E-VO-lution: Why Brands Have Moved Away from “Announcer Voice”

announcer voice

For years, the “announcer voice” was the go-to for commercials, televised events, radio ads, and of course movie trailers. You know the voice: deep, clear, almost inhuman, but authoritative. When an announcer voice showed up you knew to pay attention because, well, you didn’t have much of a choice with that booming voice going on.

Now, you don’t hear the announcer voice too much. It’s fallen to the wayside in favor of other types of voiceovers, particularly the conversational tone. If you’ve ever wondered why that might be, keep reading to find out!

How Did Announcer Voice Start?

Announcer voice makes a lot of sense on paper. If you’re trying to be heard, talking in a loud and overpowering voice ensures that people will listen and put some sort of priority on your voice. If we go way back to the days of town criers, newspaper boys, and circus announcers, the voice makes a lot of sense as the speaker is trying to get their message out over the sounds of a crowd.

The exact origins of announcer voice aren’t well known, but the trend seems to go a long way back. The Mid-Atlantic accent is one place to look. It is a blended English and American accent used by actors in the early 20th century for its mixture of poshness and accessibility.

This made up accent became the norm in many films, used by people such as Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. From there it became desirable and was taught to aspiring actors in schools. Now, it seems the industry wants nothing to do with it.

Move Aside, Announcer Voice

One problem with the announcer voice is its tone, often described as “parent-child” read. When someone talks in an announcer voice they’re placing themselves above you, telling you what you should think about something, and demanding that you listen to them. This worked fine in the beginning, but now it comes off as condescending and untrustable.

Nobody likes to be talked at, which is the main reason that announcer voice has died. Another reason is that the announcer voice saps all humanity out of the speaker.

If you’ve heard any number of movie trailers from the 90s and before, you’ll notice that all the announcers sound nearly identical. The voice ends up being cast in our minds as being “corporate” and “cold”, like some sort of company robot. Humans identify more with other human voices and respond better to a more conversational tone rather than one that’s not only telling us how to think but telling us how to think in a strange voice.

Some companies still choose to go with a more conventional narrator, such as car commercials, and even a lot of radio ads for things like furniture stores. These companies may be following an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality or may be paying homage to these old-school narrators that once dominated the field. There’s a certain nostalgic quality to hearing a booming narrator now that will work for some people.

The Rise of Conversational Speech

Nowadays, people want an announcer or narrator that they can relate to. People don’t want someone whose voice is stiff, overly-rehearsed, and booming like those radio announcers of old. Instead, they want someone they can imagine having a conversation with, and maybe a little jingle to top it all off.

These more approachable and conversational announcers are sometimes known as non-announcer announcers. They’re a lot easier for a listener to connect with, and much more approachable. When the announcer speaks like an actual human, it makes the listener feel less like they’re being advertised to or told what to do, and more like they’re being informed or spoken to by a person rather than some machine.

The two things a company should strive for in advertising is trustability and relatability, and a non-announcer voice makes this much easier.

How to Talk Conversationally

While the announcer voice is commonly referred to as parent-child read, the more conversational side can be referred to as peer-to-peer. The perfect voice-over actor will sound like they’re speaking to a peer and telling them about something. Keep the voice and tone relaxed, don’t use words that are too fancy or “industry deep”, and above all else don’t come across as condescending.

The conversational announcer is still able to speak loud and clear without sacrificing the conversational tone. They can use simple, relatable language and allow subjectivity into their delivery. As a voice-over actor, don’t tell the listener what they should be thinking, rather tell them what you think about a product you’re announcing, as if you’ve tried it yourself.

Put some emotion in your speech and try to relate with the listener, don’t try and sell to them so explicitly.

The last thing people want now is an announcer that sounds like they’re reading from a script. This is unavoidable at times, but the more the voice sounds like real human speech — being made up on the go — the more the listener will be able to relate. Script-read announcing just brings people back to the corporate robot and makes them all-too-aware they’re being advertised to.

Get Conversational

The announcer voice is dead, and it probably won’t be coming back any time soon. Times change and so do peoples’ preferences. Nobody wants to be talked at by their television sets or radios anymore.

People want deeper connections and trustable announcers behind their products. Using a conversational tone is the best way to achieve this.

If you’re looking to hire a voice actor, check out our product page and find out how you can do just that. Feel free to contact us with any comments or concerns.

How to Make Brand Videos That Enhance Your Company’s Message

brand videos

While developing their marketing strategies for 2020, more companies have decided to add brand videos to the mix. In fact, video content can more than double your website traffic. However, you need to make sure your videos properly portray your brand first.

Don’t rush it. Instead, make a plan and stick to it!

Here are eight tips to help you improve your brand videos this year. With these tips, videos can communicate your brand and help you connect with customers.

Ready to give your brand a boost? Get started with these eight essential tips for the best brand videos!

1. Determine Your Goals

The first step to creating the best brand videos is to determine what you’re hoping to achieve in the first place. 

For example, are you trying to increase brand awareness for your company or a new product? Maybe you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Either way, video marketing can help you get there!

Knowing your goals will help you determine what type of content to include.

If you want to expand your brand, create videos that are entertaining or inspiring. Make your videos so engaging that viewers can’t help but share them. 

If you want to establish yourself as a thought leader, consider sharing your expertise. For example, you can create an educational how-to video or provide product demonstrations. You can also create a complication of facts and stats that are relevant to your industry. 

Maybe you want to inspire people to visit your website. If that’s the case, create a teaser to pique your audience’s interest. Then, you’ll entice them to click over to your website for the full content.

Brand videos can help you drive sales as well. For example, you can use videos to demonstrate new products or provide customers with helpful tips. You can also create branding videos that include a limited-time offer to encourage purchases.

Determining a goal for your branding videos can keep your videos focus.

Then, you’re more likely to achieve your goals!

2. Know Your Audience

In order to create videos that resonate with your audience, you need to know your audience first.

What problems do your customers face each day? What solutions can your product or service provide them? What videos will pique their interest?

Consider creating buyer personas for your customers. Separate them by:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Location
  • Income
  • Shopping behavior
  • Interests

Then, determine what your audience is already searching for. You can explore the videos your competitors have already created to see what works—and what doesn’t. What video elements do viewers respond to the most?

Maybe you’re addressing an audience that doesn’t know a lot about your industry. In that case, you’ll need to create branded videos that explain the basics. If you’re talking to experienced customers, on the other hand, you can focus on providing them with additional value. 

Your messaging will differ based on your target audience. By catering your content to a specific audience, you’re more likely to attract them to your brand.

3. Use Your Voice

Your company brand consists of different elements, including your voice, tone, personality, color scheme, and logo. Since your brand videos are an extension of your company brand, they need to include some of these elements. This includes your voice and tone. 

Take a look at your website copy. How do you speak to your customers? What words and phrases do you often use?

Keeping a consistent voice in your brand videos will show people your brand is consistent, too. 

As a result, customers are more likely to recognize your content on different channels. 

4. Visualize Your Brand

Remember, your brand is composed of visual elements as well. Try adding your brand colors to your videos. This tip can help people recognize your company’s content. 

You can incorporate your company colors in the background of your video. If your office walls are painted with your company colors, try filming there! You can add photos, text, or other visual elements to your videos as well.

Adding elements that match your overall brand will help you tie various brand materials together.

Don’t forget to add your logo as well! Some companies include their logo as a watermark in the corner of their video. This can help improve brand recognition even as people continue watching your video.

5. Choose a Style

There are many video styles you can choose from. These include:

  • Culture
  • Interviews
  • Events
  • Product reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Vlogs
  • Webinars
  • Testimonials/reviews
  • Animations
  • Behind-the-scenes
  • Live streaming

Consider your target audience and goals. Then, choose the type of video style that will best help you achieve those goals.

6. Shoot & Edit

Once you have a plan in place, start shooting! Consider creating a script beforehand so you can make sure to keep on track.

Don’t forget to end your video on a strong call-to-action (CTA). A compelling CTA can help you increase conversions and sales. According to this report:

  • Mobile video consumption grows by 100% each year
  • 90% of customers report videos help them making purchasing decisions
  • 87% of online marketers are using video content
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can increase clickthrough rates by 200 to 300%
  • Embedding videos on your landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%

After creating your video, edit it thoroughly. Take this time to create a transcript, which can improve your search engine optimization. That way, more people find you and your brand videos!

7. Get It Out There

Once it’s perfect, start sharing your new video. Consider where your customers spend their time. This can include social media platforms, YouTube, or your own blog.

Don’t forget to optimize your videos with target keywords to expand your reach.

