Closed captioning on a video

Closed Captioning for Videos

By Blog

Videos are a great marketing tool, especially when used on Facebook. But as engaging as videos can be for your marketing efforts, it’s important to make sure they are captioned. There are several reasons captioning is important, the most critical being accessibility. In addition, how users interact with videos on social media is another factor for captioning.

Closed Captioning for Accessibility

Accessibility for hearing impairments is an important part of any video creation. The population of people with hearing loss is growing and is expected to reach 630 million people by 2030 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As our population grows, and grows older, there will be more people who experience hearing loss. Also, some infections, medications and environmental factors such as noise pollution can also cause hearing loss.

Regardless of why we have more people with hearing loss, it’s important we make sure that videos are accessible to them. Captioning, or subtitling videos is an important step. There are tools available in social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to caption videos either automatically or manually. Although this step takes more time, it increases accessibility for viewers with hearing loss.

People Prefer Soundless Video

Accessibility is just one reason closed captioning is significant to video production. The way in which social media users interact with videos is also key. According to Facebook, most people view videos without the sound on. Most Facebook users view the platform on their mobile phones and 80% of users have a negative reaction to an ad with sound. Facebook said it’s important to design video ads with silence in mind. They recommend using captions, logos and visuals of products to convey your advertising message.

Videography and Social Media Marketing

Baseline Creative has videography and social media marketing services. If you have a video that needs to be captioned or if you need a video, we can help. Contact us!

EPIC Vets illustration

Case Study: EPIC Vets

By Blog

In 2017, veterinarian and entrepreneur, Dr. Lonny Pace reached out to Baseline Creative to rebrand an emergency pet clinic located in Temecula, California. The Emergency Pet Clinic of Temecula, now called EPIC Vets, needed an all-new look including a new website, new branding, social media management, and reputation management.

Brand Identity, Web Design & Social Media

The designers at Baseline worked to create a new logo and identity for EPIC Vets. As the new owner of the clinic, Dr. Pace wanted to breathe new life into the business. The new logo, identity, and brand standards were created and used in print collateral including updated business cards, brochures, and promotional items for EPIC’s staff and patients.

The website EPIC had needed a design update and needed to be optimized for search engine optimization (SEO). Baseline built the new website and focused on organic SEO which was lacking in the previous website. Traffic increased on the website 100% from January 2017 to December 2017. Organic traffic accounted for 56.5% of the traffic to the website and paid search (Google campaigns) accounted for another 12.2%. In the past year, online forms and even an app for EPIC has helped them process patients faster and more efficiently—including communicating new Covid precautions.

The Baseline team also created social media content and began managing all the platforms for EPIC, increasing their social media presence and their brand awareness. Social listening and quick responses helped the page grow and helped the EPIC team manage and respond to reviews. EPIC fans are engaged and enjoy the educational and playful content created for the brand.

Reputation Management

Reputation management, including online reviews, was important to EPIC. As an emergency vet clinic, the patients they see are often critical. As a result of the stressful and emotional nature of clinic visits, some online reviews were negative, especially if animals were not able to be saved. EPIC began using Baseline’s Full-Service Review survey tool to survey patients’ families immediately after treatments. The survey allowed EPIC patients to link directly to Google and Facebook reviews for people who scored EPIC with 4 or more stars. For those with negative feedback, their results were immediately directed to the clinic where the team could assess the situation and reach back out to the reviewer to resolve issues before they were online. The result is that the average review for EPIC increased from 3.1 stars to 4.1 stars.

Why Baseline Creative?

Since starting work with EPIC Vets, Baseline has built a great relationship and has been involved in many additional projects for Dr. Pace. When asked why he enjoys working with Baseline Creative, Dr. Pace said, “Baseline follows the ‘yes’ philosophy to customer service that we follow at EPIC.  If you can dream they will find a way to make it happen.” 

The Pinterest logo is displayed on a mobile phone with Pinterest boards in the background

Pinterest Marketing

By Blog

Early on, Pinterest garnered a reputation for being the place to go to find recipes and “pin” them to a personal feed to be referenced later. When launching in 2010, Pinterest was mostly focused on crafts, gifts, interior design, and fashion. Since then, it’s grown into a powerful sales platform and Pinterest marketing has become a powerful tool.

