Blog Archives

In this age of social media, we can connect with friends on the other side of the planet in no time at all. Distance is no longer a hindrance, and yet, more people feel detached from society. Amidst the pros and cons of a digital world, brands must learn to adapt and connect in new ways. Although face-to-face interactions are less frequent, the social media age brings many new opportunities for brands to be a part of consumers’ lives.

However, like parents trying to fit in with their teenagers, brands sometimes struggle to connect. Unfortunately, we can’t help you with any parenting woes today, but we do have a few strategies to help brands genuinely engage with their consumers via social media.

Get to Know Your Consumer

In order to reach a consumer, you need to know who the consumer is. Take the time to find out as much as you can about them. What do they like? What do they not like? What are their purchasing behaviors? By knowing more about your consumer, you’ll have a better idea of how to reach them.

Also, understand where your consumers are physically and digitally. Pinpointing a consumer’s location provides valuable information such as distance to your business, competitors in their proximity, local hot spots, etc. Find out which platforms your customers engage with most frequently. There are many social platforms available: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are some of the most commonly used. These platforms are all unique in audience, tone and messaging. Instagram attracts a younger, visual-focused demographic, whereas LinkedIn attracts professionals in various fields. Your consumers will be more receptive to your messaging when it is on the appropriate platform.

Relevant Communication

Once you have a better grasp on who your customer is, it’s all about timing. Keep your content relevant. Posting a Gangnam Style parody might seem funny but is so 2012. Take time to research and stay on top of important topics and trends, particularly those that relate to your brand. By staying relevant, consumers will be more interested in the content you produce. Instead of begging them to pay attention to you, they’ll already be right there and tuned in.

Staying relevant also includes optimizing social media posts to go out at the right time. Find out when your target audience is online and post accordingly. This will keep your posts at the top of a consumer’s feed so they will be more likely to notice and engage with you.

Quality Content

This may seem like the most obvious strategy, so maybe it’s more of a reminder. Though we’ve all had a day when deadlines are eminent, other projects pop up and social media posts fall to the backburner. However, don’t sacrifice quality simply because you need a post now. Take the time needed to produce quality content that your brand can be proud of.

When developing content, consider your intent. A recent Ad Week article suggested a few intents that will help your audience genuinely engage with your brand: in ways that entertain and educate. Entertaining content will capture consumers attention and lead them to engage with your content and even share it with friends. Brainstorm ways your brand can stay true to who you are and entertain the masses.

Consumers are also eager to learn. What expertise do you possess? What nuggets of wisdom can you hand out? Create a small dose of knowledge in a how-to video, tutorial or other form, then include a “learn more” call-to-action. Curious consumers will be excited to learn from you. Quality content will draw consumers in and keep them coming back to your brand.

Apply these strategies to your brand’s social media and watch your consumer engagement increase. Learn more by talking to an agency content specialist today.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

SEO consumer on computer

Google is the great, wise guru we all turn to for the answer to everything. Google amasses over 79 percent of desktop searches worldwide. This isn’t breaking news—the world has relied on it for a number of years. For brands and agencies, this means SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is essential. However, SEO has been around for a while and people are asking—is it still worth the work?

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is a digital marketing strategy that helps your website and content show up in online search results. When employing SEO strategies your websites and content won’t show up as an advertisement, they will be in the regular, or organic, search results. This is important because organic results are 8.5 more likely to be clicked on than paid search results.

There are consumers out there with questions and you have the answers, and like a matchmaker, SEO connects the two of you. SEO will allow you to meet the consumers who actively search for information related to your products and services.

Studies have shown that the first three results from a Google search get 60 percent of traffic. If you are lower on the list, or heaven-forbid, not on the first page, you won’t get nearly as much traffic. Invest in SEO to get yourself up where consumers pay attention. If you’re a smaller organization and just thought to yourself, “Forget it, this is a money game and there’s no way I’ll win,” think again! Google recognizes that the little guys would have no chance if it was only about paying to be at the top. There are many small steps any brand or organization can take to be successful.

