Shawn Nesaw

Last month Instagram began offering users the option of switching to a business profile. Doing so provides profiles access to Instagram’s much-anticipated analytics features. Called Insights, these provide a slew of demographic data about followers, and the overall impressions and reach of posts. It’s a great opportunity for businesses to finally wrap their heads around how their Instagram content is performing and the ways they could potentially improve that performance.

We’ve long known that Instagram provides significantly higher engagement rates than other social media platforms. For instance, an analysis of the accounts of the top 50 global brands conducted by Forrester Research in 2015 showed that Instagram delivers over 10 times the engagement of Facebook and over 80 times that of Twitter. Up until now, however, determining who is engaging with our content, when they are most likely to engage with it and what types of content are most appealing to them was difficult. Insights can now answer all those questions for us or, at the very least, go a long way toward helping us figure out the answers ourselves.

Instagram Insights
Here’s a peek at Insights

For starters, Insights will give you graphs breaking down your followers by age, gender and location, the latter of which is a big help in figuring out what time zone you should be basing your posting schedule on. Even more helpful in this respect, however, are graphs that show when your followers are most active, broken down both by day of the week and hour of the day. Now, for instance, you can see your followers are most active on Tuesdays and Thursdays and between the hours of 1-3 p.m.

Insights also provides a selection of your top performing posts, ranked either by reach or engagement. What is particularly useful about this information is the way it’s presented, not in list form, but as a gallery. Presented in this way, it becomes much easier to tease out the common factors contributing to the high performing posts’ success. You might notice all your top posts are images of people. Or maybe you notice they all contain bright blues and greens. Now you can take action and start developing your content so your posts feature more people or specific colors or other characteristics you notice are driving reach and engagement.

Switching to a business profile is easy and can be accomplished from your phone in just a few minutes. Your posts aren’t lost in the process (you’re not starting a new account) and, in fact, you get an additional benefit beyond access to Insights – your business profile will contain a “contact” button that allows followers to easily connect with you via phone or email and even get map directions to your place of business. For brick and mortar businesses, such as restaurants or retail stores, this could certainly help drive sales.

So, while Insights does contain a few odd flaws – for instance, the reach and engagement graphs lack hard numbers, providing only relative data – the benefits are too significant to ignore. Any business wishing to truly maximize their Instagram efforts should definitely make the switch to a business profile. And if, for some reason you decide you don’t like the business profile, switching back is as easy as the initial switch.

A. Bright Idea specializes in strategic social media planning to ensure our clients brand and key messages stay top of mind for their audiences. If your business needs help transferring Insights data into meaningful, strategic next steps, A. Bright Idea is always here to help.

If you have something to add to this story, share it in the comment section below!

ABI_headshot_Seth

Seth covers technology, social media, and strategic communication. Seth is a collaborative strategic communications professional with a breadth of experience in journalism, government affairs, public relations and event planning, Seth manages client communication projects for A. Bright Idea’s West Coast office

Tweet at Seth:  @SethDonlin

Shawn Nesaw

 

If you haven’t already noticed, live streaming video is becoming a popular feature throughout most social media platforms. If you watch carefully on Facebook, Twitter, or even TV, you’ll see evidence that live streaming is THE way brands are reaching millennials and is an increasingly common way for people to share important life events with their family and friends.

This blog is the first of a three part series focused on live streaming video, specifically Periscope. We’ll discuss the rise of live streaming on social media, how to use live streaming video apps most effectively for personal and business use and take a look at how live streaming is used in crisis communication efforts.

A BRIEF HISTORY LESSON

Periscope pioneered the idea of sharing in-the-moment video through a social platform. It was then acquired by Twitter and launched in March 2015. Two months later, Meerkat, a live streaming competitor, released its live streaming app and for the next year, the two led the social sphere in providing live streaming capabilities online. Less than one year later, Facebook launched its Facebook Live feature and continues to see success in the market by providing a live streaming feature in its own way. To recap, in just over one year, live streaming video became the “next big thing” and since then, everyone is trying to catch up and figure out how to utilize the newest, driving force in social media marketing.

