For Digital Marketing Fort Collins Turns to A-Train to Get Started

Start

 

For help with their digital marketing Fort Collins companies, and organizations around the Denver metro area, turn to A-Train. Those new to digital marketing, and in particular content marketing, are always pleased to hear that it doesn’t take much content to get a program started. In fact, to paraphrase Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “The content marketing journey of a thousand miles begins with one piece.”

One Piece Makes a Program – At Least Initially

Content marketing is the practice of using engaging, informative materials to establish your company as a trusted expert in its field. In doing so, you are inviting your target audience to explore your offerings and become customers.

While it’s helpful to eventually have a large library of compelling content, the beauty of content marketing is that you can start with as little as one high-quality piece. Whether it is a case study, an infographic, a video, or a process checklist, if you offer it freely and refrain from delivering it with a “hard sell” approach, you can now call yourself a content marketer!

In fact, there are a number of benefits to starting your content marketing program slowly. They include:

  • Minimal commitment of resources. If you don’t yet have a true content marketing team in place or a relationship with an experienced provider like A-Train, no problem! As long as you are able to create a small number of pieces of content, you’re in good shape.
  • Simpler measurement. In order to be successful at content marketing and digital marketing Fort Collins companies must be able to assess how well each piece of content performs. The fewer items you have, the simpler it is to compare one to another.
  • Easier adherence to brand standards. Every piece of content you produce should accurately reflect your brand. Having a small number of pieces of content initially, makes it easier to ensure that that is the case. (If you need help with establishing or updating your brand, A-Train can help with that as well.)
  • A tantalizing tease. If the content you are producing is helpful to your target audience, they’ll be hungry for more. And while you don’t want to keep them waiting too long, there’s nothing wrong with whetting their appetite!
  • An understanding of “repurposing.” Repurposing of content means sharing it in different ways in different mediums. For example, you can turn slides from a presentation into individual infographics. It’s a practice that can be very helpful when you have a small content library. And it continues to be a good tactic as your content portfolio grows.

Assisting with Your Ongoing Success

A-Train is a leader in digital marketing Fort Collins to rely on. We can help you turn your first steps in content marketing into ongoing success. From collaborating to create your content to developing a strategy around how to use it, to helping you promote your material, we’re an experienced, full-service agency. Give us a call and let’s talk about your needs.

Marketing Agencies in Denver Rely on Use of the PESO Approach

Media

 

Not long ago, “specialized” marketing firms were getting a great deal of attention. Companies and organizations were looking to capitalize on these agencies’ in-depth, yet narrow, expertise. So, you might have a relationship with a digital firm, a social media firm, a multi-media firm, etc. And each of them handled a certain aspect of your marketing. As one of the leading marketing agencies in Denver turns to comprehensive marketing initiatives, we’ve always found that trusting one firm to produce a cohesive campaign for you is very effective.

What is PESO?

Today, the era of specialization is giving way to new thinking. It’s becoming clear that in order to reach your audience effectively, you have to utilize four different types of media:

Paid media

This is what used to be known as “advertising.” Companies pay to reserve placement with magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations, websites, etc.

Earned media

Here, content placement is given free of charge. This is because the material is considered to be newsworthy or of benefit to readers or listeners.

Shared media

Social media channels are the conduit for shared media. Platform users power the movement of content around the web through likes, link sharing, etc.

Owned media

An organization’s owned media consists of platforms that it operates. This includes its website and blog, as well as events that it hosts.

Why is the Integrated PESO Approach So Effective?

It turns out that a firm that can oversee and manage initiatives in all four areas is better able to synchronize the channels. Consequently, they can play off of and amplify one another. How effective is PESO? Well, if it’s any indication, many of the marketing agencies in Denver have supported in the past because of their focus on one specific area are either learning to handle other types of work or are no longer in business.

What these agencies, and the companies that used them, have discovered is that ignoring any one of these channels may mean that you are failing to connect with a significant portion of your audience. In addition, agencies have learned that seeing a message repeated in different forms on different platforms is reassuring to today’s consumers. And having one firm overseeing the message wherever it is displayed ensures that it is consistent and compelling.