8. Analyze & Optimize

After a while, review your data. Which videos are your viewers responding to? Study each video’s analytics, including views, shares, and other metrics.

Then, use this data to optimize your future videos! That way, you can expand your viewership each time you film. 

Enhance Your Company’s Image: 8 Tips for Making Brand Videos

Expand your brand! With these eight tips, you can make brand videos that resonate with your customers.

Ready to stand out from the competition? Contact us today to get started!

10 Commandments for Crafting Compelling Radio Ads

radio ads

Radio is an old-fashioned medium that has both retained and grown its reach. Public station revenue has leaped from 624 million to 900 million in the last ten years. The popularity of online streaming means the numbers will only increase.

The radio audience is a devoted one, listening for an average of 106 minutes a day, but the vast majority of this time is spent during commutes.

How can a business make sure that no one changes the channel while their ad is on? A carefully crafted message is all it takes.

Discover the 10 commandments for crafting compelling radio ads below. Obey them to create something listeners will never be able to forget.

First Commandment: Thou Shalt Choose the Right Person for Thy Radio Ads

Unlike television, radio doesn’t have the benefit of visual elements to add interest. It’s all about the audio, which makes choosing the correct people to voice the ad an essential part of the planning process.

It is common for a company leader to provide the voice talent, and doing so has numerous benefits. It creates a sense of authority while increasing trust. 

At the same time, it can be dangerous not to hire a professional. There is a risk of ending up with dialogue that sounds artificial or fails to portray a character effectively.

In the end, deciding who should voice a radio ad is one of the most important choices to make. It is also dependent on other elements such as content and audience. 

Second Commandment: Thou Shalt Record Thy Audio Well

The best radio ad in the world will be ineffective if the sound quality is subpar. A poorly recorded ad will quickly make listeners change the channel.

Using effective equipment and taking your time are two ways to ensure the ad sounds great. Check out our article on best audio recording practices for more tips.

Third Commandment: Thou Shalt Use Appropriate Timing

Time is at a premium in the oversaturated world of radio advertising. This doesn’t just mean to keep ads short; it’s also important to consider when to air it.

Radio stations measure success in terms of listener numbers like television stations measure viewers. However, a radio listener must listen for at least 5 minutes in a quarter-hour period for their contribution to count. An effective radio ad must air during a time when the station’s audience will be listening. It must also keep them from changing the channel for as long as possible.

Fourth Commandment: Thou Shalt Elicit the Necessary Emotion

Many of the most effective ads in any format work so well because they manage to make their audience feel something. Touching the heart of an audience is wonderful, but it is also important to create the correct emotion. Determine what listeners should feel before creating the ad or risk sending the wrong message. 

Fifth Commandment: Thou Shalt Cater to Thy Audience

Increasing listener numbers is great, but it is also important to ensure that the right people are tuning in. Getting someone with no interest in the product or service being advertised to listen is not a great way to encourage sales.

The first step of catering any message is to determine who the audience is. This is done by analyzing their demographics, habits, and other identifying factors. The next is to find out what they want or need, which is as simple as sending out a survey or poll. Lastly, figure out how to make an ad that speaks to both these elements and is relevant to the right people.

Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Mention the Product (But Not Too Often)

A commercial that doesn’t showcase a product or service won’t translate into profit. It’s important to clearly indicate what is being offered but not overwhelm listeners with branding.

A study on radio commercial retention showed that while mentioning a brand does help listeners remember an ad, doing so too often can have the opposite effect. Work the product naturally into the message of the ad to achieve the right balance.  

Seventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Maintain Attention

There are thousands of radio stations available to listeners today. Keeping them from tuning to another channel while a radio ad is on is a matter of holding their attention.

There are numerous effective methods to keep listeners. An attention-grabbing opening line, relevant message, appropriate emotional appeal, limited-time offer, and other hallmarks of effective content will help ensure potential customers don’t touch that dial.

Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Provide an Enticing Offer

Radio commercials usually only have 15-30 seconds to grab a listener’s attention and prevent them from turning the channel. It’s essential to get to the point quickly and show listeners why they should care about the message being conveyed.

A sale or special promotion is a great time to run radio ads, as they entice customers to buy before the offer goes away. However, there are other ways to turn listeners into customers, such as appealing to their emotions or telling an entertaining story in the ad. 

Ninth Commandment: Thou Shalt Use the Correct Format

Researchers found that, while the old-fashioned announcer-style ad is the most common, a more relatable, slice-of-life story is usually more effective. Just like a picture looks better in a beautiful frame, a radio ad becomes more effective when it uses the appropriate format.

Tenth Commandment: Thou Shalt Write Effective Scripts 

All the commandments come together when it is time to create a script for a radio ad. A script serves as the blueprint for a story, and if it doesn’t convey the right message, the ad will fail.

See an example of how to format radio commercial scripts and more tips on how to write them effectively here.

Are You Ready to Start?

Has learning how to make a radio ad inspired you to use this effective outreach method in your own business? Ready to air radio ads that increase your profit and customer base?

Then check out our radio advertising services and contact us to request a quote today!

How to Create a Hilarious on Hold Message Script That Your Callers Will Love

on hold message script

There aren’t many things people hate more than being put on hold when they call your company. They expect to talk to a person and to be treated like one, and instead, they’re ignored and have to spend time waiting for someone to answer. It’s annoying, and it can cost you business. Yet, there are simple ways to keep people on the line if they’re on hold, and the best one is to write an on hold message script.

This is a script that your customers will hear when they waiting to talk to an actual person. It’s what place when someone is on hold, and it costs almost nothing to write one up and record.

And the best part is that you don’t need to write your on hold message script to be so formal. The point of an on hold message is to keep them on the line, not to bore them to death! So, you might as well try to have some fun with it and make your customers laugh while they wait.

And to learn how to write a comedic message script, just keep reading below!

A Person Will Need to Read Your On Hold Message Script

The first step is to realize that writing a script isn’t like writing an article or any other kind of copy. Most kinds of writing are meant to be silently read by a single person. Yet, writing scripts is different because it’s meant to be read out loud by a specific person.

Instead of writing to inform people or to entertain them, you need to write your script as a way to create a conversation. You need to imagine what someone would say to another person and then put it on the page. Don’t be afraid if it feels like you’re talking to yourself — that just means you’re writing well.

It’s Not Just the Writing That Matters — Voice Matters Too

While you need to adapt your writing style for screenwriting, you also need to realize there are additional production steps to recording an on hold message. You need to find someone who has the right voice for the job, and who can read your script well.

A person can have a perfect voice for the job, but they may not be able to pronounce words well or emphasize the right things. When it comes to comedy, coming off as monotone can kill the joke. It doesn’t matter how well you write your script if it isn’t delivered well.

Forget About the Business, Have Fun With It

After finding the right person to read your script, it’s time to start writing it out! As a business person, you’re probably used to writing articles and reports about revenue and strategy. Yet, writing comedy is the exact opposite of these writing styles.

Comedy writing is about having fun with words and being unafraid to say the things that are on everyone’s minds. It’s about getting people to have fun while staying informative and telling a story. And everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.

To write a comedy script well, you need to be open with yourself and your audience. Write about your flaws as a company, and present them in a humorous light. The easiest way to start is to write about forcing people to stay on hold and joke about it.

Never Laugh at Your Own Jokes, Write It With Coworkers

Most writers get into the business because they want to work in seclusion. They’re attracted to the myth of being alone with nothing but a keyboard and a computer, scribbling their thoughts. Yet, comedy writing isn’t like traditional writing.

When it comes to writing comedy, you need to have people around you. There should be people around you that you can bounce ideas off of. Otherwise, you’ll just be telling yourself jokes and slowly go insane as you force yourself to laugh at your own jokes.

It won’t make for good comedy writing at all, and you won’t produce a usable script.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Unprofessional — It’s Comedy

Many professionals aren’t used to stepping outside of their comfort zones and being exactly what they’re not: unprofessional. Yet, to write comedy, that’s exactly what you must be. You can’t be afraid to take off the stuffy suit and let yourself relax, writing whatever comes to mind.

And if you write something that doesn’t impress your coworkers or earn accolades, that’s fine. It’s called the writing process, and it’s why most writers prefer their seclusion. All writers are embarrassed by their first drafts.

Just because you’re writing comedy doesn’t mean you won’t feel embarrassed by what you write. The goal of writing comedy is to overcome that embarrassment, and for you to help your fellow writers know they have nothing to be afraid of. The best comedy writing comes about when the writers are all the best of friends.

