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18 Awards That Set Wendt Apart

Dos and Don'ts Guide to Virtual Meetings

The 42nd Annual Telly Awards and the 27th Annual Communicator Awards have been announced, and The Wendt Agency is the proud recipient of 18 wins. Our team is pleased to be recognized for the innovative creative work and strategy we provide our clients. And, while the awards are certainly an honor and recognition of our work, for us, it goes even deeper. These awards of distinction reflect the passion we have for seeing our clients succeed.

“Wendt’s clients’ needs and expectations are always our number one goal, so winning both Telly and Communicator Awards in addition to creating success for our clients, is truly special,” said Kara Smith, Creative Director.

Kara Smith, Creative Director

The Wendt Agency

Considered one of the largest and most competitive awards programs of its kind in the world, the Communicator Awards distinguishes creative excellence among marketing and communications professionals. The Wendt Agency won four Communicator Awards of Excellence and nine Awards of Distinction. Awards of Excellence are the highest honor given to entrants whose ability to communicate is the best in the field. Awards of Distinction are presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.

Established in 1979, the Telly Awards receive over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents. The Wendt Agency won one gold, two silver, and two bronze Telly Awards.

Wendt’s winning campaigns were created in partnership with Achieve Montana, Central Montana, Helena Convention and Visitors Bureau, Montana Department of Transportation, Montana Farmers Union, and Montana Lottery.

Communicator Awards — 13 Wins!

Montana Lottery: “Mega Millions – Always Big” TV

  • Use of Humor
  • Award of Excellence

Montana Farmers Union: “Food Security for Us” Campaign

  • Integrated Campaign
  • Award of Excellence

Achieve Montana: Achieve Montana Website

  • Financial Services
  • Award of Excellence

Montana Farmers Union: “Food Security for Us” Website

  • Activism
  • Award of Excellence

Montana Department of Transportation: “Buckle Up Truck” TV

  • Causes & Awareness
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Lottery: “Mega Millions – Always Big” TV

  • Entertainment/ Amusement
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Lottery: “Mega Millions – Always Big” TV Shorts

  • Consumer Products & Services
  • Award of Distinction

Central Montana: “Field Trip” Campaign

  • Promotional
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Farmers Union: “Food Security for Us” Campaign

  • Marketing Effectiveness
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Lottery: Ford Payout Scratch Game Campaign

  • Marketing Effectiveness
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Farmers Union: Food Security Video

  • Social Responsibility
  • Award of Distinction

Montana Farmers Union: Food Security Video

  • Activism
  • Award of Distinction

Helena Convention and Visitors Bureau: “Safety First” Outdoor

  • Advertising Campaign
  • Award of Distinction

Telly Awards — 5 Wins!

Montana Farmers Union: “Food Security for Us” Video

  • Branded Content
  • Gold

Montana Department of Transportation: “Buckle Up Truck” TV

  • Public Service/PSA
  • Silver

Montana Lottery: “Mega Millions – Always Big” TV

  • Use of Comedy
  • Silver

Learn More

Want to learn more about how we create winning campaigns for our clients? Reach out to us, here. And sign up for our monthly newsletter, here.

2021-06-23T12:02:17-06:00June 23rd, 2021|Industry Trends, Wendt Buzz, Work|0 Comments

Endless Summer – Free Wallpapers

Outside is calling. Kids are selling homemade lemonade on the corner for 50 cents. The sound of lawnmowers in the neighborhood roar a bit too early in the morning. And new adventures are waiting to be experienced. Summer is officially here, and we couldn’t be more excited to enjoy every minute of it.
– Go for it!