From Inspiration to E-Commerce

Pinterest has become “shoppable” meaning, users can be served pins based on keywords that lead them to promoted pins, which are ads. Research from Pinterest showed that 83% of pinners made a purchase based on the content they found on Pinterest. As a highly visual platform, Pinterest is a great way to show off your products.

In addition, the Pinterest algorithm serves up pins that are based on your personal preferences, increasing the potential for products to be purchased. In fact, ads on Pinterest deliver at 2.3 times lower cost per conversion than other ads on social media.

According to Pinterest, 97% of top searches on Pinterest are unbranded. This means that users don’t come to Pinterest with a specific brand in mind, but rather search for categories—which is great for small businesses!

Ways to Shop from Pins

Pinners can shop directly from a board which means that they will be able to see a Shop tab, and in-stock items will be displayed on boards they have created with a search term. For instance, if someone pins “Dining Room Furniture” they will see those kinds of items on that board.

Pinners can also search for items in the app and will be served in-stock product information from businesses. Users can search for “sunglasses” and will be served products as well as pricing and brand filters.

Shopping from pins has been made much easier. Pinners can simply click on the pin to shop and will also see similar products they might be interested in purchasing.

Browsable style guides are another way in which users can find products to purchase. Now, when Pinners search for home-related terms style guides will display guides for style categories like “mid-century, contemporary, and rustic.” This is a helpful visual search tool for those who are interested in making a purchase or researching a purchase.

Do You Find This Pinteresting?

Baseline Creative has a digital marketing team with specific experience in Pinterest marketing. If you’re interested in learning more about advertising on Pinterest, contact us!

Person holding a mobile phone with the TIkTok app loaded

The Turmoil Over TikTok

By Blog

One of the strangest results of the pandemic, is the meteoric rise of the social media platform, TikTok. As millions of people were quarantined at home they began downloading TikTok in droves just to see what it was all about. In February, the app had 113 million downloads alone. According to TechCrunch, by March, when quarantine was in full-swing in most states, TikTok had been downloaded 315 million times. And much to the chagrin of many in Gen Z, the app was attracting many Millennials, Gen Xrs and even Baby Boomers.

What is it?

So, what does TikTok do? It’s a video sharing app. Users can create and upload 15-60 second videos to the platform. Many users perform dances to popular songs, lip sync to those same songs, or perform comedy sketches. The algorithm analyzes what users like and share and based on that, will serve up similar content. Since the pandemic, content has changed to include more educational content, political content, and DIY videos. In fact, you can find pretty much anything on TikTok, which is part of the appeal to users and serves as an opportunity for marketers.

Marketing with TikTok

How can you market on TikTok? Advertisers can create ads that show up on the welcome screen, and many large brands have taken advantage of this space. Brands from Guess to Taco Bell and Apple have purchased space on the welcome screen. These are big brands with large budgets to spend.

However, other brands including the Washington Post, have used TikTok accounts to promote their businesses organically. For example, the Washington Post has created a TikTok account and it’s impressive. The newspaper posts everything from skits about the news, to behind the scenes journalism, and many “trend” videos that incorporate the latest viral trends into Washington Post content. Their content has earned them 649,000 followers and 25.8 million likes. A print newspaper that relevant in a space like TikTok, is a marketing win.

Brands can also connect with influencers to promote their products. Influencers on TikTok have up to 61 million followers, like influencer and former LSU student Addison Rae Easterling. According to Forbes, this has earned Easterling the title of the top TikToker, and her following online has led to brand deals with American Eagle, Reebok, Fashion Nova and other brands. She is now a full-time creator and influencer and earns over $5 million dollars a year. Influencers are growing on TikTok and partnering with the right one can lead to billions in sales.

Does it Have a Future?

But what about TikTok’s future? Over the past several months, the Trump administration has threatened to ban the app in the U.S. leading many users and creators to be concerned for its future.

The administration cited national security risks for the proposed ban. They maintained that as a Chinese-based company, the app supplied too much data information on Americans to a foreign government. The government maintained that if TikTok wanted to do business in the U.S. they needed to be owned by a U.S. company.

Microsoft was poised to purchase TikTok, but that deal fell through and it looked like the ban was going to happen in September. However, Oracle and Walmart stepped in and a deal was brokered for them to purchase a minority stake in TikTok, and move American data to the Oracle cloud, with more protections for American data. The ban was off.

Considering TikTok?