 

Meerkat, Periscope, Facebook

 

These three live streaming video platforms, Meerkat, Periscope and Facebook, all take advantage of one thing most of us carry with us every day, mobile devices. People keep their phones or tablets with them all the time, which allows anyone to broadcast anything, anytime, from anywhere. While there’s certainly still a place for edited, quality video; unedited, raw video is becoming more popular by the day – not only for the individual user but for brands as well.

If you’re not on the bandwagon yet, no worries – live streaming video is still catching on. For the majority of people, Facebook remains the go-to for social media. Sharing on Facebook is a pretty normal part of life these days. Live video on the other hand is something completely different. Questions we often hear regarding Periscope or Facebook Live video usually sound something like: “Why share?” “How do you decide what to share?” or simply, “How did you do that?” As communicators, we’re always looking to utilize the newest and most progressive technology to share our message and we know live video can be simple, fun and effective.

Recently, A. Bright Idea started using Periscope to engage our audience as well as our own team, allowing everyone to experience our culture, whether it’s a creative brainstorm or an after work event. What we’ve noticed is this: there are a lot of untapped audiences out there who might not understand what live video is or how it can be helpful. We plan to shed some light on that and more in this series. Next up in this blog series, we’ll share what we’ve learned from using Periscope and some tips for using a live streaming platform effectively to benefit communication efforts to further engage an audience.

If you have something to add to this story, share it in the comment section below!

Client News – Summer 2013

abimaster | September 24, 2013
  • This fall, look for A. Bright Idea’s new creative and production for Stella Maris’ Anniversary Campaign. Highlighting the remarkable service of a leader in elder care, A. Bright Idea offers strategic marketing support in celebration of Stella Maris’ 60 years of long term care and 30 years of hospice care in Maryland. The anniversary campaign includes a custom anniversary logo, strategic marketing and communications plan, media campaign and video production, as well as marketing collateral and event support.
  • The John Carroll School launches its 50th anniversary year with a custom logo and timeline-style brochure, including vintage photos and milestone dates, designed by A. Bright Idea.
  • Grapevine Catering is moving into a new space in Santa Rosa, CA where both the catering company will operate and their Earth’s Bounty Fine Foods products will be sold. The new storefront, Earth’s Bounty Kitchen & Wine Bar will have a take away menu and artisan produced products along with a full-service café and wine bar. A. Bright Idea supports the businesses with branding, signage, marketing, website, collateral design, email marketing and more.
  • Flavor Cupcakery supports wounded veterans and boasts community spirit with “It’s a Flavorful Life” – a week of promotions and special offers from the cupcakery and fellow small businesses in Bel Air and Cockeysville, MD. A. Bright Idea provided a custom event mark, collateral and PR support for the campaign.
  • A. Bright Idea designed the collateral and promotional materials for the Sonoma Valley Teen Services annual fundraising event, Cowboy Cab. Held at Larson Family Winery, the event sold out this year with over 200 guests in attendance. Check out a photo from the event here.
  • A. Bright Idea positions Synergy Integration Advisors for growth with a brand refresh, custom information graphic and icons, capabilities statement, brochure, document templates and stationery.
  • Celebrating 40 years in business, A. Bright Idea develops the Kenwood Kitchens Dream Kitchen contest, including advertising creative, print collateral and web page design, where one lucky winner will receive a $40,000 dream kitchen! Have you entered?

instagram videoInstagram recently implemented a video feature, taking the once still image only platform to a new level. Instagram video allows users to take a 3 to 15 second clip of anything they want, stopping and starting a video recording whenever they feel; so that you do not have to record the video clip all at once. It also includes a filter feature and a video stabilization option, a feature that put Instagram on the map when it was first introduced.

What at first felt like another version of the highly similar video-only social media outlet Vine, Instagram video has erupted as a strategic marketing tool. The Vine platform limits users to 10 seconds. Many companies use their 15 seconds to capture the users’ attention and provide an interactive glimpse at what services they have to offer. Many retailers are giving behind-the-scenes glimpses of sales and new products while some producers are posting shortened movie trailers. Businesses are finding new ways of reaching consumers as Instagram video transforms marketing methods.

