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On the Tenth Day of Christmas, HMG gave to Me: Ten Blogs a-Buzzing

Posted on Dec 22, 2012 by Johnny Jeffers

The voice of a consumer has proved to be the most powerful tool for the success of any business. The evolution of the internet has made several marketing solutions as simple as clicking a mouse; so let’s deck the halls with ten ways to integrate age old word of mouth marketing with modern social outlets!
1. On average, one of five customers will say something about your business just by asking them to. “Would you tell your friends and family about our service?” The trick? Just ask, every time!
2. Optimizing the search engine effect; a product cannot be shared virtually if it cannot be found online. Optimize your website and online content with multi-word tag lines to avoid vast competitions with companies shelling out the dollars for one key word.
3. If you choose to advertise on multiple social media sites, allocate time to update and engage with readers and followers daily. Consistency with posting ads and follower engagement is crucial for brand recognition.
4. Everyone wants to be heard; whether positive or constructive feedback is flowing in, always respond. Take time to address concerns and thank all customers for all feedback. Reviewers will talk about the brand just by feeling heard by the company.
5. Give back to followers, use social media to offer small gifts for kids and prizes. These gifts and prizes can be awarded for various online contests that will increase engagement with existing and even more importantly new interest.
6. Encourage bloggers and review sites to rate the product and brand. Share the positive blogs and feedback on the company website and social media outlets. There is a vast market out there that will buy in once a third-party endorses a brand.
7. Write regularly. Post PR and blog content on the company website. Publish it through social media links, and distribute it directly to relevant media outlets. The likelihood of new and additional conversations about a brand and its products will increase with the amount of online content that is published.
8. Use the free tools available to keep up with specific markets and interests in the business. Take Google, for example, they offer an application called Google Analytics. This free service has statistics on website visits and can be linked to any website despite the volume. Google Trends also provides details on popularity with specific search terms over time. Stay competitive by being alert and up to date on the trends in your companies’ vertical.
9. As soon as a consumer decides to purchase from a company a second time, odds are good that they have spoken highly about the business or even indirectly referred potential clients. Encourage feedback, and make it easy to respond with simple short questions. For example ask new clients; “How was your experience?” and “What can we do to expect your business in the future?” An example for returning clients could be “Thank you for coming back to our business! What made you interested in our product/service again?”
10. Never expect the end user to manage the relationship. Regularly interact with contacts and subscribers via newsletters, promotional offerings, and by keeping up to date on all active social media outlets.
Marketing is a team effort and we cannot do it without the influence of our customers. Leverage all resources with blogging, integration of helpful tools, and social media to spread the news and keep folks talking!
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On the Ninth day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Nine Clients Rocking

Posted on Dec 21, 2012 by Stacey Donelan

 

I can’t think of a better way to spread Christmas cheer than by recognizing nine of our current and previous clients who we are so very thankful for and, to be honest, just ROCK at what they do:

Bannerot Law Firm
The firm provides clients with a variety of legal services which include Business Law, Wills & Estate Planning, Texas Probate, Intellectual Property Licensing, Entertainment & Sports Law, as well as Litigation.  We have provided the Bannerot Law Firm with:
– Printing
– Website Redesign
(Check out a preview of the new website we’re working for them!)

Kelle Contine Interior Design
Kelle Contine Interior Design is a professional full service interior design firm providing clients with innovative and appropriate solutions.  We have provided Kelle Contine with:
– Web Development

One Star Foundation
OneStar Foundation supports the nonprofit sector of Texas and its stakeholders through initiatives that increase civic engagement, research, rigorous evaluation, and nonprofit organizational excellence.  We have provided OneStar with:
– Branding
– Press Release
– Website Redesign

PrimoDish
PrimoDish is a group of developers that love food and thought there needed to be a place where you can easily find the best food around.  We provided PrimoDish with a:
– Website Redesign/UX
(Check out the new website we’re currently building them!)

