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My Internship at HMG—What I Learned

My Internship at HMG—What I Learned

Posted on Aug 01, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

Having taken two advertising classes before beginning my internship with HMG, my knowledge of the marketing industry was limited. I remember sitting in the conference room listening to all the tasks I was going to take on and all of the social media accounts I was going to manage and being so excited to expand my knowledge in the field of marketing. Fast forward seven months, and I can honestly say I’ve gained value far beyond the tasks given to me.

My timing with joining HMG was optimal, as I got to witness and participate in the rebranding process first hand starting at the root of the company. I was able to work with our marketing coordinator, Emily, to generate a list of core values that represent HMG Creative. We started off with words, which turned to sentences, until we finalized a group of phrases that best suited HMG. We then got to watch our own language turn to art as the core values we produced became a mural on the wall right when you walk into the office.

Having a minor in Rhetoric and Writing, I was hoping I would be able to use writing in this internship. I was ecstatic when I was tasked to produce multiple blogs per week which allowed me to delve into researching the marketing industry, and expand my knowledge and understanding of the innovations in the fields of marketing and advertising. Writing these blogs gave me the opportunity to learn the terminology and services of the marketing industry. I am now comfortable in my understanding of marketing vernacular such as SEO, PPC Advertising, Inbound Marketing, A/B Split Tests, Wireframing, tracking ROI, UX Design, and so much more.

In the past few weeks of this internship, I was tasked with the seemingly daunting responsibility of writing eBooks. Understanding that eBooks can be vital to our inbound marketing strategy, I felt immense pressure to produce something that serves to demonstrate our expertise as a company. Once I began writing, these eBooks felt almost like a final exam for this internship. As I started to put words on the page, I realized how much I have truly learned working here. Being able to tie in my previous blogs to sections of the eBook and write in depth about concepts that were so foreign to me just seven short months ago solidified how much I have learned here at HMG Creative.   

I am so grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow at such an amazing company. Working here reassured my decision to enter the marketing industry in my future. I’ve enjoyed every single day I’ve come into work, and I look back on this experience with nothing but positivity. Thank you, HMG Creative!

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Which Blogs Generate the Most Traffic?

Which Blogs Generate the Most Traffic?

Posted on Jul 27, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

As part of your inbound marketing strategy, the goal of publishing blogs is to generate traffic; however, generating traffic through a blog channel can be quite challenging if your blogs are not catching your readers’ attention. It is crucial to understand your target audience and what interests them in order to give them a blog worth reading. Here are six types of blogs that give you the best chance at generating traffic:

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The Importance of Wireframing—What You Need to Know

The Importance of Wireframing—What You Need to Know

Posted on Jul 20, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

As consumer power continues to rise, it is imperative to create a seamless user experience throughout your website. Wireframing is an aspect of user experience design that includes developing a skeletal framework of the website, and maps out content for functionality with the user journey in mind. By breaking the site down into it’s basic elements, designers are able to layout the skeletal roadmap of the overall website navigation and page structure before any visual elements are implemented. The user’s journey should be top-of-mind in creating the blueprint for website navigation ensuring top-notch, seamless usability. This will make desired information much easier to find, and ultimately drive business.

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Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Strategy

Posted on Jul 18, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

There are many complex components that make up a well-developed marketing strategy, and without direction, these components will have no connection to one another, and thus lose purpose. Your business’ marketing efforts can get lost in the shuffle of aimless ads and marketing tactics all too easily if your strategy is not well devised. A marketing strategy’s purpose is to bind each component seamlessly; to connect the dots of your objectives, audience, and methods all in a cohesive manner.  

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Is SEO Still Relevant in Marketing?

Is SEO Still Relevant in Marketing?

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

The general concept is that higher value content achieves a higher ranking in search results, which ultimately increases visibility and drives website traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) gives your site a fighting chance, by aligning its structure and content to the complex algorithms used by search engines. However, these algorithms and strategies are constantly changing, and have thus made it a struggle to keep up. In a quality-focused world of consumer choice, the question arises: is SEO is still relevant?

SEO

Search engine optimization is a strategy used by over 50 percent of B2B marketers for lead generation. Though the rules may drastically change, like when Google cut the keyword stuffing and backlinking methods, each change opens the door for new tactics to catapult search engine rankings.

