At Promotion LA, we’ve established ourselves as a digital marketing agency. With that being said, we specialize in more than just handling a brand’s digital marketing strategies and campaigns. We consider ourselves a full service creative agency because we can produce content to drive a campaign as well as derive a strategy for the campaign.

Content is at the center of all successful campaigns. High quality imagery and text will push a campaign to its highest optimum level of success and it is imperative that your campaigns are driven by customized, original material.

But what are the best steps to generating quality content?

Take Viewer’s Perspective

You must take the viewer’s perspective when you are creating content for a campaign. It isn’t about your personal opinion. The best campaigns are full of imagery and information that will spark the interest of the target audience. The content creators or even the business owner reviewing the content must be aware of what is in the best interest of the target audience.

Catchy Headline Text

There is a difference between a click bait headline and a quality headline to attract viewers.  The headline of your post, whether it is a blog or an article with factual information, will determine whether or not the piece goes viral. Just remember, the primary job of the headline is to catch the attention of viewers so that they read your content.

Know Your Target Audience

This goes back to a point touched on earlier in this blog. You must understand your target audience and understand how to reach that audience if you want your content to have any chance to make an impact. Study your competitors, their followings, locations and other traits possessed by people that would lead you to believe that your product is best suited to be in front of their eyes.

Include References in Content

Credibility is gained through “who you know”, right? Well making references to experts in your industry or other popular cornerstone companies in your industry will give your content credibility. Knowing your competitors is one thing, but playing friendly with them is another. Don’t be afraid to feature competitors in your articles. It will help your brand just as much!

Visually Appealing

Make sure everything that you produce from your brand’s digital platforms is visually the way you’d like your brand to be displayed. If it’s a professional tone, make the campaign take on a professional look. If it’s supposed to make people laugh, make it look funny. If you want to stand out, make it unique and original. It all depends on what the goal of the campaign is, but when you figure that out you can easily devise your content based around that idea.

We hope you are learning from these blogs and if you want to learn more, you can visit us on Facebook and Instagram!

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#Impact

 

Before social media gained buzz, a hashtag was merely the # symbol on your telephone. Now it’s served as the primary tool to draw attention to your profile and to bring millions of users together on social media. What began on Twitter, spread rapidly over to Instagram, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. Even though, many social media users employ hashtags to boost and market their content, business brands and digital marketers can reap in the benefits of successful hashtags as well. Hashtags are making it much easier for users to search and discover businesses that are relevant to their interests. As we are a digital marketing agency that is aware of the impact of hashtags and utilize them to help our clients reach a vast amount of potential customers, we want to take the time to explore with you the relevance of successful hashtags in order to understand the landscape of social media marketing and what it can do for a young, growing small business.

 

At First Glance

 

Since its creation in 2007, hashtags have proved to be an effective tool in a finding a greater audience and content discovery, connecting many unlinked individuals and brands to view genuine moments, experiences and content from your business. Chris Messina is a former Google designer who is also the inventor of the hashtag; his #1 goal was to establish a method for people to converse about various topics through Twitter with minimal effort. At first, the idea was divided among people because at the time, some people could not understand this concept. Today, it’s one of the most important tools in the marketing world.

 

Right and Wrong Ways to Use Them

 

In the beginning, hashtags were only used for personal posting. Now, a lot of businesses build their entire marketing campaign around them. Including hashtags into every social media post, particularly on Instagram and Twitter, can boost traffic for your website.

 

Instagram: According to research, using 11+ hashtags on posts will bring the highest number of interactions. However, we want to caution that it doesn’t mean you should tag every post with 30 hashtags (the maximum amount of hashtags allowed). Overloading your post with random popular hashtags may help you gain more followers, but the majority of them could be spammers or #followme users. You want to attract potential real customers, not fake ones. Overuse of hashtags could also come across as desperate and take away from the actual content. Additionally, adding hashtags in a separate comment or under a few dots and spaces after the caption will hide your hashtags, so it won’t distract the users from the content you created.

 

Twitter: Tweets with relevant hashtags will get 2x more retweets and more engagements than tweets without. Research study also shows that you should use one or two hashtags for your business tweets. One or two hashtags show a 21% higher engagement than those with three or more. Tweets with a couple hashtags also have a 55% likelihood of a retweet.

 

Facebook: Hashtags have a different effect for this social platform. Facebook posts without a hashtag actually gain better engagement than those without. Hashtags do not have a great effect on posts. However, it doesn’t mean a business should cease using hashtags completely. It can be useful in specific cases such as a promotion or an event post. Also, like in Twitter, we recommend not to overuse hashtags. A few (1-3) would be fine, but remember, you must choose keywords that are relevant to your business brand and the interests of your target audience.

