Want to act like a tech startup with a multibillion dollar valuation? This is how you do it.

The seemingly insane billion-dollar valuations of companies in 2014 that didn’t even exist 10 years ago appears to make one thing certain: tech startups are experiencing astronomical growth and they’re experiencing it fast.

So what can traditionally non-tech-startup companies learn from these consumer brand titans? It turns out, a whole lot, and it’s probably easier than you think.. Join us as we take a peak at 4 things that your company (whether you’re leading or are a part of a team of 5 or 5,000) needs to learn from the tech startup world, now.

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“Tech startups” are a vast and diverse bunch and they aren’t just restricted to the nerdtastic Facebook or Google office type settings you may think of. Many tech entrepreneurs are moms working out of a home office with childcare in the next room. Or, in the case of BWD, entire agencies and teams of experts work remotely across the United States to produce award winning work for their clients.

Needless to say, these diverse environments cultivate a lot of and creative and innovative thinking that leads to their companies’ astronomical growth. Here’s how: 

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BWD works with Meninadança, rehabilitating child sex workers in Brazil as World Cup & Olympics loom

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Meaning “girl-dance” in Portuguese, Meninadança is an NGO located along the BR-116 highway in Medina, Brazil that protects girls at risk of sexual exploitation by fighting for their rights to food, friendship, and the freedom of artful expression through dance.

Along its longest motorway, the BR-116, thousands of young girls are living a nightmare of child prostitution, unacknowledged and unprotected – and a long way from the crowds and TV cameras of the World Cup.

With the 20th quadrennial FIFA World Cup being hosted in Brazil this summer and the 2016 Olympics being held there shortly after, all eyes are scrutinizing how Brazil will take responsibility for the devastating forced child sex work that occurs within its borders.

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8 of the best, full video background web and mobile designs

One of the most popular trends in design right now for both large and small brands alike, is the full video background effect.

When done correctly, full video backgrounds create a stunning effect with minimal text or “copy.” If you’re considering taking this route when working with a design or marketing agency like ours, then be sure to look over the 10 best examples we’ve put together here for inspiration.

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8. Hotelstyle

As stylish as the company name, the Hotelstyle website is based on a short and sweet video background where a man is dressed in eye-catching clothes, by invisible forces. It’s the perfect marketing hook for a business that trades in saucy men’s fashion, and the message that takes the screen once the video ends – a simple “Welcome Gentlemen” and a button encouraging customers to “discover” the Hotelstyle collection – effortlessly posits Hotelstyle as a curator of cool.

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7. Pan Pacific Defense

Pan Pacific Defense is a stunning example of how video background website design can be used for effective viral marketing. This website, built to market the Warner Brothers Pacific Rim film that came out last summer, is a visual tour-de-force. From the moment users arrive on the site, they will be swept away by the intensely realistic atmosphere of it all, a feeling meant to mimic the view from inside one of the robots portrayed in the science fiction blockbuster.

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6. Rabbit Hole

The website of a cutting edge graphic design firm based in the United Kingdom, Rabbit Hole makes subtler (but no less effective) use of video background design than many of the other sites on this list. Using a river flowing in continuous loop as its visual springboard, this site cultivates a natural and calming feel from the word go. Encouraging visitors to “go underground” and check out a portfolio of the design firm’s clients is a nice play on the Rabbit Hole name.

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5. Kingsbury Press

The Kingsbury Press printing company makes incredibly evocative use of the video background design gimmick, using it to show brief snippets of their production process. The video is a powerful tool that wordlessly conveys commitment to quality, while the ambient sound provides nice accompaniment to the video without being distracting to internet users who, for instance, like to listen to music while surfing the web.

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4. Bienville Capital Management

This investment management firm sells its investment services by selling the city where stock investments are king: New York. The video background design is one of the most simplistic and minimalistic on any site. It uses a variety of live feeds from around NYC to present backgrounds that are sometimes not even clearly videos until a plane flies by.

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4 questions that prove Content Marketing is your only option as of 2014

The year 2013 saw a big shift in the online marketing game, moving trends away from invasive advertising and formulaic SEO strategies, pushing more and more towards content creation as a prime means of generating customer interest and sales.

As a result, content marketing has continued to grow in not only prominence, but results and momentum throughout 2014 as well. We soon expect content marketing to be the only marketing solution for brands and businesses big and small as of late 2014.

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What exactly is content marketing? Can my small business even afford it?

Most likely, the big question for small and medium-sized businesses right now is this one: “What is content marketing?” Look up the phrase content marketing on Google and you’ll likely read something about blog posts, case studies, or even short films that businesses and brands use to attract and maintain customer attention.

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4 Reasons Modern “SEO” Is Really All About Content Marketing

For years, search engine optimization has been a field all of its own, a professional niche of content writers and web analytics experts that relied on short-form keywords, link building exercises, and other common practices to boost Google rank and improve traffic.