SEO strategy does take some time to set up and monitor (patience, young Padawan) but it’s absolutely worth it.

New Trends

Although the overall idea of SEO remains constant, strategies and trends are constantly evolving. For example, keywords are still relevant, but don’t stuff your content with too many keywords—search engines are smart enough to recognize this. Instead, keep your audience in mind and continue to write content geared toward them because then you will organically insert the correct amount and type of keywords. Also, keep in mind that SEO is more than just keywords.

Forbes released a list of up-and-coming trends in SEO which include optimizing for voice search (Siri, Alexa, Echo, etc.), updating all links to be secure (https), making sites mobile-friendly and insuring that your sites load quickly.

Forbes also mentions that long-form content seems to be ranking higher on Google. Users tend to look at long-form content for a longer period of time and share it on social media more often. However, the long vs. short content battle is far from over. There are pros and cons for each form. Short-form content is generally better for mobile devices and has a higher potential to go viral. Best practices vary by brand. Consider your brand’s personality and goals, then choose the appropriate content forms.

Agencies

If you want to create or update your brand’s SEO strategy, there is a lot you can do on your own, provided you put in the time needed. Google also suggests that SEO experts and agencies are helpful because they can review your site content or structure, give technical advice on website development, review your use of JavaScript, manage online business development campaigns and have expertise in specific markets and geographies, among other services.

Start a conversation with your agency today about SEO strategy.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Penna Powers took home some serious hardware at the 30th annual Golden Spike Awards Gala on Nov. 16. We earned six Golden Spike awards and one finalist award at the 2017 Golden Spikes in categories ranging from research for governments/non-profits to community relations.

2017 Golden Spikes

Golden Spike Awards

Harmons Grocery Local Print Ads

Category: Print display advertising
Harmons Grocery has been operating in Utah since 1932. What started out as a farmstand has blossomed into a progressive chain of grocery stores committed to quality food, unsurpassed service and community wellbeing. Supporting local vendors has always been at the forefront of Harmons mission, in fact, Harmons has been an integral cog in helping many local businesses get started. Over 2,300 products sold in Harmons are local items. With this in mind, Harmons asked Penna Powers to develop print ads with an emphasis on local. The ads featuring local products and produce were placed in various local Utah publications reaching more than 250,000 in readers.

 

UCAIR & Penna Powers: Show Them UCAIR

Category: Community relations
UCAIR and Penna Powers have conducted fully-integrated educational campaigns for the past several winters, when Utah’s air quality suffers most. Research in early 2016 showed that Utahns are concerned about air quality, but many believe air quality challenges are beyond their control. However, research participants activated around the issue when presented with the health impacts poor air can have on those they love. Building on this insight, UCAIR and Penna Powers created the “Kidult” campaign, inviting Utahns to “Show Them UCAIR” by changing behaviors to reduce emissions.

 

UDOT & Penna Powers: UDOT 1-15 Tech Corridor

Category: External audience videos
Utah County is growing rapidly, resulting in commute-time traffic jams. The Utah Department of Transportation planned to expand I-15, but funding wouldn’t arrive until 2020. In 2017, the State Legislature approved a bond to accelerate construction.
A public awareness survey showed that only 24 percent of locals knew a project was coming. UDOT developed a video to educate stakeholders on the project and announce the accelerated timeline. The video link was emailed to government and business leaders and promoted on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to area residents and commuters.

 

UDOT & Penna Powers: UDOT TravelWise

Category: Research for government/non-profits
In order to establish a baseline around the TravelWise Program, UDOT conducted a general public telephone survey of Wasatch Front residents through Lighthouse Research & Development, Inc. The research included a total of 810 interviews. It was the first time that research of this scale had been done on the TravelWise campaign. It substantiated our belief that the campaign is necessary, surprised us in the level of program awareness, and provided actionable insights that are currently being pursued by the team.

