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Getting Google AdWords Certified

I’m happy to say that I am officially Google AdWords certified, specifically in Google’s search advertising.

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LaVigne, Evan (4/18/17) My AdWords Certificate [PNG]
The Google AdWords system is a complex yet rewarding beast. When taking into account the scope of Google’s reach when it comes to advertising the term beast really does fit well. In a basic sense Google AdWords is a system where advertisers or individual businesses can use a set budget to place advertisements in with relevant searches across Googles plethora of services and sites. There is a key few things to highlight from this last sentence. These being how relevant AdWords can be and the reach of Googles influence and site reach.

First off, I use the term relevant because it is a key factor to Google’s AdWords system. Without diving to deep in the AdWords curriculum and making this blog post a mini AdWords lesson I’ll try to summarize it the best I can. When placing an advertisement on say Google’s search engine, AdWords takes in account the ad’s Ad Rank, and Quality Score.  Quality score is based on a few things such as, how much an ads keywords match a persons search terms, how quality an advertisements landing page is, and other factors about how helpful your advertisement is constructed among other things. This is the relevance of the AdWords system working to show advertisement’s only to people who will benefit from them. The Ad Rank side of the formula factors in the maximum bid for a consumers click, or the (CPC) Cost-Per-Click. This is how Google only has advertisers spend the minimum amount needs to out bid another for better ad position. However, it is important to know that a good Quality Score can outweigh a higher bid.

The second part of AdWords that is important to know is how big of a reach Google has in order to promote your specific advertisement. I personally learned and studied for the Search Network part of the Google AdWords Exam. Which primarily covers advertisements that show directly inside of Google’s search engine results and websites that partner with Googles Search network. People wishing to get AdWords certified can also specialize in areas like Mobile Advertising, the Display Network (which covers You Tube, and other Google sites), Video advertising, and Shopping advertising. The important thing to notes is that whatever you chose, your advertisements are not only relevant to those who see it, yet span a large portion of internet traffic.

In the Advertising world I tend to skew specifically towards how advancements in technology can improve the industry. As you might be able to tell from how I brand this blog. I have written in my blog before about creative applications like the Adobe suite, and have covered articles talking about drone technology and how their use of cinematography is rapidly expanding. In the world of technological advertising, AdWords is on the front lines of the internet and placing helpful products in front of viewers who need them.

AdWords is a great piece of technology that can help Advertisers to target people whose products can really help. It also allows advertisers to spend what they want and to measure conversions and analytics to help improve the formula. This is all thanks to the trending technological advancements of today. I highly encourage all advertisers to check out AdWords and look into getting certified. Just head over to Google Partner’s site to create an account and get started!

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Google (4/25/17) Google Partners Logo [JPEG]
Thanks for reading,

Evan LaVigne TwitterLinkedIn

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Social Media Management: TweetDeck

In the world of advertising social media is vastly important. There is a plethora of options out there such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even new, underground sites like Mastadon, to name a few. If your a brand that is seeking to connect with as many people as free social media can let you its in your best interest most of the time to utilize multiple sites at once. However, managing posting between all of these sites can be difficult. This is where services like Hootsuite or TweetDeck can come in handy.

For this blog post I used TweetDeck. This specific social media client is specifically for Twitter. It lists different information from the accounts you have connected in a streamlined fashion by converting all the information into streams or timelines. All of which can be seen from one page, effectively making the process managing Twitter immensely easier.

In this post I am focusing on the tweet scheduling feature of TweetDeck. When writing out a tweet, TweetDeck will let you pick a time and date, and it will then automatically upload that post on that day. This can be very helpful for somebody trying to manage a twitter account as a week or more worth of posts can be written out and scheduled in one day.

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LaVigne, Evan (4/17/17) TweetDeck Screenshot [JPEG]
This is a screenshot of TweetDeck connected to my personal twitter account. I removed some columns, and only left columns or streams with information that is okay for public viewing like direct messages and such. Obviously if you monitoring your own account you can add many more columns to see all the information you need. The important column to view here is the Scheduled column, which is the second from the right. It contains the five different scheduled tweets that I have written. To view all of the tweets I would have to scroll yet, a part of each tweet is at least visible in this screenshot.

