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All Posts by Caroline Herman

About the Author

Jun 26

Censorship & Cryptocurrency

By Caroline Herman | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Creative , Data Strategy , Hustle , Programmatic

YouTube Censorship

Let’s start with the most recent YouTube announcement. YouTube is changing their guidelines to ban videos promoting the superiority of any group as a justification for discrimination against others based on age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This will result in the removal of all videos promoting discriminatory ideologies. Users will no longer be able to post videos stating historically documented events did not happen. For example, the events surrounding 9/11. YouTube has already reduced the number of views by 50% for this type of video. The “next watch” panel will start to include videos from reputable sources instead of similar content only. Channels who repeatedly push the limits on discrimination policies will be restricted from running ads or using Super Chat which lets subscribers pay creators directly for additional chat features.

 

I’m curious to see how YouTube will interpret and apply their own policies especially considering they’re currently under fire for hate speech made by Steven Crowder (Louder with Crowder) towards Carlos Maza (Vox Strikethrough). Steven openly ridicules Carlos in his videos for being homosexual and Carlos has since received a daily influx of Social Media messages and emails including death threats. That’s the very definition of something that insights bullying and hate-speech yet YouTube is not taking down the content or doing anything to stop Steven Crowder. There is such a thing as good-natured ribbing or fun and people do that regularly even including racial/homophobic/religious, etc. slurs, but if the recipient is good with it and jokes back, then it’s obviously not bullying. That’s not what happened here.

 

I’m also a little unsettled by the thought that YouTube plans to “police” content. Does YouTube really want to step into an area of “censorship”? I say, let the Conspiracy theorists have their content about what did or did not happen on 9/11 or whatever other “well-documented” event that happens. Isn’t that part of free speech? Why does YouTube feel the need to “control” that type of content? It seems to me that they have an agenda and in time it will be revealed. Everything comes to light at some point.

 

Facebook Cryptocurrency

You read that right. Facebook has created their own Libra cryptocurrency and they’ve secured the backing of over a dozen companies which include major financial organizations like Visa and Mastercard, and trusted internet giants like PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and Booking.com. The announcement comes shortly after Facebook’s new update which allows users to participate in e-commerce through messaging products like WhatsApp and Messenger. They reportedly are looking into building physical terminals similar to an ATM so people can choose to convert their money into Libra.

 

The name of the currency interests me because it was a currency used in Ancient Rome and in Zodiac signs it represents a person who wants to create equilibrium in all areas of life. Is Facebook sending a message that they’d like to create a currency that is universally used and accepted? That sounds like it may be a move of Biblical proportions. Only time will tell.

Jun 05

What to Expect Partnering With Us

By Caroline Herman | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Core Values , Creative , Data Strategy , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Programmatic 101 , Programmatic Managed , Search , Social Media , Starfish Core Value , Starfish Family

When trusting an agency to build up your brand and grow your business, you want to know what you are getting yourself into and who you are trusting your company with. There are a few things that you will get out of a partnership with Starfish…

A Full Digital Audit

Auditing your digital presence will allow us to identify areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Digital audits align with one of our core values (hustle) because we work hard to continually improve. We perform an initial audit as well as additional audits periodically throughout our partnership.

 

A Customized Strategic Digital Plan

Many ad agencies offer predetermined packages that cannot be customized to fit your specific needs. One of the reasons we perform a full digital audit prior to beginning our partnership is because it allows us to identify areas that best meet your needs. We also continue to perform audits so that we can revise the strategic plan as necessary. In other words, as your companies digital needs change, we can customize the strategic plan to meet your needs instead of continuing to offer the “same old, same old.”

 

Personalized Advertisement

This specific area sets us apart from other advertising agencies. Many programmatic advertisers and Social Media marketers offer packages that only include generic advertisements they can use with any company. Our creative team produces personalized advertisements in which the images and content are tailored to appeal to your specific audience. Personalized ads are important for increasing brand identity in your market which aligns with one of our core values: family. We strive to produce content which will invite people into your brand’s family.

 

A Partner Invested in Your Success

We are more than an ad agency. We form partnerships because we understand that building a digital presence requires open communication and consistent effort from both partners. It also aligns with one of our core values: accountability. Partners hold each other accountable for their contributions to the partnership because those contributions make an impact on results.

 

We are invested in your success. Every ad, every post, every strategy, etc. is formulated from analyzing the data from your individual accounts. We are investing time and expertise in improving those results. It’s important to fully understand that we are making a long-term investment into your success. Just as social changes do not happen overnight, neither does a digital performance. 