 

IDOT & Penna Powers: Iowa Zero Fatalities “Impaired Sports”

Category: Social media for government/non-profits

With 32 percent of all traffic fatalities caused by alcohol related crashes, Zero Fatalities Iowa identified a need to address impaired driving with residents. In an effort to reduce fatalities, Iowa Zero Fatalities implemented a social awareness campaign during NFL and NCAA sporting seasons targeting men ages 18-49. Event targeting reminded spectators to get a sober ride home after the game. The campaign successfully, reached 59.8 percent of the target audience and helped lift overall Zero Fatalities awareness by two percentage points.

 

UCAIR & Penna Powers: UCAIR Illustrated Inversion Education Video

Category: Photography and illustration
The Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) is a non-profit dedicated to clean air. UCAIR and Penna Powers have conducted fully-integrated educational campaigns for the past several winters, when Utah’s air quality suffers most. Part of the challenge of getting Utahns to engage around air quality is overcoming their general low awareness that what they do does, in fact, make a difference in pollution levels. Many believe nothing can be done about Utah’s poor winter air episodes due to the meteorology and geography of the local airshed. During the 2016-17 winter campaign, we produced an illustrated educational video to attack this issue head-on.

 

Gold Spike Finalist Award

UDOT & Penna Powers: Zero Fatalities

Category: Community relations
To reduce traffic-related deaths between Memorial and Labor Day, Zero Fatalities implemented a multifaceted campaign called the “100 Deadliest Days.” As titled, the campaign focused on educating Utahns about (1) the 100 DD of summer when roadway deaths nearly double in Utah and (2) how to best prevent a traffic-related tragedy during the summer. Not only has the campaign performed exceptionally well in reach, frequency and engagement – As of August 23, there have been 12 less roadway related deaths this summer when compared to this same time last year.

 

The Golden Spike Awards measure effectiveness regarding research, planning, execution, evaluation and project content. A Golden Spike Finalist is awarded to entries that earn at least 80 out of 100 points; the highest scoring entry earns a Golden Spike. The annual competition is sponsored by the Utah Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association of Business Communicator and the Utah Society for Healthcare Communication and Marketing.

Additionally, President and Managing Partner Dave Smith, APR received the Professional of the Year award.

Thank you to our clients for your continued partnership. While we are proud to produce award-winning campaigns, what matters the most is driving meaningful change together.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Alli –

Alli Blake, our basketball superstar from Westminster, brought her talents over to Penna Powers to work as an associate project manager. Alli is one tough cookie, which is appropriate since her most memorable fortune cookie quote was “toughen up, buttercup!” Of all the famous people in the world, if Alli could only choose one that she wishes to meet, it would without a doubt be Jesus. Her spirit animal? A hyena – they are resilient and the females are boss. If you ever get the chance to meet Alli, you’ll learn she is a fierce, determined and hardworking woman that we are lucky to have here at Penna Powers.

Marissa –

Marissa Liu, our newest executive assistant aka our behind-the-scenes organizer, is nothing short of perfect. A motto Marissa lives by and is sure to portray through her actions is “always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” She is the happiest gal around unless you get between her and her diet coke! When she’s not busy in the Penna Powers office, you’ll likely find her dreaming about traveling to Dubai or Bali, or off somewhere a little bit closer like Southern Utah; (until she gets the opportunity to make her dream vacation a reality).

Alec –

Alec Curtis recently joined us as a truck smart outreach specialist for Zero Fatalities. The best way to describe Alec (as told by Alec) is through his spirit animal, which happens to be an Emperor Penguin, as they are both adorable and majestic. Remember that Klondike Bar commercial song “what would you do-oo-oo for a Klondike Bar?” Well, plan on having that line stuck in your head for the next few hours since it just so happens to be Alec’s favorite jingle. When Alec isn’t out educating Utah about driving safe around big rigs, he’s probably counting his PTO days and planning a trip to his dream location, Italy.

