Sara Burton, Women’s Illini Soccer Team, and Kara Demirjian Huss embrace Women’s Empowerment and inspire young athletes.
In the fast-paced world of digital advertising, guaranteeing your advertisements effectively reach their desired audience is crucial for success. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for businesses to wonder why their ads aren’t showing up as expected, especially when they proactively seek them out. Today we’re going to discuss various factors that influence ad delivery such as targeted tools, demographics, geographic targeting, and the importance of diverse targeting strategies.
In multicultural markets where diverse demographics coexist, it’s essential for advertisers to employ targeted strategies that resonate with different segments of the population. By understanding the cultural nuances, preferences, and interests of various demographic groups, advertisers can tailor their messaging and visuals to effectively engage with each segment. So, what tools can one use to reach their audiences? Let’s have a look:
SEO, or search engine optimization, focuses on optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results, making your brand highly visible to any searcher. SEO is an ongoing process as search engine algorithms evolve, user behavior changes, and competition increases. By implementing effective SEO practices, businesses can enhance their online visibility, attract targeted organic traffic, and improve their overall digital presence.
Paid search ads, on the other hand, operate on a competitive bidding process where advertisers vie for visibility by bidding on relevant keywords. It’s essential to keep in mind that you are competing against other advertisers targeting the same or similar keywords, so your bid amount and ad quality are factors that determine the ad’s placement and frequency of display. SMO, or social media optimization, leverages social media platforms to engage with users and drive traffic to your website. While SEO primarily focuses on optimizing websites for search engines, SMO complements SEO efforts by utilizing social media platforms to amplify the reach and visibility of the website’s content.
Similar to paid search advertisements, paid social media advertisements have the ability to target a particular subset of the audience by focusing on demographics, interests, job titles, employers, and more. SMO is important in that it enhances a brand’s presence and engagement on social media platforms, but paid social ads truly hone in on your sub-audience.
Display ads are graphic or multimedia ads that appear on websites or apps. These digital ad tactics can target viewers based on various factors, including demographics, interests, and browsing behavior, enabling precise delivery to specific user populations.
Understanding the intricacies of digital advertising platforms is crucial for optimizing campaigns and achieving desired results. One common reason why someone may not see an ad is if they simply don’t fall within the targeted demographic characteristics. Advertisers define their target audience based on specific criteria such as age, gender, income, interests, or even language, so if an individual doesn’t fit within the defined target audience, they are less likely to encounter the ad during their online activities. Social media platforms use algorithms to determine who sees specific ads based on the various factors listed above, so it’s possible that your ads are not targeted to your own profile or the specific criteria under which you fall.
Geographic targeting is equally important. Businesses often want to focus their advertising efforts on specific regions or cities to maximize the impact of their campaigns. By using geo-fencing or location-based targeting, advertisers can ensure that their ads are displayed to users within a specific geographic area. This approach helps minimize ad spend wastage and ensures that resources are allocated efficiently.
With its precise targeting capabilities, measurable results, and cost-efficiency, digital advertising has revolutionized the way companies promote their products and services in today’s digital landscape, but it’s still important to understand that ad delivery can vary based on demographics and geographic locations. By optimizing your campaigns for specific demographics and using targeted tools like geo-fencing, search engine optimization, and social media optimization, you can increase the visibility of your ads to the right audience, ensuring better campaign performance and return on your investment.
So where are your ads? Well, if you’re using the right tools and strategies, they’re right where you want them to be.
So we’ve established that Instagram has cool cat filters, right? But do you know what’s even better than whiskers on a selfie? Cat videos, of course! And YouTube has millions…litter-ally.
