What the Net Neutrality Repeal Could Mean for Small Businesses

 

The Removal of Net Neutrality Could Affect the Way Small Businesses Are Valued Online

Net neutrality gave web users equal access to the internet. Equal opportunities to speedy web access allowed businesses to compete on an even field.  Small, online businesses were able to reach people from all over the world.

On December 14 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to repeal the regulations of 2015 for free and equal internet access. Since then, there have been several speculations as to how this will affect the way users access content on the internet. The truth is, there is no absolute answer to how or when to expect to see a change in internet services.

While many large internet service providers (ISPs) have stated that they do not plan to drastically change their services, the end of net neutrality does leave small businesses vulnerable to several possibilities.

Pay-to-Play for Web Speed

Those who can afford faster web speed will have faster web speed. Those who cannot will simply lag behind. Without regulations enforcing equal speed to websites, ISPs could start charging websites for prioritization.bigstock--210893887

Paying for website prioritization is different than paying for ad space because rather than paying for space to attract consumers to your company’s site, you are paying for your webpage to load faster than the competition’s site.

For small businesses who rely on web traffic for business, page load time is crucial for keeping consumers on their site. In a 2015 study, researchers found that 57 percent of web users will abandon a site if the page takes longer than three seconds to load. That is a huge loss in potential sales for a small business.

Struggle for Ranking on Search Engines

The speed and accessibility of your website impacts the quality score of your website. The higher the quality score, the better your site ranks on organic search. Most small businesses will not be able to afford the faster internet access that large corporations can afford. The slower load times will cause a small business’s quality score to drop and rank lower on the search engine results page.

Websites on the fibigstock-Hand-Holding-Mobile-Phone-With-172288184rst page of a Google search generate the highest click rate and web traffic. The farther a website is from the top result, the less traffic it will generate.

Paid marketing can also be affected by the quality score. When you bid to appear for certain search terms in AdWords, your website’s quality score affects how much a business pays for keywords and ad space. The lower the quality score, which is affected by speed, the more you pay per bid. This affects start-up companies looking to get their foot in the door and small businesses trying to compete with corporate giants who can either afford the faster speed or can pay the extra per bid.

Blocked Content

There’s no certainty to what the ISPs will decide to do with the deregulations. Many ISPs including Cox and AT&T have already announced that they do not plan to block content, but have remained unclear about providing fast lanes for particular websites.

An internet service provider could significantly slow down websites it views as a threat to its own content or to the content of the companies the internet provider has a partnership with.

The advantage consumers have over their ISPs is their freedom to choose who they choose as their internet provider. If one ISP begins to block content or slow down particular websites, people will simply just switch to a different provider. The diversity in internet providers could be what protects small businesses from falling through the cracks.

Again, nothing is set in stone. The repeal of net neutrality could change absolutely nothing, or it could greatly affect the innovation of starting companies and the way small businesses compete for web traffic.


Ashley Boudreaux is a senior at LSU. She is currently studying Mass Communication and French. In her free time, she enjoys visiting petting zoos and climbing trees.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

 

Reputation Management for Your Business

Online Reputation Management Goes Beyond Bad Reviews

In today’s highly competitive market, people’s perception of a brand can have a huge impact on a company’s sales and revenue. With all of the competition surrounding your brand, it is important to stand out with a strong online reputation. Online reputation management is exactly what the phrase suggests: maintaining your company’s reputation online.

People often rely on online reviews to decide whether or not they should buy a product or service. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research, 90 percent of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Think back to the last time you were interested in buying a product or hiring a service. You most likely did your research and based part of your decision on the online customer reviews.reputation-management_tinypic

 

A brand with a good online reputation is trusted more among customers. Customers will not always leave a review on their own, however, even if they are satisfied with a product or service. As part of your reputation management strategy, it is important to proactively ask pleased customers for a review and reply to reviewers to show that you care about their opinions – both positive and negative.

