Will AI Replace Artists? The Future of Art and Design in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Recently, I stumbled upon something quite peculiar on a grocery site I often use. The recipe photos, at first glance ordinary, held some bizarre surprises. Lemons with egg yolks, bacon jam merging seamlessly with its jar, pastries exhibiting impossible Euclidean geometries, turkeys with extra legs, mutant strawberries, and bizarre, indecipherable alien scripts. These oddities confirmed my suspicion: the website has embraced AI-generated imagery.

As somebody who has friends, family, and colleagues who work as food photographers (a specialty I have a ton of interest in and respect for), this hurt to see. At the same time, I know that without some something like regulations, the temptation to shift towards cheaper alternatives is usually too great to ignore for most business owners. Traditional food photo shoots are expensive and can be logistically challenging, especially for recipe content that doesn't directly drive revenue, but thankfully for my friends in the biz, the AI results speak for themselves. And they are strange.

However, from what I can tell, it is certain that AI-generated images will improve significantly in time. This raises questions about the future of art in the digital domain. Art, and yes even food photography, has always been a medium for human expression, creativity, and emotion. Before now, we have exclusively celebrated the artist's unique perspective. But can AI replace artists?

Understanding AI in Art

Before we explore the potential of AI replacing artists, first we need to grasp what AI in art really means. Artificial Intelligence, in simple terms, is about computer systems doing things that typically require human brains – like learning, solving problems, and understanding languages. When applied to art, these systems can help generate entire creative works based on human prompts or assist artists with more minute details in their creative process.

AI-generated art involves algorithms that learn from an array of existing artwork to create something new. These algorithms analyze patterns, colors, shapes, and styles from potentially thousands or more pieces before generating their own unique pieces. This process is often referred to as machine learning or deep learning.

AI and the Future of Food Photography

In the context of food photography, in the United States we have regulations that mandate the use of edible items. For example, advertisers need to display actual food when depicting food for sale. No substitutes, everything shown as food must be edible. This has led to strange practices such as using mashed potatoes to stand in for iced cream, as they're more photogenic under hot studio lights. It's a fine line between making food look great and staying within legal boundaries.

Does AI's entry into this space complicate this? Since AI-generated images aren't bound by the same rules — they're creating representations, not photographs — we may see a legal and ethical debate unfold. Is AI food alright on packaging and commercials for products you can purchase? What about for recipes? What will we tolerate as a society? How does AI imagery even apply to our standards of realism and truth in advertising? It's certainly an area ripe for potential regulation and debate.

Photography Beyond the Reach of AI – Limitations and Drawbacks

While AI shows promise in specific photography niches, it's important to remember its limitations. For some audiences and users, there is no replacement for legitimate footage. Documentary photography, for instance, relies on capturing real, unscripted moments, interactions, and events. The news media, one would hope, would adopt some best practices on the ethical use of AI-generated visual content and not misrepresent the footage they present before regulation becomes necessary. The authenticity and storytelling power of a human behind the camera, witnessing and recording life as it unfolds, remains unparalleled by AI. I believe the human demand for authentic imagery will be what saves food photographers from AI replacing them in the long term in the same way it will preserve documentary film crews and news media. There will always be a market for authentic and documentary media.

While I am talking about limitations, I should mention that the reason I can feel fairly safe in displaying the “food” images above is due to perhaps the biggest current drawback with AI art – the courts have determined that an AI created image cannot be copyrighted under U.S. law, stating that creative works must have human authors to be copyrightable.

The Role of Human Creativity in Art and Design

Despite the impressive capabilities of artificial intelligence, it lacks one crucial element that every artist possesses – human emotion. Art is not merely about creating visually appealing pieces; it's also about conveying emotions, telling stories, and expressing individuality. These are aspects that an algorithm cannot replicate.

Human designers have the ability to understand cultural nuances, historical contexts, and personal experiences - all these elements contribute to their creative process. They can empathize with their audience and create designs that resonate on a deeper emotional level.

Furthermore, while AI can mimic styles based on data inputted into its system, it cannot innovate or think outside the box like a human designer can. It doesn't have personal experiences, intuition, or emotions to draw inspiration from, limiting its creative potential. It cannot understand its audience or the client. Humans are still needed for that. In the case of my online shopping service, a human could have certainly prevented the worst of the images from making it onto the website. Clearly, at least for now, the best practice should involve oversight over this content at an absolute minimum.

So Can AI Replace Artists?

While the advancements in AI have led to impressive feats in the worlds of art and media, the question remains: Can AI ever replace artists? To answer this, we need to consider what makes art truly 'art'.

Art involves making conscious decisions about what to create and how to create it. An artist's choices in terms of color, composition, texture, and form are influenced by their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and cultural background. AI doesn't possess these human qualities; it creates based on programmed algorithms.

Reluctant Adoption, But Not Replacement

So, will AI make artists obsolete? The answer is not as straightforward as it may seem. While AI is definitely shaking things up in the art and design world, it's not about to fully replace human designers. But there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle either; AI is already here.