 

-The Wendt Agency

Click to download wallpapers:

2021-06-11T08:18:23-06:00June 11th, 2021|Uncategorized, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Why Your Business Needs to Consider ‘Revenge Travel’ This Summer

Women's History Month

After more than a year of having the world shut down due to this nasty pandemic, we’re now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As vaccination rates are increasing and case numbers continue to decrease, we’re all feeling the itch for getting back to the things that make us happy, feel free, and bring us back together with coworkers, friends, and family. For me personally, the daily email infusion of concert announcements makes me feel like a little kid in a candy store! Which one do I want to attend? Should I wait to see who else might be coming to one of my favorite venues? What if I miss a great opportunity! I’m already booked for four concerts this summer, and one of those is a reschedule of a canceled event in 2020. I missed those concert experiences more than I knew.

How The ‘Revenge Travel’ Trend Affects Business

Recently I came across the term “revenge travel.” With confinement, we can’t help but express the pent-up frustration that comes with not being able to travel or be together. Now we want to go, we can go, and we will go, as long as it’s safe. All indications are telling us that we can expect that people will be anxious to satisfy their revenge travel urges in places where they can spend time outdoors and where they feel safe and do not have to wear a mask. This includes beaches, rivers and lakes, places to walk, hike, and bike, national and state parks, and camping destinations. This is fantastic for all of us who are comfortable and ready to travel and enjoy the great outdoors, and we get the bonus of getting our economy back on track while we’re spending our cash on travel expenditures such as resort hotels, Vrbo/Airbnb, cabins and cottages, fancy food, tasty beverages, adventurous activities, and treasured items that will remind us of our trip.

As more people begin to feel comfortable getting out and about, businesses can take advantage of revenge travel trends such as increased family travel, travelers looking for unique experiences, and travelers exploring less-populated communities and national parks. By shifting to be aware of these revenge travel behaviors, businesses will be able to better tune their summer marketing content. At Wendt, we believe strategy is the foundation of success, and we work closely with our clients to develop and implement marketing that pivots appropriately when such trends occur.

Vrbo And Airbnb Embrace ‘Revenge Travel’

Think of how many family reunions, weddings, and gatherings with friends were missed in 2020. All those events will be vengefully planned for this year and in the immediate years following. The Vrbo brand has recently launched a campaign that positions Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, and family as its First Family in Residence. The objective is that the Teigen-Legend family will help inspire others to plan their longest awaited vacations and reunions ever. And stay in Vrbo properties, of course!

John Legend artfully covers Johnny Nash’s classic “I Can See Clearly Now” for this campaign as we watch the emotional and heart tugging experience of real-life families being reunited following the pandemic. https://youtu.be/Wx1l3-Kgjr4 Powerful, joyous stuff.

Everyone had to navigate a difficult year. Let’s get out there and take our much-needed break. Revenge is ours for the taking!

Brenda-Final1

Brenda Peterson, President/CEO

The Wendt Agency

2021-06-11T11:25:14-06:00June 9th, 2021|Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

What You Don’t Know About Apple iOS Changes May Hurt Your Business

Dos and Don'ts Guide to Virtual Meetings

When it comes to the Apple iOS 14 changes, several things are happening in the internet space that have been transformative for digital advertisers. Many of them stem from legislation and governances adopted by technology platforms since 2020. Read on as our Wendt Media team shares their insights and expertise in these updates and learn how we help our clients navigate Apple iOS changes masterfully to successfully target audiences.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enacted by the EU, is a set of guidelines that have been adopted by most American/Global technology platforms and ad services. The GDPR addresses how ad tech companies collect data. Browsers can leave bits of your user identifiable information across the web. You searched for a product, looked at colors and different aspects, and looked at comparable information. Those bits, known as cookies, are used by ad-serving companies to target users repeatedly based on the cookie data.

Retargeting campaigns result from cookies and the data gained from a user’s behavior on their devices. Cookies are instrumental in how data is gathered and utilized by ad-serving companies. Due to GDPR, many browsers, devices, and publishers now allow users to either “accept” or “do not track” the use of cookies/tracking on the site. Wendt expects retargeting estimates and campaign metrics to be somewhat lower than previous years from various ad tech platforms, including Facebook.

