NYC Law Firms Begin To Fully Embrace The Power Of Digital Marketing

August 24, 2017

How do you create a robust online marketing strategy for law firms?

It begins, like most marketing, with a strategy. Though law firms are increasingly looking at social media, newsletters, and even paid search, Van West Media’s strategy typically revolves around the intended epicenter of digital traffic for the firm, the website. Without a clear, clean, and concise website with intuitive navigation and obvious calls-to-action, existing and prospective clients as well as potential recruits will not stay on the site, and will certainly not be compelled to come back.

For law firms, the website must achieve several important goals.

  • It should look to differentiate that law firm from others in the industry and help to attract new clients (and new recruits out of law school);
  • It should build and strengthen that law firm’s reputation and promote a positive firm culture;
  • It should have intuitive and well-designed navigation on the front-end and a simple system on the back-end for content management.

It goes without saying that if your law firm’s website is not currently mobile friendly, you are losing potential clients. If your website is not mobile friendly, ask VWM how to help make this transition.

Every site that we build is custom designed and developed.

This brings a superior finished product to our clients for several reasons. Because the design is entirely customized, Van West Media can tailor every single aspect of the site to the precise needs of the client, focusing on the firm’s particular practice areas, and the differentiators that make each firm and its business culture unique. Each website that we design for our clients tells a different story, through visuals and content, so that a user can quickly identify what the law firm offers, the image they are trying to convey, and then funnel these users to the information they are seeking or to desired call-to-actions.

Additionally, while the focus is on making sure that the front-end design is exceptional, Van West Media purposefully develops sites in a way that gives our clients the ability to update copy and images on their own once the site is live, if they can accomplish the work in-house. This removes a potential layer of unnecessary site management from both a cost and time perspective. We also have many clients who prefer that we manage all their sites content for them. This content management is often in addition to our creating monthly or quarterly newsletters, social media profiles, reputation management, and regular website maintenance.

Van West Media recently launched two new sites for Law Firms in New York City.

Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP (SSRGA) is a young, hip and fast-growing law firm with a variety of practice areas including real estate, intellectual property, and healthcare. SSRGA partnered with us on a custom website update to better represent the quality and caliber of their law firm. Van West Media managed the complete process of designing, developing and publishing the new site. This process included logo modification, a video shoot, as well as a photo shoot, to capture images of all the attorneys at the firm and to help build image content for the site, newsletters, and social profiles. Van West Media also created a searchable index of attorneys, practice areas and more. The website is fully responsive to adjust to mobile, tablet and desktop views.

In mid-summer, we launched Seiden & Schein, P.C., a boutique NYC law firm with a reputation for skillfully representing New York City’s most sophisticated developers. The firm helps property owners, developers, lessees, investors, and lenders, meet the challenges of the new millennium. Seiden & Schein needed an updated, mobile-friendly website to better represent their unique capabilities. Van West Media managed the complete process of designing, developing and publishing a custom designed website built on WordPress CMS framework. Our process included a company rebranding, a searchable and filterable index of the company’s project portfolio by practice areas, a section for key attorney bios, an enhanced news and events area, and the establishment of a new company blog. The new website is fully responsive to adjust to mobile, tablet and desktop views. We designed the site as a one-page scroll that effectively uses modal windows to highlight key content while keeping the user focused on the main content of the site.

Industries across all spectrums are looking to maximize growth and visibility through digital marketing.

Whether it be website optimization, social media strategies, paid search, email marketing, blogging, A/B testing, etc., companies are building customer visibility, loyalty, and engagement at unprecedented rates by harnessing the collective power of digital marketing. Some industries like music, television, and fashion were quick to embrace digital strategies. Others, like the law industry, are only now tapping into the full power of the digital marketing landscape. We have seen a marked increase in law firms interested in building or strengthening their online presence.

If you are interested in learning more about our website design and development capabilities when it comes to marketing law firms or if you are in another industry and would like to see what kind of digital marketing strategies we can offer to you or your company, just give us a call.

