Blog Category: Online Marketing

Ready to Make an Impact?

By Lyn Mcgee,

Download our digital trends whitepaper to learn how to demand attention.

When done well, digital advertising offers limitless opportunities to reach and engage audiences. The key is using high-quality ads on reputable platforms.

When you combine digital marketing with motion and sound on a powerful platform, your marketing messages leap off the screen. High impact ad units grab consumer attention, engaging them fully, encouraging interaction, and driving conversion.

Combine mobile, video, and more

In recent posts, we’ve looked at the power of mobile and video to increase reach and engagement. When you combine those formats with high impact ad units, you increase interaction rates, driving ROI and making a lasting impression on your target audience.

Consider the Gravity high impact ad unit, an exclusive immersive ad experience from the USA TODAY NETWORK. As the homepage loads, Gravity takes over to the screen, offering a cinematic experience. This format requires interaction and allows viewers to decide whether or not they want to view or skip the content. The completion rates for Gravity ads are 80% for ads under 20 seconds and 46% for one-minute ads. [3] This is dramatically higher than the 40% average completion rate for skippable pre-roll video. [4]

Capture the right kind of attention

High impact ads are conceived and designed to work seamlessly on an advertising platform while standing out from the surrounding content. It’s a delicate balance, but one that pays off when done well. Quality is key, both for the ad unit and the ad itself. Because just attracting attention isn’t enough.

In a recent online survey, 84% of respondents stated that obnoxious ads negatively impact their opinion of the website and the brand advertised. Additionally, consumers said that “most online ads today don’t look professional and are insulting to their intelligence (63% and 56%, respectively).” [1]

Leverage a quality platform and its audience

Don’t let those stats discourage you. Understanding the way consumers think is always a good thing. And there is hope. When your ads are high-quality and appear on trusted websites, audiences are more receptive.

When advertising is relevant to the content that surrounds it and appears on credible websites, consumers react much differently. When looking at native advertising specifically, research showed that 90% of people say relevancy is a top concern, and 63% said it needs to be contextually relevant to editorial. And, notably, there was a 33% lift in perceived credibility on well-regarded news sites. [2]

Ready to become the experience?

When done well, high impact ads don’t interrupt the user experience, they become the experience. And when they appear on creditable sites like USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE, audiences are more likely to sit up and take notice.

Want to know more about the latest in digital advertising? Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more. Or contact us today online or at 888.573.4773.


1. “Why People Block Ads (And What It Means for Marketers and Advertisers),” by Mimi An; Hubspot; 7/13/16

2. “Infographic: Native Advertising Grows Despite Budget and Transparency Concerns,” Adweek; 2/16/15

3. Moat metrics and PointRoll video data. Aug 2014 – Jan 2015 on

4. “Why Balancing Skippable and Non-Skippable Ads Creates Better Brand Awareness,” Adweek; 5/12/16

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Advertise Without Advertising

By Lyn Mcgee,

Download our digital trends whitepaper to learn how to tell your story.

As consumers, we’re inundated with advertising. And as advertisers, we’re challenged to break through. But reaching consumers isn’t always about standing out—sometimes it means blending in.

Have you ever noticed content from a company that didn’t quite feel like an advertisement? Perhaps you were browsing Facebook or Instagram and saw an image that you thought was just a regular part of your feed. Or maybe you searched for something on Google and clicked on the top result without realizing it was an ad. Advertising content like this has become immensely popular with modern marketers because it allows you to connect with and engage target audiences without being intrusive. As a local business owner, you need to consider adding branded content to your media mix.

Informative Content

Also known as native advertising, branded content is a form of paid online advertising that closely follows the natural form and function of the platform on which it appears. Visually, native ads match the design of the content platform they live on, making it look and feel more like natural content. Better still, they also function like natural content, adding value for viewers beyond pure advertising.

Some examples of branded content include in-feed branded ads on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads resemble natural visual and written content rather than in-your-face advertisements. Another example would be content recommendation widgets, which often appear at the end of a piece of content to entice readers to click on a related post. Additionally, there are search and promoted listings, which are relevant ad links placed at the top of the search engine results page.

Flexible Formats

Branded content offers unlimited opportunities to reach your target audiences. Whether it’s appearing on their mobile devices or in their favorite publications, branded content is everywhere they are. And it’s only limited by your imagination. Just as branded advertising is a chameleon that blends in with the content surrounding it, it can also be as versatile as the platforms on which is appears, especially when it comes to digital. Branded content can include:

  • Captivating stories: Show consumers you’re more than a company; you’re a trusted resource and a subject matter expert they can count on.
  • Engaging videos: Give existing and potential customers in-depth information and provide instruction that helps draw lines between your offerings and what they hope to accomplish.
  • Interactive media: Let them click and play, all while learning more about your industry and how it impacts their lives.

