Beneficial Business Twitter Accounts to Follow

Follow These Twitter Accounts To Gain a Better Understanding of the Business World

  1. Productivityist

This account focuses on how to make your life a little easier. It posts articles about keeping up with your work, honing in on the important tasks, how to stay motivated, and more. With key tips on balancing your life, it is perfect for anyone who tends to have a lot on their plate.

 

  1. The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is exactly what it sounds like, tips on staying financially on track. It gives helpful advice about keeping your money in your pockets instead of spending it on unneeded products. The posts encourage saving which in turn, makes you a happier shopper when the time is right.

 

  1. CareerBuilder

These posts and articles are perfect for people who are in search of employment or want to climb the promotion ladder. They provide tips for a successful interview to land the job that is right for you. It shares companies who are hiring and what they are looking for in their candidates.

 

  1. Entrepreneur

This account is perfect for anyone who wants to stay more in tune with the business trends. It provides information about keeping your business afloat and how to become a successful business owner. Articles about gaining customers, increasing income, and social media marketing, are all important for anyone in the business world.

 

  1. Inc.

Inc. teaches business owners how they can stay motivated and add value in their work. It provides important strategies to have a more productive work day. They encourage self evaluation to gain more insight about what your business needs to be the most successful.

 

  1. HubSpot

HubSpot provides information to enhance your marketing tactics and create a more visible platform to the public. They have information about SEO, marketing, and social media engagement that is useful for bettering a company.

 

  1. Harvard Biz Review

HarvardBiz focuses on the important aspects in a managerial role. It hones in on the strategies of keeping happy employees that are motivated to produce positive results. It provides advice to keep employees engaged, in touch with the audience, and on track for valuable outcomes. 

 

  1. TED Talks

TED Talks gives better insight to improve your life at work and at home. It gives a glimpse at successful tactics to enhance motivation and results within your company. There are videos on just about any topic to keep updated with the business trends that can are happening within your industry.

 

  1. Bill Gates

 Bill gives great advice to keep in touch with the changing business trends. He provides book recommendations, the best apps for your success, stories about the condition of other countries, and more to keep you knowledgeable about the world we live in.

 

  1. CIO.com

CIO posts about the benefits of having soft skills to keep those important business relationships. It provides articles to encourage the best ways to think within a company to get the most out of every interaction you have.

Best Books For Entrepreneurs

Learn How to Grow Your Business With These Informative Books

Take a look at some of the best books about gaining crucial entrepreneurial skills. Creating a business from the ground up can be exhausting. Having better insight can transform your business to being one of the most successful and interesting companies.

1. Crushing It: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

In this book, Gary teaches the importance of creating your own brand and following the steps to make it come alive. He explains why the typical career path in a corporation may not be for everyone and that a creative, passionate, and motivated mind can transform an idea into a flourishing business.

He touches base with the use of all social media platforms and the power of using them to enhance your business. He targets how to use each platform by connecting to the right audience and encouraging them to visit your business.

He uses the knowledge of his own experience and by talking to other entrepreneurs to relay the best tactics for your business’s success. By the collaboration of other influencers, he has created a tool for your next steps in building the perfect business.

 

2. So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport

This motivational and thought-provoking book encourages the idea that happiness comes from the hard work you put into your job rather than “following your passion”. Cal dives deeper into how you can find what makes you fall in love with your job. He creates strategies you can follow to learn what aspects of your work you love the most and what you want to continue doing.

He meets with different people to find how they get their satisfaction from their work. He believes that passion comes from giving your complete effort into the job. It is creating a platform of hard work that turns into successful skills.

Cal explains the true meaning of being passionate about your career. This is important for entrepreneurs to understand as they venture into their crucial roles. It takes hard work, motivation, and feeling that your skills are valuable to find the true love in the work you are doing.

3. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares

This book focuses on the importance of creating a worthy company and keeping it alive. There are many factors that go into the first stages of a new business from enthusiastic employees, net income, media presence, and so on. However, Gabriel and Justin focus in on the most crucial step on maintaining and growing customers.

