Starting A New

Here is to starting something new in 2019…

I’ve beaning working a lot! Creating a lot of things, going to different conferences, reading a ton of blogs and watching more and more videos on YouTube…

Learning never ends and it is something you should always pride yourself on doing everyday of your life.

What’s Next

Well, I am starting to look at my website again… Getting my Google Anaylitics up, Google Ads, SEO and Blog writing… Next I want to start getting videos created, teach, help, be a voice in my community – my creative and digital voice and experience…

Social: My Top Notes for Content Marketing World 2017

I had the opportunity to visit Content Marketing World 2017 in Cleveland Ohio. A beautiful city next to Lake Erie. Home to Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m a basketball fan, lol. I stayed in walking distance of the conference at the Hyatt at the Arcade. Across the street was the public library where they had an exhibit of Superman, home of the greatest superhero of all time. Yes, a comic fan too!

The goal for this trip was to get a sense of where the industry was going with content marketing. How is B2B content marketing in relation to all this, what are best practices and what should we be doing with content marketing? This was an great opportunity to get in the room with different leaders in the industry and see how they are making moves and in turn, learning from them.

Content marketing is here and is a business model that should not be overlooked. Since 2011, on Google Trend, the word “content marketing” has spiked and continues to rise. According to Joe Pulizi of CMW, 90% of companies that are focused on Content Marketing and are successful are audience building. That’s 30% higher than last year and it is the most important thing for marketers today.

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Here are my takeaways and some of my key notes that I took:

My top 4 takeaways

  1. B2B vs B2C

This is an area that has several opinions depending on who you talk to. In my opinion, at the end of the day, we are all individuals, whether personal or professional, that has a need or problem that requires solving. If I can answer that need and give you value, in turn, that value can be shared to family, friends, or colleagues to then build trust in myself or brand. This is where content starts and then is distributed where the customer journey begins.

At work, everyone is busy with their to-do list so how do you earn their attention? If the content is relevant, the time will be spent on your content, period.

At home, everyone is busy with family or errands so how do you earn their attention? If the content is relevant, the time will be spent on your content, period.

Here are a few notes that I have gathered from my sessions:

B2B – Business to Business

  • Initial search is discovery to the website/ industry expert (blog) and vendors and use reference/content for comparing and consulting (different from B2C)
  • Most common way to start researching – is the company social media accounts, then business pages and review sites, customer reference and company website/ content
  • Most effective for evaluation – personal relationships with vendor employees, 3rd party references and then case studies
    • Talk about customer journey to earn trust and attention of potential buyers
  • Least favorite content in early stages are White Papers and potential content are brochures and webinars
  • Companies are made of people = Develop “Pathological Empathy” with personas and content based on the type of decision maker
  • Content needs to be engaging but informing readers of their next steps.
  • Buyers pick people they trust – they lose on price
  • Employees are your most valuable touch point and trusted more than a brand
  • On LinkedIn, employees have 10x more reach than a company’s connection
    • Promote them as individuals and don’t be afraid of them leaving – it will keep them longer

B2C – Business to Consumer

  • Customer journey starts at social with discover (different from B2B)
  • Online reviews are factors for decisions
  • Word of mouth from peers and employees is a driving key
    • We can allow guest to dictate our brand or create content to shape the story they tell
  1. Content/ Media

Websites are less important than ever and you must become an everywhere brand on where the attention is… We must start to think like a TV network and create constant shows. Building a show gives the ability to create less content overall as well as makes it easy to test and optimize information to different platforms. Repurpose! If it’s video, podcast or written, each company should be doing this at least once a week if not once a month.

  • SEO and content marketing are coming together.
  • According to Jay Baer – 76% more B2C/B2B businesses will create content
  • Content needs to be engaging, drives action and is customized
  • Relevancy is a value exchange
  • Content with features and benefits are just “brochures”
  • Know the data for good insights to create great content
  • Talk and use phrases and words that your audience uses
  • Fix the messenger, we trust people more than the logo
  • When you search “gluten free pizza” a few things will be populated, “What is, Near me, How do you make, and specific menu with”
  • Learn from the Disney Marketing Approach – Familiarity to a loyal audience i.e. Star Wars, Marvel, Mary Poppins etc. Reuse will known brands.
  • Documentaries are exploding
  1. Audience/ Personas

Businesses need one thing – an audience – a loyal and trusting one. We are starting to see different companies like Buzzfeed, Tasty, Amazon and Apple using different mediums to create audiences. We wouldn’t be surprised if Starbucks create a “Breaking News” app for building creating a loyal audience.

