Alina Beynun

Our New Strategy Intern Has Hit The Ground Running

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 Fall 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, Alina Beynun .

Hello! I’m Alina, the new Strategy intern at DO. I am 26 and from Idaho. No, I was not raised on a potato farm but I have most likely experienced all stereotypes one might associate with the state.  When I’m not learning away at Digital Operative, you’ll either find me at the gym, the beach or exploring a new area of San Diego. I love to read, browse Reddit, go to Yoga, and most of all, travel. I will admit that I’m a bit of a travel addict.

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

I went to The University of Idaho and majored in Advertising with an emphasis in Communications & Spanish.

How did you hear about Digital Operative?

I heard about DO because I went on an agency research binge and loved all aspects of the company.  Good vibes, great work and now I get to be a part of it for a few months!

What do you hope to learn from your internship?

I hope to learn all aspects of the strategy / account side so when I get a job at an agency I am fully equipped with the strongest abilities to be successful.

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

My first week has been great. I’m already learning a ton and I love that I’m given work that’s not only relevant but it’s necessary for the strategists to create a successful plan for the client.

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

I hope to get a job at an agency. I’m still very passionate about agency life and the work that’s created and I’m ready and excited to officially jump into this field.

Tell us something interesting about yourself?

I moved by myself to Alicante, Spain in January of 2011 with out knowing a single soul in the country. It ended up being the best decision I’ve ever done and I’ve been obsessed with traveling ever since.

 

Welcome to the team Alina…We know you are going to be a success here and after two weeks, it’s no surprise as to why the strategy team needed to have you as their intern.

why of web design

Web Design “Why?” – Explanations & Metrics Behind Ecommerce Best Practices and Tips to Improve Conversion

By | design, infographic | No Comments

In the world of web design, ecommerce specifically, teams often refer to industry best practices to make quick assumptions & design decisions without metrics, testing or even without understanding “why?” In an attempt to both explain certain practices and to validate decisions with statistics, I created an infographic compiling common web design/ecommerce design practices and supporting them with either data or an explanation accompanied by a “pro tip” to facilitate the best future usage. Time to Increase those conversions!

Web-Design-Graphic
Click here to view the full-size infographic and let us know what you think. Or, drop us a line if you have questions about how to better design your site to increase those conversions.

Avalara

How the Outdoors is Taxing…

By | ecommerce, partners | No Comments

This is a guest post written by our partners over at Avalara.

Ah, the great outdoors. Fresh air, clean water, lush forests. Or maybe white snow, blue skies, and a crisp cold day. Whether for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing or any of the activities people are flocking outdoors for, the market is exploding both locally and across the internet for companies making time tested or new, innovative products that the outdooring public wants. Many of the companies creating these products may have started as a few folks and a better idea or two, but with growth and expansion, if they aren’t careful, their success can bite back.

The collection of sales tax is one of those areas a company can run afoul. Many outdoors companies have independent reps, a surefire way for a state to consider a company has “Nexus” – the relation with the state, and expect that company to collect, report and remit sales taxes on transactions in that state. Not to mention, a requirement to collect 1099’s for those reps. Many other activities can drive Nexus – participation in trade shows or conferences, fairs, festivals, traveling sales people, and the list goes on. In some states, it’s even possible that a that an operation to shoot a promotional video that involves employees or hired hands could be viewed as a nexus triggering event by some auditors out there. Having people on the ground for an unbroken period of time, existence of stock or promotional materials for the shoot, development of intellectual property, renting equipment in-state, buying insurance or even leasing a condo or soundstage could all be looked at as potential Nexus events. As more and more contacts or activities occur going out to shoot a video could all be drivers. In some states, even the types of products the company sells can get them on the hook. For instance, some states have taxes on clothing and apparel that might be different or additive to general sales tax.

Lots of these companies may work also with resellers or distributors, and, while they don’t need to collect sales tax on those transactions with their channels, they do need to maintain sales tax exemption certificates for all of them. Managing this for sometimes 100’s of resellers can seriously limit your kayaking time.

Automating sales tax calculation, exemption certificate management and even the filing of sales tax remittance helps eliminate the risks associated with keeping a company growing, and free your team up to enjoy the outdoors, not get caught up in a maelstrom. Limelight is partnered with Avalara to help outdoor companies (and many others) navigate the waters of sales tax confusion.

Want more information? Fill out the form and learn how automation can help your organization.

ppc holiday planning

PPC Holiday Planning – Top 5 items in the PPC planning process

By | digital marketing, holidays, PPC | No Comments

If you work in PPC you know as well as we do at DO, that there is a delicate balance between being prepared and being flexible for whatever comes your way. You wake up every day knowing that Google will ultimately decide your campaign performance, but for every comic book villain there must be a hero in the story. Right?

In short, yes. That is where you come in. The PPC subject matter expert. You know all the tricks of the trade from how Google crawls the web to how many data points you can pull from Analytics and create amazing looking spreadsheets and charts showing off performance for a client. You love the adrenaline rush of providing increases to a company’s revenue and sales. You wear that hero cape proudly.

This all sounds so perfect, most definitely a win-win scenario. What if you woke up one morning, placed that hero cape on your shoulders, walked up to the villain only to find your kryptonite. While many things happen unexpectedly in advertising, one thing is a sure fire way to assure you walk away the hero on a big sales day like Black Friday and not the guy who missed the traffic right in front of him.