At least when it comes to multimedia marketing, what's more likely than AI taking over your field is a future where more human in your field use AI. By taking the best of what AI is good at – efficiency and crunching data – human artists will likely continue to do what they have been doing since the beginning – using art to express themselves.

The Future of AI in Art and Design

While it seems unlikely that AI will replace artists entirely in the foreseeable future, it certainly has a role to play in the evolution of art. AI can serve as a tool for artists to explore new creative avenues and push boundaries.

Moreover, the intersection of AI and art opens up exciting possibilities for interactive and immersive art experiences. Artists can create dynamic artworks that respond to viewers' movements or change over time using AI technologies.

In conclusion, while AI in art has made significant strides and offers exciting possibilities for creativity and innovation, it cannot replace the emotional depth, personal expression, and conscious decision-making inherent in human-created art. The unique perspective each artist brings to their work is irreplaceable by any algorithm. However, like it or not, AI will be a powerful tool in the hands of artists, helping them push the boundaries of creativity and explore new artistic horizons. Creativity, for now, remains a uniquely human trait. And while machines may mimic or assist us in creating art or designs, they cannot replace the human touch that makes each piece unique. So instead of asking "Will AI replace artists and designers?", perhaps we should be asking "How can legitimate artists effectively collaborate with AI?" The answer to this question will define the future of art and design.

Rebranding vs Brand Refresh: Which is Better For My Business?

It was the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus who posited that change is the only constant in life. The business environment is no exception to this theory. For every business, there comes a time when certain changes become inevitable. In such situations, either you change and remain relevant, or resist change and stay stagnant, or even decline.

One big question most businesses ask at such times is whether to rebrand or refresh. Whether you’re rebranding or just refreshing your brand, both tasks require significant costs. Hiring the services of an experienced multimedia marketing company can help you maximize scarce resources and get the desired results.

What is Rebranding? 

Rebranding involves the complete transformation of certain key elements of a brand. In terms of the degree of change, a rebrand is often more extensive and radical than a brand refresh. Hence, in a rebrand, a brand's identity and strategy can be overhauled holistically. Rebranding is typically adopted when the current brand strategy has failed.

Elements that may be affected during a rebrand include:

The Benefits of Rebranding

Rebranding is often more challenging than a brand refresh but, when properly conducted, can yield several benefits, such as:

What is a Brand Refresh?

A brand refresh is a set of modifications to certain brand elements in order to realign the brand with current trends in the marketplace (or achieve any other goals that necessitate the refresh). In other words, a brand refresh can be likened to an attempt by a brand to fine-tune or modernize its image while preserving its core identity and strategy. Elements that may be affected during a refresh include:

The Benefits of a Brand Refresh

Though a brand refresh is often not as comprehensive, in-depth, or radical as a rebrand, it still ushers in a variety of significant benefits. Here are some of them:

Rebrand or Refresh: Which is the Better Option for You?

As noted earlier, change is the only constant in life, and every business must change according to present-day realities. The business world is always in flux, characterized by innovation, new consumer tastes, preferences, and demands. Therefore, your business will need to rebrand or refresh once in a while.

So which option is better for you? Well, it all depends. If your brand is in a fairly strong position and doing well, then you may just need to refresh things here and there to become even stronger and more profitable. In contrast, you will need a rebrand if you have fallen behind your competitors and thus require holistic improvements to at least catch up if not overtake them. However, note that a company in a strong position may also decide to rebrand to achieve more. But this carries an element of risk because you do not change a winning team, as those in the soccer industry will often tell you.

If you are in Pittsburgh and looking to either rebrand or refresh, be sure to check out Twothirty Media, an experienced branding agency in Pittsburgh. We are branding experts who possess the knowledge and experience to assist you in building a strong, consistent brand identity that resonates with your target audience.

Multimedia Marketing vs. Digital Marketing: Choosing the Right Path for Your Business

Marketing has evolved into a dazzling array of options for promoting your products and services. It's like a candy store; you're the kid with a sweet tooth for success!

You've probably heard about multimedia and digital marketing as two popular strategies to level up your game. But what's the difference between them, and which is the perfect match for your brand?

Fear not! In this blog post, we'll dive deep into these marketing approaches, unraveling their key differences and helping you make the best choice for your business.

Understanding Multimedia Marketing

Let's start by unraveling the concept of multimedia marketing. As the name suggests, it involves leveraging multiple forms of media to reach and engage with the target audience. 

This could include traditional television, radio, print, billboards, direct mail, and digital platforms like websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. Multimedia marketing aims to create a cohesive and integrated consumer experience across various touchpoints, utilizing offline and online channels.

Digital Marketing: The Power of the Online Realm

Digital marketing, on the other hand, focuses primarily on online platforms and channels. It encompasses various strategies and tactics, including search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, email marketing, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and more. The advantage digital marketing has is its ability to precisely target specific audiences and track the effectiveness of campaigns in real-time through analytics.

