Category Archives for "Creative"

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 11

Creating Typography and Logos

By Austin McDade | Creative , Programmatic , Social Media

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

Here is a look into how I create typography and logos for our clients.

I start out by sketching a grid for the letter size, and any special effects that I might want to use. The first photo is of my initial sketch, I don’t worry about it being perfect though because once I bring it into Photoshop I’m able to edit it freely and with more tools.

Once it’s pulled into Photoshop I lower the opacity so I can start tracing over the initial sketch with a rough brush, this is the stage where I fix any mistakes or just change it to look more visually appealing.

Once the first pass is done I go back over once more with a solid brush to make it as clean as possible for the next step. Now that it’s all clean I bring it into Illustrator so I can convert it to a vector image. This is an extra step that isn’t necessary if you like the way it looks in Photoshop, but this just makes sure that it looks good at any size and can easily be printed on any product and still look just as great.

If you are interested in my work, maybe we can get a logo created for your business too. Call us to set up an appointment!

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

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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)

Feb 14

Understanding Digital

By Abel Sanchez | Accountability , Core Values , Creative , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Search , Social Media

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

Understanding Digital vs Just Pitching the Product

A lot of agencies and media companies typically teach their sales people how to simply pitch the product instead of actually teaching them to understand the fundamentals of the product. Their mentality is just “give me the bullet points and I’ll make the sale”. But the thing about digital is that it’s a living, breathing organism. There are a lot of moving parts. It moves, it feels, it touches, and you can do so much with digital and to use it to its fullest potential, you have to understand human nature. That is who you’re really trying to capture. It’s about understanding how all of the different platforms connect, and how they’re able to deliver a relevant ad to the right consumer at the right time, and more importantly on a mobile platform.

People use their mobile devices more than anything else. If you have an iPhone, newer iOS tells you all about your screen time. Think about other people. When you go to a restaurant, when you’re at a red light, when you’re at the store, think about what the people around you are doing. They’re almost all on their phones consuming media.
So understanding the difference between pitching digital and actually understanding how digital connects us all is what separates us from the masses. I don’t want any of my staff to only know how to pitch a product; they need to understand how it all functions. 3 main things I need them to know about digital platforms is that regardless of what we don’t like or agree with, we cannot run our digital campaigns based on our interests. We have to let the market and audience decide. I also always tell them to never stop learning. Always push yourself to learn more and new things every single day. And lastly, digital audiences are not numbers. We may look at them as such, but they are real humans too, and that is important to remember so that we can be mindful about the creative we push out.

Our core values are family, accountability, and hustle. Those tie into understanding digital because in order for us to be fully aware of the best possible ways to utilize this technology, we first have to be accountable for ourselves, and we have to understand the value in family so that we can make relevant creative content. We want to surround ourselves with the right minded people so that we can hustle harder and produce the right results every time.

What are the 3 main things you want your staff to know about digital so they can better understand how to use it?
Regardless of what we don’t use or like we cannot run digital campaigns based on our interest, let the market/audience decide.
Never Stop Learning
Digital audiences or data are not numbers, they are people

How do your core values tie into understanding digital?

How do you ensure your staff is up to date on the latest in digital?

Feb 04

Why Does Digital Take So Long

By Abel Sanchez | Brand Strategy , Creative , Data Strategy , Programmatic , Search , Social Media

We live in an instant society. Which means that one of the biggest misconceptions about digital advertising is that people think of the word digital, and they think instant results. But anyone who says they can give you a return in less than 30 days is lying to you; they don’t truly understand how it all works. Like the competitor, we could also promise to get you leads. But those leads don’t matter in the long run, unless you’re also seeing the results you desire.

As with anything you do in life, it also takes time to build your brand. There are so many different platforms to work with, and not everybody knows how to use them all. And if you think that just spending a couple of hundred dollars on AdWords or Facebook is going to get you the results you want, you are mistaken. Our job is to help businesses navigate through these platforms and help brands generate an ROI.

For example, we have clients that haven’t run a TV ad for six months, but they still have customers come in and tell them that they heard about them on a TV commercial. How is that possible? Time. Repetition. It takes time for people to receive your message, and what’s more, is that they also need to get your message at the right time so that it is relevant to them. If you were to put a commercial on TV, it would take time to get the commercial done right, and then more time to get it heard and seen, and then even more time on top of that to see the results.
Digital doesn’t just send things out to the entire market randomly as traditional does. It’s about finding that community that your message is relevant to at that particular moment in time. And in this time when everyone and their grandmother is on a smartphone, we are very mobile-oriented; meaning that we are highly skilled with social media and mobile friendly sites.
Our slogan is “in a sea of advertisers, we make you the star of the ocean” for a reason. Here at Starfish, we help your brand stand out. We target the right consumers at the exact right moment to get you the results you are after for your business. So let us make you a star.