Make Sure The Script Stays On-Brand

It doesn’t matter if you’re writing marketing copy or if you’re writing a comedy script; everything must stay on brand. Writing is about capturing your inner voice and sharing it with an audience. The same applies when you’re writing for a company, and its brand is its voice.

If you stray away from the company brand, your audience will notice and your on hold message will backfire. People will feel tricked as they wait to talk to an actual person, and by the time they reach someone real, they’ll be furious.

But, if you stay on brand, people will feel safe and understood. They’ll feel confident that they know what the company is all about, and that will make them easier to work with.

Make Your Company More Personable With a Comedy Script

A comedic on hold message script isn’t just some novelty you can invest in because you feel like it. It’s a way to distinguish your company and establish your brand, and it can help make your customers more eager to do business with you. It’s icing on the cake of your company; without it, it’s not really a cake at all.

Yet, it takes a certain kind of person to write comedy well, and for that, we’re here. Reach out to us, and we’ll prepare a comedic on hold message that will do more than resonate with your audience. It’ll make them laugh, and that’s what it’s all about.

Landing Page SEO Checklist: 9 Things You Can’t Forget

landing page seo

So, you’re looking to make some improvements to your business website’s SEO strategy. More specifically, you want to make sure your landing page is SEO optimized.

The basic concepts behind SEO don’t change much, regardless of what page on your site you’re working on. With that being said, there are a few things to keep in mind when dealing with landing page SEO that differs from other pages on your site. 

But how do you make SEO improvements to your website’s landing page? And what are some things you can do today to make your landing page more SEO-friendly? If you’re asking yourself these kinds of questions, wonder no longer, because we’re here to help!

In this article, we’ll give you 9 SEO tips and tricks that you can use to help you make your landing page rank higher on search engines. Now then, let’s get started!

1. Simplify Your Navigation

One of the best ways to make sure your landing page is SEO-friendly is to keep your site’s navigation simple and easy to use. The last thing you want to do is to make it hard for users to find whatever it is they’re looking for on your site.

A good rule of thumb is if it takes more than three clicks to find something on your website, it’s too complex.

2. Check Your Page Speed

One of the biggest things that search engines are looking for is websites with short loading times.

Remember, the last thing a site like Google wants to do is recommend a user to a site that takes forever to load. It makes them look bad and can lead to them losing users, which isn’t what they want. So make sure your site loads fast without any delays.

Not sure if your site is fast enough?

Google offers a neat speed checker tool that is easy to use and will tell you if your site is up to par. And if you get a bad grade, don’t worry. Google will even give you a few tips on how you can speed up your site!

3. Go with a Single Column Layout

Remember, poor user experience is going to lead to users closing your site and going to another fast. And if that happens too often, Google will flag your site, which means you can’t rank as high for your desired keywords.

Next to website speed, layout issues are the next most common reason as to why folks close out of a site after a few seconds. So keep it simple, and go with a single-column layout so users can find what they’re looking for in seconds.

4. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that over 50% of all web traffic in 2018 came from mobile devices? That’s a stat that is expected to rise over the next five years as people continue to use mobile devices more. Because of this, search engines will no longer rank sites that aren’t mobile-friendly.

Not sure if you’re site’s mobile-friendly? Use Google’s mobile-friendliness checker to see if you check that important box!

5. Don’t Go Overboard with Media

One of the quickest ways to slow your site down is to overload it with media like pictures and videos. And again, if your site doesn’t load fast, search engines aren’t going to rank it near the top search results.

So keep it simple and use media when necessary, like to break up large walls of text. Make sure that all images and videos you use are cropped and compressed for optimal loading speeds.

6. Use Whitespace Design

Legibility is a huge part of having an SEO-friendly website. One of the best ways to keep all of the content on your website easy to read is to use whitespace design.

Whitespace design is less about color choice and more about making sure there’s plenty of negative space between page elements. This helps the content flow well and is easy on your user’s eyes, which is what you want. 

7. Format Your Text Properly

Another way to make your site more legible and easy to read is to format bodies of text properly.

A few tips on how to do this? Use paragraphs, break up your text with media and don’t write too much, especially on your landing page. It may also help to emphasize important information with a large, bold print.

8. Use Legible Fonts

When it comes to legibility, the last tip worth remembering revolves around fonts. While it may be tempting to try and be different from everybody else with your fonts, it’s important to pick fonts that are easy to read.

This will help keep users around for longer, which is again, something search engines care about. So whether it’s various headings or your base content, pick fonts that are easy to read.

9. Use Your Keywords the Right Way

When it comes to SEO on your site’s landing page, keywords play a huge part in helping you reach your goals. By placing your keywords in the right spots, you can boost your rankings for those keywords.

So where do you need to put your keywords? In the content on your landing page, in alt tags for your images, and in your website’s description. That way search engines can identify your site and that landing page with those right keywords.

Keyword stuffing is bad, however, and should be avoided. Only use the same keyword a few times, and try to make things sound natural. Search engines are smart and will flag you for keyword stuffing.

Landing Page SEO Strategies and Techniques

There you have it—a few landing page SEO strategies and techniques that you should keep in mind for your business website!

As you can see, user experience is a huge emphasis. So try to put yourself in your user’s shoes and make decisions that you think will improve their experience on your site.

A good place to start is to make sure your site’s navigation is simple and easy to use and confirm that your site is both fast and mobile-friendly.

Use a single-column layout, white space design, and legible fonts. Also, format your text well and break things up with media, but don’t go overboard with the media, either.

Looking for more website design tips and tricks? Check out our blog!

Voice Over Tips: How to Hire the Right Voice Over Artist for Your Campaign

voice over tips

Got a good script and a clear idea of your radio ads? That’s good and all but you won’t get anywhere without a voice artist.

However, hiring the right voice over talent isn’t a quick and easy process. They play an essential role in a successful radio campaign.

But don’t fret. We’ve got a few voice over tips you should follow when looking for the right talent. Read on below and fine-tune your hiring process:

1. Know Your Target Audience

Before and during the hiring process, make sure you keep your target audience in mind. Voice over work for a political campaign, for example, is vastly different compared to the work intended for an explainer video or an Instagram ad. 

Identifying your audience can narrow down the type of voice, accent, and style you need. You can immediately cut out the applicants that don’t fit the bill. 

For example, a good radio campaign needs a strong, clear voice. You might also want to stick with a flat tone instead of something emotional, riddled with too many high and low pitches. 

2. Check Voice Samples

Even when you have a good idea of what you want, don’t hesitate to listen to a few samples.  You might hear voice quality you weren’t necessarily looking for but it might click with your campaign needs. 

Once you got a list of potential candidates, listen to as many samples as possible. Get their full portfolio and take time to listen.

You might like a voice actor during the interview only to discover they struggle pronouncing certain words or names. One of the voice actors you weren’t too keen on may have a sample showcasing their full potential, turning them into top candidates for the job. 

Remember that the bigger the portfolio, the more experience and training a voice actor has. Let’s dive deeper into the importance of experience.

3. Experience Matters

Did you know Tara Strong is 46 years old, as of the time of writing? Despite her age, she plays a myriad of young characters. She voiced characters like Bubbles in Powerpuff Girls, Timmy in Rugrats, Batgirl in the Batman Animated Series, and Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony. 

This doesn’t mean you have to hunt down older voice actors. Age isn’t a measurement of work experience. It’s often the case but you shouldn’t disregard young voice actors immediately.

You might find voice actors below the age of 25 already brimming with experience. Not all of their work might be official. There are many fan-dubbing projects for anime shows and foreign television shows that have no official English versions.

4. Try Different Emotions

Launching a radio campaign doesn’t always require a flat, monotone voice. Think about it this way: you’ll need to convey different emotions if you’re running a radio ad for products compared to a political ad. 

For the prior, you need an energetic voice. The latter demands more authority and certainty. Don’t hesitate to run tests with your applicants and see how they perform with different campaigns or scripts.

Keep in mind that with voice over work, the audience can’t see the speaker. They have to elicit emotions solely through their voice work and the eloquence of the script.

Have the voice actors read the same line in different ways.  Let them try to elicit excitement in one take and a tone of dread or authority in another.

5. Different Mediums, Different Talents

Gone are the days when the term “radio” simply meant broadcasting on a radio station. Nowadays, the term can also refer to podcasts or streaming projects. Make sure you know the kind of medium you’re hiring voice talent for.

Don’t always assume that you can use one kind of voice talent for different mediums. Different mediums demand different kinds of talents.

Going for a traditional radio broadcast ad? You might do better with someone who can speak quickly but clearly. Traditional radio ads cost a lot and they charge you per second, after all.

Looking to make an ad for a podcast commercial? These give you more leeway so you might want someone with more energy and better annunciation. You can also get playful with different accents and intonation variations too. 