Now, as soon as paid, earned, shared, and owned media were defined like the points on a compass, innovative marketers began probing the space between them. And platform providers indulged this exploration, so now we have hybrid options. For example, sponsored media and social advertising are proving to be very effective.

Putting PESO to Work for You

Ultimately, the marketing agencies in Denver turns to the ones that know how to create the most compelling combinations of the four main types of media. A-Train is an award-winning firm that has provided comprehensive, integrated marketing for two decades. So, we’re firmly grounded in the PESO approach. How can we put it to work for you? Let’s talk!

For Expert Digital Marketing Fort Collins Relies on A-Train | 50 Percent Rule for Outbound Communications

Content

If you have embraced the concept of content marketing instead of or in addition to traditional marketing — and there are many reasons you should — it’s important to understand the key difference between the two: engaging vs. selling. As the expert in digital marketing Fort Collins turns to expert assistance with their content marketing initiatives, we encourage them to take a closer look at their outbound communications.

Provide Insights not Invites

There is still a place for traditional marketing, of course. And by that, we mean tactics that invite prospects to see that your offerings are the best fit for them. However, consumers today are increasingly more inclined to respond to content marketing. There, the focus is on providing insights and nurturing prospects with a steady stream of interesting and informative content in order to ultimately make a sale.

With content marketing (also called inbound marketing), most experts agree that you should keep overtly “salesy” pitches to a minimum. People today are tired of being sold to and instead want to be collaborated with. Many say that your sales pitches should make up no more than 50 percent of your outbound communications. And some organizations achieve tremendous success with a number far lower than that.

Say What?

Companies new to content marketing will frequently ask, “If we’re not pitching our products and services, what can we talk about?” Good question! One of the keys to inbound marketing is learning to look at your offerings and your operations differently. As you develop a wider and deeper perspective, you’ll see that there is a great deal of helpful information and resources you can share with your target audience, including:

  • Checklists, forms, etc. Any type of tool or “template” that your prospects can use to do their job better or make their life easier will be much appreciated. For example, if your organization provides mental health services, a short list of the symptoms of a particular condition can be helpful for someone concerned about a loved one.
  • Educational material. Has there been an advance in technology associated with your industry? Research it and digest it. Then provide your prospects with a clear and concise explanation of what it is and how it works.
  • Surveys. Rather than telling people about your products, ask them about their needs. It’s a great way to show that you are interested in helping them. Being a “good listener” is crucial in any kind of relationship — business or otherwise.
  • Humor. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard with this kind of material. But, your target audience will appreciate it if you occasionally share a tasteful, funny piece. And doing so helps to humanize your organization.

As you can see, none of the items above are salesy. Consequently, they will all be welcomed by your prospects and help strengthen your relationship with them. Plus, when you make the tactical decision to reach out with a true sales piece, your trusting and well-informed audience will be much more willing to consume that content.

Get Help with Digital Marketing Fort Collins!

When it comes to digital marketing Fort Collins has trusted A-Train Marketing for nearly two decades. We provide everything from time-tested strategy to cutting-edge creative. Ready to do more with your content marketing? Give us a call!

Details on 5 New Facebook Features from One of the Top Marketing Firms in Denver

5 New Facebook Features

Whether you use Facebook as part of your social media strategy or to stay in touch with family and friends, there are a number of new features available that you should be aware of. Like many marketing firms in Denver, we encourage our clients to get everything they can out of every social media platform that they use. We like to back up that advice with some helpful information about what the new functions are!

What’s New on Facebook?

Here are five new Facebook features we think you’ll find interesting:

  • Powerful new insights from analytics. Facebook has long had highly accurate paid advertising measurement tools. Now, you can track Facebook page interactions such as shares and post reactions using omnichannel analytics for applications, websites, services, and bots. In addition, Facebook has rolled out a new Automated Insights tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI). So, as one of the top marketing firms in Denver, we will be getting great mileage for our clients from these features.