Comparing the Two Approaches

1. Reach and Targeting

Multimedia marketing has the potential to reach a broad audience by utilizing various offline and online channels. However, digital marketing offers unparalleled targeting capabilities, allowing businesses to define specific demographics, interests, behaviors, and other criteria to reach the right people at the right time. This precision targeting often leads to higher conversion rates and a more promising return on investment (ROI).

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Regarding cost, digital marketing has an edge over multimedia marketing. Online campaigns can be more affordable, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. Traditional media channels like television or print advertisements often require significant investments, making them less accessible for companies with restricted resources.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability

Digital marketing shines in terms of flexibility and adaptability. With digital campaigns, making adjustments, optimizing strategies, and experimenting with different approaches based on real-time data and insights is easier. On the other hand, multimedia marketing may involve more time and effort to modify campaigns once launched, especially if they rely on print or broadcast media.

4. Consumer Engagement

Multimedia marketing has the potential to create a more immersive and memorable experience for consumers by utilizing various sensory elements. Combining visual, audio, and tactile components can leave a lasting impact. In contrast, digital marketing often focuses on short-form content and immediate interactions, which may have a different level of sensory appeal but can foster real-time engagement and conversations.

Finding the Sweet Spot: Combining Multimedia and Digital Marketing for Maximum Impact

Ultimately, the choice between multimedia and digital marketing depends on your business goals, target audience, budget, and the nature of your products or services. While multimedia marketing offers a broader reach and the potential for a multi-sensory experience, digital marketing provides precise targeting, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and real-time analytics.

Ideally, a well-rounded marketing strategy could incorporate elements from both approaches, ensuring a comprehensive and effective promotional campaign. 

Remember, understanding your audience and staying updated with the latest trends and technologies will empower you to make well-informed decisions and remain ahead of the competition in this dynamic marketing landscape.

Enhancing Marketing Possibilities: TikTok and OTT Programmatic Advertising

In the context of our exploration into multimedia and digital marketing, it's important to remember that multimedia and digital marketing are not mutually exclusive. For example, let's consider platforms you are almost certainly already familiar with: TikTok and OTT programmatic advertising. These additions bring a new dimension to the dynamic interaction between multimedia and digital strategies, adding depth and vibrancy to your marketing endeavors.

Imagine TikTok as a modern twist to traditional marketing channels. It functions like a television station, but it's right on people's smartphones. With TikTok, you can craft short, captivating videos that convey your message and engage your audience in an entertaining and creative manner. It's not just an app – it's a platform that can establish an intimate connection with potential customers, integrating your brand seamlessly into their daily lives.

OTT programmatic advertising might sound complex, but it's a compelling way to expand your brand's reach, and you've probably run into it before, even if you don't realize it. Consider your favorite shows on platforms like Netflix or Hulu; these are Over-The-Top (OTT) services. OTT programmatic advertising involves displaying your ads on these platforms, allowing your message to appear during viewers' streaming sessions. Think of it as a chance to join the party of their entertainment and make your brand an indispensable part of their leisure time.

As we piece together these marketing components, envision a puzzle coming together to reveal a complete picture. By incorporating digital multimedia advertising platforms such as TikTok and OTT into the existing blend of multimedia and digital marketing, you add an extra layer of depth to your approach. TikTok contributes an element of fun, creativity, and immediacy through short videos that can resonate with a younger demographic. Conversely, OTT programmatic advertising enables you to engage a broader audience during their leisure moments, seamlessly integrating your brand into their entertainment experience.

The significance of these additions lies in the enhanced engagement they offer. TikTok transforms your brand into a relatable, shareable story. At the same time, OTT ensures your presence during those prime moments when your audience is most receptive. By embracing these tools, you amplify the overall impact of your marketing strategy, creating a more comprehensive and effective outreach.

As you navigate your marketing journey, consider the value of combining your multimedia and digital advertising campaigns. Integrating platforms like TikTok and OTT programmatic advertising into your existing strategy can propel your brand's success in this ever-evolving landscape. 

Twothirty Media: Unleash the Power of Creative Marketing in Pittsburgh!

Ready to craft the ultimate marketing strategy for your business? Look no further than Twothirty Media, your go-to creative marketing agency in Pittsburgh! Our team of experts is here to help you navigate the multimedia and digital marketing landscape, ensuring you make the perfect choice for your unique business needs. Get in touch with Twothirty Media today, and let's create a marketing masterpiece together.

Why is Brand Management Important?

Brand management is a crucial aspect of any business, big or small, and involves developing and maintaining a company's brand identity. This includes the company's name, logo, messaging, and overall reputation. 

Why Is Brand Management So Important?

Effective brand management is essential for businesses looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It builds trust and loyalty among customers, ultimately leading to increased sales and growth. It is also a way to clearly communicate the unique value proposition and benefits of a company's products or services. This helps differentiate it from competitors and helping it to stand out in a competitive industry. Well-managed brands can establish a solid and positive reputation, which can attract new customers and drive repeat business.

