marketing strategy

Five Tips For a Great Content Calendar

A content calendar is non-negotiable for any digital marketing manager. They may be simple in theory, but in practice they can be hard to create, and even harder to stick to. Today, we wanted to take some time to talk about some tips and tricks to ensure your content calendar is helping you manage your both your content and time as efficiently as possible.

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Consolidate Your Content Into One Shared Calendar

A social media manager has one calendar, a copywriter is scheduling blogs on another, marketing managers keep track of events in yet another timeline, and so on. Not only is this messy, but it’s not conducive to effective communication within a team. Instead, try using a spreadsheet or calendar each team member has access to and can update as needed; this way, everyone is aware of what each other is working on without having to explain it. Change can be hard, but encouraging everyone to work on the sole calendar will not only help productivity, but it will also help with organization and teamwork.


Schedule Out Content in Advance

Additionally, using one shared calendar eliminates the risk of disseminating too much content at once and causing it to get lost in the shuffle. If you see that a blog post is going up on a Friday morning, you’d be better off scheduling an IG Live Q&A at a different time, this way, the two pieces aren’t competing for traffic. This also helps with consistency and establishing a routine. People like to know what’s coming, so let them know when they can expect a new post, blog, video, etc. so they’re on the lookout for it.


Establish a Content Marketing Strategy

Contrary to what some may believe, a content calendar is not the same thing as a content marketing strategy. The calendar is a visual representation that merely spells out your approach whereas the strategy itself is pinpointing how and to whom you want to market. Gather your marketing department and have a brainstorm session. Who is your target audience? What kind of content do they want to see? What platforms do they prefer? These are just a few of the questions an effective content marketing strategy will answer. This also helps to align the team and make sure everyone has the same goal and vision to put forward when generating new content. Perception is reality, and it’s essential to ensure your brand isn’t spouting out conflicting messages.

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Keep the Calendar Updated

Too often, marketers build out their calendar and then grow complacent and forget to make sure their practices are still up-to-date and innovative. As we have said so many times, digital marketing is continually evolving, thus so too should your strategy. Live video, blogging, video marketing, social media marketing, these are all factors that digital marketers barely had to think about even five years ago. And we can be sure that at this moment, new tools and technologies we aren’t even aware of yet are being developed, hence the need to stay mindful of capitalizing on new trends and building them into your existing content marketing strategy.


Be Flexible

You can spend hours brainstorming with your team and think you’ve come up with the most successful strategy of all time, but then come to find out it didn’t translate to your audience the way you expected it to. It happens; it’s the reason we see flops like the infamous Pepsi ad debacle. This is where flexibility comes in. Play damage control, talk about what went wrong and then make a new plan. In this same capacity, you should be amenable to adding in content when relevant. Keep an open dialogue and encourage team members to come forward when they have an idea they think will really resonate with the audience.

For help creating a robust content calendar and content marketing strategy, contact us today.





Understanding How to Market to Different Generations

Labeling the different generations has long been an American pastime, particularly when people are trying to justify or explain specific characteristics. And while it may be fun to poke fun at Millennials and blame us for killing the napkin industry, the truth is understanding how each generation thinks has become a key component in marketing. Recently, some industry insiders have even been coining the term “generational marketing” as a way to modernize marketing strategies. By breaking down and understanding how to connect with the different audiences, you’re gaining a competitive advantage in allowing customers to feel like you know them.

Traditionalists or the Silent Generation (1945 and earlier)

The oldest living generation in the U.S. is often described as conservative, hard-working and resilient. They grew up in a time of crisis as their lives were heavily influenced by the Great Depression and both World Wars. And just like their label--they are quite traditional, meaning they’re not interested in any kind of flashy, high-tech advertising tactics. These are the people who still wake up every day and actually read the newspaper. While some would say this group has become a niche demographic, the fact is they still have purchasing power, and thus must be accounted for when strategizing marketing concepts.

Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

Also known as the “me” generations, these are the people who are slowly starting to embrace the digital age but still appreciate a good voicemail or face-to-face conversation. Although Millennials are on track to surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the next few years, baby boomers continue to have the most purchasing power. They’re heading into retirement and tend to have significantly higher disposable incomes compared to Millennials, many of whom are bogged down by debt. This demographic spends the most across all product categories, yet are targeted by just five to 10 percent of marketing. If businesses took advantage of putting effort and funds into capturing this group’s attention, they would be poised to emerge as a marketing leader.


Generation X (1965-1980)

Of all of the groups, Gen X is continually the hardest to categorize. Sandwiched between two larger generations that are vastly different from one another, millennials and baby boomers, Gen Xers can often be overlooked. In a 2010 survey, Pew Research asked adults of all ages if they thought their own generation was unique, about six in 10 Boomers and Millennials said yes, while only approximately half of Gen Xers said the same. They aren’t worried about themselves, or what makes them special, they’re concerned about their young children and securing their futures. For this reason, marketing targeted toward Gen X should be less about them and their needs or wants, and more about promoting stable family life.


