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By | mobile apps, mobile marketing, social media | No Comments

We love links. They connect us to what we want to read, view, and purchase. It’s a hardly-noticed privilege we’ve become accustomed to–being introduced to a brand online, then simply clicking a link to learn more about said product. For years social media sites have been providing accessibility through direct links. The exception to the rule? Instagram. In 2013 brands acquired the ability to advertise on Instagram, but not link directly to an outside website. Now Instagram is stepping it up a notch.

A few weeks ago, Instagram announced it will be offering advertisers carousel-style photos and weblinks. Meaning, when users come across an ad, they will be able to swipe through multiple photos and click-through to a webpage of the brand’s choice. By clicking the “learn more” button on the carousel, an internal browser within Instagram will open so users can easily jump back to their feed.

Image via

Image via

Previously, brands mostly used Instagram ads for billboard space, meaning photos or videos would appear in user feeds as they scrolled through. The carousel feature will allow for a narrative to take place with the use of multiple photos, however this feature is still only available to paying brands.

Instagram  claims they are just evolving brand ads, and this play isn’t about increasing engagement. Still, with this new feature, brands will be able to track click-through rates, likes and comments on their ad, and whether or not users swiped through multiple photos. The carousel ads will just feature photos at this time, not videos.

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Image via

The company takes a hands-on approach when working with brands that advertise with them, in order to keep user happiness their top priority — Which is why CEO Kevin Systrom will still have the final approval on all ads shown on the platform. But, with that being said, advertising is part of what keeps Instagram free for those users, so finding a balance that makes both brands and users satisfied is key.

Despite this new feature, brands still won’t have the advertising freedom they’re accustomed to with Facebook and Twitter. However, with Instagram topping over 300 million users this year, the hoops are definitely worth jumping through.

Let us know what your marketing goals are — If you have a vision of advertising on Instagram, we are definitely on board to make it a possibility.

Digital Marketing Tips

This St. Patrick’s Day Make Your Business More “GREEN”

By | digital marketing, ecommerce | No Comments

This Saint Patricks Day, use the luck of the Irish and turn your business more “Green.” No, we’re not talking about using things that are more environmentally friendly (although we hope you are doing this anyways), but rather making your business more money.

Since we are only a few days from St. Patricks day, we thought we’d use the all mighty three leaf clover as a comparison and tell you the three things you should be doing today to make sure that you are increasing your ROI and seeing more of that “green.”

Important Digital Marketing Tactics of 2015

Set Objectives and Define your KPIs

It is imperative that you set objectives that are “SMART” — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific. You need to ensure that you have a plan and and strategy in place so you are able to achieve your goals in a certain period of time. This comes with defining your KPI’s. Do you know what your key performance indicators are? Do you know what you should be looking at? It all comes from setting your objectives and achieving those KPI’s one goal at a time.

Plan Ahead

It’s never too soon to start planning for the future, including the 2015 holiday season, email updates for new promotions and product launches. Start with an organized plan, including calendars and new ideas for campaigns you can launch during your busiest time of the year. Don’t be that guy…or girl, that waits until you are in the holiday season to start creating a campaign you are hoping to make viral. Use any chance you get to think about the future.

Because not only will you have to create a campaign, but you will also have to launch it through email, social, paid media, retargeting pools…etc.

Use Analytics

This may sound like a no brainer. But, just because you have analytics set up on your site, doesn’t necessarily mean you are using it to it’s full potential. You should be tracking shopping behavior of your consumers and have Google Tag Manager (GTM) installed. Do you want to know what buttons are being clicked on, or how your site is being used? This is your best option. GTM can be used to track how links on your website are performing.

When you plan ahead and set your objectives, you are easily able to use your Google Analytics to review your KPI’s and ensure you are hitting your goals. Alvaro Martinez, Director of Digital Marketing states, “If your KPIs are aligned with your Business Objectives, you’ll be able to measure the most meaningful analytics to drive intelligent, educated marketing decisions and #LMS”

If you need help achieving your KPI’s or planning ahead for the 2015 holiday season, drop us a line. We’re ready to make 2015 the most “green” year your business has seen yet.

Danielle Protzeller

Our Newest Intern is a Native San Diegan, Welcome Danielle

By | agency life, digital marketing, Internships | No Comments

It’s that time again where we tap into our series, “12 weeks – what it’s really like to intern for a digital agency”  and welcome our next class of digital interns. Over the course of the next 12 weeks we will focus on bringing you a fresh perspective from our Strategy, Marketing and Design interns on what it’s really like to intern at a digital agency. To start we will focus on DO’s Digital Marketing Intern, Danielle Protzeller.

I am Danielle Protzeller and I am the Digital Marketing Intern at Digital Operative. I am from Carlsbad which is about 30 minutes north, apparently I’m not ready to leave southern California yet. When I am not drowning in school work I enjoy doing gymnastics, hiking with friends, and our new recent obsession is playing Super Smash Brothers. I am also an Honor Board social standards member in my sorority!

