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HMG Named Leading Digital Marketing Agency

HMG Named Leading Digital Marketing Agency

Posted on Aug 17, 2017 by Emily Ballard

For the third year in a row, HMG Creative has been named one of the top digital marketing agencies in Texas. Clutch is a research and review firm that identifies and ranks top service agencies that produce high-quality results for their clients. The ranking is based on a matrix of factors which include company experience, client list, industry recognition, market experience, and client reviews.

“Good websites effectively highlight a company’s style,” said DJ Fajana, business analyst at Clutch. “These Texas web designers have consistently produced eclectic and creative websites for their clientele.”

We are honored here at HMG to receive this recognition and are grateful to all of our clients who have left reviews that positively impacted our ranking. Click here to review our impeccable rating, portfolio, and reviews from past clients.

About Clutch

Clutch is a Washington, DC-based B2B research and review firm that identifies top service and software firms in the technology and marketing industry. Clutch leverages a proprietary framework, the Leaders Matrix Methodology, which maps firms focus areas and assesses their proven ability to deliver on client expectations. Clutch publishes the leading research on agencies in addition to reviews covering 900+ companies spanning 50+ vertical markets.

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HMG’s Founder Raises Money for Children in Haiti

HMG’s Founder Raises Money for Children in Haiti

Posted on Aug 15, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Imagine going on a 100-mile bike ride in the middle of the summer in Wichita Falls, Texas—sounds excruciating, right? That’s exactly what these cyclists are doing in The Hotter’N Hell bike race in order to raise money for children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Riding 100 miles in one day in the middle of Texas does not compare to the pain and suffering these children go through without proper healthcare.

The Hotter’N Hell bike ride supports the International Child Care’s Race for Grace, and all proceeds go directly to Grace Children’s Hospital and ICC mission programs. This being their biggest fundraising event of the year, and they have high goals and wish to impact even more lives this year than they did last.

Help our founder, James Trumbly, make a BIG impact by donating to provide children in Haiti and the Dominican Republic health and hope for the future! All donations are accepted and greatly appreciated. Click here for more information on the race, and click here to donate

 

 

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How To Stay Organized In A Busy Environment

How To Stay Organized In A Busy Environment

Posted on Aug 03, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Let’s be honest, life is hectic. Between work, home, kids (if you have them) and trying to have a social life, everything can blend together and it can become hard to stay organized. While work-life balance is important, work is a large contributor to our attitude, happiness and overall outlook on life. If you are one that wears many hats at work, here are five ways to relieve the stress of having what seems like one million things to do. Disclaimer: random tedious and sometimes unpleasant things are inevitably going to pop up, but turning these tips into habits will make it more bearable.

Have a to-do list

To-do lists seem like something you don’t really need, but once you make one it’s like night and day. Being able to see what you have to do for the day and check things off as you go helps dramatically with time management and decreases stress levels. Prioritizing tasks is an extremely important aspect of time management, and to-do lists help with visualizing what is most important and which task will take the longest to complete.

Block off time for each task

Personally, planners have always been my go-to. Paper planners with time slots such as Passion Planner, Plum Paper, and The Bullet Journal help with time management, are great for keeping track of meetings on-the-go and enable you to visualize where you will have time for random things that pop up throughout the day. If checking emails is a daunting task, block off three time slots in your day dedicated to sending and responding to emails.

Don’t procrastinate

Psychologists at Thrive Global have studied procrastination and the impact it has on our mental state. Procrastination increases stress levels which often lead to other issues such as lack of sleep, disengagement at work and at home and lack of appetite—and that’s only the beginning of the spiral effect. Using your to-do list to stay on top of daily tasks will increase productivity and ultimately lead to an abundance of benefits such as increased focus, deeper level of learning, more control over emotions, and increase overall happiness and well-being.

Organize your desk

Having a messy desk can cause unnecessary stress and make you feel like you aren’t being as productive as you should be, which can again have a spiral effect. Decluttering your desk will allow you to clear your mind and devote your full attention to the task at hand. A messy desk is another major contributor to stress, feeling exhausted and feeling like you’ve been unproductive. Paper-holders and small filing cabinets can be lifesavers.

Schedule one 10-minute, technology-free break during the day to regroup (and don’t let it stress you out)

Look, I totally understand being incredibly busy and feeling unproductive the second I put my phone down or stop typing, but this is sort of like meditation. Just turn your chair around, focus on your breathing, sip your coffee/tea/water, look out the window and allow yourself to regroup about halfway through the day. This will allow you to mentally catch up and you’ll probably end up giving yourself time to remember what it was you meant to put on your to-do list. 

