo-guide/

 

Let us know in the comments what your favorite Twitter acronyms are.

Is scrolling the new page turn?

scrolling

Since the advent of the Internet, digital ads have been relegated to the edges of websites, save for the ubiquitous pop-up ad. In recent years however, site owners have become a little more flexible with where you can place your ad.

From Forbes to BuzzFeed, custom digital ads are becoming more common.  This new style allows site owners to use web space like never before. It allows them to literally put the ads in front of the reader. Marketers like this new shift because it allows them to offer more magazine-like advertising options, for example a full-page ad that appears when you start to scroll—as if turning the page.

See the full article at http://adage.com/article/digital/vox-media-takes-a-page-magazines-ads/243098/.

Is this pop-up version 2.0 or the future of digital ads? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Are promoted posts worth it?

shutterstock_141262171

 

Since being introduced last year, Facebook’s promoted posts have been a big hit with small businesses and have undergone some significant changes to help you reach even more potential clients. According to Facebook, “a Brand Page’s content is only seen by 16% of the Page’s fans.” Promoted posts were introduced to help businesses reach more than the 16%.

Over the past year, Facebook has released new features to let you really hone in on who is seeing your promoted posts, and even sends you an itemized receipt on how your money was spent and how many impression your posts garnered.  You can now choose to focus in on a single demographic or city, and even promote posts to “Friends of Fans.”

The full article can be found here: http://mashable.com/2013/07/08/facebook-promoted-posts-business/.  In addition to exposing how promoted posts work, they lay out a basic strategy to use them effectively.

Do promoted posts work for your business? Let us know in the comments!

Give your brand a boost with Social Lift from Mashable

shutterstock_92519419

Recently, Mashable announced a new native ad unit will be added to the company’s website. Called Social Lift, this new addition will allow brands to embed social media updates on the Mashable website. These ads will look and feel like Mashable posts.

“We’re doing this because we see brands are already creating a lot of compelling content that they want to share on social networks, and if a brand can create things people find truly engaging on social, that’s an opportunity for us to be involved and relevant to our audience,” said Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO and founder.

The first social platform to see Mashable integration is Twitter’s Vine app. Friskies’ “Grumpy Cat” campaign is the trailblazer for this new integration, and its Vine featuring the famous meme is now running on Mashable’s homepage.

Eventually, Mashable will see integration with all social platforms. Even better, a “Like,” share or retweet from the Mashable page will translate directly to the source, meaning a Facebook “Like” will show up on your brand’s Facebook page, too.

See the article in AdWeek at http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/mashable-unveils-new-native-social-lift-ad-unit-147844.

What do you think of this new integration? Will this give your brand the lift it needs on social platforms?

AcrobatAnt Wins Aster Award

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AcrobatAnt is proud to announce that we have received an Aster Award for our Fight/Trust/Strength campaign for Lancaster Regional Medical Center.

The Aster Awards is a medical marketing awards program that allows healthcare organizations and advertising agencies to compete against sized-based competitors from all over the world.

The Aster Awards has an annual contest allowing entries from the previous year to be scored, judged and recognized for excellence.

The Fight/Trust/Strength campaign was developed to highlight the power of Lancaster Regional Medical Center’s partnership with Penn State Hershey to form the Regional Center for Cancer Care. The goal was to create awareness of the partnership and program and to highlight the comprehensiveness of care available at the RCCC.

Several concepts were initially developed, but in the end, the client believed this concept, executed correctly, would create the most impact in market.

#HashtagsOnFacebook

Hashtag

After months of speculation, Facebook has finally rolled out a new feature that allows users to put clickable hashtags in their posts. “Hashtags turn topics and phrases into clickable links in posts on your personal timeline or your Page, and help people find posts about topics they’re interested in,” Facebook writes. Hashtags do not override privacy settings, however, as they are only visible to the people you already share your post with.

The arrival of hashtags on Facebook comes with mixed reviews. Businesses are welcoming the symbol-formerly-known-as-pound-sign with open arms. Before, Facebook did not have any search function that would enable company pages to find out what their customers were talking about outside of their Facebook page. Now, businesses can use hashtags to “eavesdrop” on users to find out what people are talking about, and usually, whether it’s positive or negative.

Some people do not share the same enthusiasm about the new feature. Many are afraid that their News Feed will be overrun with hashtags that #dontserveanyrealpurpose. There has also been complaint about the formatting of hashtags­—bold and blue type—compared to the standard type of non-hashtag posts. Facebook is known for its clean look, and opponents of the hashtag takeover believe this will clutter the interface.

What do you think about hashtags on Facebook?

How to Use Snapchat Geofilters

AcrobatAnt Office SnapchatSnapchat reaches 150 million daily active users worldwide—and this number only continues to grow—it’s about time everyone understands how to use geofilters. Geofilters are fun overlays that users can add to their snaps when sending to friends and adding to their stories in the Snapchat app.

There are two types of geofilters: community geofilters and on-demand geofilters. Community geofilters are free to submit and they share a location, such as a city, university or local landmark. On-demand geofilters are purchased by businesses and individuals to be used for events, businesses or specific locations. On-demand geofilters can be used in a wide variety of situations, including weddings, festivals and retail locations.

Before using a geofilter, you will need to make sure the feature is turned on in Snapchat.

  1. Open Snapchat and go to settings by tapping the ghost at the top of the screen and then the gear icon in the upper right corner of the next screen.
  2. Once in settings, you will need to navigate to “Manage Preferences” and switch the “Filters” toggle on.
  3. You will then need to ensure that you have given Snapchat permission to access your location. This is also located in “Manage Preferences” under “Permissions.” Hit “Edit Permissions” at the bottom of the screen and give Snapchat permission to access your location.

Once this is setup, accessing geofilters is fun and easy. After you take a snap, simply swipe left or right on the screen to add a filter. You will see a mixture of color filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlays and various geofilters that you can add to your picture or video. You can even add multiple filters by adding the initial filter of your choice and then pressing and holding down on the screen and swiping to the second filter of your choice.

Next time you’re out and about look to see what fun filters are available in the area to send to your friends, now that you know how to use geofilters. Happy snapping!