Quick Fix Stock Charts
QFSC is an online resource that provides insightful and annotated stock charts while enabling you to make time-sensitive, decisive, money management decisions.  We provided QFSC with:
– Branding
– Custom Email Templates
– Press Release
– Printing
– Web Design and Development

RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot rates every single coupon and then orders it by its usefulness.  Every store is then categorized and ordered by its popularity within that category.  Their users ensure that the best deals quickly rise to the top, and expired or superseded coupons quickly drop down the list.  We provided RetailMeNot with:
– Web Development

Shango
Shango is a cloud platform that enables service providers to more easily cloud-enable their services and provide them more easily to their wholesale channels.  We provided Shango with:
– Business Card Design
– Printing

Spontuneous
Spontuneous, created by Mr. Rob Ridgeway, is an award-winning board-game that brings your favorite song lyrics to life.  The fun family game brings your favorite song lyrics to life and can forever change the way you listen to music.  We provided Spontuneous with:
– Custom Email Templates
– In-Store Promo Signs, Banners, Flyers
– Printing
– Web Development

Taylor Linens
Founded in 1922, Taylor Linens produces quilts that are made of 100% cotton fabric and batting that are often hand quilted with fine, close stitches.  We provided Taylor Linens with:
– Custom Email Templates
– Printing
– Print Collateral (product hang tags, post cards, stickers)
– Web Design and Development

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On the Eighth Day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Eight Fans a-Liking

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 by Johnny Jeffers

The Holidays bring a lot of people to the shopping cart both virtually and through retail stores. There is no time like December to ramp up social media marketing and attract new subscribers and well… “Likes!”  So let’s unwrap Eight tips on attracting more Facebook Likes to your company’s page for Christmas!

1.  Leverage the store-front advantage! Incentivize your customers to check-in for discounts; if they’re willing to drive to your store, they’re willing to check-in!

2.  Post exclusive information or offers that will spark excitement and encourage subscribers to share the offerings.

3.  Words are great; however fans and prospective fans are twice as likely to engage with pictures, links and video content over text.

4.  Everyone likes cheap and free however, people like one thing a little bit more, competition! If the radio station can do it, so can your business. Create unique and engaging competitions every once in a while to attract new customers and more importantly, generate repeat visits to your page and website.

5.  Respond to posts and feedback though sentences that sound like they actually came from a real person, not a robot. Remember, there should always be time to communicate with your followers and clients, they are the first priority.

6.  Use links and keywords to help optimize your content so it’s seen by more friends of existing subscribers.

7.  Don’t just post, sponsor and promote the message.  Organic Facebook page visits are only a measurement of the contact with existing followers, so go viral and make money with videos!  About 80 percent of consumers say they are more likely to try a new product or service based on a suggestion from a friend through social media.

8.  Witty, funny and fresh content wins!  Don’t be shy when posting; get those creative juices flowing to maintain existing subscribers and draw new fan interest.

So just remember to engage, promote and respond to your fans quickly and your business will see the the “Likes” a-flowing this Holiday season!

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On The Sixth Day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Six Birds-a Tweeting

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 by Daniel Alvarez

Twitter is gaining momentum at an alarming rate and more and more businesses are using Twitter to create new revenue, build relationships and solve customer issues. As a Twitter user for both personal and business use, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. Below are 6 tips to writing good tweets and getting more followers!

1.  Keep it simple! Probably the most important piece of advice anyone can give you…no one wants to read a novel; especially on a network of fast-moving posts.

2.  Be original. Yes, I know this is trivial but a lot of people forget to use their own thoughts.

3.  Be personal. Bring your followers into your world, show them what YOU are about and make them feel welcome.

4.  Make ‘em laugh. If you can’t come up with anything creative then default to a funny joke, everyone can appreciate a laugh now and then!

5.  In conjunction with keeping it simple, make it catchy at the same time! Use words that define you and intrigue the reader. Separate yourself from the pack.

6.  Hashtags. Another no-brainer in the Twittersphere;  hashtags are to Twitter as SEO is to a solid website.

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On the Fifth Day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Five Golden Rules

Posted on Dec 17, 2012 by Stacey Donelan

Ah, the infamous Fifth Day of Christmas. I don’t know about you, but this might be the only part of the (original) song that I can actually remember every time.  But in the case of these Five Content Creation Rules, not rings, I encourage you to commit these to memory as well!

