Ideas & Insight

Our Top 5 Ways to Build an Effective Content Marketing Strategy That Gets Attention

March 19 2019 // Education Our Top 5 Ways to Build an Effective Content Marketing Strategy That Gets Attention

    Content marketing is a great way for businesses to connect with potential customers earlier in the customer journey. But simply throwing blog posts or video online won’t get your content in front of the eyes that need to see it. That’s where developing a content marketing strategy comes in.   At the most basic level, your content strategy answers these questions: - Who am I trying to reach? - What type of content do they need? - How will I get my content to them? - What outcomes do I...

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Vimeo or YouTube...what’s the best video platform for your business?

March 18 2019 // Education Vimeo or YouTube...what’s the best video platform for your business?

YouTube or Vimeo? Which platform should your business use to share videos? The simple answer? Both.  Let’s look at the pros and cons of each so you can choose the best platform for your marketing efforts.   First, Vimeo. Why Use It? Vimeo is the preferred professional portfolio site for thousands of businesses. The profile layout is pleasing to the eye with the focus exclusively on the video portfolio. There are no ads, pop-ups or other videos competing with your company’s content....

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Build Your Business Site With Must-Click Web Copy

October 23 2018 // Education Build Your Business Site With Must-Click Web Copy

As a marketer or business owner, you already know how important it is to have the right messaging for your customers. However, that messaging becomes doubly crucial online, where you are at the mercy of your readers’ split-second browsing impulses.   That’s why it is essential that your business website features copy that directly appeals to your audience.   But let’s face it: writing for the web — and business websites, in particular — is hard.   It’s hard because your audience…they…hmm. How do I put this delicately?   THEY...

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Central Iowa Studio Continues to Evolve as it Celebrates 25 Years in Business

September 12 2018 // Company Central Iowa Studio Continues to Evolve as it Celebrates 25 Years in Business

From the Apple Newton in 1993 to 360-degree cameras today, Applied Art & Technology in Urbandale has seen it, and used it, all to create imaginative video stories for customers across almost every industry. And we're celebrating our 25th anniversary this month! It all started in 1993, just a few months after the Internet was born. George Christ (Founder/Partner), credits a focus on creative talent and new technology for keeping us fresh over our 25-year span.    From Floods to Founders We opened our...

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12 Steps To Improving Trade Show Booth Traffic

August 22 2018 // Education 12 Steps To Improving Trade Show Booth Traffic

In today’s ever-evolving business climate, trade show events still persist. Why? Because they work. Trade shows provide an excellent venue to increase your brand’s visibility, showcase your latest products and services and connect with thousands of potential customers- all within a short span of time. But with so little time and a lot of competition, how can your brand stand out?   By connecting and engaging with attendees before, during, and after the trade show. How your brand engages with customers before and after the show is just as important as the event...

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Explaining Explainer Animations...with an Explainer Animation

July 18 2018 // Education Explaining Explainer Animations...with an Explainer Animation

    Two minutes. That’s how long it takes for most animated explainer videos to fully communicate a main point. And yet, within those two minutes, these highly engaging videos (also known as explainer animations) can do more for your brand than a 50-page proposal or even a 100-foot billboard ever could.    The simple fact is that consumers are using video more than ever before to make purchasing decisions, with studies showing that landing page conversion rates can increase by 80 percent after the inclusion of a video.   Explainer...

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Six Ways to Use Animated Explainer Videos

June 7 2018 // Education Six Ways to Use Animated Explainer Videos

Animated explainer videos are everywhere. You know, those short, super engaging animations that visually present concepts, processes or statistics. As marketing departments scramble for more and more content, these quick bursts of information have become essential tools for brands. Why? Lots of reasons. Research shows that 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Even better? Eighty-three percent of marketers think using video gives them a good ROI. So now that you know you need...

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Four Video Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye On

May 16 2018 // Education Four Video Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye On

Fads and trends. Both are current. Both are popular. But one fades fast, while the other grows and evolves. Fads from the past are fun to look back at...and maybe point and laugh at. Furbies, mall bangs, and mood rings had their heyday, but thankfully, they’ve come and gone. When it comes to marketing, it’s important to differentiate between trends and fads to ensure you don’t sink your campaign before you even get started. So, what are some current video trends you should care about? The answer is not simply ‘more social media’ or ‘more...

