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GIF It Up: Why You Should Incorporate GIFs into Your Marketing Strategy

GIF It Up: Why You Should Incorporate GIFs into Your Marketing Strategy

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The GIF (pronounced with a hard ‘g’) has ventured far from its natural bitmap habitat in the CompuServe nerdosphere. It can now be found posing as punctuation, starring in texting conversations, dancing through every Buzzfeed article you’ll ever read, and hogging any available space on your phone. (Do you have available space on your phone…? Teach us your ways.)

Recently, the GIF has also become an important presence in email marketing, digital ad campaigns, and company blogs and social media – for good reason. Here’s why you should consider working these little guys into your marketing strategy:

They’re a great solution for that short attention span we’re always talking about. People just don’t pay attention the way they used to; a 10-second lull and they’re already deep in phone mode, sucked into an endless Reddit thread they may never escape. GIFs are an easy way to keep people interested – because regardless of how easily distracted they are, who can look away from this?

Images boost your engagement. Facebook posts with images see 3x more engagement than those without, and researchers found that “colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent.” [Xerox] Additionally, people are 40x more likely to share a post with visual content.

GIFs are trendy. Want to be seen as a cool, hip company? GIFs are the ticket. They show that not only do you keep up with pop culture (from which GIF-makers most often draw inspiration) but you’re in tune with your younger audiences – and that counts for a lot, considering millennials count for one quarter of the American population and boast approximately $200 billion in annual buying power. [Forbes]

Already using GIFs in your marketing? We’d love to hear how! Let us know in the comments section.

Counterintuity team at Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC)

Counterintuity’s day of service: BTAC

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Last month, we closed for most of a day so that we could volunteer at the Burbank Temporary Aid Center (BTAC). Counterintuity has long supported our local community with sponsorships, selected pro bono work for underfunded clients and our annual holiday toy drive for underserved youth, but on this day we wanted to take a step further. For five hours, all work stopped (even checking email), and we helped.

Located just down the street from our office, BTAC is dedicated to “providing the poor, working poor, and homeless of the local community with basic services they need to live with dignity, and to serve citizens of the city in times of emergency and disaster.” Our staff was on site to help to do inventory – making it easier for BTAC staff to service those who need their support. Amy, Brian, Andrew, Jin, Val, Shannon, Sandra, and even Lee moved, systematized, stacked, schlepped and corralled canned goods, office supplies, clothing and more so that BTAC’s full time volunteers and staff could more easily do their regular jobs.

We were honored to have been able to play a small part in helping BTAC serve needy families.

If you would like to coordinate your own day of service with the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, please contact Facility/Pantry Manager Edward Stapleton at estapleton@theBTAC.org or (818) 848-2822, extension #107.

More About BTAC
As a conduit between the generous donors of the community, foundations, and government resources, BTAC works to provide clients with help such as food, utility assistance, transportation assistance, emergency shelter (off-site and short-term), medical assistance, referrals to other community resources, and holiday outreach.

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

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“Have you played Pokémon Go?”

Unless you’ve spent the two weeks hiding under a rock (which is a totally legitimate pastime, of course), someone has asked you this question by now. Released on July 6th, the tremendously popular app has already been downloaded at least 15 million times [Heavy] and is worth approximately $29 billion [MoneyNation]. There’s no doubt that Pokémon has been a financial success for its developer, Niantic, and rumor has it that McDonald’s is already preparing to pounce on this marketing opportunity [Gizmodo]. But what about the rest of us? Is there a way for small business owners get in on the game that so quickly made its way to the top?

Turns out, there are several – and most of them are free!

  • Pick a side. If you haven’t already played Pokémon Go, the basic premise is this: 1) Create your trainer (i.e. avatar), 2) Choose one of three teams: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Valor (red) or Team Mystic (blue), and 3) Scurry about collecting and training Pokémon in various locations. Once you’ve picked your team, you can get in on the fun by providing corresponding deals to other “team members.”
  • Buy a lure. Purchasable in-game, lure modules last 30 minutes each and attract a bevy of “wild” Pokémon to a specified location. As many business owners have already discovered, they’re also a great method of enticing patrons. Inc estimated that it only costs $1.19/hour to keep the lures (and the humans that follow them) coming all day – and you can bet you’ll make that money back in no time!
  • Connect with millennials. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to appeal to marketing-wary millennials by actually playing the game, sharing your finds on social media, and offering discounts on products to people who’ve caught certain valuable Pokémon. Your younger audiences will appreciate the fun vibe!
  • Work that Pokéstop. If you’re fortunate enough to have a storefront near a landmark, monument or other prominent building in your town, advertise it. People flock to these spots in order to restock in-game items, and if you happen to be nearby…well, you just found yourself a whole bunch of potential customers.

We don’t know exactly when this idea might be implemented, but Niantic CEO John Hanke has already expressed interest in further monetizing the app with sponsored locations. “Pay us to be locations within the virtual game board – the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic” [Financial Times]. In the meantime, let the above suggestions keep you busy.

Happy hunting!

Make that Pokémon-ey: Monetizing the World’s Pokémon Go Obsession

 

Counterintuity | More than 30% of ALL businesses advertise on Facebook

More than 30% of ALL businesses advertise on Facebook

By | Digital advertising, Economy, Facebook, Social Marketing | No Comments

If you’re not advertising on Facebook, you’re losing out.

Facebook has more users than China has residents, and that number includes your customers.

According to a recent article on the Denver Business Journal, “About a third of small businesses are starting to use Facebook advertising to promote their businesses.”

Facebook advertising is not some “trendy” tool that coffee shops with $7 lattes and funky e-commerce retailers use as a way to sell to millennials – in fact it hasn’t been anything close to that for a very long time. It’s the go-to tool for news and all things current for many, many people.