Differentiation

In today's competitive business environment, it's important to differentiate your brand from others in your industry. Brand management helps differentiate your brand from others in your industry. It's crucial to clearly communicate what makes your company unique and why customers should choose you over competitors. Strong brand management allows you to highlight your brand's unique value proposition and the benefits it offers to customers.

Trust and loyalty

Brand management helps to build trust and loyalty among your target audience. Customers are more likely to choose a brand they trust and feel a connection to. By consistently delivering on your brand promise and providing a positive customer experience, you can create that trust and loyalty. This is especially important on social media, where negative customer experiences can spread quickly and damage your reputation.

Reputation 

Your brand's reputation is a crucial part of your overall success, and a strong, positive reputation can attract new customers, while a negative reputation can drive them away. Effective brand management helps you to proactively manage your brand's reputation and address any issues that may arise. This might include responding to customer complaints, addressing negative reviews, or implementing measures to improve the quality of your products or services.

Customer retention

Studies suggest that at most companies, 65% of the revenue comes from repeat business with existing clients, and existing customers purchase 90% more often than typical customers. Loyal customers are more likely to continue doing business with a brand they trust and feel connected to. You can improve customer retention and increase repeat business by consistently delivering on your brand promise and providing a positive customer experience.

Increased value

A robust and well-managed brand can add value to your business, making it more attractive to potential buyers or investors. By investing in effective brand management, you can set your business up for long-term success and position it for growth and expansion.

The Value of Brand Management

In conclusion, brand management is an essential part of any business. It helps to differentiate your company from competitors, build trust and loyalty among customers, manage your reputation, improve customer retention, and increase the value of your business. By investing in effective brand management, you can set your business up for long-term success.

If you're looking for a branding agency in Pittsburgh, Twothirty Media is here to help. Our team of branding experts has the knowledge and experience to help you create a strong, consistent brand identity that resonates with your target audience. We offer a range of branding management services, including logo design, brand strategy development, messaging and positioning, and more.

Twothirty Media understands that every business is unique, which is why we take a personalized approach to branding. We work closely with our clients to understand their goals, values, and target audience and use this information to create a branding strategy that is tailored to their needs.

Ensuring Accessibility and Privacy Compliance for your Website

Website Compliance Best Practices for Your Website

In today's digital world, website accessibility and user privacy are two critical factors that website owners cannot afford to ignore. From an ethical standpoint, it's crucial to ensure that your website is accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. It is important for all business owners to understand that website accessibility is a legal requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is required under the ADA and was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Similarly, data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), are becoming more stringent than ever. Websites that fail to comply with these regulations risk facing steep penalties and legal action, not to mention losing the trust of their customers. Ensuring that your website complies with both accessibility and privacy regulations is not only a legal requirement but also an ethical obligation and a good business move to provide an inclusive and safe user experience.

US companies need to comply with the GDPR in the European Union, and companies not in California need to comply with laws like the CCPA because these laws protect the privacy rights of individuals and require businesses to be transparent about how they collect, use, and share personal information. Furthermore, failing to comply with GDPR or CCPA can result in significant financial penalties, damage to a company's reputation, and loss of customer trust. Additionally, as more countries and states continue to adopt similar privacy laws, companies that prioritize privacy compliance are more likely to establish trust and loyalty with their customers, as well as avoid legal and financial consequences. Complying with GDPR and CCPA not only helps businesses avoid negative consequences but also demonstrates a commitment to protecting the privacy rights of individuals, which can help build a positive brand reputation.

Achieving website accessibility compliance doesn't have to be daunting, especially if you are using a platform like WordPress. There are several free accessibility plugins available on the WordPress repository that can help make your website more accessible to users with disabilities. These plugins use AI and machine learning algorithms to automatically adjust your website's content and interface, making it more user-friendly for people with visual, auditory, or motor disabilities. While these plugins may not guarantee full compliance or mitigate legal risk, they can go a long way in improving accessibility and reducing barriers to entry for users with disabilities. However, not all accessibility tools are created equal, and it helps to have a third-party guide you in selecting and configuring these tools to ensure they will do as advertised.

Privacy Policy Compliance

Writing a privacy policy is another essential aspect of ensuring website compliance. A privacy policy outlines how your website collects, uses, and protects users' data and is required by law in many jurisdictions. While writing your privacy policy may seem daunting, many resources are available to help you. For instance, there are online templates that can help you create a privacy policy, saving you time and money. However, be aware that these templates are not custom-built for you and may not provide the level of detail required by privacy laws and regulations.

When to Hire a Compliance Professional

Hiring a professional service to handle your website accessibility and data privacy compliance can give you peace of mind and ensure you meet all legal requirements. To assist our clients, Twothirty Media now offers website accessibility compliance through accessiBe and data privacy compliance solutions through Termly. With the GDPR and the CCPA, ensuring that your website complies with data privacy laws is more important than ever. Termly provides comprehensive solutions to help you meet these requirements, protecting your and your customer's data.

