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4 Ideas for your Association Marketing

Build your digital presence as a professional association by being a member resource as well as strategic with your marketing visibility. In this video for association marketing, Principal Dawn Wagenaar talks about four ways that professional association leaders and marketers can ramp up their outreach to existing and potential members.

It’s more important than ever to be visible to your audience online. Learn how.

Read the video transcript:

Association marketing is an exciting and challenging place to be, whether you are new to associations or a longtime leader.

The race to attract and retain members has ramped up. Many associations have also had significant leadership changes. The technology for marketing has also changed.

This presents an opportunity. And I want to introduce four ideas for you to consider in your association marketing. 

The first is a digital ad campaign. You have to approach it a little bit differently compared to print ads, but digital ads can work really well for attracting members.

For example, consider a LinkedIn ad campaign where you offer a valuable article or white paper when they click your ad. You can capture emails when the downloadable content is really enticing.

The second idea is DIY toolkits. Send an email that introduces a valuable toolkit to prospective and current members. The toolkit should help them navigate a common need or issue in their industry.

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 a 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.

These are just a few ways to get creative with your association marketing. Call me at Ingenuity if you have questions or need help. 

See this related blog post about fostering brand loyalty. Don’t miss the link at the end!

Why Your Blog Content Needs SEO for Visibility

Writing content for your blog and website is just one part of an effective content marketing strategy. You need a good SEO strategy for your content to be found organically online. In this video, hear from Christine Nelson, Communications Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group, as she shares some important considerations when it comes to your SEO strategy and how keyword research and technical elements are critical elements in this strategy.

Get some easy tips to improve your website’s search engine optimization with the SEO Checklist on our resources page.

If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Do you write content for your website? Then you probably know that fresh content is a great way to bring visitors to your website to learn about your services. If you are writing a blog post or two…or more a month, that’s great. Keep doing that. But I also urge you to step up your game with search engine optimization.

Due to the volume of new content produced every day on the Internet, your great content will get lost without SEO. SEO is a broad term for many things that search engines consider when sending visitors to your site. These include user experience, mobile friendliness, and a number of other technical aspects like website page speed and website security. Just to name a few. 

They also look at the trustworthiness of the content and they look at how many other quality sources, also known as backlinks, are pointing to your content. You can optimize your blog posts in several ways.

First, do keyword research for the services and topics you want to write about so that you have a better chance of people organically finding your content through their online searches.

You also need to think about your reasons for writing content. Is it to inform visitors about important information? OK, but is it also tied into the services you provide? Your blog content needs a strategy that informs, but also leads visitors to a decision. Otherwise, that’s a lot of energy spent with less hope for new business.

As we’ve found with clients who request SEO help for their blog, it’s also best to optimize your content while it’s being 
written rather than after it’s posted. What I mean is, don’t forget about the back-end of your blog post. Elements like page titles, meta descriptions, header tags and alt text will help search engines and visitors know if a search result is a good fit for them.

In my experience as a ghostwriter, writing a blog post is the easy part. But to get more visitors viewing your content and learning about your firm, you also need SEO built right into it. Otherwise, your website might be invisible to great potential clients.

Interested in learning more?  Call us at Ingenuity.

Take control of Your Firm's Website Content and Site Updates.

Take Control of Your Firm’s Website: Content and Site Updates

When we get asked to consult on a website or begin working with new clients, we often come across situations where they don’t have control of all their digital assets, websites are not updated regularly or outdated themes are still being used. These situations can affect website security and SEO, putting your firm or association at risk.

In this video, Robert Wasiluk, design consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group, discusses the differences between a hosting service and web management service. He also shares some of the technical aspects of a website that firm leaders and marketers need to keep in mind. Afterall, it’s not just about the pretty colors and sleek design.

Do you enjoy Robert’s videos? Check out this next video to hear how you can refresh your brand with color.

If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

How do you know when it’s time to do technical updates on your website? Maybe it’s something you don’t think about as a firm leader or marketer because your website host should handle that, right?