May 24

Meet The Staff: Caroline

By Caroline Herman | Brand Strategy , Creative , Data Strategy , Programmatic , Social Media

My name is Caroline Herman and I am Content Writer and Digital Media Assistant for Starfish Ad Age. I am the youngest staff member here at just 23 years old, but I like to think that being so young makes me a great addition to the team because I have a completely different perspective to bring to the table.

I write most of the content on our site, as well as editing all of the blogs before they go out, and writing page content for our clients. I also am the assistant to Abel so I handle emails, to do lists, and note taking galore. I am a college student right now studying Journalism and Mass Communications, and when I told Abel that I loved to write, he instantly began to assign me all kinds of projects. I absolutely love getting to do what I do every day.

When I am not at work though, I really like to spend time with my dog and my fiance. I love to read, explore thrift stores, and watch movies. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I even like to sit at the kitchen table with a puzzle and a cup of tea. I have always loved school and being in college and working full time is difficult of course, but I wouldn’t change it. I love the challenge.

A fun fact that people don’t really know about me is that I have lived in 4 different states and I have moved a total of 14 times in my 23 years. When I tell people that the first question I get is if I am from a military family. The answer is no, my dad’s job just took us around and then when I got older it was my own choice to move again. Now I live in Longview and while I don’t miss physically moving all of my stuff from place to place, I do want to live in a bigger city again someday. But for now, I love it right where I am with school and my job and my family close by.

Apr 08

Psychological Marketing

By Caroline Herman | Data Strategy , Programmatic , Search , Social Media

There are many key components to being a successful marketer. One of them is understanding how (and why) people think and behave the way that they do. It would be really hard to create a motivating ad for someone if you don’t know what it is that motivates them in the first place wouldn’t it? Understanding some very basic principles of psychology can really help your marketing go from good to amazing. There are 5 basic principles to psychology that you should be using in your marketing strategy:

Priming- Here’s how this works: You are exposed to one stimulus, and it affects how you respond to another. It’s that simple. For example, if you ask someone to follow a word you say with the first word that pops into their head, they will respond to whatever you say with their semantic association to that word. I would say “banana” and you would say “yellow”. In marketing practices, you could benefit from priming because you can subtly help people remember your brand better. Think about the smallest details; they could make a huge difference.

Reciprocity- If someone does something for you, you will naturally want to do something for them. In marketing, there are a lot of ways to make this work in your favor. Giving away freebies is a great way to make people feel like they should do something to “pay you back” in a way. And it could even be something as simple as a piece of candy or a pen with your business’ name on it.

Social Proof- This is the theory that people will become very similar to the people closest to them and that they trust. In other words, this is a desire to conform. Use social sharing and follow buttons on your blogs that display the number of followers you have. That causes people to fall in line and follow you too.

Scarcity- The rarer an opportunity or product is, the more people are inclined to purchase it. You just have to be very careful with how you word this one. You have to make it sound like there used to be a lot of a product but now there aren’t due to popular demand. You can’t make it seem like there are only a few products total because that is all you had to begin with.

Anchoring- People base decisions on the first piece of information they are given. That means that if someone normally buys shoes for
$50 and they see some on sale for $35, they are going to buy the cheaper shoes because they think they’ve gotten an amazing deal. But on the other hand, if someone who normally pays $20 for their shoes sees those $35 sale shoes, they aren’t going to be as impressed. That’s why online sales have the sale price listed next to the original price, which is exactly the principle you want to follow.

As you can see, there are many different ways our psychology can affect how we purchase products or services. Which means that as a marketer there are almost limitless possibilities to how you can use this information to your benefit. You just have to know the science behind it all.

 

Apr 03

Social Transparency

By Caroline Herman | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Creative , Data Strategy , Hustle , Programmatic

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

I’d like to discuss “Social Transparency” and why it is important to utilize that transparency. As a whole, we all have been lied to and faked out by industry leaders all competing for our attention via social media platforms, causing us to doubt much of what we see or hear.

 

So why is this practice of “Social Transparency” important for your business? The answer is powerfully simple; Transparency builds trust.  Transparency provides powerful insight into customer satisfaction and engagement. At Starfish, we hold ourselves accountable and practice “Social Transparency” as we launch and execute campaigns on behalf of clients and of course ourselves. This is how we do just that:

—>Utilize Technology

Use diverse channels – Make it easy for your audience to access the story and information that they will need to make an informed decision to trust your content and overall, trust your brand.