Max –

Max Jensen, a BYU student, joined the Penna Powers family a few months ago as our media intern. If you have been in our office lately, it’s likely that you’ve seen him! He’s our only employee that stands tall at 15 feet 3 inches. When talking to Max, chances are you will end up discussing the 1977 restored Toyota Land Cruiser that he hopes to have one day. Max enjoys spending his free time fantasizing about the Bahamas, skiing and shopping at Costco. If you plan on lying to Max, you might want to think twice. Chances are he will call your bluff since he’s a firm believer that “the truth is the truth, no matter where you lie.”

 

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Varick Media

Campaign minimums got you down?

Although all clients and campaigns are significant, they don’t always have budgets for massive campaigns. While there may be a perfect media channel for your campaign, it may not be executable due to minimum budget constraints. Varick Media is one of many great partners who have created solutions to this very problem.

Who is Varick Media?

Varick Media Management LLC offers digital advertising consulting services. It provides campaign planning, research, consumer insight, campaign monitoring and measurement services. The company was founded in 2008 and is based in New York, New York. Varick Media operates as a subsidiary of MDC Partners Inc., a marketing and communications network. MDC Partners has 50+ advertising, public relations, branding, digital, social and event marketing agencies under its umbrella.

What is the technology?

In 2012 Varick Media Management built its own in-house digital monitoring product.

That product, called The Lens, is paired with an internal pixel server so that Varick can track its online display and video ad campaigns across the various demand-side platforms and plug the resulting data into one central data repository that their clients control.

In October of 2015, Varick Media released Alveo—a planning, buying and reporting platform. Operating originally as more of an internal trading desk, Alveo can now be used by Varick’s clients to manage and visualize data as well as access reports across multiple campaigns. Alveo is available as a managed service “with all of the access and data of a self-service offering,” described Jim Caruso, SVP of product and client strategy at Varick. While agency trading desks aren’t renowned for open access and transparency, Caruso said, “Alveo was designed to be agnostic across media channels, DSPs and inventory sources.”

What is the solution?

Combining both The Lens (DMP) and Alveo (trade desk) technology, Varick’s clients can access inventory through a robust channel inventory and layer with premium custom audiences to manage through one platform. This married opportunity allows for accurate performance and audience insights across multiple channels. Because Varick is a subsidiary of umbrella network MDC Partners, campaign minimums can be achievable for a wider set of clients.

 

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

We may need to invest in another cabinet to showcase our awards because Penna Powers is adding three more trophies to the mix. Our team took home three bronze awards from the 38th Annual Telly Awards, which recognized the best videos across all screens. With over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five countries, we’re proud to be recognized for our work by the selection committee.

Watch our winning videos:

Utah Zero Fatalities:

“Potty Mouth” – Television

“Slow Pour” – Television

Utah Clean Air Partnership:

“Causes of Inversion” – Online video

The videos were viewed on websites, social media channels, in-banner paid video promotions and in movie theaters.

Thank you to our clients for placing their trust in us to create innovative social change campaigns. While being recognized for our work is rewarding, what’s more important is the behavior change that we are able to accomplish in partnership with our clients.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Gladys Pastor, brings her expertise to our Nevada office to serve as our Community Relations Coordinator. In her free time Gladys enjoys spending time at home, where you will likely find her reading a book by her favorite author, Paulo Coelho. A motto that she lives by is “wherever God plants you, bloom.” When Gladys isn’t planning her dream trip to Peru, or daydreaming about the day she finally gets a Jeep Wrangler, you will likely find her hard at work or eating her favorite food, tacos!