As of 2023, the social media giant and biggest online video platform worldwide has more than 2.6 billion monthly active users and is the number one channel across 18–42-year-olds—this means a plethora of potential customers and clients right within your digital reach. And although we also encourage advertising on the other platforms we’ve discussed in previous blogs, viewers are four times more likely to use YouTube versus other platforms to find information about a brand, product, or service.1
YouTube boasts a massive audience, and their reach of 18- to 49-year-old audiences was 36% higher on average than that of TV.2 If your target audience is within this age range, you should absolutely have a presence on YouTube. This especially applies to verticals where YouTube is highly used, such as engineering, gaming, personal care, sports or education.
If you’re familiar with YouTube, then you’ve more than likely seen the skippable ads that play before the dancing cats you’re watching at 2 a.m. This form of advertising, known as skippable in-stream ads, are advertisements that can last up to one minute and play before, during, or after your YouTube video. The viewer has an option to “skip” the ad after five seconds of play, so it’s crucial for advertisers to get their point across in a timely manner. You want to hook the viewer immediately and give them a reason to watch your entire advertisement before Mr. Meowsic plays the harp. Remember that these advertisements are unsolicited, so you’ll need to capture the attention of your audience in order for conversion.
Example of a skippable in-stream ad:
Non-skippable in-stream ads work in a similar way but are much shorter and users are unable to skip ads in order to get to their video. These include up to 15 seconds of uninterrupted time to convey a brand message, promote a product or event, or boost brand awareness. As a sort of subset to non-skippable ads, YouTube also offers bumper ads which run for only six seconds. These ads drive high impressions and view rates and are perfect for brand exposure. Research shows the effectiveness of bumper ads—across 489 bumper campaigns analyzed globally, 61% drove a significant lift in brand awareness.5
Example of a non-skippable in-stream ad:
In-feed video ads, also known as discover ads, are a great way to connect to an audience actively seeking relevant content—they appear alongside related videos or when users organically search for content. These ads include an image thumbnail, a headline, and two lines of text. When the thumbnail is clicked, the viewer is taken to the watch page for that ad.
Example of an in-feed ad:
If your company doesn’t have video capability or is on a tighter budget, YouTube also offers non-video ads in the form of display ads and in-video overlay ads. These can appear with image, text, and a call to action and look similar to the ads you frequently see on Google. Google’s ownership of YouTube means you can set up your campaign, control your costs, target your audience, and measure your success all through the same Google Ads Platform.
Example of a display ads:
Advertising in the age of social media means reaching far and wide for new audiences, and YouTube’s popularity makes it a must-have for almost any marketing strategy. Video, one of the most compelling forms of media available, can captivate an audience, tell a story, and most importantly, drive sales. Now we think that’s the cat’s meow.
1 Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2000 A18-64 Genpop video users, Feb 2020
2 Google Hardware/Nielsen TRR Study, Oct. 29–Nov. 11, 2018.
3 Collage Group
5 Think With Google, YouTube Bumper ads Brand Lift Meta Analysis, 2017
At DCC Marketing, we aren’t afraid to tell the stories that truly matter. That’s where our passion lies—with messaging that changes behavior, raises awareness, and inspires people to take action. Our belief is that while marketing raises brand awareness and encompasses the promotion of a program, product, or service, it also involves consumer education and an innovative approach to creating campaigns that truly resonate.
The EAT.SAVE.MOVE. campaign is a multi-year initiative aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle choices and reducing chronic disease by encouraging behavioral changes, improving diet quality, and increasing physical activity among SNAP-eligible families. DCC Marketing worked with the University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed to develop messaging, outreach, and promotion for those receiving SNAP benefits throughout Illinois. In addition to promoting a healthy body weight and overall well-being, we seek to boost engagement and awareness of the SNAP-Ed programming by expanding the audience and participant database through social media, APP users, a texting club, newsletter, and loyalty/rewards program. Materials for the campaign are offered in culturally accessible languages including English and Spanish.
One year after the campaign launch, a baseline study revealed that 66% of low-income Illinois residents who were exposed to the EAT.MOVE.SAVE. messaging took steps towards healthier habits, such as increasing their fruit and vegetable intake, meal planning, and accessing the EAT.MOVE.SAVE. website. The result of the finding proved our diverse marketing strategy featuring a targeted multicultural and multilingual approach resonated with the targeted audience.