When you visit a site or app, you opt out of tracking; that data bit is lost to the ad tech serving company, and advertisers have now lost that bit of behavioral tracking. This has been occurring since early 2020. As a result, behavioral targeting is harder to do. However, it is still available from other sources such as Google and The Trade Desk, which have engineered their own “privacy sandboxes or unique cohorts.”

Pam Bennett, Senior Media Strategist

The Wendt Agency

ATT Policy and Audience Targeting

Advertisers are shifting to contextual targeting, search-based targeting, social and content engagement metrics, and ad assets and videos. Placement in content-rich, content-matching environments is one way of targeting and finding our audiences. Programmatic technology helps us correlate content and context to find prospective customers. Based on data from these sites, using first-party or content matching technology, we capture the user’s attention and clicks from this strategy.

BUT: Apple has now thrown a wrench in the mix. They have prioritized user privacy over targeted advertising, from any platform or app serving to Apple devices – anything that uses iOS 14. Apple has now implemented the ATT policy – App Tracking Transparency, and it is one of the most restrictive. The consent from users will prompt across every app and is not transferrable to ad networks. For example, an iPhone user will not be able to see or be served any behavioral or contextually targeted ads previously available before the ATT policy began. This rollout started in late March 2021.
However, this doesn’t change our targeting – for any digital campaign, we would still want to target all users regardless of their device/platform, but the ATT policy will impact the tracking data received from Apple devices.

We can still break out the data of various mobile users (iPhone vs. Android).

For our advertisers, this means:

  • Minor impact to targeting audiences and securing impressions – since it is based on inventory and cost.
  • We can still measure ad click engagement on your site and implement site pixels; GTMs (Google Tag Manager containers) and Google Analytics will be source one for providing the information of a user’s journey from ad serving your pages.
  • UTM tags can also be implemented for granular study of an advertising campaign.

In summary, the changing and dynamic forces in the advertising ecosystem impact users’ privacy and willingness to participate in data collection.

These changes will likely have the largest impact on social media tracking, specifically Facebook placements. Facebook has been openly and adamantly opposed to the Apple iOS 14 changes in the months leading up to the roll out. This is because these changes will impact how Facebook receives and processes conversion events from tools like Facebook pixels. So, as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ad personalization and performance reporting will be limited for both app and website conversions.

Tegan Bauer, Social Media Specialist

The Wendt Agency

Key Apple iOS 14 Changes*:

  • Campaigns with the objective of app install may be severely limited.
  • Real-time reporting will no longer be supported, and campaign data may be delayed up to three days.
  • Both app and web conversion reporting breakdowns, like age, gender, region, and placement, will no longer be available.
  • The attribution setting (see below) will change, which may result in a decrease in the number of reported conversions. The default for all new or active ad campaigns (this will not affect past campaigns) will be set at a 7-day click attribution window instead of the current 28-day click. o The attribution setting is the
  • period during which conversions can be credited to your ads and used to inform campaign optimization.
  • Facebook pixels will only be able to optimize for eight conversion events for each website domain.
  • Facebook may begin using statistical modeling to account for conversions and report results from iOS 14 users.

*Source: How the Apple iOS 14 Release May Affect Your Ads and Reporting. Facebook for Business. Retrieved 18 May 2021, from www.facebook.com/business/help/331612538028890?id=428636648170202&_rdr 

Since the rollout, everyone running ads through Facebook ad manager have been working to verify website domains and reviewing pixel conversion events to allow us to build and optimize using Facebook pixels in the future. This is all still very new, but Wendt will continue monitoring the situation and providing updates.

The Apple iOS 14 change has both good things and bad things for advertisers. In a nutshell, Apple is requiring app owners to ask for explicit permission to track users to other apps. Many people will certainly deny that. And it does limit some tracking and add complexity to online marketing efforts, which have come to rely on this specific type of tracking. However, this is not nearly the death of online marketing or tracking. It is just another adjustment in the highly fluid world of online marketing. One which applies to Apple products only (not that we all aren’t tied to our iPhones but …). Does that mean ad placement and spending might shift? Of course it does. But savvy marketers (and their agencies!) have been preparing for this and are already shifting communication strategies in ways big and small, such as leaning more heavily on contextual targeting to find an audience through the content or environment they are interested in and by working with programmatic vendors who have invested in cross-device tracking (remember that web browsing you do at your work computer?).