 

  • Live streaming from your computer. There was a time when you had to use a tablet, smartphone, or camera setup with the Facebook Live API to stream. Now, you can use Facebook Live from your laptop or desktop computer. Admins can give other users the ability to stream to the page at any time by making them Live Contributors. You can also pin comments to the bottom of a Facebook Live broadcast to highlight important information for viewers. A download of streaming software is required.

 

  • Personal fundraisers. Facebook has launched a new “personal fundraiser” feature that is available to users 18 and older in the U.S. It allows you to create a dedicated Facebook page that describes the fundraiser and shows a donation goal. They can then receive money through the site. Fundraisers can be created for six categories currently: medical bills, crisis and disaster relief, assistance for families after a death, education expenses, pets’ medical bills, and personal emergencies. All fundraisers undergo a review process.

 

  • Facebook Stories. The new Stories feature is similar to options available in Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. Users can add videos and photos to their Story, which then appears in a bar at the top of their friends’ news feeds. Stories disappear within 24 hours

 

  • In-app camera. Facebook’s new in-app camera lets users apply filters, masks, and frames to images. There are also “reactive” effects, which are things like snow that are added to a scene and that react to movement.

 

Bonus: How To Turn Off the Automatic Text Translation

For some people, the automatic text translation feature in Facebook is more of a hindrance than a help. So, if you’re one of those people, here’s how to turn it off:

  1. Sign in to Facebook and browse your news feed for a post written in a foreign language. If the post has already been translated, a link that reads “Automatically Translated” will be displayed at the bottom.
  2. Click on the Automatically Translated link to show the translation settings for the selected post.
  3. You can then choose between Never translate language and Disable automatic translation for language. With Never translate language, Facebook won’t offer to translate posts written in the selected language. If Disable automatic translation for language is selected, Facebook won’t translate posts written in the selected language, but it will still offer to translate them.

 

For Business or Pleasure, New Facebook Features are Always Interesting

There you have it! A quick Facebook roundup from one of the leading marketing firms in Denver. Have questions about how to leverage Facebook in your social media marketing? We’re happy to answer them. Give us a shout!

Want to Elevate Your Behavioral Health Marketing? Use Storytelling.

Storytelling… it’s one of the oldest and most effective forms of communicating information. Rattle off a list of impressive facts and figures about your offerings and your audience will likely have forgotten them five minutes later. But tell them a compelling story about how your services changed someone’s life and they’re sure to remember it weeks, months, even years from now. Storytelling can be especially powerful in behavioral health marketing.

Storytelling

Crafting Memorable Stories

Telling a story is easy. However, telling a story that resonates with your audience and impacts not just their brain but their heart as well — that takes a little more time, effort, and expertise. Here are some tips for crafting memorable narratives that stick with listeners:

  • Know the story. It’s surprising how many organizations set out to tell their story or that of one of their clients without actually knowing the details. Ask 10 people within an organization to share its history or provide details about a particular event and you’ll get 10 very different versions. Before you try to tell your tale, be sure to do your research.
  • Shape the story. You should never be dishonest with your audience. However, there’s nothing wrong with assessing the facts and choosing to focus on specific aspects. A good storyteller highlights the portions of a story that contain the most emotion. That feeling is what listeners latch on to.
  • Understand your audience. As you think about how to shape your story, consider it from the perspective of your audience. For example, what are they excited about… afraid of… longing for? The first test we all do when deciding whether to stay tuned in to a speaker is to evaluate whether they are “speaking our language.” In your behavioral health marketing, you need to make it clear that you can relate to the listener’s joy and pain.
  • Share the story internally. Before you tell your audience a story, it’s critical that you run it by key people (or better yet, everyone) in your organization. This does two things. First, it helps you confirm that the story is accurate. Second, it ensures that people who contact you based on the story get the same information from everyone on your staff.
  • Publish and promote the story. Once you’ve crafted an engaging tale, be sure you’re doing all you can to get it in front of your audience. And that doesn’t mean just once. Effectively promoting a story (or any piece of content) means working continuously to get it exposure.
  • Consider a sequel. Are there aspects of the narrative that you didn’t tell originally that would make a great Part II? Have there been recent developments that warrant a related piece? Sequels can be very effective and easier to produce given that they come with an established audience and an existing foundation.