Through our work with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Office of Firearm Violence Prevention, we developed a multi-media strategy to raise awareness about the state’s comprehensive approach to reducing firearm violence through targeted community investments. We created messaging surrounding youth intervention, violence interruption, and trauma services, and we currently use this messaging to target organizations who are eligible to receive grant funding through the Reimagine Public Safety Act. By identifying areas and communities with concentrated firearm violence, we are able to successfully notify non-profit organizations of available opportunities and resources. Already, The Office of Firearm Violence Prevention has made 184 grants with an average of $300,000 per grant through 19 Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) with the aim to expand to 200+ grantees by July 1, 2023.
In addition to the Reimagine Public Safety Illinois campaign, DCC partnered with IDHS for the Safe Sleep campaign, an initiative focused on infant mortality rates and safe sleep practices. According to the CDC, Illinois was ranked 28th in infant mortality in 2020. Although the standard of healthcare has progressed in Illinois, racial inequities in infant mortality persist.
After identifying risk factors and markers such as maternal age, prenatal care, race/ethnicity, and geographic locations, we were able to serve targeted messaging to bring awareness to subjects such as best safe sleep practices and habits. Our digital analytics showed that Google search impressions increased nearly 50% through our campaign, showing optimizations ensured the ads successfully reached people searching for safe sleep practices and ways to get their infant to sleep.
According to the CDC, there were nearly 48,000 suicides and 1.7 million suicide attempts in 2021 alone.
Mental health crisis support systems are lifesaving resources, but their usefulness relies on people being aware of their existence in order to access them. In conjunction with the Illinois Department of Human Services, DCC Marketing developed messaging, a multimedia strategy for both the 988 Crisis and Suicide Line and the Governor’s Challenge 988 +1 Veterans Crisis Line, an initiative established to prevent suicide among Service Members, Veterans, and their Families.
Our goal with this campaign is to bring awareness to these numbers and reach individuals who are potentially suffering from a mental health crisis, substance abuse crisis, emotional crisis, or concerned family, friends, and caregivers seeking information or support. Part of our Governor’s Challenge Messaging is also targeted to community members interested in free training courses on military culture awareness and mental health.
ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI. It is a variant of the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) model, which was trained on a massive dataset of internet text to generate human-like text.
ChatGPT is specifically designed for conversational AI applications, such as chatbots and virtual assistants. They demonstrate the capability of AI to understand and generate human language in a way that is increasingly indistinguishable from that of a real person. It is able to generate coherent and contextually appropriate responses to a wide range of prompts, making it an effective tool for natural language processing tasks.
In the field of marketing and advertising, ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers. With the ability to understand and respond to natural language prompts, chatbots powered by ChatGPT can provide personalized and efficient customer service, quickly answering common questions and concerns.
Another significant implication of ChatGPT for marketing and advertising is the ability to generate high-quality, engaging content quickly and efficiently. The model can be fine-tuned to understand the tone and style of a specific brand, and then used to generate product descriptions, social media posts, and other marketing materials. This can save businesses a significant amount of time and resources, allowing them to focus on other important aspects of their operations.
In addition, ChatGPT can also be used for A/B testing and data analysis. By generating multiple versions of ad copies, headlines and product descriptions, businesses can get a better understanding of what resonates with their target audience and optimize their campaigns accordingly.
Language models like ChatGPT can also be used for other NLP tasks such as language translation, summarization, question answering, and text-to-speech synthesis.
However, it’s important to note that these models are still in the early stages of development, and there are still many challenges to be addressed, including bias, privacy and ethical issues. As the technology continues to evolve, it will be important to address these concerns to ensure that the benefits of AI are realized while minimizing potential negative impacts.