  • Change persona profiles to buyer expectations and needs
  • Answer their pain points
  • Build a strategy around buyer mindsets on the context of the decisions you want to influence
  • Audience is the new product and future… Marketers make markets
  1. Email List building

Even though email marketing open rates are at a low, list building is still the best way to own your audience outside of social media platforms.

  • Businesses are built on email list
  • 90% of marketers in 2017 have decided to build email list
  • Lead magnets like PDFs and “The Ultimate Guide to…”

In conclusion, this was a great show for anyone whether in marketing, in an agency or in-house team. The industry of content marketing is heading in a strong direction but will get over crowded with content. Tons of content! What will be your breakout content? How will you compare with the rest? How will you find your audience and get their attention? What value will you bring? In what entertainment will you build loyalty? These are exciting times… and the time and resource to build the right content will be it all…

See you at the next show! I will be attending Adobe Max. If you are heading out there and want to connect please reach out! If not, stay tuned and get my notes.

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Social: Facebook Pixel training with Jon Loomer

Last month I took Jon Loomer’s Introduction to the Facebook pixel training course. It was a 4 week training program, 1-hour class, once a week.

Topics of the training program includes:

  • An Introduction to the Facebook Pixel
  • Traffic: Website Custom Audiences
  • Custom Conversions and Standard Events
  • Optimization, Tracking, and Strategies

This is a great course if you are a beginner wanting to learn what the Facebook pixel is, how to set it up, what it can do for you, and get running quick and start optimizing campaigns or building that audience and market to.

Jon Loomer is experienced and knows his stuff! He didn’t shy away from any question and was straight forward and very helpful. If he knew the answer he would tell you, if he didn’t, he would tell you but this course was on point and to the topic.

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I was already familiar with the majority of this program lessons because I have been in the trenches of Facebook advertising and social advertising for a while now. It is always great to get reassurance but more so pick up golden nuggets here and there to expand an evolving skill set. Being apart of the live sessions is great becuase you can ask those questions!

Big takeaway for me from this was, if you are starting out new, set a monthly budget aside for promotions and marketing on Facebook. It doesn’t have to be large dollars. You will need to get your blog post or product in front of people so test and promote non stop until you start seeing regular and consistent traffic to your site.

Experience Tip:
Setting up the Facebook pixel is easy. To most people it will sound foreign because you will need to insert it into the “website coding or HTML.” You don’t have to be an experience web developer to get this code up and running. As of this writing, last month, Facebook hit 2 billion users. That is huge!

If you are thinking about running a website or have one, make sure the Facebook pixel is there. You don’t have to use the pixel for advertising right away but it is best to have it installed so that data can start being collected… When you do have an opportunity to start advertising you won’t be steps behind.

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Social: Facebook Ad Testing

There are 2 ways to get attention for your personal brand or business on Facebook.

Posting organically or by paid/sponsored advertising.

Let’s talk about Facebook paid/ sponsored advertising and my experience with them in what I am doing right now.

Organically will be in another post and I should have some personal data to back that up.

Let’s take my personal website/ blog, You are probably here because your first interaction was with a sponsored ad on Facebook. If you are here organically, that’s great! I appreciate it. 👍🏼 I just created my website and I want to get attention so I created a few blog post and a video to start gaining audience attention. I used these post and video to target different audiences I felt would have interest in my offering or value at the start of my journey.

I targeted 2 different audiences. One was interest based using “Adobe Photoshop” and “Adobe Illustrator”. The other was targeting an audience interested in different brands that a graphic designer would follow or have interest in. I targeted some of the brands I followed but it is amazing what information you can grab from a quick google search…

The results were eye opening.

Targeting the different brands and not the specific interest brought higher results and better relevancy.

Let’s break this down a bit…

Interests targeting alone with just “Adobe PS and AI” could mean anything. This person likes the idea of those programs, have used them before, etc. That doesn’t mean that they are my true audience base on the content I am pushing out to them. This was a fail.