 

—>Communication

Truth: Practice honest marketing and communication, and always own up to your mistakes. Don’t try to cover up a mistake. Acknowledge it and move forward, as that helps to build trust with your audience as well.

Embrace open communication: Cultivate opinions and community dialogue to gain differing points of view that can help to diversify your content.  

Information Hub: Give the audience the information they need to help their decision to interact with you or buy your product and/or service.

 

—>Define your identity

Who are you: Share practice areas, product niches or specialties. Why should they choose you over your competitor?

Know your place: Don’t try to be all things to all people. Avoid creating a gap in perception where visitors or customers think you are something you are not.

Be real: Share your story, explain your values.. what do you stand for?

Share your platform: Explain how you operate by publishing your business model, process or structure.

Social proof: Publish reviews and/or testimonials.

 

Did you catch our Director of Sales, Mindy Lewellen’s, Facebook “live” presentation? Mindy utilized the principles of “Social Transparency.” Abel Sanchez’s provides great insight and candidly shares the opportunities to advise peers and business we are afforded Starfish Ad Age.

 

Mar 20

Utilizing Instagram Stories

By Caroline Herman | Creative , Programmatic , Social Media

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

Instagram was founded in 2010 as a new social media platform for image sharing. It quickly took off, gaining over one billion users in just 8 years. In August of 2016, a new feature was rolled out. Instagram Stories were introduced as a new way of sharing moments. They only last for 24 hours, and after that, you can choose to have them saved in an archive where you can also choose to repost them later. The content that you share to these stories won’t show up on your profile grid or in someone else’s feed. They show up at the top of your followers’ feeds as your profile picture with a colorful ring around it and they can click on it to see your stories. If they click on the right side of the screen it will progress them forward, and if they click on the left side it will rewind to the previous post. If you swipe to the left you will go to the next person’s story. They are shown in chronological order as well.

There are a few top ways that brands on Instagram are using stories. Many companies will show behind-the-scenes content to give their brand a more personal reputation. They also have employee takeovers where a staff member will take their followers on a journey through their day as an employee of that business. A takeover could also be when one brand will takeover an Instagram account from another brand. Stories are very useful for one-on-one communication as well, by asking direct questions, taking polls, and going live.

Stories are a great way to stay at the top of someone’s news feed because that is where your story would show up if you were actively posting content to it. They can help drive traffic to websites by having a direct link where viewers could “swipe up” to load the link. Stories don’t have likes or public comments however, and they can also be muted. So if you are posting too many stories to the point where a follower has to take a lot of time to get through yours and onto the next, you could be muted too.

You can see analytics such as how many times your content has been viewed and by who. Stories are highly customizable, with text in different colors and fonts, drawings, stickers, hashtags and even location tags, which increase discoverability. According to Instagram, 75% of users take action after seeing an ad, and you can post ads in your story directly from Facebook ads manager. You can also promote existing stories on Instagram as ads. So as you can now see, Instagram Stories can be a very useful tool for brands and businesses. You just have to know how to successfully utilize them in a way that benefits you.

Mar 08

What the $&*^@ is a Hashtag

By Caroline Herman | Creative , Programmatic , Social Media

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

Do you know what a hashtag is? A hashtag is a keyword or a phrase used to describe a topic or a theme. For example, ‘#hashtag’ could be a tag but so could ‘#goodhashtags.’

A hashtag can be a broad subject matter, or it can be more specific. These tags become clickable links that will identify topics or themes. Anyone sharing content on a relevant question can add the hashtag label to their message. A hashtag improves the chances that others will find your post.

It’s pretty simple to use a hashtag, simply use a pound sign (#) at the beginning of your tag, #starfish or #StarfishKeepOceanClean. #Starfish is an expansive subject matter. Specific hashtags will zone into one particular topic.

Here’s the tricky part about hashtags… Knowing your audience and platforms. Hashtags can improve engagement, but by the same sword, hashtags can decrease engagement. It all depends on the way you use them.

Stringing too many words together with a single hashtag can be annoying to your audience. #TooManyWordsCanBeAnnoying #TooMuchOfaGoodThing
You also have to be aware that each network of the platform you are using has its own set of “subrules”, and these rules will constantly be evolving and changing.
#facebook #instagram #snapchat #twitter #pinterest

Try to be sensitive to your audience…Avoid over-tagging a single post or adding them to every word. #annoying #unfollow #makefriends #berelevant. Use hashtags only relative to the topic. Research which hashtags are trending. Don’t try to overdo things with a hashtag that isn’t relevant in an attempt to gain some engagement. #love may be trending, but is it at all #RelevantToYourPost?

