NEXT Bowling Green DIG: Tuesday, April 24th “A DIG for the Ages”

WERKSHOP INSTITUTE
PRESENTS THE
APRIL BOWLING GREEN DIG:

A DIG for the Ages – How to Effectively Create, Organize and Promote an Event for your Brand 

Speakers: 
Samantha Owens Pyle, VP Communications Strategy
Jeremy Chandler, Social Media & Media Relations Specialist

Tuesday, April 24th
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Light breakfast will be served compliments of Citizens First.

Register here: http://2012bgaprildig.eventbrite.com/

What We’ll Cover:
Flash mobs are so 2009. So how can your brand create an event that will captivate your potential or existing customers? That’s the question we’re going to answer in April’s DIG, A DIG for the Ages.

Whether you’re planning a grand opening event, celebrating the launch of a new product or hosting a private gathering for your top customers, event marketing can be quite the challenge. You have to take care of ordering the invitations or materials, ensuring your vendors are available and confirming last minute details. There is plenty of work…. and that doesn’t even include getting people to show up.

During A Dig for the Ages, we’ll walk through the fundamental steps of creating, organizing and promoting a successful event for your brand. From the initial stages of creating the event to following up with media outlets, we’ll share the comprehensive strategy we use when organizing events for our clients.

Sponsored by
Citizens First

NEW LOCATION!!
Our Bowling Green DIGs will be held in the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center’s Studio Theater for the remainder of 2012.

SKyPAC
601 College Street
Bowling Green, KY 42101

 

NEXT Nashville DIG: Wednesday, April 25th “A DIG for the Ages”

WERKSHOP INSTITUTE
PRESENTS THE
APRIL NASHVILLE DIG:

A DIG for the Ages – How to Effectively Create, Organize and Promote an Event for your Brand

Speakers: 
Samantha Owens Pyle, VP Communications Strategy
Jeremy Chandler, Social Media & Media Relations Specialist

Wednesday, April 25th
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Breakfast will be served starting at 8 a.m. and is sponsored by

 

 

 

 

Register here: http://nashaprildig.eventbrite.com/

What We’ll Cover:
Flash mobs are so 2009. So how can your brand create an event that will captivate your potential or existing customers? That’s the question we’re going to answer in April’s DIG, A DIG for the Ages.

Whether you’re planning a grand opening event, celebrating the launch of a new product or hosting a private gathering for your top customers, event marketing can be quite the challenge. You have to take care of ordering the invitations or materials, ensuring your vendors are available and confirming last minute details. There is plenty of work…. and that doesn’t even include getting people to show up.

During A Dig for the Ages, we’ll walk through the fundamental steps of creating, organizing and promoting a successful event for your brand. From the initial stages of creating the event to following up with media outlets, we’ll share the comprehensive strategy we use when organizing events for our clients.

NEW LOCATION REMINDER:
Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive
Nashville, TN 37204

 

3 Reasons Why Social Media Has Earned a Seat at the Marketing Table

We just wrapped up our first DIG of the year, The Social Media Revolution. We explained why we’re encouraging brands to not view social media as just one of their “resolutions” for 2012, but explore how they can use it to totally “revolutionize” the way they market their brand.

The reason we’re talking about Social Media “REVOLUTIONIZING” your brand in 2012 instead of it being another “RESOLUTION” is because we believe it’s finally earned a seat at the table.

In 2010, Social media would have been at the kids table at Thanksgiving at the Marketing house with QR Codes, SEO, and other strategies, but in 2012, it’s finally earned a seat at the Adult Table.

For a few reasons….

Social media gives brands a new opportunity to gain influence.

The reason that many brands are hesitant to start using social media is because they are afraid that they’ll loose total control over their brand’s perception. And to some point, that’s justifiable. But, we explained that brands can either view that as a threat, or as an opportunity.

Social media allows brands to influence consumer’s perception in a new way, by listening to the conversation and reacting.

