Why Interns?

Why Interns?

Does your company sponsor internships?  If so, why? And if yours doesn’t, why not? Here’s everything you should keep in mind during the process for mutual success.

Internships are NOT about getting coffee and donuts, running errands or busy work.  The National Association of Colleges and Employers provides these guidelines for internships.  Most soon-to-be college graduates want to participate in internships to provide “real-world” experience for their resumes, hoping that it will help them get their first job after graduation.  Many companies offer internships hoping to scout prospective talent before it reaches the job pool. Some companies even develop academic/professional partnerships with colleges and universities to ensure they get to “pick from the tree, not from the barrel.”

But if scouting potential talent is the only reason your company offers internships, then you’re missing out on the many benefits internships offer to your current employees.  And if your company doesn’t offer internships, here are some reasons why you should consider offering them.

If you’ve read even a few management articles or books, you’ll know that the number one biggest cost for most employers is employee turnover.  When an employee leaves, experience, time, morale and ultimately lots of money to recruit and train their replacement leave with them. And even if you provide a great salary and benefits, your best people will eventually leave if they don’t have opportunities to grow professionally.  And internships can provide some of those additional opportunities.

Hiring an intern follows all of the same steps as hiring for any full-time or part-time positions.  So instead of doing those steps yourself, assign them to your team to gain leadership experiences.

There needs to be a description of the internship that includes the time frame, what skills are needed, what skills are nice to have, how to apply, and a blurb to upsell your company.  Plus, you need to post the internship, usually through a university’s career development department. Most universities have internship and job posting platforms, like Handshake, but some introductory emails, follow-up phone calls and even an on-site visit will build a better relationship with your partner schools.

After that, applications and resumes need reviewing and communications need to be sent.  Our company’s hiring process involves an initial phone screening and candidates that make it past the phone screen are asked to an in-person interview, so conference rooms and meetings need to be scheduled.  Interview questions and any tests need to be developed, administered and scored. And all of this needs to be collected in an easily digestible fashion to decide to whom you will extend your offer (and one or two back-ups, in case your first choice declines the invitation).

Once a candidate accepts, all of the standard on-boarding, orientation and training activities need to happen exactly as you would on board a full-time new hire. 

All interns receive an overview of what we do as a Company, documentation on the many concepts and acronyms, and then specific orientation by team (Technology, Quality, Marketing, etc.).  There are specific goals for Communication Skills, such as the tools we use, what are formal vs. informal communication methods and when to use them based on understanding the audience to which the communication is directed.  There are Context Building exercises, to help learn the inter-team, intra-team and extra-team dynamics, including high-level business stakeholders. And finally the specifics of the work, which can take the form of over-the-shoulder observations, peer work or individual work.  A sampling of internal and external resources is provided and interns are encouraged to seek out additional resources and present them to the team.

Throughout the internship, regular one-on-one meetings review the internship goals and progress, as well as offer insights into interviewing for “real” jobs, understanding career trajectory, and evaluating potential employers and the benefits they offer.  At the end of the internship, candidates must give a presentation about their internship experience, including feedback on areas that they wished they had more experiences, areas that they felt needed less emphasis, and experiences they did not receive, but would have liked.

Internships provide many opportunities for your team to get out of their daily routine and perform leadership tasks for which they would not normally be responsible.  The experiences provided can help them grow professionally, and the more experienced they get, the more you can keep them growing, ideally, into the next leadership opportunity your company provides.  And, if the stars align, you may also find your next new hire.

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

Ask the Experts: 2020 Predictions for the Digital Advertising Industry

2020 is around the corner and if 2019 is any indication of what’s to come…there’s going to be a lot more changes. We asked experts at Bidtellect their predictions for the new year and what emerged was that as privacy moves to the forefront of conversation, so, too, will shifts in quality, ad types, and creative. Read on.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2020?

1. Privacy will play a major role in 2020 strategy with CCPA going into effect along with existing GDPR.

“The issue that will have the biggest impact on all digital marketing efforts in 2020, but particularly digital advertising campaigns, is privacy.  Specifically, the use of and reliance on personal consumer information in advertising, and how the use of that information will be regulated, protected, and limited.  Marketers must factor this into all their digital advertising plans in 2020​”

– Lon Otremba, CEO

“Platforms that rely heavily on audience targeting for performance will see a decline in results as the market continues to put restrictions on user data. Brands will be forced to rethink strategies and test new ones to make up for it.”