Christine Adams, graces our Nevada office with her talents and abilities to perform the duties as an Account Manager. One thing you should know about Christine is to never come between her and her chocolate ice cream. In her own words, she “sincerely loves chocolate ice cream!” She enjoys spending her days off work camping with her partner, son, four crazy Boston terriers and snorty pug. One quote that motivates Christine is “live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Charlene Coffman, brings her talents to our Nevada office as a hardworking Program Coordinator. A few of Charlene’s favorite things include Mexican food, Jeep Wranglers and Nicholas Sparks books. Whenever Charlene is off the clock she is likely camping somewhere or exploring new cities. In addition to camping and exploring, Charlene hopes to eventually get the chance to visit Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland and Italy. If she could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, it would be Joanna Gaines.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Elyse Freeman, graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism, and decided to bring her talents to Penna Powers to put her skills to work as a Content Specialist. When Elyse is out of the office you can be sure to find her outside, likely up Little Cottonwood Canyon or down in beaUTAHful Moab. Unless it’s bad weather of course, then you will likely find her reading her favorite book, Prisoner of Azkaban. When she’s not dreaming about olives or the day she can get a Tesla, she’s here up in the “Girls Corner” hard at work! Her life motto is “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.”

 

Aubrey Andersen-Bakker, a recent graduate from Converse College in South Carolina came back to good ol’ Utah after graduation to work as an Associate Project Manager here at Penna Powers. She believes that anything is possible and “change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Aubrey is a fun, outgoing free spirit who enjoys being outside when she’s not here, working hard. An easy way to win her over and be sure to get on her good side is with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, specifically Cherry Garcia!

 

Jennifer Beaudoin, a previous B2B digital media planning specialist brought her expertise over to Penna Powers to give us a piece of her magic. Jenny played Division I soccer for three years at Northern Arizona University, then finished her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing at Westminster. When she isn’t here putting her skills to work at P2, she spends her time as a full-time bicycle commuter, part-time botanist and part-time barista at the Red Moose Café. A quote that inspires her is “If you know the why, you can live any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

Nostalgic Marketing Millennials

“Wonder Woman” just dominated screen ratings, the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is sold out and Atari just announced a new hardware system. You’re not mistaken if you think I’m talking about the late 70s or early 80s. However, I’m actually talking about right now. It seems as though the past keeps weaving into the future through nostalgic marketing, and for good reason too.

Companies ranging from tech to film are harnessing nostalgic marketing in their products and campaigns. Why is nostalgic marketing such a hit? One reason is that many people love being reminded of the good old days before responsibilities: childhood. With limitless impersonal marketing today, creating an emotional connection in marketing leaves a lasting impression.

Discover how some of our favorite brands are tapping into their millennial demographics with nostalgic marketing.

Atari

Atari, the preferred retro game maker of the 70s, has revived itself from the bankruptcy graveyard and announced a new hardware called Atari Box. Other than utilizing PC technology, not much else is known about the console. What we do know, however, is that the hardware will probably fly off the shelves.

Nokia

Nostalgic Marketing and Nokia

Remember your friend’s trusty Nokia that was sturdier than a brick? Nokia sure seems to, as well as the rest of the United Kingdom. Nokia recently relaunched its 3310 model and sold out online within the first week. The phone boasts an impressive 22 hours of talk time or month-long battery-life on standby. The best part? The cult-classic game Snake comes pre-loaded.

Nintendo

Before “Pokemon Go” and the Switch, Nintendo was facing a sales slump that was easy to see from a mile away. The Wii U’s expected sales in its first fiscal year were only one third of what the company expected. While Nintendo started to look like a sinking ship, it rebooted its NES with a nostalgic marketing campaign that garnered millions of views. If you’ve tried to get your hand on an NES, you know how difficult it is. I’m talking standing in line at Best Buy for hours after tracking shipments difficult. Now that the company has stopped producing one of the greatest consoles of all time? Almost impossible.

