5 Tips for Saying More with Your Email Signature Block

Denver marketing agency - email

As a full-service Denver marketing agency, our job is to help you get eyes on your product and service offerings. We do that in a number of ways, including by crafting an effective marketing strategy, updating your branding, creating advertising campaigns, enhancing your social media presence, etc. However, another very simple way to get some attention is by adding information and links to your email signature block.

People are curious by nature, whether they are interested in the content of your email or not, they’ll often scroll down just to see the name and title of the person contacting them. This gives you an excellent opportunity to try for a second time (i.e., in addition to the info in the body of the email) to get them to engage with you.

Great Ways to Get Them to Click

Here are some things you can do to entice recipients into taking the next step and clicking a link in your email:

  • Tempt them with a new piece of marketing content. That infographic, case study or e-book you recently collaborated on with your Denver marketing agency may be just what your recipient was looking for. So, provide a link to a page where they can learn more about it and download it if they are interested. The beauty of offering it to them in this passive way is that they won’t feel like you’re pushing it on them. Rather, it’s just there for the taking if they want it.  
  • Provide information on an upcoming event. When and where is your user conference this year, or that “meet and greet” you are coordinating? Here, again, provide a link to a page with more details. And, don’t limit yourself to your company’s events. You can let recipients know about any gathering you think they might be interested in (an event sponsored by one of your business partners, for example).
  • Use an interesting stat as a tantalizing tease. For someone even remotely interested in your offering, a teaser like “New research shows that users of our product cut their energy bills by a staggering percentage. Learn more.” is almost impossible to resist.
  • Announce a discount or incentive. Everybody loves hearing that they can save some money. A note in your signature block is a subtle way to let them know.
  • Invite input. Customer feedback not only helps you improve your operations, the fact that you asked for it shows customers and prospects that you are working hard to meet their needs. So, provide a link to a survey or a comment form.

A Great Use for Otherwise Wasted Space

As a leading Denver marketing agency, we emphasize to our long list of clients that every little bit of awareness and attention from prospects helps. Making good use of your signature block is just one example. Give us a call to find out how we can help you meet your marketing objectives.

7 E-Book Best Practices from a Denver Marketing Company

Denver marketing company - E-Books

As any Denver marketing company will tell you, when written, designed and promoted properly, e-books can be a powerful component of your content marketing strategy. Not only do they engage and inform prospects, they can help establish your company as a thought leader and a reliable source of industry information.

And, of course, if you make your e-books available on your website, your ever-growing library earns you points with Google. While the search giant likes to see you adding material of any length to your site, recent changes to its algorithm are said to look favorably on longer, more in-depth works.

Creating Exceptional E-Books

Producing a good e-book requires an investment of time, effort, and resources. Consequently, you want to be sure that your end product delivers. Here are some best practices for creating and promoting e-books that your audience will love:

  • Use an eye-catching design. With all the content out there competing for a reader’s attention, it’s important that your e-book stands out. Be sure that the cover of the piece AND the internal pages are visually appealing. You want the information and the layout to work together to produce a very positive reading experience.
  • Write a title that gets noticed. A title that is accurate but boring will put your e-book at a disadvantage. People tend to be more likely to open an e-book if the title is enticing, challenging, or humorous. However, be sure to keep it short, as you don’t want it to be truncated when displayed online.
  • Create scannable content. As a leading Denver marketing company, we know from experience that readers today have a short attention span. Using bulleted lists, numbered steps, and other brief and easily scanned sections will help ensure they stay engaged.
  • Use credible outside sources when possible. The information you can gather internally to use in your e-book may be very good, but if you can augment it with the insights or opinion of someone outside your organization, that can be very influential to your readers.
  • Have clear and compelling CTAs. Regardless of what you’re sharing in your e-book, you want the reader to take action. Be sure they know why and how to do that.
  • Tease your audience. Nothing will make a member of your target audience more eager to dive into your e-book than having to wait for it. Before you publish the piece, let people know that it is coming.
  • Promote your e-book vigorously. Simply announcing that your e-book is now available on your website may not do much to drive readership. You’ve got to promote it a number of times in a number of ways.

Let’s Get You Published

A-Train is a leading Denver marketing company offering the full spectrum of content creation and strategy services. If you want to start integrating e-books into your content marketing efforts, we can help. Give us a call!

Fort Collins Marketing Firm Offers Influencer Marketing Tips

Fort Collins marketing - influencer marketingInfluencer marketing is the practice of reaching out to individuals or groups whose opinion carries significant weight in your market in order to educate them about your brand. The hope, of course, is that they will make a favorable comment about your products or services. And, when it is read or heard by their audience, they will contact you to learn more. As an experienced Fort Collins marketing firm, we know that taking advantage of this kind of powerful (and free!) advertising can give your company a tremendous lift.