Website Accessibility Compliance

Website accessibility compliance is not only essential from an ethical standpoint, but it is also a legal requirement under the ADA. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires that websites be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. In the event of a lawsuit, accessiBe has a Litigation Support Package to guide you. By using accessiBe, Twothirty Media can help ensure that your website is accessible to all users, including those with visual or hearing impairments, mobility issues, or other disabilities. Twothirty Media doesn't just install a plugin - we also scan your site for accessibility issues and help you correct them. This extra step means you not only meet your legal obligations but also provide a positive user experience for all.

As a website owner, it's your responsibility to ensure that your website complies with all relevant laws and regulations. Failure to do so can result in costly fines and legal penalties. Twothirty Media is here to guide you and ensure your website complies with all applicable legal requirements.

Website Compliance Made Easy

Twothirty Media offers professional, comprehensive solutions to help you achieve website accessibility and data privacy compliance, taking into account your unique needs and legal requirements. We can do it for you or help you do it yourself; avoiding costly fines and legal issues will save you money in the long run.

In conclusion, website accessibility and data privacy compliance are critical considerations for website owners, both from a legal and ethical standpoint. While free tools are available to improve website accessibility and create a privacy policy, these may not provide the level of detail required by regulations. If you're unsure how to ensure compliance, working with a professional service like Twothirty Media can help you navigate the complexities of website accessibility and data privacy regulations, ensuring that your website is accessible and compliant.

Rebuild or Refresh: How Often Should You Redesign Your Website?

Many of our customers come to us with websites that are already established. Often, they come to us with an established website and are asking for things like conversion or search engine optimization, ongoing management, new sections, or even updated functionality. Sometimes we can accommodate them with their existing websites. Sometimes, that’s not so simple.

Your website should evolve with your company as you grow and expand, and knowing when to redesign your website is vital to maintaining your online presence. You will inevitably require a website makeover if you want to keep your site engaging, relevant, and up-to-date.

Often, we find our customers strike the best balance between keeping their brand fresh and completely saturating their market with a new campaign by redesigning their websites around every 5 years or so. But the problem is, I don’t have any hard data to back that up for every project – it’s just a rule of thumb and cannot be applied to every company or organization, let alone applied across the board for every industry.

Instead of relying on some arbitrary timetable, we recommend you consider these universal factors when the topic of a website redesign comes up.

Your Website Has a Low Conversion Rate

What’s a website conversion rate? Conversion rate refers to the frequency with which someone who visits your website completes a desired task that you are tracking. You can’t really track your conversations without some careful setup work. If it’s implemented for you, you probably have a dashboard or receive monthly conversion reports through something like Google Analytics.

Your website is not a passive tool. It's a visual representation of your company, its goals, and your brand. It should be more than a digital business card – it should be set up to drive conversions. If your conversion rate is low, it's time to consider a redesign. Many factors can affect conversion rates, including content quality, design quality, ease of navigation, and, most importantly, the user experience.

Outdated Look and Feel

Your website is a product of its time. The look and feel of your website can have a significant effect on how users perceive your business. You might find that elements of your website are causing slower load times when users come across your website. This might lead them to "bounce" off your website and leave before even taking the time to look at your key pages.

You might also find that the design on your website is outdated, making use of design trends and styles that are way past their prime. Even if your website has fast load times and is easy to navigate, users could still bounce if your website doesn’t have a modern look.

Take a look at your competitors, both large and small businesses, and see what design features they’re employing. If your website feels outdated by comparison, it could be time for a redesign!

Hard to Navigate

Your website needs to look good, but it needs to do more than that. It doesn’t matter what conversions you are tracking if your visitors can’t find what they're looking for. If they can't easily navigate the site, they'll have no choice but to leave. Although it sounds obvious, most people overlook this aspect because they don't know where to start.

There are a lot of ways to determine if your website suffers from user interface problems. You could employ an analytics tool and analyze your user flow, or simply ask people to finish tasks using your website and monitor them.

If you determine your website’s current structure is confusing, and it isn’t easy to find your key pages, it’s time to refresh.

Not Mobile Friendly

When you think of websites, you may think of desktop computers. But the fact is, over 60% of global web traffic is from mobile phones. If it’s difficult to use your website on a mobile device, then rectifying this can benefit you massively. 

If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on potential customers. Mobile usability is one of the many important factors in optimizing your website for Google searches. So, you can drive more traffic to your site if it’s optimized for mobile users.

If your website wasn’t designed with mobile users in mind, it’s unlikely that you will see much success trying to make it mobile-friendly after the fact. Consider a mobile-first philosophy when you develop your new site.

Doesn't Reflect Branding Changes

Your website is the first thing people see when they want to learn about your business. It should reflect the current state of your business to remain relevant. If you’ve recently refreshed your branding, it’s vital that you update your website so that there is parity between your online and physical presence.

Get the Best Professionals to Redesign Your Website Today

When was the last you updated your website? Regular site updates protect you against online phishing and ensure the site is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate. As a top marketing agency in Pittsburgh, our experts will bring life to your site using the best practices. Get in touch with us today to get started.

