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Robert Wasiluk, of Ingenuity Marketing cover for his vlog on secrets to impactful ads- the future of print advertising

Secrets to Impactful Ads – The Future of Print Advertising

 

While many companies are now focusing solely on digital ads, they are missing a big opportunity for professional services marketing and accounting advertising.

It’s print ads!

By establishing your brand through unique messaging, original imagery and proper placement of your logo, you can create lasting and memorable advertisements that get noticed.

Set yourself apart from your competitors by perfecting the print ad campaign along with your digital ad strategy. Watch Robert’s video to learn more about professional services ad campaigns and accounting advertising.

Yoga for an accounting advertising ad? This ad campaign shared the message that advisors were flexible for the unexpected, and it served the firm well during the pandemic when everyone needed to breathe and work together.

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When you’re working on your next ad campaign, you may be looking for some inspiration to keep your ads fresh.

Here are some tips to make your next print ad campaign a success:

  1. Keep it simple

Did you see Coca-Cola’s ad when they wanted to win over the new non-alcoholic sub-market? They didn’t need to say all of that in their ad; they didn’t use any words at all.

The familiarity we have with their typeface, along with the lemon peel says it all. This is Coca-Cola with lemon. Enough said.

  1. Always use eye-catching imagery

Use high-res images. Try to use original imagery when you can, so your audience ties your image to your brand. Play on the unexpected. Surprise your audience.

  1. Be Collaborative

At Ingenuity we work very collaboratively on ad campaigns. We can create a concept that’s clever and addresses your pain points to help you reach your next best clients!

Contact Ingenuity for more ad concepting ideas, tips and tricks.

 

NEXT ARTICLE: Best practices for a digital ad campaign

 

 

 

Shannon Bohnen, Digital Communications Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group.

Inbound Marketing: Think Like a Buyer

 

We recommend performing keyword research, looking at projected search volumes and competitor metrics then digging into your verticals extensively to find the right keywords for your target audience.

Search engine optimization is a great place to start.

Watch this video to learn how to use the right keywords to drive the right people to your website using inbound marketing and SEO.

Do you want the right website visitors? I am offering an SEO analysis right now at a discounted rate to help your website attract better business leads. Just send me your email in the box below!

     

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    When I think about search engine optimization, I think about two things first. I think about how visitors search for services, and I think about how search engines offer matching results.

    The art of search engine optimization is to make sure that your website is ranking for the right types of keywords.

    If you are an association, a keyword such as “membership” may not work. You might get visitors searching for gym memberships.

    If you are a professional services firm, you probably want to target your service areas and industries rather than generic keywords such as “professional services.”

    Basically, think like a buyer when building your keyword list. But then, you have to monitor who is coming to your site. Are they the right visitors who could become clients?

    Just as important for SEO is what you want visitors to do when they arrive at your site. You have just a few seconds to grab their interest and help them see that you have what they need. Make sure that each page focuses on the visitor and requests an action. They should sign up. Download something. Or contact you. 

    Should I include Keyword Analysis in my Marketing Plan?

    Whether you’re in construction, finance, engineering, architecture or law, keyword analysis should play a central role in your marketing plan.

    Do you know what your clients want? Are their search queries in alignment with your target keywords? When your marketing plan reinforces your keyword strategy, you can be sure you’re giving your clients the information they want, and expect to receive, when visiting your site.

    Watch this video for tips on keeping your keywords fresh and accurate so your brand stays at the top of Google search, from Ingenuity Marketing Digital Communications Consultant Shannon Bohnen.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    When I work on website keyword research for clients, I need to understand who they are trying to attract to their site. For example, a construction firm may only want commercial projects, so I would not include a keyword like “home building” that may attract visitors who want their dream home built.

    Choosing keywords is a science and an art. At the end of the day, you need the right keywords to boost your ranking on search engines like Google. Here is my advice with keywords to get the right visitors to your site:

    • Limit the keywords you want to rank for. Maybe 5-7 keywords in any major service category is a good place to start.
    • Use your keywords in your website content.
    • Review your keyword performance quarterly.
      • Which keywords are getting visitors to your website?
      • Are they the right visitors?
    • Research keywords annually to add to your list or to replace ineffective keywords.