Each of which are set so they go live two days apart from each other and at noon. Every scheduled tweet is worded to bring attention to a specific blog post from this WordPress and contains a link and a specific hashtag. All of which directs and promotes my blog and brand. TweetDeck is just one of many social media tools that can be used to better manage your sociall media tasks. I urge everyone to search for clients and try them out!

Thanks for reading,

Evan LaVigne TwitterLinkedIn

Becoming a Part of GVSU Ad Club

This blogs featured photo is one of excitement, as it contains the eager students who will make up the 2017-2018 GVSU Advertising Club‘s Executive board. After a great two semesters of meetings and events Ad Club has wrapped up at Grand Valley, leaving behind a new board in its past board members footsteps.

The reasoning behind this post is to highlight my experience of networking with not only other involved students, but the numerous professionals that has come to talk at Ad Club this year. People might not necessarily think of staying on campus as an easy way to network with professionals. However, our meetings that are held every other Tuesday usually has a professional from some aspect of the spectrum that is advertising agency and corporate life careers to talk with students.

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GVSU Ad Club (3/28/17) Dan Drullinger Video Call [JPEG]
A specific highlight has been just recently when we were able to video call Dan Drullinger from Austin, Texas to talk about his role as Senior Strategist at GSD&M. He has recently been listed on Business Insiders list of 30 creative professionals under 30. After he went over his timeline of school to agency life with us he opened up the floor to ask questions of any sort, such as internship advice, and other advertising questions. An interesting point in his advertising career that he pointed out was that he was part of a similar club at his school, the University of Oregon. Needless to say it was a great meeting with information that is invaluable to students. Here is a link to a GVSU Ad club blog post written by a current e-board member.

So as I’ve said the meetings have been a great example of networking in advertising. Since joining Ad Club I have had the ability to apply for e-board and I am pleased to say that I will be on next year’s e-board as the secretary chair and co-communications chair. I am the person in the center of this blogs featured photo, fourth person from the right. I am excited to be able to network and learn from my other e-board members and am looking forward to next years meetings!

Thanks for Reading,

Evan LaVigne TwitterLinkedIn

A Tech Centered Career World

As an Advertising & Public Relations major being versed in technology and the internet is a very handy ability to have when entering the workforce. As tech and the “internet of things” becomes ever more prevalent in the world employers are going to look for applicants with experience. Whether that experience be knowledge of HTML and CSS, a Google Analytics certification, or a healthy understanding of SEO and its functions, it is imperative that career seeking students delve into the world of technology.

As a freshmen in college I am eagerly learning about the advertising career world, however I still have some figuring out to do before I land on a specific career path. Luckily as I have learned recently the world of advertising can be quite inter tangled and collaborative with many advertisers in smaller workplaces wearing multiple hats. So I’ve looked up multiple jobs in varying areas of my interest. I did this with the specific intention of finding out what they may want or require of a applicant when in comes to technology. In no particular order here are some of my findings.

1. Jr. Digital Strategist – Zimmerman Advertising
  • Knowledge of advertising, other integrated digital marketing disciplines including, but not limited to, SEO, SEM, Direct Response, Viral, etc.
  • Passion for and knowledge of current and emerging technologies
  • Background in most online technologies (HTML, Java, Flash, JQuery, etc.)
  • Experience with Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst, Google Analytics, DoubleClick, Prisma
  • Experience with Data Management Platforms (DMP) and CMS platforms

I am very interested in digital strategy. Its role as setting a brand off in the right path blends the need of research and creative ability to create a compelling and effective strategy. The job posting had notable skill requirements and functions, such as SEO, SEM, basic web code knowledge experience with data management platforms.

