19 07, 2017

How to Export your Google Data Studio Report to PDF

By | 2017-07-19T12:10:28+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Categories: Digital Marketing|Tags: , , , , |

Google Data Studio is a great tool for those who need frequent, consistent and timely reporting, but there is an important feature currently unavailable in Data Studio — “PDF exporting.”  But do not fret, my fellow Google Data Studio users. There is a way to take that multi-page Data Studio report and export it as a single PDF file!

Google Data Studio PDF Export

If you have Google Chrome, you can export all of your Google Data Studio Report’s pages into a single PDF by downloading the free Google Chrome Extension ‘Google Data Studio PDF Export’ by Mito Studio.

How to Export a Multiple-Page Data Studio Report to PDF

Step 1.  Click the link below to be redirected to the Google Chrome web store installation page for the Google Chrome Extension ‘Google Data Studio PDF Export’ by Mito Studio. ~ if the link is not working, copy and paste the link at the end of this post into your chrome browser. 

Click here to go to the extension

Step 2.  Reload (or open) the Data Studio Report you wish to Export to PDF and there will be a new option in the report header.  The picture below is a comparison of the task bar without the chrome extension (top image) and the task bar with the chrome extension (bottom image). ~ Note: you must be in the ‘view mode’ in order for the option to appear.

Export to PDF option in Google Data Studio

Step 3.  Click on the ‘Export to PDF’ option to begin exporting your report, wait a few seconds per page as each page downloads. The time it takes to begin exporting varies, but  if the report does not begin to export, click on the thumbnail icon in the chrome extensions area of the toolbar but instead of selecting ‘Export to PDF’,  select ‘Clear Cache’ the option (pictured below), then try exporting it again.

GDS Export to PDF solution

Step 4.  After the document has been downloaded, a pop-up window will appear with a black and white version of the report—the report’s color will be restored after changing the destination. In the window, change the ‘Destination’ of the file to ‘Save as PDF’ (pictured below). Save Data Studio Report as PDF

Step 5.  Click Print to save the report to a location of your choice.

Chrome Extension Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-data-studio-pdf-ex/cmbgpgjhibpioljmaaocdommnggpecje

15 04, 2015

Can Humor Boost Online Sales?

By | 2018-05-01T08:26:12+00:00 April 15th, 2015|Categories: Digital Marketing|Tags: , , , |

We know that humor gets people’s attention. It can be the optimal user experience. Just look at how audience demographics change for the biggest annual football games and ask people why they watch. According to a recent survey, over 75% of Super Bowl viewers were more interested in the commercials than the game. Of those 75%, almost 95% said they prefer humorous commercials to a straight-ahead sales pitch. But does humor make the cash register ring and more specifically, is it an effective online marketing tool?

“All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.”

The web has proven to be a very effective vehicle for humor. There are some very funny online publications such as The Onion and People of Walmart. And who among us have not shared a video of something outrageously funny with a friend? Humorous content gets our attention but can it influence our spending habits? Can it persuade us to click the “buy now” button? While there is evidence to suggest that it can (and does), online advertisers are reluctant to embrace the idea of digital marketing with a sense of humor. As I see it, the reason is two-fold.

1) It’s impossible to find a good, funny copywriter. 2) More significantly, online advertisers aren’t convinced that humor moves widgets.

Let’s consider both these assertions.

“Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.” Humor can be perilous. One can get light-headed and lose sight of oncoming obstacles. Do a search for the recent, controversial Belvedere ad you’ll see how easy it is to get sucked into that proverbial jet engine. This ad should have never made it past the board room. Posted to Facebook and Twitter, it elicited many more complaints than sales, necessitating removal from social media post haste.

Other online advertising outlets such as Adwords have character restrictions, making the task of copy writing all the more difficult. However, creative marketers and outside the box online sales humorthinkers can create effective ads that get you noticed. Even with the word count restrictions, your ads can be humorous and, most importantly, convert.

Although it straddles the line, the text ad above does not cross into offensive territory. It dares to be funny without taking ill-advised chances. And despite Adword’s character restrictions, this ad says it all succinctly and with a sense of humor.

“I went to a general store. They wouldn’t let me buy anything specifically.”

When one addresses a specific target audience with tasteful but pointed humor, the results can astound. Here are a few high profile examples of humor that sells…

• Known to primarily cater to business travelers, Hilton Resorts wanted to extend that reach to holiday vacationers. They created an online “Urgent Vacation Care Center” where those afflicted with any number of stress related maladies could visit, take an online diagnostic test and get a “prescription” for whatever ails them.

The hotel chain partnered with The Onion and the New York Times to further promote the spoof. When the dust cleared, Hilton resorts had added a half a million Facebook likes and over 7000 subscribers to its newsletter.

• Dollar Shave Club’s promotional YouTube video cost under $5000 to make and featured a machete wielding CEO, a forklift to nowhere, and a shaving baby. The spot accumulated 4.75 million views in March of 2014 alone. More significantly, within the first 48 hours after the YouTube video first aired online, over 12,000 people signed up for home delivery of their product. No other marketing channels had been utilized to that point other than Google ads.