    If you need help with your keyword search and analysis, give us a call here at Ingenuity. We build digital lead strategies specifically for professional services and associations.

    Or you can sign up for our digital audit analysis right on this page. Just say yes to success!

    Get My Digital Analysis

    The New Way of Marketing for Associations: Bring it Online

    What is the secret to gaining new members and retaining current members? Here are a couple of tips for marketing for associations.

    Invite potential members for virtual coffee. Get to know them and in turn they will get to know you and the benefits they’ll receive by becoming a member of your organization.

    Expand your reach by hosting a virtual tradeshow. How can you make sure it’s a success? Watch our video for Dawn’s ideas on keeping attendees engaged throughout the event.

    Do you need a solid strategy custom-built for your niche? Learn more about our marketing for associations services.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below:

    Here are two other ideas that kind of link together. It’s about going virtual.

    You can set up virtual coffee meetings with potential members, and send them a coffee card to sweeten the deal.

    Or, expand your reach from traditional conference or tradeshow and optimize virtual events. Take questions prior to the event to ensure livelier engagement. Book virtual “rooms” for small group discussion.

     

     

    Virtual Business Development Ideas: Five Tips for Follow-ups

    Add this to your pool of virtual business development ideas: follow-up!

    We know, it’s a lot to ask. Your time is valuable. But the truth is, if you spend 15-30 minutes a week following up with leads, you are bridging the gap and reinforcing the connection.

    Ingenuity Marketing principal Dawn Wagenaar is the queen of virtual business development ideas. She attends the conferences, schedules the coffee dates and makes time for her clients – and leads – and ensures everyone is on the same page.

    Her advice: make time for your leads. Then they’ll make time for you.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    One of things I hear most often from prospects is “Dawn, you are always so good about following up!” It seems so simple but, I can’t tell you how many coaching calls I have been on with partners and managers and they have not done the follow-up that was needed. I even hear this in in pipeline meetings.

    If you don’t follow up, you are leaving to chance your opportunity to win the sale.

    You have to do the work in order to get the results. Here are five tips that will help you with your follow up.

    1. Put time on your calendar – even 15 to 30 minutes a week will improve your chances at new business.

    2. Shut your office door so there are no interruptions. If you don’t have an office, find a quiet space with no interruptions.

    3. If you ask a client when you should follow up and they tell you an exact date, be sure to follow through on the date given.

    4. Start developing a personal relationship – ask how they are doing, or bring up a personal detail or work-related question to get to know them better.  This makes them want to get to know you, which in turn builds the relationship.

    5. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. More than likely you will be leaving a voicemail anyway, but they will hear your voice and interest.

    I know this takes time, but it is not as much time as you think. It shows the prospects that you care and that you want them as a client.

    Do you want more leads? I am offering a digital audit analysis for a limited time that will help you attract more business. Just click the link below!

     I WANT LEADS!

     

    Two couples looking at their social media accounts on their mobile phone

    New Techniques for Social Networking and Lead Generation

    Social selling does not need to be a daunting task you set aside for the beginning of next year. You can take small steps toward perfecting your profile, responding to one more person each day and utilizing automation tools to ease the weight of your workload.

    Let’s talk through six techniques you can use to flesh out your next virtual business development social media campaign to meet your lead quota.

    Tip #1: Be Yourself

    This concept has shifted over the last few years. Now, social media platforms want you to use your personal profile to build your brand. What does that mean? It’s time to get personal. Show your LinkedIn followers your work-from-home station, complete with snoozing cat to keep your feet warm.

    If you’re only using social media from the standpoint of your brand’s company profile, then use your style guide to ensure consistency across all posts.

    Personal: Build your personal brand. To keep you on track, build a mood board and include phrases you might use to remind yourself of who you are as a brand. Revisit your personal brand every few years to keep your profiles up-to-date.

    Business: In all likelihood, your firm has a brand style guide. Use this tool to inform your voice, use imagery that best reflects your brand, and this should also include keywords you to use to reinforce your firm’s selling points.