6. Long-Term Considerations

One of the most crucial voice over tips when hunting for talent is to have long-term considerations. Look at the long game instead of hiring solely for a one-and-done project.

If you were around in the 1980s to the early 2000s, movie trailers always had a voice-over narration. More often than not, the voice work was by the same talent, providing consistency. When people heard that voice, they knew it was for a movie trailer.

Emulate this practice and consider the long-term reliability of your voice talents.

This builds trust and comfort. You need both if you want your radio ad campaign to become a success. Set expectations early by planning and hiring voice talent you know you can rely on for multiple projects.

7. Get a Few Recommendations

Sure, you’re bound to get a few cold applications. That said, you’ll need to conduct a few auditions to sort out the talents and narrow down the ones you like. You can simplify this process by getting a few recommendations.

Why are recommendations often good hires? 

They come from people who already worked with them. There’s already a sense of trust and reliability. You also get the guarantee that they have some training and experience, otherwise, no one would recommend them to you. 

It’s always a good idea to take the recommended talents and give them a try. Audition them like everybody else. They might end up easier to work with, even as early as the hiring phase.

Follow These Voice Over Tips When Hiring!

Hiring the right talent isn’t too monumental a task with these voice over tips. Don’t rush the process and go over things like their portfolio, different samples, and style to find the talent you need.

But getting the most out of your campaign doesn’t end here. Why not read our other guides to get one step ahead of the competition? You can start with our post about the reach of radio right here.

Social Media Calendar Planning: 7 Tips to Stay Organized

calendar planning

According to recent findings, over 3.5 million people use the internet, and roughly two-thirds of those people spend some of their online time logged in to social media. It’s crucial that your business takes advantage of these established online communities by making their presence known across platforms. Why? So that social media users take the time to navigate away from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and over to your business’s website – which is why calendar planning is important.

As a business owner, you may feel that you don’t have any time to spare to run multiple accounts. However, with a little bit of calendar planning, it doesn’t have to cost you much in time!

We’re here to give you some pointers on how to utilize social media calendar planning to keep your online presence streamlined, organized, and geared for success. Read on for 7 tips that will change the way you think about social media!

1. Post Consistently 

For your social media presence to be effective, you need to have followers and continue to grow that fanbase. But when social media users come across accounts that rarely post, they have a tendency to move on. 

Dumping a ton of content periodically won’t work, either. In fact, this will likely come across as spam for the followers you do have. 

Use your calendar planning time to decide how frequently you want to post and on what days you want your new content to go live. This doesn’t have to be every day, but it should be a few times a week if you want to draw attention!

2. Have Fun with Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to tap into the social media hivemind and find out what’s trending. Plus, having fun with trending content is a great way to humanize your business and show that you have a silly side!

One way to take advantage of hashtags is to tap into the always-growing National Days phenomenon. We’ve seen everything from National Dogs Day to National Broadcast Traffic Professional’s Day. Take a glance at the official National Days website and map out a few that you can create some fun and relevant content for—and don’t forget the hashtag!

3. Think Beyond the Business

Of course, you want to drive up your sales with your social media, but not every post needs to link to a product or service directly. Find topics that generally relate to your business and create content surrounding those topics. The goal is to attract attention, show off your expertise, and avoid boring people with a constant stream of strictly promotional content.

Optimize your results with these kinds of posts by hiring SEO professionals to help you generate ideas. They can uncover the most sought after information within your niche so that you answer the internet’s most burning questions!

4. Know Your Creatives

As you’re planning your social media content calendar and taking notes from social media professionals, you’ll notice that social media content tends to be very diverse. We mentioned SEO-fueled articles, which will be best handled by a content writer. There are also high-quality pictures, videos, infographics, and more. 

Don’t expect that one person in your office will be able to perfect all of these content styles. Take stock of your employees’ strengths and delegate types of content accordingly. 

5. Know Your Platforms

Don’t expect that you can upload the same content across all of your social media platforms. Social media experts will tell you that different types of content perform better on some platforms than others, and you should cater your content to each platform.

For example, longer videos tend to do well on Facebook, in part because they won’t get cut off in the middle and require viewers to navigate elsewhere to watch the rest (which they probably won’t). Stylized photos and short clips do well on Instagram. Twitter is designed for short-form blurbs, especially of the humorous variety.

Don’t start your calendar planning before you know what works best and where!

6. Hold on to Old Calendars

One of the best things about social media content calendars is that they can prevent you from repeating old content. However, with consistent and frequent posting over a number of months or even years, you’re bound to forget that you already made a certain joke or posted about a certain topic awhile back.

When it’s time to draft up a new content calendar, break out the old ones to cross-reference. It’s okay for posts to bear some similarities, but you don’t want to post content that appears stale to your longtime followers.

7. Adjust When Necessary

Calendar planning isn’t meant to be rigid. It saves you the headache of coming up with new ideas on the fly every few days, but be prepared to adjust your plans when it seems necessary.

Let’s say you roll out a hashtag that you’ve planned to incorporate into the rest of your posts for the foreseeable future. After the first few months, it isn’t gaining steam. Or perhaps you’ve decided on a series of online contests, but people don’t seem to engage with them and it’s not worth the money you’re investing in the prizes.

Allow yourself the flexibility to change directions, even if you’ve planned heavily around a certain style of content. Social media can be a very trial-and-error-based process, especially when you’re in the early stages!

Boost Your Business with Calendar Planning

Social media calendar planning is a great way to set your business up for success. It gives you the opportunity to do a bit of research and find new ways to reach new customers in the digital age. It also saves you the time and stress of coming up with things on the fly, which can lead to inconsistency and incoherency. 

If you’ve read through these tips on calendar planning and still don’t feel up to the task, don’t hesitate to invest in a professional social media team. At Killer Spots Agency, our social media team is ready to come up with a strategy for you and even manage your social media interactions!

Contact us for help with your marketing and outreach strategies, whether you want to take them the internet, the television, or even the radio!

9 Reasons Why You Need a Catchy Jingle for Your Business

catchy jingle

When you hear the word “jingle,” a number of promotions, radio ads, and Superbowl commercials probably come to mind. That’s because our memories can’t help but cling onto those catchy tunes. Studies show that in order to process music, we use the same parts of the brain associated with memory and emotion. 

On the fence about creating a catchy jingle for your business?

Here are nine reasons you need to change that tune! With these nine benefits of a business jingle, you can stay in everyone’s minds for a long time. 

1. Attention-Grabbing

When we hear a catchy tune, we can’t help but listen. Whether we’re in the car or watching tv, songs attract our attention. A well-written, catchy jingle will grab a consumer’s attention and keep it for the length of the ad. 

Without a jingle, however, people might tune out your advertisement. 

Once your jingle catches everyone’s attention, it will keep them interested. That way, you can convey the benefits of your product or service within the rest of the ad. By sparking interest, jingles can help you make the most of your company’s advertising budget.

Otherwise, you’re missing an opportunity. Adverts or commercials without jingles don’t always manage to stand out from the crowd. In some cases, you’ll fall to grab everyone’s attention.

As a result, people will miss hearing the main message of your ad!

2. Lasting Impressions

Once you grab your audience’s attention with a catchy ad, you want to stick in their minds. That way, they’ll think about your business even after the ad ends. 

Music is a very powerful advertising tool. Without us realizing it, music embeds itself within our subconscious. Even months after hearing a catchy jingle once, we’ll still remember the song. 

Print ads and pay-per-click ads come and go. Sometimes, we forget them in a manner of seconds. By advertising using jingles, however, you can ensure consumers remember your ad much longer. 

An ad that leaves a lasting impression is far more valuable than an ad that gets a single glance. 

If you create a unique, catchy tune, you can stay in people’s minds for a really long time. 

3. Brand Representation

How do you want people to view your business? For example, a dog-walking service would want to represent themselves as fun-loving and trustworthy.

The music you use within your marketing videos and advertising campaigns will represent your brand. That means the music is also representing your business, which can develop into a long-lasting reputation.

By creating a quality, catchy jingle, you can make sure you’re properly representing your brand.

Your jingle will tell customers about your personality. As a result, consumers will begin to get a better idea about your business. A strong, unique brand personality can also help you stand out from competitors.

When developing your jingle, keep your brand in mind.

4. Music & Mood

Putting people in the right mood can spur them to make a change or start shopping. It can also help spark interest in your business. 

If you want customers to feel excited about your product or service, you need the right music. 

Music impacts us in different ways. Hearing the same jingle a second time can cause us to fall into the same mood. 

