Friday, February 26, 2016

Erica Hanna's Tips for Creating Killer Video Content!


"The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray."
    - Robert Burns                                      
I had planned to share very different content with you today, but I went to a great learning and networking event on Monday and felt compelled to share my learnings with you right away!

The event was hosted by the Social Media Breakfast, Minneapolis/St. Paul. (Stayed tuned! Spotlight coming soon!). Erica Hanna, the six-time Emmy award-winning founder of Puke Rainbows Creative, shared some great tips on kickstarting your video content strategy. Erica's Presentation dealt with the inbound marketing aspect of video content.

Erica started the presentation by defining inbound marketing as "caring about people and what they want and need." This should always be the essence and starting point of marketing strategy campaigns and plans. If you are not thinking of your target market’s needs and wants, how will you be able to market to them in a way that is truly engaging? Here are Erica Hanna six tips to keep in mind to create awesome content that unequivocally will show your customers that you care about them! 
  1. Respect the person, the platform and the moment. You need to ensure that you are thinking of who you are trying to reach, where they typically are and when they will be interacting with you
  2. Empathize with your reader/viewer and their schedule. It is important to ensure that you are posting and publishing content when people can actually see and interact with the video content. 
  3. When you create video content, make sure it can be sectioned into micro-videos to be used on various platforms. It allows you to interact and engage with people on different platforms at different times and enables you to increase your ROI.
  4. If you are wondering where to start, you can use previously gathered data for ideation and content creation. 
  5. Put your heart and soul into the content. Make sure to employ user-generated content. Try not to be too serious if the situation allows for it. Fun is contagious and easier to engage with and share. 
  6. Make sure you know what you are looking to get out of any contract. Use the Pro Wish List as the base for your checklist:
    • Know your goal: Conversion? Views? Awareness?
    • Know your audience: Who are you trying to reach?
    • Distribution platform: Folks are in different places
    • Budget is important! 

With these awesome tips, we can all begin to plan and create some great video content. If you would like to learn more about the great video content Erica Hanna and her team have created, gain from attending one of her workshops or hire her for video production, click here

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Association Spotlight - MIMA: Inspire + Connect


Ian Schafer brilliantly expressed why it is so important for marketers to keep learning and growing professionally: “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don't catch up, we’re in trouble.”

What is the MIMA? 
Following this blog, you have probably noticed two trends that run my professional life: learning and networking. I am currently part of 4 marketing associations In Minnesota, and would like to use this post to give a special shout out to the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA).  Staying true to the motto "Inspire + Connect", MIMA has monthly events that are open to its members and the general public. The association also has member only events as well as student oriented programming to create spaces for learning, networking and mentorship. MIMA's aim is to "serve and inspire its over 1,400 members from agency, corporate and freelance environments in content development, design, experience design, marketing, media product development, promotions, publishing, and usability."

MIMA's has different kinds of events that include:
  • Tactics in Twenty: where three speakers have 20 minutes each to present a topic or case study, followed by a Q & A.
  • MIMA Meet-Ups: member only hour-long sessions in open forum format to discuss topics such as "Digital Advertising Trends" and "Productivity Tools."
  • Annual MIMA Summit: Annual summit dealing with topics surrounding content, mobile, design, paid, social, data and the digital mix. It is an excellent chance to interact with and learn from industry influencers and experts.
  • Monthly Programming: regular programming open to everyone tackling topics like "Unlocking Your Customer: Predictive Marketing" and "Brand Storytelling in a Digital World".
  • Student events: events target marketing students looking for guidance, mentorship and networking opportunities such as: "How to Build Your Personal Brand to Land the Job you Want!".
While looking for opportunities to increase my digital marketing knowledge and expand my network, I found MIMA. I joined in April 2015 and attended my first event in May. It was the first Tactics in Twenty event, titled "Data + Tech" that focused on data-based and technical practices in SEO, SEM, PPC, content strategy and marketing automation.  The event featured Nina Hale of Nina Hale Inc., Josh Becerra of Monkey Island and Christina Lefebvre of Antenna. The content was truly insightful, and I was instantly hooked. I have attended events on a monthly basis since then and started volunteering with the Student Relations Committee in October. 

How to join!
If you are interested in joining MIMA, click here.  MIMA has student, professional and corporate levels of membership. Membership is free for students (YAY!) and $230 annually or $20 a month for professionals.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Rosemary Ugboajah, President of Neka Creative


"A brand's success is built on authentic connections. Authenticity is achieved by Inclusivity Marketing ™."
- Rosemary Ugboajah, Neka Creative
Rosemary Ugboajah is the president and owner of Neka Creative, a brand development agency. The agency's mission is to "reveal the wild brand promise in every organization with progressive authenticity." The company is blazing trails and changing the landscape of the marketing industry while demanding inclusion in the marketing process from start to finish.

Before launching her businesses, Rosemary built an extensive background in both corporate and agency settings in companies and organizations such as Advertising Federation of Minnesota, Concept Group, Yamamoto Moss, Colle McVoy, Target and National Black MBA Twin Cities Chapter. At her alma mater, the University of Minnesota, she studied Journalism and Speech Communications. Rosemary also co-founded and worked for Zydeco Design for four years before launching her sole proprietorship, Neka Creative. 