    Tip #2: Respond

    It takes time, and it may heighten your anxiety at first, but you’ll soon get used to utilizing your social media inboxes much the same way as you use Outlook to respond to client requests.

    Facebook: Facebook users treat Messages like phone calls. By this, we mean, they may ping your inbox before picking up the phone to see if you’re open, to inquire about a certain service or anything under the sun.

    If you’re using a social scheduler like Hootsuite, you can respond to messages in multiple accounts from one platform.

    Also, respond to comments. This will become even more important in the coming months, as Facebook phases out current message permanence (think of Snapchat, i.e., how your videos disappear after 24 hours.)

    Personal: It’s easier to respond in a timely manner, when you’re using a personal account. You may need to be using your firm’s IP address when logging in to Lastpass to access the company LinkedIn, for example. That requires physically going to the office, or using a VPN, all of which takes time. The key here is to be prompt in your response. Some people are on social media 24/7 and they expect you to be as well. When using your personal account, remember to be your regular witty, colloquial, emoji-loving self. Try not to be too salesy when schmoozing with potential clients. Save that for the business replies.

    Business: Make sure you have your style guide handy when responding to messages that land in your company inbox. Company messages tend to be brief, and professional. For example, you can respond to an inquiry with a timely reply like this: “Thank you for reaching out to COMPANY XYZ. We will get back to you as soon as we can. Hope you have a pleasant day!” If you go this route, you can use rules to send automatic replies to new inquiries. If there are multiple people accessing the account, make sure you include an identifier like “(~Tiffany, staff accountant)” at the end of your message so the next person knows who responded in the first place.

    Google Business Profile: For businesses only, make sure your messages are turned on in Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business).

    The same goes for reviews. Reviews are integral to your lead generation, social media campaign and business development strategy. According to Qualtrics, 93% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase decision.

    Learn more tips for establishing your online presence in our blog here.

    Tip #3: Automation

    Make the system work for you. You’re busy. When you’re a partner, manager or project manager, utilizing all the tools at your disposal seriously works to your advantage.

    For example: On LinkedIn, you can use Sales Navigator to categorize leads so you know who is a lead and who is a peer from college. You’ll want to talk to them differently.

    You can use a tool like PhantomBuster to reach out to potential clients and “connect” with them. This tool also has the capabilities to automatically send initial messages and replies to connections. This is helpful when you’re crunched for time. You can’t spend all of your time on social media, right?

    Tip #4: Shake It Off

    If a certain platform is not performing, if you’re not seeing any leads from it, and it’s just not proving of any value to you, leave it be.

    One thing we tell clients at the beginning of their social media journey is to focus on one social media platform at a time.

    Tip #5: One at a Time

    You can’t scale every mountain at once, right? You have to learn your tools, possibly even buy tools, figure out if your audience is even on a certain platform, then develop your strategy.

    • Pick Your Platform – For example: You hear everyone is back on Instagram. Should you be on Instagram? Instagram is a visual platform. If you’re selling cupcakes, architectural designs or even nonprofit memberships you may want to consider being on Instagram.

    If you’re a professional service firm, it’s hard to visualize accounting, how to save money on taxes, etc. You could use a tax return image with a text overlay, but that’s not the point of this particular platform. Save the text overlays for your blog’s featured image.

    • Do the Research – Learn the platform. Do the research to see if your target lead generation audience is even on said platform.
    • Strategize – Your followers want to see consistent content. Social media algorithms like consistency. If you post every Wednesday at 2 p.m., you will rank higher in the feed. That’s one element of a good social media strategy: establishing timing.

    Shareable content: Twitter and Facebook algorithms are changing such that even if you’re not friends with someone of necessarily following a certain page, you will see seemingly unrelated content in your feed because a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend commented on it. Make sure your content invites comments and shares.

    Tip #6: Complete Your Profiles

    This includes checking for typos, filling out everything you possibly can (for example: add a cover photo to LinkedIn, take skills tests, etc.) and ensuring your profiles look good. Take a step back, put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes and see if there isn’t something missing that can bring your profile from a B to an A+.