I’m sure you’ve already heard the saying, “Content is King,” but what does that really mean?  It all began with content as the key for search engine optimization and the huge role it played in positioning your company as an industry resource. Then came the rise of social and the need to push consistent communication. Creative tactics emerged through micro-sites and with social media popularity exploding, brands had to compete with the thought-leaders or become obsolete in the marketplace.

1.  Know Your Audience
Let’s be real.  If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach there’s no use in creating content at all.  Know who you’re writing for. Is it women ages 24-40 or men ages 60 and older? Decide who your audience is and then learn everything you can about them.  Find what questions they have, what motivates them and what they like. THEN, create your content.

2.  Tell a Story
Tell a story that is personable, approachable, tangible and memorable.  For example: Every year, The Hartford sponsors the Paralympics, and just last year the company decided to tell this story. They launched a media and video campaign through the medium of Facebook highlighting the athletes themselves. The result was a very successful and emotional story connecting with people on an individual and very personal level.

3.  Limit the Fluff
The average attention span is very, very short. You need to get right to the point or you run the risk of losing the audience. Eliminate any unnecessary points to keep content concise and hyper-focused. If you’d like some additional examples on the process of un-fluffing, check out one of our previous blog posts on a similar topic!

4. Make it Shareable
The best way to get your content out there is to spread it across all appropriate mediums.  So making it easy for others to share your content should be a BIG priority. Try to think of a blog that doesn’t prominently display social sharing buttons. It’s tough, right? That’s because most people won’t go out of their way to share your content so just make it simple!

5.  Say What You Know…
…and not what you sell. Customers are not looking to read your blog or micro-site to see what you sell, they can view that in a catalog or on the products and services tab on your site. They are interested in what you know and what you stand for. It’s time to start communicating as a trusted and relevant source and not as a sales script. Storytelling is the new content marketing.

See where your expertise and your customer’s interests overlap to tap into your niche. Tell a unique story and communicate in a way that no other competition can touch.

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On the Fourth Day of Christmas, HMG Gave to Me: Four Calling Clients

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 by Amy Kauffman

The Client List: 4 Types of Clients, Pain Points and How to Deal

At HMG, we love our wonderful family of clients and customers. But, like any large family, there are a few that can, well, drive you a little crazy. Throughout my time working at PR, advertising and creative agencies I have noticed a distinctive trend in some of the “problem child” clients that take extra time, energy and effort to work with. While there are dozens of categories and sub-categories like law of attraction (I can’t wait to read the comments!), I have done my best to narrow down the 4 most common, and troublesome, types of clients that make Account Managers across the country face-palm almost every day.

 

1.     The Defensive Line
Think 260+ lbs., Texas born and bred defensive players.  Their goal? To keep the offense from proceeding down the field, of course.  And this is exactly how most of us feel when faced with a Defensive Line client. These clients or individuals tend to halt any forward progress you and your agency tries to make on their behalf. But they hired you, right? Last you checked you were the expert on hand to provide guidance on communications and lead the company to new, exciting territory. Well, not always.  Frustrations and confusion almost always accompany this type of client as agencies feel they are working against, not with your efforts.

Telling Signs:  Emails including the phrases: “This looks great, but..” “This is a little too much change for us.” Or “Let’s stick with what we already have in place.”

Symptoms: Stillborn campaigns, Account Executive migraines from beating on desk, drained agency hours with nothing to show, bi-polar or apathetic creative team

Remedy: Remember that you are on the same team. Try to understand and communicate with the client on intentions when creating a new strategy or creative direction. The client either wants the assurance of your capabilities (should they finally commit to change), is appeasing a task from higher up for new ideas or at the end of the day is protecting a brand that they built and a shift will be incremental, if any.  If the client appreciates and likes your work, congrats. They know your value. I guess the questions for the agency would be: Is having a solid offense strategy enough or are you tired of standing on the sidelines in this game?  Regardless, identifying and understanding this client is key to a stress-free relationship.

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