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Applied Art's Ryan Snaadt Wins Recognition for Sonic Drive-in Marketing Solution.

July 25 2017 // Press Applied Art's Ryan Snaadt Wins Recognition for Sonic Drive-in Marketing Solution.

Applied Art Digital Specialist and recent college graduate, Ryan Snaadt, was awarded top tier honors for a marketing solution he developed for Sonic Drive-In restaurants through MindSumo. MindSumo.com is a platform for organizations to get a different perspective on young consumer behavior by posing questions to millennials. Businesses and other organizations offer top prizes and recognition to individuals who develop the best solutions to solve their marketing problems. Referred to MindSumo by a college professor and mentor, Ryan submitted his first solution...

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Should Your Website Have a Blog?

July 25 2017 // Education Should Your Website Have a Blog?

  Many business websites are focused on providing information, much of which doesn’t actually change that much. The “About Us” page isn’t constantly evolving. Same with the “Contact Us” page. If there are no product or service updates or news alerts, it’s unlikely that there is much dynamic content for Google to find. A website needs to be found by your prospects to be helpful and Google relies, in part, on fresh content to know if a site is relevant to a prospect’s search. A blog can be the answer to providing...

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8 Types of Content You Should Be Creating

May 30 2017 // Education 8 Types of Content You Should Be Creating

We all experience information overload. Studies show we consume 34 GB of information or 100,500 words outside of work in the average day. How do you keep your audience engaged and coming back for more? The answer is variety! Mix it up with new, fresh information delivered in a multitude of formats. Here are 8 different types of video and interactive content to try soon. 1. Explainer Videos An explainer video is typically a 1-2 minute video that explains your value proposition, simplifies a process, describes your product or service offering ...

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“It's up to me to make that finished piece, what's coming out of the camera, look good.” - Eric Sahrmann

August 11 2016 // Company “It's up to me to make that finished piece, what's coming out of the camera, look good.” - Eric Sahrmann

What is the most interesting project you’ve done? One that stands out. Good or bad. One that stands out is the one I won a CLIO Award for, the "Strong Babies" campaign. The client came to us and wanted us to create CG babies. We had brainstorming sessions and came to the conclusion that instead of CG, photography and retouching would be the way to do it because skin is a very hard thing to do in CG. I think it was a two-week long...

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High Fives For Fish Nelson & Holden

May 12 2016 // Press High Fives For Fish Nelson & Holden

Congratulations to our friends at Fish Nelson & Holden for winning WorkersCompensation.com’s “2016 Best Worker’s Compensation Blog” for their Alabama Workers' Compensation “Blawg." It takes a lot of work to create quality content and timely posts. The FNH team recognized the importance of being thought leaders in their market and a blog was the perfect way to get more traffic to their website. One of their goals was to make it easier to create blog posts consistently. The solution was a new interface that makes posting easy. Applied Art...

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The secret advantage for creating perfect Pre-roll

March 3 2016 // Education The secret advantage for creating perfect Pre-roll

You have 5 seconds You know what pre-roll is. Hopefully you’ve figured out who you want to target and how much you want to spend. Now all you need is the video. This is where the process gets a little complicated. There are over 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day. 24/7! When your video/ad pops up, you only have five seconds to hook your viewer. How can you possibly cut through all the noise, clutter and chatter and grab your audience’s attention? Is this even possible? Yes, it is possible. Great...

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Why creating Pre-Roll videos on YouTube makes great sense

March 3 2016 // Education Why creating Pre-Roll videos on YouTube makes great sense

What Is Pre-roll? You’re having a rough day, so you head to YouTube to find a little happiness in the “cat who rides the robot vacuum while dressed as a shark." But first! This message from Geico. That’s a pre-roll ad. For now, we’re going to discuss pre-roll as it exists in YouTube world. Twitter recently started to offer pre-roll ad options, but we’ll cover that in another blog post. So, why are we starting with YouTube? YouTube is currently the second largest search engine after Google (who owns YouTube). Every month, over 1 billion ...

