Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Web Design Trends in 2018

Posted on: January 30th, 2018

With 2017 in our rearview, we look forward to another year of web design. Last year, we saw a steady rise of interactive video content, mobile-first, fluid design, card design layouts, and brand-centric illustrations. 2018 will be big, bold, and user-friendly.

Bold Typography and Minimalistic Design

Typography has been a powerful element in web design for a long time. With a shift towards minimalistic design, the focus on typography will grow even more. Big, bold fonts will drive brand personalities and set the tone for more and more websites. With device screens getting sharper, more saturated, and simply better overall, large fonts and minimalistic yet vibrant design will be more prevalent than ever.

Bright, Vivid Colors and Dynamic Gradients

Minimalist doesn’t have to mean boring. Websites are using richer color schemes along with stacked layers of color and dynamic gradients to grab their audience’s attention, resulting in websites with more depth and vibrancy.

Breaking Up with Stock Photography for Engaging Photos

The days of overused stock photography are dwindling. Custom photography gives you the ability to maintain brand consistency in all of your most important assets. Engaging photography will continue to drive brand messaging for websites in our increasingly visual internet.

Video Everywhere and Custom Animations

It seems every year, video content becomes an even more prominent medium in the digital world. We’ve elevated beyond the point where videos were a message relegated to your YouTube channel or embedded into a small frame on your homepage. You can expect to see video used in multiple places rather than simply in the homepage hero banner.

Custom animations offer variety and can, in some instances, deliver your message more efficiently and in a more engaging manner. You’ll see a range from subtle animations to full blown storytelling. Brand consistent animations will be a growing presence this year.

Visual Storytelling and User Experience Will Prevail

Year after year, two things remain true. The power of visual storytelling as a tool to drive engagement and designing with your target audience’s experience as a priority are a perfect one-two punch for conversions. While many of the trends we covered will help grab attention in a digital world where attention is a rare commodity, storytelling and user experience are the keys to your business goals.

Leveraging Video in Your 2018 Digital Marketing Strategy

Posted on: January 30th, 2018

In the world of digital marketing, videos have become the most powerful form of content on the web. Video has an incredibly high message retention rate and has been shown to increase click-through rates up to 96%. With statistics like these, it’s no surprise marketers are rushing to add video into their digital marketing mix. There are a few things to keep in mind when building your video strategy.

Got Goals?

Before you start concepting and script writing, make sure you’ve got your primary goals in order. Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Drive lead generation? Build organic growth? Determining your goals will help you map out what types of videos to make and where to publish those videos. Maybe you’re launching a new product and you want to promote this product to your existing customers. A product demo video would be a great format to publish on your website as well as your social channels. Since your goals may include driving conversions, a paid spend to support these videos could give a great ROI.

Where Is Your Audience and Why Are They There?

As with all marketing strategies, taking the time to understand your target audience will pay off exponentially. What social media platforms are they using and how are they using them? This information will help determine the best length, format, and general makeup of your videos. Combining this knowledge with your video’s goals will lead you to create the right video for the right person at the right time. Is your audience browsing Facebook on their phone? A 30 second video that doesn’t require audio might be the best format. Are they on your website learning more about your product as they decide whether or not to buy? A longer form, more informative video could be the best bet.

Promote, Promote, Promote

So you’ve put a lot of time, energy, and resources into creating some beautiful video content. Now, you’ve got to get it out there for the world to see! Once you’ve determined your goals and taken the time to understand your target audience, it’s time to give your video some legs. While great content will likely garner some viral, organic reach, you may need to supplement that with a paid campaign. Making sure your video gets in front of the right eyes could mean putting a budget behind your promotion is necessary, just make sure to map your paid distribution to your goals and audience expertise.

Get More Mileage Out of Your Video

With all the hours put into creating a great video, it makes sense to get the most out of it. You’ve come up with a great concept and created some amazing content, how can you repurpose that to get even more use?

Make It a Blog

Blogs can take a long time to concept and write, but your video is a readymade outline that just needs to be put to words. Rework your video transcription into a copy friendly format, create a little additional content, add some links, and you’ve got yourself a great blog for use on your website or even a guest post for an industry influencer!

Cut It Up Into Smaller Pieces

If you’ve created a long form video piece, you could use smaller iterations of that video to use for promotion purposes or on social media. If you’ve created a nice long brand story for your home page, a shorter cut would be consumed a lot easier on social media. You could even create short GIFs or cinemographs.

With all video content, quality will help you stand out. Saturn Lounge specializes in video storytelling and creating compelling content to help you make a lasting impression. Take a look at some of our work or get in touch, we’d love to work with you.

Social Media 2018: Things to Know

Posted on: January 30th, 2018

With Facebook reporting higher earnings than ever, it makes sense that businesses are shifting more focus into social media as a marketing channel. Whether you’re new to the game or have been marketing your business on social media for years, there a few things you can do to step up your social media game in 2018.