In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that has the potential to revolutionize natural language processing and conversational AI. It can revolutionize the way businesses interact with their customers and create high-quality, engaging content. With its ability to understand and respond to natural language, it can help businesses improve their customer service, generate efficient and personalized content, and optimize their marketing campaigns. Its implications for artificial intelligence technology are significant, and it will be interesting to see how it develops and is applied in the future.
This is now a real human typing, in case you couldn’t tell the difference. We have to say we were impressed with ChatGPT’s blog-writing skills and even learned a few application tips we’re excited to implement.
Overall, we see ChatGPT being extremely beneficial in a few areas of marketing:
We can’t wait to start testing how ChatGPT can improve our copywriting efficiency and messaging testing!
Like the proverbial tree in the forest, if someone posts on social media and no one is around to like/share/retweet it, does it even make a sound?
DCC is here to make sure your business has an audible voice in the era of social media, and as a marketing agency, we know the importance of evolving with the times. Social media is here to stay, and that means targeted digital campaigns with measurable goals and tangible results.
So, what platform should you use? Some of them? All of them? The ones with the coolest cat filters? With over 2.89 million monthly active users (source), Facebook is undoubtedly the largest tree in our digital forest, but we must ask ourselves if it caters to our client’s target audience since social media preferences vary by age, race, ethnicity, and location. Marketing on any social media platform must be strategic and deliberate.
Let’s start with the most obvious marketing tactic on Facebook: posts. Why? Because they’re free. Posts are an easy and cost-effective way to advertise and update your audience on services, announcements, holiday hours, industry news, etc., but they aren’t necessarily a great way to reach a target audience. You don’t simply send a post into the Metaverse and BOOM, your intended audience is there. There’s a more effective way to advertise, but of course, it will cost you. After all, is anything really free?
Paid advertising on Facebook offers different bidding models based on your campaign goals. Essentially, you decide the key characteristics of your target audience to narrow in on and the advertisements stay within those parameters. Not only is it a highly targeted form of advertising, but it provides beneficial analytics to help the client understand how people are engaging with their posts.
If Facebook is the Sequoia, then Instagram is a Redwood, with slightly less reach but still very powerful (and with cool cat filters). Not all content on Facebook translates well on Instagram, although both share the same ad platform which presents many cross-promotional opportunities for brands. As the second most-accessed social media platform behind Facebook, the ‘Gram succeeds with its visual appeal.
When choosing an advertising platform, demographics are key to building your brand’s strategy. Although Facebook succeeds in its sheer number of users, Instagram is home to a more-engaged, younger demographic. In September 2022, 27.5 percent of Instagram users in the United States were between ages 25 and 34 years, and 25.5 percent of users were aged 18 to 24 years (source).
Thanks to its youthful following, Instagram is also home to the “influencer” trend, and according to a Statista 2021 survey, 93 percent of responding marketers and agencies from the US stated that they planned to use Instagram for influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is a collaboration of product placement or messaging with people or organizations of wide social influence. Simply put, more followers=more visibility. Influencer audiences are some of the most engaged, and an endorsement or product placement from an influencer can truly affect buying behavior.
Instagram stories and Instagram reels are another great way for advertisers to connect with audiences. In the same way that pay-per-click advertisements target users, stories and reels can make “impressions” by simply being seen. Also, clickable hashtags are a great way to build a community around your brand, and with community comes engagement. The aesthetics of Instagram make it a great advertising platform, and whereas Facebook is a great place for information, Instagram may be the preferred way to build your brand.
What’s a digital forest without a little blue bird? Twitter is the last of the “big three” social media platforms we will be discussing today—we covered TikTok and Snapchat in a previous DCC Blog, and we’ll talk YouTube in a future post.