Previously focused on desktop search, SEO is currently navigating the trend toward a more mobile-dominated market. This growing need for more engaging experiences on mobile is where responsive web design comes into play (if you haven’t heard of this, it’s time for an update), and new SEO algorithms are adapting to this. Another advancement in the realm of SEO is Google’s introduction of the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project (AMP). AMP allows for pages to load more quickly and easily, giving them more opportunity to be seen. AMP also introduces the possibility for publishers and advertisers to retain creative freedom for how their content appears.

Keywords

It is less likely, when searching, that a consumer will enter an exact website URL, opposed to a set of keywords. Keywords allow users to generally or specifically describe their search criteria, in a way that feels more natural than a longer URL. The right mix of keywords can also greatly benefit your search rankings, if users see your site as relevant, based on your keywords.

The outdated method of keyword stuffing is no longer relevant due to the trend toward a more narrow focus of traffic. While this update may seem counterintuitive, the new algorithm seeks to strengthen the quality of keywords to refine search-generated traffic into a more potent mix of relevant consumers. These changes ultimately reduce levels of extraneous consumers who really have no interest in your product or service. The remaining traffic is therefore made up of tangible, potential consumers—what the business folk call leads.

To answer our previous question: Yes, SEO is still relevant and vital to your marketing strategy. However, what works in January may change in March, so the ability to adapt is crucial as well. Various components, such as AMP or an up-to-date keyword strategy, work well to complement your overarching SEO efforts. However, one component on its own is no substitute for a solid strategy of thoughtfully implemented tools and resources. What do you think is the most important feature of SEO? Let us know in the comments!

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Five Tips For Your Newsletter

Five Tips For Your Newsletter

Posted on Jul 06, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

Newsletters are potent in not only staying top-of-mind with existing customers to keep them returning, but also setting yourself on a prospective customer’s radar. Because of the ability to segment prospects and reach specific target audiences, email marketing is still one of the most profitable methods of marketing. Email marketing enables you to create newsletters that are optimized to appeal to specific audiences, and easily reach prospective customers. To optimize your newsletter you’ll want to focus on these five things:  

Don’t Overwhelm your Audience

With a high volume of emails flooding inboxes, sending out newsletters too frequently can overwhelm your audience and deter them from being interested in your content. Newsletters should add value, be informative, and offer insight to readers. By sending out a high-quality newsletter once a week, it allows your audience to look forward to your emails, not dread them. It is also important to note that you should not underwhelm your recipients either. Quality content is the most important thing to remember in deciding when to send out your newsletter. Finding that perfect rate in which to send out your newsletter should be an organic process that feeds off the need to give out more information and updates, not simply because you haven’t sent one out in a few days.

Link Everything

By the point of newsletter creation, you should know your audience, have a handle on what information they’re looking for, and know what topics will be of value to them. Once you know who you are marketing to, it becomes clear what information will attract their attention. By linking every aspect of your newsletter (headlines, images, descriptions, etc.) to its prospective article, you allow viewers easy access to their desired content which ultimately drives traffic. Readers who invest their time to read further on a particular subject are genuinely interested—thus a better representative of a potential client or customer.

Don’t Skip the A/B Split Test

A/B split tests are a way to create the most intriguing subject line by testing it out on a portion of your audience. By formulating two subject lines and sending each of them out to roughly 10% of your target market, you can see which test (A or B) has a higher open rate. Whichever subject line has a higher open rate, that version is then sent out to the rest of your audience. The A/B split test method allows you to test different versions of the newsletter email and push out the version that’s performing better.

Create a Balance

With a myriad of purposes ranging from brand awareness to updates in industry trends, the content you include in your newsletter should be well balanced in its topics. By implementing an educational focus in your newsletters, you attract viewers to your site who possess a  common interest. Integrating your social media accounts into your newsletter also creates a deeper connection with prospective customers, and supports the “show, don’t tell” principle.  Rather than simply stating your profound knowledge on certain topics, it is far better to explicitly demonstrate your expertise.

K.I.S.S.

As always, never forget to Keep It Simple, Stupid. This is the mantra to live by when it comes to email marketing. The truth of the matter is that most people just scan the emails they receive. As a result, long paragraphs of copy derail the viewer from tackling the email at hand. Short, caption-like teasers for blogs and events have much more success in capturing your reader’s attention, informing them, and enticing them to click on the link to read more.

The necessities for every newsletter are different based on who you are trying to reach, but the principle is ultimately the same. Email marketing plays a major role in determining how consumers view your company. Frequency, linking, subject lines, well-balanced content, and simplicity are the first five aspects of a email marketing you should consider when crafting a newsletter. Are you receiving high response rates on your newsletters? Let us know how you keep your readers engaged in the comments below!