– Terah Bocchi, VP of Sales

“My 2020 prediction for AdTech, “Power to the People”, consumers will have more control over what personal information should be private, what is shared, with whom and how it can be used.”

– Kyle Suhan, Sr. Frontend Deveoper

“In the changing digital advertising ecosystem, focused on privacy and deeper regulation, contextual advertising will capture a greater portion of ad spend gaining ground against other methods of audience targeting.”

– Mike Conway, Chief Technology Officer

2. With Facebook under greater scrutiny for false accounts and shady ad placement, it’s time to start thinking beyond social, while DSPs will move to the forefront thanks to greater scale and optimization capabilities.

“Non-social native spending will decline and content distributions DSPs will benefit from that revenue!”

– Lisa Friedman, Director of Sales – East

“2020 – year of SPO. Clients will look to get a better understanding of DSPs supply paths to ensure they are not paying any unneeded tech tax.”

– Mike Feeley, VP Supply Partnerships

3. Ad types will continue to advance and evolve, from format to design.

“Each year, we see emerging trends with design. 2020 will be no exception to really explore surrealism and vivid, almost futuristic colors. Surrealism will be especially effective for retail clients to really showcase their products in a majestic way. The term “Zero Gravity” has been tossed around – images, text and copy will float on your page. We’ll begin to see a layered mix of portrait photography and bold digital design with simple minimalist shapes. [b]+studio is excited about these new trends and will begin testing out new imagery with a mixed use for our clients in 2020.”

– Missy Steiner, VP of Marketing

“I believe with consumers gaining more access to 5G, video ads will become more common and dynamic on mobile sites.”

– Tim Chidsey, Quality Engineer

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Bidtellect Infographic: Valentine’s Day 2020

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This #GivingDay Bidtellectuals Give Back with Movember

In honor of Giving Day, we document the journey of Bidtellect's "Mo Bros," who took No Shave November by storm to raise money and awareness for Movember. Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health.   The movement-turned-charity raises funds and...

This #GivingDay Bidtellectuals Give Back with Movember

This #GivingDay Bidtellectuals Give Back with Movember

In honor of Giving Day, we document the journey of Bidtellect’s “Mo Bros,” who took No Shave November by storm to raise money and awareness for Movember.

Movember is the leading charity changing the face of men’s health.   The movement-turned-charity raises funds and awareness to save men’s lives with projects focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. 

Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030, they aim to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.

 

 

The Growth Period

At the beginning of November, participants set fundraising goals and captured a “before” picture of their facial hair. Throughout the month, they offered updates on the growth on their reasons for participating. Overwhelmingly, the Bidtellect Mo Bros recognized that “No Shave November” would raise awareness and discussion around men’s health.

Director of Quality Karl Hentschel offered frequent updates of his growth. We love this one:

“Day 21! The fuzz is lookin’ real good. Coworkers think I could either pass as an Oxford professor or I should join a biker club. Vote and maybe I’ll dress up as the winner!”

The Shave Off

On the first day back after Thanksgiving, Bidtellectuals gathered for the post-November Shave Off. Participants showed off their varying degrees facial hair, from creepy staches to beards that would make Santa proud (lookin’ at you Mike). Bidtellect founder John Ferber called on a veteran barber of 50 years to professional shaves to those that requested it. He’s pictured above posing with Bidtellectuals in the Florida office.

The Vote and Results

Bidtellectuals voted for such categories as “most appealing mustache” and overall “Mr. Movember.” VP of Product Arthur Hainline swept virtually every category – a well-deserved win, as he brought Movember back to Bidtellect and encouraged participation!

Bidtellect raised $1,660

Wohoo!! We are so proud!

You can read more here: https://moteam.co/bidtellect-mo-bros

5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

5 Steps to Engaging Creatives this Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, one thing on most retailers’ minds is how to get their products in front of gift-givers. How do they set themselves apart in such a competitive space?

What is that extra special something that will call gift seekers to engage with your content?

As more and more brands rely on content distribution to earn trust and loyalty, I wanted to provide some of the top creative Native best practices that are not only trending but are also driving results for brands.

Retail is Booming 

In case you missed it, the 2019 holiday season is supposed to be record-breaking. eMarketer predicts it to be the first-ever trillion-dollar holiday season! And the key to serving up a successful holiday strategy, according to experts and trends documented by eMarketer, is sponsored, branded, or native advertising, which offer the highest-value for advertisers and is easiest to monetize for retailers.