The 8 C’s of Social Commerce

March 30, 2017

Social Commerce

Four years ago, VWM published a blog on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce. Back then, it was a more relevant topic to write about because there were fewer aspects of e-commerce for marketers to be concerned with. The rise of Social Media has greatly impacted this. In the last four years, e-commerce, social media, and technology have evolved into something so monumental that there’s always something new to learn or latest trend to be aware of.

Social GIF

Wait…so what is Social commerce!?

Social Commerce is a subsection of electronic commerce that uses social and online media to support interaction and user contribution. This facilitates the buying and selling of products and services online.

In other words: Social commerce is the use of social networks within the context of e-commerce transactions.


In case you’re a recent reader, below is a refresher of the original 6 C’s of social commerce VWM highlighted in 2013:

Content: As in: “Content is King.” Consistently putting out valuable content on your site is key. It keeps you relevant and establishes your site as having frequent and more credible materials over your competitors.

Community: There’s a reason they’re called social networks! Building and keeping relationships with the people you’re trying to convert into customers is so important. Social allows customers to actively engage with your brand. Likes, comments and, retweets are all examples of ways you can get real-time feedback from your audience.

Social GIF

Commerce: You need to be able to fulfill customer needs via a transactional web presence whether it be B2C or B2B. Make Sure your sales funnel isn’t requiring several clicks or on-page searches before a customer gets to the actual purchasing part.

Context: Social networks make it easier than ever to gain insight into the context of where your customers are coming from. Brands can provide specific resources to customers based on location, interest, psychographics etc. Tracking things like check-ins, tweets or activity on social networks provides actionable insight.

Connection: Any connection made with a possible customer is a relationship worth having. Whether it is professional, social, or casual, social networks allow you that initial connection with other people and provide opportunities to develop and keep a relationship.

Conversation: The challenge is to tap into the conversations happening online in regards to what you’re selling. Smart marketers seek out the people who want to buy their products or services – social media features such as a “Like” button is a great way to start.

200w_d (3)

These are all still important, but it’s 2017 now. Marketers have a better understanding of just how influential social media and technology are when it comes to keeping an e-commerce strategy updated and successful.

Two New Additions for Marketers in 2017

ChatBots: The future really is now. With the creation of online chatbots, businesses can use AI and machine learning to create the feeling of a human interaction from anywhere in the world and at any given time. These bots can be expertly developed in any field and provide conversational answers to consumers presenting a much smoother interaction. This is beneficial both ways, you get a better idea of the kind of questions customers consistently have and they get a reply no matter when they ask.

Commitment: This is a big one (isn’t it always?) Having a social presence that will attract customers to buying whatever it is your selling is not a one time thing. Keeping up a strategy, establishing meaningful relationships, and consistently growing with your audience is essential to continuous success.

200w_d (2)

So, there you have it, our newly updated 8 C’s of social commerce. If you’re feeling a little lost after reading all that- don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

This is an updated post on the 6 C’s of Social Commerce.  


Client Spotlight: Club Fit Launches Their New Website

March 27, 2017

Club Fit offers comprehensive health and fitness facilities and programming to enhance the quality of life and physical well-being for Westchester community members of all ages.


Founded in Westchester in 1973, Club Fit operates fitness clubs in Briarcliff and Jefferson Valley, serving more than 14,000 members and their guests.

VWM has been working with Club Fit for the last five years helping them with paid advertising, social media strategy, ongoing development and updates, text alerts and promotions, lead generation, and web hosting.

Two website revamps later, we are now releasing the third and most versatile Club Fit website yet. New features include a custom WordPress web platform, a custom calendar scheduling feature, a streamlined user interface, and dynamic form routing and database integration.

Club Fit Launch Photo
Club Fit’s Bill and Ellen are all smiles as they get ready to launch their newly designed website. Via @ClubFitNY

Van West Media’s Social Media Manager, Stephanie Cowan, recently sat down for an interview with Jacquie Giannico, the Marketing Manager at Club Fit to talk about the launch of Club Fit’s new website, the effect it will have on the business, and how important it is to find, and develop a relationship with a digital agency that you can trust.


What part of your business will the new website have the most effect on?