For more information on the newest social media trend and how to integrate it into your marketing strategy, send us an email to our Multimedia Manager, David Wells, at david@abrightideaonline.com.

Super Bowl Commercials

This year’s Super Bowl commercials may have covered a variety of themes from sexy models to cute kids, wacky animals to celebrity cameos, but there’s one thing they all had in common – user generated content and a call-to-action for the audience via social media.

Even before the big game, advertisers were using social media to reveal sneak peeks of their upcoming ads to capitalize on the excitement and build brand buzz through custom hashtags, Facebook pages and websites. Some hashtags trending prior to and during Sunday’s game included:

Audi: #BraveryWins

VW: #GetHappy

Pepsi: #PepsiHalftime

Toyota: #WishGranted

Coke: #CokeShowgirls #CokeBadlanders #CokeCowboys #CokeChase

Doriots: #CrashTheSuperBowl

Samsung: #TheNextBigThing

Mio: #ChangeStuff

Axe: #InSpace

Budweiser: #Clydesdales

Budlight: #HereWeGo

GoDaddy: #YourBigIdea

Pistachios: #CrackinStyle

Speed Stick: #HandleIt

Tide: #MiracleStain

 

When it came time for the big reveal there were a few commercials that really stole the show by utilizing social and interactive media well, generating a greater connection among the audience and brand.

Oreo
Which is the best part – the cream or the cookie? Oreo’s hilarious whisper commercial called on viewers to ‘choose your side’ through Instagram. The Oreo Instagram account shows images of just about anything made out of either the cream filling or the cookie, inviting viewers to add their own image with the tag #cookiethis or #creamethis. Oreo may recreate the item using your favorite part of the Oreo.

Oreo

Taco Bell
What do retirement age seniors like to do after a night of partying? Go to Taco Bell of course! The surprise storyline in this commercial, all set to the Spanish version of Fun’s, ‘We Are Young,’ works well with Taco Bell’s current “Live Más” campaign. The fast food restaurant invites the audience to go to their Facebook page for coupons, photos and more.

 

Coca-Cola
Coke had previewed their commercial featuring the showgirls, badlanders and cowboys racing to the coveted beverage well before the big game. The beverage company encouraged viewers to go online to vote for the ending of the commercial to air during the Super Bowl. At their custom website, viewers voted for their favorite group, while at the same time sabotaging the other two groups by sharing their selection on Facebook or Twitter. In the end the #CokeShowgirls came out on top and had the privilege to ‘open happiness.’

 

Pepsi
As sponsor of the halftime show, Pepsi called on viewers to submit photos for a chance to be a part of the performance intro. The user-generated content introduced Beyonce while associating the brand with a direct connection to their audience.

 

Axe Apollo Space Academy
The lifeguard may have saved the distressed woman from a shark attack, but nothing beats an astronaut. The Axe Apollo commercial included the element of surprise, while also announcing a special contest where viewers can actually win a trip to space. The new Axe Apollo has teamed with SpaceExc to send a few select winners to fly into orbit. With a custom website and hashtag #InSpace, Axe Apollo certainly caught the audience’s attention with a creative commercial and turned it into social media engagement.

 

Budweiser
The Budweiser Clydesdale commercials are classic, and this year the beverage allowed you to tweet @Budweiser with the hashtag #Clydesdales to help name the baby Clydesdale seen in the commercial. The commercial certainly tugs at the heartstrings, showing the man’s horse running to see him at the very end – what love! Who wouldn’t want to jump on Twitter to name that beautiful horse?

Budweiser

Doritos
Doritos, which has claimed a #1 spot in recent online commercial rankings, deployed its “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign again, gathering user-generated commercials and inviting the audience to vote on their favorite commercials to air during the big game. The “Goat for Sale” was our favorite!