It’s a Pull, not a Push

Social Media is different than any other way we market our brand. For the past 40 years, it’s always been about who can yell their message the loudest and clearest. We were trying to push our message to as many people as possible. Hopefully if we yell loud and clear enough, people will choose us.

Now with social media, it’s changed. We’re trying to pull people into our product.

Social media is a lot like dating. You don’t go on a first date and boast about how awesome you are (well… some of you might, but that’s why you’re not getting date #2). No, you go in and talk about the other person. Ask them questions to see what their interested in… Be entertaining, be fun, be engaging. Create a brand people fall in love with.

Social media has changed consumer’s expectations

The third reason Social Media has earned a seat at the adult table is because it’s changed customer expectations of brands. Consumers EXPECT brands to interact with them in social media.

If you want an example of a brand doing a horrible job at this, just check Netflix’s Facebook page. The only use Facebook as a one-way communication tool. Could they have possibly avoided some of the loss of 800,000 subscribers when the increased their prices if they would have portrayed a little more sympathy through their social media…. Probably.

Combine these reasons with the exponential growth of social media since the beginning of 2011 and we think you’ll see the potential for it to revolutionize your marketing efforts in 2012.

Here is our complete presentation: The Social Media Revolution

What are we covering at our next DIG? Check out our complete 2012 DIG schedule.

Have Questions? Feel free to contact us any time if you’re interested in discussing how to use social media for your business.

Marketing Planning: Building a Blueprint for Your Brand

It’s October, which means if you haven’t already started thinking about your 2012 marketing plan, it’s time to start. During our October DIG, we discussed the nuts & bolts of planning for next year & unpacked everything you need to know when it comes to marketing your brand.

Brand Touch Points

Diagram Copyright of Design Brand Identity, 3rd Edition, by Alina Wheeler

We admit, at first this diagram can be a little overwhelming, but it’s an important reminder of how many touch points your brand can have. It also prevents you from falling into one of the common marketing pitfalls,which we also covered during the DIG.

Steps to Planning for Success

Step One: Know your Product or Service – There is a reason that this is the first step when it comes to planning for success. If you don’t know what you’re selling, how can you create a plan to sell more? Before you start digging into branding and planning, it’s important to determine why you’re doing it. Make sure you know exactly what you’re selling.

Step Two: Research – Researching on the front end can save you a lot of time and money down the road. It’s important to find your target market. Host focus groups or indulge in market research to hone in on who is really going to be interested in buying your product. Don’t think you have a specific target market? You do.

Step Three: Listen to Your Audience – So you’ve determined your product/service and target market. Now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get that target audience interested in your brand. Many times brands want to jump into the launch of their product without first figuring out how they want to approach their messaging. Listen. Consumers are talking about products in your industry. Taking advantage of what they’re saying could be a huge opportunity for your brand. Is there something you can offer that competitors can’t? How can your product or service make life better for your potential customers?

Step Four: Branding and Messaging - A brand is made up of the numerous methods and tactics that a company can utilize to tell their story and promote their product or service. To create true brand congruency that leads to customer acquisition, the way a company “talks” about itself must always be consistent. From collateral to elevator pitches and web to print advertising, tone, vocabulary, key benefits and unique selling propositions must be outlined in a purposeful messaging exercise.

Step Five: Marketing Planning - The key to a successful marketing campaign is strategy. But it’s not something we make up out of thin air — it’s something we engage in. It’s a process that allows us to customize to help achieve what you’ve always wanted: Growth, image, legacy. It’s important to create a plan that is ever-changing and can be followed by all team members. Each section builds the proper plan and one leads seamlessly to the next. Treat the strategies as the overall umbrella, with the tactics supporting each strategy, and the exhibits fully outlining your approach.

Step Six: Launch of Plan -  Now that your plan has been developed, budgets and timelines approved, the execution begins. Generally at Werkshop this means getting our team back together to review the plan.  All team members need to fully understand the overall goals, strategies and tactics that will be implemented.  Stick to the plan but be flexible. This is the stage in which we create your brand. 