They focus in on the best tactics to gain new customers and how to put your business’s name in the public’s eye. The authors meet with many successful business owners to get a better insight in their own business’s growth. After speaking with the wonsers of Wikipedia, Kayak, and reddit’s, the authors include information on how to create a larger audience viewing. They focus on creating medias that are specific to key customers, enhancing email marketing to catch the viewer’s attention, and more tactics to get customers engaged.

Through the book’s 19 channels for new customer engagement, it is a beneficial read to entrepreneurs to gather more information to get customers in your store.

4. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

Seth dives into the key factors that can make your business and products stick out. The four P’s of marketing (price, product, placement, promotion) are important in determining your business’s future, but Seth explains the additional P that will make your company that much more successful.

The Purple Cow explains the purpose of making your company stand out against the rest. He encourages you to find what makes your company worth the attention. The success of your company relies on if the audience feels that it is worthy of their time.

Seth teaches the steps to get your products the most marketable and interesting. He knows the importance of making your company stand out and encourage customers to see your products.

5. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi

This book mentions the unique skills and information you can receive through the relationships you have around your business. Keith explains how to build you network to gather the resources needed to make your business a success. You have heard of the famous statement “two minds are better than one” and Keith dives deeper into why having more connections can help your business flourish.

Keith reached out to his past and present connections to gain more insight about the power of networking. He learns how each interaction can be a teaching moment for business owners. By having those relationships, it enforces the practices that have worked for previous business owners.

The business world is built on the connection map that people have created over the years. It is crucial to stay in tune with the trends you desire your business to be on. Staying connected not only enhances the skills to maintain a successful business, but also helps your name resonate with potential customers.

______  

Learning more about the business world and how to stay relevant is important in owning a company. The more skills and information you take in about being an entrepreneur will transfer to having more powerful strategies that will lead your company to the top. Take a deeper look into building your products and marketing plan to engage the customers for a more successful business.

My First Week as a Venta Marketing Intern

Take a Look at My First Week

Image result for marketing

I am a senior at the University of Missouri studying Business with an emphasis in Marketing. My classes focus on marketing tools like how to research the market, design a plan, analyze competitors, and many other aspects of the business world. Even with three years of marketing classes under my belt, I know there is so much more to learn once I hit the workforce. Reading and testing about marketing is one thing, but performing the job in the real world requires more knowledge and experience than what one can learn on paper.

Last week was my first day working for Venta Marketing. I have always been very intrigued with marketing agencies and how they design different websites. It is so interesting to me that a team can create various content, each including a different voice and tone. On my first day, I jumped right into the process. My first task was to revise and edit our very own Venta Marketing website. I knew this assignment was crucial for our company. Our website is the face of what we stand for, providing a platform and example of our expertise. Our online presence is what clients use to decide if we are the perfect fit for them. Having a good first impression is very important online, as this is often the first introduction to potential clients.

I spent the week editing each page and making sure it was seamless for our upcoming launch date. I learned how to insert pictures, forms, and change layouts. I even was able to create my own written content and have it published with the launch. One of my biggest accomplishments from the first week was incorporating the Venta YouTube channel into the site and making sure it was uploaded to display each video correctly. It’s a small victory, but I am very proud of my work and that I had the ability and knowledge to embed the videos for clients to see. My team was so appreciative and encouraging. They kept telling me how impressed they were that I had the skills to add the videos.

As the year continues, I know I will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge regarding website design and creation. I am beyond excited to work with such a helpful and passionate team. Each member brings something new and exciting which creates a wonderful environment to be in. I cannot wait to see what other opportunities and tasks this internship brings so I can continue to learn and grow in my marketing abilities.

 

Weekly Roundup: Top Digital Marketing News, Tips & Tricks 11/9 –11/13

Keep Your Website Up-To-Date

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy digital marketing insights, tips and trends from last week. Staying on top of the latest digital marketing tactics can be a long and strenuous journey. It doesn’t have to be. #TeamVenta will keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and advice.

1. How To Design The Perfect Contact Page

By: Brad Shorr
How To Design The Perfect Contact Page

People generally visit a site’s contact page with the intention of contacting the business. Ineffective design can make that intent difficult to achieve or even turn the user away from contacting you in the first place. This article really hones in on the importance of a well-crafted contact page and some tips on how to make it great.