Carol Kruger, Senior Vice President

The Wendt Agency

2021-06-04T15:15:22-06:00May 25th, 2021|Industry Trends, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Improve Your Virtual Meeting Game with These 10 Tips

Dos and Don'ts Guide to Virtual Meetings

Though 2020 is well behind us, its affinity for virtual meetings is here to stay. But, even with all the trial by fire practice we’ve had, and advice articles written, people are still struggling with virtual meetings. We’ve got you! Use our 10-step dos and don’ts guide as a checklist to up your virtual meeting game.

DOs

1. Set up your real background.

The fake virtual backgrounds are fun and can be used in a pinch, but ideally you should pick a place and set up a real background for your calls. This will help prevent weird background or filter mix ups and eliminate the blurry or strange greenscreen trail that happens when you move your hands, this is especially important if you like to gesture when you talk.

Pro Tip: Even if you set up the perfect background, always give a quick scan before jumping on a call to make sure there isn’t anything that has made its way into frame or reflecting in a mirror.

2. Add additional lighting.

Lighting can be challenging. The best option would be to sit facing a window, so you have even natural light across your face (don’t sit with your back to a window). However, for those of us without that option, try adding an extra lamp behind your computer that will cast more light on your face.

Pro Tip: You can purchase a mini ring light for your desk.

3. Notify people in your surroundings.

By now everyone knows to give their children, furry children, and housemates a heads up before jumping on a virtual call or going into an online meeting. But now that we are transitioning back into the office, it’s easy to forget to let your co-workers know you will be occupied. So, mark it on the calendar, send out a quick email, put a sign on your door, and shout “quiet on set” over the wall. All of this will help prevent someone unknowingly loitering behind you during a big presentation or turning up the music on the speakers during the participation portion of the meeting.

4. Frame yourself in the camera view.

Adjust your desk layout and get in the habit of adjusting your camera before clicking the join link. Your camera should be eye level or slightly higher and tilted down for a more flattering angle. Sit centered as close to the camera without cutting off the top of your head and so the tops of your shoulders are still in frame. This will help people be able to see your expression in a tiny box on their screen.

Pro Tip: If you like looking at the other participants (or yourself), move the participant window close to your camera on your screen. If you still have trouble, you can put googly eyes on either side of your camera. This way when you look at the eyes it will appear like you are making eye contact.

5. Check where your microphone is located.

It’s important to know where your voice is being picked up. Is it your laptop microphone, your headphones, a phone you used to call in with, etc.? This will affect how you setup. You’ll also want to test the microphone’s sensitivity. You don’t want to be typing and shuffling papers right over the laptop speaker or have your voice muffled by a scarf covering your headphone microphone.

Pro Tip: Make a point to check for background noise or music that may have faded into the background and slipped your mind until mid-meeting.

DON’Ts

6. Leave extra tabs/windows open.

Don’t multitask! You may think you’re being sneaky and extra productive, but we can all see your eyes drifting off to the side, which is rude. Worse than being rude is being disruptive, and that’s exactly what you’ll be when an unwanted pop-up ad begins playing, and you are searching through different windows and tabs to find and close the offensive noise interrupting your call. Plus, if at any point you have to share your screen, you don’t want to be scrambling to find the right window or have everyone see all the tabs at the top of your screen.

Pro Tip: If you are going to be doing anything on YouTube for a call be sure to turn off auto play!

7. Eat or chew gum.

Very few people actually like the sound of chewing in their ear. So, remember to throw out that piece of gum before you begin. No one will be able to smell your breath through their screen anyway. You should also resist the temptation to sneak in lunch during a midday call. Even if you aren’t using your camera and are muted while chewing, you’re bound to get asked a question or need to contribute right after you’ve taken a big bite, which with your luck, will lead to you choking and coughing uncontrollably. Save yourself from this and other embarrassing moments like food stuck between your teeth by not eating during calls.