What’s Your Story?

Storytelling is a strategy that is a perfect fit for behavioral health marketing. From anonymous characterizations of your clients to members of your skilled and dedicated staff, you’ve got unlimited raw material. If you’re looking for help in shaping that clay, give us a call. We’re a leading Denver-area marketing agency with nearly two decades of storytelling experience and a number of behavioral health clients. Let’s talk about how to share your tale.

8 Productivity Tips to Get More Done

If you’re like most people, you frequently have more tasks than there are hours in the day to complete them. It’s critical that we find a way to consistently put out a high volume of high-quality work. And since we can’t add more hours to the day, we have a set of strategies we use to get more out of those hours.

Productivity

Great Ways to Get More Done

We’ve found that the key to productivity is having a strategy and sticking to it. Here are eight tips for getting more done:

  1. Plan your day. Block out 15 minutes before your workday starts to write down a list of the tasks you will complete today. Be optimistic, but reasonable. Put your highest priority tasks at the top of the list.
  2. The “New Day 90.” Spend the first 60-90 minutes of your day knocking off as many tasks as you can. Ignore your inbox, voicemails, and reading the headlines — just work. Being able to check the box on some key projects early in the day can eliminate some of your stress and set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
  3. Take breaks. Your body — in particular your brain — needs periodic breaks throughout your day to rest and recharge. Account for these breaks in your productivity plan. Keep them short, but insist on taking them even if things get hectic. It pays off in the long run.
  4. Learn how and when to decline work. We all want to do everything we can to help our coworkers and our company succeed. However, taking on more than you can handle is counterproductive. Be sure to say “No” if you are asked to add something to your list but just can’t do it.
  5. Take care of your body. The advice to get 7-8 hours of sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly doesn’t sound like a productivity tip. However, when your brain and body are rested, fueled, and ready to go, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can get done.
  6. The “Two Minute Rule.” We all have them… those quick tasks that get sent our way and can easily pile up. As these requests come in, use this standard: if it can be done in two minutes or less, do it now. If it can’t, add it to the productivity plan.
  7. Leverage productivity tools. There are a wide range of tools available for streamlining and automating tasks. Find the ones that work for you and make them a part of your workflow.
  8. Keep your desk decluttered. Having a neat, organized work area makes it easier to find what you’re looking for (saving you valuable time) and can help decrease your stress level as well.

Helping Companies Achieve their Marketing Objectives

As a respected marketing firm, we’ve earned a positive reputation for our productivity and creativity, and for helping organizations entice and engage their target audience to achieve outstanding results. Let’s talk about your marketing objectives and how we can assist you in meeting them.

Denver Marketing Company Says Content Consistency is Key

Content

You wouldn’t consider for a minute not making it to your client meeting on time. You’ll do whatever it takes to get that request for proposal out the door by the Friday deadline. Someone has asked for a product demo tomorrow? Of course you’re going to present it. Why is it that the content creation task you’ve been assigned has sat on the back burner for so long? At our Denver marketing company, we stress that in order for your content marketing strategy to be effective, you have to have commit to producing high quality materials consistently.

True, the connection between putting out a great piece of content and winning new business isn’t always obvious. But just like writing a dazzling RFP or performing a flawless demo is an important step in closing deals, so is attracting and engaging new prospects.

How to Ensure the Content Machine Keeps Crankin’

Here are some tips for keeping your busy coworkers on task when it comes to content:

 

Create and post a content calendar. Make a list of content creation tasks and their owners, and post it in a visible location. Yes, you’ll probably have an online task management process as well. However, drawing attention to the commitments that subject matter experts have made is a great way to ensure they follow through.

Provide public encouragement and thanks. Saying thank you in private to a coworker who has helped with a content creation project is great, but singing their praises in a group email or a large meeting is even better. Let people know that you understand they are busy and appreciate them taking the time to lend a hand. We like to do that often here at our Denver marketing company.

