spreading content through digital channels

How To: Get the most out of your published article in 4 simple steps

You pitched a business story, and it got picked up online. Congrats. But don’t stop there. This article will help your team get the most out of a published article by reposting and repurposing the content to get you even more visibility, data, and engagement.

Step 1 – Publish the story on your website. An area like your website’s “News and Press” section is low hanging fruit. Post your press release and the coverage there immediately after publication to capture traffic. Users will appreciate that you helped them get it straight from the source.

Step 2 – Brag (appropriately) in social spaces. Remember, name-dropping the publication and author adds credibility and buzz to your efforts. Use your social media spaces to talk about this coverage in the tone that’s most appropriate for your audiences.

  • LinkedIn – Posting here includes visibility to your past and present clients, job seekers and industry comrades, so talk to them professionally.
  • Facebook – If you use your Facebook page for B2C or B2B interaction, talk to them in your brand’s voice. If your page is used solely for recruiting, talk about the article in a way that’s appealing to potential hires.
  • Twitter – These people are looking for a “blip” of the most interesting news nuggets, so give them something enticing, intriguing, or bold to chew on in your brand voice, while encouraging them to click for more.

Step 3 – Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose. Someone (you) thought this content was great enough to pitch to a respectable publication. And someone (from that publication) thought it was interesting enough to their audience to put it online. Capitalize on the great ideas you’ve already generated by repurposing, rebuilding and recreating the content in the other channels in your digital toolbox.

  • Video: Is the author of the article a well-known figure in your company? Is their name often used in searches to find your company’s website? If so, record a 1-2-minute video recap of the author recapping the content. Include search-friendly words in the video, and the description of the video, and if you post the video on a site with comments like YouTube, add a link to the published article in the video description area.
  • Blog content: Take the single most interesting point from the published article and expand on it in a blog post. Encourage readers to get more information by linking to the published article. Talk about your blog post in all appropriate social media spaces. Track social media insights and website analytics to see if the blog post gained traction from other social spaces.
  • Email marketing: If you have customers, clients or prospects who would be interested in this content, send a brief summary and a link through email marketing software. Track the open rate and click-through rate of the email to see how interested your constituents were in your content.

Step 4 – Measure and learn. Using the tracking of each of these channels (your website analytics, social media insights, and email open and click rates to determine what does—and more importantly, what doesn’t—grab your target audience’s attention. Use what you’ve learned to promote your published article better the next time. Repeat often.

And while it won’t add leverage to your published article, step back and and look your organization’s content strategy. How did the article and your attempts to leverage it with these tips align with the content strategy? Always look back at that goal to keep you on the right track to consistently create meaningful online content.

Getting an article or press release into an online publication takes hard work. Getting greater traction and traffic from that article doesn’t have to be. Want to know more? Well, content strategy development is one of KW2’s digital powers. Drop us an email if you’d like to learn more.

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The Importance of Giving Back: Humanitarian Strategies for Companies

Social responsibility is a facet of business that organizations are increasingly attempting to integrate into their culture. Companies struggle to find the importance in giving back because it typically takes time, labor and resources away from day-to-day business. Instead, it redirects those assets toward an endeavor that may not directly influence the bottom line. But, a well-strategized humanitarian act can benefit an organization in more ways than one.

KW2’s social responsibility campaign includes Happy Music, the monthly community concert series, and Goodstock, a 24-hour marathon of creating advertising and marketing for non-profits. Also, the agency supports local artists by displaying an art gallery of work in the lobby to greet guests as they stop by. KW2 isn’t one of those agencies who is solely dollar-driven, but rather people-driven, which helps differentiate and resound the KW2 brand.

Why should companies be people-driven? It helps the public gain a sense of understanding of the company and see what the company stands for. It also shows the building and work for a greater good in the community. Lastly, from an internal perspective, the workplace can expect to gain a boost of morale and teamwork.

A feeling of obligation shouldn’t be the reason to give back, but rather the rooted sense of altruism and community. Surely, a company can only give back so much without compromising interests or earnings. On the other hand, with the right balance of business and good, a company can grow its brand by developing its genuine worth to the world. It is great when individuals give back, but when a company gives their time, talents and efforts in goodwill, it speaks volumes.

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Let Your Culture be a Virus: Building a contagious workplace.

We all know that feeling this time of year. Headache, runny nose, cough, maybe stomach trouble? You have a virus. Being ill sticks with you all day long.

Here’s the thing. . .if you have a great workplace culture, it’s sorta like having a virus. But, in a much more positive way. Here’s how:

When I started my career at Leo Burnett Chicago, I was given a BIG pencil (because big ideas come from big pencils). Everything that came to me as a new hire was bundled up in clean white presentation folders with the infamous red apple and Leo’s signature. It created a sense of “wow” and wonderment for what I belonged to. At GSD&M in Austin, TX, palm trees were flown in to adorn the front yard, company values were engraved on the atrium floor and a the smell of breakfast tacos filled the building once a week.