Your Marketing Megaphone

In order be successful in influencer marketing, you have to have a plan. Simply emailing trendsetters in your industry to say, “Hey! Check us out!” will not be effective. In fact, it will likely turn people off. Here are some things you should do:

  • Define your goals. What are you looking to accomplish in contacting influencers? Are you trying to get attention for a particular marketing campaign? Do you want to grow your social media following? Is the objective to get more people to sign up for a virtual event? By clearly identifying your goal, you make it much easier to assess your progress in that direction and adjust course as needed.
  • Do your research. An influencer will want to see that you know who they are and what they’re about. The better you understand their perspective on your industry, the better you can tailor your message to them. The last thing you want to do is irritate someone who has the power to speak either positively or negatively about your company!
  • Start small. From our decades of experience in Fort Collins marketing, we know that in every industry there are gurus who are the big fish, the minnows, and every size in between. In order to get the attention of the most notable names, you will, in all likelihood, have to have had some success with the lower tier influencers.
  • Always contact them individually. Influencers have neither the time nor the patience to open and read a mass email. Your initial outreach needs to be specifically written to them. Later, when they’ve come to see the value in your offering, they may sign up for your newsletter or other mass communication. But, initially, you need to contact them directly.
  • Be transparent. Influencers don’t get to their position by being easily swayed. Don’t try to disguise our pitch. Be honest. Tell them why you are contacting them and that you are hoping they’ll check out your offering and recognize its benefits.
  • Give and receive. It may seem like you have nothing to offer an influencer, but they appreciate a shout out just like anybody else — especially if it grows their audience by even a few members. And there might be other things of value you can share, like an industry survey you paid to conduct, for example.
  • Provide what they need to understand you. If an influencer says they want to learn more about your company, have a set of materials prepared that gives them a quick and clear overview. But don’t overwhelm them. Provide only what they ask for and nothing more.

Spread the Word

It will take some time and effort to develop a relationship with an influencer. But once you’ve earned their trust and respect, they can be a very effective advocate for your brand. And best of all, their “advertising” for you is free!

A-Train is a leading Fort Collins marketing firm, with extensive experience in connecting clients with industry influencers. How can we help you? Give us a call and let’s talk about your needs!

Denver Marketing Firms Often Hear These 5 Content Marketing Misconceptions

Denver marketing firms - Content MarketingFor companies that are new to the idea of content marketing and unfamiliar with how the strategy actually works, there tend to be many misconceptions. As one of the top Denver marketing firms, A-Train hears a lot of them. So, while the list is long, we thought we’d set the record straight on some of the most common areas of confusion.

Much-Needed Clarity on Content Marketing

Not sure what to think about content marketing? We’ll clear things up for you a bit by correcting these five common misconceptions:

  • Content marketing is only for B2C companies with cool products. It’s true that the content marketing campaigns that go viral and make the news tend to be for consumer-focused companies with “hip” offerings. However, “going viral” is great, but it isn’t the goal. The focus of content marketing is earning the trust, and ultimately the business, of your target market. And, that works for any organization in any vertical.
  • Content marketing sounds so easy that there must be a catch. The problem here is that people sometimes confuse “easy” and “effective.” Content marketing requires focus, resources, and consistent effort (so it’s not easy, per se), but it delivers outstanding results. No catch!
  • Content marketing is about SEO, and we’re good there. While consistently producing high-quality content and making it available on your website will definitely help you in the search rankings, that’s not the sole focus of content marketing. As noted above, it’s really about earning trust by making a name for your company as one that has expertise and is willing to share it freely.
  • When you’re just giving your content away you can’t track how effective your efforts are. This one is just plain wrong. Analytics are easily captured in content marketing. In fact, using data to refine your content and determine how and when it is best presented is at the core of content marketing strategy.
  • Content marketing is expensive. Also not true. Create an infographic, post it on your website, mention it on social media, and voila… you’re a content marketer. Now, of course, as you scale that process, it can be very helpful to work with one of the leading Denver marketing firms. But how much assistance you get from an agency like A-Train is entirely up to you.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

If misconceptions about content marketing have kept you on the fence about it, it’s time to dive in! And if you’re researching Denver marketing firms, we encourage you to talk with us. We’ve got nearly two decades of experience in helping clients achieve their marketing goals. Give us a call and let’s talk about what our full-service agency can do for you.