Don’t let the thought of creating compelling content intimidate you. The good news is you needn’t have a team of writers or a production studio in house. Media partners will work with you to produce quality content using the same team that tells their stories.

More Effective

Here are just a few of the benefits that branded advertising offers:

  • Less interruptive: Since branded content looks and feels like natural content, it is less likely to be disruptive or feel intrusive to the consumer.
  • Helps beat ad blindness: The modern consumer sees so many ads on a regular basis that they have learned to block them out. Branded content appears in line with the content they’re enjoying, making them more likely to engage.
  • Creates brand affinity: Branded content doesn’t explicitly sell a product or service, so many consumers are more likely to be attracted to this type of advertising and build a connection with your brand.
  • Offers more than just a sales pitch: Though branded content is at its heart a form of advertising, it provides more than just a sales pitch. Branded ads tell your brand’s story and reveal its value, which provides more value to the viewer.

In an age where consumers have become so over-exposed to advertising, it is important to find less intrusive ways to promote your business online. Creating and publishing branded content on the channels your target audience is most likely to visit provides visibility for your business and helps build brand affinity with both new and old customers.

We can help!

Are you ready to let your brand do the talking? USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE offers an unparalleled platform for you to give audiences an in-depth view of your business. To learn more about branded content and the latest in digital advertising, download our Digital Trends whitepaper. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

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Video is Worth . . . $28 Billion

By Lyn Mcgee,

Download our digital trends whitepaper to learn how to inspire action.

Video isn’t the future—it’s the right now. You customers are consuming hours of video every day. Is your marketing keeping up with the times?

Though some businesses are hesitant to invest in digital video marketing, it is quickly becoming the norm. If you ignore this significant opportunity to connect with consumers, you may very well be left behind in the fast-paced, competitive digital marketplace.

The new gold standard

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. But how much is a video is worth?

According to the latest marketing statistics—quite a bit! Consumers love watching video content, and businesses big and small are starting to take notice. In fact, one study predicts that digital video ad spend will reach $28.8 billion in 2020 [1], which will make video the fastest growing format on both desktop and mobile devices.

Video marketing is an effective way to attract, inform, and engage more consumers. As digital video continues to gain popularity as a marketing device, more and more business owners are investing in short digital videos. In this post, we’ll discuss types of digital video marketing and how this visual tactic can quickly and effectively expand your audience reach.

Move them with motion

Your consumers’ attention is pulled in multiple directions at once. Video content helps catch their eye and keeps them engaged longer. There are many ways to use video to reach, inform, and delight your target audience.

Here are just a few types of digital video marketing:

  • Video advertising on your website or social media pages
  • In-stream digital ads that appear before, during, or after viewer-selected content
  • Informative content about your products, services, or other relevant topics
  • Brand-sponsored content that appeals to the target market

Videos like these keep audiences interested across devices. Most successful video content incorporates audio, captions, animated elements, or interactive live links that drive traffic back to your website.

Give them what they want

Naturally, you’re always looking for ways to stay competitive in the digital marketplace. This means investing in strategic marketing tactics that will maximize your budget. The most significant benefit of digital video marketing is that the medium is continually expanding its reach and popularity. Currently, over half of U.S. residents watch videos every day, and 78% of Internet users in the U.S. watch online videos each week [2]. This presents a tremendous opportunity for tapping into a growing audience.

Consumers are also more likely to engage with short digital videos on your website or across social media, especially with features like captioned auto-play on Facebook, which allows users to watch video content silently in public places, even while they are on-the-go. Not only does video content attract the attention of an often busy and distracted modern audience, but it can also help with influencing purchasing decisions. By incorporating your content into one of the most engaging digital marketing formats, you can encourage customers to act.

We can help!

Are you ready to move the needle? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and digital video solutions to reach your target customers. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.


1. “Digital Video Advertising Continues to Expand,” eMarketer 3/21/2016

2. “29 Big Online Video Marketing Statistics That Media Brands Need to Know,” TubularInsights 5/23/16

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Your Customers are Mobile. Are You?

By Lyn Mcgee,

Download our digital trends whitepaper to learn how to reach them everywhere.

Just advertising online isn’t enough anymore. If you want to reach your customers, your marketing messages need to move with them.

As of 2015, 64% of American adults own a smartphone [1], and it’s safe to say that percentage has only grown. For many, mobile devices are the primary way they access the Internet. In fact, one study showed that the average individual checks their phone about 46 times a day [2]. These statistics strongly suggest that mobile devices have now become an integral part of the modern consumer’s lifestyle.

The rise of mobile presents limitless marketing opportunities. The Internet is no longer tethered to the desktop—consumers can get online anytime, anywhere. Can you say the same for your brand?