Targeting brands that a Graphic Designer would follow like “Adobe Creative Cloud: Design” or “Creative Bloq” is relevant based on the content that I am pushing out which in turn was successful and proved engagement!

I did a handful of split testing with the 2 groups but knowing where my audience hang out and knowing their likes and dislikes are key!

Experience Tip:
If you are starting out with Facebook ads put a few content pieces together and start gathering data and playing with audiences. You need to find the right target and that takes time and money. You can through a few dollars to start and do not need to break the bank!

Once you find the ad with the right relevancy score and target audience interaction, it is a building block to moving forward.

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Design & Install: Importance of measuring projects yourself…

“Orlando, we are updating the front and side panel graphics to the ICEE cart. What do you think?”

My response as always – let’s do it! This was a great opportunity to get our Parks new visual branding in there with ICEE. ICEE in the past designed the graphics with my input so our hopes was to have a creative that would please both of us.

“Is the cart in the same location? I need to grab the measurements,” I ask.

“The vendor has it, the cart will get a makeover. We can get the measurements from them.”

I had a bad feeling… I wanted to see it or have it in front of me but it’s with the vendor. We should be able to get all the measurements we need.

Reached out to the reps and asked for measurements. The specs were sent the next day to my inbox.

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I needed to do a few things. It was decided that I would handle the graphic install. I would design the creative, order the substrates (PVC backing and clear acrylic front), and finally prep and install graphics on-site. The vendor would handle the awning with the graphic artwork that I provided.

Artwork and designs for the awning and 3 panels were approved. Substrates ordered and I started printing. All pieces prepped and ready, awaiting arrival of the cart. I’m good! Should be quick and easy!

The cart arrived and everything went sideways from there. Not knowing the full scope of the install, I needed more than a screw driver to open panels and slide graphics in. I needed a drill bit, an impact, a jigsaw, and self drilling screws and more…

As the title implies, the importance of measuring your projects yourself reigns true. Understanding everything from start to finish is important so that no time is wasted and projected. A 30min to 1 hour project turned in to a 3 hour surgery…

Experience Tip:
Knowing the project scope from top to bottom is imperative. Get the measurement yourself. Understand the build. Tools that maybe needed or necessary. Time and errors will be made if you are not involved in all steps and breakdown of your projects. Being aware of all thing minor that could potentially be big can save a lot of time and labor.

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Trashcan decals and what I’ve learned at Downtown Disney…

Okay, how is the most magical place in the world, Disney and trashcan in the same sentence? Well… 😂

I’ve recently updated and designed the graphics for Pacific Park’s trashcans. We’ve added a simple wave element with the Park logo to the front and back panels. We purchased 2 sizes of trash cans to accommodate different traffic areas. A large and smaller size. Both with different width specs as you can imagine. We purchased our trash cans from Mills Engineering. They are well known for their waste receptical cans around the world in theme parks.

Each trash can front and side panels were measured. We end up only covering the front and back panels with graphics. We used 2 different size specs for prints.

Because we purchased several trash cans, in different colors and sizes, we choose to use a spot white print on a clear vinyl to wrap them with. We did not use a decal or die cut because the Park’s logo has too much texture elements and is not easily made for vinyl cutting. Also, kids like to pick at stuff and we could have missing letters everywhere…

Best choice would have been to use a glossy print with white elements and matching PMS trash can color for the backgrounds. But to get a quicker turnaround we opt out and got the clear vinyl to have ready in time for trashcan arrival. When I do reprints, I may use this option instead.

Here are the final looks of Pacific Park’s trashcans with the help of Lendro.

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Now…. Downtown Disney and what I learned for future designs that will be more effective. See the images below….

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Do you see what I see? Regardless of what size the trashcan is, this decal design will fit in the lower corner and match the adjacent panel next to it!
The trashcan can be at any length and this design just works! Did you notice that these are 2 different types of trash cans? 🤔

Experience Tip:
Now, we can still design any way we like but after seeing this -if you are using multiple sizes for trash cans this can be a great option to:

  • Use same, smaller, spec for decal on all trashcan sizes
  • Easy install with no additional work for production
  • You can have multiple decals produced and stored for when you are refreshing old trashcans or when purchasing new ones!

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