8. Wait until the last minute to login.

Virtual meetings should be treated with the same level of professionalism as in-person meetings. Respect start times and other participant’s time by trying to join at least five minutes before the meeting starts.  This allows time to resolve any technical issues that will inevitably happen. It might also become a networking opportunity or at the very least save time by getting introductions done early.

9. Move around.

We don’t need a tour of your house or route to the office. Prevent unfortunate mishaps with nude roommates or worst-case scenario, a front row seat to your car crash. Just stay put in front of the carefully crafted background with great lighting we talked about earlier and focus on the meeting.

10. Forget to send an email recap.

Most people have short attention spans, it’s just the way it is. Especially during long presentations, people tend to glaze over after staring at a screen for extended periods of time. It’s also easy to forget to take notes during virtual meetings and after a while, they all begin to blur together. So be sure to take notes and summarize them in a recap email after you wrap up.

Tegan Bauer, Social Media Specialist

The Wendt Agency

2021-06-04T15:15:42-06:00May 12th, 2021|Industry Trends, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Improving Your Website’s SEO, Part 1

Best practices for search engine optimization

As the UX/UI Designer at The Wendt Agency, I am involved in developing websites for clients; from the concepting phase to taking them live. When working on website projects, I consider the fact that producing an attractive website is only one facet of what determines its overall success. Today, I’m going to delve a little deeper into what makes a website really stand out from its competition in search rankings: SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and how you can improve your website’s search rankings. This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide to SEO, or to make you a pro, but an article on how you should plan your SEO strategy for a new or existing website. Watch for more valuable tips and information when part two of this article is released.

Keyword Research

Whether you’re rebuilding a website or producing a new one from scratch, content is king, but that doesn’t mean your content should be king-sized. It’s important to understand what search engines are looking for and how you should plan your strategy. The first step should be researching your competition to determine what keywords their target audience uses to search for similar information, and see how well those keywords are performing. Keep in mind, the keyword or keyphrase, is the word or term someone will use in the search engine to find what they’re looking for. It’s very important to put yourself in the shoes of your audience during this stage.

To gain a better understanding of which keywords work best, you can view the search result’s metrics of your competition’s audience at https://trends.google.com/. Google has an SEO Ranking Checker that shows the rankings of the keywords or phrases your competitors are using for their search results at https://www.thehoth.com/search-engine-rankings/. You can also visit https://www.thehoth.com/seo-audit-tool/ to scan your site and compare the effectiveness of your keywords compared to your competitor’s websites. Once you have a better understanding of which keywords or phrases your audience and competition are using, you’ll be able to come up with an improved game plan for writing or editing your content.

Planning Your Content

Keywords and phrases should only be used once across the entire site and need to be strategically planned in each page’s content. Use clearly written paragraphs, headings, and subheadings, with only 1-2% of the content containing your keywords. Otherwise, if you saturate your content with keywords or phrases, Google will give those pages a lower score because its algorithm considers the copy as “keyword stuffed”. You also don’t want to duplicate copy on the website, which also includes keywords. Each page or post should focus on one aspect of your business, so your pages aren’t competing with themselves to outrank each other, which could cause more important pages to show up later in the results. If the content on a page makes reference to content that is currently on another page, use an internal bound link to that page rather than inserting duplicated text.

For example, if your website has an “About” page, it would be best to focus the content on that page based on the aspects that define your business, such as mission, core values, and strengths. If you would like to mention the businesses services on your “About” page, insert an internal bound link to “Services” rather than inserting duplicate content from that page. Then, on your “Services” page, detail the ways your business can help fulfill your customer’s goals.

Copywriting Dos and Don’ts

Beautiful photos and the right typography are great ways to make a website more appealing, but how will anyone find your website on Google if the content is poorly written? When coming up with new or editing existing content, you want to make sure that it’s well-written with a clear and informative message. Think of the main subject you want to discuss on your page or post and focus on what you want the keywords to be that are placed within the text.