By adding a jingle to your next ad, you can get customers hyped up about your business. 

5. Brand Association

A catchy jingle can also help people retain information. What people hear from your ad will stick in their memory. The mood and emotions people feel after hearing your ad will become a part of your brand, too. 

Creating a well-thought-out jingle will give consumers an easy, fun way to remember who you are and what you do. 

Using music will help you create an emotional connection with your customers. 

They’ll associate those emotions with your company every time they see your brand. Then, you can depend on the emotions they associate with your company to get repeat business. 

6. A One-Time Cost

While a catchy jingle can help you attract loyal customers, you only have to pay for the jingle once. Many companies refrain from developing jingles because they’re expensive. However, they don’t come with royalties or recurring fees.

That means you can use them as many times as you want for a higher return on your investment!

7. Audio is Effective

Why waste money on marketing and advertising strategies that haven’t worked for you before? Instead, you can learn how to write a jingle that represents your brand and helps you stand out. Adding a jingle to a video that seems plain can give your content the boost it needs.

Instead of wasting money on strategies that aren’t working, you can use audio to make sure your brand is memorable. 

Discover the importance of jingles in your advertising. 

8. Cut Through Noise

Our world is highly saturated. Everywhere we turn, online and in-person, we’re bombarded by visual ads. By now, we know when companies are advertising at us.

A catchy jingle can cut through the noise.

Instead of struggling to stand apart from the competition, a well-written jingle can do it for you. Now that it’s more difficult to grab someone’s attention among the numerous ads we see each day, you need a strategy that will help you compete. 

9. Nostalgic Emotions

According to this study, different types of music can also produce different emotional reactions. 66% of survey participants also said music is more memorable when it’s used within marketing. 

A well-written jingle can manipulate our emotions.

By drawing on familiar experiences and memories, nostalgia helps us look back on better moments. Nostalgia is a powerful marketing tool that can entice people based on previous emotions. 

By transporting your audience to a better time, you can use a catchy jingle to boost sales!

Jingle All the Way: Why Your Business Needs a Catchy Jingle

One catchy jingle could help you attract a stream of new and recurring customers. With these nine benefits in mind, you can start singing a new tune when it comes to adding jingles to your ads. 

Explore our Jingle Production services today to start giving your ads a little extra power. 

9 Benefits of Video Marketing to Grow Your Online Presence

benefits of video marketing

If you haven’t been using video marketing, then you seriously need to reconsider your marketing strategies because you’re missing out big time. Interesting videos make interesting stories, and stories are excellent for marketing because they elicit emotion.

Some of the most significant reasons why video marketing is essential for your business is the fact that it’s memorable and measurable. This makes video marketing one of the most powerful ways of reaching customers, whether prospective or existing. 

So what are the benefits of video marketing, and why should you implement it in your marketing strategies? Once you are done with the marketing basics, you need to delve deeper and capture more attention. Let’s look at the benefits of video marketing for your business. 

1. Videos Result In Great ROI

To get you started off with some excitement, video marketing provides fantastic ROI, and this is one of the things you’re in business for. Even though video production may not be the easiest or cheapest of tasks, with a plethora of online video editing tools on the internet, it will pay big time.

Additionally, most customers are not worried so much about the video quality, like the content quality. Provide clear and relevant messages that explain what your products or services are all about. Of course, this is not to say that they should be low quality, even smartphones nowadays produce incredible videos, so you’ll have no excuse. 

2. Videos Build Trust

Essentially, trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. In a highly competitive business world, persuading clients to do business with you and not your competitors is not an easy feat. Building trust and strong relationships with customers gets easier with videos.

Videos ignite emotional responses, regardless of how short they are. In fact, you don’t need to keep selling because once you provide useful and interesting information, customers will come to you. Effective and interesting videos present your business in a conversational form and give customers the confidence to purchase products online. 

3. Videos Appeal to Mobile Users

An overwhelming 78% of consumers watch videos on mobile devices because people nowadays want to do things on the go. The number of mobile users increases by the year, and this only means that your video audience will keep expanding. Mobile users are more likely to feel a personal connection with a brand than desktop or TV viewers, so it’s imperative that you take advantage of the market. 

4. Videos Boost Conversions and Sales

Adding the most important video to your landing page alone could increase your conversion rates by 80%. One of the many benefits of video marketing is that videos have the ability to lead directly to sales. Vision is the most dominant sense that human beings possess, so it’s only natural that videos have such a huge impact on them. 

5. It’s Easy to Explain Everything Through Video

It’s so much easier to show people how your products work compared to writing about it. Explainer videos trend every day, and so do tutorial videos. Most consumers are watching explainer videos to learn what products are all about and how to use them. 

An explainer video on your homepage would be super effective in driving conversions and sales. If you have a difficult concept, then video is the best way to explain it in a way your target audience understands. Besides, interesting videos, such as animated videos, are fun to watch, and people like to share such videos. 

6. Videos Engage Everyone

One of the most significant benefits of video marketing is the ease of video consumption. Consumers get bored very easily, and reading long product descriptions is not pleasant at all. The modern customer is too busy for that anyway, and videos are easier to work with because all they have to do is watch, regardless of where they are.

Even if they’re lazy, as long as your videos have clear audio, they will certainly watch them. 

7. Videos Encourage Shares

Most people tend to share videos than they do content, and shares lead to a larger audience. If you want to expand your target audience and get the message out there, delve into video marketing and watch your customer share! This is simply one of the best ways to go viral. 

8. Videos Are Excellent for All Search Engines

All search engines, especially Google, value high valuable content, and interesting videos will have a tremendous impact on your SEO. With prolonged exposure, you will build trust, which will signal to search engines that you have valuable content.

You are more likely to rank high on search engines if you have a video on your website, and given the fact that Google owns YouTube, videos certainly affect search engine ranks. 

9. Social Networks Thrive Through Videos

It’s already clear that people love videos, and you should give provide just that, but where? Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the best places to post your important videos. Most consumers would share company videos as long as they were entertaining, regardless of whether they are actually interested in the products. 

Bonus Tip: Ads Do Wonders in Videos

Video ads have the highest click-through rate among all digital formats. This says a lot about marketing videos and all the benefits they come with. If you do everything right and create awesome videos, you can be sure that people will remember, regardless of whether they watch the whole ad or not. That’s how awesome videos are for business. 

The Benefits of Video Marketing: Summing it Up

From financial motives to practical reasons, you can well see the benefits of video marketing. All these points make quite a strong case for videos and showing you that they work. If you want to jump into the modern marketing wagon, video marketing is the way to go. 

If you’d like more awesome marketing tips, check out our website or give us a call and we’ll be glad to help. 

9 Video Advertising Trends of 2019

advertising trends

Television commercials and traditional advertisements are becoming a thing of the past.

As the next generation of tech-focused consumers saturates the marketplace, keeping up with these advertising trends is important. You either adjust your strategies or you risk having to close your doors for good.

So, where are consumers getting their information these days?

90% have said that they discover new brands through YouTube ads. 80% of shoppers say that they tend to switch between online search and video when deciding what to buy.

Set yourself and your brand up for success by plugging into the “show don’t tell” mindset. Keep up with current trends in advertising and generate quality video for the greatest potential of return on ad spend.

Here are 9 advertising trends for 2019 to get you started!

1. Web-Based Video Content

Focusing on optimizing your advertisements for web users gives you great potential for organic traffic.

More than ever, people are leaving behind paid television programming to switch to web-based streaming entertainment.

Reach them here by providing high-level, professional videos that give the best view of your products or services.

2. Full-Funnel YouTube Advertising

One of the best features of video advertising is that it offers you the chance to cater to the full advertising funnel.

  • Reach your target customers at the brand awareness level with lighthearted, catchy videos.
  • Generate interest by showing them how much better or easier their lives will be with your product or service.
  • Compare your product with similar products to help answer questions they may have in the evaluation phase.
  • Get them committed to your product by offering incentives, guarantees, or support.
  • Finally, reel them in by offering special sales and deals at the purchase level.

By offering specialized content at each level, you will be optimizing this marketing strategy in full force.

Bonus: Take advantage of this structure by shooting all of your material at once. Tell your whole story and then chop it up and distribute it where it fits in the buyer’s journey.

3. Over-The-Top and In-Stream Advertising

OTT advertisements refer to those short, 5-15 second ads that play on streaming platforms that a viewer can’t skip.

This style of advertising allows you to lump viewers together into different groups so that you can target them based on their user profiles.

More and more people are switching to streaming alternatives for entertainment. Every platform requires the viewer to create an account or profile. This gives you access to their personalized data information like their region, age range, and viewing trends.