Well, we’ve seen situations where sites are not optimized regularly, leading to lower visibility on search engines, page errors, and outdated themes that make it difficult to add content.

A hosting service is different from a web management service. Your site host is the company that has agreed to let your website “live” on its server. A web management service will actually work with you to update your site and make recommendations for content optimization.

Can you do site optimization in-house right now? Is your in-house IT team well versed on how content should be optimized for marketing? Or are you stuck with an unresponsive vendor that you call every time you want to do a design update or add a photo? 

When we develop and optimize websites at Ingenuity, we don’t host the sites. But we do strategize on the best methods for your firm to keep your site updated and in good working order.

Actually, you work directly with me on those updates. 

The danger of not updating your site with regular maintenance and SEO is that search engines like Google will stop displaying your site as a search result. That’s bad. You could have great content, and no one is seeing it!

When is it time to make sure that your site is SEO optimized and easy to perform back-end updates? Don’t wait until there are technical difficulties.

Schedule regular updates on the back end of your site that actually support your marketing efforts, and call Ingenuity if you have questions about how tech and marketing should work together.


What is a Digital Marketing Agency video title slide.

What is a Digital Marketing Agency?

When you partner with a digital marketing agency, you want to receive not just the work as promised, but recommendations on how to optimize your digital marketing to impact your lead generation. Your firm needs strong digital marketing consulting. In this video, hear from Dawn Wagenaar, Principal at Ingenuity Marketing Group, as she shares some important considerations about what professional services firms need when working with a digital marketing agency.

Check out these ideas as a way to personalize your firm’s values and experiences with clients and prospects.

If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Several years ago, Ingenuity worked through a strategic process to define the future of our agency. As you may have guessed, it included digital marketing.

Today, we help many of our clients develop campaigns that include social media, eblasts, SEO strategy, digital ad campaigns and other automated communications.

But professional services continue to be about relationships. When you are looking for assistance with fresh communications to support new business development, how do you evaluate a great digital marketing agency?

First of all, the agency should understand how buyers select professional services. It’s not product marketing. Your deliverables are different. Your digital campaigns must speak to why they need your service. What pain are you solving?

Next, the campaign must connect to your sales process. Who will follow up on campaign results and evaluate how to improve it? It goes beyond printing monthly data reports. You want your agency to translate visitor and buyer behavior for marketing as well as sales.

As a business owner myself, I’m not sold on complete automation of marketing and sales for professional services. But I do believe that your content should include strong keywords and search engine optimization – for every blog post, service page and video!

That way, your content is working for you to attract leads.

A great digital marketing agency must combine a strong business consulting strategy for professionals with a technical understanding of how people find and choose your content.

Anything less? Keep shopping. 


Video title slide for 3 Ways You Can Retain Talent Through Brand Positioning.

3 Ways to Retain Talent Through Brand Positioning

Recognizing the talents of your team can go a long way in retaining your best employees and recruiting new talent. In addition, happy employees are the key to great client service. In this video, hear from Dawn Wagenaar, Principal at Ingenuity Marketing Group, as she shares how brand positioning can help your professional services firm retain key employees.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

As a business owner, I know how important it is to recognize and promote the talents of my team. But with project management deadlines and business development, it can be easy to forget this important piece of talent retention — and recruitment.

Happy employees are the key to client service and recruitment. Here are a few ways to recognize them. These ideas will help you attract more great employees.

How about going social? Create some “meet the team” posts on your social media channels. Share a photo of an employee and talk about why this person is great. Choose employees by lottery or start by featuring your leaders.

A second idea is to include younger team members as authors or presenters. Use a ghostwriter or outsourced vendor to help them write a blog post or develop a video.   They might need some initial coaching or art direction, but it’s a great way to showcase your team’s diversity and personalities.