Step Seven: Measure the Results – We’re big advocates for this. The key to measuring your results is having measurable goals to begin with. How you measure each goal will vary, but have the measurement tools in mind and build them into your plan.

The Presentation

The B2B Marketing Challenge

Following last month’s social media case studies with B2B and B2C strategies and some recent client interactions along the same theme, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this topic. What I’m about to say will resonate with some and aggravate others, but let me add this disclosure: I’m speaking the truth!

B2B marketing isn’t as “sexy” as B2C.

And there you have it. It often involves the cutting edge tactics with a little bit of fun thrown in (like these). But if you know me at all this will probably not be a surprise, I don’t really mind the B2B stuff. I think the added layer of challenges and parameters is “fun” and “sexy.” Sometimes this puts me in the position of having a tough conversation with a client about realigning their tactics to be friendlier with their business type (B2B or B2C). And sometimes that conversation is more like an argument, but it’s all in the name of getting the best results for the company’s bottom line. A lot of times, I fall back on research and analytics to help the company as they transition to where they need to be. When it comes to B2B marketing, one of the greatest tools to have is a content marketing strategy.

But what is CONTENT MARKETING, and how is it done? It isn’t as complicated as the moniker would allude, and companies that “get it” will be among the next wave of successful B2B organizations.

At the core of content marketing lies the concept of “thought leadership.” Basically, this is what companies do to look smart, create trust with prospects and clients and to become a resource for information. And, it all begins with creating quality, organic, strategic content.

Content might come in the form of white papers that would live on your company’s website, a blog that welcomes feedback from readers, a workshop or seminar series that offers helpful information, and the list could go on and on! What’s important is that this content be

• Planned – Identify topics and channels and timelines
• Directed at your audience – What do they want to hear? What are they looking for?
• Consistent – Keep the information coming!
• Distributed by technology that people are already using – Common social tools
• Promoted – No one will read your content if they don’t know it is there!

As a part of our DIG programming, our speakers in March addressed 13 steps to effective content marketing. Please check out their presentation to learn more about content marketing, and as always, let us know if you have feedback. We’re all ears…  I challenge you to do your own content marketing plan and then, measure your own results. What should you expect to see?

• Improved search rankings
• Other sites linked to your content (in-bound links improve SEO)
• Increased web traffic when users come to your site and use it as a resource

Winning Fame & Fortune with Content Marketing

By Mary Pollman, Principal, Alphanumeric Group

As people who have learned a lot at Werkshop’s DIGs, we were very pleased to be able to return the favor and share a little of what we know about Content Marketing at the 3/22 and 3/23 DIGs in Bowling Green and Nashville.

The presenters were my partner in Alphanumeric Group, Dave Green; Bob Duthie of Bytes of Knowledge and me.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing has emerged as an important branch of marketing in just the past three years. It’s growing because the Internet is playing such a central role in helping people – especially business people – make buying decisions. The rise of the social web is also contributing. People want to communicate friend-to-friend and peer-to-peer. The salesy monologues that characterized marketing communication for decades are passé.

In our presentation, we define content marketing as “the use of content – primarily online content, such as website content, blogs, white papers, videos and webinars – to demonstrate your company’s expertise, boost search engine rankings, obtain and nurture leads, build relationships and make sales.

Gear your content to the buying cycle

Focusing on the customer buying cycle, we showed what kinds of content are most relevant at each stage (the Awareness stage, the Consideration stage and the Decision stage), and what key metrics let you gauge content marketing success.

For example, at the Consideration Stage, when you’re building the prospects’ knowledge of your company and their trust in you, important content tools include (besides your website) email, enewsletters, white papers, ebooks, case studies, video and webinars. Metrics to gauge the progress you’re making with prospects in this stage include email and enewsletter opens, downloads and numbers of webinar attendees.

Our 12 Step program to make content marketing work for your company

Most companies are addicted to content that is full of sales hype. In the presentation, we talked about our 12 steps to creating a marketing program around informational content that’s fanatically focused on the needs, the interests, the pain points and the problems of your customers and prospects. They are all outlined in the slide show you can view below.