“Everyone is really looking forward to the calendar. Having everything we have to offer all in one place really gives our members the one-stop-shop experience. There is so much to do at our club that sometimes it seems overwhelming to choose where to begin. We really see ourselves as a lifestyle club. We take someone from a single membership to a couples membership when they get married, and then they become a family membership, and finally a senior membership. Because of that, they have children of different ages and likes so we have created a calendar that will lay out clearly all of the classes offered at a given time. This will really be of benefit to our members.”

What has been your experience working with Van West Media?

“You have been great! I look at Van West Media as not an outside business partner but as an inside business partner and that’s important. It’s that trust factor. And it takes a while to develop that trust and we have worked with Van West Media for five years now. I also know when you say you are going to do something, you are going to do it and that is really important. And I know that if we need help on a weekend, someone always answers. The confidence and the quality of your employees is key.”

What is the hardest part of being in the membership business?

“Retention and new members. We need to make sure we are grabbing them as new members and obviously to retain them. I know the new website will draw new members and continue to provide useful tools to get the most out of their Club Fit experience.”

What makes Club Fit such a unique health and fitness club? 

“From a customer perspective, we have so much to offer. We are a health club that cares about our members well being. We offer so many activities for our members to participate in. The fact that you can swim in two different indoor pools, play on any of our tennis quarts, or participate in over 130 group classes is a testament to the range of opportunity here at Club Fit. We think of a company that gives back to our community most of our employees live in the area so it gives them an opportunity to serve their community as well. Our main focus is to keep people healthy and allow them to live longer.”

Success Board at Club Fit

What is the most exciting thing in Club Fit’s near future?

“Every month there is a new surprise. Like our March Matters and April Refer a Friend. We try to be very engaging with our members by creating unique events and content throughout the year. Come check us out!”



Van West Media Client Spotlight: Twin Parks

March 14, 2017

Twin Parks Montessori School is the largest accredited Montessori program in Manhattan with three premier preschool campuses in New York City.

Guided by the Montessori philosophy, Twin Parks helps children learn in a secure, prepared environment, laying a firm foundation for them as they grow older.

Van West Media began working with Twin Parks nearly a decade ago. This partnership began with initial branding and a website build and has evolved into Van West Media’s coordination and implementation of a robust marketing strategy revolving around the website, marketing materials, paid search, and social media. Most recently, we launched a custom website for Twin Park’s exciting new program for infants and toddlers, The Nurture Center. This strategy focused on driving visibility of Twin Parks and served as an initiative to welcome younger children into the Montessori philosophy.

Working with Van West Media has not only provided a framework for all of our branding and social media context but has taught our administrative team how to think and respond to social media. We are all a team and enjoy our brainstorming sessions together. Van West Media’s level of communication is top notch.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Twin Parks Blog post 6

The Website:

Van West Media built a custom website for Twin Parks that clearly and effectively showcases the three different preschool campuses, provides accreditation and financial aid information, and allows easy access to an online admissions application. From a visibility and SEO perspective, Van West Media created “Kathy’s Insights”, a personal blog from the Executive Director that builds and reinforces the school’s identity, leadership position, and mission, as well as a constant stream of custom content that helps optimize Twin Park’s search rankings with Google.

Paid Search:

When developing a paid search campaign for Twin Parks, Van West Media identified three specific opportunities: targeting families within the New York City Metro area searching for preschools, targeting families outside of New York City searching for preschools in New York City, and re-marketing to families who visited the website but did not complete a conversion. Our team began by creating campaigns targeting key neighborhoods in New York City and location-based keywords across the globe.

Our team also developed a display re-marketing campaign that excluded bouncing visitors and existing students’ parents, who visit the site to read blog posts and log into their child’s classroom details. These strategies led to a month over month performance increase of 36% during peak enrollment months. Additionally January 2017 saw the lowest Cost Per Acquisition in six months, and a record 95% increase to a 12-month record for paid assisted conversions.

Twin Parks Blog Post 5

Social Media:

Van West Media recently overhauled the Twin Parks social media profiles and implemented a best-practice strategy that is both engaging and visually appealing. This strategy focuses on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and is used to provide information about the school, build visibility and online engagement, and to drive new leads to the school.