Shorr recommends various steps for improving your page, such as limiting the number of required fields in a contact form, embedding Google Maps onto the page (Good for SEO, too!), including a privacy statement, and more. Here at Venta, we like to incorporate a lot of these “Contact” tricks on various pages throughout the site. Placing contact forms in sidebars on various pages and even in the footer can help users more readily convert, and an attractive design will help make that possible.

2. Moving Your Office Without Losing Rankings: The Local Business Owner’s Guide

By: Joy Hawkins
The Local Business Owner’s Guide

For a local business, ranking well in search engines is vital for obtaining new business and attracting those customers who are already searching for your services or products. When a local business moves and changes it’s address, a lot can go wrong with how that business ranks locally in search engines.

Fortunately, Joy Hawkins has provided us with a step-by-step guide on how to make the transition smoothly, so that search engines can easily recognize the move and not penalize your local listings in search engines. Many important steps include updating your Google Business Listing, ensuring the business listing of the business occupying the space prior to you is marked “closed”, embedding the Google Map onto your website (there’s that tip again!), and more. Moving offices is natural part of a growing business, and it’s tough to avoid. Enjoy your new space, and read some of these tips without worry of falling behind in local SEO.

 

3. Four Ways Marketers Can Get the Most Out of LinkedIn

By: Tessa Wegert
Four Ways Marketers Can Get the Most Out of LinkedIn

The data is in, and according to the “2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America” report, 94 percent of B2B marketers rely on LinkedIn as part of their content marketing strategy and is now the most used social network among B2B marketers. LinkedIn gives businesses the tools to connect with influencers within the industry, share valuable insight and even generate new business if you’re doing it right.

This article features 4 ways marketers can get the most out of LinkedIn, including tips on creating long-form content, “supercharging” your company page, utilizing sponsored InMail and more. These tips are valuable for marketers and business owners alike who want to get more out of their social media marketing efforts. While we all know there’s value in being active on social media, insight on particular platforms can help you navigate what works best for you and your business.

4. A Look at Uber’s Landing Page Testing from 2015

By: iSpionage
A Look at Uber’s Landing Page Testing from 2015

This article features commentary on Uber’s landing page changes over 2015, an unbelievable example of what high-volume A/B testing can look like. In 2015 alone, Uber has thus far launched 47 different variations of its landing page. On average, they are altering the landing page that it’s PPC visitors arrive on at least once a week.

With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, we have the ability to implement new strategies, track real-time results and react to those results almost immediately, and that is why this is such a fun industry. The article highlights some of the potential successes and struggles of A/B testing. Some landing pages remained the champion variant for weeks, but Uber’s PPC team monitored the results so closely that other pages would only be live for one day. With this example, we can truly see how many failures it can take to reach a truly successful design.

Want more? Stay tuned for next week’s Weekly Digital Marketing Roundup!

Top Digital Marketing Tools We’re Thankful For This Year

Four Helpful Marketing Tools to Enhance Your Online Presence

Even though we’re marketers at heart, we don’t do it alone. These tools help us better manage our client campaigns and push them to the next level. Thanksgiving is a time to press pause and reflect on what we’re thankful for. We are here to say “Thank You” to the companies who have built these tools and share our insight to help make your life easier, too. Below we feature the tools #TeamVenta is most thankful for:

max-prokell-venta
Max Prokell
Founder & CEO

1. Harvest

“I am very thankful for Harvest. Harvest is a time-tracking software that allows our team to easily track and associate time spent on specific clients, projects and tasks.”