Millennials (1981-1995)

Ah yes, the “special snowflakes” that everyone else seems to love to hate so much. Millennials are known for having a sense of entitlement, something instilled in us by our Baby Boomer parents and a lifetime’s supply of participation trophies. Bad reputation aside, we’re also an emerging opportunity for marketers that businesses can’t afford to ignore. Millennials possess a collective $600 billion in purchasing power each year, a number that is expected to grow into the trillions by 2020. We are also motivated by recommendations from family and friends and attracted to easy shopping, i.e., online shopping. When making a purchasing decision, we look to reviews from other customers and will do anything for free shipping. All advertising and marketing campaigns should also always be optimized for mobile viewing as 52 percent of Millennials use smartphones for shopping and browsing.

Based on a recent study by Bankrate, millennials are 64% more likely to feel pressure to overspend. Check out this guide Bankrate created to help millennials balance their social life and finances.

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Generation Z (1996 and later)

Millennials may be very tech savvy, but it’s nothing compared to this digital generation. They were born into an age where they cannot even imagine life without a cell phone, let alone without Wi-Fi. The most socially conscious and diverse generation, they also are more inclined to interact with companies they believe in. With Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter quite literally at their fingertips, they will be quick to judge a company’s authenticity based on their social media presence. They have an average "eight-second filter" to gauge whether something is worth their attention. The youngest generation also tends to gravitate toward getting information quickly without having to actually speak to anyone, think short explainer videos and social media campaigns.


At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that not all marketing is created equally and what may resonate with one person could offend another. But the best way to combat this is to understand the different demographics and make educated decisions in your marketing campaigns. At EMB, we work with each client individually to come up with a custom marketing strategy tailored to their target audience.






Am I Budgeting Enough for Marketing in 2019?

We don’t know about y’all, but here at EMB we can’t believe it’s already almost November! Where did 2018 go? As the year comes to an end, many relax, but the wise prepare for the year to come. If you are interested in the continuous upward growth of your brand, then you are most likely planning out your marketing budget for 2019, though if you have not done so yet, no need to fret. This blog post will not only help you begin the brainstorming process, but also force you to answer some challenging self-evaluating questions.

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Where are Other Companies Spending Their Marketing Budget?

There are a few key concerns when gauging where you should allocate more or less money into your marketing budget, the first being what are other companies spending their marketing budgets on? Which form of marketing is the most popular and yields the most significant reaction from my targeted audience? According to Forbes, we should expect to see more money being spent on influencer marketing and content marketing to help continue to build relationships and add value to them in 2019. This assertion correlates well when read in conjunction with articles that provide data displaying that 82 percent of businesses will increase their digital marketing budget by 50 percent.

Simply put, companies are spending more of their marketing budget on digital marketing as opposed to paper and print marketing, and more specifically, budgeting for more visual content with fewer words. The trend is to follow the traits of the audience, 85 percent of whom are watching videos on a daily basis. Specifically, how-to videos have been said to increase conversions on a webpage by as much as 80 percent.


Are My Marketing Efforts Working?

This question is a difficult one to answer if you do not necessarily know how to track your progress. One way to do it would be to look at how many sales you generate in a month compared to the amount you spend monthly on marketing. This equation may be harder to use for a business that has not quite started rolling in dollars, but still very well may be experiencing a return on their investment via the new relationships they are forming and the traffic they are generating. Other things to look out for when determining whether your marketing efforts are actually working are: lead generation, brand awareness, engagement, lead nurturing, sales, customer retention and building an audience through subscriptions. Furthermore, analyzing where your traffic is sourcing from will help you determine where the money you spend is leading people back to you the most; whether it be postcards, e-mails, videos or blog posts. Once you have an idea about the way in which people are finding you, you can then begin to focus more on those avenues in the hopes of continuously increasing traffic.

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Preparing for a new year is a necessary evil, and allows even the best of the best to take a moment to reflect on their highlights and downfalls. Fortunately, this daunting task can be made easy with the help of tools such as this free 2019 Digital Marketing Budget Calculator. With the upcoming year just on the horizon, do not be afraid to adopt the “out with the old, and in with the new” mentality. Staying on trend is the name of the game. Visit our homepage to learn more about how we at EMB can help you strategize your 2019 marketing plan.



Negative Online Reviews? No Problem!

You may have read this title once, and then needed to reread it a couple of times. Fortunately, your eyes do not deceive you! As a business owner, those five golden stars sparkle like those in the night sky. In the instance that you lose one of your stars due to a negative review from an unsatisfied customer, you may begin to feel inadequate or as if you have done something completely wrong and there is no coming back from it, but no need to fret! This post will provide you with a new take on negative reviews, and how you can use them to your advantage.