This video ad kicked ass harder than a cross-eyed Rockette.

“If you tell a joke in the forest, but nobody laughs, was it a joke?”

If your ad is humor driven and nobody buys, do you get fired? Humor can sell but like any form of advertising, one cannot lose sight of the main objective – to move units. Consider adding an element of humor through YouTube to boost social media conversions.  Or adding a humor campaign to Adwords. It can be hard work but when done right, the sky is the limit.

Thanks to Steve Wright and Lord Carrett for the funny headlines.

25 11, 2013

Is Flat Design For You?

By | 2016-11-18T14:23:20+00:00 November 25th, 2013|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

As technology and the familiarity with it grows, designers and developers are now more than ever trying to enhance the website design world. Inevitably, this leads to countless passing trends that come and go much like any design industry. Which leaves us begging the question, how do we know what is more than just a trend and does it fit our website needs?

Flat design has been a fairly controversial topic since the beginning. Industry leaders such as Microsoft, Apple, and Google have all jumped on board lending us to believe there may be something more to this. So how can flat design benefit your site?

Flat Design Is Responsive Friendly


Image credit to: www.wpexplorer.com/writer-blog-wordpress-theme

More and more we are finding people are using smartphones as a replacement for their computers. In 2012, more tablets and smartphones were purchased than computers. Because of this, responsive websites have now become a necessity. With the simplistic nature of flat design sizing elements down to fit a mobile device or tablet becomes that much easier. By using a lot of white space and large buttons flat design becomes very flexible when considering responsive website.


Flat Design Is Content Friendly

The mystery of, “What is more important? Content? Or Design?” has been solved. The answer is neither. Both equally important. Design attracts your users, but your content keeps them on your site. So why would you not leverage your design to showcase your content? Flat design’s clean and minimal layouts provide an environment that allows your content to stand out. Content communicated in a simple and clear manner is more easily digested by the user.


 Flat Design is User Friendly

Although minimal, flat design has a high level of focus on aesthetics generally utilizing bright colors and large imagery. This coupled with the elimination of borders and shadows entices the user’s eye to flow across your site with ease. Flat design strips down to the most basic form of design that can be appreciated by anyone.

The goal for any website design is to carry the message of your business across to the user. Your design should always highlight the content and focus on the user’s experience. Here at Beacon, we are constantly researching design trends and movements to ensure that our client’s websites are ahead of their time and solidified as legitimate marketing tools.


26 07, 2013

Embedding the New YouTube Subscribe Button on Your Website

By | 2016-11-18T12:09:57+00:00 July 26th, 2013|Categories: Social Media|Tags: , , |

This week YouTube released an embeddable subscribe button for your website. This neat little shortcut allows users to subscribe to your YouTube channel in just one click.

Follow along for a quick How-To on adding this button to your website. Visit the YouTube Developers Page to begin creating your button.

1. Choose your button style. Currently you can pick from three designs: default, full layout with avatar, and full layout dark.

YouTube Subscribe Options

2. Configure your button. Enter your Channel Name or ID and select your layout. To find your Channel ID, log in to your YouTube account and use this link.

YouTube Options

3. Snag the code and insert it onto your website. When done correctly you will end up with a slick looking one-click subscribe button like this!


BONUS Option: YouTube also outlines an alternative to using the above method. You can dynamically render your button when a link is clicked. See my example below:

Click here to render my button!

Display button here:

Do you think there’s a benefit to using the subscribe button versus a YouTube badge?

PS: Don’t laugh at my YouTube channel! I haven’t started using it yet. But follow me on G+!

23 12, 2010

In defense of Social Media

By | 2017-02-21T11:12:49+00:00 December 23rd, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: |

In a semi-recent blog post on the Harvard Business Review, Umair Hacque of the Havas Media Lab lashed out at the social media “bubble.”  He calls social media “relationship inflation” and then proceeds to outline how it cheapens the word relationship and concludes that it promotes three cancers that are eating away at the web.  Now, I am not going to make any claims that Facebook and Twitter are going to save the world, but Hacque’s points are incomplete at best, and flat out wrong at worse.  He ignores potential benefits and heaps blame on social media for aspects of society that exist well outside of it.

First, I would like to tackle his straw man argument.  When he claims that social media is relationship inflation and devalues the word, Hacque is arguing against something that I have rarely heard.  If relationship was a word that was thrown around more in that realm, then he might have a case.  However, relationship is the word that he used in his piece.  Personally, I have never called any of my social media connections a “relationship” and I have never heard anyone that I know refer to their social media relationships either.

Next, let’s take a look at the three cancers that Hacque says social media is creating for the web:

1)  “People invest in low-quality content. Farmville ain’t exactly Casablanca.

2)  “Attention isn’t allocated efficiently; people discover less what they value than what everyone else likes”

3)  “Most damaging, is the ongoing weakening of the Internet as a force for good.”