But traditional SEO was never really about producing high quality, unique content. Instead, it was a mathematical model that tended to favor almost the sometimes absurd and carefully calculated placement of keywords and links, oftentimes sacrificing quality.

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The Downfall of SEO Prior to 2014

In fact, traditional SEO content is often generic, copycat fare, the work of SEO writers who claim they can produce content in any and all subjects, but who don’t have a deep enough knowledge in any given field to truly produce the kind of rich content that most people would be interested in reading or sharing. In other words, while most SEO writing has been able to accumulate enough clicks and traffic to rank on Google, it has been distinctly less successful at retaining reader interest for more than a few minutes, let alone at converting those readers into followers or customers.

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3 Examples of Snapchat Used for Viral Mobile Marketing

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There’s no doubt about it: capitalizing on Snapchat is the next big mobile marketing move that you should be making with your small business brand. Recently, the Snapchat app has gained massive popularity among teenagers and twentysomethings for its innovative new approach to mobile communication.

Snapchat for Small Business Marketing

The application allows users to send “snaps,” or photos and texts that arrive in the same manner as other mobile communications, but with one notable twist: they are marked with a time limit. The sender of a snap decides how long the receiver will be able to view the message (time limits range from between 1 and 10 seconds), after which the message is automatically deleted, never to be seen again. In essence, Snapchat is the self-destructing message of the mobile world.

But why is Snapchat a promising mobile marketing tool for small and medium size business?

The main reason is that it helps promote the sense of urgency that is such a cornerstone concept of consumer sales. This concept can in turn be used for a slew of different interesting and innovative mobile marketing strategies, many of which have already become more effective than basic text message marketing. The issue with texts is that people can simply save them and forget about them: with Snapchat snap messages, customers are encouraged to act immediately to buy a product, receive a coupon promotion, or take advantage of some other marketing tactic. In other words, Snapchat does what text message marketing has never been able to do: deliver a strong call to action.

In addition the newly launched “Snapchat Stories” allows brands to:

Add Snaps together to create a narrative. When you add a Snap to your Story it lives for 24 hours before it disappears, making room for the new. Your Story always plays forward, because it makes sense to share moments in the order you experience them.

Need proof that your small or medium-sized business should add Snapchat to your mobile marketing strategy? Here are three major national brands that have already started experimenting with the marketing potential that the app has to offer, as well as explanations for why your small business should follow in their big footsteps.

McDonalds & LeBron James

Mcdonalds_logoThe fast food chain just started experimenting with Snapchat in February of this year, using the app’s new “Snapchat Stories” feature to compile a short video advertising its new Bacon Clubhouse sandwich. The video featured basketball superstar LeBron James, and was built and fleshed out throughout a day as McDonalds used Snapchat to add bits and pieces of video and imagery to the story.

At the end of the day, the Snapchat story was 36 seconds long and had gotten a ton of viral attention by building actual suspense and intrigue around the video’s core announcement. Sure, we can’t all afford to hire LeBron James, but the way McDonalds used Snapchat to market a new product was interesting nonetheless.

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The New Orleans Saints

saints-09-sb44-champs-drew-1024x768Snapchat’s big brand-name adopters aren’t all fast food restaurants. On the contrary, the New Orleans Saints created a profile last October with the goal of giving fans a look at a bit of behind-the-scenes football action through the Snapchat Stories function.

Since football sneak peaks could mean anything from brief windows into team practice sessions and pre-game rituals to game play-by-plays and merchandise announcements, the Saints’ unsurprisingly generated a good bit of attention. Even though your business obviously isn’t an NFL football team, there are likely behind-the-scenes sneak peaks you could give that would build excitement for your brand.

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Why Icons Are Essential In Small Business Marketing + [FREE Download] 10 Pack Icons

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When most people think of marketing or advertising, they think of expensive television commercials, memorable radio spots, eye-catching newspaper or magazine advertisements, or even entire websites or social media feeds. In essence the average person thinks of the complete marketing concept rather than assessing the different pieces that went into building that concept. The building blocks of advertising can be different depending on the ad campaign, ranging from text to sounds to pictures and beyond.

One of the most common building blocks, however, is the use of symbols. Small visual symbols can serve a range of different purposes in the marketing world, from spicing up a webpage design to telling customers where to click in order to perform various essential functions. The key functions of symbols in marketing are outlined below, and each is essential to a successful marketing campaign.

1. Symbols help to build your brand:

This might go without saying, but really think about it. In many cases, symbols are synonymous with a business’s brand. When consumers think of virtually any major brand, from McDonalds to Mercedes, from Apple to Twitter, and from Shell Gasoline to Nike, the first thing that pops into their minds is an image of the symbols those companies use to represent their brands. The McDonalds arches, the Mercedes star, the namesake objects from Apple and Shell, the Nike swoosh, and the Twitter bird, these are all iconic symbols that are so ingrained in our everyday culture that they play a legitimate role in the way we perceive the companies that created them. Heck, there are even mobile games out there based on identifying brands from their symbols.

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