What is the Role of Multimedia in Marketing?

By definition, multimedia is "a technique ... in which several media are employed." In other words, multimedia is the use of various forms of media (e.g., text, images, audio, video) in tandem to communicate a message.

In today's digital age, multimedia has become an essential part of marketing. With the proliferation of digital devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops), consumers are inundated with multimedia content daily. As a result, businesses must find ways to stand out from the noise and connect with their target audiences through multimedia.

Why Use Multimedia in Marketing?

Multimedia plays a crucial role in marketing by helping businesses connect with their target audiences and distinguish themselves from the competition. Through various multimedia formats, companies can tell their stories, promote their products and services, show how to use their products, and much more.

Marketing Multimedia vs. Multimedia Marketing

What is the difference between marketing multimedia and multimedia marketing? It's all in the name! Multimedia marketing is a marketing technique in which you develop marketing materials using several media sources. Marketing multimedia is just the materials that you create for your marketing campaign.

Components of Marketing Multimedia

We experience the digital world through our eyes and ears, so the most common components of marketing multimedia are the ones you can use to see and hear it:

Types of Marketing Multimedia

What are the types of marketing multimedia? The components we listed above can be developed into different formats, not just limited to: radio and streaming audio ads, print and digital display advertisements, websites, blog posts, e-newsletters, and videos of all kinds, from explainers to commercials.

When used effectively, multimedia marketing tools like these can be a powerful method of driving awareness, engagement, and conversions. Consider working with a multimedia marketing company to take your marketing to the next level.

What is a Multimedia Marketing Company?

multimedia marketing company is an agency that specializes in creating and executing multimedia marketing campaigns. From strategy to production to distribution, a multimedia marketing company can help businesses achieve their marketing goals.

Why Do You Need a Multimedia Marketing Company?

There are many benefits of working with a multimedia marketing company, including the following:

Access to skilled professionals. Multimedia marketing companies have a team of skilled professionals such as photographers, videographers, editors, and more. This team can help businesses create high-quality multimedia content that achieves their desired results.

Equipment. Many businesses don't have the equipment necessary to produce multimedia content. Multimedia marketing companies have the latest equipment and can help enterprises to create professional-grade content.

Time-saving. Creating multimedia content can be time-consuming. Working with a multimedia marketing company can save business owners time and allow them to focus on other aspects of their business, either by taking work off your hands or training you on the tools that you will need to execute your marketing plan yourself.

Cost-effective. Multimedia marketing companies have economies of scale and can often produce multimedia content at a lower cost than businesses could on their own.

Why Choose Twothirty Media?

Twothirty Media is a full-service multimedia marketing company specializing in creating engaging multimedia content for businesses, among other marketing services. We have a team of creative professionals, content creators, and the latest tools to produce high-quality content that achieves your desired results.

If you're looking to take your marketing to the next level, contact Twothirty Media, Pittsburgh's leading multimedia marketing agency.

10 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Google Local Search

For many local businesses, local search optimization is the most effective way to drive more traffic to your website, more leads through calls, and ultimately more conversions and sales. You have most likely used local search yourself, even if you didn’t realize it. Have you ever seen a list of businesses in Google search associated with a map or star-rating? That’s local search! Potential customers are constantly searching for services in your local area - so how can you take advantage of this and optimize your website for local search?

1: Create a Google Business Profile

If your business has a physical location, setting up a Google Business Profile is an effective way to get noticed in search results. A listing will help users quickly find information about your business, including your address, contact details, and website. Your business will also appear in Google Maps results, opening the door for more web users to find you.

If you do not have a physical location for your business, or you if don’t want your business address to be public, Google will let you set an account up as a “service area business.” This gives you a few limitations you wouldn’t have otherwise, but nothing substantial.

2: Get Better Google Reviews

Keeping a steady stream of reviews can improve your local SEO by bringing visibility to your listing and improving your click-through rate. Make sure you respond to all reviews - even the negative ones - as this will show potential customers and Google that you are dedicated to improving your customer experience.

If you are lucky, you may find it hard to keep on top of all your reviews! More likely, you will need creative methods to convince your best customers to review you. This is a process that you can do on your own, but it takes commitment. Some of our clients use our software to make requesting and responding to online reviews simpler, others need us to run the software for them as part of a broader marketing strategy.

3: Make Use of Question & Answer

Searchers will have the opportunity to ask questions about your services on a Google Business Profile. It’s vital that you make the most of this; Google Q&A uses this to provide information to your customers and answer any questions they may have. You can even ask and answer your own questions to cover frequently asked questions that you may receive.

4: Make Google Business Profile Posts

Google Business Posts can be a great way to connect with your customers and show off any updates or promotions you may be running. These posts are temporary and will stay on your profile for a week, so you must keep posting to engage with your customers.

Google Profile Posts are a great way to share photos, videos, incentivization, changes to your hours, or any other details about how your business is operating.

5: Establish Yourself on Other Local Directories

Google sees the web a bit like you might imagine a spiderweb. If you want Google users to find you, you need Google to see your part of that web, meaning you need to be connected to, and from.

