7 Ways to Make a Winning Super Bowl Commercial

As amazing as it would be, the vast majority of us will never be able to afford an advertisement during the Super Bowl.

If you do happen to have four or five million dollars in your marketing budget, that money might be best spent somewhere besides a single 30-second spot.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make a Super Bowl caliber commercial.

In fact, if you play your cards right, you could create something that gets just as many eyeballs and buzz as the Budweiser frogs. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you don’t have to pay millions to get people talking. You just need to make something that’s worth talking about.

Let’s take a look at some of the elements that go into making an advertisement of Super Bowl quality.

Continue reading 7 Ways to Make a Winning Super Bowl Commercial

Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck has been creating content since he was just a little kid, writing stories and making radio shows on his Fisher Price tape recorder. He went on to produce local television and wrote for an area newspaper before discovering the power of telling stories online. Kasey worked as a content marketer, blogger, and copywriter for two ecommerce companies before joining Element in 2015.

Element Favorites – 14 Creative Films You Need to Watch

It’s award season in Hollywood – a time when famous people who get to make movies for a living pat themselves on the back and hold three-hour-long live broadcasts so we can watch them gloat.

But who cares what the Academy thinks? Who cares what the Hollywood Foreign Press says is the best, or what the movie critics say you should and shouldn’t watch? How about hearing from some real people?

Here at Element, we went around the agency to find out what the staff thinks are some of the most-creative movies of all time.

Check out the list! It’s pretty good if we say so ourselves.

Continue reading Element Favorites – 14 Creative Films You Need to Watch

Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck has been creating content since he was just a little kid, writing stories and making radio shows on his Fisher Price tape recorder. He went on to produce local television and wrote for an area newspaper before discovering the power of telling stories online. Kasey worked as a content marketer, blogger, and copywriter for two ecommerce companies before joining Element in 2015.

Fresh Faces at Element: Welcome Jamie and Kasey to the Team

We’re growing fast at Element! There are a couple of new faces around here and we’re excited for you to meet them.

Jamie Weidman and Kasey Steinbrinck joined us in the midst of the holiday season. They’re already settled into their roles and getting stuff done.

Continue reading Fresh Faces at Element: Welcome Jamie and Kasey to the Team

2015 Holiday Gift Ideas – Some of Our Favorite Things

Move over Oprah! It’s time for the crew at Element to share some of our best holiday gift ideas.

Time is running out. You need to get that shopping done. Need a few good suggestions? We’re here for you.

Check out this collection of some of our go-to gifts. You’re sure to find something for just about everyone in our first-ever list of favorite things.

Continue reading 2015 Holiday Gift Ideas – Some of Our Favorite Things

How Your Business Can Rock on Instagram

We have certainly become a picture-taking obsessed culture haven’t we? It’s all thanks to social media where Instagram is king of image sharing.

Every day I can go online and see hundreds of photos from friends and family.  And with each snapshot, I get a tiny look at life through their eyes.

For example, yesterday, I know my friend Nikki had a delicious salad for lunch. I saw my cousin Lindsey went hiking in Colorado, and my friend Joe’s two-year old went potty like a big boy for the very first time. (As a parent, I know how exciting this moment can be. But hey Joe, I think this one qualifies as a social media overshare!)

Smartphones bring out the photographer in all of us. Photography and social media just go together, like peanut butter and jelly.

Instagram is a social media platform rooted in smartphone photography. Hardly the new kid on the block, Instagram launched in 2010 as a trendy app for iOS and it wasn’t long before everyone wanted it.

Continue reading How Your Business Can Rock on Instagram

Director of Public Relations
A self-decribed chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only a natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and daughter Julia.

You Won’t Believe Element’s Mind-Blowing Cyber Monday Deals!

What if we told you we were offering BOGO logo design for Cyber Monday?

What if we gave new clients 73% off website development, or maybe a free video that we guarantee will go viral?

How about a half-priced SEO audit with the purchase of any mobile app?

Well, sorry to disappoint, but we aren’t offering any of that. Here’s why…

We don’t play that game, because we care more about helping you develop effective strategies that grow your business than we care about landing a new account.

This time of year, just about everyone is looking for a deal.

Right after we finish cramming as much turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce down our throats as we possibly can, many of us head to the stores in a pumpkin pie-induced frenzy to snatch up those Black Friday deals and steals. After all, we’d be CRAZY to pass them up!

Honestly, it’s a genius marketing move, and we tip our hats to whoever came up with the ideas for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

What This Has to Do with Us

The idea that an advertising agency would actually offer unbelievable holiday deals is just plain ridiculous. (Although we wouldn’t put it past some places)

Cheaper isn’t always better. In fact, it rarely is. And that’s certainly true when it comes to choosing the right agency.

Because let’s face it…

Maybe your 17 year-old nephew knows a little about building websites and can give you a deal. But unless he’s the next Mark Zuckerberg, you probably shouldn’t put your business in his hands.