It’s these amazing things, no matter how big or small that define a positive culture. These days, I soak up the Lake Monona scenery on my commute to KW2. I arrive to “Good Mornings” from anyone within earshot. I find my common cup (personalized mugs made for everyone at the company) and add my fuel of choice while catching up with colleagues in the kitchen. Positive cultures are contagious. They become part of who you are. You come to work not because you have to, but because you want to. You are a happier person, and happier people do better work.

So, what can you do turn your culture into a virus? Perhaps you can suggest one or two different ideas to management. Wouldn’t it be great, if everyone’s screen saver had our values on it? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had matching umbrellas? It only takes one little germ to catch a virus.

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Teens Online: Top 5 Tips for Usability

Earlier this year Nielsen Norman Group updated their research on usability for teens. Their summary aligns with our own best practices for teens: despite teen’s confidence in their online abilities, limited patience and underdeveloped reading and research skills keep teens from preforming as well as adults in task completion.

Below are the top five tips from NNG for keeping teens on your site.

1. Avoid boredom.
If you’ve ever met a teen, this one does not come as a surprise. Strike a balance by illustrating concepts visually or by engaging teens with interactive content like quizzes, voting, forums or photo sharing.

We recently created a website as part of ‘The Fly Effect,’ a statewide public awareness campaign designed to combat a growing heroin epidemic. We balanced copy, with an interactive “chose your own adventure” style game where teens could experience the escalating effects of heroin rather than just reading about them.

2. …And entertainment overload
What might surprise you is that teens react as negatively to entertainment overload as they do to boring copy. Reign in the desire to add multimedia or interactive features simply because of a younger audience. Teens have a strong appreciation for aesthetics and a cluttered site will actually be a frustration.

3. Write (and format) well
Teens, especially younger teens, read at about a 6th-grade level. This is a lower reading level than an adult audience because teens are still developing reading and comprehension skills. Small chunks of copy with lots of white space will help with retention. And whatever you do, don’t talk down to teens. Make sure your content is not cloying or childish and uses the word ‘teen’ rather than ‘kid.’

On the FACT (Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco) website that we created for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, we eliminated as much copy as possible and used infographics to highlight key statistics.

4. Let teens control social
Teens are surprisingly protective of their social accounts. Allow teens to share at their discretion and include email as an option. Their online presence is their personal brand and they prefer to keep their online activities invisible. Forcing a teen to log in with a social account will violate trust.

5. Design for smaller screens and older devices
Your designer has a big, glossy Mac but the average teen has a hand-me-down laptop from their folks. Or they are online from their mobile device. In either case, design for smaller resolutions and make sure that interactions can be completed on a track pad or phone.

Load time is crucial as well. Teens have zero patience for a site or feature that is clumsy or slow to load. Keeping load times down benefits all of your visitors, not just teens.

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Happy Music

KW2 and the Harmony Bar present Happy Music, the new happy hour concert series.

An advertising agency hosting free happy hour music concerts at a Madison music institution? Huh? Here’s how that just happened.

Well, Brad Czachor has served Andy Wallman many lunches. For years, they both worked near Hilldale Mall where Brad was the manager of the Great Dane Brew Pub & Brewing Company. Andy and the folks at KW2 made the Great Dane one of their haunts.

These days, Brad is still behind many lunches that KW2 folks are enjoying, as he recently bought the Harmony Bar and Grill from longtime owner Keith Daniels. In a calculated strategy to stalk Brad for the rest of his life, KW2 also recently moved to the east side, and we are once again Brad’s neighbors.

At the west-side office, KW2 hosted a free monthly music series for clients, employees and pals called Music:30. After the east-to-west move, James Mills, an journalist/blogger for the outdoor industry suggested having Music:30 concerts at the Harmony. Andy and Brad got to talking, and now KW2 and the Harmony Bar will debut Happy Music, a free monthly happy hour series.

The first concert will be October 17th, featuring longtime local Madison musicians, Biff Blumfumgagnge and Jay Moran. They will play from 5:00 to 6:00pm. Admission is free, so bring your mom. We’re working with many other great musicians to help make Happy Music a fun east-side tradition at the Harmony Bar and Grill, 2201 Atwood Avenue. The good folks at KW2 and the Harmony Bar hope to see you there.

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Change is good

Change is good

Change is good. Like the kind that would, say, come from having a Madison advertising agency’s address at 2010 Eastwood Drive on this fair city’s fashionable near-east side. The excitement, the jostling that change brings to thinking and creativity, the many fantastic local restaurants and businesses we’ll be supporting…all good.

Advertising has come out of the hallowed halls at 5201 Old Middleton Road longer than any other place in Madison’s history. In 1923, on St. Patrick’s Day, Arthur Towell Advertising was born. In 1972, Towell, Inc. moved into 5201 Old Middleton Road. Knupp and Watson moved in there in 1992. That’s 41 years of advertising in one location. I’ll have to buzz Doug Moe or Stuart Levitan to see if that’s some kind of record.

The props for the famous Pizza Pit delivery-driver-in-the-snow ad were created at 5201, by longtime Madison ad guy Dick Zillman. Many local, regional and national businesses were helped there. A ton of important work for the State of Wisconsin was created there. The “best U.S. annual report of 2010” was created there. And many, many great friendships were created there.