2. Digital Strategist – 21C Media Group 
  • A knack for web development, social media management, data interpretation and analytics, and trends in technology is required.
  • Familiarity with coding languages, photo/video editing programs, and fluency in one or more foreign languages are all pluses.

This company’s strategist role also listed themes of web development, social media, and data interpretation and analytics to be required for hiring.

3. Digital Copywriter – The Spark Group
  • Our copywriter will work closely with our social media producer, web designers, branding team, and analytics team to assist in the planning and execution of various online campaigns.
  •  Experience from crafting social media posts and paid advertising copy to assessing, re imagining, and rewriting entire websites.

This copywriting job emphasizes working with other tech centered co-workers and stressed knowledge in social media and paid advertising. Which brings a nice balance of tech to the creative heavy endeavor of writing and the process of writing copy.

4. SEM & PPC Associate – Backroads
  • Working knowledge of HTML, Google Ad Words or Bing Certification a plus.
  • Analyze search and web analytics data to inform PPC decisions.
  • managing all aspects of a select group of SEM campaigns
Paid advertising or search engine marketing is a field that is very large and growing as the internet and search engines are rapidly expanding in use across the globe. It is very much a tech centered career as it is entirely based online and works to promote online sales.
5. SEO Content Writer – dietspotlight
  • Familiarity with SEO, SEM, SERP, and content marketing.
 SEO content writing is a enticing career path as it combines the creative pursuit of writing with the strategic and technological goal of driving organic search to a website.
The process of looking online for careers that I may pursue in my future was equal parts enjoyable to see where i’m going and nerve wracking to see the list of requirements and experience needed. However, it is refreshing to see the centered focus of tech in job listings as it mirrors a shift in the working industry across not only America yet the entire world.
Thanks for reading,
Evan LaVigne
 

Creative Crawl 2017

As a member of the GVSU Advertising Club  I was introduced early on in the year to a great event known as the Creative Crawl. Held typically each year Ad Club and Ad Fed, the Grand Rapids local professional advertising organization, host the event in which four GR agencies open their doors to students. Students of all different types of majors get the chance to see an insiders look into the creative professional world of Grand Rapids.

This years event started at Grand Rapids Brewing Company downtown, where participants were split up into four groups that would then walk to each individual agency and have a short amount of time to soak up the creative prowess of the agencies and then move on to the next. The stops on this year’s agenda were, Adtegrity, Grey Matter Group, PeopleDesign, and Experience GR. Each stop offered a different vibe and unique strategies on how and what they do to serve their clients.

As we walked along the streets of Grand Raids through some unfortunately bad weather we were greeted by posters of monsters designed for each agency to signify them as a stop on the tour. This process gave the event an interesting twist that you may not expect at a normal networking event.

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LaVigne, Evan (2017) Creative Crawl Pamphelt [JPEG] 

The event provided the map in the pamphlet as to let us know where to go and each stop included a trading card featuring the stops monster and information on the back indulge a description, contact information, and some of the firms previous clients. All of this certainly made for a unique networking experience.

I enjoyed all of the stops and learning some of the differences in work between the companies. While Grand Rapids is a market with many different companies who can specialize in certain types of business they all have employees who tend to wear multiple job “hats” in the industry. Which gives unique opportunities for employees to work on a multitude of fascinating projects.

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LaVigne, Evan (2017) Creative Crawl Selfie [JPEG]
I very much enjoyed the event and the opportunities that I had to network and learn more about the advertising and creative industry in Grand Rapids!

Thanks for Reading,

Evan LaVigne TwitterLinkedIn

A Step Closer to Professionalism

No matter what career a person is getting into it is very important to be able to brand yourself.  While there is many ways to do this two easy ways could be using a service like Brand Yourself that I have previously written about, or a more creative approach like a business card. Now you may not think of a business card as creative but I assure you they can be. Here are some examples I found online. You can also hover over the pictures to find a source and website with many more creative examples.

These are some fancy business card examples that ooze creativity, however any professionals first card, especially if made by themselves rather than a company, will probably look a lot simpler. Like myself for example, I wanted a business card for not myself specifically as an budding advertising professional yet a one I could give out for drone cinematography work that I would like to do as a side business.

