Online Brand Reputation Management: The Good, The Bad, and the Trolls

Picture this: you live in a small town where everyone knows everyone and nothing’s a secret. One day, Nancy has a bad experience with a clerk at the grocery store. Tales of the rogue clerk spread through book club and golf league like wildfire, and the grocer soon sees his sales plummet.

In this digital age, the web is much like that small town. Rumors take root on sites like Google Places, Yelp, and Angie’s List, and, if left unmanaged, spread and endure, damaging sales like Negative Nancy’s comment did to our poor grocer.

What to do? Some may tell you to ignore the haters and focus on what you do well. We’ll argue the opposite. The first step to effective online reputation management is embracing the negativity that comes with a digital presence.

Continue reading Online Brand Reputation Management: The Good, The Bad, and the Trolls

Social Media Specialist
Shelby Bake is a social media copywriter with a background in web writing, email marketing, and digital content strategy. She has worked with clients in various industries, including insurance, health, and food.

Are You Following The Three Rules of Buyer Education?

Today’s buyers don’t want to hear from you until they say so. That’s why, at Element, we preach the gospel of permission-based marketing. The content marketing programs we run on behalf of our clients aim to ease buyers along the journey to purchase with the right materials at the right time. We’re successful when customers get what they need to inform themselves, decide our client is the solution, and, only then, initiate contact. Information is the oil that keeps the modern buying process running. And, make no mistake: buyers are in charge, not you. If you aren’t providing a great buyer education experience, someone else will.

To help your customers learn about your brand, culture, products and services, follow the three rules of buyer education: Continue reading Are You Following The Three Rules of Buyer Education?

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

Six Ways to Accelerate Your Content Marketing Approval Workflow

When you think about what makes up an effective content marketing program, a lot of moving pieces come to mind:

  • Blog posts
  • Video and animation
  • Branded graphics
  • Social media
  • eBooks, case studies, and other premium content

…And so on. The workflow goes like this: get a great idea, create content around it, and publish. You get your content finished and you’re good to go, right? Not so much.

There’s a very important step missing above that can slow down even the most incredible content marketing: Continue reading Six Ways to Accelerate Your Content Marketing Approval Workflow

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

Focus on Your Digital Marketing Goals, Not Your Software Tools

We get it. We have a great job here at Element. It’s exciting to deliver content marketing and marketing automation platforms for our clients, delivering results for them and, yes, “playing” online all day. It can be tempting to dive right in with us, helping to choose the many products and services that we use to deliver our digital marketing programs. Frankly, we love it that our customers are so invested in partnering with us.

Continue reading Focus on Your Digital Marketing Goals, Not Your Software Tools

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

Marcus Sanford, Element’s New Content Marketing Analyst, By the Numbers

Element has been producing a lot of content for clients lately. At last count, we’ve reached roughly two bazillion people with our digital marketing programs in the past year.

And, that’s why we’re excited to welcome Marcus Sanford to the team as our new Content Marketing Analyst. He’s charged with telling the story behind all the data produced by our campaigns, turning raw numbers into business insights, and creating a 360° look at our clients’ marketing efforts. He also crafts our Marketing Automation solutions and manages CRM integration.
Continue reading Marcus Sanford, Element’s New Content Marketing Analyst, By the Numbers

The Automation Advantage: Empower Your Email Marketing

What’s the highest-performing digital marketing channel? Is it Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? You may be surprised to know that yes, even in 2017, the tool that delivers the strongest return on investment for marketers is still email. With a median ROI of 122 percent, if done well it can be more effective per dollar for some organizations than other tactics.

Continue reading The Automation Advantage: Empower Your Email Marketing

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

The Automation Advantage: Is Your Marketing Working For You 24/7?

Growing up in Oklahoma, we had a common saying: “I’m fixin’ to get ready.” In other words, I’ve got somewhere to go or something to do, but not quite yet – so in the meantime I’m doing something else, which may or may not have anything to do with what I’m doing later. The buying cycle for your customers is a lot like that today, too.