Our clients are getting some great results. One example is FDR Safety, a consulting firm whose principals are former safety heads at FedEx and General Motors and the former No. 2 at OSHA. They saw web traffic rise 1200% in 18 months – all because of content marketing. They started the program in 2009, and it helped make 2009 and 2010 – not standout years for most American businesses – their best ever!

Check out the following blog entries in response to the material:

NEXT Bowling Green DIG: Tues., April 26th (Apps: The Day After Tomorrow)

WERKSHOP INSTITUTE PRESENTS
THE APRIL BOWLING GREEN DIG:

Apps: The Day After Tomorrow
A look at mobile app development and trends for 2011

Tuesday, April 26th
8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.

Speakers:
Brian Cauble of Appsolute Genius
Holly Grenvicz of Werkshop Marketing

About our guest speaker:
Brian is the co-founder and CEO of Appsolute Genius, developers of smart phone apps. He’s lived in Birmingham, AL for most of his life where he’s worked in software development for 10 years. In his career, he’s been a lead developer for the world’s largest GIS conservation system and world’s largest Factoring management system. Brian graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2000 with a BSEE and in 2008 with a MSEE. He still lives in Birmingham where he founded Birmingham Entrepreneur to focus on encouraging growth in the local entrepreneurship community.

Register for FREE at http://aprilbgdig.eventbrite.com.

Where?
Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

Sponsored by
Citizens First Bank
Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce

Continental breakfast will be served.

May the Force Be with You

@Twelpforce, that is. At this month’s DIG, we featured a B2C case study for Best Buy’s Twitter channel, @Twelpforce, in our presentation (check it out over here). We came across a lot of helpful information while we were pulling together research, more than would fit in an hour-long format, and we wanted to share it with you. Fast Company calls it “Marketing that Isn’t Marketing,” and Twitter even features Best Buy in their small library of case studies. To learn more about Best Buy’s outstanding use of Twitter as a customer service tool, check out the links below.

Fast Company – Marketing that Isn’t Marketing

Twitter.com Case Study – Best Buy

An Interview with Best Buy’s Social Media Steward, John Bernier

Best Buy’s @Twelpforce Participation Guidelines

Social Marketing – Follow-Up Questions

This topic always leaves me marinating on a set of new ideas. Currently, I am reflecting on some of the questions asked by the participants in this month’s DIG session “Social Marketing: One Size Doesn’t Fit All.” So, here is a summary of my thoughts in the last few days and questions the audience raised.

Q: Should companies handle their social marketing internally or outsource the work?
A: I think the real answer to this question may lie somewhere in the middle. In the early social marketing days (think 2007), there wasn’t a choice. If a company really wanted to play on Facebook or Twitter, they did it themselves. Even agencies weren’t ready to make social their business, but the pendulum on this issue has swung in the other direction. Now, marketers have access to networks of social “experts,” tried-and-true best practices and their own bumps and bruises and can base recommendations to clients on real experience. This benefit of working with a social pro or agency may drive earlier results to client-users because strategies can be discussed up front. We don’t just have to be reactive anymore. Now, do I think that companies should only outsource their social marketing? Absolutely not. No one knows the tone, message and goals of a company better than an internal source, but finding a balance of internal and external collaboration seems to be the ticket in the environment right this minute.

Q: Is it possible that folks who “like” my businesses page are missing my posts due to the new News Feed filter settings in Facebook?
A: Unfortunately, yes, some of your Page followers may be missing your posts if they haven’t changed this default setting. According to Social Media Examiner, “Users now have more control over what appears in their news feed. They can filter their feed to show `Friends and pages you interact with most’ or `All of your friends and pages.’ The default setting is the former, and given that default settings usually go unchanged, brands may more frequently be filtered from news feeds when users don’t interact with their posts in their news feed when the user may actually still want to keep up with the brand’s news.” Read more.