You can improve your local SEO by posting your company on trusted local directories, such as Yelp, Bing, and many more. Google needs to be sure that your business is authentic, so having verified details on many of these sites can improve Google’s trust in your company. Some directories even provide you with a backlink, which can be used to increase your domain authority.

6: Keep Contact Details Consistent Across the Internet

It’s essential to keep your contact information consistent across your website, your Google Business Profile, and all local directories, as inconsistencies can lead Google to reduce your local ranking and search rankings overall.

Most likely, you will want more than a few references from local directories. Also, you want to make sure that when something changes like an address, phone number or even your business name, it gets updated everywhere. And you want to protect your listing against updates from malicious actors. Just like with online reviews, some of our clients use our DIY business solutions tools to manage directory backlinks. If you are interested, get in touch and we may be able to help you out too.

7: Create Targeted Location Pages

When you create a targeted page for a particular location, you can drive organic traffic to your site from those searching for your services in their local area. If you have a physical location, you promote this individually, whereas if you’re just targeting a location your business serves, you can drive more traffic from that area. By taking advantage of local keywords, including location names in your title tags, H1 headings, and meta descriptions, you can compete within a local area. It’s essential to avoid duplicate content when creating these pages, as you see a negative effect on your rankings - so ensure all content is unique for each page.

8: Build Backlinks from Authoritative Websites

Building authentic backlinks from trusted sources is a great way to improve your overall SEO. This can help you build up your domain authority, so your business appears more trustworthy to Google. Avoid black-hat SEO techniques, where your domain name is uploaded to a site with a huge list of URLs, as this can bring down your domain authority.

Getting those backlinks can be a challenge though. Just like with Google Reviews and directory listings, it’s hard to know where to start, how to outreach, or if your efforts are improving your keyword rankings without tools to craft and measure your success. We offer DIY SEO and managed SEO packages for businesses of all sizes, and all our plans come with the tools you need to do backlink outreach, technical optimization, generate content ideas, see what your competitors are doing and report on your results. 

9. Create Local-Based Content

By creating content that focuses on your local community, you can attract users from this community to your site. Local, industry-specific content can help you promote your services and keep users coming back for more. 

Voice assistants have seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, and many homes have one. People tend to use more long-tail keywords when using voice search, so it’s important to adapt your SEO strategy to complement this. If your blog posts are more conversational in nature and target keywords that are phrased as questions, you may see an increase in traffic.

The Importance of Local SEO

All of these techniques can be implemented to help you see improvements in your website's overall search rankings and will drive more traffic to your site. If you don’t have the time to work on this yourself, Twothirty Media’s Pittsburgh SEO agency can help you improve your local rankings and drive organic traffic to your website.

What Is The Difference Between Inbound And Outbound Marketing?

There are a lot of similarities between inbound and outbound marketing, but there are also some key differences. This blog post will look at these differences more closely. We'll also discuss the pros and cons of both. So, if you're curious about the difference between inbound and outboard marketing, read on!

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing attracts customers to your products or services through content marketing, search engine optimization, or social media.

In contrast, outbound marketing is more traditional and relies on advertising, cold-calling, or email blasts to reach potential customers.

So, Which One Is Better?

Well, it depends on your business and your goals. Inbound marketing can be a great way to build awareness and generate interest if you're selling a new product or niche.

However, outbound marketing may be more effective at generating leads if you're selling a more established product or service.

Ultimately, the best approach will likely be a combination of inbound and outbound marketing.

Examples Of Inbound Marketing Techniques

Generally, inbound marketing refers to any marketing strategy that draws customers in rather than going out to them. This can take many different forms, but here are common examples:

YouTube Videos

YouTube videos are a great form of inbound marketing because they allow you to share your message with a large audience at a low cost. Additionally, videos are a great way to engage with your customers and build trust.

SEO

With SEO, you create blog posts and relevant articles for your target audience. You optimize your website for search engines and include keywords and phrases pertinent to your business. By doing this, you'll attract more traffic to your website and also be able to rank higher on search engine results pages.

Social Media

Social media is an especially helpful way to do inbound marketing because it connects to potential customers directly. For example, companies could post updates about their products or services on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. They could also share blog posts or articles about their industry or topics related to their business. Questions from customers can be answered in real-time, and these interactions build trust with their follower base too!

Examples Of Outbound Marketing Techniques

Outbound marketing is any type where businesses find their target audience rather than relying on them to find the company. Here are some popular examples:

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most popular outbound marketing techniques, although technically email marketing can be inbound and outbound. It involves sending (outbound) commercial messages to a group of people via email, but this group consists of people who opted-in (inbound) to hear your messages. These messages can be in ads, newsletters, or promotional content. It's a great way to reach many people quickly and efficiently, and your leads can self-segment by level of interest.

Online Advertising

Online advertising is when businesses pay for ads to appear on websites or in search engine results, and it takes many forms. Some of these ads are in the form of SEM (search engine marketing) or banner ads, video preroll, etc. They usually link to a landing page where potential customers can learn more about the product or service being advertised.