With over 70% of in-stream ad impressions on Facebook viewed to completion with the sound on, this is a valuable way to get your information out.

Additionally, you can control what sort of content shouldn’t be appearing alongside your ads. For example, if you’re running an ad to help people quit smoking, you won’t want a cigarette brand’s ad running alongside it.

4. Mobile-First Advertising Trends

Customers are more likely to shop online with their phones over any other means. It is vital that video advertising (and online shopping platforms) be compatible with this format.

Keep social media formatting in mind when producing video content. Many shoppers rely on clickable and shop-able social media ads. If you are showing them content, make sure they can click through to make their purchase, otherwise, you run the risk of losing them.

5. Customer-Made Content

Customers are more likely to trust the information or opinions of their peers on the Internet over those of a mega-corporation.

Take advantage of this by encouraging opinionated customers to share their experiences. This can be an actual video testimonial or a rave review they left on your site.

6. Influencer Content

Are you a new company or perhaps an established one looking to generate some positive feedback? Buy into social media influencers!

Depending on your product, this can be a powerful way to get your brand in front of a lot of people in a short amount of time.

For a current customer, you can offer them a gift card or free merchandise to introduce new products. Encourage them to focus on their continued business with you!

For new customers, focus on your brand and key products or services. Offer the influencer free product or services that they can review and explain.

Generally, it’s best to establish an agreement for how long your product review needs to stay on their platform. It’s also important to make sure they know you may use their images and video in your advertising campaigns.

7. Graphic or Animated Videos

Blend graphics, text, or animated characters in your video ads. This can be an easy way to tell a story for anew or online exclusive brand people may not have heard of yet.

Bring your blueprints or digital layouts to life in anticipation of a grand opening, use text or customer reviews to tell a story, or animate with generic characters to give viewers a chance to imagine themselves in their place. This creates a much more inclusive branding statement.

8. Cinemagraph Advertisements

Cinemagraphs are cool photo and video hybrid advertisements. Set the tone in your static advertisements by catching the viewer’s eye with some motion.

Some examples are a few strands of hair blowing in the wind, a single blinking streetlight, waves crashing on the sand, or sparks from a campfire.

Generally, a viewer will spend more time looking at a Cinemagraph ad than a photo because they want to see what else is moving. This means greater absorption of your messaging and higher potential for ROAS.

This advertising trend brings life and variety into your messaging, without distracting away from it.

9. Television Commercials

That’s right, television should still be on your radar folks! Don’t alienate or ignore your more traditional customers by forgetting to occasionally advertise on TV.

Think about the types of ads you are working on for the digital market and play to those trends for TV as well. Delight your viewer with ads that they won’t want to leave the room for or fast-forward through. Hit them right away with exciting content so they stick around for your messaging.

Where to Start

For newer, smaller, or more traditional companies, video advertising trends like these may be daunting.

But depending on your customers’ age, lifestyle, region, and shopping habits, video production could be a game-changer for your business! Learn more about your customers and decide what would be the most beneficial avenue to get them your information.

If you’re ready to get started on your video marketing strategy, contact us today.

7 Simple Tips to Create the Perfect On Hold Message

on hold message

Everyone hates being placed on-hold. Especially when time is short and your customers are busy. If you run a popular company but you care about your employees, you know the importance of an excellent on-hold message. 

Your on-hold message can be the difference between a hang-up and a customer that stays in it for the long haul. What’s more, on-hold customers present you a unique opportunity in today’s world– a highly engaged audience. 

Marketing experts fork out millions every year to target engaged audiences. But you’ve got an entire queue-full for free. That’s why we’re here to make sure you don’t mess up this incredible opportunity by presenting out top tips for engaging on-hold messages.

Want to know how to keep customers on the line, satisfied, and excited to engage with your business? Keep reading for the 7 things you need to create the perfect on-hold message every time. 

1. Start With a Greeting

To set the stage for your customer’s on-hold experience, you need the perfect greeting. Any good business greeting should include the business name. And if you have the right call-in software, you may also prefer personalizing the greeting to include the customer’s name. 

But many companies also enjoy creating short slogans to highlight their business expertise. 

For example, companies that are a local staple might mention how long they’ve been in business. Similarly, if your company has won awards for your products or services, you can mention it in your greeting. 

2. Set Your Customers’ Expectations

Once you’ve greeted your incoming caller, it’s time to let them know what to expect from the call-in experience. Are queues full and will there be wait time? If so, make sure to tell the customer how long they can expect to wait or even what number they are in line.

Does the customer have other options aside from speaking with a representative? Then it’s time to list those other options now. And one of those options should always be the next tip on our list: an FAQ on-hold message.

3. Offer FAQs to Save Time

One of the most useful options in your on-hold message is a list of frequently asked questions. Your customer’s question may be on this list, saving them from having to wait in a long queue just to discover the answer is more simple than they might’ve thought. 

Common FAQs include:

  • Company business hours
  • Business location or address
  • Your website

Including directions to your website is an excellent idea for companies that offer services that can also be done online. Is your customer calling to schedule an appointment? Direct them toward your website where they can set up a time online.

4. Make Wait Times Worthwhile

Once a customer is well-informed about their options, you may want to offer something useful to them. After all, the number 1 reason people hang up while on-hold is because they have better things to do than wait. Make their wait time worth it to avoid premature hang-ups.

Include details on upcoming promotions, sales, or exclusive offers. This may also be a good time to plug new services or products your customer may not be aware of. That way, your call-in customer will feel less like they’re wasting time and more like they’re getting something in return for waiting patiently. 

5. Educate While They Wait

While on-hold messages can be an excellent time to up-sell, don’t make your customers think it’s all about your business. Take the time to remind your customer you care with short educational content in your on-hold message. 

Gone are the days of playing boring and monotonous elevator music while they wait. Instead, customers want to be educated through your on-hold message. 

One of the best ways to do this is by offering little tips and tricks that pertain to your business or industry. For example, a credit card company might offer advice on how to improve credit scores or find the best deals on interest rates.

6. Remind Customers to Leave a Review, Like, or Comment

In today’s totally online world, a review can be one of the most valuable customer interactions for a business. Not to mention getting customers to engage with you online. These things build your social proof with prospective customers and go a long way to help improve your business’ visibility in the community you operate in.

But don’t just plug your social media pages and ask for a review full stop. Make sure to let customers know that you value their opinion. Use this time to also let them know if they’ve had a negative experience in the past, you’re more than happy to speak with them about it and resolve your negative feelings.

And when possible, offer customers something in return for leaving a review or following your social media accounts. For example, many companies offer future discounts or free items in exchange for a review on Google or another popular review platform. This will not only incentivize the process but it will also show your customers you really do value their opinion.

7. Be Gracious– Say Thank You

Just as you should never begin an on-hold message without a warm greeting, you should never end a customer’s experience with anything but profuse gratitude. No one likes wasting time on hold. But when you let your customers know you recognize their time sacrifice, they’re more likely to feel like waiting is worth it. 

Get a Custom On-Hold Message For Your Business

Searching for an affordable, custom on-hold message to start engaging customers at your business? Killerspots is here to help. Check out our On-hold Message Services and find out you can start improving customer satisfaction while on-hold today!

The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

2019 was another great year for documentaries.

Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have really taken the art of the documentary seriously when other platforms are still catching on. We need to cherish our documentarians because they’re telling the true story of our society and the reasons for our actions. 

As we look back on the events and characters of our recent past with some of the films that came out this year, so too will future generations about things that are happening now. They might not be blockbusters, but they serve a crucial purpose.

Today, we’re going to talk about the best documentaries of 2019 and why they were so impactful. Some are tragic and confusing character studies, while others take an in-depth look into the funny, terrifying, and absurd bits of the way we live.

If you’re an aspiring documentarian, these films are must-watches because they exhibit unmatched research, dedication, and overall quality. Use these to find inspiration for your next film project.

Meeting Gorbachev

Werner Herzog is a master of documentaries and narrative film, consistently delving into the depths of human experience no matter the medium. Meeting Gorbachev ditches Herzog’s dour and self-serious personality for a more jovial back and forth conversation with the former Soviet leader, nearing the end of his life.

It’s strange and exciting to see Herzog take on the role of a superfan interviewer, but the conversation does flow both ways. If you’re a fan of remarkable people talking about their remarkable accomplishments, this is the doc for you.

Fyre & Fyre Fraud

The rival Fyre Festival documentaries, Fyre (Netflix) and Fyre Fraud (Hulu), examined the eponymous music festival, which was doomed before it began. The cringe factor is at a 10, but you’ll end up feeling sympathy for some of the support characters that just wanted to be a part of something meaningful.