“There are many time-tracking software’s out there, but the one feature that sold me on Harvest was it’s running clock. The clock allows you to press start and stop when working on a project, and then you can get to work. The clock then runs and tracks your time up to the 100th of a minute. No more checking the clock and manually logging your time.”

harvest

“As an agency with locations in two cities, Harvest helps me understand exactly where and how we are spending our time. I can pull reports at any time that show me the time spent on specific project, service, or client, which make us a much more efficient and educated agency.”

dillon-lara-venta
Dillon Lara
Lead Web Developer

2. Sublime Text

Sublime Text is my code editor of choice for design and development. I love how stripped down it is. It never crashes and has the ability to add plugins, which can greatly increase efficiency in code development. I use it everyday, and it loads quickly so I can get started right away. The customization of the platform allows me to set up a theme with colors that are appealing to me and make the experience more personal for myself. I prefer it over all the other code editors on the market for it’s consistency in performance.”

sublime

“Here’s a list of a few of the packages I’ve added to my Sublime Text setup:”

graham-ahner-venta
Graham Ahner
Director of Paid Search

3. Unbounce: For A/B Testing Landing Pages Without I.T.

Unbounce is by far one of my favorite tools that I use multiple times a week. We’ve been using it for almost two years now. We were impressed during our initial product demo, and the product has continued to improve since. Here are some of my favorite aspects:”

  • The software allows us to create beautiful landing pages at ease, without having to bother our developers for extra help.
  • Simplified A/B testing so we can continuously improve our client’s campaigns backed by hard data.
  • Unbounce’s Client Support is amazing, and we use it regularly for tips, troubleshooting or any other related questions.
  • Unbounce regularly has free, conversion-focused webinars. Our schedule is busy, but it is always useful and worth it when we join them.
  • Although you don’t need to be a developer to be successful with Unbounce, using it has allowed me to understand some base-level coding that I am thankful for.
  • They give out super soft T-shirts when you see them at a conference. 🙂

unbounce

“Overall, I am very pleased with the experience we are able to provide our clients through our use of Unbounce. I expect that to increase as the tool continues to improve moving forward.”

courtney-lindbeck-venta
Courtney Lindbeck
Director of Internet Marketing

4. Canva

“Before I discovered Canva, I spent much time in Photoshop looking up font names and styles, creating shapes and graphics to complement the image and make it unique, resizing graphics for various platforms (Facebook post size, Pinterest post size, etc.), and more. Finding free and high-resolution images also took time away from the content itself.”

“For the busy digital marketer’s out there, Canva is a simple graphic design tool that you can use to create flyers, social media images, presentations and much more – in half the time. It has beautiful and free templates, images, fonts, graphics and styles to use at your disposal – by simply dragging and dropping. You can customize each design by color, font, etc. and upload your own graphics and images for use. Canva also stores all your past projects in your account, so you can always make edits or begin working where you left off.”

canva

“Canva has saved me a lot of time and energy on creating beautiful graphics. What I am most thankful for is that Canva opened my eyes to trendy designs, fonts and styles that I would’ve had to spend time searching for. This platform can help all types of marketers and everyday people improve their design and their content, and I highly recommend it!”

Weekly Roundup: Top Digital Marketing News, Tips & Tricks 11/16 –11/20

Keep Updated With Our Weekly Marketing Suggestions

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy digital marketing insights, tips and trends from last week. Staying on top of the latest digital marketing tactics can be a long and strenuous journey. It doesn’t have to be. #TeamVenta will keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and advice.

1. The Hip-Hop Guide to Landing Page Domination

By: Aaron Orendorff

What’s better than hip-hop and shareable memes? Not much, but this article goes there, utilizing both to share five data-driven lessons for creating high quality landing pages that work.

99-buttons

Orendorff reveals some great points on how to use paid advertising to the best of your ability and budget. From designing a landing page with a “one shot, one opportunity” mindset to focusing on your buyer’s real-life journey, this article will provide you with useful design and marketing tactics that is sure to improve your current strategies while also putting a smile on your face. ☺

2. From Pages to Patterns: An Exercise for Everyone

By: Charlotte Jackson

This article provides some techniques to help teams communicate better when identifying terms for site elements as well as determining when to do a design review for a site.

patterns-designs

By identifying key patterns for a website – such as headers, footers, calls-to-actions, buttons, etc. – we can identify inconsistencies on a site. While each site we make at Venta is unique and coded specifically for the client and their goals, we do occasionally reuse patterns such as a testimonial slider, header or footer. For example, we might use a slideshow to cycle through testimonials identifying this as a “testimonial slider.” If want to use a similar carousel on another site or page of the same website for cycling through products or images, “testimonial slider” then becomes a bad pattern title and will cause confusion for the staff. Code is no longer semantic across other pages. A better title could simply be “slideshow” or “page-carousel.” This not only makes the understanding of the pattern easy for all of us at Venta but also can increase the readability of the code.