When you respond to reviews, potential customers will see that your company is both interactive and cares for its customers. If people appear to trust your brand, others are likely to follow. Customers are more likely to trust a company with 4 stars and 100 reviews than a company or product with 5 stars and 2 reviews.

Discover Customer Insights

It is crucial that your company is up to date on what people are asking for in regards to your product or service. Implementing some of their ideas or needs may even improve customer satisfaction as well as increase growth of your business.bigstock--151880750-[Converted]

If you find you don’t have the time to keep up with your company’s online reputation, we offer professional online reputation management services at Catapult Creative Media. With our dedication and experience, we will work with you to manage your company’s reputation and keep your company growing. If you are ready to get started or have any questions, give us a call at 225-590-3310.


 

Abigail Scorsone is a Senior at LSU studying Digital Advertising and Business Administration. In her free time, she enjoys cuddling with cats and watching Disney movies.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

Linking You Brand with a Social Cause Focus Keyword: social cause

Let’s Have a Cold One

Companies Linking Their Brands to Social Causes Need to Avoid Making the Same Mistakes of Pepsi

Over the past few years, companies have been attempting to link their brands to current events and social causes due to a change in how audiences choose to buy things. The change came with the shift in how newer generations make decisions on how to pick which product or service to purchase. When linking a social cause to a brand however, companies need to proceed cautiously or risk alienating their audience. It’s dangerous to go alone, take this advice.

Simon Sineck’s Golden Circle

The big shift in purchasing habits can be best understood through Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle theory. In summary, Sinek believes that in the past what a brand sold was the most important aspect to a consumer, but now, more successful companies sell the why of what they do. It’s extremely easy for a consumer to see what a company is selling. Why a company does what it does is a much deeper question that not every company can answer, but it is becoming a big part of why consumers choose brands to support.

In today’s market, consumers wConsumers like being able to relate to a brand through a social causeant to know why what a company does matters, outside of pulling in a profit. Consumers want to have a personal connection and to be able to relate to a business or brand. By relating their brand to a cause, a company is giving more depth to why they act in the ways they act, giving potential customers a way to connect with the brand on a deeper level, and allowing the company to reach new audiences with similar ideals.

As a company, are they humanitarians? Have they worked with non-profits to protect the environment? Do they even care about anything? Questions that would hardly be considered 20 years ago are now in the front of a potential customer’s mind and are governing purchasing decisions. The companies that adapt and support the social causes that their audiences are passionate about see more support from that audience.

Don’t Be Like Pepsi: “What” Can’t Carry a Cause

However, like most things, using a cause to boost your brand can have drawbacks if done incorrectly. Pepsi released a commercial in April of 2017 that faced major backlash from the general public. The commercial focused on current events happening within the U.S. including discrimination, protests, and diversity.

The way Pepsi handlCrowd passionate about a social causeed the subject matter was ultimately the problem. Rather than focusing on the idea that unity and peace is achieved through understanding, Pepsi focused on their product and used it as the answer to a social issue. Pepsi tried to say that its product is the glue that holds us all together and solves a social issue. The company focused on what they were selling rather than why they were doing so.

From a business standpoint, Pepsi’s main goal for taking on the topic was most likely in an effort to reach a different audience, which was unsuccessful. It seems that Pepsi made the ad to sell their product, with no deeper meaning, and it shows. It’s harder to accept that a product is uniting people rather than an ideal, and the effort comes off as exploiting issues to sell a product.

Why the “Why” Actually Matters 

It’s not all doom and gloom when wanting to unite your business to a social cause with something more relatable to your potential customers. As proof, within a few weeks of the Pepsi ad, Heineken released its own commercial dealing with diversity. The whole point of Heineken’s commercial was to establish, as a world, that we all have more in common than we have differences. Rather than using their beer as a way to bridge the gap between the ideals, Heineken used human empathy to bridge the gap between different viewpoints.

