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How We Work With Clients

How We Work With Clients

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Finding the right agency can be a difficult and stressful process, usually due to several factors simultaneously in motion. You may need help developing a branding strategy before it’s time to begin the web project, or you may need to coordinate ongoing marketing efforts, such as PPC or retargeting, within the scope of a much larger project that is already underway. It can also be tough to choose an agency that fully understands and harmonize your story, brand and culture consistently through every single project. However, the right fit is usually self-evident, meaning that you’ll know when you’ve found the right one.

Here at HMG, we pride ourselves on the authenticity of both our creative process and work itself. Staying true to our core values, our team of experts collaborate daily to maximize creativity and apply diverse perspectives to each client and their story. First and foremost, our top priority is to cultivate long-lasting partnerships with every one of our clients. Maintaining transparent communication is key to developing rapport and managing expectations throughout the course of each project. We also consider ourselves to be part of each client’s team, committing ourselves to the development of unique, high-quality deliverables that position them for success.

As a full-service marketing agency, our professional bandwidth allows us to cater to marketing needs across the board, from brand assessment and strategy, to web development and implementation of interactive marketing initiatives. Whether you need one of our services or five of our services plus ongoing maintenance, we tailor each project to align with your specific needs, brand and culture. During the kickoff meeting, we will dive into your values, your target audience and your customer journeys. Then we will incorporate our findings into your web project, digital marketing strategy, or whatever else you may need.

And now for the fun part—budgeting! Establishing a clear understanding of your budget upfront allows us to remain transparent when communicating realistic expectations for how a project will align with its existing budget. We generally make two budgeting methods available: fixed-rate bids and ongoing retainers.

Large-scale projects which clearly define a set of deliverables, such as a web development project, typically work best with a flat, fixed rate, which can be easily made into a monthly investment. Fixed-rate billing also works well when bundling services together, into a custom package. However, quite often, a client will also require ongoing marketing services in addition to a larger fixed-rate project, which would necessitate a retainer.

A retainer is a pre-purchased block of hours. Retainers are usually implemented when our services are required on an as-needed basis. With a retainer, you have more flexibility for how the hours are spent and on which projects or services they are allocated—whether that be PPC, retargeting, web maintenance, or ongoing creative services such as print collateral.

In this digital age, technology is rapidly changing and the need to keep up with its dynamic evolution is greater than ever. So let’s connect and chat about how we can support your marketing efforts!

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Understanding the Basics of Google Analytics

Understanding the Basics of Google Analytics

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Google Analytics is a potent tool for leveraging data to gain insight into your current audience, as well as develop a deeper understanding of how to reach your target audience. Top marketing professionals analyze data obtained through Google Analytics to identify how, and from where, website visitors are arriving (we’ll dig into this in a little bit). If you aren’t already utilizing this incredibly powerful service, here’s an overview on how you can make smarter, data-driven decisions that better your chances for more conversions and higher return on investment (ROI). Oh, and it’s free.

Audience

So the first thing you need to do is look at who has already been visiting your website. Google Analytics tells you almost everything about each visitor including their demographics, interests, location, behavior on the site, and what device they used to visit your site. From this, it generates relevant comparisons, using the copious amounts of data collected on each user. With access to such an extensive amount of data, Google Analytics allows you to get a clear picture of who is viewing your site and whether you should alter marketing initiatives in order to cater to your target audience.

Acquisition

Now that you’ve determined the makeup of your audience, the next step is discovering how users got to your site. The overview section (under acquisition) breaks down incoming site traffic into general sources: social media, email, direct visitors, organic searches, referrals from other websites, paid search and other. The information is then further digested into graphs to illustrate the percentage of users from each category, their session time, bounce rate and conversion rate. If the right people are already visiting your website, this feature of Google Analytics can help identify where and how to reach others like them.

Behavior

The “Behavior Flow” chart that Google Analytics creates according to time period is the easiest tool, in my opinion, to analyze each user journey. This chart offers the ability to walk through the steps of each user journey, and possibly determine what drove them to each page. This feature provides in-depth data on the most and least visited pages of your website. Such specific data is beneficial to improving the less-viewed portions of your site, and maintaining those more frequently viewed. Considering this data within Google Analytics helps to identify the popular sections of your site, and thus point you in the right direction for which aspects need extra attention.

Conversions

Now for the good stuff. Once you’ve identified your target audience, optimized your marketing initiatives and increased traffic to your website—you can sit back and watch the conversions roll in. Conversions tie in directly with your goals. For example, if your goal is for people to fill out a “Let’s Talk” form, Google Analytics can track how many visitors were served the form, and compare that to the number that completed it. Ecommerce businesses can track key performance indicators (KPI) like product performance, sales performance, transactions and time to purchase.