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How Long Should My Video Be?

November 11 2015 // Education How Long Should My Video Be?

The answer is always: “it depends.” It depends on several things. Some of the most important questions we ask are: What channels will this video be used for? Online, YouTube, broadcast, pre-roll? The channel matters. For example, a viewer often reaches a YouTube video by doing a search. By showing up in the search results this makes the video more relevant to the user.  Who is the...

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Ever wonder how a wind turbine is built?

September 17 2015 // Strategy Ever wonder how a wind turbine is built?

The video took 4 months to shoot. We used 7 cameras and a drone.  We ended up with 5 terabytes of video which was edited down to two versions. Editing took over a month.  It was released to several sites including MidAmerican's YouTube page. It was very popular in Europe where wind power is hot topic. Cost to buy equivalent number of impressions: $1,000,000.  YouTube is now the second largest search engine. 75% of Executives watch a business related video at least once a week. Seventy percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase.  

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How Old Do I Look?

May 1 2015 // Strategy How Old Do I Look?

You may have heard about the “How Old Do I Look” website that was launched last week by a couple of developers at Microsoft and has since gone viral. You can upload a photo of anyone and the site will try to determine the gender and age. It’s sometimes amazingly     accurate and other times hilariously wrong. The site was built as a demonstration of Microsoft’s Azure machine learning suite of API’s. An API allows third party developers to integrate functionality from other software into their own...

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Planning a Multi-Generational Interactive

December 10 2014 // Education Planning a Multi-Generational Interactive

We recently shared the stage with one of our clients, The National 19th Amendment Society, at the annual Iowa Museum Association conference. We presented about Creating Content and Interactives that Connect Generations, sharing our experience of working together to concept and develop a multi-touch table interactive for the Carrie Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Museum. The Carrie Chapman Catt Multi-Touch Table chronicles Ms. Catt's life, from her farm background through her relentless leadership in seeing the 19th Amendment ratified across the country. In support...

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Using Video for Your Holiday Greetings

December 3 2014 // Education Using Video for Your Holiday Greetings

Well, it's that time of year again, chestnut roasting, tree trimming and holiday greeting season. Working with ARAG on their holiday card is always a fun and creative time for us. Communicating the unique aspects of the company while keeping the connection of their clients and employees is the central focus for the holiday card messaging. The goal of this communication was really to be an appreciation message to their clients and partners throughout the year, rather than a sales or marketing message. "I've had the pleasure of...

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53 Uses for Video

October 16 2013 // Education 53 Uses for Video

As bandwidth increases and video production methods become more efficient, businesses are using video as a primary method of communicating with their customers and prospects. Video is a marketer's media tool of choice for two reasons: Video is engaging and, more importantly, video is persuasive. Here are some of the ways that businesses are using video to help improve their bottom line: Advertising, Marketing and Promotion: 1. TV Commercials TV commercials are still the best marketing investment. TV's ROI has increased by 22% in the last five years and is 2.5 times more effective at creating ...

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Carrie Chapman Catt Multi-touch Table

July 7 2012 // Work

At first glance, you wouldn't know it's a museum. It looks like an Iowa farm - a house, a barn, large trees, and remnants of farming life from a century ago. This special place near Charles City, Iowa, is more than a farm; it signifies an important piece of American history. Here lies the girlhood home, which has been converted into a museum, of Carrie Lane Chapman Catt, an important proponent in the women's suffrage movement. Since the museum attracts people of all ages, the museum staff wanted to utilize technology to connect their visitors...

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Forest Septic Tank Service Launches New Website

September 9 2011 // Work

Forest Septic Tank Service is a family-owned and operated company in business since 1918. With an impressive fleet of pumping vehicles and two TMX mini-excavators, Forest Septic is well equipped to service both commercial and residential customers. Forest Septic approached Applied Art to design a fresh look, provide a more intuitive site navigation structure and to update their popular time of transfer form. We also customized a web-based content management system allowing Forest Septic to easily update their new site's content.