Here’s one more idea. Nominate them for awards. Some of your team members are doing amazing things inside and outside the office. Look for ways to nominate them for industry awards, community or business awards in your region. If you need help investigating your options, you can outsource this public relations task.

A great reputation attracts more talent! Recognize your employees, and word will get around!


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Is Your Website Compliant? ADA and Voice Search

Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk has developed websites on various platforms for years, and the technology is always changing to match user demands as well as speed and accuracy of search results. However, websites also need marketing updates to help users find what they need, determine that your services are a good match and take action. In this video, Robert talks about a couple reasons why you may need the support of an outsourced marketing consultant to “tune up” your website’s technology for marketing purposes.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Have you looked at your website lately? I don’t mean just the content and design, but the structure, too. A lot has changed with websites in just the past two years.

You might find that your website is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act or it’s not set up to prepare for stricter marketing opt-out regulations. The problem is that search engines are downgrading sites that don’t include things like image descriptions and clear relevance to the topics being searched.

The bottom line. Your website may need a tune-up.

I know that a lot of firms and associations have internal or outsourced technology teams, but those professionals may not have the skills or knowledge to optimize your site for marketing.

For example, voice search is becoming more important for your potential clients and members to find you — literally. How your site is set up for voice search questions is another reason to keep your website marketing ready.

I do a lot of websites here at Ingenuity, so if you have any questions regarding your website, contact me at www.ingenuitymarketing.com.  


Why Should Your New Leaders Get Brand Training? video header

Why Should Your New Leaders Get Brand Training?

Clearly defined brand positioning and training is highly critical for firms and organizations to understand how they are unique from their competition and to articulate the value they provide to their clients. In this video, hear from Communications Consultant, Christine Nelson, as she shares about the importance of brand positioning for professional service firms and organizations. Her advice includes revisiting your brand positioning often; brand training for leaders and new staff and creating target personas.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

When we conduct research with clients and referral sources, we are looking for common themes about how a firm or organization is different from its competition. But we also pick up other things in these surveys and interviews. For example, we might learn that some clients only know about the services they use. There isn’t any cross servicing opportunity.

We see the same thing with our association research. Staff members aren’t always clear the difference from their competitors, so it’s hard for them to share that difference with potential members.

These are just some reasons why you should conduct brand training with newly promoted or hired leaders.

They are the face of your firm on social media, in networking conversations and with new prospect queries. Even if they have worked there a long time, a promotion puts them in a different mindset about how to promote your firm or organization. Newly hired leaders also need to know how to approach recruitment and prospecting.

So here is my advice:

Once or twice a year, revisit your brand positioning. Review your messages. Are they still accurate? Do they feel right? Has something changed?

Schedule a time to train newer leaders and staff on why your firm or organization is different and the types of prospects you are looking for. You could help them create some sales questions to qualify prospects.

If you need help creating target personas or branded messaging, you can talk to Ingenuity! Help your leaders confidently promote your firm or organization.


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Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Unified standards are crucial for creating a brand that is memorable. How your logo is used digitally and in print can affect your brand perception with clients and prospects. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk as he shares how a logo kit and style guide help create consistency for your brand.

Your color and logo looks sharp, but does your brand need a better story?
Check out our storytelling guide to get tips.

If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Create a Powerful Brand Identity

Does your firm use a logo kit and style guide for visual identity consistency and recognition? These are important tools in communicating your brand effectively.

But what is a logo kit? A logo kit consists of your logo saved in a variety of file formats so your brand identity will stay consistent across different media formats. High resolution native Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files are mainly used for print related materials. JPG, PNG and GIF files are mainly used for the web and presentations.

A style guide works in conjunction with a logo kit and is a set of standards for the design of print documents, website pages, signage and other formats that would include your visual brand identifier. The reason for a style guide is to ensure complete uniformity in style and formatting wherever your brand is used. Some of the items it covers are proper logo formats and their usages, official fonts and color palettes and other elements such as your brand voice, styles of photography and artwork that can be used. 