    Ask Your Web Developer About Analytics

    “He who hath not the measurement, hath no reason to doeth it.” Ok, that’s not a real quote, but it’s close. If you can’t measure your impact, why put forth the effort?

    Before everything, every new social selling campaign, every virtual business development deployment, you must have your tracking in place. And tracking is different for every platform, hence the reason why you should tackle one platform at a time.

    High level example: You can simply reference the referral source / medium in Google Analytics to track form submissions (lead capture) back to social media. However, it doesn’t get much more granular than that unless you add a UTM code. When you make this special code – that tells Analytics this lead came from Facebook, at 12:11 a.m., from the image of the architectural sketch, from your New Year’s campaign, from someone who lives in Chicago. This could change your entire strategy. With this information, you may want to segment your campaign to show your posts to a group of night owls vs a group of early risers.

    On the flip side, if that image doesn’t perform, try the campaign again, with a different image. The same goes for timing, copy and more. The key to a successful social media campaign is experimenting.

    If you’re rolling your eyes, that’s because you’re a partner or a manager, not a web developer. Ask your outsourced marketing agency or in-house web dev team to add tracking to any new element you add to your site for lead generation purposes.

    Then you can improve your campaigns to get more leads, which is what we all want at the end of the day.

    As always, let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help you succeed and get the lead!

    One last thing: When you’re the sales manager of a small firm, you could try delegating some of the load to a Brand Ambassador who can help drive even more leads from your combined social media profiles. Read this blog, for more information on that subject.

    Writing with a Robot – Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Can robots handle your content marketing? During a recent webinar hosted by Associations North, a technology enthusiast/consultant gave attendees an update on marketing copywriting tools using artificial intelligence (AI). One of the most popular software tools is called Jarvis, which marketers can use to create blog posts, product descriptions, emails or ad copy. You type in a few keywords, describe the intended audience, tone of voice and other prompts. The tool does the rest.

    The artificial intelligence of Jarvis, and other tools like it, will crawl the Internet and build unique content from the data. Some of the promised uses of these tools include:

      • Creating original, SEO-infused content marketing
      • Writing first drafts faster
      • Boosting digital ad conversion
      • Offering ideas to writers
      • Translating copy into other languages

    Is AI the perfect, infallible answer to your content marketing needs? Can it replace a business ghostwriter? Not yet. The webinar describes AI like a “junior copywriter” who needs supervision. The webinar presenter frequently emphasized that a human writer must still review and maximize the final copywriting.

    Use caution with AI copywriting tools

    One of the cautions about AI copywriting tools is that they are not advanced enough to distinguish true features and benefits from exaggeration. In other words, “AI lies.” Particularly in professional services or marketing for associations, overpromising on client outcomes could create a legal and ethical mess.

    Secondly, artificial intelligence doesn’t always understand intention or business goals for your copywriting. AI-generated content can be very interesting, and it can spark the human writer’s creativity, but it isn’t creative or original in itself. When writing copy for websites, you don’t want your content to sound like every other website.

    Experiment with AI Copywriting Tools

    Before you invest in a monthly subscription* for AI copywriting software such as Jarvis or Rytr, you can experiment with the product demos. Costs can range from about $30/month to several hundred a month. For a free tool to try, Write Cream offers a free monthly demo plan to try out its features.

    As you experiment, think about the ways that AI-supported content marketing can save you or your team time. On fairly simple articles or sales copy, for example, the tools may help you generate a rough draft in minutes. Sometimes it’s easier to maximize existing copy than to stare at a blank page, right?

    Also, the software may help you maximize existing copy to improve SEO strategy. By adding in your preferred keywords, these tools could help with writing multiple responsive ad descriptions or writing copy for websites.

    As you experiment, the tool will learn from your inputs and should produce better results over time. That might seem either creepy or exciting to you. Either way, it’s how AI works. It continues to learn and adapt.

    We will revisit this topic to give you an update on new tools for creative content marketing. If you have questions about SEO strategy or hiring a business ghostwriter, contact us at Ingenuity.

    *Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC does not endorse or receive compensation from mentioning any marketing copywriting tool in this blog post, and this blog post is not intended as professional advice. Readers should use their best judgement and read terms for use of any subscription-based digital marketing tools.