Knowing and understanding how each element of Google Analytics functions helps the tool to behave as a messenger, that keeps you informed about which areas of your website are successful and which are under-performing. What do you think is the most important aspect of Google Analytics? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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Client Disrupts Entire Spa Industry

Client Disrupts Entire Spa Industry

Posted on May 04, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Technology has disrupted many industries in its rapid evolution over the past 50 years. Keeping up to speed with tech trends, much less staying ahead of the game, can be a real challenge. As a result of the demanding digital age we now live in, the vast majority of industries have integrated technology into their systems. With this in mind, the team at The Spa Mart knew to approach their new spa distribution venture with a strong emphasis on technology.  

That’s where HMG Creative came in. We were contacted by the development team, and immediately understood their vision for a top-notch eCommerce and online education website that would better serve spa professionals. We took their idea and molded it into a fresh, bold brand to encompass the values and traditions of the spa industry.

After completing The Spa Mart’s branding, we shifted gears into a six-month web development project that takes advantage of Magento 2.0, the successor to the widely popular eCommerce platform of the same name. We’ve also incorporated a system called Odoo, which is an inventory control manager that will allow The Spa Mart to better manage orders and control their back office system. Our client’s main goals were to build and nourish relationships with their customers, help their customers grow their own businesses and provide premium customer service. With the website functioning as the nucleus of their company, we integrated different customer journeys to provide optimal user experience for each customer depending on individual needs—whether they seek to purchase products or search for an online course.

The web-development project consisted of site hierarchy, user experience design, visual design and content strategy. Currently in the optimization and customization phase, the ability to continuously manage and optimize the site is a primary focus as we perfect the site’s flow. As they say—a high-quality, growth driven website is nothing without proper marketing. Taking this to heart, we are also currently in the process of developing a tailored digital marketing strategy to include powerful digital media management, such as pay-per-click advertising and retargeting.

The Spa Mart has been an incredible client, and our team here at HMG is grateful to be able to work with such amazing folks. We share the passion for building relationships and helping others grow their own businesses, so here’s to flourishing in doing what we love!

The Spa Mart’s site is currently active, fully responsive and hosted at HMG Creative.

If you would like more information on our services, leave us a comment or click here.

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6 Ways to Keep up With Daily Trends

6 Ways to Keep up With Daily Trends

Posted on Apr 25, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

The word “trend” is defined as: “a general direction in which something is developing or changing.” So given that trends are inherently dynamic, the challenge to stay current can be daunting. Industries within the digital sphere require constant adaptation to trends, and identifying them (for which there are many different methods) is always the first step. Keeping up with daily trends is an essential element for creating content that is relevant to your consumers. Diligence here will also better equip you to avoid costly mistakes, through a greater understanding and awareness of social issues and controversy.

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How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

How Influencers Have Impacted Marketing

Posted on Apr 13, 2017 by Emily Ballard

Influencer marketing seems to be taking the lead as this year’s most “influential” marketing approach. Have you ever noticed someone you follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat mention different products from time to time? I hate to break it to you, but that influencer you follow was more than likely paid to mention that product on their personal feed. This approach gives companies access to thousands, if not millions, of people they would not have otherwise been able to reach.

Influencers are seen as thought leaders for very specific niches. For example, if an influencer is regarded as being someone who is “trendsetter”, the second they mention a brand or product, their followers are immediately opening up a new tab to get their hands on it. This causes a spike for the number of search mentioning that particular product. This is exactly what companies want, and why they are willing to pay big bucks to influencers to push their products to their loyal, unsuspecting followers.

Influencers make it easy for a lot of companies to reach thousands and even millions of people in their target market because of the fact that there are influencers in just about every niche. By sharing their stories, influencers have made themselves relatable to a wide range of people. There is a good chance that no matter what your product is, there is an influencer that has thousands of followers that are right in your target market. Once a marketer finds an influencer that has a sizable audience they want to reach, they don’t have to work very hard to reach possibly millions of people that sit right in their market!

Influencers are also well connected with other influencers, possibly in a different niche. When influencers partner with other thought leaders, that’s double the exposure to your brand. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat all have messaging features as well. If someone sees something they think a friend might like, they can send it to their friend via direct message. At that point, the friend is exposed to the influencer, and thus your brand or product.

Social media has opened a new world to marketing. With the rising number in internet users that use ad blockers (about half), your retargeted advertisements are now less likely to be seen. With social media influencers, even though they may mention that the post is an ad, it still has a massive impact on the actions of their followers. What influencers are you following?

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How an Old Business Can Attract New Clients

How an Old Business Can Attract New Clients

Posted on Apr 11, 2017 by Alyssa Zucker

Can an old dog learn new tricks? The answer is yes, and with all due respect, your business may be an old dog. Just because your business has stood the test of time and remained strong doesn’t mean there is not room for improvement. The business world does not stand still, and in order to keep up with its constant need to move and change, your business needs to adapt to it. Among other elements of business, methods for attracting clients seem to shift rapidly in line with cultural and market forces.

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