This data was collected from a survey SurePayroll conducted of small business owners nationwide. It continued with the observation that “about a quarter are advertising on Google, and roughly between 1 percent and 10 percent are putting dollars toward LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.”

Page likes matter, here’s why.

We disagree with one of the findings here, namely that on Facebook, “Page likes don’t matter.” The justification for that statement is quoting statistics that reveal that only 3-4% of the users who “Like” your page will see your organic content and that only 3-4% of those who see your content will actually engage with it.

While that may be true for the entire universe of content on Facebook, that isn’t at all true for relevant, well-designed and well-written content such as what someone well-versed with social media might create for your business (and hopefully that person is you!). The pages that we manage have 3-10x the interactivity that this article outlines, and we would expect the same to be true for any Facebook pages that are, well, treated appropriately. So while spending money on “Likes” in a vacuum is a bad idea, so is doing any single small, isolated marketing thing and expecting it to move mountains.

In addition, having more “Likes” can help with your Facebook advertising plans, as you can target just those users with sponsored content (that you will know they’re inherently interested in). By utilizing that tool, the number of your “Likes” who see your content can move from 3-4% to 20-50%, or more.

Facebook posts and Facebook advertising are at their most effective when they are a part of a marketing plan and not simply expected to perform on their own.

Client Feature: Pasadena Symphony “Beethoven Emperor” wins Award of Distinction for Integrated Campaign

Client Feature: Pasadena Symphony “Beethoven Emperor” wins Award of Distinction for Integrated Campaign

By | Awards, Clients, Our Clients | No Comments

We’ve been the marketing and design firm for Pasadena Symphony and Pops (POPS) for six years.

Throughout that time, our number one goal has been to communicate the symphony experience to the audience – through print and digital – and we believe the achievement of that goal is evident in our Award of Distinction for an Integrated Campaign – Business to Consumer.

Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto is powerful, and we wanted our project to entice audiences with the same emotions evoked by the POPS orchestra. Our designer, Jin, juxtaposed stronger fonts with warm colors and photo filters to conjure the luxurious, compelling concert experience.

It worked: all the shows were sold out, and we won this great award to boot.

Bravo!

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

The Power of #: Using Hashtags to Heighten Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Digital advertising, Social Marketing, social media, Twitter | No Comments

Once upon a time (aka 2006), using “#” in a sentence meant that you either (1) neglected to check it for typos or (2) were referencing the number of typos you made in the aforementioned sentence.

Flash forward ten years, and hashtags have become a truly unavoidable aspect of life. They’re everywhere: in movie titles, on magazine covers, sprinkled into casual conversation (#seriously). Twitter was the first platform to hyperlink hashtags to search results, and that practice has since infiltrated the digital marketing world. Of the world’s top Interbrand 100 brands, 97 percent had embraced the hashtag by 2015.

As a small business owner, it’s unlikely you have the cash to fund a massive marketing campaign. Hashtags are free, fun, and a truly valuable method of connecting people with your brand. Case in point: Tweets with one or two hashtags show 21 percent higher engagement than those with none.

  • Come up with a unique hashtag and ask your employees/clients/friends/family to use it whenever they mention your company on social media.
  • Hashtags enable users to categorize an often overwhelming amount of content. Use the same hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to identify and organize posts about your company retreat, conference or other special event.
  • Ride the wave of an already-trending hashtag. Check Twitter for a popular tag that relates either directly or abstractly to your business and join the party! But be careful to research the context first – you don’t want to follow in DiGiorno’s footsteps.
  • Make your hashtag actionable. Audi’s wildly successful #WantAnR8 campaign encouraged car enthusiasts to use the hashtag for a chance to get behind the wheel of an R8. Even if you don’t have a $160,000 sports car to use as bait (which, unfortunately, most of us do not), you can still offer your customers incentive to use your hashtag.

Still want help nailing modern usage of the symbol formerly known as “pound sign”? #CallCounterintuity!

Client Feature: PBS SoCal Award of Distinction for annual report

Client Feature: PBS SoCal Award of Distinction for annual report

By | Awards, Clients, Design, Our Clients | No Comments

Client Feature: PBS SoCal Award of Distinction for annual report

Another annual report, another Communicator Award!

This time, Counterintuity won an Award of Distinction – Association for PBS SoCal, the KOCE-TV Foundation’s primary PBS member television station serving Los Angeles.

While creating this annual report, we strove for a reinvigorated but recognizable representation of PBS’s established branding. We accomplished this by choosing clean, distinct colors – just bold enough, but not too loud. The client was delighted, and we’re thrilled to congratulate them on an exceptional piece of work.

See it for yourself here!

Client Feature: VEDC wins award of distinction for annual report brochure

Client Feature: VEDC wins award of distinction for annual report brochure

By | Awards, Clients, Design, Our Clients | No Comments

Client Feature: VEDC wins award of distinction for annual report brochure

Annual reports are sometimes dismissed as something you only look at if you have to. Does it have to be this way? Not when Counterintuity’s on your team! For us (and VEDC), an annual report means another Communicator Award – specifically, an Award of Distinction for an Annual Report in the Non-Profit category.

Our goal with this project was to graphically convey the client’s mission: to provide funding solutions for small business owners. We focused on the people VEDC helps by spotlighting them and their businesses in the report, adding a human element to which readers could relate.

In terms of design, VEDC didn’t want to come across as a traditional financial institution. They market to all types of businesses and hoped to express that versatility with a more urban, hipster vibe. Through our use of vibrant colors, we achieved the modern look they envisioned.

“Working with Counterintuity on this project was a pleasure,” stated Lisa Winkle, VEDC Director of Marketing & Communications. “Their attention to detail, creative design and original concept made the annual report experience seem effortless. I look forward to working with them on many more.”