Anyone can shoot and edit video with their smartphone for free. But are those the results you want the world to see?

You could hire your teenage babysitter to run your social media campaigns. I mean she’s tweeting all the damn time anyway. She must be an expert, right?

No – you wouldn’t do anything of the sort. You’re smarter than that.

So why would you hire someone online who you’ve never met, who knows next to nothing about your business, and then pay them five bucks to design your logo?

Even if that stranger happens to be talented, do you really think they’re going to put in the effort required for quality results at such a minimal fee?

cheap tattoo design
The pitfalls of cheap design

Here’s the Real Deal

Thankfully, we don’t need to lure anyone in with outlandish promotions and deceptive deals.

We let our work and experience speak for itself.

We believe the things we design for our clients are a worthwhile investment.

When we show off a finished product to you, we want you to feel like a kid at Christmas. You’re opening up a package to find something even better than what you wrote about in your letter to Santa Claus.

We don’t want to be the gift that breaks two days later, the dorky sweater from your lame aunt, or the toy that gets forgotten about after five minutes.

Here in this workshop, we’re turning dreams into reality and helping businesses like yours show the world what it has to offer.

You definitely do have a choice when it comes to choosing who leads your advertising and marketing efforts. At Element, we don’t want to be like a shady retailer handing out false hopes. We want to be a trustworthy partner with the creative chops and groundbreaking ideas that truly make a difference.

Want to get started? We’d love to hear what you’re thinking. Contact us today and let’s talk about what we can do for your advertising and marketing.

Finally, we leave you with a clip from one of the most-beloved holiday specials of all-time. If you think commercialization of Christmas is something new…think again.

Charlie Brown has been lamenting about it for 50 years! But we have to admit, Snoopy really knows how to put on a show.

Is Your Website Ready for Your Content Marketing?

Make no mistake, content marketing is the buzzword of the year. Businesses across the board are jumping on the bandwagon in hopes to revitalize their marketing strategy and continually improve their relationships with consumers.

As information-hungry consumers who are constantly connected, we crave instant answers from Google and habitually search a new product or brand in order to determine its value – What is this product? What does it do? Where can I find it? Who makes it? Can it help me in my daily life? Is it worth buying?

This is where a polished website is crucial and builds the foundation to a successful content marketing program.

Build a Strong Home Base
A strong website will be the groundwork of your content marketing program, acting as the home base for your consumers as they go through their buying process.

Here they can always return to find original, high quality content such as blog posts, e-newsletters, product brochures, and other information about your business on a regular basis.

And since it’s your owned property, you can control your overall messaging, unlike other platforms, which can be confining in terms of creativity or distribution.

But don’t forget that although content is key, your website’s design and usability is just as important.

Guide Consumers Through Your Website
Your website should also be a consistent part of your strategy when creating new content.

Whenever relevant, a call-to-action should appear in blog posts or infographics to drive consumers to your website and even specific web pages for downloadable guides or related content that would be beneficial during their buying process.

This can be for a variety of reasons: to keep tabs on warm leads by collecting their contact information for future outreach; targeting certain consumers for future product deals; or testing the merits of a monthly newsletter.

By staying with consumers throughout their buying process, you’ll be able to reach out to them when appropriate and generate concrete leads for your business.

And when you house your content directly on your site and have multiple web pages with beneficial information, consumers are also more likely to stay on your website to explore instead of leaving after getting the information they need.

Measure, Report, Optimize, Repeat
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, only 21 percent of B2B marketers say they are successful at tracking ROI in content marketing programs. But the number went up to 35 percent when businesses had a documented strategy in place.

In simple terms, those who have a standard process on measuring content performance will more than likely be better equipped to make the right decisions when it comes to content.

CMI also reported that website traffic is the top metric of choice for businesses looking for data to inform future content decisions – 63 percent of businesses say it’s a reliable measurement year-over-year.

By running an analytics program, like Google Analytics, you can easily see data on what content is attracting consumers, how it’s convincing consumers to stay on your website longer, and which consumers will be more receptive to direct contact by your sales team in the future.

Not only can analytics inform your strategy, creating consistent, quality content and distributing through a wide range of communication channels will help improve your overall SEO ranking.

If you take the time to build a solid web presence all directed through your site, next steps in building your content marketing program will be that much easier. So if your business plans to increase your content marketing output in 2016, make sure your home base is ready for your consumers.

Principal/Agency Director

Trick or Traits – Match Your Favorite Halloween Candy to your Perfect Job at Element

October 31st is right around the corner, and the team at Element is gearing up for the big day. To help get our followers into the Halloween spirit, we compiled a list of some classic candy favorites and conducted some very in-depth Googling to determine what candy preferences say about your personality. Ready to find out whether you are salty or sweet? Take a look at the selections below, pick your favorite, and see with whom at Element you might pair with best ….

halloween infographic

Skittles- Colorful and fun, those who enjoy Skittles as their favorite Halloween treat are happy-go-lucky and optimistic. With a flair for all things vibrant, you relate best with our Designers who have an eye for just the right color, pattern, and design.