Stop Relying on Facebook’s Organic Reach

With every algorithm update, it seems Facebook’s organic reach for business pages is decreasing at an alarming rate. As the social media platform pushes companies towards a pay to play model, it’s important to take the additional spend into account as you’re budgeting resources. The good news is; Facebook’s advertising platform is one of the most precise targeting platforms out there. Instead of shying away from Facebook completely, place a higher priority on strategic content creation and promotion within the platform. Facebook remains a cost-effective tool from a CPC perspective.

Check Out LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn has been steadily improving their advertising platform and, especially for B2B businesses, it’s become an incredibly viable channel for marketing dollars and resources. More recently, LinkedIn has been adding a ton of functionality, including incorporating video across the platform. While LinkedIn is more expensive per click compared to Facebook, the targeting capabilities for B2B companies lends itself to increased engagement and potentially higher conversion rates.

Video

Cisco forecasts that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be to video content.  Between live video and pre-recorded content, video is dominating the newsfeed of virtually every social media platform. It’s important, however, to be cautious when looking at vanity metrics. While simple views will “feel” good, make sure you’re still paying attention to your business goals and how video is helping you meet those goals.

Internal Branding for Downtown Chicago Gym

Posted on: January 29th, 2018

Building A Brand From the Ground Up

As visual storytellers we love helping a business build their brand’s story from the ground up.

REPS Fitness & Nutrition Center is a new gym designed around giving each of their members a premium experience and is located in downtown Chicago. Combining our love of the fitness agency with our full service capabilities, we were stoked to get started.

We started with creating a branding color palette, style guidelines, and other design elements. From there we incorporated this style into elevating their interior décor.

Your interior décor is a great opportunity to shape your brand identity and leave a lasting impression on your visitors, especially if your business draws a lot of foot traffic. As we designed the gym’s interior, we incorporated large graphic design elements throughout to further drive their brand messaging. This included large photo elements, custom illustrations like the floating red panda holding Namaste in a bamboo forest, and a local map accompanying their mission statement in the main lobby.

Even if customers aren’t visiting your business on a daily basis, aligning your corporate décor with your brand is a great way to enhance your internal branding. Productivity and employee satisfaction is affected largely by environment.

With the gym’s interior décor fully branded, we took that style and translated it into their external marketing assets. From a fresh new website to brand consistent social media content, REPS is ready to make a big impact on existing and potential customers.

 

Fitspo vs. Donuts

Posted on: January 29th, 2018

Well, it is the New Year once more, the day that we all make a host of bad conscience inducing promises also known as common New Year resolutions like “I will not eat 6 donuts a day”, or “I will do exercise once or twice next year”, or “I will not binge on Netflix for eight hours in front of the TV”…

Regardless, we’re not here to judge. However, we do hope this gallery of active lifestyle photography by our own various Saturn Lounge photographers will inspire you to put down that donut, get off the couch and and maybe do a push up or…two.

New Year’s Day … now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
~ Mark Twain ~

 

 

Follow Me To See What I Am

Posted on: January 29th, 2018

Ian Farnham took the drone up for a higher view of the Mitchell Park Conservatory (The Domes) – Did you guess correctly?

History of the Domes

The Mitchell Park Conservatory has been part of the Milwaukee scene since the first conservatory was built in 1898. The original conservatory exhibited flowers in a “greenhouse” setting and served the public until 1955. Because it was determined to be unsafe and impractical to repair, the conservatory was demolished.

A design competition, won by a local architect, produced the plans for the new conservatory. Donald Grieb’s winning entry called for three beehive-shaped (not geodesic) glass domes, 140 feet in diameter at the base and 85 feet high, offering 15,000 square feet of growing space for plant display. Each dome would have a distinct climate and exhibit plants in a naturalistic setting. These are the Desert, Tropical, and Floral Show domes.

Construction began in 1959 and proceded in stages. This allowed for the building to be paid in yearly appropriations, thus avoiding the cost of bonding. The total cost was $4.5 million when it was completed in 1967.

On November 5, 2008 The Domes welcomed visitors at the Grand Re-Opening, with special guest, Donald Grieb. The reopening revealed the new LED lighting system and light show.


Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes)
524 S. Layton Blvd., Milwaukee, WI 53215
(414) 257-5611

Happy Holidays from Saturn Lounge

Posted on: December 22nd, 2017

A Saturn Lounge photo look back at 2017

Posted on: December 21st, 2017

 

Here’s a fun look back on some behind the scenes from 2017…Never a dull moment!

 

Follow me to see what I am

Posted on: December 19th, 2017

I’ve taken thousands of fantastic photos in 2017. Nothing surprising there. This photo of Trochilidae (Latin) is special. I have worked for years, trying to capture the beautiful poetry of the Hummingbird’s flight. I’m not there, but I’m getting closer. A reason to live. Looking forward to 2018. – Robert Ness

Warm Hands, Warm Hearts

Posted on: December 13th, 2017

….Tis’ the giving Season with this throwback blog from December 17, 2009:

christmas card 90495_dc91845_loBy Jen Christianson

Quite honestly, I’m surprised I wasn’t fired from the ‘Holiday Card Committee’ many years ago. I’m referring to the year I put all the stamps on the wrong end of the envelopes. Sigh. Despite that setback, I tackle our company Holiday cards each year with enthusiasm and spirit. Like baking cookies, or wrapping my families presents–it’s all a part of the season that I enjoy. Organizing the mailing list (checking it twice), and yes–even affixing the stamps to the carefully selected envelopes is all enjoyable for me. So this year, I was especially enthused when I got to take part in the producing of this years holiday card for Saturn Lounge.

