Archive for October, 2015

Industry News: LinkedIn Lookup

Monday, October 26th, 2015

LinkedIn introduced a new app, LinkedIn Lookup. The app is supposed to help professional users easily find, learn about, and contact co-workers. Ankit Gupta, co-founder of LinkedIn Pulse, stated that using the app allows employees to be more productive.

Why LinkedIn Lookup

A need for a new app arose when LinkedIn discovered that every month there were about 30% of members who searched for people on LinkedIn were viewing their coworkers’ profiles. This finding prompted LinkedIn to find out why. As a result, LinkedIn surveyed 814 professionals in North America. LinkedIn’s findings were the following:

  • Only 38% found their companies intranets effective for learning information about their coworkers
  • 58% said that if they could easily find their coworkers skill sets, they would perform better at their job. As a result, 46% of respondents indicated that they look up the supplemental information on LinkedIn.

The statistics revealed a clear need for employees to be able to search for their coworkers. Hence the development of LinkedIn Lookup.

LinkedIn Lookup Features

LinkedIn Lookup features a sophisticated search. The search allows users to look for someone by a specific trait, skill set, job title, or responsibility. Instead of just by name. This opens up the doors for internal company communication. For instance, if an in-house website designer needs to quickly find a developer to update a few things, he or she would be able to do that by looking for the skill he or she would need to be performed.


Example of a LinkedIn Loop’s Search

The app is also a great networking tool. It can aid a new employee in meeting new coworkers by allowing the user to learn more about the people they are working with easily. The new employee can search for interests or skills he or she may share with another coworker and use that information to network.

LinkedIn Lookup is also a one-stop shop communication hub. It allows users to contact coworkers through email, phone or chat in place. It negates the need for more than one contact list.

LinkedIn is attempting to bridge the communication gap between coworkers by easing search, networking, and contact lists. For more information on the study conducted by LinkedIn and the app see the article published by Ankit Gupta.

FiG Marketing Thought: To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

tweet-twitter-birdTo tweet or not to tweet… that ’tis the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind
To suffer the slings and arrows of marketers’ fortune
Or to take arms against the seas of troubles.

Twitter has suffered some slings and arrows this month. They have been declared dead yet again.

Maybe not dead yet, but certainly dying. Again. This month the company laid off about 8% of their workforce and hired a Google executive, Omid Kordestani as their Chairman. Twitter stated these layoffs were necessary for innovation and to keep up with the fast pace of the industry. On one hand, this statement is sugar coating. On the other, I see the optimism in taking steps to improve their brand.

I had a wonderful professor who taught me to watch for trends in companies that are growing too much. Growth can be wonderful, but too much of it can indicate trouble. Umair Haque authored an essay titled, “Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It). Haque noted that upon its inception, Twitter was glorified and growing. It was supposed to be a place where people could have a conversation. However, it has turned into a place where people criticize, bully, and gossip. Haque explains, “Twitter could have been a town square. But now it’s more like a drunken, heaving mosh pit.” Trolls flood the marketplace and misinformation spreads like wildfire.

Is Twitter really to blame? No. The social network does not control the content, only the platform in which people speak. Regardless of who is to blame, Twitter is feeling the repercussions of the disrupted marketplace and intense competition. That doesn’t mean to say that Twitter doesn’t have a positive side and can’t bounce back.

The social media platform is a diverse epicenter. Haque’s view was very US-centric. Twitter serves a wide range of audiences, across the globe. NPR reported that Twitter’s monthly users grew by 2 million from March to June 2015. Plus, its reach creates opportunity. Take the Texas schoolboy who was accused of bringing a bomb to school, even though it was a clock. After his story had gone viral, he was invited to the White House to meet President Obama. A wonderful opportunity that may not have happened otherwise.

Twitter’s New Features and Benefits

Social justice and the instant gratification of information gathering are just a couple of reasons why Twitter is still alive. Along with the organization restructuring, the social media site has recently come out with new features.

Moments – Instead of following accounts, a user can now follow moments to get the story, stats, or scores delivered right to their timeline. Moments gathers the best pictures and information for the user.
Direct Messages – Twitter removed the 140 character limit from direct messages. While this does not impact public tweets, it does open another line of communication for the user and keep him and her engaged on the site/app instead of using another medium.

Finally back to our original question, to tweet or not tweet? This marketer will take arms against the seas of troubles for Twitter and keep tweeting. The spike in users and the flow of information is enough encouragement for everyone to keep on tweeting.

Case Study: Sport Shieldz

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

This past winter, we announced that we acquired a new client, Sport Shieldz.