Heineken united their brand to a cause without using their product as the vehicle by letting their product take the backseat to the message. Rather than focusing on sHeineken succeeded in uniting people to a social causeelling a product and making a buck off a tough subject, Heineken let their ad be a vehicle for their why: to help people with different ideals find common ground.

Their beer is featured, but not as the solution to solving the complicated social issue of diversity like in Pepsi’s ad. This type of social cause marketing allows people who may not drink beer see Heineken in a new light, allowing Heineken to reach outside their target audience.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, bringing a new set of ideals into your business is a good thing when done right, keeping in mind the way consumers see brands in today’s day and age. Attaching a cause to your brand can reach an audience that would normally not be interested in your product or service. Overall, connecting your brand to a cause can strengthen the connection between consumer and brand.


Madison Martin is a senior at Louisiana State University pursuing a degree in mass communication with a specialization in digital advertising, and a minor in fine art. In her free time, Madison enjoys drawing, sleeping, and playing video games.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

 

A fucntioning website is important.

The Importance of a Functioning Website

One of the first things a potential client or customer will do is check out your business’s website. While your website may be beautifully designed, is it truly functioning to its full potential? A well-functioning website can help sell clients or customers on your business. Here are a few tips for you to maximize the function of your business’s website.

A Functional Website Appeals to All Visitors

It’s All About the Customer

While you may think your website is in top shape, you’ll need to double check and make sure that your website is built for and appeals to the people visiting your site. After all, the customer is the most important factor in this equation. Consider your target market and what they would want and need in a site.

Your website must be appealing and functional for both tech experts and those who are still learning. It is important that your website works well for all potential visitors so that each person leaves your site having a pleasant experience. If your site is engaging to your audience and meets their needs, then they will want to spend time exploring your site, revisiting the website in the future, and considering doing business with your company.

Is Your Website Easy to Navigate?

A website that funFunctioning websites include clearly labeled pages.ctions properly and is easy to navigate will set your business apart from the rest of the competition. It is essential to have a neat and uncluttered layout design so your website is easy to navigate and pleasing to look at. Pages should be clearly labeled for the type of content they contain so that visitors can quickly find the information they need. For example, you would not want to label your contact page as “help.” With that label, it would not be clear what content is on the page, and those visiting your website would be confused.

Visitors to your website will be sensitive to the amount of time it takes to load each page and may end up leaving the site if it’s too long. Try to cut down on the number of plugins and features included in your website as these tend to slow your site down, especially for users with a slower broadband.

Make your functional website mobile friendly.It is also important to make sure that your website is compatible with mobile devices, as 64 percent of American adults own a smartphone according to a study done by the Pew Research Center. Any trick that makes your website easier to navigate and load faster will appeal to everyone who visits the site.

Make Sure Your Website Serves a Meaningful Purpose

Before creating your website you must determine what its purpose is. Is it informative? Intended to advertise your business’s products and services? Meant for online shopping? By determining the reason for your website, you will be able to make a better functioning site. Despite the purpose, all websites should include some necessary pages such as the homepage, about page, services/products, news/blog, contact, and FAQs. These are the pages that people will expect to find on a website because they have become a standard. If these pages are missing, a visitor may determine that your website is not fully functional. These standard pages will also include the content that visitors are most likely looking for.

Add Content Frequently

There are many benefits to adding your own content to your website. Blogging shows that you have authority and knowledge in your industry. It is important to provide original content that answers questions, proves a point, is relevant to current news stories, and is interesting to the reader. This will make customers spend more time on your website and return frequently to view new content. Being consistent with the timing of publishing is important whether you post daily, weekly, or monthly. Visitors will expect new content at this time and be pleased to see that you have posted.

All of these tips and tricks will ensure that your website is functional and appealing to all who visit. A good website can make or break your business, so be sure to spend some time revamping and focusing on your site’s appearance and functionality. Customers will leave your website feeling happy and satisfied with a positive impression of your business.