Chocolates in the shape of little mittens. That’s what started it. Perhaps we’ll accomplish some festive shots of a few of the chocolates, with a pretty blue ribbon. That would make a festive holiday card, wouldn’t it? Then I remembered a few years ago when I received a card from a client that had gifted to a local charity, in lieu of giving out corporate gifts that year. I remember being very touched by that card. It didn’t surprise me that the folks at Saturn Lounge were on board with this concept as well. It was then and there we turned our mitten chocolates into the real deal. Instead of gifting chocolates and possibly being the blame for that extra pound gained over the holidays, we decided to give the gift of warmth to children instead. Right here in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Television runs a charity drive for gently used and new mittens, scarves and hats. I found a wonderful mom and pop knitting company (Newberry Knitting in NY), and they agreed to sell us 300 pairs of mittens at a discounted price. We were able to take our corporate gifting budget and help MPTV achieve their goal of over 1500 items this year! Of course, Scott Ritenour accomplished a wonderful photo. He shot a beautiful child (my 11 year old daughter, ahem…) wearing a pair of red mittens depicting a heart. The message, ‘Warm Hands, Warm Hearts’ completed our greeting.Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 2.39.47 PM

MPTV’s Mittens and More community service drive totaled 1550 items. The generosity of many enables MPTV to distribute these beautiful items, many hand-made, to children and their families in 33 agencies and schools. Several of the agencies receiving items to distribute to less fortunate families or school children in need are as follows: AGAPE Community Center, Boys & Girls Club, Head Start, Hope House, Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin and Urban Day. MPTV considered the drive successful, seeing an increase of 175 items from 2008. However, seeing that the request from these agencies for warm items needed came in at 4000, consider donating to this drive in 2010!

I am pleased to see that we are not the only company to consider those in need this Holiday season. Morgan & Myers has made a donation to ‘Feeding America Food Banks’, Laughlin Constable has donated to Boys and Girls Clubs, and with every viewing of their holiday video, Mader Communications is increasing their donation to United Way (visit https://ow.ly/N4h5). This year, it seems as if giving back to our community is the right thing to do. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 2.35.23 PM

Visit here to learn more about Mittens & More 2017.

 

A Very Special Music Video Premiere

Posted on: November 30th, 2017

If there’s one thing our creatives love more than creating stunning video and beautiful photography, it’s listening to great music. Throughout the work we’ve done with 88.9 Radio Milwaukee, we’ve truly come to appreciate some of the great music coming from right here in our hometown. So you can imagine how excited we were to work with Milwaukee’s very own Abby Jeanne. The moment we heard her music, we knew we had to work with her.

We’ve put our finishing touches on the video and are happy to announce a super special exclusive premiere at this year’s Radio Milwaukee Music Awards. To be a part of this sneak peek, you’ll want to pick up tickets before they sell out! If you can’t make the show, don’t stress out too much.  We’re working on a worldwide release date, so stay tuned.

What Are Bumper Ads and Why Should You Use Them

Posted on: November 30th, 2017

The digital age we live in is full of short-form content and even shorter attention spans. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat provide users with instant gratification in the form of endless visual candy, asking for only a few seconds of your time before you move on to the next. If you’re lucky enough to remember Vine, the notion of consuming videos in six second increments is nothing new. For over a year now, YouTube has been offering a new ad format featuring six second bumper ads.

How Do They Work?

Bumper video ads must be under six seconds long; viewers won’t be able to skip these ads. These ads are sold on CPM structure, which means you are paying a certain amount for every 1,000 times your ad is shown. While bumper ads work great for building awareness in a solo campaign, they also work great as a complement to a full campaign to increase frequency and reinforce your messaging. Setting up your first bumper video ad campaign is as easy as setting up any other AdWords campaign, simply choose Bumper ads: 6-second video ads from the Video Ad Formats section.

Being Successful with Six Seconds

The obvious thought is to maximize your impact in six seconds. You may want to try and cover the same concepts that you would in a 15 or 30 second spot, but you should fight that urge. Cramming that much into a six second ad makes for a busy, hectic video that gets lost in the static. A successful bumper ad campaign builds a series of ads that focus on a single, specific element of the campaign. Use those six seconds wisely, create an eye-catching, attention stealing video and watch your brand awareness build.

With attention spans getting shorter and shorter, YouTube’s journey into bumper ads makes a lot of sense. It shows that YouTube understands that viewer experience matters when it comes to advertising. According to a Google study testing over 300 bumper campaigns, 90% of campaigns using bumper ads resulted in significant brand lift and ad recall. If you’re interested in leveraging bumper ads in your digital marketing mix, get in touch. Our team of videographers and digital artists create eye-catching videos that tell your story in an impactful manner, and our digital marketing experts will help build the strategy to deliver that content to the right audience.