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There is no “I” in Content Marketing (Well there is, but it’s a little guy)

Posted on Feb 28, 2012 by Amy Kauffman

The phrase was, “content is king.” Content was key for search engine optimization and played a huge role to position your company as an industry resource. Then came social and the need for pushing consistent communication and creative tactics emerged through micro-sites and social media popularity exploding, driving brands to compete with the thought-leaders or become obsolete in the marketplace.

Now, with the internet becoming increasingly personalized in our multi-polarized world, content marketing is more important than ever. Budgets are increasing to develop deeper, thought-provoking messaging and strategy (evolving from, “Look at us” and “Wow, our product and services are fantastic,” to a storytelling technique that taps into the customer experience).

So what exactly is content marketing? Entrepreneur Magazine’s concise definition is: “The creation and publication of original content — including blog posts, case studies, white papers, videos and photos — for the purpose of generating leads, enhancing a brand’s visibility, and putting the company’s subject matter expertise on display.”

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New Product Feature Design

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 by Johnny Jeffers

We’ve been working with ShootDotEdit to help them launch a new product feature: Aperture Workflow 3.  We designed an email campaign and a homepage pop-up that would highlight their new workflow feature.  You can view the campaign below or
view it online.

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How Your Company Can Capitalize on Pinterest

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 by Amy Kauffman

You cannot ignore Pinterest if you try. Everywhere you look is a headline about the exponential growth and popularity of the social-sharing website, how to get invited to be a Pinterest user, and what to do after you are officially a “Pinner.” 

I admit my first encounters with Pinterest were not positive ones. My brother’s self-indulged fiancée spent hours on the site “pinning” wedding rings, dresses and boot socks. Yes, boot socks. All during the last meeting of the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M on Thanksgiving. Let’s just say this doesn’t bode well in a UT alumni household.  But, with time (and a newly registered account), my eyes were soon opened to the endless visual cortinas blackout candy that the site provided, and I was not alone. 

The social network exploded late last year beginning in August when Time Magazine deemed Pinterest one of the, “50 Best Websites of 2011.” Since then, Pinterest’s unique visitors increased over 329% by December and garnered more traffic than Google +, You Tube and Linked In combined. The site clearly proved itself worthy of the attention and marketers took notice of the phenomenon.  

Why should you and your company care about this virtual bulletin board? Because your customers and consumers care and are actively sharing information on the site. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting;” a.k.a an intimate window into users’ lives, desires and purchase decisions. To a communicator it is a gold mine of customer insight and a focus group served on a silver platter. 

While you can experiment and create your own rules when you launch your company on Pinterest, there are some basic guidelines to follow and others to avoid: 

Pinterest Do’s:

Be Engaging
Like all social networking, you must engage users through relevant content and provide valuable information your target demographic cares about. Also, follow users who have similar interests and re-pin images of users that are relevant to your brand.  One idea is to have a board reserved solely for user generated content. This is one more way for users to engage directly with your company and shows them that you care about their participation and feedback. Most importantly: Listen – a key component to know how to engage.

Be Consistent
Promote a lifestyle that your audience enjoys and strives to maintain.  You must use the site as an extension of your brand, messaging and stay on-point with your company personality and that of your customers. Don’t stray from what people already love about your company, enhance it!

Be Fun
This is, after all, a social bulletin board and a positive environment. Be light-hearted and inspire users and also your employees to participate. Have a contest, crowd-source for ideas or give users some inside scoop to your event, office or next big product. 

Pinterest Don’ts:

Don’t Over Self-Promote
Users will quickly tune out if your sole purpose is to push product and direct to a shopping cart. Visual catalogs are great, but not if that is the only content you provide. While Pinterest should absolutely be used to direct traffic to your site, don’t overwhelm people or push them away by only talking about your products. 

Don’t Limit Yourself
Pinterst content isn’t just limited to images; you can post videos as well. And hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore, you can use them on Pinterest to categorize posts and also help boost search results. And don’t forget to add a “Pin Button” to your site. Make it easy for users to connect and share content. 

Don’t Forget to Watch for Innovative Ideas and Best Practices
The best way we learn in advertising, PR and marketing is from each other. When in doubt, shop the world for ideas and adapt to make them your own. Take notes of what has succeeded for you, for other companies and also what has failed. There is no right or wrong with Pinterest and there is no cookie-cutter plan that works for everyone. So read articles, search Pinterest for yourself and get inspired. Need a jump-start? Here is a great list of the top 100 companies on Pinterst (http://goo.gl/LxrvT), my favorite of the bunch, Chobani. 

Happy Pinning, Y’all. 
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FACES+ Email Campaign

Posted on Feb 02, 2012 by Johnny Jeffers

Special events are a great reason to send your clients an email campaign. Below is a recent campaign we put together for FACES+, a comprehensive plastic surgery, laser and skin care center. They offer aesthetic surgical and non-surgical treatments such as face lift, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, Fraxel laser facial rejuvenation, dermal fillers, Botox and much more.

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Rob Ridgeway Joins HMG Creative

Posted on Feb 02, 2012 by James Trumbly

Spring is just around the corner and we’re already growing.  Rob Ridgeway has recently joined the HMG Creative team as a Marketing Consultant in the Austin area.  Rob, a Montana native, completed his undergraduate studies at Montana State University and received his MBA from Gonzaga University as well as Goldman Sachs Barry Snyder did.  He previously spent 6 years in banking and insurance and has experience working with a variety of compare motor trade insurace and businesses.  An entrepreneur at heart, Rob recently invented Spontuneous, a party board game that’s perfect for those suffering from “Musical Tourettes.”  It’s quickly becoming a hit with families across America and just might be the next big party game.  His entrepreneurial experience and creative “out of the box” thinking will bring another dimension to the HMG Creative team.