So I fired up Adobe InDesign 2017 on my laptop and got started. I first set my margins slug & bleed settings in order to get my two sided business card setup functioning correctly. Then I went through the exhausting process of getting ideas, trying them out, and eventually starting over because it wasn’t quite perfect. This process followed by some tweaking left me with a pretty basic design that I enjoyed. Primarily I stuck with it because of its ability to quickly get my information across and to serve as a sort of mini portfolio to hand out to people.

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LaVigne, Evan (March, 2017) Front Side of Business Card [JPEG]
The picture above is my final version of the front of my business card, I went real simple and printed it with black on a white background for contrast and readability. It highlights not only my name and contact information but more. It contains an address for my online portfolio and showcases that I’m certified to fly a drone commercially. The other side of my business card is where I get to showcase a little part of my portfolio.

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LaVigne, Evan (April, 2016) Sunrise on Tybee Island, GA [JPEG] 
This was a photo that I took using my drone last year during spring break of the coast of Georgia. It serves its purpose as to show a single type of shot I can take for a client whether it be to advertise the beach that their hotel is on, or to survey a farm. A drone can make use of its video and photo purposes in many unique ways. So this photo is spread across the entire backside of my business card.

All in all, a business card is a very important step to becoming a professional in any field of work. Just having a card whether for handing to potential clients, employers, or even other like-minded professionals is great for networking. The use of Adobe InDesign is simple and streamlined and shouldn’t take anyone too long to learn to make a simple card.

Thanks for Reading,

Evan LaVigne Twitter , LinkedkIn

Adobe Apps & DJI Phantom: My Keywords in a SEO/SEM World

Search Engines are a complex beast. Especially Google, since they are by far the king of search engines across the globe. So say a business or a blog like my own wants to drive more traffic and create more clicks on their website. How can they do this in an effective and measurable way you may ask? The answer is SEO and SEM.

To be more clear these terms stand for Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. The only subtle difference between the two practices is that SEM is powered through a paid advertising approach where as SEO is an organic growth approach. So an example of SEM would be to utilize a great service like Google AdWords where you can advertise on Google Search and pay per click on your site from the search engine’s page. Which is all backed up by metrics laid out in a convenient format.

Ont the other side of the spectrum SEO works to organically (for free) boost the results of a certain business up to the number one search result when you search for content similar to the given business. This is done through a multitude of techniques that is ever changing along with google’s search engine algorithms. Just a few examples are if the page is craw-able by google’s “spiders”, if there are other websites that have links to yours to add credibility to your page, and if their are quality keywords in the content of a site that relates to a persons search words.

To start simply I looked at some keywords that I thought relate to my blog that may be relevant to people search terms. The five that I came up with were tech, tech news, tech blog, trending tech, and Adobe Apps. They seem really random because they were the first things that came to my head. However that is intentional because I was thinking of what I would like for my blog to naturally relate to for basic Google users searches. According to Googles AdWord’s Keyword tool each of these terms had a certain number of monthly searches on Google. This is how they stacked up:

  1. Tech – 201,000
  2. Trending Tech – 1,900
  3. Tech News – 201,000
  4. Adobe Apps – 8,100
  5. Tech Blog – 6,600

Knowing this information can be very valuable for use in SEO. This is because I can realize what phrases and search words are popular and I can incorporate into content to drive more relevance between my blog and Google users searches.

However, if I want to use SEM and utilize AdWord’s to the fullest I can use the keyword tool to find out the keywords that may trigger my Google search ad to appear next rto results. In my blog I have written about trending tech, such as when I write about new drones from DJI. During these blogs I have gone into detail about the phantom 3 drone. I have also written about the newer phantom 4 drone. Along this line of thought some of my recent blogs surround subjects like drones with cameras. Which can also be related to drones for sale.