Planning. It’s so simple, why do people always forget this aspect? The sheer results of not planning for the biggest shopping season of year is enough to scare anyone in business. So what is it that people miss in the planning process? Here are our top 5 frightening items in the PPC planning process that people forget. A list of what NOT to do:

Not Budgeting

Create a budget. Just do it. This should be your jumping off point in your holiday hero campaign. Throwing random amounts of money at things and seeing what sticks can sound like a viable plan if you like to scare your company stakeholders and roll the dice, however this is just a great example of terrible planning. You need a well thought out budget to get the ball rolling. Don’t be that guy.

Not Budgeting for Traffic Influx

Plan for an increase in spending to correlate with the online shopping traffic increase. Take a look at your YOY Q4 performance and develop a level of expectation and ensure confidence with your clients. Trust is a big deal in this industry.

Not Setting Device Specific Allocation

Know the trends. Mobile devices are expected to send approximately 20% more traffic this holiday season than during the same time period in 2013. We all know that historically for many ecommerce brands that mobile doesn’t necessarily convert as well as desktop/tablet. This year could be interesting with new initiatives from Apple(Apple Pay), eBay, and PayPal. Get that cape dusted off, this could be your true hero moment.

Not Aligning with All Channel & Marketing Initiatives

Heroes always need their trusty sidekicks. Align your efforts with all channels to capture the share of voice for your brand. Missed opportunities happen many times when items are left in silo. Communication is key.

Not Sticking to Your Plan

We see this all the time. People making quick decisions based on a reaction rather than being persistent. Jumping every time their conversion rate or quality score drops. The earth’s axis tilted a bit more today? Panic will not help you. Be flexible but stay the course and add things along the way.

Set yourself up for holiday shopping success this year and know your plan! Not doing so is downright scary. We are PPC professionals at DO and we know how to keep things from getting scary – If you need help and/or guidance drop us a line!

contentmarketing

5 Tips for Aspiring Content Marketers

By | content marketing, digital marketing | No Comments

That content marketing, so hot right now. Content marketing is all the rage in the digital space. It’s no surprise; long has great content been the key to creating engagement, building your brand and even generating revenue. With its buzzworthy status, articles on how to do content marketing right are definitely not in short supply. Everyone has an opinion on it but let’s get straight to the point of this post. Here are my tips for professional and aspiring content marketers everywhere.

Don’t get lost in the Internet wormhole

Content marketing often involves blogging and copywriting. Blogging and copywriting often involve research. However, if you’re like me, you want to read everything you can on a particular subject, learn everything you can about it before you hit your deadline. You read article after article, and sometimes end up on a different subject entirely. However, in order to stay on track, you need to remember that you don’t need to know EVERYTHING to write a well informed, accurate blog post or article; you just need to know enough. When you get to a place where you feel comfortable with the material, put the research on hold, and start writing.

Timing, timing, timing

One of the best ways to have your content succeed is to capitalize on trends and current events. For example, if you’re a sporting goods company, writing about the top running shoes right before a major marathon can help you drive interest and traffic to your site. Another example of great time was Oreo during the 2013 SuperBowl. The power went out and without missing a beat, Oreo posted this tweet that garnered much praise:

For social channels, check to see what hashtags are trending and see if there is a fit for you to join the conversation. Be warned though; if you’re participating in a trend or making a comment on a current event, make sure you have the facts! This especially the case with social media. You don’t want to be a DiGiorno.

Keep it real

While staying on top of trends is recommended, make sure to stay true to your brand. The Internet is all too ready to call BS on you and people are wise to the ways of marketing. Whatever content you produce, make sure you are being authentic. Is this in line with who you are as brand? Is this what your audience wants to see? Sometimes there is a fine balance you need to find between the two.

If you use Google Analytics for your website or blog, check out the Affinity Interests of your audience. The top choice is most likely related to what your brand does or is about, but beyond that, you might be surprised. This is a great way to find other topics to write about, keeping your content fresh while still appealing to your readers.

Provide value

When you’re considering what content to create, consider this: How does this provide value to your audience? Is it helpful information? Is it a heartwarming story that might brighten their day? I’m a firm believer in not just posting for the sake of posting. People are bombarded by articles on the Internet and this is one way to cut through the noise.

In addition to providing value, consider how your content is structured. List format has been proven to increase engagement. According to the Content Marketing Institute, list posts that contained odd numbers  had a 20% higher click-through rate than headlines with even numbers.

Consider all distribution channels

So you’ve created a great piece of content. Now, how do you share it? Consider all your distribution channels during the creation of your content. It save you time in the end. How will this look on a blog? How will with this look on social media? It’s OK to have variations in copy and images depending on the channel. You want that audience to engage with what you post.

I also recommend not linking social media accounts to each other. Yes, it does make posting across channels easier but you don’t have control over how your content is displayed. Also, direct upload of media content like photos and videos has a higher engagement than just links.

Above all else, be creative. We are content marketers because we love writing, engaging with people online, shooting photos and videos and coming up with new ideas. Push the boundaries in meaningful ways. Let the ideas flow! And if you need content marketing help – don’t hesitate to reach out and drop us a line.

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