It’s also good to remember that they can “hide” your posts from their News Feed at any time. This doesn’t remove them from “like” status though. Posts on your business’s page should have analytics next to them showing how impressions the post had, and those can give you an idea of how many of your followers are seeing your message. This is akin to the “unsubscribe” of email marketing. TIP: Keep your messages interesting and relevant, and make sure you’re not over-posting.

Also check out what Facebook has to say and check your settings: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=878.

Q: How do you segment a geographic niche using social marketing?
A: You can start with groups and events that are in a target geographic area. If one doesn’t exist, you can always create one. It’s a great low-pressure tactic to bring people together. For example, our fictitious company from this month’s presentation, Bark Bark Organic Dog Food, might create a website for people to find their local dog park. When dog owners show interest in a particular park, Bark Bark knows which stores to put their products in. In addition, they can
work with the store to send coupons to local dog owners.

Q: Is it better to have a large amount of irrelevant fans or a smaller group of more qualified people that may be leads?
A: When you check your monthly analytics, don’t focus on the percent of growth. Keep an eye on where the growth came from. Are they the consumers you wanted? It’s better to have a smaller group of committed followers of your brand. It’s the old quality vs. quantity adage. The same goes for who you follow.

Q: Are Facebook ads that can target your demographic a good tool and use of resources for B2B?
A: Facebook ads are best for B2C companies, unless you can target a trade group. See slide 10 for the best social media tools for B2B.

Q: How is social e-commerce changing how we purchase?
A: Good grief! I have no idea! Facebook credits (and similar) are allowing us to purchase products where we are versus having to go the extra step to shop on another site, or (gasp) even have to leave our homes to find what we need. I’m going to be looking at this more closely to study how consumers are reacting to the new shopping trend and what it means for B2C companies in particular.

Q: If you use Facebook Connect for visitors to your sites, are you able to capture their info for future marketing?
A: Great question. Facebook Connect allows you to use data while the visitor is logged into the site. For more info, review the Facebook privacy policy here http://www.facebook.com/terms.php.

Q: Now that Verizon has the iPhone, what will this do to the mobile market? And, will text marketing see another revival?
A: Still marinating on this one. If you have an opinion, or a resource for this information. Comment here!

NEXT BG DIG: Tues., March 22 (Winning Fame & Fortune with Content Marketing)

WERKSHOP INSTITUTE PRESENTS
THE MARCH BOWLING GREEN DIG:

Winning Fame & Fortune (Web Traffic & Leads) with Content Marketing

Tuesday, March 22nd
8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Register for FREE at http://marchbgdig.eventbrite.com/.

It’s no secret that people search Google for all sorts of services, including healthcare, accounting, architecture, technology, legal work, engineering and consulting of all sorts. But how well is your firm or client doing at making sure it can be easily found online and that website visitors will be moved to follow up?

One of the biggest questions on the minds of prospective customers who don’t know your firm or client well is likely to be “Do these people know what they are talking about?” You can tell them you are the greatest on your website and hope they believe you. Or you can prove it to them with content that demonstrates your authority, from your website and blog, to white papers, webinars and videos.

This presentation walks you through practical steps that service businesses can take to build a content marketing program that integrates with SEO and social media to attract visitors to your website and convert them into leads. You will also learn why a strong content program is vital to insuring that offline referrals turn into leads.

Speakers:
David Green, Alphanumeric Group
Mary Pollman, Alphanumeric Group
Bob Duthie, Bytes of Knowledge

Sponsored by Citizens First
& Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce

Where?
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
710 College Street

Light breakfast will be served compliments of Citizens First.

About the Speakers:
Mary Pollman and David Green are the principals of Alphanumeric Group, a content marketing firm. Alphanumeric creates content strategy and executes it on clients’ websites and blogs, and in newsletters, webinars, white papers, video and social media. Their content service is integrated with search engine optimization to improve Google rankings, increase website traffic and generate leads.

Mary is former Vice President of Marketing Communications for CNA Insurance and David is former Managing Editor of The Tennessean.

Bob Duthie is Chief Learning Officer at bytes of knowledge, Founder of DuthieLearning, and former VP Business Development at Northern Telecom.

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