With more than 330 monthly active users (source), Twitter is a platform with Elon-gated reach (see what we did right there?) Its user base is very similar to that of Instagram, although Twitter’s is slightly male dominant. The original “home of the hashtag” could be a crucial part of your marketing strategy, and here’s why: it’s the fastest way to get your message across. With a 280-character limit, Twitter posts are concise and to the point, often linking to industry news or websites. Branded hashtags, poll/questions, and retweets are another easy, organic way to create user engagement. Twitter uses its own algorithm for engagement and click-through rates, and by purchasing promoted accounts and promoted tweets, your message can reach its targeted audience much in the same way Meta advertising works.
Twitter is a real-time, fast moving content distributor, and with the right approach, it can be instrumental in your marketing campaign. With its recent change of ownership, however, some advertisers are pausing or proceeding with caution until the platform reaches a more stable state. We’ll save all of that information for another rainy, musky day.
With so many platforms from which to choose, always ask yourself these questions and then decide accordingly. What is your message? Who is your target audience? What are you wanting to achieve? Hopefully by now you have a bit better understanding of how social media advertising works, so that the next time your Instagram reel is posted or your Facebook advertisement is clicked, you can rest assured it’s most definitely making a sound.
Managing a global manufacturing company requires an experienced team and a keen focus on understanding the global landscape and technology infrastructure.
The manufacturing industry is a key focus of ours here at DCC & it is far from an easy one. This industry is a fast-paced environment with several moving parts (literally and figuratively). Thus, having a strong account management team that becomes an extension to the client’s team is imperative. Connectivity and communication across departments including sales, engineering, finance, environmental, safety, and HR are critical touchpoints in developing a comprehensive, data-driven results-based marketing strategy.
Here are just a few keys to success for managing a global manufacturing client:
If we take for example our clients in the automotive and commercial vehicle market, we know the transportation eco-system is changing rapidly with a focus on electrification and sustainability and they are navigating today’s challenges with workforce recruitment, retention, logistics and supply chain barriers, and public policy laws. Keeping up with these industry trends is extremely important to ensure we are leveraging their opportunities as thought leaders in the industry & ensuring they are viewed as relevant to customers. As we develop comprehensive marketing and communications strategies, these insights can drive our decisions on voice, content, and channel approach. Building brands and delivering content that is targeted, relevant, and results-driven in a B2B global environment can take on a complex, layered approach. Being in-tune with global restrictions in media delivery, cultural adaptation, and communication preferences can be a challenging particularly because customers and conditions differ across countries. As much as we want to be centralized we have to integrate a localized marketing, communication and engagement plan into our global marketing strategy. What does that mean? It means working with our clients to develop and streamline a planning matrix where we evaluate across department, product segmentation, geographic segmentation, and marketing mix. We ensure we have champions at each location that can help us execute on global goal. This will help ensure brand cohesiveness with a results-driven strategy. It requires a dedicated and experienced team to work as an extension to the company—it’s a partnership that we value and an industry we are passionate about!
We hope this provides key insights into the marketing in manufacturing. Give it a go! And, let us know your thoughts, we are always here if you need help or have questions!
It seems more and more people are searching for that work life balance. What does that really mean? Is there even such a thing? Are the pressures in life so strong that it becomes virtually impossible to gain? Does the pervasiveness of social media impact how we see ourselves?
Are we afraid to ask others for help and put undue pressure on ourselves to “do it all?” These questions have been on my mind for some time and I am frequently asked how I achieve work life balance. For me, about five years ago I really sat down with myself and thought about all this. What I kept going back to is that work-life-balance is a personal endeavor and that I needed to find my own inner peace. I believe balance is different for everyone—I believe that we each hold our answer to this question, but what is most important is that we find happiness and acceptance within ourselves.
I thought I would share a few things that helped me personally achieve this internal state. For starters—I quit comparing myself to others. This was key. I cannot stress enough. To people who ask me I always say, “who you are and what you do is unique to you.” Get comfortable with that! Balance is a state of mind—and remember, don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress. Learn to set parameters and schedules. Communicating early and often with those around me is a must. My family has a group text and I am not sure what I did without it.