Help your helpers. In many cases, all a content creator needs is a little help getting started in order to produce great work. Try providing them with a template for their blog post. Or maybe point them to a website with great reference material for their white paper. These small assists can make a big difference. Everyone appreciates support when they are faced with a new task or one that isn’t naturally at the top of their priority list.

Follow up gently but regularly. Even when a person has the best of intentions it’s easy for a task to get delayed by other, more pressing concerns. While you don’t want to give the impression that you are “breathing down someone’s neck,” it’s good to ensure that your project stays on their radar. Often the best reminders come in the form of offers of assistance: “Hey Mike, let me know if you want to bounce some ideas off me for your blog post. I appreciate you taking the time!”

 

Keep the Content Coming!

What’s another way to ensure you’re producing high quality content on a regular basis? Working with a leading Denver marketing company like A-Train! From project management to graphic design to writing, we can be a valuable resource in helping you execute your content marketing strategy.

 

Denver Mental Health Marketing Firm Provides 7 Infographic Tips

Infographics are very effective at communicating important information in a way that is clear, concise, and memorable. As experts in mental health marketing, we know that this can be especially important for organizations in this market. But using this more graphics-based form of communication isn’t as easy as it may seem. Simply putting colorful charts, graphs, and images on a page with a small amount of text explanation isn’t going to cut it. There’s an art to creating engaging infographics.

 

Let’s Get Visual

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are creating infographics — or having them created for you:

 

  1. Choose one topic. A common error with infographics is trying to say too much. Infographics are most powerful when they address one topic and drive that idea home with images and minimal text. We’ve all seen infographics that require you to scroll multiple times to reach the bottom. They are probably losing many readers along the way.
  2. Create an eye-catching headline. Although the focus with infographics is on the “graphics” part, you still need a strong headline. This helps a reader understand what they’ll get from the piece. And something a little catchy like “Great Things from Good Zzzzzs” is better than a just-the-facts approach like “Health Benefits of Sleep.”
  3. Keep your target audience in mind. Who are you talking to? You should remember that in mental health marketing you probably have two (or more) very different audiences. Be sure to use different imagery and language on a piece directed at mental health practitioners versus one geared toward people who use your services.  
  4. Incorporate accurate, cited data. Infographics tend to be a less formal way to communicate information. That doesn’t mean you can be any less diligent in your research. It’s important to do your homework and note your sources.
  5. Follow key design principles. Your infographics — just like your website, your brochures, and other marketing materials — should be well designed. This includes things like using matched font families, a visually appealing color scheme, etc.
  6. Lead the viewer. Even infographics with the right amount of content can be a little overwhelming if the reader doesn’t know how to “move” through the piece. Therefore, you should use appropriate visual cues to guide them from beginning to end.
  7. Promote the piece as appropriate. It happens all too often. An organization puts tremendous effort into creating an infographic only to have it gather digital dust. Consequently, you should do all you can to get the piece in front of your target audience repeatedly and in multiple ways.
infographic

The Psychology of Color – as seen in A-Train’s Gray Matter Magazine

A Denver Leader in Visual Marketing

If you’re looking to take your mental health marketing to a new level, powerful infographics can be a key component of your strategy. As a leading Denver-area marketing firm for nearly two decades, we know what it takes to get your services noticed. Give us a call to learn more.  

6 Signs it’s Time to Refresh Your Branding

Marketing Agencies In DenverYour branding — logo, color palette, fonts, etc. — helps you communicate who you are and what you’re about to your target audience. If you’re like most companies, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into pulling it all together. As one of the leading branding and marketing agencies in Denver, we advise our clients that once you’ve rolled it out, it’s important not to modify it too frequently, as you risk confusing your customers and prospects.