What does a typical day in your role look like?
A typical day is absolutely random. No two days are alike. Being a business owner and a strategist, you wear a zillion and one hats. I am constantly prospecting, managing teams, managing projects, and milestones, doing back office work, making sure people get paid, and making sure that there are enough people on the team to do the work that is coming up. It is extremely busy. No two days are alike, but there is a huge rush from conquering the day. I get up each day look at my schedule and think 'OK, we are gonna get through this, and we are gonna come out the other side victorious!'.

What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about people and seeing things excel. When you know, someone has given their all and accomplished something, and it does not have to be a mighty feat, that excites me. I am passionate about succeeding and about seeing everyone else on my team and around me succeed. I am also passionate about seeing my clients succeed. That's my passion: seeing people achieve something they might not achieve ordinarily without putting some energy and effort behind it.

What do you find most challenging about your job/career?

Not enough time in the day. That is my biggest challenge. There is always so much I have to do, but there is also so much I want to do. Trying to find the time and the energy to get it all done is an ongoing challenge.  

What do you finding most enriching about your job/career?

The people that I get to meet from all walks of life. I am in the people business, so while a lot of my job has to do with strategy, it is really about connecting with people. That is extremely rewarding. I try not to take things at face value, but dig deeper to find out what really matters to people and just listen. It is such an enriching process. That is what I love about what I do!

How did you find yourself in the career you currently hold?

Well, it is the only thing I have done. It is second nature to me. I deliberately picked going into a creative field. When I was younger, I was told I was more science-oriented, which was because I was a pure science student. I however really loved people's work in the art classes. I could not draw to save my life at the time, and I was continuously told I was not going to be creative. I think that was pretty much it. They gave me a challenge, and I committed to it. 

I took art from a different school because I maxed out my credits where I was. Even as a high school student, I got my work into competitions. I went to art school as an adult and did design. I worked as a designer for a bit in London. I eventually decided that there were better designers than me, but I loved the creative field and stayed in it. It was interesting how in London, everywhere you looked, you got some visual communication, be it on the Underground or around the town. There was an excellent use of language, imagery, humor, just constant entertainment. I wanted to be a part of it, and that is all I have done since then. 

Words of advice for anyone to wants to pursue this career?

If you really, really want it, you've got to sacrifice a bit. Let your hunger for wanting to be in the career be your driving force. It doesn't come easy. There will be a lot of obstacles along the way if you want to have a meaningful position in the industry. It should come from your love for the industry and your love for connecting with people. If you do not have a love of truly connecting with people, you will not make it in the creative industry. If you feel you have the answers, and feel you are just going to talk to people as opposed to with them, it will be tough to have a successful brand campaign. I think just following that drive, being ready to work hard, and being an excellent listener are the essential elements. 

There is something for everyone in this industry. There are so many roles, and we need all types of people and all types of thinkers because the work that we do shapes society. If we wanted to go back and assess any era, we would assess it by what people were talking about and what they were advertising. With everything we touch, we have a tremendous responsibility to make sure that we are telling a good story for this moment in time. We need to take that responsibility seriously. It's not just about selling, it is about being responsible for what we do and how we do it. What will be the adverse effects of let's say perpetuating a stereotype just to get a product sold? It is more about the importance of society and pop culture overall. We are leaving artifacts behind, and we have to be mindful of that! 

To learn more about Rosemary and Neka Creative, click here

Happy Valentine's day and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

All the Things a Digital Marketer Can Do!


Recently, I attended a Women's Leadership Panel that AdFed MN hosted, where seven women spoke on experiences and challenges faced in their various professions. These incredible women of the advertising world of Minnesota gave us priceless words of advice about how to thrive and soar in the industry. Mahtab Rezai, Principal and CEO of Crux Collaborative, gave this profound advice: "Go for your vocation, not a job." There are so many fields and positions within Digital Marketing one can work in and have. Today, we will try to explore a few to set you on the path of finding your dream vocation!

Fields of Digital Marketing

There are many moving pieces and mechanisms that make digital advertising and marketing go around. It is important to have business goals that inform your strategy and tactics. Some projects may need e-mail marketing while others require social media marketing or even a combination of both. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tools such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search are also essential to a digital marketing strategy. Based on business needs, a team may even decide to create and publish content on a blog (wink, wink).

With all these tools, it is important to have the appropriate content and interactive design to help clients and consumers find the right information at the right time. Setting up the Analytics and data tools and software are also essential to be able to measure and track results, and decipher areas of improvement. 

Digital Marketing Positions 

For all these functions you need digital marketing strategists, user experience designers, social media managers, digital project managers and paid search planners. You will also need researchers, analysts, account planners/managers, web developers, video producers, creative directors, copywriters, event managers and much more. Finding the right path for you may mean talking to people who currently occupy some of the roles you are considering or taking on projects with the areas of digital marketing you find interesting. 

This does not by any stretch of the imagination cover all fields and positions available in the digital marketing field. I, however, hope that your appetite is whetted enough that you will continue to explore this industry and see where you might fit in. The Creative Group, the marketing and advertising arm of Robert Half, annually releases a document with an overview of the areas of need within the industry, as well as positions and salary ranges. To learn more, click here!

Thanks for reading!