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Agency / January 6, 2012 Cocktail Hour: January 6, 2012
Cocktail Hour: January 6, 2012

By Amy DiFrancesco

It’s 2012, and it’s my resolution, perhaps along with you, to be consistently learning throughout the new year. Each Friday, The Agency Post will be featuring five articles we’ve read this week that we think deserve to be shared. These reads are perfect over a cup of coffee or even a smart cocktail. Personally, I’d recommend a whiskey and diet.

In no particular order...

The Reddit ... Read More

Agency / January 5, 2012 D: Dive Into Media
D: Dive Into Media

By Amy DiFrancesco

Rapid advances in digital technology means consumers can now read, watch and listen to nearly anything they want, on any device they want, whenever they want. What does that mean to the world’s biggest media companies? Is this a great time to be in the business of making and distributing content? Or a terrifying one? Or both?

D: Dive into Media will take an in-depth look at those questions, and pose them to the leaders of the most powerful companies in the TV, movie, music and publishing industries. We’ll highlight some of the most interesting startups that aim to reshape those businesses. Writers, entertainers and other content creators who’ve been able to harness technology to create new opportunities for themselves will also take the stage.

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Agency / January 5, 2012 Building Inbound Links at the Enterprise Level
Building Inbound Links at the Enterprise Level

By Lauren Bradley

Inbound links are the foundation to quality SEO. Without inbound links to your client’s website, the chances of them showing up for targeted keyword phrases in the search results is very limited — and nearly impossible for competitive terms. Along with optimized on-page factors, building a strong external link portfolio can lead to strong results and a positive ROI. At the enterprise level, the number of "low hanging fruit" is infinite. Large brands and companies are talked about often in the media, as well as in medium-sized websites and blogs. By acting as an extension of your client’s public relations team, there are three things you can do starting today to build links for your client.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL3WRYYgJgE

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Agency / January 4, 2012 Make an Impact: Listen
Make an Impact: Listen

By Jeb Brooks

The single biggest mistake business developers make when it comes to selling any product or service is failing to listen. Too often, salespeople get focused on their brilliant idea to the peril of the most important thing in the sales relationship: the customer.

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Agency / January 3, 2012 Commit to Creativity: What Organizations Can Learn from Fashion Designers
Commit to Creativity: What Organizations Can Learn from Fashion Designers

By Nancy Vaughn

If you work in certain creative or nonconventional industries (like representing a rock band, fashion brand or up-and-coming celebrity), almost anything goes from a creative standpoint. No one is necessarily shocked when an artist parachutes down to the stage or photoshops President Obama kissing President Chavez. Okay, maybe that last one was a bit of a surprise.

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Agency / January 2, 2012 7 Things Brand Advertisers Should Know About DRTV
7 Things Brand Advertisers Should Know About DRTV

By Tim Hawthorne

It’s no secret that a large number of brand advertisers have warmed up to the idea of adding DRTV commercials to their marketing portfolios. Over the last few years, Apple, Nissan, Discover Card, Nikon and the U.S. Navy have become some of the biggest, most recognizable brands that use short- and long-form DRTV campaigns to sell products and services, increase customer loyalty, build subscription bases and generate leads.

What is DRTV?

Direct response television (DRTV) is any television advertising that asks consumers to respond directly to the company. This is a form of direct response marketing. There are two types of direct response television, short form and long form.

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Agency / January 1, 2012 Do Meta Tags Matter
Do Meta Tags Matter

By Travis Smith

It’s been said to never take advice about money from someone that's never had any. Equally, you should never take SEO advice from someone that hasn't implemented and proven the practices themselves in a competitive niche.

A common SEO tip from well-meaning authorities is that you should “load all your keywords into meta keyword tag fields.” Is this good advice? Just how important are on-page factors for search optimization?