Marketing Firms in Denver say You Should Consume Your Own Content

marketing firms in Denver - Group of friends share a mealIf your organization is like most, you conceive, draft, publish, and refine your content with one group in mind: your target audience. However, as one of the leading marketing firms in Denver, we remind our clients of another group of consumers they should keep in mind: their own staff. Why? Read on…

Benefits of Sharing Your Content Internally

As you’re working to get that excellent content you’ve created in front of the right people, don’t forget that your own staff can take advantage of it. Here are some of the many benefits of having them check out what you’ve created:

  • Get everyone on the same page. If you want your prospects and customers to trust you, you have to be sure that they are hearing the same message from all areas of your organization—sales, support, the C suite, etc. Your marketing content can help with that. Although it isn’t created for the purpose of standardizing how your staff talks about your products and services, it can have that unintended benefit if people are encouraged to read it.
  • Smash your silos. Not only can consuming your own content ensure that your employees communicate accurately and effectively with your prospects, it can help them communicate more clearly with one another. It’s easy to believe that everyone in your organization has the same understanding of your products and services, but often that’s not the case, as each department sees things a little differently. Promoting your content internally can help break down those walls.
  • Ensure clarity and consistency. While your content surely goes through review and approval steps, that quality assurance process is probably performed by a few people at best. Encouraging your employees to consume your content puts many more well-trained eyes on your material and can help you catch inaccuracies.
  • Generate new content ideas. As you’ll hear from any of the leading marketing firms in Denver, more often than not if you ask someone in your company for ideas for new content, they’ll struggle to come up with any. However, when they start paying attention to the material you’re producing and can come to you with ideas as they arise, you’ll likely get many more suggestions.
  • Get more help. As people start to understand how good, and important, the content you’re producing is, it becomes easier to get assistance from subject matter experts. Not only do they understand that they are making a significant contribution to the company’s marketing efforts, they know that people around the company will see what they’ve helped produce, and take a sense of pride in that.

It’s Time for Some Home Cookin’!

You’ve worked hard to create killer content. So, be sure that you’re getting all the value you can out of it. This includes “feeding” it to your own coworkers. If you’ve got questions about how best to leverage your marketing content, give us a call. As one of the top marketing firms in Denver for nearly two decades, we’ve got answers.

One of the Top Denver Marketing Agencies Gives Content Curation Tips

Content Curation

Content curation involves finding, organizing, and displaying information on a particular topic or area of interest. Companies that use a content marketing strategy can take advantage of curated content to augment their own content creation efforts. As all of the leading Denver marketing agencies will tell you, a mix of original and curated content will help you build a loyal audience.

7 Content Curation Considerations

Follow these guidelines to get the most out of your content curation efforts:

  • Always give proper credit. Let’s be clear: content curation is not stealing or plagiarism. Rather, it should be seen as the helpful sharing of content created by others. That said, you must clearly indicate the author of any material that you share with your audience. And, if an author requests that their material not be shared, you must respect that request.
  • Curate from a variety of content types. Your audience will take the greatest interest in your curated content if you give them variety. Companies new to curation may think it always involves the sharing of written materials, but you can use any type of material — video, infographics, audio recordings, you name it!
  • Add your perspective. When you select a piece of content to share, it should be something you find interesting or informative. Telling your audience what you like about it provides them with helpful context and also brings the attention back to your company.
  • Provide a sample only. When you curate content, give your audience a sample of another’s work, not the entire piece. Ideally, the curated material should highlight some aspect of your own original work.
  • Look to others in your ecosystem first. One of the best places from which to curate material is your business partners, vendors, etc. For example, a printer might look to the Denver marketing agencies with which it does business. Not only can you be sure you’re providing information your audience will find relevant, you’ll also be doing a favor for the author who will, hopefully, do the same for you one day.
  • Track a piece’s performance. You should monitor how your audience receives any piece of content you put out, whether it includes curated material or not.
  • Be a taker, and a giver. If others approach you about using content that you’ve created — or simply use it and indicate you are the author — you should give them your blessing unless you have a compelling reason not to. What goes around comes around!

Making Use of the Amazing Content Out There

With so much great content available in the world, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of some of it periodically.  And, your audience will thank you for it. Have questions about how to integrate content curation into your outreach efforts? As one of the leading Denver marketing agencies, we can answer them. Contact us today!

Leader Among Denver Marketing Agencies Shares Storytelling Sources

Storytelling

Storytelling… It was the first form of “marketing” centuries ago, and it’s still the most powerful form today. Organizations that do it well find that they quickly build an engaged and loyal audience. However, many companies don’t use storytelling simply because they don’t feel they have a story to tell. As one of the leading Denver marketing agencies, we know that’s just not true.