Becca Andrus is a junior at LSU studying mass communications with a concentration in public relations. When she’s not studying or working, you can find Becca watching The Bachelor or saving Tasty videos on Facebook that she knows she’ll never actually cook.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

7 Marketing Lessons Learned From the 2016 Election

In honor of Election Day, Here are Seven Marketing Lessons from the 2016 Election to Launch Your business to the Next Level.

In the realm of politics, it’s all about branding yourself to get votes. It’s a giant game of marketing Jenga with candidates making strategic moves to stay balanced and grow audiences.

Marketing a business works in much the same way and with political messages constantly being blasted across TVs and Facebook feeds around the world, companies are provided with the opportunity to learn from candidates’ mistakes and successes on a large scale.

The 2016 United States Presidential Election has provided businesses with a chance to not only learn from the current candidates’ use of social media and personal branding, but also from the buzz that grew around them. A major breakthrough in this campaign season has been the overwhelming use of social media by candidates, parties, and audiences.

So as a business, what can you learn from this election? In honor of Election Day, here are seven marketing lessons from the 2016 Election that can help take your business to the next level.

7 Marketing Lessons Learned from the 2016 Election

Lesson 1: Target Your Audience2016 election teaches us to target our audience

You’re not going to find Hillary Clinton committed to campaigning in traditionally Republican states or Donald Trump in traditionally Democratic states. They know their messages will make the most impact in their aligned states or in swing states where they have the chance to change opinions. Similarly, why would you market on Snapchat if your target audience is mostly on Facebook or target men if you trying to sell to women?

Some people will never vote for a certain party just like some people will never fit your brand. The important thing is knowing who your audience is and then targeting them accurately and with gusto.

Follow in the steps of these audience-focused candidates and refine your target market. Don’t waste your time marketing to someone who will never be your supporter when you can be putting all that energy into the perfect audience.

Lesson 2: Be Emotional

I don’t mean cry to your audiences but tap into the emotional side of your business. People buy into the ideas and products of a company based on the emotion they feel toward it then back up those decisions with logic.

In this particular election, the candidates used emotional and passionate speech to entice audiences, providing them with causes they wanted to stand behind. In a business, it’s important to follow this rhetoric to encourage audiences to back your brand. A brand that does this particularly well is Tom’s. The shoe company donates one pair of shoes to less fortunate children for every one pair they sell. They are successful because they tap into the public’s emotional side.

Lesson 3: Simple Works Best

“Make America Great Again.” “Stronger Together.” These are simple slogans that audiences can understand and support. It’s their rally cries that they can scream to show support.

Using simple slogans and ideas to talk about your business is an effective way to appeal to a mass market. Complex messages that require extreme in-depth thought may leave your audience confused and looking elsewhere. Instead, use a simple message that is easy to understand and helps you stand out from the crowd.

Lesson 4: Social Media Can Be Your Friend Or Foe

There are many unspoken rules to social media that presidential candidates and businesses alike don’t understand.

Leading up to the election candidates seem to post too quickly, putting their foot in their mouth and having to return to apologize to audiences later down the road. Avoid this by planning out your posts and truly thinking them through. Will they offend your audience? Will it make you seem unprofessional?

Limit what is allowed on your business’ social media and who is allowed to use the accounts. Only a limited number of people should be permitted to speak on behalf of the business and even they should be monitored.

If used correctly, social media is a great way to connect to your audiences with two-way communication and even reach new audiences.

Lesson 5: Subject Lines Matter2016 election teaches us to utilize email subject lines

Email marketing is far from dead and the first thing you can learn from this election’s use of email marketing is that subject lines matter.

In their campaigns, both Trump and Clinton have used email marketing effectively in connecting with their supporters. For example, Clinton successfully uses information gaps in her email subject lines, leaving people wanting to know more.