We will still have some operations happening at the old location as we settle into the new location. We think you’ll love its wide open spaces, the views, and the beautiful outdoor deck. Let us know if you’d like to check out our new digs, and see the change for yourself.

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Baking up a Marketing Plan

Author: Sayward Proctor

I like to bake. I like to plan. In my mind, the two have natural connections. Let’s think about a cupcake. It requires specific ingredients – flour, eggs, baking powder, butter – to create the cake portion. That cake serves as the base for the flashy, attention-getting frosting and decorations.

Now think about long-term marketing planning. It can be viewed in much the same way. Knowledge of target audiences, insights, objectives and strategies make up the foundation of the plan, while the multitude of tactics are the icing on the cake. Oh, I mean the icing on the plan.

What if we forget something in the cupcake – let’s say baking powder – the cupcake won’t rise. That makes for an awful cupcake. Similarly, ignoring any of the components (no matter how seemingly small) that make up the marketing plan creates a faulty base resulting in an ineffective plan.

So remember all the pieces of your marketing plan and all the ingredients in your cupcake. Don’t skimp or shortcut, and you’ll end up with marketing that’s more in line with your customer and more effective for your organization (not to mention a deliciously filled belly).

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so what

Three ways to pass the “so what?” test

Most companies can effectively communicate features and benefits about their products or services, but struggle to create relevance for their target audience. You might manufacture the most durable product on the planet, but why should people care about it?

Here are three strategies for your company to get beyond “so what?” and start engaging in more meaningful communication with your prospects:

1)     The most basic way to make people care is to create an association with something they care strongly about.
Moms may not care about Manwich meat sauce, but they do want to make meals that are healthy for their kids – hence, “a full-serving of vegetables in every can.”

2)     Appeal to self-interest. This can be emotional or rational, like satisfying hunger/thirst, social status, self-confidence, peace of mind, or simply wanting to be a good mom.

3)     Or better yet, appeal to their aspirations – not only to the people they are right now, but the people they would like to be.  Some of the most powerful brands today do this very well: Apple (creative), Nike (athletic), Harley-Davidson (rebel). Use of these brands says something about the kind of person they are or would like to be.

 

The next time you’re crafting a message to your customers or prospects make sure you ask yourself –
“So what?”

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New to marketing? How to stay relevant & keep informed.

The marketing field is one that is ever-growing and changing. Duh. News flash, right? With so many services available and possible strategies to choose from, a brand’s “game plan” can evolve every few months it seems. From message strategy, to inbound marketing platforms and media — clients and target audiences have more choices and variations of marketing approaches to choose from than ever before.

KW2 is intrigued by this seemingly overwhelming conundrum. So, we base virtually everything we do on research, aiming to create communications with purpose and reasoning. We take new information and transform our strategic communications with it; we don’t merely consume the content that’s available out there. This enables us to give our clients information that is both logical for their business or purpose and helps toward attaining their marketing goals.

The messaging is key; the channel of communications is in the eye of the beholder. Within KW2’s walls, that means the client and their target audience. Who do you want to reach? What do they want to know? How can we get the information to them efficiently and creatively? Research and questions are at the root of each and every assignment we take on. We learn the information we need to know, we share and discuss with our clients, we create communications that fit client’s needs and message.

I graduated college in 2011 and since then the advertising and communications market has continued to move at warp speed. Social media was introduced, hit its prime and became a vital communications tactic all while I was in school. I thought that the social media boom of technology and real-time communications was as diverse of a change as this industry would ever see. I now understand my naiveté.

I chose journalism and marketing as my major because of its continuous rapid growth and change. I wanted a career that provided me a new outlook on life, each and every day. KW2 is full of smart people that want to know and learn more. “Why?” is a common question and the discussion that follows each day is yin and yang in difference. To work in a field that propels you to keep developing professionally, that holds one finger on the pulse of society’s culture, remaining on the brink of change, while diving into new industry challenges and strategies constantly – that’s a special opportunity.

We stay smart by reading a ton, asking more of ourselves and each other, and by not being afraid to try something new or different. KW2’s adventurous mindset and willingness to evolve propels our agency growth and increases our creative communications’ impact.

Here are some goodies from KW2’s reading and networking list that help us stay in the know. Share this with new, young marketers and spark their knowledge and understanding of marketing, aka what’s next. Enjoy:

http://mashable.com

http://www.ibmadison.com

http://www.amamadison.org

http://www.unmarketing.com

http://www.chrisducker.com/blog/

http://www.convinceandconvert.com

http://digitalmarketer.com

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responsive website flow chart

How to decide if you should build a responsive website: a flow chart

Clients often ask us if their new website should be built responsively. We used to respond with “It depends” – on the user base, the client’s budget and project timeline, and on the calls to action that users would be expected to perform. Now we and others in the industry can build responsive websites efficiently (thanks to newfangled wireframe software, smooth planning processes and spiffy programming techniques). So the only thing standing in between you and a new responsive website is the only question that matters – is it right for your target audience? We built this flow chart to help you decide.

Responsive flow chart
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