Smarties- Sweet and always a great treat, this candy was designed for the diehard Type A’s who can’t help being helpful. Around Element, that organization and dedication can be found in our Account Executives, Account Assistants, and Business Managers who give sweet a little extra kick.

Milky Way- As a jack-of-all-trades candy, Milky Way has it all. It’s a sweet filled center with caramel and comes in light and dark chocolate. It’s the multitasking madman of the candy jar and people who love it usually are too. Known for your knowledge in a variety of fields, you relate best to Element’s Digital Marketing Specialists who know their stuff when it comes to digital marketing, search engine optimization, content marketing, and more.

Tootsie Roll- A beloved Halloween staple, trick-or-treating just wouldn’t be the same without this Halloween sweet. Those who enjoy this famous classic treat are trusted individuals who make a big difference every day. In Element, these individuals are our Agency Owners who have shaped Element’s path from the very beginning.

Gummy Bears- Gummy Bear enthusiasts are fun-loving individuals who make going to work (or any place for that matter) a barrel of laughs. These individuals aren’t all fun and games, however. They also have the drive to make things stick, much like Element’s Copywriter who can turn jumbles into jargon and scribbles into scripts.

Hershey’s Bar- If candy had nobility, this would be it! Much like a king, individuals who favor Hershey’s bars are stable, quiet, and able to solve complex problems with ease. With the ability to talk technical, you relate best to our Programmers who slay coding and programming like a dragon.

Cricket Lollipops- Those who favor the most unique Halloween candy selection are outside-of-the-box thinkers who often offer interesting and unique perspectives on solving problems. These individuals are often at the forefront of what’s new and trending. At Element, you can find our Director of Public Relations shedding light on interesting products and services while offering tips on the new and noteworthy.

The Unofficial Element Spokes-Moose
Canuck is a surprisingly intelligent and humorous character that could talk your ear off. He loves life, learning new things and, most of all, sharing new insight with people. He’s adjusted well since emigrating to the U.S. from Canada and settling down at Element. In fact, he’s taken strongly to blogging about marketing, branding, social media, and the Element office happenings. He’s still very loyal to his homeland, insisting that hockey is the only real-man’s sport, pancakes are acceptable at any meal, and Canadian beer is superior to the swill made everywhere else.

Case Study: Helping Menasha’ s New Website “Go Beyond”

Menasha is the leader in retail-focused packaging and merchandising solutions. In other words, dynamic and cutting-edge displays that grab your eye as you shop.

When we initially met the Menasha team over a year ago, we immediately knew our company cultures aligned. Since then, we’ve worked together on a variety of projects from branding initiatives to trade show booth graphics. Yet, when we recently launched Menasha’s new website at menasha.com, we knew it truly reflected their tagline, “Go Beyond.”

From kickoff to completion, the website was developed over a 12-week period, officially launching in August 2015.

Menasha-Packaging-Website

During that time, Element was faced with several unique challenges:

  • Designing content areas that are easily digestible by all visitors while making more in-depth information easy to find when necessary.
  • Developing a site that is fully responsive for mobile devices while allowing for extensive backend editing capabilities in Kentico, a content management system.
  • Showcasing all Menasha products and services in a visually simulating way, beyond traditional photography or website structures.

Element’s solutions to these challenges resulted in an easy to navigate website, which goes beyond the latest design and programming trends to include:

  • Menasha-Packaging-Mobile-WebsiteDeveloping storytelling icons and information-based graphics that support individual content areas. These areas include content setup in accordion-style programming, expandable if visitors need further information.
  • Conducting content evaluations for every page throughout the website to define custom solutions for a user’s mobile experience. This determines what content is available on a mobile device and how it appears on the page, all while keeping full backend editing solutions in mind.
  • Taking photography specifically for the website, with the shot list based on the navigation plan. This stylized approach integrates Menasha’s retail displays and product packaging in unique ways throughout the website.

Menasha-Packing-Product-Gallery

Since the launch, visitors are now more engaged with the website due to its optimized web presence, providing valuable sales opportunities for Menasha.

There are plans to integrate additional functionality into the website that will accommodate for the company’s expansion in the marketplace. Element is proud to partner with Menasha as ongoing success spurs continued growth.

Looking to revitalize your website? Learn more about Element’s web design and development services or give us a call at 920-983-9700.

 

Director of Digital Marketing
Officially, Derek is Element's Digital Marketing Director, specializing in search engine optimization, social media marketing, and website user experience design. However, outside the office, Derek cannot be pinned down to a single title, so let's go with "happy-hour-turned-late-nighter," "driveway fire-starter," "fins-up-Parrotheader," "world traveler," "Frisbee-throwing-dog-lover," and "up-to-the-minute digital dominator."