5 Excellent Places to Find Inspiration

Where does the material for interesting and compelling stories come from? The fact is, it’s all around you:

  • Your clients or customers. Your prospects want to know who these people/organizations are, why they use your products and services, etc. And, they want that information to be in story form. “Jim uses our software to streamline processes and increase ROI” may be true, but it’s not interesting. “Jim is an avid sports fan who coaches not one, not two, but three youth soccer teams! Completing his work quickly and accurately means he can leave the office in time to be a leader and mentor to a group of kids who are discovering their passion for the game.” Now readers can make a human connection. If you’ve got customers, you’ve got stories.
  • Your staff. Here again, a high-level intro is fine (“Mary is our client satisfaction manager, and her role is to…”), but, the more detail you provide, the better. “Mary developed her desire to ensure client satisfaction after having a number of frustrating interactions with customer service organizations herself…” Our team at A-Train includes people who are among the best at Denver marketing agencies, so you’ll see we like to share their stories.
  • Your organization. You can get great mileage out of telling stories about your company that go deeper than when it was founded and what its focus is. So, why was the company started? Has its focus shifted over time? What does the company do to make its community a better place? How has the organization failed at times and how does it recover from missteps?
  • Your products and services. And you want to steer clear of “features and benefits” here. Instead, tell readers how and why your offerings have evolved. Or share some tidbits on how your product development process works. Explain what it’s like at the company in the sometimes stressful weeks before a new offering is announced.
  • Your take on current events. Stories related to what’s currently in the news can give you a nice short-term SEO boost, but they also help your audience understand who you are and what you’re about based on your perspective.

Helping You Write Your Next Chapter

As one of the leading Denver marketing agencies, we’ve got years of experience helping our clients uncover, fine-tune, and promote the stories that make them unique. What engaging tales can be told about your organization? Let’s get together to talk about it! Contact us today.

Denver Marketing Agency, A-Train Marketing, Says Key to Content is Finding the Right Mix

Juggling Veggies

Content marketing, more than any other form, tends to be a strategy where one company covets another’s material. “Did you see that great infographic that our competitor put out? We need to do something like that.”  As an experienced Denver marketing agency, our reply is, “Maybe you do. But maybe not.” We say that because the key to content marketing is finding what works for your company or organization.

Launch, Watch, Repeat

As a content marketer, you need to march to the beat of a (potentially) different drummer, so to speak. It could be that what you see your competitor doing is effective for them and would be effective for you. But the reality is, you won’t know what kinds of content will work for you until you get some out there. So, here’s what we advise our clients to do:

  • Publish some content. Using what you know about your target market, create some engaging content. Then publish and promote it, giving it every opportunity to do its job of enticing, informing, and nurturing prospects.
  • Analyze the results. Use one or more of the many tools available for measuring consumption of your content. Gut feel (“People really seem to like it.”) won’t work here, of course. You need stats.
  • Tweak and repeat. If a piece of content shows promise but isn’t performing as well as you had hoped, make some modifications, publish it again to a new audience segment, and see how it performs.

Through this process, you can quickly zero in on the pieces of content that your target market finds most interesting and useful.

Like to Cook? You’ll Love Content Marketing!

With the individual ingredients identified, it’s time to get to work creating the ideal content marketing stew. We’re a Denver marketing company, but we also like to think of ourselves as gourmet chefs! That’s because there is more to an inbound marketing strategy than simply having good content. How often should you reach out to prospects in order to be most effective? What mix of materials and in what sequence delivers the best results? How can we move prospects through the sales funnel most efficiently and effectively? Answer these kinds of questions correctly and your success rate will skyrocket!

So, here again, an iterative approach is what you need in order to generate the stats that define your optimal content marketing strategy. Now, of course, the tweaking and analyzing never really ends. You’ll need to continue developing great content and figuring out whether it fits into the mix and if so where. But at this point you’ll be generating positive results and simply looking to make them even better.

Helping You Create the Right Content

As a leading Denver marketing agency, we’ve helped clients large and small in a wide range of markets figure out how best to reach their prospects. How can we help you do the same? Contact us today and find out!

Denver Marketing Company Explains the Extremely Low Lifetime Cost of Content

Content Marketing

You know that content marketing is a highly effective way to attract and engage prospects, earn their trust, and ultimately convert them into customers. And you’re eager to start creating some compelling marketing content to do exactly that. However, when you start crunching the numbers on what it will cost to stock your content library you begin to get cold feet. Fear not! If you’re working with the right Denver marketing company, they’ll point out that the lifetime cost of quality marketing content is extremely low.