New Program Launch:

In 2016, Twin Parks approached Van West Media with the idea of creating a new program for infants and toddlers that would complement their existing offerings, just to a younger audience. It would also allow parents to try the Montessori Method in a very comfortable and relaxed setting. Van West Media created the new program’s name, logo, and branding, and also built a custom mini-site that would allow perspective parents to learn about the new program and apply online. In late 2016, The Nurture Center launched.

We receive weekly updates and immediate replies to any question we put to their team. We feel we are in a partnership with Van West Media to share the story of Twin Parks Montessori Schools to our community.

– Kathy Roemer, Executive Director of Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Twin Parks Blog post 3

Twin Parks is an extremely valued client of Van West Media. But, more than a client, Kathy and her whole Twin Parks’ team have become partners with us. Together, we work extremely hard to bring visibility to this incredible school and its amazing teaching environment that has been carefully and thoughtfully created at all of Twin Parks’ campuses. Because of our services, Twin Parks has greatly expanded their online visibility, created greater social engagement, and increased the number of applicants to the school. Our team at Van West Media looks forward to our ongoing work with Kathy and her top-notch team of educators and all of the amazing work they are doing for the next generation of children.

Meet Our New Social Media Manager!

February 20, 2017

IMG_9105Van West Media is extremely excited to introduce our new Social Media Manager, Stephanie Cowan! Stephanie will focus on increasing visibility, engagement, leads, and sales for our clients using their social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn. These platforms are a great way for our clients to effectively reach specific audiences and Stephanie is a master at putting together a social media strategy and creating the appropriate copy and visuals to accomplish this.

Stephanie brings to Van West Media a keenly artistic eye, sharp wit, and unbridled enthusiasm and we wanted to give her the opportunity to introduce herself to all of you:

“I am really excited to be working here at Van West Media and have hit the ground running in the social media department. My biggest focus for the first month was revamping our own Instagram account.  I am super passionate about creating unique and thoughtful content that can strengthen our brand’s voice and visibility. I want each piece of content that goes live to give pause and have reason. It is my goal to make every single aspect of a post on social focused and goal oriented. That’s what is so special about social media. You can mold the big picture by obsessing about the nitty-gritty to create something unique, flawless, and memorable.

I have also spent a great deal of time meeting with many of Van West Media’s new and existing clients, learning about their various industries, and helping them curate and tailor their specific social media profiles. This includes understanding their corporate culture and identity as well as their vision and goals moving forward.

One of the reasons I was originally drawn to Van West Media was because of the vast differences and variety between the client base. Some digital marketing agencies focus on certain niche markets, but Van West Media has a wide-ranging and exciting client roster including law firms, financial firms, fashion brands, luxury travel destinations, non-profits, and more. This diverse clientele makes my job uniquely interesting and fulfilling and means that I get to constantly create new, varied, and exciting content.

If you have not yet taken a peek, I encourage you to visit our newly revamped Instagram account! Follow @vanwestmedia for a behind-the-scenes look at all of the great work we are doing here. I look forward to continuing to improve our client’s social media profiles and if you would like to discuss your own company’s social media strategies, please reach out to me so that I can help you.”

-Stephanie Cowan

Why an Instagram Business Profile is Best for Your Brand

February 16, 2017

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown to become one of the most powerful social media platforms the web has to offer. The statistics don’t lie when it comes to its effectiveness and reach. To date, users have shared over 40 billion photos and Instagram reports that there are 400 million active daily users and 600 million monthly users. The widespread adoption of platforms like Instagram has created incredible opportunities for businesses to use these platforms to expose potential clients to a product or service as well as reinforce existing customers to keep a business top-of-mind.

Last year, Instagram introduced the ability to create a business profile for their users. A business profile allows companies to track weekly social metrics including the number of followers that have been gained or lost, impressions, geographic statistics, and age and gender statistics. Businesses can use the analytics to gain a better understanding of who their audience is, whether they are communicating their brand effectively to this audience, and how they should adjust their marketing efforts based on the success metrics, or lack thereof.