The villains are Billy MacFarland and former pop-rap superstar Ja Rule. Fyre is more of an examination of what went wrong and why, while Fyre Fraud actually gets MacFarland in for an interview to explain how it all went down…and down, and down. Both are highly entertaining.

Rolling Thunder Revue

Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue was a concert tour in the mid-70s when Dylan had become a mega-star in the recording world. The tour was an effort to reach fans in smaller towns to get back to his folk singer roots.

Scorsese’s film is a pseudo-documentary, blending in real interviews with the people that were there. That including Dylan himself, as well as fictionalized representations of characters that may or may not have been around. 

Whether you’re a fan of Dylan’s or not, the film is an entertaining trip through a time and place in American popular music and the mythical figure at the center of it. How things have changed. 

Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Our fascination with the grotesque is on display in Conversations With A Killer. The 4-part Netflix docuseries takes a look at one of the most heinous criminals of the last century, Ted Bundy. Bundy was convicted of 30 sex crimes and executed 30 years ago.

The series focuses in on several conversations with Bundy while he was on death row. That’s mixed in with some background on the killer and interviews with people that came across him.

It’s a fascinating look into the mind of one of America’s most famous serial killers, but you don’t leave feeling any sympathy for him. You will feel some frustration with a legal system that saw Bundy walk twice before being caught on what was pretty weak evidence.

Apollo 11

Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 might be the space film of the year. It features never before seen NASA-released footage of the moon-landing expedition. No effects, no interviews or voice-overs, just the incredible restored footage.

What you come away with is a sense of wonder of how this feat was accomplished 50 years ago and an appreciation of all those involved. In troubling times, it feels good to look back on something so unifying in American history books.

The names of the three men involved are almost religious in nature now, but the film does a great job of depicting them as mere men that are in a position to do something incredible. Buzz Aldrin even cracks a great joke about locking himself and Neil Armstrong out of the capsule.

While this film will put a lot of conspiracy theorists’ notions to bed, others will make note of the knack for filmmaking that the original documentarians had. When restored, it does look eerily similar to a certain Kubrick film.

American Factory

From the title, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichart’s American Factory would appear to be a grandiose take on the American recession. What it’s really about is how the loss of American factories has become such a simple and politicized talking point.

The film delves deep into an Ohio automotive plant. As a result of the 2008 recession, it shuts down only to be revived a few years later by a Chinese company. We then see the complications of a re-hired American workforce alongside a Chinese-American workforce.

It’s less about the socio-economic and cultural divisions between the two groups or the rise of China and the fall of America. But instead, it’s motive is to give a sense of how much of the world is run by power, big business, and profit.

The Best Documentaries of 2019 Revealed

These were some of the best documentaries of 2019, but there were so many more that it would be impossible to talk about them all. Finding inspiration in other people’s work is how all great documentarians get started. Don’t shy away from it.

Watch these films and figure out how you can take bits and pieces from each one to create your own unique style. To get help audio, video, and greenscreen production for your documentary, check out what we offer at Killer Spots Agency.

The 9 Most Recognizable Commercial Jingles

Do you feel like your market is having trouble remembering your company’s name? 

Have sales numbers been lagging as of late? 

Are you concerned that your current marketing strategy just isn’t as effective as you’d hoped? 

Maybe the solution isn’t to invest in social media influencers or spend hours writing blog posts that might not even get read. Instead, why not consider writing a catchy jingle for your company?

Jingles appeal to everyone, help people to remember your information, and they don’t have to get updated to get with the times. 

Just think about some of the catchy commercial songs you remember from decades ago!

Read on for a list of the most popular commercial jingles ever, and get some serious inspiration for how to come up with an awesome jingle of your own. 

1. Kars 4 Kids

Interested in donating your car? 

If so, then you already know to call Kars 4 Kids, a nonprofit who helps to fund childhood education using cash from selling used vehicles — even those in rough shape. 

The jingle is incredibly catchy, and it also includes the organization’s phone number and a brief description of the services they offer.

Effective jingles do exactly that — and it helps that the commercial also features children playing the instruments for the jingle themselves. 

2. The Oscar Meyer Song

No list of catchy jingles would be complete without a mention of what is arguably the most famous jingle of all time: 

The Oscar Meyer song.  

The celebrated jingle was written in just an hour in 1962, and spurred many contests, imitations, and of course, sales for the company. 

One of the biggest reasons for its success? 

It was written by experienced jingle composer Richard Trentlage, who also created jingles for V8 and McDonald’s. 

3. Empire Today Carpet

If you need your carpet cleaned, chances are you already know exactly who you’re going to call: 

Empire Today. 

The familiar “800-588” scale jingle gets stuck in your head almost immediately, and the bouncing animations of grey-haired men cleaning the carpet help it to stick around.

Jingles that include contact information are especially beneficial to smaller, niche businesses.

4. Huggies Diapers

With children everywhere desperate to prove to their parents that they’re “big kids now,” it’s no wonder that the Huggies pull-ups diaper’s jingle took off the way it did. 

Plus, combine a catchy tune with adorable videos of babies waddling around, and you’ve got a recipe for instant success. The jingle is still used today, and has helped make Huggies one of the most popular diaper and baby brands of all time. 

5. The Kit Kat Jingle

If you’re in need of a “break,” the Kit Kat’s commercial jingles urge you to find someone who will break you off a piece of their candy. 

The jingle has been a popular hit since 1986, and usually features images of someone snapping off a delicious chunk of a Kit Kat bar. Chances are good that you won’t be able to resist getting a piece of candy after hearing the song.

6. Meow Mix

It’s tough to imagine how a company could make the sounds of cats meowing not only into a jingle, but also into good jingle

The creativity of the “Meow Mix” jingle is what sets it apart from the competition and makes consumers remember it so well. We’re sure that the cute images of cats and kittens certainly don’t hurt, either. 

Interestingly, the company decided to retire the beloved jingle in 1996, but once they realized how much customers missed it, they decided to bring it back to the airwaves in 2012 — much to the satisfaction of cats who “want chicken” everywhere. 

7. Doublemint Gum

Are you ready to double your pleasure and double your fun? 

If so, then you already know that it’s time to reach for a piece of Doublemint gum. This iconic and lively jingle helped to make Wrigley’s an incredible success, and people certainly still sing the jingle today. 

8. Folger’s Coffee

What’s the best part of waking up? 

For coffee lovers everywhere, the famous Folger’s jingle reminded us that it’s “Folgers in your cup.” 

Coupled with a close-up shot of the Folger’s coffee tin and a nice cup of morning joe, this is certainly one of the most well-recognized commercial jingles ever. It’s still used today and has had no problem standing the test of time. 

9. McDonald’s 

Are you “lovin’ it?” 

Thanks to one of the most popular jingles from fast-food giant McDonald’s, the answer is probably “yes.”

Sure, other fast-food chains (think Subway’s “Five Dollar Footlong” jingle) have created some pretty catchy tunes over the years. However, nothing quite comes close to the familiar five-note intro to McDonald’s, “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle. 

The best part of the jingle? 

For many, it’s the little-known fact that Pusha T wrote it.

Ready for Commercial Jingles of Your Own?

While this list of popular commercial jingles has no doubt been a fun trip down memory lane (and has gotten at least one jingle stuck in your head) we hope it’s done more than just that. 

You should stop to consider just how much of a long-term impact jingles can have on a brand, and how they can set you apart from your competitors. 

Are you interested in developing a jingle for your company to run on the radio or online? 

If so, then we want to help you make it happen. 

Reach out to us to learn more about our jingle-writing process, and get ready to have everyone signing your company’s tune. 

Your Guide to a User Friendly Website

user friendly website

People are busy, always on-the-go while looking for the next big thing. Consumers expect companies to keep up with their needs. Otherwise, their digital experience won’t fit in with their life in the real world. 

So how do you give customers what they want?

With a user-friendly website, you can make your customers’ lives a lot easier. UX design could also boost your business.

According to research, a well-designed user interface could increase conversions by 200%. Meanwhile, a better user experience design could increase conversions up to 400%.

By now, you’re probably wondering what user-friendly web design entails. Keep reading to discover what makes a good website through user-friendly design. 

1. Start Responsive

Most people keep up with the world from their smartphones. 

According to research, 61% of site users will choose a competitor’s mobile-friendly site over one that’s not. Meanwhile, 45% are less likely to visit a site a second time if they had a poor user experience. 

To develop a user-friendly website, you first need to keep your mobile users in mind. 

Make it easier for people to use your website from their smaller screens. This can include creating a mobile-friendly or responsive site. 