 

Get Specific

 

Very specific hashtags will fare much better than generic ones. It depends on the field your business is in. If your business is a restaurant, then some trending hashtags would be #goodeats, #localfood, #healthyfood, #eaterLA would connect to real, potential customers more than #foodie, #food, #pizza, #hungry, #yummy. There’s a few effective ways for you to find the right hashtags to use. It’s not wrong for a business to look at what their competitors are using, so you can learn new hashtags or hashtags that you don’t want to duplicate. Furthermore, one can use the Instagram search bar to discover which keywords are generating the most engagement. The most popular hashtags may be tagged by a large number of people, but it also means that your content could very well be buried in the oasis of those hashtag usages. Remember to always use hashtags relevant to your brand, industry, and audience.

 

Brand Hashtags

 

For a business, a brand hashtag would be an excellent benefit to your marketing campaign. It could be named after your company name, tagline, an instagram contest, or a product of yours. A brand hashtag that encourage customers to share photos featuring your products would influence participation and a high volume of engagement. If your branded hashtag catches on, it can draw a lot of attention to your brand and your identity.

 

Kick It In High Gear

 

Now that we laid out the importance of successful hashtags and how to use them effectively, put it to work and see how it does. If you begin to feel overwhelmed in producing potent social media posts, employ the services of a digital marketing agency that has the expertise and the knowledge to develop strong marketing strategies and help your business attract increased engagement and traffic.

 

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Unlike most fields, the creative business of advertising typically does not welcome newcomers who have yet to prove themselves. Advertising portfolios, or as many in the industry refer to as “books,” are considered a precursor for any rising copywriter or designer looking to get an interview at one of the top advertising agencies. Above all else, copywriting and design portfolios are considered proof that you can think well and excel creatively. Based on an ad school’s overall body of work, bang-for-your-buck tuition costs and quality of teachers, we have listed below the best advertising schools and the best portfolio schools in the United States.

The Miami Ad School

With locations in Miami, Minneapolis, New York and San Francisco, the prestigious Miami Ad School tops just about any list of best advertising schools. Boasting an international network of Miami Ad School alums and raking in advertising awards year after year, it should come as no surprise why this portfolio school is considered the Harvard of ad schools. Having this on your résumé, while not necessarily a rite of passage, should help you get in the door.

Yearly tuition: $17,400

The Creative Circus

Located near Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, The Creative Circus is a top portfolio school with an incredible job placement rate of 98.53% over the last year alone. Some would argue that, in a conversation of best advertising schools, The Creative Circus carries the same weight as the Miami Ad School on any résumé and for a cheaper price. The portfolio-focused ad school has regularly landed students at top shops like Leo Burnett, FCB and DDB.

Yearly tuition: $16,879.50

VCU Brandcenter

An extension of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business program, the VCU Brandcenter is another popular choice for east-coasters looking for a top portfolio school. The ad school has a recent 70% placement rate, with alums landing at powerhouse ad agencies like Wieden+Kennedy and R/GA. Industry vet Helayne Spivak, formerly the Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, is the ad achool’s most recent hire as program director.

Yearly Tuition: $19,500 (plus university fees)

Savannah College of Art and Design

A huge reason why Georgia is a leading state for portfolio schools is because of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCADD). With over 40 options for art majors and north of 60 options for minors, SCADD has something for every kind of visionary. The school has a 93% job placement rate for undergraduate and masters students combined for 2014, within 10 months of graduation. Its campuses are located in Atlanta and Savannah, with an online eLearning curriculum available to faraway students.

Yearly Tuition: $33,795

San Diego Portfolio Studio

The San Diego Portfolio Studio is quickly establishing itself as one of the best portfolio schools on the West Coast. In its infancy, the young ad school helped its students earn a whopping 32 Addy awards, including the 2014 Best in Show Addy Award. The San Diego Portfolio School has also attracted top agency talent, with instructors from Vitro among others. SDPS currently offers a course co-taught by a copywriter and art director from the same agency.

Tuition: $1,995 (6th month workshop)

Art Center College of Design

Among the best advertising schools with a focus on portfolio development, Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design has two beautiful California campuses for students to choose from with the naturalistic San Rafael Hills and Downtown Pasadena campuses. A recent inductee to the Intel Design School Network, the design school will be focusing some new work on innovations in wearable technology. It’s hard to find a better West Coast portfolio school for any designer.

Yearly Tuition: $18,665 (undergrad)

Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations

UT-Austin’s Stan Richards School is a new addition to the Moody School of Communication that adds some fresh hype to the university’s renowned business program. The school is honoring advertising mogul Stan Richards decades after he built the flourishing ad agency The Richards Group. The school’s Center for Brand Research is also an incredible source for students to study a collection of advertisements and agency briefs.