According to SiriusDecisions, as much as 70 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before they reach out to sales. So, a lot of your future customers are fixin’ to get ready – but how would you know, unless they call or email you every time they’ve made progress towards making a purchase. The more complex the purchase is, and the longer the sales cycle, the worse this situation gets for sales and marketing departments. Sales may spend time calling a visitor over and over who filled out a form on your site. If the visitor is only in the initial research stage of their buying process, it’s a waste of time for your sales teams, and irritates potential customers. Continue reading The Automation Advantage: Is Your Marketing Working For You 24/7?

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

The Automation Advantage: Do You Know Who’s Visiting Your Website?

Back on Valentine’s Day, Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers reported for spring training, which got me thinking. I’m a huge baseball fan, and always make time to go to at least a few Brewers games each season, while I listen to and watch hundreds more. I’m excited about the possibility for Andrew Susac, who came over to Milwaukee from the San Francisco Giants last year, to win the starting catcher’s role.

Imagine what it’s like to be given your shot to make a major-league roster. Everything you do is being watched closely by your fellow players, coaches, and management. The choices you make daily are a risk, and knowing what to do in each situation is critical – what pitch to recommend, whether to try to throw out a base stealer, picking up on opposing hitters’ tendencies. It takes a lot of preparation and work.

Just like professional baseball players, modern sales teams are under huge pressure to perform. Producing on deadline, hunting for new leads, presenting, making cold calls and sending emails. Figuring out the best use of their time on any given day can be a real challenge. Without the right intelligence, this can boil down to guesswork. They need more and better information on leads and prospects, and they expect Marketing to supply it. But what’s the best way to gather this kind of detail in a timely fashion, and make it accurate enough to be actionable? The tools you use today won’t cut it.

Continue reading The Automation Advantage: Do You Know Who’s Visiting Your Website?

Content Marketing Analyst
Marcus Sanford has worked in marketing and communications for 17+ years, driving success for hundreds of clients in the financial services, small business, healthcare, manufacturing and non-profit/advocacy spaces.

Emma Nelson Explains How to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Feeling a little more “Bah-humbug” than Joy to the World right now? No worries, we’ve got just the person to help.

Emma Nelson joined Element this fall as a content marketing specialist, but she’s also our in-house expert on the holidays.

A native of Rhinelander, she recently moved back to Wisconsin from Colorado where she was working as a freelance writer for a variety of clients, from horse supplement makers and financial planners to magazines for baby boomers.

We quickly learned that Emma loves the holiday season, Christmastime in particular. So we thought it would be a great idea to let her cheer up the Grinches and Scrooges out there this time of year.

If the holidays feel like a drag and your life’s a little too hectic, Emma’s attitude will help you get some jingle back in your bells.

Continue reading Emma Nelson Explains How to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

Do You Have to Choose the Lesser of Two Marketing Evils?

As this article is being written, we’re nearing the end of what can easily be called the craziest, most frustrating presidential election in recent U.S. history.

The Republican and Democratic party nominees are so unpopular, supporters spend most of their time talking about how terrible the opposition is while making excuses for the downfalls of their chosen candidate.

A lot of voters feel like they’re being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. They have to vote for the person they dislike the least instead of someone they truly believe in.

The worst part is, it seems like no matter what the election results are, we’ll still end up with a mess.

Sometimes your options for marketing feel that way, too. However, when it comes to choosing how to reach your target audience, there is a very viable alternative.

Let’s take a look at the marketing candidates …

Continue reading Do You Have to Choose the Lesser of Two Marketing Evils?

Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck has been creating content since he was just a little kid, writing stories and making radio shows on his Fisher Price tape recorder. He went on to produce local television and wrote for an area newspaper before discovering the power of telling stories online. Kasey worked as a content marketer, blogger, and copywriter for two ecommerce companies before joining Element in 2015.