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Perfection Is Not Realistic

Before you make a decision on anything, whether it be where to have dinner or which facial wash will work better for your skin, you probably didn’t make your decision until you have thoroughly read online reviews. What do these online reviews do for you as a consumer? Which one do you prefer more, the reviews that you read online, or perhaps word-of-mouth reviews you receive from your trusted friends and family? Regardless, statistics show that only 42 percent of people allow their friends and family to influence their purchase, while 68 percent of consumers report that online reviews have a more significant influence on their investment.

So what exactly does this tell us about negative reviews? This means that consumers are looking closely at reviews, but not in the way that you may expect. Sure, positive reviews are great for a company, and as a business owner, you don’t want to miss out on the 72 percent of people who take action after reading a positive review. But by the same token, too many positive reviews can be seen as “fake news” to the consumer and essentially scare them away from making the commitment. A negative review can make your business seem more realistic and trustworthy. Ultimately, a negative review can give the potential consumer a look at what could go wrong and allow them the opportunity to decide if it matters to them.

You Control the Narrative

As a business owner, your perspective is highly determinable of your success in that it can be a direct indicator of how you handle stressful situations. Think of a negative review as being the common cold of consumer relations! Almost every business will review a negative report (unless they are paying for only positive ones), but not every company will address the negative review in a way that can propel their business to the next level. This is a perfect opportunity to stand out amongst you direct competitors.

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One crucial thing to decipher prior to responding to a negative comment is assessment. Remember that people are people and sometimes are just looking for something to complain about, attention, or perhaps money. Other consumers are genuinely attempting to voice their concerns and hold the brand accountable. The former is not the type of reviews you should respond to, especially if they are inappropriate or offensive. A response here may place your brand in the same light as the person who wrote the review: immature. The negative reviews of substance are worth replying to because you are then in a position to control the narrative. Let the customer know you are hearing them and care about their opinion. At EMB, we welcome all customer reviews because we want to provide the best possible service for our clients.



Branding At Its Finest—Cult Brand: Apple

It seems every time you visit the Apple website these days, there’s yet another new product/update/technology ready to be swept up by the millions of Apple users around the world. When the first iPhone premiered in 2007, it retailed starting at $499—half the price of the brand’s latest iPhone X, which ranges from $999 up to $1,149 making it the most expensive iPhone to date. Yet, they still have us lining up around the world ready and willing to fork over our hard earned cash just because there’s something newer and shinier on the conveyor belt. Today, we’ll be taking a look at how Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took Apple from a garage and turned it into one of the most successful cult brands in the world.   

After the iPhone made its debut, it wasn’t long before competing brands released their own versions of smartphones. While the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel have their fair share of buyers, iPhone sales still top the charts. In 2017, 13 million iPhone 7’s were shipped around the world putting it as the #1 smartphone of the year. In a distant second was the iPhone 6 with 7.9 million units sold, and Samsung just cracked the top three spot with 7.8 million shipments of their Galaxy J2. When you break down the specs of each of the devices, they’re not all that different. In fact, there are plenty of people out there who argue the iPhone is staunchly inferior to its counterparts, but still, Apple says jump and we ask how high—or rather, how much?

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The now iconic partially eaten apple has become a symbol synonymous with luxury and self-fulfillment; and thanks to payment plans, you don’t even have to be particularly affluent to afford the latest and greatest tech accessory. Now you and celebrities can have the same phone, at the same time. Yet, when you take a look at how Apple markets, whether it be their landing page, store layouts, commercials, etc., only one word comes to mind: simplicity. They let their products speak for themselves. They don’t tell you the camera is better, they show you the camera is better by portraying ordinary people capturing extraordinary photos. Instead of telling you the phone is waterproof, they simply put it underwater. Their marketing techniques don’t make you feel like you want the new iPhone, they make you feel like you need it.

Apple has become so intertwined in the average adult’s life because they focus on creating products that will simplify your life and seamlessly become a part of your daily routine. They took a walkman and turned it into a small rectangle that could hold thousands of songs. From there, they decided to have to tote around both an iPod and a phone was too inconvenient; thus the iPhone was born. They took their famed Macbook and decided maybe it was too bulky for someone always on the go and gave us the option to start using the iPad as a lighter alternative. We’re all a part of the Apple community because they’re making products with the everyday person in mind. They are at the forefront of innovation, releasing new technology before we even ask for it.

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The tech industry giant has even become one of the highest-selling watchmakers in the world, they even outsold the entire Swiss Watch industry in 2017. There’s an Apple product for nearly every piece of technology, guaranteeing compatibility between devices, so why not just become loyal to them? Thanks to customer loyalty, Apple doesn’t need to drop millions of dollars on advertising; every one of their customers is a walking advertisement. Unique marketing strategies are game changers in the industry, and luckily at EMB, they’re our specialty.