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Agency / December 30, 2011 Room for Improvement
Room for Improvement

By Josh Johnson

The world of Visual Effects (VFX) and Motion Graphics is expansive. There are many different disciplines and a multitude of software packages to choose from when working on projects. On top of that, software packages have yearly updates as technology continues to improve. As a VFX and Motion GFX artist, this means practice is a must. As artists, our jobs don’t take an 8 to 5 route, and we also can’t wait for the moment of inspiration. We must constantly be working to not only improve our current skills, but also to learn new techniques and methods to bring to the next project. Integrating computer generated imagery (CGI) into live action footage or photographs during your spare time may not seem like a way to spend an evening, but this work directly affects the quality of the projects I complete for projects every day.

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Agency / December 29, 2011 12 in ’12: Useful Tech Advice for the New Year
12 in ’12: Useful Tech Advice for the New Year

By Gary Lee

As the year draws to a close, the number 12 is on my mind for all kinds of reasons. There’s the twelve days of Christmas, twelve months in a year, 2012, twelve eggs in a dozen (I admit to a fair amount of holiday baking). I’m always one to look forward more than look back, so instead of wrapping up with a year-end review of things, here are 12 technology advice tips that should help make the coming months productive, profitable and rewarding:

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Agency / December 28, 2011 Your Approach to 2012
Your Approach to 2012

By Emily Eldridge

I’ve been reading a ton of “2012 predictions.” Many are insightful. Most are based on historical statistics and projections, which the Black Swan Theory tells us is an uneducated approach. And while they have value, I’m not going to write another one. I feel it’s more universally constructive to discuss our approach to the industry and our respective organizations in order to become that much more effective in ensuring long-term success.

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Agency / December 26, 2011 Is SEO Measurable
Is SEO Measurable

By Travis Smith

Delivering data on the return on investment (ROI), return on engagement or any other type of measurement for search-related projects can be complicated. The client may feel less than satisfactory results from the project if there isn’t first a mutual understanding of the value of a visitor, a click or a conversion from search traffic.

http://youtu.be/DJ_H9fCN4FM

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Agency / December 25, 2011 Using Communication to Effect Change
Using Communication to Effect Change

By Brent Beshore

If you work in the communications industry, your job is to effect change. You change perceptions. You motivate action. You cause disruption. For most of us, the ultimate client goal is to change buying behavior. We get paid to encourage people to purchase more and differently. We get paid to cause cash registers to ring. Is it a noble craft? Absolutely. We help create jobs and give rise to success.

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Agency / December 24, 2011 Is Your Website Doing It's Job? Three Ways to Improve Conversions
Is Your Website Doing It's Job? Three Ways to Improve Conversions

By Josh Burrell

Truth: All websites serve the same purpose — to create conversions. Even though many website owners do not realize this, the purpose of any site should be to identify and track conversion.

It is true that conversions take on many different looks and serve many different purposes. A conversion to you may mean a purchase; to another person, it means dissemination of information and/or simply recognition.

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Agency / December 23, 2011 Holiday Retailer #Fails
Holiday Retailer #Fails

By Emily Eldridge

Thanks to an awesome United Way volunteer opportunity, my fiancé and I had the good fortune of shopping for a much longer list than we’re used to this year. About 25 children longer. We were tasked with fulfilling the Christmas wishes for each well-deserving child on a budget of about $40 each. You would think that the budget would have been the challenge, but, although toys ARE outrageously priced, there were many more retailer #fails throughout our shopping experience.

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Agency / December 21, 2011 Color Correction and Color Grading in Post Production
Color Correction and Color Grading in Post Production

By David Anderson

Color correction is the manipulation of the saturation, luminance and balance of the red, green and blue values of your recorded image. In the days when everything was shot on film, color choices were needed at the beginning of the production process. The Director of Photography (DP) would select film stocks with exposure ratings (ASA) and color temperatures (tungsten or daylight) that matched the shooting environment. A tungsten film stock shot under tungsten lighting would look normal, as would a daylight film stock shot in daylight. A DP could create an overall color cast on set by using a tungsten stock in daylight (creating a blue tint to the recorded image) or by using daylight film under tungsten (resulting in an orange tint).

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Agency / December 17, 2011 How Do You Keep Up with Google Algorithm Changes
How Do You Keep Up with Google Algorithm Changes

By Travis Smith

Search consultants are often asked the question: “How can you really do SEO if Google is always changing the algorithm?”