3. CMOs Share Roadmap for Building Modern Marketing Organizations in New Report

By: Daniel Newman

This article lays out five very distinct attributes that top CMOs have learned during their path to building a successful marketing agency. As digital marketing agencies grow and acquire more business, it’s a great idea to be constantly comparing and learning from top industry standards.

cmos

Top CMOs advise having a clear direction for your agency, while also having specialists for each department all under one roof. At Venta, we all have knowledge in each sector of our agency, but we all have unique strengths. This allows us to give each other help when needed but also allows us to allocate our time best by assigning certain projects to different team members. Learn from the best to be the best!

4. 25 Calculated Metrics for Google Analytics

By: Charles Farina

Calculated Metrics for Google Analytics is now available for all GA users and allows users to develop custom formulas to automatically calculate and analyze data. This article highlights 25 calculated metrics for best using this new, long requested feature in Google Analytics.

analytics

Want more? Stay tuned for next week’s Weekly Digital Marketing Roundup and subscribe to our newsletter for more digital marketing news, tips & tricks!

6 Last-Minute Ecommerce Tips to Boost Black Friday Sales

Make Black Friday Easier For Your Business

black-friday-ecommerce-tips

The busiest time of the year has arrived for online retailers. According to a new analysis from Critero, retailers saw online sales on Black Friday nearly equal those of Cyber Monday last year. Do you have everything in place to dominate this Black Friday? We are highlighting a few tips that can be done in a matter of hours to help put your campaign in better shape.

Here are 6 last-minute ecommerce tips to help boost you Black Friday Sales and get your business ready for the big day:

1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday Structured Snippets

structured-snippet-black-friday

Google launched a brand new ad extension, Structured Snippets, a couple of months ago, which allows advertisers to further share details of their products or services. If you aren’t familiar with Structured Snippets yet, dive into your Adwords Ad Extensions tab and play around with them. This month, we are seeing the first addition to the new extensions. Advertisers can now display a snippet titled “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” that will only appear for the respective days. This is huge for many reasons:

  • Efficient: First, it allows us to efficiently advertise a promo, special sale, holiday hours, etc..
  • Free Messaging: The extensions display the words “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday” so you enjoy the free message and don’t have to worry about fitting an extra 12 characters into your ads.
  • Saves Time: This can be utilized at the account, campaign or ad group level to save us hours of altering ad copy and pre-planned testing.
  • Multiple Snippets: More than 1 snippet can be added! With multiple holiday specials going on, it’s great to be able to easily display the different offers.
  • Holiday-Focused: The snippets only run during the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday so business carries on as usual after the sales.
  • Unique: Many Adwords users are not currently using Structured Snippets, let alone the Black Friday or Cyber Monday versions. Take advantage of its uniqueness while it’s there.

 

2. Auto-Apply Code and/or Landing Pages Displaying Codes

discount-code

If your company’s promotion requires an offer code, make the process of applying it as simple and memorable as possible. This is really useful across all channels and times of the year but especially in PPC during the holidays.

Our recommendation at the minimum is to show the code in the ads followed by a landing page that also provides it. The last thing you want your visitor to do is get all the way to the cart, realize they forgot the code, go back to find it and never make it back to the cart. Ideally the code would auto-apply using a unique URL from the ad so the promotion is already applied once your customer makes it to the cart.

3. Quick and Aggressive Remarketing

retargeting

When our clients give us a special offer to advertise and a budget for that time frame, we see that as an opportunity to get as much use out of the offer until its gone. Clients typically like to see that their planning into creating competitive specials was given the best chance at success.

Use a fraction of your budget (maybe 1/10th) and put it towards a short-life remarketing strategy. This has all of the potential benefits of typical remarketing with the added benefits of honest urgency and shorter life span. You don’t have to fake the “Today Only!” tactic because most people are aware that they really will not receive that special all year long. Black Friday only lasts a few days, so you run a low risk of annoying the customer with retargeting ads. Take a chance at the opportunity while you can and use the data to better strategize for the future.