Other than the sheer number of customers already actively engaged on Instagram, one of the greatest motivators for a business to create an account is that it is free. Recently, companies have begun to pull a portion of their advertising budget and use this money to create a visually compelling and engaging Instagram presence. This effort on the back-end is proving to be very successful for businesses. 60% of people learn about a product from Instagram and 75% of people take action after being inspired by an Instagram post.  Pretty amazing statistics for a company that was created less than eight years ago and clearly a strong indicator that businesses that do not have an Instagram presence, should develop one quickly.

Curating and maintaining a business profile can seem like a daunting task, but there are some simple tips to increase your online effectiveness while creating engaging content for your followers. Before starting, it is important to determine your audience. Consider, among other factors, age range, gender, social economics, and location. These key factors will become integral to the way you develop, style, and maintain your profile moving forward. Once you have a very clear picture of who your demographic is, focus on developing content that carries a consistent story, or theme, through each post. Instagram experts say that Instagram users want to follow someone with a specific and consistent voice, so the more specific you get with your brand, the better. When posting a photo, juxtaposition is critical; How does the photo look in the feed in relation to all the other photos?  Once the photo is posted, geotagging and hashtagging the photo with words that are associated with the product helps increase visibility.

Just having a profile and posting periodically is not going to drive customers, leads, sales, etc. Creating a business profile, having a cohesive digital strategy, creating a monthly calendar to ensure consistent posting, engaging with your followers, and having unique and creative posts, are all part of a larger equation that should result in an effective and engaging Instagram profile, which should in turn help grow your business and drive sales.

Within the digital marketing ecosystem that your business has created, Instagram can be an extremely important tool. But Instagram is just one star in a galaxy of social media platforms as well as blogs and email campaigns and AdWords that all revolve around, and ultimately drive traffic to, your website. If your business needs help with how to navigate digital marketing, we are more than happy to start working with you today.

Van West Media recently revamped our own Instagram account and the likes don’t lie! Check out our new Instagram feed for yourself!

Using Artificial Intelligence to Engage Consumers

January 26, 2017

2016 was the year we saw Artificial Intelligence (AI) progress from a concept everyone associated with I, Robot to a technology we have begun to use on a daily basis. AI, the development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, is being integrated into every aspect of our lives.

This past year, we have seen the rise in popularity of many products that incorporate AI. There’s Alexa, the voice of Amazon’s Echo, that provides customers with an intuitive interaction without ever having to press a button or even use a screen. Amy Ingram, the virtual personal assistant for busy executives that sets up meetings by sending amazingly human-like emails. And of course, Facebook integrated chatbots into their Messenger app, allowing businesses to deliver targeted conversations with consumers.

Now that we have begun to see the mainstreaming of Artificial Intelligence, get ready for the technology to be used at almost every level of the business sphere.

The Rise of Direct Customer Engagement

Chatbots especially, are the kind of AI being quickly implemented since they are cost-effective and they help businesses increase their one-on-one consumer interaction. Chatbots are programmed to engage in focused conversation and, when programmed properly, can provide answers to move potential and existing customers quickly through the sales funnel. Chatbots can be expertly developed in any field and provide conversational answers to consumers, presenting a much smoother interaction than that of 1-800 robots.

Facebook’s integration of chatbots within their Messenger app allowed developers to build their own bots within the app. This provided a direct line of communication with consumers. Messenger bots are now able to respond structured messages that include images, links, and even call-to-action buttons. Customers can now order apparel, make restaurant reservations, call a Lyft, review an e-commerce order, and so much more without ever having to talk with a human.

In the near future, chatbots may become the primary way a consumer finds, buys, or peruses a potential item or service. By cutting down the amount of content needed to sift through before finding the product they want, and being able to do it all through a mobile device, consumers will quickly integrate this kind of streamlined business into their purchasing timeline.

This kind of direct customer engagement should not be underestimated. For consumer-facing business, you should take time in 2017 to develop a strategy around incorporating chatbots into an app, Messenger, or your website.

The Screen-less Internet of Things

Just as AI may make call centers obsolete, it also may make our obsession with, and constant use of, screens a thing of the past as companies continue exploring with screen-less devices that can connect to the internet and carry out services that we require of them.

