Short-form Video’s Time To Shine

Short video is taking over the online world. It’s both beautiful and grim.

Everyday, online video is getting easier to access, and even easier to create. Because of apps like Vine and Instagram, videos are becoming one of the main reasons people even log onto the Internet. According to AdAge, over 40 million people are on Vine, while 150 million plus are on Instagram. That’s a lot of users.

Twitter and Facebook own Vine and Instagram respectively, and people are leaving the text-based social media for their quicker video counterparts. Pop culture has even seen these apps’ relevance. Trends, memes, slang, and even social groups have appeared from this medium. It’s truly marking its place in history, but why?

It’s because short video is both the fastest and the most alluring way to convey a message. If you manage to entertain your audience while telling them about your service or product, you’ve got a memorable and potentially viral advertisement on your hands. Major brands have been doing this for months now, be it the stop-motion animation of Dunkin Donuts’ paper flower or Trident Gum’s chewing-face close-ups!

That is where the beauty of accessibility to online video lies. Any person can make any video about anything. In fact, it is so easy that you could accidentally hit the record button while pulling your phone out of your pocket and make a short viral hit. It makes video accessible.

On the flip side though—it’s ruining our attention spans and giving us an unhealthy addiction to Internet’s speed. We’re becoming so accustomed to this short format, that anything over 30 seconds almost seems too long. People are clicking out of longer videos on YouTube, closing web pages that take too long to load, and going insane over buffering streaming content.
It’s hard to decide whether Vine and Instagram are helpful ways to communicate, or detrimental to our already short attention spans. Time will tell, as the number of users of these appsare predicted to grow even more in 2014.

Coding an Entire WORLD

Websites, everyone’s got one, and we’re all familiar with the concept. But just how important is a new website? What are the new web trends of today, and why should my site utilize them?

We have a top-notch web developer on our team named Yuriy. We asked him what his favorite thing about his job was, and he said, “I think my favorite part is how you can make visual changes using code. You basically build an entire world. To me, that seems so powerful and beautiful at the same time. I love programming!”

With all the popular web trends to date, there are three in particular we’d like to highlight.

Parallax Sites:
The word “Parallax” comes from the animation world. It’s the name of the effect where background elements “move” in relation to the viewer. Think of driving along a hill and looking out the window. You’ll notice how things move at a different pace. Closer things zip by, where farther things seem to barely move. In the animation world, this creates an illusion of 3d space, and websites can have it too! It looks amazing, and it’s fun to navigate!

Responsive Sites:
Waaaay back in the olden times, there were things called “Desktop Sites” and “Mobile Sites”, which operated closely together, but still so very apart. “Ye olde two sites” is what I believe they called them. But these days, Responsive Sites do the job of both Desktop and Mobile. They’re sites that resize depending on the size of the browser it’s view upon—automatically! Essentially, you make one site that’s viewable from any platform you visit it from!

Improved Search Engine Marketing:
We have an SEO specialist, who acts as a ninja, implementing your site everywhere without a trace! You’ll show up higher in google searches, and will therefore be easier to find! His name is Joel. Call us today and see what he can do to make you appear in web searches!

Get a hold of us at MOS Creative, and we’ll help YOU stand OUT!


-The MOS Creative team

Responsive Web Design for Beginners

Responsive Web Design ExampleAs web technology continues to evolve, so does the platform that we interact with it on. Now-a-days, clients want their websites to be compatible with a variety of devices, including iPhones, iPads, Kindles, HD TVs, desktop computers – you name it. And in five years, who knows how many more of these gadgets will be out there?

When a person visits a website from any one of these devices, they expect it to be easy to navigate and formatted in a way that makes sense. If not, they probably won’t waste their time on it scrolling around and will find another option. Losing website viewers (and potential customers!) for a reason as simple as this is a HUGE mistake for web developers. Yet at the same time, designing an entirely new website to specifically fit each device would take up an impractically large amount of your time. Trust us, we know how precious time is in the web design industry!

Don’t worry, there is a solution to this problem, and it’s called responsive web design. Responsive web design is the concept that a website’s design should adapt to fit the size and shape of the screen that it’s being viewed from. For example, when a person switches from viewing a site on their laptop to their iPhone, the site will automatically recognize this change in device and respond to the new preferences.

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5 Mobile Fails You Should Learn From

As smartphone sales continue to grow like crazy, especially as we enter the jolly holiday season, it’s no surprise that mobile is the new bubble. And many companies are paving highly effective ways to engage. Actually we’re all just now figuring it out and grasping the question – how do consumers interact with their mobile devices, what roles do they play in their lives, and how can we tap into that?

So as the learning curve goes, and marketing trial and error takes its course, there are bound to be some fails and missteps. Let’s take a look at five of the mobile fails we can all take a lesson from as we plan our strategies for 2012.