Mobile marketing is a must-have

Mobile marketing is vital for any business that wants to take advantage of the opportunity to reach more consumers. Four out of five consumers use their smartphones to shop, and 40% of shoppers will consult three or more channels before making a purchase [3]. These numbers show just how powerful mobile devices can be in the purchasing process. Mobile marketing helps ensure that your brand is present when consumers are ready to buy.

Additionally, many consumers are beginning to leave the desktop behind. One study shows that mobile now represents 65% of time spent on digital media [4], and desktops are becoming more of a secondary touch point for many digital users. Because of this, neglecting mobile marketing can mean missing out on connecting with a considerable portion of your target market.

Strategize to stay with them

When it comes to mobile, there is more than one way to attract and engage customers. Here are just a few mobile marketing strategies that you can use to grow your audience:

  • Develop creative, informative, and relevant mobile video that engages and delights your local audience.
  • Create mobile display banner ads to promote brand recognition and target consumers in the area.
  • To increase visibility with your customer base, display ads in apps that are popular with your target market.
  • Use mobile web ads to attract consumers who are browsing the web from their mobile devices.
  • Place mobile ads on social media sites like Facebook to show your content to consumers who are visiting the channel from their mobile device.

Mobile-friendly is not an option

While you work to create dynamic and effective mobile marketing campaigns, it’s also important to ensure that your website is optimized for your mobile audience. Since ads often drive consumers back to your brand’s website, you need to make sure your website is easy to navigate and read from a mobile device.

Need help mobilizing your campaigns?

Are you ready to reach consumers wherever there are? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and mobile solutions to reach your consumers at home and on the go. Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about adding mobile to your advertising mix. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773..


1. “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015,” Pew Research Center, 4/1/15

2. “Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day,” by Lisa Eadicicco; Time, 12/15/15

3. “7 Mobile Marketing Stats That Will Blow Your Mind,” by Chris Warden;

4. “All digital growth now coming from mobile usage — comScore,” by Greg Sterling; Marketing Land, 4/3/16

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Don’t Just Beat the Competition

By Lyn Mcgee,

Download our digital trends whitepaper to learn how to win more business.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall, but don’t get crushed in the melee. When it comes to taking on the competition, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize.

If they’re not nipping at your heels, they’re eating your lunch. When it comes to the competition, you probably know all the clichés and the stories behind them. And while the clichés may be true, it’s important to remember the moral of their stories. Because if your focus is on battling your competitors, you may just lose the war.

It’s not about beating the competition, it’s about winning more business.

Take down even Goliath

Don’t let the deep pockets of the big-box stores, franchises, national brands, and more-established local businesses intimidate you. Whatever your budget, you can use it effectively to take down even the biggest giant. It’s how you spend your marketing budget, not how much you spend.

Win the arms race

If they’re running a half-page ad, you should run a full page. If their commercials run once an hour, yours should run twice. Right? If you’re looking to win the biggest ad spend award, that’s the path to victory.

But being bigger doesn’t necessarily mean being better. When it comes to advertising, the most effective weapon in your arsenal is strategy. It’s not about running the most ads or using the most tactics—it’s about reaching the right audience. That’s the key to winning more business (and yes, beating the competition in the process). Everything from how you advertise to the content of your ads should be driven by who your audience is and where they are.

Stay ahead of the pack

To throw another cliché your way, you need to stand out from the crowd to reach your target audience. Once you understand your target demographics and their behavior, you can start thinking about how to capture their attention. From up-and-coming Millennials to ready-for-retirement Boomers, there is no magic bullet when it comes to selecting advertising tactics. It takes an integrated marketing strategy, with a variety of messaging and ad formats to reach consumers at every stage of the buying cycle. Finding the right media mix is how you keep your brand top-of-mind with current and prospective customers (and how you edge out the competition).

Consistently raise the bar

Despite death knell that’s been tolling for close to a decade now on traditional media, vehicles like print are still thriving. The death was more of an evolution. Traditional media is moving into a support role as digital tactics move to the forefront.

The rise of digital marketing is giving advertisers more opportunities to reach consumers than ever before. From banner ads to pop-ups, digital advertising is everywhere. But if you want to connect with consumers and inspire action, you have to raise the bar with innovative, interactive ad formats. Whether it’s the unlimited reach of mobile, the captivating pace of video, or the in-depth coverage of branded content, premier digital ad formats perform better and make a lasting impression.

We can help!

Are you ready to win? We’ve got the insight, strategy, and tactics you need to reach your target customers in meaningful ways (and eliminate the competition). Download our Digital Trends whitepaper to learn more about inspiring consumers to take action. You can also contact us online or call 888.573.4773.

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