  • Where do you go to School? What is your Major? When do you plan on graduating?
    Currently I am a senior at University of California, San Diego (go Tritons), majoring in communication, minoring in business with an emphasis in marketing, and I am planning on graduating this spring, wish me luck.
  • How did you hear about Digital Operative?
    All of my information comes from either Reddit or Google and I was searching Google for the top marketing agencies in San Diego, the screen went blank and “DIGITAL OPERATIVE” flashed on the screen. But seriously, I was Google searching and I was scanning DO’s site and the pet friendly icon immediately sold me and I had to apply.
  • What do you hope to learn from your internship?
    I want to eventually work in a digital marketing agency, so learning how an agency as a whole works and being in this environment is already a great start. I have a strange fascination with SEO so learning about successful SEO and anything content marketing related is something I hope I get to work closely with.
  • 1 week down – 11 to go……How do you feel after your first week of interning?
    Honestly it has been more than I hoped for an expected. Nikki has been great to work with, she has given me so much responsibility already which is something you don’t expect as an intern but is greatly appreciated! I am excited to work more with Alvaro and Kalah has also been so much fun to work with.
  • What do you hope to do after completing your internship and graduating from college?
    I have always wanted to go to Germany so I hope I am able to travel after I graduate. I know I want to work in marketing, so hopefully I land an internship or potentially a job with a marketing agency!
  • Tell us something interesting about yourself?
    I have a lowkey sci-fi addiction. I have watched Game of Thrones multiple times and am currently reading the books. I have a GoT calendar and a Lord of the Rings poster all in a designated corner in my room.
Kevin Nguyen

Another Intern Has Arrived — Welcome, Kevin!

By | Internships, strategy and planning | No Comments

It’s that time again where we tap into our series, “12 weeks – what it’s really like to intern for a digital agency”  and welcome our next class of digital interns. Over the course of the next 12 weeks we will focus on bringing you a fresh perspective from our Strategy, Marketing and Design interns on what it’s really like to intern at a digital agency. To start we will focus on DO’s Strategy Intern, Kevin Nguyen.

Hi! My name is Kevin Nguyen and I am the new Strategy intern here at DO. I am originally from Washington (Go Seahawks), but since I’ve lived here for more than 15 years I consider myself a San Diegan. I am a soccer, basketball, and football fanatic, but when the sun shines you can normally find me in Pacific Beach playing beach volleyball. When the sun sets, I can be found on the streets of PB or on my couch watching television shows and live sporting events.

  • Where do you go to School? What is your Major? When do you plan on graduating?

I am currently finishing my final semester at San Diego State, where I am studying advertising.

  • How did you hear about Digital Operative?

I was researching San Diego agencies that offered strategy internships with the goal of surrounding myself in an environment that would allow me to learn relevant skills to further my professional development. DO seemed like the best place to do this, so I applied!

  • What do you hope to learn from your internship?

I’d like to learn more about branding, conducting research for clients, consumer behavior, trend analysis, and client engagement.

  • 1 week down – 11 to go……How do you feel after your first week of interning?

I feel excited! In such a short amount of time, Eric and Steven have already given me valuable knowledge and work experience. They’ve tasked me with interesting projects and have been great at answering any questions that I’ve had.

  • What do you hope to do after completing your internship and graduating from college?

I am very interested in working with clients and am looking to apply to agencies that offer entry-level account management positions. Ideally, I would like to retire as an Account Executive who has handled many high-level and unique clients.

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself?

Jimmy Fallon is my hero, I was Vice President of my fraternity at San Diego State, I can hold my breath underwater for more than 3 minutes, and I eat In-N-Out for dinner about 3-4 times a week.


The Rule Of Three as Applied To A Brand Ambassador Program

By | content marketing, digital campaigns, social influence, word of mouth | No Comments

“The rule of three” suggests that things that come in threes are inherently more satisfying and effective than any other number of things. Whether these “things” be good or bad, we decided to test the theory…and they are right.

Most e-commerce companies know the basics of marketing: content, social and email (see, another rule of three). But, many don’t use one of the most powerful marketing tools at their disposal — A Brand Ambassador Program.

We found that there are 3 main reasons why your company should have a Brand Ambassador Program and also discovered 3 outdoor companies that are already making big moves by having a successful brand ambassador program of their own.

Three Reasons why you should have a Brand Ambassador Program:


#1 Fans

No one will love your brand, like your consumer. They are your number one fan/cheerleader. They are unbiased and love your product for the product. They owe you nothing, so you get a real genuine view of how awesome your product really is.

More Content

Without a doubt this is the best way to get more content. They will help grow your brand SEO and bring in solid traffic, hopefully it will eventually drive revenue as well. They can flood all of your channels with content, whether it be a written piece on your blog or images for your social.


This is the best way to get feedback on all of your products — these ambassadors want to see you succeed. Think of this program as your own personal think tank or focus group. They are there to help you test out new products and help gain traction and excitement surrounding the release of these new products.


3 outdoor companies already using a brand ambassador program:



They have a full page on their site dedicated to their brand ambassadors. Our favorite part is that they have broken up their ambassadors by sport – Climbing, fly fishing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing and trail running. This makes it easy for other patagonia lovers to follow ambassadors with the same interests as them.

Patagonia Brand Ambassador



“Each brings a fresh perspective to their experiences on the trail” – Describes it all on the header of the brand ambassador page. Their brand ambassador program is comprised of those that love their brand and this is something you can tell just from their brand ambassador page.

Zoic Brand Ambassador Program

Teton Sports

Their ambassadors aren’t just for promoting their brand, but for giving back and promoting a charity of their choice. There’s also a specific promo code that is associated with each “Adventurer” tha t allows consumers to help fund the charities each ambassador is raising money for. #GiveBackEndeavor

.Teton Sports Brand Ambassador Program

A Brand Ambassador program is an easy win, so use the rule of three and get out there to find your ambassadors. Don’t know where to start? Drop us a line and we can help you kickstart your own brand ambassador program.

Like what you see? Contact us for a quote. Get Quote