Netflix

Nostalgic Marketing and Netflix

If you weren’t hiding under a rock this past Halloween, you know that Eleven from Stranger Things was the costume of the year. “Stranger Things’” subtle nod to 80s pop-culture phenomenon’s such as “Alien” and “ET” was an instant hit. In a more obvious note, Netflix brought back a “Full House” remake as well as “Gilmore Girls.” While Netflix doesn’t share ratings information, it’s safe to assume millennials binged both shows. I know I sure did.

Here at Penna Powers, we’re no strangers to nostalgia. Nerf Gun fights are a regular occurrence in the office. The Underground (the name of our creative/development team)—I’m looking at you Thor—can’t stop talking about the “Godzilla” remake. We know firsthand the effect of nostalgic marketing and aren’t afraid to utilize it. Appeal to something that millennials already love and you’re almost guaranteed to create an emotional connection—or at least tap into their social media base.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter

There are pros and cons to everything in life, but one of the most talked about is technology. Most likely because technology is constantly evolving, and in doing so it consumes us more and more. Every new advancement intrigues us just a little bit more, which can be seen as good or bad depending on the way you look at it.

No matter what your feelings are regarding technology, it’s easy to agree that it would be hard to live without if it suddenly disappeared. We rely on technology so much now-a-days for communication, work, education, dating, staying in touch, shopping and much more. So what does that say about us? It isn’t completely a bad thing, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing either. So here’s the good, bad and the ugly of technology and what it says about us.

Good:

Without a doubt, technology is definitely good for us in numerous ways. The use of computers and smartphones allows us to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in seconds. Not to mention the fact that we don’t have to use paper maps anymore. You can type an address right into your phone and directions of how to get there immediately pop up right at your fingertips. If you don’t have time to run to the bank or the post office to pay a bill, no problem. Online banking allows you to pay bills, transfer money and even deposit checks now. Technology even provides education for people with the ability to complete college via online courses. The ability to find out family history and research ancestors is also a great resource technology allows us to use.

Using technology to teach others and spread positivity through acts such as, blogging, sharing quotes, motivational videos and more is also a great way to use technology. Pinterest and Facebook both provide inspiring and educational videos and photos for a number of things. A couple of the most popular and favorite ones are cooking and exercising videos and photos. However, you can find just about anything from home improvement projects, DIY projects, event planning, ‘how to’, fashion and much more online.

Bad:

According to CNN, Americans devote 10 hours a day to screen time. The more that technology evolves, the more addicted and reliant we become. While technology can be healthy and useful, we need to remember to use it in moderation. When is becomes valued as a necessity is when it becomes a problem. In today’s world, we hate to be bored. However, if you have a phone or a computer, you don’t have to worry about that, and that’s the problem. Any time we feel bored, what’s the first thing we do? Pull out our phone or computer and find something online to pass time. Instead of sitting in silence with our own thoughts or talking to someone next to us, we find more comfort in our devices. The things that draw us to our screen are anything from games, to social media, apps and even emails. There is always something new to see or learn online, whether that be a photo, video, article or something else, we don’t have to worry about missing out with our constant access to technology.

Ugly:

Although there are multiple ways that technology is good for us, there is also an ugly side to it. The truth is that not everyone who uses technology, uses it for the rights reasons. For example, instead of using the internet to learn, people use it to view or research inappropriate content. The fact that you can find anything on the internet, can be a good and a bad thing. When it comes to the bad things, people need to remember that just because it is available doesn’t mean you need to look at it or read about it. In addition to viewing inappropriate content, technology can also be used to threaten or bully others. With everyone using social media, it makes it almost impossible not to find someone online and reach out to them. While this can be a great way to stay in touch, not everyone uses it for that reason, causing the Internet to be a scary place for those who have been victims of bullying.

Technology has played a big role in our lives, and as it continues to evolve, it will only become more popular. So, it is your responsibility to stay up-to-date with technology and use it only for good. Technology is not the problem, how we use it is. The way we choose to use it and how often determines if it’s good or bad, and helpful or harmful.

Share: Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Tweet about this on Twitter