Meta descriptions and focus keywords are the most important factor in how your page or post is displayed in the results. The meta description is the information that briefly explains what the page or post is about in search listings. You want it to be actionable, to the point, honest, and accurate so you have a unique message that your competitors aren’t using. Search engines also pick up on titles and subheaders and use those to help recognize what the page is about, so make sure to sprinkle keywords in both areas as it helps with readability.

Implementing Keywords, Phrases, and Meta Information

To get the most out of your SEO, I highly recommend using the Yoast SEO Premium plugin, which submits meta descriptions and focused keywords or phrases to search engines. There’s a free version that’s pretty basic but still effective. However, the premium version allows you to insert multiple keywords and phrases per page and also allows you to include synonyms of those, as long as you are keeping an eye on overstuffing the content. Both versions also allow you to analyze which keywords and phrases work best based on the content with a scoring system that displays how well that page will rank in the results and provides suggestions for areas of improvement.

Keep an eye out for part two of this discussion and more details on improving your content. Until then, I hope this gets your gears spinning and inspires you to begin working on improvements to your writing style.

Justin Porter, UX/UI Designer

The Wendt Agency

2021-06-04T15:16:03-06:00April 19th, 2021|Industry Trends, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Leadership Montana: Pulling Iconic Elements into Logos

Creating an Independent Logo Under the Umbrella of an Established Brand

A premier leadership development program, Leadership Montana, is a collaborative organization that brings Montanans together to build partnerships, strengthen leadership skills, and foster personal growth. The organization’s goal is to nurture thoughtful leaders, helping them better understand Montana’s issues as a state.

Within Leadership Montana is the Masters Class program. Only open to alumni of Leadership Montana, the Masters Class allows participants to further their education and continue a more in-depth leadership experience. Not only does The Wendt Agency have several alumni of the Leadership Montana program, but also have alumni of the Masters Class itself.

Leadership Montana asked the Wendt team to develop a distinct logo for the Masters Class. In taking on this project, it was our goal to create a logo that fit within Leadership Montana branding and would be independent on its own.

One of Wendt’s core pillars is to create strategies and solutions that build connections. We are grateful for our partnership that continues to help Leadership Montana grow their brand. Want to learn more about Leadership Montana, Masters Class, and see the logo in action? Please visit www.leadershipmontana.org.

2021-04-09T09:50:20-06:00April 9th, 2021|Clients|0 Comments

Our Newest Team Members Weigh in About Working at Wendt!

Welcome to Wendt

Here at The Wendt Agency, we have been fortunate enough to welcome five new team members in the last 14 months. It’s been wonderful for us, but we wondered how the newest Wendt-ites were feeling about things. So, we asked them how things were going and, honestly, the answers are too amazing not to share.

The day I walked into The Wendt Agency, I knew I would never want to leave. Within these walls, I found the greatest group of highly intelligent professionals, each extremely gifted in their position. Each so welcoming, encouraging, and supportive – I felt as though I was being adopted into a great family! I love that each day I have the opportunity to work hard, learn something new, and watch creativity flow as we all act as one cohesive unit, helping create success for our valued clients!

Haley Thomas, Production Manager

There are several reasons why I enjoy working at Wendt; the chance to learn new things, the atmosphere, and the people. We all have our own special skills and roles. Being a website developer, there are always new tools that are coming out and I feel like I’m always encouraged to research new trends that can benefit our clients and help me evolve as a developer. Having my own office brings a warm sense of comfort as I’m able to surround myself with items and memories from my home and family. But, we also have an open office, and it’s great to hear everyone engaging in conversation throughout the day, whether it’s ideas for projects, or just checking in to see how someone’s day or week has been going, or how their weekend went. I could write a couple of pages of why I feel like Wendt is and has always been the place for me, but to sum it up, this has been a dream come true and I can’t imagine taking my passion for website development anywhere else, anytime soon.

Justin Porter, UX/UI Designer