At Starfish, we always review the performance of our posts to determine which tags are improving in their engagement. We can totally geek this out and hashtag the heck out of things…but we choose to be sensitive to our audience. #winning

Mar 05

All Things Mardi Gras

By Caroline Herman | Creative , Family , Programmatic , Social Media , Uncategorized

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

Happy Mardi Gras! You may be an active participant of this celebration, or you may also be like me and not really know where this day comes from.
On March 3, 1699, two French explorers named Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Sieur de Bienville landed near present-day New Orleans, Louisiana. They had a celebration where they landed with their ships and called their landing place “Point du Mardi Gras”.

However, Mardi Gras has much deeper roots than that. It all started as a way for Christians to prepare for Lent. People would eat all of the foods they had in their homes that they would be fasting from in the weeks to come. This celebration followed those two French explorers to America on their expedition, but when the Spanish took control of Louisiana, celebrations were banned until Louisiana became a state in 1812.

In 1827, a group of college students in New Orleans donned colorful costumes and recreated the festivities they saw while they were visiting Paris. This became the first recorded Mardi Gras parade in the US. In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus, organized a torch-lit parade, complete with marching bands and rolling floats, which set the tone for the festivities we have come to love today. Other lasting traditions include throwing beads and other small trinkets and treasures, wearing masks, decorating floats, and eating King Cake; a braided cake, laced with cinnamon, and topped with icing colored with purple, green, and gold. There is also a small plastic baby in the cake, and the most popular tradition says that whoever receives the baby in their slice of cake has to supply the cake the next year, and possibly host the party.

The words Mardi Gras literally translate to Fat Tuesday; people would binge on rich, fatty foods, and it is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, which signals the start of Lent. The signature colors of Mardi Gras- purple, green, and gold- come from the Rex Krewe, which is one of the longest lasting Krewes of Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras is only a legal holiday in Louisiana, but many areas around the world celebrate the holiday and, in some places, the festivities last as long as an entire week.
Locally, Jefferson, Texas is our hub for all things Mardi Gras. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Krewe of Hebe. The theme of the celebrations for this year is “Games People Play” and it is all kicked off on Friday, March 1 at 7pm with the Krewe of Hebe’s Doo Dah Parade and a live band on the main stage. Events will be going on all weekend until Sunday night, with live music, parades, a children’s carnival, and the historical Jefferson riverboat tours and historical museum.

Feb 25

10 Ways Instagram Has Changed Our Lives

By Caroline Herman | Creative , Data Strategy , Programmatic , Social Media

caroline-herman starfish ad age llc longview texas east texas programmatic ad agency tyler texas shreveport

Instagram has over 1 billion users, each spending an average of 53 minutes on the app per day.

Photography: helped the “selfie culture” rise up, and both professional and amateur photographers can showcase their work and get their name heard

Food: Now when we sit down to a meal, the first instinct of most people is to post a picture of their meal to Instagram. It also helps chefs and bakers and cake decorators to get their work seen. Restaurants even play into the new trends by decorating their eateries in such a way that attracts these influencers. Hey, free advertising.
Travel: influencers are paid to post “reviews” of destinations “Insta-tourism”

Art: museums used to specify “no photography” but now there are pop-up museums all over the world dedicated to being social media friendly.
Nature: We have started to view going outside as an aesthetic experience instead of genuinely enjoying the outdoors.
Marketing is now done on social media more than in a traditional sense because that is where the ideal audiences lie.
Journaling is no longer a messy book only for the creator’s eyes; it’s an entire Instagram art form.

Fitness: some may even say that the amount of fitstagrammer’s promoting health and fitness is at a dangerous level.
General life experiences are now amplified because of things like Instagram Stories, which let you document even the most mundane events in your life for all of the world to see.

Diversified beauty standards

Flat lay phenomenon- Still life photography has always been popular, but now showing off the contents of your purse or the layout of your desk in an aerial type shot is trending. Simple and visually pleasing, flat lays artfully showcase these overhead product shots.

Brands have developed entirely on Instagram, bypassing traditional advertising and marketing, they are able to attract new business simply by the amount of likes and follows they get on social media. (Frank Body and Daniel Wellington)

Virtual influencers, completely digitally created, have taken Instagram by storm. (Shudu Gram and Miquela Sousa)