As marketers, the team at Baseline is always looking for the newest platforms and trends for our clients. While TikTok may not be the right advertising platform for every business, it does provide unique opportunities for brands to market themselves. Interested in learning more about TikTok or other marketing opportunities? Contact us!

Reviews: The Backbone of a Trusted Business

By Blog

When trying something new, do you research the business ahead of time? Whether you’re on the hunt for a new hairdresser, vet clinic, or doctor’s office, it’s beneficial to read reviews first, and then make an informed decision.

Testimonials can make—or break—a company’s credibility, trustworthiness, and authority. The power of a customer testimonial cannot be underestimated. When a potential customer reads an honest and unbiased review of your product, service, or business, it can influence them to choose you over your competitors.

Testimonials can generate new customers and lead to higher conversion rates. Think about the influence Amazon reviews can have on a potential buyer. As a customer, you may opt to purchase from a seller with raving 5-star reviews as opposed to selecting the default ‘Amazon’s Choice.’

Tips to Get the Most Out of Reviews

Baseline Creative has some ideas to help you leverage testimonials from your customers.

  1. Ask for reviews! Most people won’t provide a review (unless it’s a negative experience) unless they are asked. There are a number of strategies that can be used to get the reviews you need.
  2. When a customer posts about their positive experience with your business on their social media account, share it on your brand’s social media pages! Not only is this a great opportunity to toot your horn, but it allows for more visibility and exposure of your brand. Word-of-mouth marketing and customer testimonials are like referrals. All around, it’s a win-win!
  3. Learn from the good, bad, and the ugly. Negative reviews can be seen as learning opportunities. Figure out what you can do to improve the customer experience, ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction.
  4. Use these reviews for to fuel a blog post, case study, or a customer success story on your website. Social media and blog posts help with your website’s visibility and Search Engine Optimization, ultimately helping customers find your brand.

Baseline Can Help

Soliciting and managing customer reviews can be time consuming. If you’re in need of someone to help manage this process and implement strategy to leverage your online reviews, Baseline Creative can help! Contact us to learn how we can help your business succeed!

Digital Marketing Case Study: WellSpring School of Allied Health

By Blog

Being on your social media a-game requires involvement from A to Z. For instance, this includes campaigns, content creation, monitoring, reporting metrics, analytics, and more. Whether your business identifies as big or small, there are many moving pieces that come together to form a successful digital marketing plan and presence.

WellSpring School of Allied Health – A Case Study

WellSpring School of Allied Health reached out to Baseline Creative in 2018 for help with social media management. WellSpring is a health and wellness-centered educational institution with locations in Kansas City, Lawrence, Springfield, and Wichita. With a variety of wellness programs and opportunities in four locations, WellSpring wanted to grow their brand specifically in Wichita.

Baseline Creative helped WellSpring’s Wichita campus establish, maintain, and grow their online presence through various digital marketing strategies. Most importantly, our team helped generate leads for enrollments in WellSpring’s massage therapy program in Wichita. In just the first few weeks of working with Baseline, WellSpring’s leads doubled for less money than they had previously been spending.

After a few months, Baseline was hired to work on social media for all four campuses. Overall, the goal was to develop a consistent brand voice and be cohesive across all campus locations and social media platforms.

Consistency, quality content, and customer service, are key to Baseline’s partnership with WellSpring and all our clients.

Why Baseline Creative?

There are many benefits of hiring an agency to manage your brand’s social media, especially if your team lacks the capacity to handle any or all digital marketing needs.

As digital marketing strategists, they bring fresh ideas to the table and think outside of the box, specific to your industry and goals.

In addition, Baseline has access to a variety of tools to help manage social media, maximize reach and conversions, and improve overall brand awareness.

Are you in a funk with your digital marketing efforts, social media presence, or brand identity? Baseline Creative can help! We offer a variety of full-service marketing packages, tailored to your needs. Drop us a line to get started on your next project.

Google Privacy Changes

Navigating New Privacy Protections

By Blog

Privacy protections and protecting consumer data is an increasing concern for tech companies such as Google. According to the search engine giant, searched for “online privacy” has increased by more than 50 percent each year. Google, like Facebook, has come under increased scrutiny for ad targeting and the use of cookies which track where consumers have been on the web. As a result, Google is planning a major shift in how they protect and track data.

Why this Google Ad?