One email used the subject “Dinner with Bill?” It piqued people’s interests and convinced them to click because they were unsure of the context and had to find out more.

Experiment with subject lines such as this in your business’ email marketing campaigns. Learn what gets the most clicks and responses from your audience.

Lesson 6: Take Advantage of Free Media

Social media provides businesses and candidates alike with the unique advantage of free media in a world of pay-to-play platforms.

Just looking down your social media newsfeed you’ll notice that almost every other post has something to do with this election. Whether you are reading a tweet update from the New York Times or laughing at a meme (a funny viral image joke) that Cousin Erica put on your timeline, talk of the election is everywhere.

The current campaigns understand and embraced this form of “free advertising” by starting conversations online and by joining in on other conversations.

As a business, remember that not every part of your marketing plan has to cost you money in an obvious way. Start conversations on social media or send press releases out to newspapers to gain awareness for your brand.

Lesson 7: Use Hashtags

Speaking of starting conversations, hashtags are tools that can sometimes stand our more than some of your most thought out marketing materials. A hashtag is a word or phrase starting with a pound sign (#) used on certain social media platforms to group and identify messages on a specific topic.

During the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, the expensive marketing materials didn’t have nearly the reach that the hashtags showing up in social media posts did. This is probably because hashtags provided audiences with a way to interact with the convention no matter their location.

Use short but memorable hashtags in your business marketing efforts to make messages stick with your audiences. During the debates, Twitter announced it’s official #Debate hashtag. During the October 9 townhall style debate, over 17 million tweets were posted as part of the conversation. The hashtag, #Debate, was tweeted at a rate of 51 times per minute.

Hashtags are memorable and concise and lead to true interaction between audiences. Audiences and businesses alike can use them to join in on conversations. For a business, this means not only getting free advertising using online communication but also connecting you to your audience on a personal level.

Talk of the 2016 United States Presidential Election is everywhere we look. If it teaches us anything, it is how significant social media and marketing is for your business. Instead of just watching from the side, learn from these debates and advance your business.


Hailey Johnson is a senior at LSU studying Mass Communication. If she is not binge watching Netflix, you can find her catching up on trending social media topics or day dreaming about traveling. She enjoys short walks on the beach and obsessing over pop culture.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

Pokémon Go – Pros and Cons for Your Business

Bring on the nostalgia because Pokémon is back and available free of charge on any smart phone via a downloadable app. Last week, Nintendo and Niantic launched Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game geared toward getting people off their couches and into the real world to hunt virtual Pokémon. The app’s instant popularity was somewhat staggering.

pokemonSo, how does it work? The app uses Google Maps and geolocation to create a world map for players full of Pokémon Gyms, Stops, and hidden Pokémon. Players are encouraged to get outside and find Pokémon by actually walking around and hunting them in real time. The Pokémon are displayed on the player’s phone and made to look as if they are in the player’s actual surroundings. This augmented reality is accomplished thanks to the app’s connection to the user’s camera. Another important aspect of the game are PokeStops, which are virtual in-game locations, usually set at real-life landmarks that contain PokéBalls and other pieces players need to play the game. Players are encouraged to hunt Pokémon, battle other players, and take over Gyms. Gyms are areas where players can battle for control of virtual locations, which like PokeStops are tied to a real-world location.

This newest fad, available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, has already surpassed Tinder downloads and appears to now have exceeded the number of Americans using Twitter, which at last count was 65 million. But what does this all mean for your business?

This new popular game, depending on how long it lasts, can be used in marketing your business and attracting customers. There are also some ramifications that the app can have on your business.

Consider both the pros and cons of Pokémon Go when it comes to your business and decide whether or not it can be a new marketing tool:

The Pros and Cons of Pokémon Go for Your Business

Pros of Pokémon Go:

The main pro of this app is that it is popular. It’s got more usage than apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat. Let’s say your business is a PokeStop or generally just has a lot of virtual Pokémon around it, this can potentially draw app users to your business. Not only that, but you can even attract Pokémon to your business and thus app users by dropping a “lure” within the app, which draws the virtual Pokémon to your location for thirty minutes.

