Augmented Reality: “Your Perception Is Your Reality”

Augmented Reality, or AR as it is quickly becoming referred to in the tech space, is currently making quite a splash on the scene, yet has remarkably been within our reach for over 30 years. AR, a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image with our view of the real world using sound, video, graphics, or GPS, enhances the way we perceive reality.

Technically speaking, AR adds layers of digital information on top of physical, tangible items we see in the world around us. A Boeing researcher, Tom Caudell, first coined the term in 1990, referring to a version of the technology used by aircraft electricians. What makes the technology different today is that it can be used by anyone. Developers have the technology to create it and with a smart phone or tablet, we have the technology to use it.

AR is virtually everywhere; you just have to look. Sports coverage on TV, for example, is a form of AR. Slow motion and the virtual image on a TV screen of a first down line in football are older forms of AR that require much larger systems. Now, we can constantly be connected to the internet and have access to devices that fit in our hands, like the iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets with video capabilities. We can easily overlay information on top of a video or picture with just the click of a button.

The app world is a perfect example of where AR is growing and thriving. Whether it is used for applications, like Computer Science professor Steve Feiner and PhD candidate Steve Henderson’s AR project for the military, or used with apps for the sake of fashion, like Cassette Playa’s T-shirts at Paris Fashion Week, Augmented Reality is changing the way we visualize the world in front of us.

At Ninthlink, we’re having a lot of fun with AR. Our designers and developers are constantly researching and tinkering with the technology and we’re currently in the process of integrating AR into some of our projects. One of our clients, Qualcomm, the brains behind the Vuforia platform that enables best in class AR app experiences, is a perfect example of the way AR is escalating. You can check out more about Qualcomm’s Vuforia platform at vuforia.com

5 Startup Copywriting Tips

One of the biggest problems start-ups run into is connecting with their audience. Although it’s easy to get bogged down with focusing on the product itself, it is essential to focus on marketing, as this is how you will gain traction with your customers. Check out these 5 startup copywriting tips to entice customers and grow to the next level.

http://mashable.com/2013/10/22/startup-copywriting/

Ninthlink Seeks Conversion Optimization Specialist to Join Top-Notch Marketing Team

Ninthlink, Inc. is a creative online marketing agency in San Diego. We’ve provided online marketing, design and development services to a wide range of clients and industries for over 14 years. We bring years of experience in all aspects of online marketing due to our amazing 15- person team. Team members are constantly learning new technologies, and are expected to keep up with learning and utilizing the latest techniques and tools in the online marketplace.

The Conversion Optimization Specialist will be responsible for improving conversion rates for a variety of clients. Working closely with project managers, marketing, design, and development teams, they will analyze client goals, existing conversion points, traffic sources, target audiences, and make recommendations. This is a great opportunity with a premier full service agency to directly impact client results.

Responsibilities:

  • Ensure understanding of client goals
  • Research target audiences/personas
  • Determine appropriate conversion optimization strategies to include ROI analyses and present to key stakeholders
  • Work with design and development teams to create a/b/multivariate tests to include:
    • Conversion forms
    • PPC to landing page tests
    • Banner ads to landing page tests
    • Calls to action (sitewide optimization)
  • Translate both qualitative and quantitative test results into actionable business insights
  • Provide reporting on a weekly basis to clients and internal teams
  • Synthesize data/research from multiple sources to define testing thresholds and better understand test outcomes
  • Ensure site architecture and site optimization strategy keep pace with evolving organic search practices

Qualifications:

  • 2+ years in a web analytics role and experience with website optimization required
  • Proven experience in using data to identify issues and create clear actions to improve website performance and KPIs
  • Highly analytical and experienced in running a/b/multivariate and usability tests
  • Solid experience with testing tools (e.g. website optimizer and Visual Website Optimizer)
  • Experience in web analytics programs & Excel
  • Proficiency in user experience best practices and copywriting preferred
  • Results driven, experienced individual that can reliably meet goals & deadlines
  • Passion for solving complex challenges
  • Highly motivated, resourceful problem solver with the ability to lead and interact effectively with clients

*Please send resume and cover letter, along with salary requirements to julia@ninthlink.com

In the Marketing Hot Seat: Megan Ayala

Yesterday, our Sales Executive, Julia, sat down with Ninthlink’s Director of Search and Social, Megan, to discuss effective landing pages and the importance of focusing on relevancy, a clear call-to-action, and the “Blink Test”. For those of you who are not in the marketing trenches with Megan, a landing page is a single page that a user comes to through organic search, pay-per-click, or social media.

No relevancy = Bad User Experience

According to Megan, relevancy is crucial to the health of a landing page. Ad content and copy needs to be relevant to the landing page that a user is being taken. For example she says, “If you see an ad on Google for red shoes and you get to a page and there are a handful of shoes, but none of them are red, it’s a bad experience. It’s not relevant.” One great way to ensure relevancy is through what we at Ninthlink refer to as a DKI page (dynamic keyword insertion). These pages allow a user to see their exact search phrase on the landing page which creates a truly integrated experience and boosts search confidence.

Why Am I Here? 

Another piece of creating valuable landing pages is having a clear and easy call-to-action (CTA) on the page. You don’t want a user scratching their head thinking, “What do I do now?” It should be obvious. If the user wants red shoes, the call to action on that particular product page should be “Add to Cart”. It should also be easy. Even if the landing page relevant to the ad, it’s not a good user experience if there are multiple CTAs. The CTA should always be clear. If a user is on the landing page to learn more about a product, the CTA should be focused on downloading a brochure, instead of bombarding them with other options. Keep in mind though that CTAs can be fun depending on your target audience and associated copy – it’s the difference between “Submit” and “Yes! Send Me A Brochure”.

Love At First Sight

Megan also mentioned a strategy called the Blink Test. The Blink Test is the theory that claims: as soon as someone lands on a landing page, they decide within a few seconds if they are going to pursue your website/product or leave the page and look for something better. For more on this, check out Steve Krug’s book, Don’t Make Me Think, which addresses this theory along with other web usability concepts and ideas.

There are a number of components that make up a successful landing page, other than those listed above. Keep in mind a few others: How many fields are on the form? Users are more likely to fill out a page with fewer forms. Are there credibility logos? Creditability logos build a sense of trust with the user. Sometimes even a simple copy change can make all the difference!

Ninthlink Spends the Day with Habitat for Humanity

On January 29th the entire Ninthlink team spent the day volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. This was the second year we worked alongside Habitat’s selfless group of volunteers and donated funds to help the remarkable organization. We specifically donated funds to Habitat to help support this particular build site. The four townhouses have been designed specially and are being built accordingly for disabled veterans and their families. We couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of a new home, than those who risk their lives defending ours.

Make a difference. Donate today!

It was a hot and sunny day out in Santee but the experience was truly humbling. We broke off into teams, working closely with Habitat’s volunteer contractors to saw and nail siding, jackhammer concrete and lay piping, work on the roof and windows and use table and power saws, nail guns and hammers. Many of us had no experience with construction but enjoyed learning how to use the equipment and talking with the volunteers. By the end of the day, the entire front of the structure had siding and there were only a few cuts and bruises!