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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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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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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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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!

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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!