To optimize for mobile users, keep navigation, font sizes, and buttons in mind. Photos and videos should all scale for smaller screen widths.

Otherwise, your mobile users will end up pinching and zooming out, trying to see your content. 

2. Simplify the Nav

People can’t explore your website if the navigation is difficult to use. 

For a user-friendly website, simplicity is key. Make sure the navigation is easy to use and understand. Try not to complicate the nav with multiple tiers, either. 

Instead, minimize the number of sub navigations you use. Make sure each page is named appropriately and clearly. That way, your site visitors can get around without struggling.

3. Show Your Logo

How will site visitors recognize your website is yours?

Branding is also an important component of user-friendly web design. People expect to see your logo in the top left corner. They should also have the ability to click on the logo to return to the homepage.

For additional branding, keep your color scheme and imagery in mind. 

Keeping branding consistent throughout the design will help avoid confusion. If people switch from one page to the next and encounter a completely different design, they might think they’re on a different website.

Branding helps improve user experience by creating a seamless path from one page to the next. 

4. Speed It Up

30% of consumers expect a website to load in one second or less. 

If it takes forever for your pages to load, people might leave. After all, they’re busy. When one website takes too long to load, they’re likely to leave and take their business elsewhere.

Use this tool to test your website speed. The site will also give you recommendations so you improve your site speed. For example, you might consider using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

AMPs follow a set of standards meant to improve the mobile web experience. 

AMP helps speed up your pages by optimizing your content. This feature is best for websites that don’t require additional javascript or sophisticated functionality.

If your website is a little more complicated, you can create a Progressive Web App. These pages create an app-like experience for mobile users. The web page will look and feel like a mobile app without directing users to the app store. 

Both of these page types are designed to improve user experience by speeding up that experience.  

5. Set Up Search

Make it easy for your visitors to find what they’re looking for. 

Set up search functionality on your site. Most user-friendly websites display the search bar in the top right, above the navigation. 

Adding search functionality will streamline the user experience. Instead of wasting time searching through pages one by one, your visitors can immediately find what they need.

Great websites that simplify the user experience also show site visitors your company is ready to help.

6. Clarify CTAs

Your CTA, or call-to-action, clarifies what you want people to do on that page. For example, you might want visitors to fill out a form or call your company.

Placing visible CTAs on the page will help you direct your visitors to take action. When you make the CTA clear (and easy to find), visitors won’t have to wonder about what you want them to do.

Use an eye-catching color for your CTA button. 

Meanwhile, make sure the button also resizes for mobile devices.

7. Clear Up the Content

Seeing a lengthy paragraph will make your visitors tired before they start reading. 

Instead of giant blocks of text, break it up. Try to condense each paragraph to a few sentences, or shorten your sentences. You can also use headings, subheadings, and bullets to break up the text. 

Reorganizing your text will improve readability.

Since people are always in a rush, making the text easier to skim and digest will keep your site visitors from leaving. 

8. Balance It Out

Once you improve the text for your user-friendly website, consider your imagery.

It’s important to create the right balance of high-quality images and text. Otherwise, you could risk overstimulating your visitors.

Stay careful not to overcrowd the page. Many companies are moving toward minimalistic design. This design uses more white space, allowing the content to breathe.

9. Make It Easy to Share

Use social media to your advantage. Make it easy for visitors to share your site content. 

To do this, add social sharing buttons to your content. Making it easier for visitors to share your content will invite new customers to your site. 

10. Add Accessibility

Accessibility for disabled, blind, or elderly users is important as well.

Consider following these guidelines to improve your web design for these visitors. That way, your site is easy to use for anyone who visits your site.

Website Goals: 10 Tips for a User-Friendly Website

Give the people what they want! With these tips for a user-friendly website, you can improve the user experience for anyone who visits your site. The better the user experience, the more likely visitors will become paying customers.

Contact us today for your user-friendly website!

Why Your Business Needs an Inbound Marketing Strategy

inbound marketing strategy

Let’s bring it in! Inbound marketing (also known as content marketing) allows you to increase traffic to your company’s website. Once you attract visitors, you can engage and delight them with your content.

When done right, an inbound marketing strategy allows you to turn website visitors into paying customers.

Better yet, you can encourage those customers to come back for more through brand loyalty. 

In fact, inbound marketing through content costs 62% less than outbound marketing and produces three times as many leads.

Still on the fence? Keep reading to learn the six benefits of developing your inbound marketing strategy.

1. Inbound is More Effective Than Outbound

Outbound marketing strategies such as flyers and billboards aren’t going anywhere. While they can help you increase brand awareness, these tactics aren’t always effective.

Think about it. Flyers go out to anyone within a certain location. That means you’re not targeting your ideal customer. 

Then, you have to hope the message sinks in. Even with a strong call-to-action (CTA), there’s no guarantee people take action. If they do, how do you know that lead came from that flyer?

Sometimes, outbound marketing strategies come off as interruptive and annoying.

Think about the last time you watched Hulu or a show on TV. The commercials distract from the show you’re watching, just to make a sale. 

Since you can’t always match an outbound campaign to the right audience, some of the ads end up irrelevant to the people who see them. 

An inbound marketing strategy, on the other hand, allows you to choose a more effective route.

Instead of interrupting someone’s experience, inbound marketing strives to help make the consumer’s life easier. By creating content your audience wants and needs, you’re showing customers you’re an informative resource. This also creates a more authentic experience for your customers. 

The precise targeting also ensures companies avoid wasting their marketing budget. 

Instead, you can find your ideal customer and show them your expertise through your inbound marketing strategy.  

2. Target Throughout the Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey moves from awareness to consideration to decision. Before your website visitors becoming paying customers, they go through all three steps of this journey. 

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can guide people along their buyer’s journey. 

With a billboard, you only have one chance (and a few seconds) to make an impact. With inbound marketing, you can target potential customers along every stage of their journey. 

For example, let’s say someone visits your website. Maybe they put an item in their cart, then leave. With remarketing, you can show them digital ads of that same product.

Then, you can remind them to return to your website to complete their purchase.

In this example, the prospect starts with awareness—they know about your product. They consider buying your product, but instead abandon their cart. With remarketing, you can spark awareness again, then help the consumer to the decision-making step.

If you don’t have an e-commerce site, the useful content on your website can also guide site visitors along the buyer’s journey. Blog posts and case studies can answer questions, inform consumers, and direct them toward the decision to call your company.

Either way, you’re directing a site visitor straight towards a sale. 

3. Continuously Build Your Audience

With inbound marketing, the goal is to attract prospects and convert them into leads. Once they’re interested, you want to close the sale and turn a lead into a customer. Finally, you want to delight customers so they help promote your product. 

Inbound marketing uses a number of tactics to help you build this audience. 

During the “Attract” stage, you can use blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and advertising. 

Then, you can use a form or chatbot on your landing page to convert visitors.

Email marketing and CRM integration can Close the deal. Then, surveys and referral programs can Delight customers into becoming promoters. 

4. Personalization Pays Off

34% of consumers are more likely to make an unplanned purchase if a brand personalizes content.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can split your audience into buyer personas. These personas make it easier for you to personalize content per their interests.

Traditional marketing uses a “one message fits all” approach. With inbound marketing, you can focus on customers at a more personal level. This makes it easier for you to build trust with your prospects and turn them into customers.

5. Save Time and Money

Don’t waste time with leads that don’t have any interest in your business.

With an inbound marketing strategy, you can focus on the people already searching for your product or service online. These are people who want to buy already.

Inbound marketing allows you to attract these prospects to your website.

Instead of wasting time pushing a product or service they don’t need, you can attract people who already want what you offer. This makes it easier for you to attract qualified leads using content that aligns with your audience’s needs.

Inbound marketing also uses automation. You can automate tasks to save yourself time and money. These tasks include email marketing, social media posts, monitoring, and reporting. 

When you save time and money marketing, you can spend more time and money on what matters: your business. As a result, you’re able to increase your ROI and compete with bigger companies in the industry. 

6. Measure the Success

You can’t accurately measure a flyer or billboard’s success to boost brand awareness.

With inbound marketing tactics, however, all the data you need is a click away. You can generate reports and measure the success of your campaigns. Then, you can make informed decisions for improving campaigns in the future.

With inbound marketing, you can also set goals and milestones. If you’re falling short, you have the data in hand to show you want needs improving. 

Bring It In: 6 Reasons You Need an Inbound Marketing Strategy

It’s time to bring in new business. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can attract, convert, and delight your customers. Then, you can optimize your campaigns for continuous success. 

Stand out from the competition. Contact us today to grow your company using an inbound marketing strategy!