  1. The dying trend, check-in apps. Daily deal offering sites like Groupon and Living Social met the same fate earlier this year. It was enticing at first, and then consumers get bored with it. Oldest story in the book. Gowalla and Foursquare were cool a year ago, but as retailers started to catch on to the trend and created their own shopping apps with check-in incentives, the enthusiasm began to ween.
  2. Forgetting that mobile is a whole different animal. In case anyone out there still questions it, you CANNOT just take your web stuff and throw it on a mobile site. No no no. Mobile is a whole new opportunity to interact. There are benefits, challenges and strategies completely separate from your PC web tools. If you avoid the copy and paste trap in re-purposing the web, you can take advantage new capabilities, such as HTML5.
  3. If you’re doing mobile, do it right. A lot of you are experimenting with mobile tools, such as QR codes and social media, without creating a mobile-optimized destination for visitors. So just when you get them right where you want them, your mobile visitors land on your PC site. Ew! I can promise most of these visitors are not coming back. That’s a lot of lost conversions and sales.
  4. Agencies aren’t focusing on the big picture. Mobile web and mobile strategies can’t just be an afterthought in your bigger plan. But for this fail we blame your marketing agency. We can’t emphasize enough the significance of the mobile experience in the focus of your brand, and in driving further mobile growth. A lot of brands are still just missing the boat on this one.
  5. Manufacturers are still playing catch up. RIP feature phones. I can still remember the simple days, when my phone’s buzz alert could only mean a text message. Now it could be an email, Facebook message, tweet, status update, check-in or any of the thousands of other connections. It was a sudden and unexpectedly rapid death that manufacturers were not ready to capitalize on.

(Thanks to our friends at Mobile Marketer, see their original article.)

What it takes to be Steve Jobs

“Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” Wiser words never uttered by a man more influential and responsible for single-handedly transforming the computing and mobile landscape.

Steve Jobs told us to be crazy. He told us he wanted to put a ding in the universe. He didn’t put a ding, but he sure left an Apple.

A single glance at the non-stop media coverage, and you’d think America’s greatest superhero finally befell to his kryptonite. #SteveJobs, #iSad and #ThankYouSteve rotate Twitter’s trending topics, and pictures of our generation’s Thomas Edison continue to flood Facebook’s news feeds.

But in no jest, he was a hero to millions, probably billions, of people he never met. He changed the way we think about and interact with the world. Every time you have to ask your kid a computer question, remember, he’s the reason.

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Back to Basics: What is your Marketing Objective?

When it comes to this whole marketing thing, do you sometimes feel like you’re in over your head? Maybe you’re new to the “branding” concept? You hear so much talk about “engaging your audience” via Facebook and social media, but are you completely lost in where to even start?

I’m not surprised. Go ahead, just try Googling “marketing ideas.” You’ll get 40,200,000 search results.

Talk about information overload. No wonder most business owners don’t even want to think about their marketing, so they put it off for as long as possible. I’m thinking you need a little direction. Am I right?

I’m gonna level with you – doing it right is not as easy as it looks. That’s why there are millions of professional marketing firms out there. And for the most part, the professionals will do a good job for you. But whether you’re coming up with the creative ideas, or you’re paying someone else to do it for you, you should NEVER go into your own marketing strategy blindly. It’s EXTREMELY important that you get involved. After all, who knows your clients, your product and your company’s needs and goals better than you do?

So before you delve into the details of how often to Tweet and which keywords to base your SEO around, let’s start with the basics. I just want to get your feet wet and get you thinking. Always start by figuring out what your marketing OBJECTIVE is. Everything else will come from there.

What’s your Objective?

1. Awareness – Potential customers must know of, or be reminded of your existence, your location, your product, your price range, and what makes you stand out from the competition

2. Build Contact List – Your mailing list is like gold. It’s what you rely on for promoting any campaign, and it takes a lot of nurturing to build and keep.

3. Get Involved – Your business is not soul-less. Companies are made up of people, and people like to patronize companies that they know go out of their way to help other people. Your company’s positive image reinforces the perception that you are genuinely caring and sharing.

4. Staff Incentives – A cared for and happy team makes for a harmonious, smooth operation. Customers can tell when your employees don’t want to be there. Think about the grouchy, frowning cashier at the supermarket. Make sure your employees feel appreciated!

5. Excitement – This is the kind of energy and excitement that makes you stand out from the competition. This is when you need to turn on your thinking cap and come up with some really creative promotions.

6. Frequency – When you’re trying to be “the place to go.” This is a brand loyalty thing, and keeping them coming as frequently as possible.

7. Publicity – For this one you’ve got to be interesting and newsworthy. Maybe you’re doing BIG things for the community, or you’re doing something so completely out of the box that it’s a story too good to pass up.

8. Generate Traffic - Simply getting people in the door or on the website is your goal here. Contests are great for this! You want to get potential customers to complete some sort of action, whether it’s entering the contest or downloading a form.

9. Branding – Image is everything. Period. If you don’t define your company and your brand, the market will define it for you. And that’s never what you want!

10. Increase Sales – a.k.a. Up-selling – This is every CEO’s favorite! From the sneaky but ingenious psychological tactics (a la putting candy, gum and magazines in the grocery checkout line) to having an in-depth understanding of how your industry works, there are really unlimited opportunities to do this one.

11. Creating Activity - Most industries have their “slow” periods during the year, but that’s not set in stone. This is where you will get creative to make the slow season profitable.

12. Trial Offer – Who’s gonna turn down a free sample? Come on, you’ll love it. This is when you really want to get those potential customers who are living on the edge to finally make the plunge – but without any of the risk.

(Great list compiled by Tom Feltenstein – And if you’re looking for a good book on the basics, try Tom’s “Encyclopedia of 401 Proven Killer Promotional Tactics”)