Yearly Tuition: Unknown

Brainco | The Minneapolis School of Advertising

The Minneapolis School of Advertising, commonly referred to as Brainco, puts a greater focus on small classes and tight-knit circles to manufacture quality copywriter, UX and designer portfolios. Founded by Creative Director Ed Prentiss, Brainco is among the first portfolio schools to offer an online portfolio workshop open to students across the country. Many full-time students find the curriculum to be complementary to their work schedule as classes typically take place at night.

Tuition: $1,400 (for in-class, per quarter)

Portfolio Center

This accredited Atlanta portfolio school declares an average job placement rate of 97-100% in under 3 months after graduation. Among the few notable portfolio schools mentioned by Luke Sullivan in the famed Hey Whipple, Squeeze This book, the Portfolio Center has a variety of specialized classes for every advertising mind. Copywriters get to take a course in Guerilla & Experiential Concepts, while digital media majors can enjoy a class devoted entirely to logo design.

Yearly Tuition: $34,539

Chicago Portfolio School

Located in the heart of Chicago, The Chicago Portfolio School is an ideal ad school destination for anyone serious about working at an agency. With a collection of alumni who now work at the likes of Ogilvy, FCB and David & Goliath, the portfolio school can be credited as a launching pad for many careers. The school would prefer to be known as “an idea school” over a design school or advertising school, which is designed to present more possibilities for students who want to offer solutions for other industries along their career path.

Yearly Tuition: $16,200

Austin Creative Department

Another Texas portfolio school that is a cheaper alternative to the traditional advertising school is the Austin Creative Department. Founded in 2011 by GSD&M Creative Director Will Chau, the ad school emphasizes real-world advertising principles, focusing on solving real ad agency briefings and training for client presentation skills. The school’s instructors are all industry professionals and courses are offered to students individually instead of by quarter.

Tuition: $750 per course

BYU Adlab

This one-of-a-kind advertising agency is a miracle unto itself. The first “student run, professionally mentored” ad agency was conceived from an idea written on a napkin. The Utah agency has already worked with such brands as Holiday Inn, Nike and EA Games. What makes this one of the best advertising schools is the promise to empower its students to run their own agency, with all positions filled. As one of the best portfolio schools, the ability to work directly with big brands is invaluable experience that can crush the spec competition.

Yearly Tuition: Unknown

More Options for Ad Schools in the Future?

When we recompile this list in a few years, we hope to see more affordable options appear on our list for best advertising schools and best portfolio schools. The fact that so many newcomers in the last decade have been able to provide a similar learning platform at a bargain cost is proof that these institutions don’t need to be so expensive in order to be successful. Attracting great minds should be a priority. Irrespective of this reality, in an industry that has such limited educational options available, the growth of more ad portfolio schools and online ad schools can only work to give these great minds more opportunity with their careers.

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If you work in advertising, you know that your agency is never working with just one client at any given time (or you wouldn’t be an agency). The ability to switch gears on-demand from client to client requires that you constantly tailor your marketing strategies to a different target audience. And with each client, there is an expectation that the advertiser must address the target audience through the constant generation of creative ideas. While an idea can come from anyone, understanding what works through daily trial and error only makes you better.

Some ad agencies work with only a certain type of client, such as a pharmaceutical agency. But the advertisers that operate like Promotion LA tend to have a highly diverse clientele in areas ranging from fine dining and landscape architecture to fitness and cosmetics. This experience preparing creative ideas for a wide range of industries makes Promotion LA better prepared to handle whatever challenges come our way.

The Flow of Creative Ideas Can Usually Permeate From Medium to Medium.

In the case of commercial director Theodore Melfi, working with many unique brand campaigns helped prepare him for directing his first feature film. Melfi compares the practice of commercial directing with getting creative exercise, saying that directing commercials is “the best film gym in the world.” His critically-acclaimed film St. Vincent recently played at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival and stars Bill Murray.

Melfi credits his success story to constantly working on creative ideas. The 30-second “short films” give Melfi the ability to focus on simple ideas in a variety of ways. Melfi further elaborated that because he filmed, dogs, fight scenes, stunts and various technical setups while filming commercials, there was seemingly nothing he wasn’t prepared for.

While Melfi’s story is unique, many filmmakers like David Fincher and Spike Jonze got their start directing commercials for big brands. For advertising agencies, the last decade has seen a surge in digital advertising, meaning that advertisers had to transition their talents from traditional media into floating ads, viral videos and mobile applications. Inspiration for creative ideas can come from a book you’ve read, a story you heard on the news or a real-life occurrence. In the case of advertisers, the more people we do work for, the better equipped we are to offer creative ideas for our newest client. While it is never good to have too many clients, having the right amount with a strong mix of diversity prepares your agency for any situation.

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