The main message here is to declutter your mind and allow yourself to focus and increase productivity. We all need a reminder every now and then to take a step back, clear our thoughts and recharge. The positive effects of giving yourself just 10 minutes to regroup and get organized are endless. So, get ready for next week by getting organized this weekend and TGIT, my friends!

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Basics of Inbound Marketing

Basics of Inbound Marketing

Posted on Jul 25, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Optimizing your website’s keywords, call-to-actions, and landing pages are fundamental in search engine optimization and getting started with inbound marketing. It takes time to rank higher through organic SEO methods, but inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of capturing the attention of high-quality prospects. The second most important contributor to organic search engine optimization is producing blog content that is knowledgeable on topics within your industry and valuable to your ideal customer. Optimizing your website for conversion and creating content that that resonates with your readers will set you up for continuously bringing in high-quality leads.

Attract

Creating in-depth buyer personas is the first step in understanding your ideal customer, their wants, their needs and their problems. Offering useful information on your website and in blog posts that is tailored to your ideal prospect creates trust and credibility, and ultimately resonates with readers. Developing content that appeals to different, specific target audiences demonstrates knowledge across your industry and can continue bringing readers back for more information in the long run. Publishing valuable content on a blog, along with utilizing keywords and optimizing landing pages, is the most fruitful way to rank organically in Google search results. Once you’ve optimized your website and content management system, pushing content out on social media platforms will drive high-quality visitors to your landing pages and ultimately increase conversion rates. As you outline your buyer persona, keep in mind which social media channels your ideal prospects hang out on, as this should be your primary focus on where to push out blog posts.

Convert

In order to ensure you’re attracting high-quality visitors that will convert to paying customers, you need some sort of information on who is reading your content—this is where optimizing your landing pages becomes crucial. Your landing page needs to consist of a form where readers have to enter information such as their name, email address, and job title to access your content. Construct messages specific to your ideal prospect and A/B test call-to-actions so that you know what is most effective in leading people to enter more information. Landing pages need to be tailored to assure the reader they will be receiving beneficial information, and optimized with keywords and high-quality information in order to increase conversions. Give them an incentive to fill out a landing page such as receiving a free downloadable like an eBook, webinar, how-to guide, or percentage off of their first order. As you embed keywords throughout the content on your website it will increase search engine ranking, thus driving more traffic to your website.

Nurture

Once you’ve attracted the right prospects and converted prospects into leads, it’s important to convert leads to customers at the right time. Keep track of the information you’ve obtained on each lead through a customer relationship management system. This allows you to better engage with each lead, and offer more tailored information specific to their needs until they are ready to convert to a paying customer. If a prospect reads your blog, clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, downloads your ebook and still isn’t ready to become a customer, have a series of emails on deck to nurture them and offer them additional valuable information for free. This additional information should be tailored to their needs and their previous actions, which will tell you what you need to offer them.

Inbound marketing takes time but is more beneficial for your business in the long run rather than pay per click advertising methods. Offering valuable information for free builds trust, brings customers back for more information, and creates loyal customers that will stand by your brand in the long run. Do you need help with your inbound marketing efforts? Contact us here!

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Four Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead

Four Reasons Why Print Isn’t Dead

Posted on Jun 27, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Although we live in a predominantly digital world, print marketing is still potent in making a statement for your brand. It can establish trust and increase engagement with consumers. Most companies incorporate both digital and print marketing to keep their brand premium and credible. As the world continues to advance digitally, consumers are also rediscovering their appreciation for print advertising. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t overlook print marketing as you devise your next media plan:

It Communicates the Value of the Brand

Magazines radiate a certain type of aesthetic beauty in their communication, which is what continues to attract their readership. There’s true art behind weaving multiple stories into the fabric of your brand through the voices of different magazines. Print ads are a quick way to establish credibility, as over 55 percent of consumers trust print over any other medium. Print also offers a wider range of creativity and design quality in the design process and establishes a brand identity with it’s audience.

It’s Tangible

What makes print intriguing is that it entices people to read it. A tangible piece of mail, or a magazine at a barbershop, often teases our curiosity until we take a closer look. The visceral quality of print also feels much more personal than a digital message that is easily lost in a sea of other messages. There is also something to be said for the longer shelf life—one magazine might sit on someone’s coffee table for months and reach a much broader audience than expected.