A store uses PokemonGo to attract customers. Once the Pokémon Trainers are visiting your business with the goal to catch Pokémon, your goal will be to convert those Pokémon Trainers into customers. Gotta Catch ‘em all. For example, give a discount to any customers who catch a Pokémon in or near your place of business. Set lures during low times in your business day and announce it over social media to attract customers to your business.

You can also use the general fad of the game to market your business. This privately-owned store knew what they were doing when they posted a sign outside of their door promoting their PokeStop and products all at the same time!

Lastly, it’s important to note that there is sure to be much more to come with this app. The developers are already reporting upcoming improvements and new features, like the ability to trade Pokémon and the ability to turn your business into a PokeStop, something currently predetermined by the app. This may not just be a fad after all.

 

Cons of Pokémon Go:

Before you set up a “lure” within your business, consider the cons that may come with the Pokémon Go app. First, if your place of business is a PokeStop it could attract loiterers. If you cannot convert these players to customers, it can be frustrating to have a hoard of people in or around your business that are not patrons. This can cause general disruption and even turn would-be shoppers away.

Distraction in the workplace is a long standing battle. This app is not just for children so it is very likely that your employees are also Pokémon Trainers (players). This addicting app can cause a drop in productivity for your employees. Instead of a formal reprimand right away, consider promoting office-wide Pokémon hunts on breaks and lunch hours and lay out clear lines of expectations while on the clock.

Due to to the wandering nature of the Pokemon, and their preferred hours of the day (yes, some come out only at night), a business with a physical location may find more traffic after dark. This does not imply innocents playing the game are looking to do harm, but as a business owner, you should be aware.

Pokémon Go has been an extremely fast-growing fad, being installed on more Android smartphones in the United States than the dating app Tinder, and should not be ignored. By last Friday, it was already installed on 5.16% of US Androids compared to Tinder’s 2%. The program is only going to evolve from here. Choosing to capitalize on the opportunity will helps your business stay current and can even be a new marketing strategy to attract customers. If you haven’t yet, try downloading the app and try to catch ‘em all. You may find you like it!


Hailey Johnson is a senior at LSU studying Mass Communication. If she is not binge watching Netflix, you can find her catching up on trending social media topics or day dreaming about traveling. She enjoys short walks on the beach and obsessing over pop culture.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

What Flash’s Path to Becoming Obsolete Means for Your Business

Flash and mobile devices have never worked well together. With 64 percent of American adults now owning a smartphone according to the Pew Research Center, we’ve become a society whose online activity more often than not occurs on a mobile device. In fact, more than half of searches occur on a handheld device. It is no wonder that users are more surprised to still see Flash in use than to read that browsers are no longer supporting it.

Most American adults own a smartphone and many don't work with Flash. Flash has been loosing market share for some time now. Most modern users aren’t fans of it in the first place. When the iPhone was released in 2007 and did not support Flash, user experiences changed almost overnight. Instead of an animated banner, viewers now saw only a dull gray space. As browsers began updating, viewers were constantly nagged to update to the latest version. Even today, Flash ads make your browser slower and are frequently exploited by hackers. While some may rejoice that its days are coming to an end, some may be negatively affected by its impending demise as well.

Google’s decision to stop supporting Flash on Chrome in 2017 will affect advertisers that heavily rely on the software. If an advertiser’s primary method of advertising is Flash ads, they will be faced with finding a new way to promote themselves. Advertisers will then opt to advertise less with publishers who are dependent on Flash’s ad money to stay afloat, and advertise more with publishers who use other systems. In other words, the money that would be spent on Flash may go to AdWords, for example, resulting in a loss of revenue for businesses that make their money through Flash advertising. Bringing in less revenue and incurring the same expenses results in money loss, financially setting back these companies.