 

 

4. Review last year’s search query report.

search-query

This is a basic yet very important aspect of preparing for the holidays. Go through the searches that triggered your ads last year and make sure that all the negative keywords still make sense. Spot any successful trends, and make sure you are set to be at least as successful as last year. A lot has likely changed over the past 12 months, so the changes you made in January might not be appropriate.

 

5. Look at search impression share lost by budget.

lost-impression

Search Impression Share Lost (Budget) is a great column to have in all Adwords accounts. This column tells you if a campaign is losing traffic solely because the budget isn’t large enough. You can use it this Black Friday to analyze your top performing campaigns, discover room to grow and explode the accounts success over the holidays.

For example, if your top converting campaign spends $2,000 a month and has a 50% Search Impression Share Lost (Budget) then you can potentially spend $4,000 and get the same performance. Even if the Lost % is minimal, it’s still easy money left on the table and an easy way to impress your boss or client.

 

6. Set times to check on the campaigns over the Holidays.

reminder

This is really a personal tip, but I think it goes a long way at showing your commitment to a campaign. Create a list of quick KPIs that you can check on during the vacation and set maybe 2-3 times for the few days to check on them. If anything is going super well then send your client a quick email explaining it. If anything is drastically underperforming then you’ll be glad you checked on it before Monday morning. Do it or don’t do it, but it can only be beneficial.

Thankful Leadership: 5 Reasons to be Thankful for Your Team

thankful-leadership

Almost daily our inboxes are filled with newsletters, articles and tips on how to improve our digital marketing strategies. Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to articles that expand on a different subject. Anything with tips for managing, motivating or organizing a team sparks me to open, read or bookmark with excitement.

As many managers and business owners know, managing a team is a very unique, but rewarding challenge. It takes understanding, planning, patience and many more characteristics that I work to improve on a daily basis. While it is challenging to be a good leader, I can’t let that take away from how rewarding managing a team has been for me. A leader’s attitude towards gratitude can be both internally and externally inspirational and an overall beneficial trait to bring to the business. In the words of Voltaire, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

This Thanksgiving, take some time to reflect on being a more gracious leader. It will make your team more productive and inspired and you a better leader. Below are five reasons why I am personally appreciative of my team:

1. Personality

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with many different personalities. Every team member has a very unique and interesting personality, which makes the day-to-day more fun and productive. From the Go-Getter, to the Innovator, to the Executer and more, each personality type allows us to be a stronger, more charismatic team. The best football coaches tailor their game plan to their players, and I feel it is my responsibility to understand each personality and lead based on what resonates with each personality.

2. Energy

Introvert vs. extrovert – I think I am somewhere in the middle. But, the team brings me energy on a daily basis to continue to push the limits and focus on what I need to do to help lead Venta towards our goals. I can think of many days where I have been a little burnt out, and a member of Venta has brought something to the table that inspired and motivated me.

3. Collaboration

I am extremely grateful for the ability to brainstorm with a team. One person can develop ideas, concepts, and strategies, but it’s not nearly as fun and inspiring. I did it solo for years, and it’s not easy. It’s so much more rewarding to bounce new ideas around on a whiteboard when everyone is engaged and driving the concepts to new heights. It’s an amazing accomplishment when four or five bright minds all collaborate on a client’s strategy, and it is successful. Five minds are better than one, and I am thankful to have the ability to put them to use.

4. Individual Strengths

I cannot be thankful enough for each member of our team. Each of their individual strengths has pushed Venta to the next level. If it is a struggle for any future-business owner or leader to give up the fact that they are not the expert at everything, give it up and give it up as fast as possible.

You will never be the expert at everything, and it is your job as a leader to find the holes that can be filled by someone who has the talent and passion to be an expert at their craft. If you are able to do this, you will reap the rewards of better work and a stronger team. It is amazing to have a team filled with talented individuals that are the best at what they do. It’s an even better feeling to know that I can trust each one of them to do their job because they are talented and passionate about producing great work.