From Q1 to Q3, we saw a 443% jump in Bidtellect’s retail space in just one year. 443%. Consumers rely on brands more and more often to get informed, for inspiration, and for valuable content. This shift to Native proves that shoppers are more likely to click on a “Top 5 Gifts Your Dad Will Love” versus “Sock Sale.” Content sells.

This is why creatives are so important. They are the gateway to a retail product; they are the invitation to and a representation of the brand. From a heartwarming image to a compelling headline, our top creative practices for the holidays will ensure that customers will want to engage with you first!

Content distribution starts with the right creative. Simple as that.

Headlines

The first (and arguably best) way to catch a shopper’s eye? The headline.

Remember to provide value, solve a problem from holiday shopping stress, educate the consumer, and use listacles to imply a quick and informative read. If you have a special offer or a promo code, now is the time to inform your prospective shoppers.

Ask questions! Be punny! Invite readers without shouting at them. Anything too pushy or blatant will deter readers. Keep it short and sweet (no more than 60 characters) and in title case.

Bottom line: engage, educate and entertain.

Images

Actually, the image is probably the first and best visual cue – so don’t slack here! Images that feature people or animals are more relatable and draw more of an emotional response. And if you have been thinking about utilizing cinemagraphs, now is the time to test it out.

Think lifestyle, authentic, people in the moment and in the holiday spirit. Do not include text to images – otherwise you’re entering display territory!

Bottom line: be emotional, authentic.

Description

This is the copy under the headline – it gives a little extra information about what your product or content offers! Remember to include value-driven, relevant copy that is consistent with the message in your headline.

And (this should go without saying) the description should be longer than your headline. It’s a slight explanation if you will. Establish the connection, create a conflict, and your call-to-action (KPI) is the solution.

Bottom line: call-to-action, consistent with the headline

Video

Consumers are engaging with Native video – and not just autoplay. Bidtellect saw a 143% increase in completion rate of in-feed, click-to-play videos in one year, proving that consumers do engage. The most successful videos are those that convey a clear message immediately.

Long videos that require time (and sound) from the viewer will not work. Keep the videos short and sweet, with a clear message that’s conveyed with or without sound and use subtitles or text.

Bottom line: clear message without sound

Testing

Don’t forget to utilize optimization strategies! Test out different creatives combinations and personalization tactics based on your KPIs for maximum engagement. It is essential to use a platform that will optimize to your KPIs to find your sweet spot.

Bottom line: optimization is key

Missy Steiner is the Vice President of Marketing at Bidtellect.

She’s hoping for Phish tickets as a gift this year!!

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Four Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Four Common Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Today, content marketing is an essential way to build a connection. Instead of pitching products, brands are aligning their strategies to provide truly relevant and helpful content to their consumers from solving’ business problems, entertainment, or creating a lasting connection.

The modern content marketer is spending an exorbitant amount of budget, resources, and time on content creation. So why is it still not right? What’s the hold-up? These are the four common mistakes to avoid to guarantee engagement, results, and brand loyalty.

“When consumers engage with your content, they engage with your brand.”

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect

1. Your Content is Stuck in Content Land

“Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

– CMI, “What is Content Marketing?”

Recently, our CEO Lon Otremba spoke at Brand Movers Edge Conference to talk about all things Content Marketing. His focus breaking down the content silos. Yes, these still exist. In fact, our VP of Sales, Terrah Bocchi wrote a great piece about it.

Let me as you a question, after you come up with a “killer content marketing idea” what is your next move? Is your first instinct to make your vision a reality, never really stopping to think about the purpose of the content or distribution? What does your marketing stack look like today? Does it look something like this?  Months after you get your “killer content marketing idea” most people are still deciding on content management platforms, content creation, and content curation companies. By then, your “killer content marketing idea” has been through so many hands and approvals it’s metamorphized into a project that’s not even your vision anymore. Oh, and it keeps you up at night.

Truth is, you probably already have valuable content to distribute. Here’s a great example: one of our clients came to us and said they were working on a great content marketing piece. They showed us the initial designs and within a day we put together Native creatives and foolproof targeting plan. A few weeks later, we reached out to the client and asked them if they were ready to distribute their content. Unfortunately, the content was stuck somewhere in creation-land and approvals. We went back to the client and said, “Well, here’s all these great articles and blog posts about your brand and they are relevant, entertaining, and witty.” The client agreed to test this idea with us. You know what? I don’t think that content marketing piece ever made the finish line, but the client has been distributing existing content with us for a few years now. They recognized the value. 