 

Lincoln
The Lincoln “Road Trip” commercial encouraged viewers to ‘steer the script’ and see what the ending brings. They also asked viewers to tweet about their most memorable road trips – although big miss for Lincoln – no Twitter handle or hashtag was included in the commercial. How do we know how to categorize our tweet?

 

Mercedes-Benz
In the Mercedes Benz spot, Kate Upton invites you to go to MercedesBenzUSA on Facebook to see the all-new seductive CLA Benz coming in September. The commercial is a pure glitz and glam display with celebrities like Kate Upton and Usher, but captures the audience with an affordable price point.

 

Samsung
The comical interaction between Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen was entertaining, as was the direct approach to call out other advertisers gimmicks. The commercial showcased smartphone and tablet devices, while utilizing #TheNextBigThing and social tools through the devices.

 

It couldn’t be expected, but advertisers also took advantage of the unique opportunity the game’s third-quarter blackout provided, jumping quickly on social media with real-time Twitter campaigns. Oreo, Tide, Bud Light, Audi, VW and Speed Stick—were some of our favorites.

  • Oreo – “You can still dunk in the dark”
  • Tide – “We can’t get your blackout. But we can get your stains out”
  • Audi – Told its followers they were sending some of their LED headlights to the Superdome (which is sponsored by competitor Mercedes-Benz)

 

Notable Mentions
While the below commercials didn’t necessarily include social media, they were still some of the most talked about in social media.

  • Jeep: A tug at the heartstrings, welcoming home troops – “Whole Again”
  • Ram: Guts. Glory. Ram. – “God made a farmer”
  • E*TRADE: Smart talking baby tells you to – “Save It”
  • Tide: A 49ers fans glory squashed at the hands of a Ravens fan (much like the big game!) “Miracle Stain”

Get inspired with a new way to view our creative

As a creative shop, staying cutting edge when it comes to technology gives us just another excuse to retreat to our “creative playground.” Our newest creation? A dynamic website user experience built on with the latest web technologies, HTML 5 and CSS 3. The new website showcases our extensive portfolio while also sharing helpful resources through our blog and detailed information about our staff and full service capabilities.

For those who don’t speak code, HTML is a language used for structuring and programming websites behind the scenes so they can be easily read and used by viewers on the World Wide Web. CSS is the code that controls the graphics and colors displayed to website visitors. Since these languages are so widely used around the Internet, updating them with new features is a long and slow process.  Fortunately many of these new features are available now on modern web browsers.

The previous version of HTML, HTML 4.01, was last updated in 2000! And yes, that means website design was confined to technology over a decade old, which is nearly a lifetime in the technology world. It’s more important than ever to use an updated web browser to take full advantage of what HTML 5 can offer! By exploring the depths of HTML 5, our creative minds can truly think outside the box to create custom solutions based on the ideal user experience.

The latest version, HTML 5 includes features that will change the way we experience websites, including:

  • Reducing the need for external plugins (like Flash that doesn’t load on mobile platforms)
  • Less frustration with errors and better error handling
  • Advanced form fields that include validation without requiring extra programming
  • Ability to build charts, graphs and interactive graphics with the new Canvas element
  • Streamlined code for faster page loads and improved semantic structuring to help search engines with indexing content.
  • Standardized support for video using the <video> tag

 

CSS is also getting an update with the march toward CSS 3. The new features will be more noticeable to the visitors than the update to HTML 5. Some of the new features include:

  • Transparency
  • Animation
  • Rounded corners
  • Drop shadows
  • Media queries (used to change layouts and styles based on mobile vs. desktop platforms)

The enhanced capabilities and features of HTML 5 and CSS 3 allowed us to present our creative and unmatched capabilities in a refreshing way, the perfect combination of sharing content the way our creative minds intended and organizing it in a way that makes the most sense to our visitors.

Just a few of abrightideaonline.com’s newest features and interactive capabilities:

  • Responsive site design perfect for any screen size or tablet device
  • Live social media feeds, including Facebook and Twitter
  • Online portfolio with intricate search capabilities
  • Interactive office tours

 

A. Bright Idea Homepage