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Three C's for Good SEO

April 1 2011 // Education

While designing and developing websites for our clients we are often asked about search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. While there are many and Google will never let you know exactly how their algorithm works - I have categorized the most important variables into three C's. Content keep it fresh and original - write to your audience first and foremost navigation structure should be clean and intuitive shoot for a sweet spot of 3% keyword density (every 100 words) place...

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Keep Iowa Beautiful Launches New Web and Microsite

January 4 2011 // Work

Keep Iowa Beautiful (KIB) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated in engaging Iowans to take greater responsibility for improving their community environment and enhancing the beauty of their state through litter prevention, reduction and beautification programs. KIB desired a fresh new website that would better reflect their brand as well as a separate design for their Teachers Going Green elementary program microsite. To enhance lesson plans, we provided teachers with two fun and educational games within this microsite: Trash Trivia and Coloring Book. ...

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DART Launches New Website

October 22 2010 // Work

DART is the largest public transit agency in Iowa, serving 19 cities in and around Polk County to varying degrees. Those include Ankeny, Altoona, Alleman, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Elkhart, Granger, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, Sheldahl, Urbandale, Windsor Heights, West Des Moines. DART approached Applied Art to design a fresh look and develop an easier way to update their site. Applied Art provided DART with a new site architecture and a custom web design. We teamed with programming house DWebware...

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Finley Alt Smith Law Firm Launches New Website

March 25 2010 // Work

Finley, Alt, Smith, Scharnberg, Craig, Hilmes & Gaffney, P.C. is an established law firm engaged in a diversified civil trial and business practice, including personal injury, professional negligence defense, commercial litigation, general business law, estate planning and probate, taxation, employment law, health law, transportation law and construction law. The firm approached Applied Art seeking to design and develop an elegant and stately website that would feature their wide range of practice areas and experienced attorneys. Applied Art provided the firm with a custom web design and programmed a content management ...

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Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Center Launches New Website

March 4 2010 // Work

An affiliate of Mercy Medical Center, the Iowa Diabetes and Endocrinology Center (IDEC) is the largest endocrine practice in the state of Iowa, providing comprehensive health care services to adult patients diagnosed with diabetes and hormonal disorders. IDEC and Mercy approached Applied Art seeking to design and develop a website that would feature and provide an education about the many conditions IDEC treats. The homepage also features a callout listing information about IDEC's groundbreaking clinical trials. Applied Art provided IDEC with a custom web design with Flash animation, and teamed with...

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Mercy Medical Center - West Lakes Launches New Website

August 14 2009 // Company

After years of planning and construction, Mercy Medical Center—West Lakes is scheduled to open Tuesday, September 8. As West Des Moines’ first full-service community hospital, Mercy West Lakes is truly a hospital unlike any before. It is part of the Mercy Medical Center—Des Moines family, and was built as a replacement hospital for Mercy Capitol in Des Moines. Mercy approached Applied Art seeking a website design with the same feel and functionality of mercydesmoines.org while also providing a unique look for the new hospital. Applied Art provided Mercy Medical Center—West...

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Perinatal Center of Iowa Launches New Website

May 18 2009 // Work

An affiliate of Mercy Medical Center, Perinatal Center of Iowa (PCI) is a leader in the obstetric community of central Iowa — providing personalized, compassionate care to women. PCI and Mercy approached Applied Art seeking a redesign of their current website that would better appeal to and serve as a center of information for expectant mothers and referring doctors. Applied Art provided PCI with a custom web design with Flash animation, and teamed with programming house DWebware to integrate this site into Mercy's content management system which features the ...

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Iowa Center for Translational and Clinical Research Launches New Website

February 24 2009 // Work

The Iowa Center for Translational and Clinical Research (ICTCR) was founded as a collaboration between Mercy Medical Center and Des Moines University (DMU) in an effort to promote clinical and biomedical research that will benefit health care recipients. Mercy and DMU approached Applied Art seeking a website that would serve as a hub for patients, research collaborators, sponsors, and partners of the center. They also required an administration system that would allow contributors to upload content updates from various locations around the state. Applied Art provided Mercy and DMU with...

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