    More Insights: Proposals Copywriting and Design Tips

     

     

    3 Marketing Mistakes Engineering Firms Make

    When creating an elevator speech for networking purposes, we were taught to say our name, our role, the company and the services offered. Unfortunately, this habit of focusing on services has leaked into every area of marketing. Especially in professional services marketing, many firms end up looking and sounding the same.

    Consider engineering firms. They can describe their engineering, design, surveying or consulting services, but that doesn’t give a potential client much differentiating value. Offering service descriptions is the number one mistake when marketing for engineering firms. This mistake is also why firm leaders don’t believe that websites support leads and business development.  

    Digging into this mistake further, it’s not wrong to describe your services. Just don’t stop there. Collect and show evidence for your best-in-class services as part of consistent outcome-based research, strategic marketing and messaging.

    Let’s look at two other mistakes that lead firms to fall back on service descriptions as their only form of marketing.

    Mistake #2: Inconsistent Marketing

    Inconsistent marketing can mean two things. It can mean that your marketing messages don’t match your actual deliverables and results. It can also mean that you only pursue marketing when you’re not busy with client work or chasing proposals.

    Solve this mistake by investing in marketing with a designated budget that includes an in-house or outsourced marketing professional. In addition, this professional will focus most of the time on marketing with only a portion devoted to developing proposals. Following a consistent marketing plan tied to firm business goals is a great place to start.

    To create your marketing plan, discuss your best-in-class results. Where do your clients derive the most value from your services? What problems and challenges do you solve regularly on projects? Who are your superstar professionals whose technical and management skills are lauded by clients? What are those skills?

    Read: Competitive research for differentiation

    As you look at what your firm does best beyond delivering projects on time and on budget, your messaging will emerge to support web copy, advertising and differentiation in your proposals.

    In a recent series of client of client interviews we conducted, we heard competitive themes about the firm’s reputation among key government agencies for bringing stakeholders together on a project. That message certainly goes beyond service descriptions.

    You can identify competitive differentiatiors when you invest in consistent research, marketing strategy and messaging that describes the outcomes you achieve.

    Mistake #3: Not Tracking Project Results Along the Way

    Because projects take months and even years to complete, it’s important to document positive outcomes throughout the project and keep your marketing professional in the loop. Too often, marketers are left trying to catch up at the close of a project when some of those amazing solutions and experiences are forgotten.

    In the early stages and middle stages of projects, put your marketing hat on. You are listening for repeatable experiences that are unique to your team. Ask about ways that your team went above and beyond to solve a challenge or when they utilized a new process or material to manage the timeline or project budget.

    Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

    Tip: Prepare your questions for a project debrief that include marketing questions.

    Ideally, your marketing professional can brainstorm with project managers and technical professionals on challenges overcome, solutions delivered and new technologies utilized. Down the road, these progress reports will support a strong project case study, award submission or testimonials. In the meantime, progress reports can fuel stories for social media or blog posts! An in-progress image coupled with a short story about how your team is moving a project forward can provide the real-life evidence that enhances your traditional service descriptions.

    For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

    For more tips on marketing for engineering firms, contact us at Ingenuity.

    GET TO KNOW THE TEAM!


     

    Marketing Content and Sales Content: What’s the Difference?

    Professional services firms and associations create marketing content and sales content to reach their goals. Marketing content builds credibility while sales content persuades and asks for new business. When should you use marketing content? When should you focus on sales content?

    Communications Consultant Christine Nelson gives examples of marketing content and sales content in this video. You need both types of content, but learn why marketing and sales content are not the same thing! 


    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    What is the difference between marketing content and sales content? It is sometimes confusing to tell the difference, but there is a difference.

    Marketing content is written to educate and interest your potential clients. It should offer a glimpse of your knowledge, your approach, and even your firm’s personality. You will see marketing content in blog posts and social posts, on your website’s homepage, and as part of your public relations.

    When should you use marketing content? You should educate and engage your audience with marketing content when they are new visitors and as they begin to consider becoming a client or a member. Sales content, on the other hand, is about influence and persuasion. It’s written in a way to get your potential clients to take action. Sales content should share the features and benefits of working with your firm or association and then ask for a conversation, a download, or attendance.