Many companies have been aware that this day would come. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are prepared. They will have to make that leap to a newer technology to keep up.

Flash has never worked well on mobile devices. One possible solution to this problem is to convert your Flash ads into HTML5, a web system heavily backed by Google (and is supported on every browser) that promotes greater speed and security, so you won’t have to recreate all new ad products for desktop and mobile. Google has the tools available to convert to HTML5, and tries to make the experience fairly simple.

Since Google is making this change in 2017 there is some time to figure out where to go from here. The adjustment period initiated by Flash getting nixed could cause ad dollars to be redirected to the very companies that are seeing to Flash’s demise, so it’s beneficial to start preparing for the change, if you haven’t already. Remember, the clock is ticking!


TiShanna Dillard is a junior studying mass communication at LSU. When she’s not working, she can be found binge watching a TV series on Netflix or eating chocolate.

 

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Leads

I wouldn’t have gotten a free truffle from Lolli and Pops if it wasn’t for a picture on Instagram — and they wouldn’t have gotten $18 extra from me if I hadn’t walked in to redeem the coupon.

Those deliciously coated spheres called my name from behind the screen. Topped with fruit, frosting, and chocolate shavings, the offer was too tempting to resist. I e-mailed Lolli and Pops as per the instructions on the photo’s caption, and made my way to the store after they gave me the redemption. Not only did I receive my free truffle, I bought $18 worth of macaroons. No doubt that several other people did the same thing.

A photo can do wonders for your business. You should want everyone to pay attention to what you say, but many people won’t stop to read words. Looking at a picture, especially an interesting one, is easier for many of your followers.

 

socialmediaImages with social media get more attention than anything else posted.

Facebook posts with a photo attached have 120% more engagement. That doesn’t mean that people just see your post — they’ll like it or comment on it. Even better, they’ll share it.

Guess what the majority of shared posts have in them? Pictures. Eighty-seven percent of shared posts on Facebook have photos in them.

The percentages on Twitter aren’t as high as the ones on Facebook, but a majority of retweets have photos in them.

Think about it. When you’re driving home and you’re hungry, the billboards with the juicy burger catch your eyes quicker than the food advertisement with way too many words and not enough mouthwatering food. Sometimes pictures tell stories better than words can.

 

Images on your site tell a story.

Do you ever wish you had some kind of visual break after reading 10-30 page contracts with your clients? Huge paragraphs of text can be boring, and a photo gives us a break from all the effort from reading. Even infographics can get a point across better than pages and pages of words.

When you’re building your website, take into consideration the story behind your company. Do you have pictures of your first building? Of the construction that went behind it? What if it’s a company that has been around for 25, 30, even 50 years?

If your company belonged to your great-grandfather, people might want to see the history behind it. More accurately, they want the photographic history.

 

photographyInvest in a good photographer.

While you’re at it, get a good graphic designer too. Having a good quality photo is so important when it comes to attracting an audience.

If you were to post Clip Art all the time, no one would take you or your company seriously. Having sharp, high-quality images will let others know that you’re just as clean and put together. A blurry photo, or one with too many special effects on it, looks cheap and too hard to focus on.

A professional photographer will have the experience working with how to frame the subject and adding just the right amount of light. You want your products, and especially yourself, to look good when they’re shown to mass audiences.

 

Pictures make things desirable. You can write about a truffle all you want to, but then the imagery is left up to your customers. Providing that picture to them upfront is easier on you and harder on them to turn down.

Remember: show, don’t tell.

 


Hannah Alkadi is a digital marketing intern at Catapult Creative Media. She studies advertising and visual communications at LSU, and spends her free time informing others about micronations. 

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. 

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.

Hashtag-Guide

Hashtag Guide for Every Day of the Week

You’ve seen it all over social media—hashtags from #MusicMonday to #FlashbackFriday. They look fun, but there’s so many that it’s hard to believe that you can use them professionally.