By all means, I’m not suggesting you stop creating content – we love content. But don’t get stuck in the silos. Make sure you align your distribution strategy with your creation – this is the key to your success.

– Lon Otremba, CEO of Bidtellect 

2. The Landing Page Isn’t Responsive (Or Mobile-Optimized)

“For the first time ever, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching
TV, with smartphone use dominating that time spent. The average US adult will spend 3 hours, 43 minutes on mobile devices in 2019, just above the 3:35 spent on TV. Of time spent on mobile, US consumers will spend 2:55 on smartphones, a 9-minute increase from last year. In 2018, mobile time spent was 3:35, with TV time spent at 3:44.”

– eMarketer, “Average US Time Spent with Mobile in 2019 Has Increased

We are witnessing a radical shift in content consumption and behavior. Have you ever been on the subway, or waiting in a doctor’s office, business meeting, or even at dinner at a restaurant where everyone is not looking down at their phones? They’re swiping, liking, and consuming content. Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure your content is responsive.

Often, especially in the case of interactive content, it’s important to ensure that your content appears correctly on the mobile page. This may require some backend work, but it’s well worth it in the end. If your content marketing objective is to get a PDF download, it makes sense to have your mobile-ready landing page email the PDF rather than download it on a mobile device (and bonus: you got another email address to remarket to). Lastly, if your end goal is a sale or transaction, remember that most people aren’t going to whip out their credit card on the subway or in a public place. Having some sort of payment transaction such as PayPal will increase your conversion rates.

We consistently see incredibly high click-through rates on mobile devices via In-Ad and In-Feed Native Advertising; however, if your landing page is not mobile-ready, engagement will decrease and bounce rates will increase. 

3. You Don’t Optimize Your Creative – Or Utilize Best Practices

Step one: Throw away all misconceptions, best practices, yadda yadda you know about traditional banner ads.

We’ve talked a lot about banner blindness. Now, step two: I want you to get display completely out of your head.

We good?

Native ad units are composed of a few core components: an image, a headline, a description and “Sponsored By”. Whereas display ads are whole, Native Ads are compiled in real-time designed to fit the form and function of the publisher’s website.

Over the last six years, our [b]+studio team has tested a plethora of strategic tactics with our Native creative – and we’ve measured performance. We know what works; we know what doesn’t work; we know what we thought wouldn’t work – does in fact work. We typically provide 3 – 5 creative variations utilizing different best practices for each landing page. (We let our optimization engine take care of the rest).

So that you don’t get started off on the wrong foot, here are a few of our Native Creative best practices.

Image

  1. Use bright and eye-catching colors
  2. Feature people, from shoulders up in natural settings or use of the products (rather than the product in isolation.
  3. Close up photographs work better than cluttered images
  4. Trigger memories and emotions rather than neutral expressions

Headline

  1. Headlines should look like a news article
  2. Emotional, Educational, Relevant and Engaging headlines work best
  3. Facilitate concern, doubt or worry. 
  4. Offer to education or solve problems
  5. Ask Questions
  6. Listicles work! And be punny!

Description

  1. Give the emotional “fish hook” that will real the reader in.
  2. Set up a problem and have a clear call to action as the solution
  3. Be careful not to get into click-bait territory

Avoid creative burnout! Always a creative refresh about a month in.

Shameless Plug:  Bidtellect’s in-house Native Creative Agency, [b]+studio, offers free access to help you create your custom content assets. 

4. You Forgot About Video

Research reveals that almost two-thirds of users skip pre-roll ads when possible, and three-quarters of these do so out of habit without waiting to see if the ad content is relevant or interesting (MagnaGlobal). By harnessing two thriving categories of advertising — video and native — brands can make use of a single digital super-format that connects emotionally with consumers without disrupting their experience.

Here are a few Native Video Best Practices:
  • The key to treat native video content the same way as a static native advertisement: find and use an engaging frame as a thumbnail, and be thoughtful of the creative with a text description.
  • Shorter videos (fifteen seconds or less) can significantly drive up video completions – especially on mobile.
  • Make sure the most compelling visuals and products are at the beginning of the video.
  • Make sure the video is understandable without sound.

It’s important to view your content marketing strategy holistically. The old-age saying “If yo
u build it, they will come,” doesn’t apply to content marketing. You can build a great piece of content, but without engagement – what is the purpose? By aligning your creation with distribution, results will increase dramatically.