These standards are crucial for building a memorable brand, one that is easily recognizable and brings a clear sense of reliability and security. It also helps everyone in a firm and vendors of a firm stay on the same page, and present a unified brand to the public.


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Refresh Your Brand with Color

As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign. In this video, hear from Design Consultant Robert Wasiluk and learn what colors represent for your brand.


If you prefer to read the video transcript, you may find it below:

Refresh Your Brand with Color

Does your visual brand need a color reboot? As a marketer, it’s important when creating a brand to explore how the psychology of color sends the right message to prospective clients. Choosing the right combination of colors will help your audience know who you are and what you do. Choosing the wrong colors can be detrimental to a company or campaign.

Here is a list of primary colors and some of the color philosophy behind them.

For many of our service firm clients we see a predominate use of the color blue, which shows up in 33% of the top brands of the world. The color Blue is commonly used to convey trust, security and confidence. It’s also thought to put people at ease as it reminds them of the sky and ocean.

Red is also another popular branding color. It evokes warmth, passion and stimulates appetites. Restaurant food chains like McDonald’s and Red Lobster use it for that very reason. It’s also great for capturing attention.

Yellow is an ideal color choice for brands looking to instill positivity into their identity. It’s often associated with the sun and its different shades can help bring out hope and optimism. Yellow is often used in point of sale messaging, as it is proven to catch the eye quicker than any other color.

The color green is easiest on our eyes to read. It is a pleasing shade often used to convey calm and rest. Darker tones of green are connected with money and wealth. Like all colors, green has a negative side. It can often symbolize sickness, luck and jealousy.

Having a visual identity with a strong color philosophy behind it is crucial. It can make or break a brand or a campaign. If you’d like us to help analyze your brand’s colors, feel free to contact us through our website at www.ingenuitymarketing.com.

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Five Email Marketing Tips for Leads

Spam is getting smarter. Your firm must work harder to ensure that clients are opting into your newsletters and eblasts. But what about prospects? This video will help you ensure that emails are personal and informative — and not annoying to the people you want to reach.

In this video, Leah Spielman, marketing consultant, shares five tips for lead generation. We’ll talk about subject lines, pre-header text and great headlines as well as how often you should communicate. Watch to get five tips that can improve your email marketing.

There are many ways to follow-up with prospects. Get five ways to stay in front or your prospects. Convert leads into clients.

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

It is imperative that your e-mail communications are personal and informative. Spam is getting smarter and end users are overloaded with e-mail. So, to ensure that your e-mails are engaging, I have a few tips for you.

Number one: test your audience. If your email tool allows for A/B testing, try it! Write 2 different subject lines. I like to run the test on 50% of the audience. The winning subject line is sent to the remaining 50%. We recently did an A/B test and it turns out the title of the main article as the subject line won over saying ìInGenius Review ñ June 2019î. Take what you learn and use it for future e-mails .

Number two: Utilize pre-header text! This is a great way to tell the reader what to expect when they open your email. Use it to promote another topic from your e-mail.

Number three: Talk about the recipient. Why does it matter for them? How are they impacted? Use ìYour Key Tax Considerations for 2019î as a subject line instead of ìOur important tax tips for 2019.î

Number four: Be consistent. Whatever you do, donít just do it once and except your audience to engage. Start small and be consistent ñ send a quarterly e-newsletter with a main article and then a client focus or highlight piece. When that is going well, add in monthly e-newsletters that focus on industry news and topics your audience cares about.

Number five: Use automation. Even the most basic e-mail tools have automation features including welcome series emails, follow-up emails and segmentation. Start small and set up a series of 3 e-mails to introduce new clients to your firm. An advanced e-mail marketing system like Hubspot, Infusionsoft or Marketo have more advanced automation features such as lead scoring.

E-mail marketing is a powerful tool when used correctly. It allows you direct access to your audience without a lot of algorithms getting in the way. Use these tips to bring your e-mail marketing to the next level.