So where do you start, and what kind of things should you post to go along with the hashtags? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list for every day of the week that can contribute to growth—when used correctly.

Hashtag-Guide-Insta

Monday

#MotivationMonday — A favorite of Catapult’s, this hashtag encourages everyone to step up their game.

Why? Show people that you’re serious about what you do and that you’re determined to do it. #MotivationMondays are emotional, relatable and personal.  In terms of social media, those factors determine how your content gets viewed and shared.

#MondayFunday — The opposite of #ManicMonday, you can spin the first day of the week as the best one, too!

Why? Customers do business with people who remind them of themselves, or who they want to be. You want to tell people that you love what you do, and that you do it with passion. Emotions, especially, help in negotiating a decision for them to do business with you. Your brand has a personality, and using hashtags allow you to show it off a little.

 

Tuesday

#TransformationTuesday — Compare the progress between then and now with one photo.

Why? Offices change over time, but most importantly, your work does too. Showing before and after pictures of work you’ve done for a client will show people the great things you accomplish.

#TuesdayTip — The sibling to #WednesdayWisdom, #TuesdayTip is used by brands to offer insight on what they do.

Why? You’re the expert when it comes to your products and services. Maybe there’s something your followers don’t know about the general field, or a specific detail in what you offer. This is a great way to position your brand as a resource for help in the industry.

 

Wednesday

#WayBackWednesday —#ThrowBackThursday and #FlashBackFriday’s cousin, called #WBW for short.

Why? This powerful hashtag allows others to peer into your early beginnings, and more importantly, see how far you’ve come. Customers care about stories, and if they care about yours, they’re more willing to become a part of it.

#WonderfulWednesday — Wish followers well with this hashtag. Similar to #MotivationMonday, you can show what you’re excited about, or even what you’ve accomplished.

Why? Telling people to have a #WonderfulWednesday isn’t enough. It’s crucial to incorporate your product or service into the posting, and in some cases, your followers will refer to you on their own #WonderfulWednesday post.

 

Thursday

#ThrowBackThursday — Also known as #TBT, this hashtag reveals your long-lost memories of the past to all who follow you.

Why? Showcasing old workspaces or memorable meetings will intrigue your followers. Remember, some of your newer followers haven’t seen the cool things you did years ago!

#ThankfulThursday — Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to be grateful when you have every Thursday in the year.

Why? A brand that appreciates who it works with is one that will get more people to work with. You can reference donors, clients, coworkers and more. Some of your newer clients that you thank may be more inclined to stick with you longer.

 

Friday

#FollowFriday — This is used to mention one to five people—industry leaders or clients—who you keep up with.

Why? The person you promote might return the favor to you, and you’ll gain followers and potential clients. These cross-promotions attract more customers, and may even lead to a joint collaboration.

#FridayFacts or #FridayFunFact — Entertain or inform your crowd about the uniqueness of your company or your industry.

Why? Weird trivia intrigues people, but don’t post something different just to be different. Make sure it’s relevant to what you’re doing. Think of how Google changes their logo to highlight a special day, and how many people click on it to find out more.

 

Hashtag-Guide-Hashtag

Before you hashtag, follow these easy rules:

  1. Are you using this hashtag because you want to hop on the bandwagon, or because you can take advantage of the trend in a way that’s relevant to what you’re doing?
  2. Does whatever you post speak to your audience?
  3. How old is the trending hashtag, and will you be too late if you post something relating to it now?
  4. Have you observed how other brands use the hashtag?
  5. How will you make your contribution to the hashtag stand out?

Always use good judgment with hashtags, but don’t be afraid to bend the rules a little. See what other hashtags are trending and turn it to your advantage.

 


 

Hannah Alkadi is a digital marketing intern at Catapult Creative Media. She studies advertising and visual communications at LSU, and spends her free time informing others about micronations.

Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc.

Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.