Creating a positive internal state started from within. The very first “think” I did was set time in my schedule for myself and my health and I made it a priority. It wasn’t easy, but boy was it the key. I focused on making sure my personal health was in order because I realized a few years ago that my health was getting out of control and it was impacting my mood, my confidence, and my productivity. I needed to make my own self-care a priority. Think of it kind of like being on an airplane when they say, “put your mask on first and then your child.” In fact, I was overwhelmed with happiness when I started taking 30 minutes for myself in the morning to work out. It was amazing how it bred independence in my kids. They saw how important that was to me and how much it positively impacted everyone around me that they started taking accountability for their tasks in the morning to get out the door on time. In fact, today they even take on some additional tasks for me when they notice I am running late—without even being asked they start helping get my lunch and coffee ready. They do their own laundry, they keep their rooms in order, they do their dishes, they help with dinner. They are an important part of the team and I appreciate them every step of the way.
Oh, and by the way, this didn’t happen overnight. It took consistency, communication and effort. It was six straight months of focused attention on myself before it became a habit and it has had a dramatic impact on my perspective on life. It’s more than a lifestyle change—it’s a mindset change. Once I got that figured out, I set out to other parts of my life. First off, schedule, schedule, schedule. Think ahead, plan ahead and work ahead. Prioritize and don’t be afraid to use your resources, ask for help and coordinate with others. Surround yourself with good people, who truly care because toxic relationships can derail your happiness. Communicate early and often. I think I have said that more than once here so hopefully you are picking up on that J! I am very open with my family and my staff. My personal and professional commitments are all wide open on my calendar. If I cannot be at something or get to something I make sure I communicate. And if I miss something, which happens (a lot) I acknowledge that and make sure others know I welcome and appreciate the reminder. There are plenty of events I cannot make and plenty that I can make—to me that is just life not balance. I also think it is important to cheer on others, be supportive, and make a point to ask others if they need help.
I think seeing life from multiple perspectives and other vantage points helps you live your own life better. That has really been important to me, especially as I have grown older. Listening, not judging, and truly caring about other people’s views is so important. And honestly, it just makes you a kind and thoughtful person. We need more of that! Like everyone, there are days that do not go as planned or there are major bumps in the road. I stop and take 10 minutes, a few deep breaths, smile, think about the bigger picture and look for something positive from another viewpoint. Not everything always gets done, but if you surround yourself with good people and you focus on doing things for the right reason, you will find that inner peace and your own personal balance. Most importantly, I don’t let others influence my balance—I took the time to find my inner peace in life, love myself and I am incredibly grateful for the support from those around me!
In 1996, Bill Gates published an essay titled, “Content is King” to the Microsoft website. In it, Gates states, “Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on theInternet.” He was right. And he is right, because over two decades later, content is still the key to the consumer. Content marketing lays the foundation for every other online strategy. Here’s how:
+Content helps build SEO by providing more keywords that are used in search.
+Content attracts new traffic. SEO and interlinking strategies bring in new visitors.
+Content enhances the value and credibility of your landing page, increasing your search ranks.
+Credibility isn’t just for search engines. The more users that see your content, the more brand equity you will earn.
+Content allows you to build relationships with other brands and industries and creates earned links.
+Content provides valuable material for digital and social media marketing.
+Content establishes your website as a source for information consumers need. Consumers will be more likely to return to your website, sign up for newsletters or share with their network.
+Content encourages conversions. Well written, relative content with a well-placed call-to-action will result in conversions.
+Last but not least, content sticks. Unlike a paid digital ad or social post with a short lifespan, you will continue to reap benefits from quality content for the life of the post.
Kara Demirjian-Huss loves family time, Peloton, espresso and ILLINI!
Lacey loves her dog, Fig.
Evelyn loves her cat, Ember, and ordering in dinner and watching a movie. AJ loves cats too!
Jennifer loves being able to read a book uninterrupted.
Brandy loves thrifting.
Pam loves a good nap.
Erasmo loves listening to and playing music.