All of these terms are Google AdWords suggested keywords that can trigger my ad to be placed next to search results barring these or similar terms are used. These terms have monthly searches numbering as listed.

  1. DJI – 1,000,000
  2. phantom 3 – 368,000
  3. phantom 4 – 550,000
  4. drones with cameras – 823,000
  5. drones for sale – 110,000

All in all SEO/SEM are tactics that should be utilized by any company with a website in  today’s modern day and age. Whether you have a budget to spend or not it is easy to get a very basic understanding of the search algorithm system and employ a beginner level of strategy to promote your business or brand!

Thanks for reading,

Evan LaVigne TwitterLinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A First Try At Photoshop

Last week I posted about my first edit with Adobe Premiere Pro. Today I got to move along to another Adobe Creative Suite product and has a similar quality first time experience. At first Adobe Photoshop 2017 can be intimidating, and on a beginners next couple of tries it will probably be still somewhat confusing. However the program is very effective at offering a large arsenal of tools to let the creative mind of anybody do wonders to a photo. Even if it takes multiple practice tests to get there.

My first edited photo can be seen above, and while it accomplishes a set of features that I set out to complete it lacks the “oomph” to show off the wonders that Photoshop can produce. I started off my simple project with a base photo that I wanted to manipulate.

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Lavigne, Evan. (Tuesday, February 21, 2017 ).  Stock-photos-11.jpg [Jpg].

 

After finding my empty-ish canvass of a photo that was just waiting to be edited I had to decide what I wanted to do to it. With the simple task of adding some elements to the photo I found some sea fairing vessels on the internet to add to my masterpiece.

 

After finding these images I went the easy way and cut them from their background images using erasing techniques. Then I resized them using another Photoshop tool in order for them to fit proportionally inside of my starting photo.

However I felt the photo was lacking still some in some authenticity so I added another person on the dock for size reference and depth. Then to add to the photo of the boat I added a wake from another picture to give a better sense of motion.

Finally I added a filter on the base image. The filter was an accented edges brushstroke. I toned it down and kept it primarily as an accent piece to give a little bit more life to the house.

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LaVigne, Evan (3/1/17) [JPG]
My final product left me with this photo. When I look back on it, and then look at professional’s work, I can easily tell it was edited. But none the less the project is a basic beginner’s job. Overall this project has left me with with a greater understanding of the piece of software that is Adobe Photoshop 2017.

Thanks for reading!

Evan LaVigne LinkedInTwitter

Senior Trip Drone Video – Adobe Premiere

 

In a world of chalked full of video editing wizards and gurus my skills pale in comparison. However, in the short time that I did have to learn and practice my editing chops I feel a lot more confident. Above is my roughly minute and a half creation from footage from my high school senior trip. It was shot with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone in 4k resolution. (So if your watching on a capable screen, turn up that resolution on YouTube’s setting button!) All of which I edited in Adobe Premiere Pro 2017.

While most computers either come with or can easily install free video editors like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, the next step up into the professional realm requires a slightly more complex breed. While I used Adobe Premiere there is also the Mac editor Final Cut Pro, that I also practiced on for a bit. Both of these pieces of software are great to edit professional style video.

As you can see in my featured image of the blog post my Premiere timeline is that of a beginner yet still contains multiple clips, transition effects, title sequences, background music, and more. This is just a glimpse into the numerous tools and features that a program like Premiere packs when in goes to work.

When I started this project my first step was to create a story board as to map out my progress. As seen below my story board shows a sketch of all of the clips that I wanted to include into the video in the roughly minute and thirty second time frame that I had. Along with that it also contains what cuts I wanted to use and a general description of what would go on in that clip.

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LaVigne, Evan. (2/23/17). Senior Trip 2016 Storyboard [JPEG File].

The whole video editing process was very interesting and if I learned that it’s always important to have a lot of footage to widdle down from to create your final video! I encourage anybody with a computer and some spare time to try and create their own masterpiece! Even if it takes a couple tries.

Thanks for reading!

– Evan LaVigne, TwitterLinkedIn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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