Recently Google updated it’s “Why this Ad” feature as part of its privacy protections and transparency policies. When a user clicks on the downward arrow next to the ad that displays after a search, Google lists the reasons the ad was served to that consumer. For example, if you search for “sneakers” you might see an ad for Adidas. If you click the arrow it will tell you the reason you are seeing the Adidas ad is because of the search term you used. Google is taking this transparency a step further by adding in an “About the Advertiser,” which will give consumers the ability to see who is placing the ads.

Phasing Out Third-Party Cookies

For marketers, one of the most interesting elements of Google’s new privacy solutions is the phasing out support for third-party cookies. Cookies are important in digital marketing because they track where a consumer has been on the internet including which websites they’ve visited, and information provided to those websites including their name.

Sometimes, however, cookies can be accessed from third-parties which are different than the original websites a consumer has browsed. In these cases, ads for similar products or services may be served up to the consumer despite them never having visited that particular website. Google is concerned with third-party cookies because the consumer hasn’t specifically granted permission to track their information with the third-party.

First-party cookies are different in that the consumer can allow or not allow them when they are on a website. In this case, the consumer is in control of their privacy and their data and that is what is important to Google.

What Does this Mean for Marketers and Businesses?

As with any change, marketers have to look for new opportunities to connect with their audiences. Google is encouraging businesses and marketers to take a couple of different approaches to learning the same kinds of data about their customers that cookies provide.

First, Google is encouraging companies to use first-party cookies and their Google Tag Manager product offers measurement across all Google platforms including Ads and Analytics. Utilizing a customer relationship management (CRM) program is also helpful for tracking data on your customers with their permission.

Second, marketers are encouraged to deepen their relationships with consumers through opt-in tactics such as creating accounts or loyalty programs, or providing a convenience or special offer in exchange for contact information.

Finally, Google recommends working with partners who also prioritize privacy. When you are working with vendors who can track information, it’s important to make sure they value privacy and take steps to limit liability. For instance, California’s newly enacted California Privacy Rights Act has penalties for businesses who aren’t compliant with data protection. In addition, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe also has strict policies about data collection and protection. It’s important that whoever you partner with for marketing, is familiar with these laws and has a plan in place to protect your business from liability.

Where Do I Start?

Navigating the privacy protections and digital marketing landscape can be daunting but Baseline Creative can help! Our digital marketing team can help your business become compliant with current regulations and help manage your digital advertising needs. Contact us to talk more about how we can help.

Content Creation with social media reaction icons

Creating Content in the Time of Covid-19

By Blog

Covid-19 has changed the world, including content creation and the marketing industry. How we market, where we market and the kinds of messages we create have had to evolve since the onset of the global pandemic.

As countries went into lockdown, media consumption increased worldwide by 44% according to an article by Search Engine Watch. Content creation started to change and brands struggled at the time because regular marketing messages were either no longer relevant or were tone-deaf. Community-focused content helped brands thank their customers and their employees. It also provided an opportunity for them to show compassion and empathy for all those affected by Covid-19.

Educational content has grown as well. As people used their quarantine time to learn new things content that provided lessons, or how-to, or even promoted formal curriculums became, and remain popular.

Content with Positive Messaging vs Covid-19

Uplifting and entertaining content increased as well. An article in states that TikTok became the most downloaded app in the world as over 315 million people downloaded it in the first quarter of 2020. If you aren’t familiar with TikTok, the content ranges from trendy dances and comedy sketches, to DIY videos and even educational videos. TikTok creators have a maximum of 60 seconds for each video and some creators have millions of followers.

This past week, Pinterest released insights about key search trends on their platform. The results included a focus on wellness, positivity and even starting a new business. From February to May, searches around mental health wellness increased 44%, gratitude increased 60% and positivity grew by 44%. Other search terms that saw an increase included stress relief activities, home exercise routines, starting a new business, and bucket lists. These shifts in searches show the kinds of content that social media users are eager to access to escape the current landscape and look toward a brighter future. 

According to Neilsen, from March 2019 to March 2020, the number of people who accessed information on their mobile devices increased 215% in the United States alone. As part of this growth, there was a tremendous upswing in e-commerce, which isn’t surprising given the number of brick-and-mortar stores that closed due to the virus. Additionally, as customers yearn for the tangible experience of going into a store to shop, more Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology is being used to entice customers online.