The main problem here is that he has some disconnected Utopian view of the internet and remembers the good ole days (pre social media) as being much better than they actually were.  Of course Farmville ain’t Casablanca…NOTHING since Casablanca is Casablanca.  As for the next item, people basing their opinions off others, that would be what we call peer pressure – and I am fairly certain that it predates Twitter.  Finally, the weakening of the internet as a force of good statement is just a load of bull excrement.  From an intellectual standpoint, normal people now have semi-direct access to some of the brightest minds in the country and their thoughts through social media.  Pick a modern day author, philosopher, scientist, etc – odds are that they have some form of a social media presence.  From a social good perspective, one need only look at the Haiti donations that were widely spread through social media links.  Arguing that it is destroying the net as a force for good is using selective evidence.

None of this is to say that Hacque’s points are flat out wrong.  I freely admit that social media has produced a lot of crap, maybe even mostly crap.  But his points are staunchly incomplete.  Not only does he ignore the redeeming qualities and potential of social media, but he also neglects to see it as a reflection of society.  It is imperfect because we are imperfect.  If he thinks it is leading to a dumbing down of the net, does he have any idea how long porn has dominated cyberspace?  He calls social media “a distortion, a caricature of the real thing.”  For better or worse, it is as close to the real thing as you will find.  Many people are willing to open up their true selves more on social media than they will in person.  I challenge Hacque to look a little harder at his complaints and see if they aren’t really his prevailing complaints against people in general.

21 12, 2010

Social Media and Brand Building

By | 2020-02-05T10:29:38+00:00 December 21st, 2010|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , |

Hello again.

Today is April 21, 2010 and my blog topic is Web Marketing…what else?
Ahhhhhhhhhh…Web Marketing!!!
I am ALWAYS excited to talk about Web Marketing and I am thrilled to still be heavily involved in the Web Marketing boom of the past 10 years. Without a doubt, Web Marketing is constantly evolving which requires us/Beacon to continually grow, modify, change, and adjust strategies to ensure the delivery of a healthy ROI for our clients.
For the past several years, Web Marketing had been all about Organic Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Web Analytics using Google Analytics, Reporting, and Conversion Optimization.  It is time to officially add Social Media Marketing to this list.  Social Media Marketing falls clearly under the category of Web Marketing.  It is a web related marketing solution that offers a measurable ROI and provides a convertible traffic source to your overall Web strategy.

Companies often start by creating a simple company Facebook or LinkedIn page and stop there.  But as we have learned, there are many opportunities to implement within a Social Media campaign to boost your brand and revenue. While most companies simply jumped into Social Media sites with no real focused strategy, many firms are now seeing the potential and are making Social Media a major part of the overall marketing plan.

Social Media offers a highly interactive communication channel directly with your customers.  Customers will view you as far more transparent and available and real.  You can put a face and a voice to your company.  It is a great place to have real conversations with your customers.

We are very fortunate to work with many highly innovative and creative clients that are willing to try new ideas using Social Media platforms.  We are developing, implementing, and managing many new and exciting programs, promotions and contests using Social Media sites.  We are realizing some great results with our Cross Promotion strategy as well.  Many of our current Social Media campaigns are focused on Brand building for our clients.

Patrick Flanagan LinkedIn

17 12, 2009

Keeping the “Social” in Social Media

By | 2017-02-23T16:54:41+00:00 December 17th, 2009|Categories: Web Development|Tags: , , , |

Submitted for your approval, the following case study:

The companies Rockler and Woodcraft offer an interesting comparison involving Twitter.  Both companies are stalwarts in the woodworking industry, roughly the same size, have similar web sites, and both started tweeting almost a year ago (Rockler began in December 2008,  Woodcraft got started in January of 2009).  However, it is in their Twitter strategies that we see a huge difference.

Woodcraft has used Twitter almost extensively as an advertising component.  Nearly every tweet they put forth is pushing a sale, discount, or product line for emphasis.  They rarely receive any tweets from their followers.

Meanwhile, Rockler has used Twitter as an opportunity to engage its customers and followers.  Roughly 80% of its tweets are NON-COMMERCIAL.  They ask questions of their followers (i.e. what is the best music to put to wordworking?)  and respond to questions or comments that are posed to the company (which occurs many times every day).

The results:  Rockler has more than three times as many followers as Woodcraft (2500-800).

So, what can we take from this?   By being more engaged with the customer and finding ways to keep their tweets interesting, Rockler has developed a much bigger and more involved following.  When they do tweet about their products and/or sales, they are reaching a significantly larger audience and more interested audience than Woodcraft does.  If every message is pushing a product, it is too easy for the followers to dismiss the company’s tweets as spam.

It should be noted that without access to the accounting books, it is impossible to say definitively which company is seeing a bigger return from Twitter.  Yet, it is probably safe to say that any salesperson in the world would take the much larger and more captivated audience over the opposite.

Social media is looking more and more like a viable business model every day, but it is important to never forget the social aspect of it…or your customers might forget you.


Twitter Comparison - Rockler & Woodcraft