It is true that Google is frequently changing their search algorithms. However, most of the changes are minor. Historically, Google has made major algorithm updates several times a year. When it happens, there is usually a lot of buzz in the industry and many webmasters notice significant shifts in ranking.

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Agency / December 16, 2011 Social Tech 2012
Social Tech 2012

By Emily Eldridge

What is SocialTech? Alternately described as a social media conference with a focus on B2B marketing and a B2B conference that simply can’t get enough social media, SocialTech is designed specifically for B2B marketers who want to get the most out of social media marketing for their business.

At Social Tech 2012, you'll:

  • Learn to boost your company’s B2B marketing and sales via social media marketing
  • Have access to a veritable Who’s Who in the B2B social media marketing arena as well as meet the next generation of superstars
  • Share stories and best practices with other B2B marketers
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Agency / December 16, 2011 Biometric Measures: Into the Lab
Biometric Measures: Into the Lab

By Paul Bolls

Biometric testing, neuroscience and brain mapping studies have recently interested many brands and advertisers looking to understand what subconscious emotions and reactions to their million-dollar advertising means, along with how the data from these studies can be used to make their media messages more effective. While many focus groups, surveys and traditional testing models provide important feedback from viewers, biometric testing allows the brand or advertiser to ascertain the person’s biological reactions to imagery.

Biometric testing includes collecting data, such as heart rate, facial muscle movement, spikes in brainwave activity and the stimulation of the nervous system through the production of sweat. These reactions are usually involuntary and can showcase underlying reactions experienced by the person when viewing or interacting with brand messages.

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Agency / December 15, 2011 OPS Mobile New York
OPS Mobile New York

By Emily Eldridge

OPS Mobile will bring digital advertising leaders and ops professionals together to discuss and develop best practices for operational excellence in a world of connected devices. OPS Mobile is an open door event. The event is not exclusive to ad operations professionals but is open to everyone in the industry who understands the importance of operations to the success of mobile advertising. The agenda for OPS Mobile will focus on the exchange of ideas, experiences, best practices, emerging trends in the field and expert-led sessions covering an array of topics specific to ad operations and technology for the mobile internet. Typical attendees are senior managers, directors, vice-presidents and professionals who have over five years experience in the industry.

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Agency / December 15, 2011 Visual Effects (VFX) vs Motion Graphics
Visual Effects (VFX) vs Motion Graphics

By David Anderson

The world of digital motion media can be a scary place. Like most industries it’s filled with jargon that can be both intimidating and confusing. When working with post houses it’s important to have a general understanding of the differences between some key areas so you can effectively communicate your vision to the team before the project gets going. Phrases you commonly hear are VFX or visual effects and motion graphics. So what is the difference between the two, and how can they both be used during post production?

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Agency / December 14, 2011 5 Reasons Information Travels and How to Increase Your Reach
5 Reasons Information Travels and How to Increase Your Reach

By Blair Semenoff

So many people get caught up into broadcasting about themselves they never take into consideration if anyone is really listening. Getting more friends, followers or connections isn’t an accurate measurement of your reach or influence. (PS: Looking at Twitter followers is for your ego, looking at how many TwitterLists you have is closer to reality.)

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Agency / December 13, 2011 You Aren’t an Expert Until They Buy: Effectively Market your eBook
You Aren’t an Expert Until They Buy: Effectively Market your eBook

By Nicolas Gremion

You’re not one to brag, but you’re kind of a big deal. You’re an expert at what you do. Your mom — and, hopefully, your boss — agrees with you. You are meant for bigger things, and you know an eBook would get others on board. The problem? You’re not an expert until others recognize you as one.

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Agency / December 10, 2011 Google's Tool: Our Mobile Planet
Google's Tool: Our Mobile Planet

By Emily Eldridge

Google’s Our Mobile Planet, an online tool for the analysis of smartphone usage, was released earlier this fall. The tool allows marketers and curious consumers to harvest data and create charts reflecting the penetration, behavior, activities, commerce and advertising associated with smartphone usage around the world.