Direct Mail

Direct mail is an outbound marketing technique that uses physical mail for marketing a product or service. While it may seem old-school, it isn’t too shabby when it comes to targeting, and remains a great way to saturate an area with a brand or message.

Inbound Vs. Outbound Marketing: In Closing

So, what is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing? We hope this article provides some answers for you.

They're two very different techniques, but both can be successful in the right circumstances.

The one that will work best for your business depends on various factors, including your products or services, your target audience, and your overall marketing strategy. A curated mix of inbound and outbound can give your company the ROI boost you are looking for.

If you’re looking for a marketing plan in Pittsburgh, Twothirty Media is here to help - we can craft a marketing strategy that is tailored to your business’s needs. Get in touch with us today!

What Makes Advertising Effective?

What Makes Advertising Effective?

People are inundated with advertisements all day long. They hear ads on the radio, they see ads on TV, in print media, while streaming, and online. Companies need to filter out the noise in a world where advertisements are everywhere to understand what makes advertising effective. After all, companies use advertising to stand out from the crowd. 

Your Product or Service Must Stand Out From Your Competitors

Before jumping into an ad campaign, you must be confident that you're starting with a rock-solid product or service - one that is better than the competition, something no one else can offer. Each company, business, or entrepreneur must have a "Unique Selling Proposition," commonly referred to as a USP.

So What is a USP?

A USP tells the reader, listener, viewer, or niche audience to buy a product for a specific benefit. The product or service should be something they cannot get from anyone else, which means uniqueness. Finally, the proposition in the advertisement should ‘move the masses’. This means it should motivate previous customers to buy your product while attracting new customers. 

Here are some USPs that have been effective throughout the years:

Of course, your USP doesn't have to be a slogan, and your slogan doesn't have to be a USP. Maybe it's a specific product or offering that is unique to you. If you have trouble finding your USP, consider niching down to a particular audience you can specialize in.

The Audience

Imagine you are at a party, and your goal is to find someone you can connect to on some level. How would you go about doing this? For starters, you might look for someone with similar interests; maybe a sports jersey grabs your attention. If you don't see any dead giveaways, you'd need to start a conversation and ask about a person to try to make any real connection. Sure, you could talk about the weather or the color of the paint on the walls, but that's not bound to get you far. You need to know a little about someone to connect with them.

An advertiser is more like a DJ at a party. They can engage and make a connection with everyone at the party at once. But the same risks apply; without understanding their audience before they begin, they run the risk of alienating everyone at once.  

If you are an advertiser with a unique product, skill set, experience, or service, you need to make sure you reach a unique audience. Even national burger chains market to regional audiences in different ways, when they know what makes advertising effective.  

How do you know that your ads are reaching your audience? Well, that's a bit more complicated. At some point, you will need to place your ads, and that's where targeting comes in. Facebook and Google have a lot of advanced features for helping target your audience and can get good results from a small spend if you are willing to learn the ropes and keep up with the curveballs they'll inevitably throw your way. Whether you are a small advertiser looking to master Facebook and Google Ads, or you have a large budget and are looking for something more advanced, like programmatic display or over-the-top streaming ads, we can help you out. 

The Headline

Now that you have a USP and know your audience let's figure out how to combine the two into a headline. The headline is one of the essential parts of any advertising. Think about your time on social media or while going through a news feed. There are tons of stories and posts that are clamoring for your attention. How do you choose which one to read? The headline, of course!

The headline should grab their attention, but it also has to deliver. If the headline is clickbait, you will have many potential customers exiting the advertisement in frustration, which could ultimately cost you. 

The Benefits

Every potential customer wants you to answer one question: what's in it for them? This should be the core idea you build your advertisements around. What are the features of your product or service, and how do these features benefit the client?

For instance; if you are a bakery trying to get new clients with a new muffin you just released, it is not enough to say, "come on in and try our new banana pumpkin muffin." You need more. Why do I, the customer, need a banana pumpkin muffin? Does it taste good? Is it healthy? Low on calories? Is it cheap? Is there a discount? This time you need to be more than better than the muffins down the street - you need to justify your existence. 

Great Graphics / Copy

The copy must be excellent - whether your ad is in print, video, or voice. The graphics must be clear, crisp, and attractive whether your ad will appear in print, on screens, or video. Photos should both show the product and what the product has to offer. What will eating your new banana pumpkin muffin do for me? – show me a picture. Will I be happy? Refreshed? Has this helped me have a more productive morning?

The Call to Action

The Call to Action, or CTA, is one of the most critical parts of the ad. Sure, a muffin is nice. It looks attractive, the baker seems happy, and the shop is well maintained. If you have established why they need this muffin, now you need to show them how to get it right now. Tell the customer what to do:

What Should You Do Now?

Now that you know what makes advertising effective and how vital good advertisements are to a business, you should learn more about our advertising agency in Pittsburgh! Visit us to learn more about what we can do for you and your business.