Creating “Evergreen” Content

If there’s one word that best describes how to maximize the return on your marketing content investment, it’s “evergreen.” Some companies make the mistake of generating an endless stream of content that is outdated almost before it makes it out the digital door. Even if it is very high-quality material, it will only have value for a very short period. Other content marketers, however, understand that with a little bit of forethought, you can create content that stays fresh and relevant for years!

Now, of course, some of your content is going to be about “current events” in one way or another. Those pieces of content are likely going to come and go fairly quickly. But there are other types of content that can be designed in such a way that they have value for many years. For example, a piece that gives the historical background on the market that you serve can be very evergreen if crafted the right way.

In particular, when creating content, be sure that:

  • It doesn’t include dates, which immediately start the “shelf life” clock on an item.
  • You use general time frames like “recently,” “not long ago,” etc.
  • You avoid references to widely known events that can be dated.
  • It covers concepts that are not likely to change anytime soon.
  • You avoid popular culture references that will quickly go out of vogue. (“Our product has the same kind of mass appeal as a fidget spinner.”)

Content by the Numbers

To put the value of evergreen materials in perspective, imagine that you spend $500 to create a piece of content that gets stale very quickly and only generates 10 leads before you ultimately stop using it a handful of weeks later. That’s $50/lead. Not terrible, but not cheap either.

Now, think about the difference if that piece is designed by your Denver marketing company to be timeless and therefore can be used for many months or even years. Let’s say for the sake of argument that ultimately it generates 500 leads. Now we’re talking! That $500, which felt like a budget buster at the time, is proving to be one of the best marketing investments you’ve ever made, as it’s currently bringing in leads at $1 each, and that number will only get better.

The Key is Strategic Content Creation

A-Train Marketing has been a leading Denver marketing company for almost 20 years. We know how to craft materials that grab a prospect’s attention today and will continue to engage your target audience for months or even years to come. Give us a call and let’s talk about a content marketing strategy that will help your company grow.

Crafting the Perfect Posts? Mental Health Marketing Agency Explains.

Blogging

If content marketing is the core of your mental health marketing strategy, you should be performing a number of activities, including developing and launching compelling marketing content, using a variety of social media platforms to reach your target audience, updating/enhancing your web content on a regular basis, etc. In that scenario, your blog posts are just one element of your content portfolio. Consequently, you may find yourself writing them somewhat robotically in an effort to meet deadlines. If so, you may not be getting the interest and readership that blogging is capable of generating.

The Formula for Better Blog Posts

In order to optimize the value of the posts that you are putting time and effort into creating, you want to keep certain key attributes in mind, including:

Engaging headline

The human attention span gets shorter every day. You’ve got six or seven seconds max to grab a reader’s attention with your mental health marketing blog posts. If you don’t, they’ll move on to something more interesting. Some studies have shown that headlines in the area of 70 characters and 12 words are optimal.

Eye-catching featured image

The featured image for your post appears at the top. You probably don’t want it to be a literal representation of what’s in the post. In fact, if it takes a reader a fraction of a second to understand the how the image relates to the post, that “epiphany”  is a positive thing that enhances the reader’s experience.

An intro with a hook

There are two goals for the initial sentences of your post. First, you want to make it crystal clear what the post is about. If readers have to go looking for that information, they’re likely to go looking for something else to read! Second, you want to describe the post content in a way that teases your audience and makes them want to read more.

Variety in body copy length

Some experts advocate shorter posts (approximately 350 words), while others recommend longer ones (2,000+). To appeal to both types of readers, it’s a good idea to vary the length of your posts.

Subheads and bullets

If you make it easy for a reader to find what they’re looking for in your post, they’re likely to keep coming back. If instead, you lump 500+ words into, say, three large paragraphs, your readership will plummet.

Solid data. Posts containing facts and figures are very appealing to people. While your topic won’t always be one that involves stats, if you’ve got ‘em, flaunt ‘em!

Clear, compelling meta description

Meta descriptions don’t actually appear in a post. They are displayed in search results in order to give potential readers an idea of what they’ll be seeing if they click the link. In the same way that you want a headline to entice the reader, the meta description must do the same.

If You Build a Better Blog Post…

As experienced mental health marketing experts, we know that interesting, easily consumed blog posts are an essential element of an effective content marketing strategy. In fact, that holds true for all the different types of companies and organizations we work with across many industries. If you’ve got inbound marketing goals, our full-service agency can help you meet them. Give us a call!