Don’t Forget About Imagery During Covid

Visually, content is changing as some advertisements switch up imagery to include people in masks, and social distancing. As we consider content and messaging during the pandemic, and perhaps into the future, the imagery we associate with our content has to be intentional. Handshakes, close group photos, and other kinds of images previously used in stock photos are being replaced with images that reflect the “new normal”. Even previously used phrases like “hand-in-hand” may need to be revised in your marketing content so as not to raise eyebrows.

As Covid continues to change marketing, Baseline Creative will continue to create content strategies that work, while being responsible and respectful of the state of the world. If you need assistance with your social media content creation, contact us—we’d love to help.

Google Analytics illustration

Google Analytics—An Oldie But a Goodie

By Blog

Utilizing Google Analytics might seem like a no-brainer, but it can be overlooked if you aren’t intentional about reviewing it regularly. While it is standard practice to install Analytics on websites, not every business continues to check in with the wealth of information the free Google tool provides. Why is Google Analytics important, and why is it a good tool? We’re glad you asked!

Why is Google Analytics Important?

In short, the answer is metrics! Once installed on your website Analytics analyzes all kinds of information from who visits your website to how long they stay on each page. All of these web metrics are important because they should help drive the strategy for your marketing. Everything from search engine ads and social media marketing can be measured in addition to data that can shape User-Experience and User Interface (UX/UI) on the website itself. Knowledge is power and the right knowledge can be used to help your business grow.

Why is Google Analytics a Good Tool?

First, GA is a free tool. It doesn’t cost a business anything to set up GA on their websites and yet the information it provides is invaluable. Second, since it is built by the world’s largest, and arguably most important search engine, you are getting keen insight into what actually works on your website. These are the factors that Google considers when ranking your site and you’re hearing from the horse’s mouth how well the site is performing.

Finally, the kinds of metrics that are measured in Analytics include your website’s top pages, as well as the keywords and search phrases that people are using to find your website. You can also see how long people stay on your pages and where those users are located. The amount of data that you have access to is vast.

An Investment in Time

Even though it’s a free tool, Google Analytics is an investment in time. It takes time to learn the platform—how it works, where you can find the data you need, etc. Then, it takes time to review the metrics themselves and make comparisons to measure performance. Some business owners have the time to invest in this, and some don’t.

For those who don’t, Baseline Creative is happy to help. We work with clients on monthly SEO, Google Ads, and social media marketing and utilize Analytics to help us develop and tweak strategies for those clients. These strategies help us provide guidance for businesses to better reach their target audiences—and ultimately, grow and thrive.

If you’re interested in SEO, social media, or other digital marketing, contact us! We would love to talk to you to see your needs and help you understand how Analytics can best work for your business.

website maintenance screen on a wordpress site

Website Maintenance—Why is it important?

By Blog

Website maintenance is important! You can’t just build a website and then forget about it. Well, you can, but you’ll regret it. Websites are a major investment for most companies and as such, they should be properly maintained. What does this maintenance look like?

Security Updates and Version Updates

One important aspect of maintenance includes updates for the various plugins, and versions of themes, and content management systems used to build your website. If these plugins aren’t updated they can stop working properly—which affects the functionality of your site.

As your website evolves, there may be plugins you no longer utilize on your site. In those cases, those plugins should be deactivated to ensure they aren’t creating a security risk. Hackers have been known to access websites through deactivated plugins. Removing unused plugins helps decrease that risk.

The developers who build plugins and content management systems (for example, WordPress) are constantly updating their products. Sometimes this is to debug an issue that has arisen, and sometimes it is to increase the functionality of the plugin. Either way, keeping your plugins and CMS versions updated ensure that your website is always performing in the way it is intended.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In addition to updates for plugins, search engine optimization (SEO) updates are important. A beautifully built website might as well not exist if it can’t be seen by search engines.

Search engines look for up-to-date and relevant content when they crawl websites for the answer to a search inquiry. Your website should have updated SEO to give search engines new information to crawl and present to a user. Search engines also update their algorithms regularly to ensure they are capturing the latest information.

In addition, keywords and metadata can change for your business and should be updated as needed as well to stay relevant for your target audience. SEO is constantly evolving and should be a major part of your ongoing marketing efforts.

Need some help with web maintenance? Baseline offers monthly maintenance and SEO packages for nearly every budget. Contact us to get your site up to date or get more information.