Results from more than 30 countries can be included in data filtering, and there are demographic categories that can be applied. The data has been taken from the Global Mobile Research: The Smartphone User & The Mobile Marketer, a study conducted in partnership between Google, Ipsos and the Mobile Marketing Association.

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Agency / December 9, 2011 How Not to Piss Off A CTO
How Not to Piss Off A CTO

By Gary Lee

Having been on both sides of the agency-client relationship, I recognize the temptation to sometimes sell around the technical team. Maybe you've had bad experiences with a client's technical leadership or ran into the "no" team. You might get the sale keeping IT out of the process, but you are likely to fail in maximizing the benefits to your company and, more importantly, the customers. Let me walk you through the potential pitfalls of this approach and then suggest a better way to proceed.

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Agency / December 8, 2011 Which Keywords Should You Target
Which Keywords Should You Target

By Travis Smith

SEO consultant firms are often brought in as the ‘hired gun’ to generate traffic to a site. Often times, we’re hired after the site is built and content is live.

If you’re going to take the time to generate quality content and archive it on your blog or website, it’s best to optimize the content for maximum exposure before the site is built. One way to do this is to optimize your site for search (i.e. SEO). A well-organized site is good for search engine ranking and for usability. The two go hand in hand.

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Agency / December 7, 2011 Social Media's Effect on Motion Media
Social Media's Effect on Motion Media

By David Anderson

While many see the shift in video consumption as the result of YouTube’s inception, the real transformation in online viewing began with the increase in social networks’ active users. Twitter gained traction in the spring of 2007, and Facebook became open to the public shortly before this. These new spaces for sharing, consuming and interacting with video content provided YouTube with the ability to reach viewers far beyond the group of unique visitors to the site. Currently, 100 million people take some sort of social action on YouTube each week, whether that be liking, sharing or commenting, not to mention how often someone may send a link to a friend going, “You have to see this!”

Recently, Nielsen reported than online video viewership has increased more than 26 percent over the past three years. This was reported with additional important data points revealing that the time spent viewing video in this same time period has increased twofold.

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Agency / December 6, 2011 Is Variable Compensation Right for Your Agency?
Is Variable Compensation Right for Your Agency?

By Doug Austin

This is something we've been working to incorporate for a few years now. The answer was clear, yet not simple. The answer to When is now and the answer for Whom is everyone. Implementing this is not as simple. There are certain stigmas to overcome when it concerns someone’s salary in an agency environment. Let’s face it: We’ve not given anyone any reason not to be cynical about an “incentive-based compensation” package.

The reality is this: The agency business has always been a bit transient in terms of a career and, as a result, you learned to get as much up front in salary as you could because a "raise" or bonus was not something you could count on. As far as loyalty, it was admirable but not necessarily real. In fact, if you were offered a signing bonus, it was prudent to roll that into your salary (if the agency was willing).

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Agency / December 5, 2011 Mobisite vs. Mobile Optimization
Mobisite vs. Mobile Optimization

By Emily Eldridge

When developing a website, the project team should consider the site’s conversion, user experience and traffic sources from a mobile device during the initial concepting (if internal) or proposal (if external) phase. For the record, not doing anything to optimize site conversion for mobile viewing is not an option - unless you can prove to me on paper that no one, for any reason, ever, will access your site from a mobile device. There are two major options for mobile conversion of a web-based site: mobile optimization or a mobile website (mobisite). These are not the same thing.

http://youtu.be/AKnOt3djTrc

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Agency / December 4, 2011 Agency Etiquette: Tips for Working With Third-Party Vendors
Agency Etiquette: Tips for Working With Third-Party Vendors

By Lori Goldberg

As digital ad spending continues to climb, a growing number of agencies are working feverishly to build their digital capacity. For many smaller shops, growing internal capacity simply isn’t feasible — or at least not economical.
To build their digital shops and leverage the booming business opportunity, most look to third-party service providers to fill in gaps with data service and management, analytics and measurement, and more. While this certainly makes sense, both from a functional and budget-conscious point of view, there are some pitfalls. Following a few simple rules of etiquette in working with third-party vendors will not only make for a better relationship, but also deliver better results for the client.