These devices go beyond just our phones and computers to include cars, TVs, even washing machines, and refrigerators! AI allows for technology to adapt to us: learning our preferences and even the way we talk to be able to not only complete the action we ask but also give human-like suggestions for future actions.

Moving forward, brands will continue to make advancements using AI to better handle customer interactions, recommendations, and requests – all while gathering valuable information about customer behaviors and needs. It is difficult to quantify exactly how helpful and cost effective this kind of technology and data leveraging will be, but it’s big, and it’s going to change the way the consumer finds, buys, and uses products on nearly every level.


2016 Digital Marketing Wrap-up

December 29, 2016

As the year comes to an end, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting things in the world of web sites and digital marketing from 2016 and into 2017.

Google Ranking Factors: Bro, do you even RankBrain…?

How Google ranks websites has always been somewhat of a mystery and can sometimes feel like walking down a path of moving tiles. If you work in the world of digital you already know that everyone wants to rank number 1 in Google. Your clients want to be number one, your blogger friends want to be number one and for 10 easy installments of $99.95, you too can rank number 1… (hint: if someone tells you ‘keywords’ it’s probably best to not work with them).


For days (read: years), Google has said there are around 200 different factors they use that determine how pages are ranked in the search results. I repeat— TWO HUNDRED different factors! This is not news but it is important to realize there are no silver bullets when it comes to ranking. While Google never really reveals the secret sauce behind these factors, they do drop hints and in 2016 they dropped a pretty big one when they said that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor (behind links and content).

What the hell is RankBrain?

RankBrain is much like the other things described by Google when it comes to search — super complicated, smart and confusing. In short, it is a machine learning system that contributes information to the larger search algorithm when sorting through billions of pages to determine the order of search results. Sort of like if you had a smart friend that could whisper ideas in your head during final jeopardy. I’d try to describe it more but Search Engine Land does an awesome job describing RankBrain in this post. If you are a fan of staying out of the weeds on this nerdy search stuff, the big takeaway here is that RankBrain is now third most important and because it uses machine learning/AI it’s kind of big deal. If you are trying to rank websites, you should at least tune in.

Just remember: practicing good SEO is like brushing your teeth — do it regularly, do it the right way, and don’t lie about it.

HTTPS is a really big deal now. Like, practically required.

In 2016 Google mentioned it would favor sites that used a HTTPS but in 2017 there is even more buzz about it being required for all sites that use a login. The writing is pretty much on the wall that this will soon be a necessary thing for most sites. Better off just biting the bullet and spending some cash on an SSL cert now and be done with it.

Your kids don’t even know what ‘Desktop’ means, they live Mobile.


  • In 2014, mobile use surpassed desktop use
  • In 2015, more searches were on mobile than desktop in the U.S. and Mobile-Only users surpassed Desktop-Only users
  • In 2016, Mobile audiences for the top 100 web properties surpassed Desktop
  • In 2017, Google is going to launch a Mobile-Only Index

Summary : Web Marketing & Search changes to ponder


Mobile Only Search Index — Google announcing a Mobile only index is pretty much the elephant taking up all the space in the room. This is a huge deal and fundamentally changes the search landscape.

HTTPS — essentially if your website has a login, you will almost surely need this (think WordPress, basic logins etc. in addition to eCommerce)

Voice Search — This is going be a big one and digital native users already using this consistently. Check out this sweet list of 2017 predictions from Gartner for some real good predictions here but our favorite is:“by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen” (some strange brew for designers to contemplate here)

If you made it this far — thanks for reading!

If you’re gearing up for the new year and wondering how you can integrate these trends into your business strategy, Van West Media can help. Let’s Get Started.


About the Author: Travis Melvin is a digital marketing professional based in New York City. He currently works with VWM on web content strategy and related marketing initiatives.

Three Digital Marketing Trends Set To Take Off In 2017

December 14, 2016

Digital marketing has made incredible strides throughout the past few years in the direction of customer service, real-time support, and inbound marketing. With 2017 just a few weeks away, there are many trends expected to create unprecedented development and success in digital marketing in the New Year.