5. One Mission, Together

I am thankful to lead a team that has bought into our company and made it apart of their lives. Our culture, goals and mission have all been developed over time with help from everyone. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that I am leading a team that truly cares about what we do and buys into our beliefs. I know this buy-in has helped Venta continue to grow and get better on a daily basis, as well as has made Venta a great place to work each day.

 

As Thanksgiving comes to a close and we continue on with the holiday season, we will be surrounded by rituals of expressing gratitude and giving thanks. Let us learn to maintain the spirit of gratitude constantly and apply it to how we lead and manage. This will be essential for your leadership success. Happy Holidays!

 

Weekly Roundup: Top Digital Marketing News, Tips & Tricks 11/30 – 12/4

Welcome to our weekly roundup of noteworthy digital marketing insights, tips and trends from last week. Staying on top of the latest digital marketing tactics can be a long and strenuous journey. It doesn’t have to be. #TeamVenta will keep you up-to-date with all the latest news and advice.

1. How To Go Viral: Lessons From The Most Shared Content of 2015

By: Steve Rayson

An extreme amount of content is floating around the Internet, but only a small percentage goes viral – getting shared by millions of people. Even on the most popular viral sites, a small few actually become a hit. This article is published by Buzzsumo, an online tool that analyzes which online online performs best for any topic or competitor. Employees at Buzzsumo analyzed some of the most viral content in 2015, and this article provides lessons they learned and some insight on how we can all make our content more shareable. From “exploiting cute animals and babies” to “sharing the secret to a long life”, this article can provide some valuable insight for your next attempt at “going viral.”

2. Facebook & Instagram Now Offering Ads Targeted At Holiday Shoppers

By: Martin Beck

A new update to the audience selection in Facebook Business’s Power editor is now allowing advertisers to target their groups based on Facebook User’s posts and interaction with holiday-related keywords. This ad function will run from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve and will primarily gather data from the online sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What this means for advertisers:

  • 1. You will be able to directly target last minute, online shoppers, who could be more likely influenced by a quality promotion or engaging image.
  • 2. Facebook keeps evolving its advertising through co-oping with SEO. Using keyword analysis allows them to segment different groups for advertisers in the Power Editor and Ads manager.
  • 3. More value for Holiday Advertising Campaigns with the goals to sell specific products and to increase website clicks, over lead generation and Facebook Likes.

Based on this keyword analysis integration with Power Editor, we can predict and assume that Facebook will continue to do so, increasingly in 2016. Events and Holidays like the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day will more than likely receive the same treatment, allowing not only advertisers to hone in their marketing efforts, but also benefiting the customers in relevancy in the ads on their News Feed.

3. How to Find and Leverage the Freshest Links

By: Bill Sebaid

We call it “link recon,” and it is great way to incorporate our specific knowledge of SEO to any marketing/branding campaign. This article has some great tips on how to research and continually monitor new link opportunities. The great thing about these strategies is that they allow link builders to leverage other marketing/PR efforts to generate some great links for a website.

4. The Keys to Scaling Yourself as a Technology Leader

By: First Round Review

This article does a great job of outlining how to build up the tech in your company for the long run by creating a system that will work well with new employees coming in. First Round Review highlights and provides guidance on the importance of building sites and internal projects with the basis that anyone could come in and continue building any application the team has been working on with minimal knowledge of codebase.

5. 3 Ways a Small Business Can Compete with the Big Guys in PPC

By: Allen Finn

We work with a wide variety of clients of PPC clients, big and small. Only a few times have we been the biggest dog with the biggest PPC budget. The difference is that no matter the size of the budget, we are constantly working to make the clients budget work towards their goals. This means trying different tactics, networks, and pulling long hours to switch plans when necessary. Wordstream provides a great example here of how they wowed a client in a tough industry with a lot of competition.

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Using SCSS Animation to Make Your Webpage “Snow”

Let it Snow – Web Inspiration

It’s always nice when you can tie web design to something fun. I always enjoy the opportunity to take something technical and turning it into something creative. Since its getting close to the holidays I thought it would be fun to make a webpage snow. Not only was I able to make a small creative work, I also was able to dig into some of the core features of SASS and scratch the surface of an HTML template engine called HAML.