Sport Shieldz offers new, innovative technology in concussion prevention. Sport Shieldz makes protective headgear that is designed to instantly dissipate the force of an impact to the head. These skull caps are made from PORON® XRD™ Extreme Impact Protection, a microcellular urethane foam that is breathable, pliable, and antimicrobial. What makes these caps so exceptional is that they absorb up to 90% of the energy at high-speed impact.

Sport Shieldz was looking for assistance from FiG to ramp up its SEO campaign by building more search traffic volume, increasing brand awareness through website updates, and creating engaging content.

FiG did just that.

Sport Shieldz Q3 Marketing Report

In just three months, overall traffic has increased for Across the board, the website is already seeing improved numbers. With about a 7.5% increase in pageviews and about 14.% decrease in bounce rates, Sport Shieldz is seeing significant improvements from FiG’s SEO efforts.

Year Over Year Performance: July 1 – September 30

sport shieldz marketing performance

Search Engine Traffic Year Over Year: July 1 – September 30

A rich keyword list was developed by FiG for content development. The keywords were incorporated into monthly blogs and throughout the website’s pages. We also ramped-up search engine traffic by adding meta and alt tags throughout the site. These SEO tactics allowed Sport Shieldz search engine traffic to have an increase in sessions by about 80%. In this time, Sport Shieldz’s website also saw a jump by over 90% of users per day (see graph below).
sport shieldz sessions


Website Redesign

Additionally, FiG took on the task of redesigning Sport Shieldz’s website. While still using their existing color scheme, FiG found a way to utilize the colors so the website had a richer, more sophisticated feel. FiG also added some eye-popping pictures to invigorate the user experience. See below some before and after shots of FiG’s redesign.

Sport Shieldz Home Page Before

Old Home Page

Sport Shieldz Products Page Before

Old products page

Sport Shieldz Home Page After

home page

Sport Shieldz Products Page After

New Sport Shieldz products page

Keyword Ranking Report

FiG’s SEO strategy allowed Sport Shieldz to remain relevant on Google’s first page of search for a variety of keywords, from general searches such as, “head protection for sports” to more brand specific ones like, “Sport Shieldz.” Also, possessing the knowledge that people are searching Sport Shieldz specifically shows that brand awareness is increasing for the company as well.


Most importantly, all of this effort has resulted in the overall goal, more sales. FiG has increased Sport Shieldz Sales by 78%.

Do you need help with your SEO, branding, and web design? Contact FiG Advertising and Marketing and see what we can do for you today.

Ad of the Month – Chipotle Taste Invaders

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Back to the Start

We all know Chipotle has the best burrito. They also give good marketing. They have often centered their advertising campaigns around their commitment to serving locally grown, non GMO food. Chipotle did an amazing job of this in their YouTube ad, “Back to the Start,” which featured an emotional farmer who sees error in his industrial animal factory and slowly begins to turn it around to sustainable farming. It has about 9 million views and counting. CAA’s Todd Hunter was a part of the “Back to the Start” team and explained that the ad was an, “. . . attempt to create a culture around an idea.”

Taste Invaders

Chipotle’s latest ad, “Taste Invaders” has taken a new direction. They have diverged from pulling at your heart strings to inviting you to enjoy a fun, interactive game while still staying on message of Chipotle’s mission to combat artificial ingredients.

“Taste Invaders” is a retro, Atari-style online game. It is based on the iconic game, “Space Invaders.” Chipotle’s ad follows the same basic rules, where a player’s burrito must dodge falling missiles and simultaneously shoot down bad guys, also known as artificial ingredients and junk food. If a player fails to defend its burrito, the game pops up with anti GMO messages like, “You just got silicon diox-died.”

Chipotle will be promoting the game through social media and their website.

Chipotle Taste Invaders

Cause Marketing

The “Taste Invaders” ad takes cause marketing to a whole new level. It not only allows Chipotle to push its message, “Food with Integrity” to customers, but also directly interacts with consumers. Adding a competitive element takes engagement to the next level as well. With this ad, customers are spending more time with the brand playing and competing. As a bonus, it is fun. There are people who boast high scores well past the 100,000 mark.

Cause marketing is important because according to a 2013 Cone Communications Social Impact study, 89% of US consumers are likely to switch to a comparable brand if that brand is associated with a cause they care about. Finding clean food from reputable sources is a cause that many people are passionate about.

The lesson to take from Chipotle is the one for the tortoise and the hare. It is a marathon, not a sprint. In order for cause marketing to work, it must be deeply embedded in your company’s vision and and culture. It takes time to curate, but once it has matured, it can do wonderful things. Since going public in 2006, Chipotle has seen on average an annual growth of at least 20%.