Will it be a year dictated by machine learning capabilities, or one that is forever remembered by its commitment to the adoption of smartphones for every purchase decision?

Here are three digital marketing trends to look for in 2017:

1. Real-time marketing

Gone are the days when marketers needed to predict sales, data, and growth for their company through bookkeeping and quarterly reflecting. Today, with all of the digitally integrated methods of marketing, marketers have the instant data they need to create marketing strategies in real-time. This allows them to give their customers what they want to see, when they want to see it by immediately taking advantage of hyper-relative micro-moments as they happen. Adapting marketing methods in real-time can create powerful contextual communications like never before. Just ask Oreo and Arby’s.

2. Increasing smartphone usage

You may be thinking: smartphones are already incredibly important and popular, what makes 2017 any different? Smartphone usage in the United States alone is expected to reach 222.9 million, with an estimated worldwide total of 2.6 billion. That’s an enormous amount of people relying on only their smartphones for buying, selling, and business interaction. This should be an obvious indication that if your audience can’t reach your business through mobile search or display, or your mobile experience is not friendly, you have a serious problem.

3. Machine learning

Machine learning developments by Google, Facebook, IBM, etc. have been continuously hinted at in 2016. We’re predicting that 2017 will be the year in which these developments are put to use, with chatbots becoming a standard and useful feature for communication and purchasing platforms, and more businesses incorporating Artificial Intelligence for consumer support and predictive analysis. Google has indicated they have machine-learning devices that will be able to understand consumer sentiment for aggregate sales plans. Just imagine what machine learning will do for customer segmentation, open rates, and social engagement. Is your business ready to incorporate a machine-learning component?

2017 is clearly set to be one of the most technologically impressive – and perhaps overwhelming – years digital marketers have seen. Brands that are able to quickly and effectively parse data and adapt their strategies to new trends as they happen will have a clear marketing advantage over their competitors. If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with the rapid pace of marketing, Van West Media can help!

How To Integrate Video Storytelling Into Your Social Media Marketing

October 13, 2016

Video storytelling and marketing are the hottest, most influential avenues of advertising in today’s social media marketing realm. Whether on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or Snapchat, users overwhelming prefer absorbing information and entertainment through a brief, eye-catching video.

In 2016, video will account for 55% of internet traffic. It’s projected that in 2017, video marketing will account for 74% of traffic. That’s a pretty astounding growth rate! Major social media marketing platforms are taking notice and providing you with valuable tools for reaching new consumers and online community members.


Though YouTube was the king of video marketing, Facebook has undoubtedly solidified its place as the #1 platform for video viewing and sharing today. As the most widely used social media site, video reach on Facebook is incomparable to any other platform. Facebook knows how important video marketing is, and they’re rewarding users who natively upload original content to their platform as opposed to reposting links from other sites.

Not using Facebook Live yet for your business? You should think again.


Rolled out in January, Twitter users can now Tweet and reply to Tweets using video recordings and gifs. Twitter joined the video marketing wave as a way to keep communication between users more personal as its platform numbers continue to swell.


Over 2 billion Snaps are sent and watched every single day. More than 60% of 13 to 34-year-olds are Snapchatters and they’re addicted to it. Snapchat enables users to post content of only 10 seconds on accounts – and it lasts just 24 hours. Marketers may wonder if it’s worth it to be on this platform and the answer is a resounding: yes. Snapchat’s interpersonal, fleeting nature has young consumers obsessed.


Bought by Facebook, Instagram is placing tremendous weight on video postings and video ads today. To put it plainly: videos are being favored so more users are inspired to post videos themselves. On Instagram, you can post short and long videos on your profile, and even utilize a Snapchat-like feature called Instagram Stories for quick, 24-hour postings.


Last but not least, there’s YouTube. With 4 billion daily video streams, it’s hard to ignore YouTube’s prominence today. The only problem is that with over 1 billion users now, it’s hard to break through the noise. Our solution? Up your content game, incorporate humor, and be sure to share your profile to all other social media platforms.

Van West Media can elevate your brand’s reach and revenue with video.

Let’s Get Started.