Here is a preview of the snowfall you can create using the tutorial below:

See the Pen Let it Snow by Dillon (@dillonlara115) on CodePen.

The first thing I did was create the HTML. Using HAML I was quickly able to generate 100+ divs, each which would next become a snowflake.

 

HAML

.snow-container
  - (1...300).each do |i|
    .snow

 

Next I pulled an image from unsplash and made it a full width/height background image. Easy enough.

The real challenge was to create 100+ snowflakes dynamically. Yeah, I could create selects for each snow flake by using :nth-child() but I would have had to copy and paste it 100+ times and change the number inside :nth-child() individually. Thanks to the awesome power of SCSS we can use a for loop which basically tells the css to create 100+ snow:nth-child() selectors and adding in a variable to the :nth-child selector.

 

SCSS Snowflakes

@for $i from 1 through 300 {
  .snow:nth-child(#{$i}) {
    background-color: #fff;
    width: 20px;
    height:  20px;
    border-radius: 50%;
    display: inline-block;
    position: absolute;
    top: 50px;
    left: 10px;
  }
}

Okay, so now we have 300 snowflakes, but we also have several issues:
1) They are showing up in the same place
2) They are all the same size
3) The snowflakes aren’t falling

Let’s tackle the first two issues. SCSS is also great in that it has a function we can plug in called random(). Using this function we can say that we want a random number between 1 and whatever number gets plugged into the function. For example: padding: random(20) + px; would generate a random padding between 1 and 20 each time the page is loaded or the for loop is ran. We can use this function to generate a random width and random x and y start position of each snowflake.

Making each snowflake unique

@for $i from 1 through 300 {
  $rand: random(8);
  .snow:nth-child(#{$i}) {
    background-color: #fff;
    width: $rand + px;
    height: $rand + px;
    opacity: random(10)/10 + .1;
    border-radius: 50%;
    display: inline-block;
    position: absolute;
    top: random(50)-75 + px;
    left: random(1900)  + px;
  }
}

 

Finally, using css animations we can now animate each snowflake to fall from the top of the screen down to the bottom. The first thing I did was create a css animation called ‘snow’. Then I added 2 keyframes, one for 0% and the other for 100%. This basically gives the animation an action or css style to change from the beginning to the end of the animation. The initial animation is to have the snow start from above the page and then fall to the bottom of the page and slowly change the opacity from visible to invisible once off the page.

The only thing left to do was call the animation from the .snow class in the animation loop.

 

Creating the animation loop

@for $i from 1 through 300 {
  $rand: random(8);
  .snow:nth-child(#{$i}) {
    background-color: #fff;
    width: $rand + px;
    height: $rand + px;
    opacity: random(10)/10 + .1;
    border-radius: 50%;
    display: inline-block;
    position: absolute;
    top: random(50)-75 + px;
    left: random(1900)  + px;
    -moz-animation: snow random(5000) + 3000 + ms random(4000) + 2000 + ms linear infinite;
		-webkit-animation: snow random(5000) + 3000  + ms random(4000) + 2000 + ms linear infinite;
		animation: snow random(5000) + 3000 + ms random(4000) + 2000 + ms linear infinite;
  }
}

  @-moz-keyframes snow {
      0% {
      -moz-transform: translate(-250px, 0);
    }
    100% {
      -moz-transform: translate(250px, 1500px);
    }
  }  

  @-webkit-keyframes snow {
    0% {
      -webkit-transform: translate(-250px, 0);
    }
    100% {
      -webkit-transform: translate(250px, 1500px);
    }
  }
  

  @keyframes snow {
    0% {
      transform: translate(-250px, 0);
      opacity: 1;
    }
    100% {
      transform: translate(250px, 1500px);
      opacity: 0;
    }
  }

 

That’s all there is to it. Another challenge that could enhance this scene would be to create another loop for the animation randomly call a different snow animation which would make the snowflakes fall at different angles whereas they currently fall at the same angle.

See the Pen Let it Snow by Dillon (@dillonlara115) on CodePen.


photo credit: Sergei Akulich from unsplash.