It Attracts the Most Engaged

People who consume print expect a much different experience than with the digital content they consume. Consumers are in a more active mental state when engaging with print. In making the decision to open a magazine and engage with the content, a reader trades their attention and focus for the chance to learn something new or find entertainment. Content should be inviting, with arresting visuals and intriguing headlines. Because magazines usually tailor their content to serve specific segments, you not only have access to their subscribers but also a fairly clear blueprint for how to tweak your messaging to craft more precise communication.

Higher ROI and Response Rates

Measuring ROI for print can be a lengthy and expensive process, with a high margin of error. However, when someone chooses to share a magazine or news article with a friend, it does not get buried in a chat log or email thread. Instead, they have its physical presence, inviting them to re-engage or continue sharing it. Today, more than three out of four small businesses that use print marketing and online advertising combined see higher response rates from print marketing efforts. This ability to hold relevance is beneficial to not bombarding the consumer with countless digital marketing messages.

Digital marketing has undeniable benefits, but the name of the game is diversity. A company with a solid digital presence who’s also mixing it up with traditional media is letting you know that they’re not some fly-by-night operation and that you should give them your business. If you’d like our thoughts on how some traditional marketing might benefit your digital gameplan, let us know!

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Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Five Tips for Branding on Social Media

Posted on Jun 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Brand strategy as a concept can often be bit murky or esoteric. Whether you’re an established business or an individual searching for a more prominent way to self-brand, it can be difficult to identify a starting point and select a course of action. Social media offers endless opportunity for engagement, so maintaining a cohesive presence across platforms can be daunting. It’s important to remember that your strategy is your anchor, and keeps your team in sync with how your brand interacts with the world.

There are also many tutorials out there, but the truth is that it just takes practice. Proficiency with social media is one of those things that comes through experience. To help get you started, here are some widely accepted components for a basic, well-rounded strategy:

Finding Your Voice

Establishing values early on is essential for staying true to your brand’s roots. Consistency and authenticity (ie: with dialect and tone) also help to foster trust that you are who you claim to be. With that, you develop a personality on social media that makes it easier for consumers to relate and entices them to engage more. People want to feel like the content they are consuming is genuine, and will likely form a positive association with your brand when that is the case. Again, finding your voice on social media takes time, but as long as it’s natural it will soon become second nature.

Tell Your Story

Here at HMG we’re currently in the process of a complete rebrand. When I joined the team in February, one of my initial goals was to increase engagement on social media. The first thing that came to mind was to tell our literal story by sharing what’s happening around the office. However, we also like to see what’s going on throughout the community, which helps to tell a different, more casual side of our story. Once some time has passed, share a few throwbacks to apply a very personal tone to your progress. People love to see others succeed—it’s both motivational and rewarding.

Engage With Your Audience

As you find your tone and start to post more frequently, you’ll see more engagement (trust me). Sparking conversations with your followers makes them feel valued and acknowledged, which creates a sense of community. Keeping up with platform updates will also help you to find new ways to interact with your followers. People tend to notice when a specific brand interacts with them and may become more likely to consider or recommend your brand as a result.

Post Regularly

Staying relevant is every brand’s top priority. Consistency plays a direct role in staying in the consumer’s top-of-mind—even if you only post twice a week. Although the more you post, the more engagement you will likely see. Scheduling specific days for certain content also makes producing content easier and less stressful. For example, I post every Monday. There’s usually a lot going on around here, but if it’s a quiet day in the office I’ll post a little motivation Monday (since we could all use that from time to time). That takes the pressure off if it’s one of those rare, still days in the office. Posting regularly also gives your followers something to look forward to. So if you’ve just hit a milestone with a cool project, share the progress!

Stand Out

Adding value to your content is the number one thing you can do that will make you stand out. This is another one of those easier-said-than-done things. Maintaining your personality throughout your content, while continuously sharing valuable information for your readers to digest will result in reciprocated engagement as well. Share insight, ask questions, ask others for their opinions and post visuals such as photos and videos. It’s always a great feeling when you know that you’ve delivered awesome content. On the other hand, sharing another’s authoritative content says a great deal about what you appreciate and support from your peers.

Social media opportunities are wide open for reaching new consumers. As simple as this all may sound, there are many things that even big brands forget to take in consideration. While it remains a relatively new tool for branding, it has also become essential for adapting to the latest trends, technologies and markets. Let us know how your brand strategy leverages social media in the comments below!