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Agency / December 3, 2011 Be Uncomfortable: Avoid Assumptions. Understand People.
Be Uncomfortable: Avoid Assumptions. Understand People.

By Emily Eldridge

Think of an audience segment with whom you've recently worked. Do you really understand them? Or do you, like most marketers, review outdated research, think back to when you were that age/part of that group and make assumptions? Those assumptions are a curse on our industry, and with the rapid pace of today’s popular culture, could be your strategy’s death certificate.

http://youtu.be/2P3achkR-Ls

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Agency / December 2, 2011 8 Reasons DRTV Still Works
8 Reasons DRTV Still Works

By Tim Hawthorne

The economic downturn has forced companies to scrutinize how exactly every advertising dollar is allocated. Ineffective methods are being replaced by more efficient and measurable options that resonate with today’s consumers, while productive mechanisms are getting more support and attention from the marketers using them.

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Agency / December 1, 2011 Mobile Advertising – What They Don’t Want You to Know
Mobile Advertising – What They Don’t Want You to Know

By Toren Ajk

After years of faulty predictions proclaiming “the year of mobile,” it appears that in 2011, mobile marketing has finally arrived. eMarketer forecasts ad spending for mobile to reach $1.2 billion this year, up a whopping 65 percent from 2010. By 2015, spending on mobile advertising is expected to reach $4.4 billion. 2015 is also the year that International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts more consumers will access the Internet from mobile devices than from PCs.

So what has finally made mobile marketing relevant? Smartphones and iPads/tablets, or more importantly, how those smartphone and tablet consumers use their devices. Earlier this year, Google released the findings from an Ipsos OTX research study on mobile user behavior that revealed why mobile is becoming such an important piece of the overall marketing puzzle.

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Agency / December 1, 2011 The West is Weak
The West is Weak

By Enrique Turegano

We have heard that statement so many times from clients. Sales are strong everywhere in the U.S., but for some reason, the West is not performing as well. Market share in the West is lower than national. The West is weak for us.

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Agency / December 1, 2011 Loser. How to Throw an Awards Competition
Loser. How to Throw an Awards Competition

By Mike McDougall

ADDYs. Silver Anvils. Tellys. A Lion or two. Winning awards sometimes seems to be an agency discipline unto itself. I know of at least one large firm who employs a full-time awards coordinator. It’s serious business (well, in the minds of some, at least).

I have one question: With all this firepower, with all of this creativity, with all of these resources, why in the name of all things good and great are the majority of awards entries so lackluster?

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Agency / December 1, 2011 Agency Leaders Must Be Scouts
Agency Leaders Must Be Scouts

By Peter Gerritsen

A number of years ago, I met an agency owner that I had admired my entire career. We were both attending an industry conference. I had seen him at a number of events over previous years, and I finally worked up the nerve to introduce myself. After his very gracious greeting to me, I had a question for him.
“Why do you go to so many of these kinds of meetings? I see you as the expert, not the student.” He laughed and gave me a response that I have embraced ever since that day.

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Agency / December 1, 2011 How to Shop for SEO
How to Shop for SEO

By Travis Smith

Finding the right search professional can be dizzying. Claims of site traffic increase, elevated page rank, backlinks, higher conversion rates and number one search positions are blasted from many SEO sales sites and email pitches. While these results are the ultimate reasons for engaging a search team for a client’s website, it can be difficult to determine which consultants or search companies achieve these results through bad practices and who has enough experience to understand the complexities of achieving the end goal.

http://youtu.be/hbXKQ5bW1Xo

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Agency / December 1, 2011 Who Should Come to a Shoot?
Who Should Come to a Shoot?

By David Anderson

Video shoots, whether they be for a broadcast commercial, branded content or even a corporate training video, can be hectic. Makeups artists, directors, producers, key grips, effects artists and more will be there managing the talent, set and direction of the project. But the agency or marketer commissioning the work and the client also have important roles on set and during the editing and reviewing process.

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