That said, even the most well-crafted branding eventually starts to show its age. Ultimately, you will need a brand refresh. And you’re not alone — even the most iconic brands have evolved over the years. But how will you know when it’s time to make a change? Here are some indicators that it would be wise to revisit your visual identity:

  1. It doesn’t stack up well against competitors. Your competitor’s new branding is getting rave reviews in your industry. Your decades old branding is starting to get chuckles. No question there… it’s time for a refresh.
  2. It’s gone rogue. When you find yourself at a point where your logo exists in every unauthorized color under the sun and nobody can remember whether titles are supposed to be in Arial or Calibri, it’s probably best to regroup.
  3. It says too much or not enough. Sometimes organizations try to cram too much information into their branding and end up with visual chaos. This is common with startups that feel they need to describe themselves to a target market that isn’t familiar with them. On the flipside, companies sometimes try to be hip by going minimalist and settle on a logo that’s so simple it’s meaningless. A brand refresh can help you find the perfect middle ground between the two.
  4. It’s acquired baggage. A very public lawsuit… a series of disastrous product launches… an epic social media fail that has angered the masses… If your company finds itself with a dark cloud hanging over it, revising your branding can signal the world that you’re looking to make a fresh start.
  5. It’s no longer accurate. In some cases, a brand is still aesthetically pleasing, but changes to your company (new markets, new products, new mission) make it obsolete. When your branding no longer represents who you are, it’s time to make a change.
  6. People don’t get it. When you created your branding, you were convinced its meaning was clear and unequivocal. Over time, you’ve come to realize that your customers and prospects really don’t understand it. It’s time for an update that ensures they do.

Branding Assistance from one of the Most Respected Marketing Agencies in Denver
If you’re starting to see the signs that your visual identity could use a shot in the arm, give us a call. From brand discovery and assessment to verbal and graphic identity development, we’re known as one of the most creative marketing agencies in Denver, and we can help you breathe new life into your branding.

Five Benefits of Working with a Certified Google Partner

Denver Marketing FirmsWhile Google isn’t the only online advertising game in town, it is by far the biggest. Understanding how to optimize your AdWords campaigns to maximize lead generation while minimizing spend can give you a tremendous competitive advantage over your competition. As a leader among Denver marketing firms, A-Train Marketing is a Certified Google Partner. What does that mean? It means we have demonstrated expert knowledge in a number of Google products and services, and have passed rigorous certification exams for those areas. That is what sets us apart from all the other Denver marketing firms out there today.

At least that’s what it means in terms of our relationship with Google. But what does it mean to you if you are working with A-Train or considering using our services? Quite a bit! Here are some of the many advantages of getting connected with a Certified Google Partner:

  • Certified Account Managers. In order to be a Certified Google Partner, you have to have staff that have demonstrated their ability to effectively manage AdWords campaigns using the latest best practices. This means that your online advertising is in the hands of someone who has spent significant time and effort learning how to optimize your campaigns rather than simply picking up some AdWords knowledge on the fly.
  • Using the full depth and breadth of AdWords features. AdWords is a system with huge number of features and settings that can be used to fine tune campaigns. Many people tasked with managing an AdWords account are just scratching the surface of those features, but as a Certified Google Partner, our marketing company in Denver has in-depth knowledge of how to use them to improve results.
  • Hotline to a Google representative. As a Certified Google Partner, our Denver Marketing firms has a Google representative we can reach at a moment’s notice to get answers to any questions we or our clients have. That access and the relationship we have with our contact at Google can pay major dividends for our clients.
  • Quality Assurance. Our certification isn’t the kind of thing you earn once and can then cling proudly to forever after. Google monitors our performance to make sure we’re providing our clients with the best possible guidance.
  • Access to beta features. Before releasing powerful new features to all AdWords customers, Google first “beta tests” new capabilities with partners like us. That means if you’re working with a Certified Google Partner and your competitor isn’t, you have some great opportunities to get ahead. Of course, the opposite is also true!

Denver Marketing Firms Giving You an AdWords Advantage
If online advertising plays a role in your marketing plan (and it definitely should!), you want to work with a marketing company in Denver that has the certified skills and expertise to help you get outstanding results. If you’re not, you may be paying more than you should for subpar performance. A-Train Marketing is a firm that can put its Google Partner status to work for you. Give us a call to learn more our comprehensive marketing offerings.