    Persuasive sales content is for prospects that are deeper into their consideration. It can be in the form of sales sheets that discuss the features and benefits of your service or an assessment for a nominal fee. While marketing content establishes your credibility, sales content gets specific about your desire to work with new clients and why you are the best option.

    Often marketing content and sales content work together, especially when you can’t talk to your leads in person. For example, a blog post can educate a visitor about new legislation, but at the end of the blog post you can include some sales content to invite the visitor to have a conversation or to explore your services further through an assessment. After you host marketing events such as a seminar, your sales content could be the carefully-written emails that encourage a conversation with your team.

    As you can see, marketing and sales content should work together, but they aren’t the same. If you have questions about how to create the right balance between marketing and sales content, contact us at Ingenuity.

    Here is an example of branding messages woven into an ad campaign for credibility and prospecting.

    INVITE US TO SPEAK


     

    Accounting Marketing Campfire: Content Marketing Trends

    Recently, we served as the subject matter experts on a virtual networking call with the national Association for Accounting Marketing.

    We picked up some tips and trends for accounting firm marketing to share with you. Here they are in no particular order:

    Use content marketing scheduling tools.

    Many of the accounting marketers discussed their approach to scheduling content and making sure they have a plan each month, especially when last-minute content is added.

    Tools mentioned included a separate calendar in Outlook to coordinate their team and to plot in content deadlines. Others use project workflow tools such as Monday.com and Airtable.

    For some marketers, it helps to create a theme for the month or quarter, tied to your marketing keywords or to the firm’s business goals. Then address the types of content you will create and how often each month.

    How many blog posts is the right amount per month? We advised that frequency of any content is less important than the quality of content and your firm’s marketing goals. You will learn how frequently you should post and promote new content by what your analytics are telling you through the year. Let that data inform how you schedule content for the coming year.

    Plus, it’s ok to repeat content for people who may have missed it the first time!

    Make content creation competitive or required.

    Marketers still struggle with the age-old challenge of getting their practice leaders or technical experts to help them develop new content, let alone write it, create a video or participate in a podcast.

    The Association for Accounting Marketing members had some great answers for that issue. One idea is to make it a competition and instill the fear of missing out (FOMO) among different practice groups. Another is to request content from directors or managers rather than busy partners, those in your firm who are eager to establish their own reputations and books of business.

    A final idea is to have content creation required. Top leadership can direct this activity as part of the firm culture. If each leader contributed an idea or article a month, marketing would be a whole lot easier.

    Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose.

    Once accounting marketers get ideas and/or content from the subject matter experts, they all agreed that their job is to use that content in as many ways as possible. A blog post can become a speaking topic or magazine pitch. A video script can become a blog post. A longer video can be mined for micro-video clips to share on social media, and the audio portion can become a podcast.

    When practice group leaders realize that one small effort can produce massive visibility for their team, they may be more willing to offer ideas and keep the party going.

    Be mindful of the experts’ preferences because some of them are better at writing while others have a great personality for video and presentations. Play to their strengths, and they will gain confidence.

    Hire a business ghostwriter.

    It was interesting to learn that most mid-sized accounting firms have a ghostwriter on call to help them produce the volume of content they need each month. It makes sense from a capacity standpoint, but also for the ease of interviewing subject matter experts.

    The accounting marketers said that you need a professional to draw out the ideas and key points from the practice group. Your technical experts have the knowledge, but an experienced ghostwriter is focused on the marketing angle and your audience.

    READ: How to develop a content marketing strategy

    The Association for Accounting Marketing is the principal organization for accounting firm marketing in the U.S., and their annual conference is anticipated and actively attended. It was a privilege to participate in their “campfire” conversation about content marketing for accounting firms.

    Your content marketing approach can benefit by taking time to network with other marketing leaders. At the very least, you can learn what other marketers are doing to solve common challenges, such as getting your practice leaders to create content!

    Take time for networking opportunities, and let us know if you have any questions about content marketing or ghostwriting services.

    You may also like our blog post about virtual networking.