11 Tips for Hosting a Corporate Event People Want to Attend

We’ve all received them: a stiff, impersonal invitation in black serif type on white letterhead. It’s the dreaded corporate event invite, an event you need to attend … but don’t necessarily want to attend.

If you’re planning to host a corporate event for your business, whether that be a ribbon cutting, product launch, or networking event, there are ways to flip that reaction on its head. Here are 11 tips for planning and hosting a seamless, successful, and measurable corporate event—one that guests will be clamoring to attend.

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Director of Public Relations
A self-described chatterbox, it’s rumored that Tara was born with a phone in her hand. It was only natural that she ended up in the marketing communications industry. With more than 12 years of industry experience, Tara specializes in campaign strategy, planning, publicity, and content marketing. In addition to socializing with just about anyone, Tara enjoys running, yoga, and watching her beloved Wisconsin Badgers. She also appreciates the occasional quiet weekend at home cooking and relaxing with her husband Ryan and kids, Julia and Colin.

The Journey to an Ideal Hire – How to Wow Like a Contestant on The Bachelor

ABC recently announced that Arie Luyendyk will anchor the next season of The Bachelor, a choice that sparked some deep water-cooler talk here at Element. We determined that the world’s most dramatic reality show offers much more than yearlong entertainment and guilty pleasures.*

The Bachelor is a veritable treasure trove of professional development resources for HR professionals – and we’re about to prove it. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll understand how years of watching The Bachelor have subconsciously prepared you to recruit ideal candidates. It’s almost as if Chris Harrison has been the Mr. Miyagi to your Daniel-san all along [Millennial explanation here]. 

Continue reading The Journey to an Ideal Hire – How to Wow Like a Contestant on The Bachelor

Mike Dockum is an Account Strategist with a passion for bringing the left and right brain together to form creative ideas that make logical sense. He has more than 15 years’ experience conducting market research, developing marketing plans, and creating integrated campaigns. A reformed Illinoisan who never even learned how to correctly pronounce “Illinoisan,” Mike and his family now make their home in Wrightstown.

7 Moments of Clarity from Content Marketing World 2017

I know it’s been done, and probably pretty cliché, but I originally wanted to call this blog post Fear and Loathing in Cleveland. I was so in love with the idea that I started writing the lede while standing in line to board my plane in Green Bay.

“I was somewhere in the air over Chicago when the antihistamine finally kicked in … “

My trip did start in a Hunter S. Thompson-esque fashion. Nursing a mild hangover from Labor Day weekend, running late after oversleeping, un-showered with bloodshot eyeballs thanks to the ragweed in the late summer air, I was leaving Wisconsin in a fog.

That wouldn’t last long.

Continue reading 7 Moments of Clarity from Content Marketing World 2017

Director of Content Marketing
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.

How to Create Content that Cuts Through Clutter and Crushes the Competition

Ten years ago, Bridget opened a yoga studio in her small, Midwestern hometown. Back then, yoga’s popularity was on the rise and she was among the first to introduce it to her community. Before long, she had a waiting list of students.

Flash forward to today …

There are dozens of yoga studios and other places to attend classes. Moms in yoga pants are everywhere you look, and Bridget is far from the only yogi in town. Lots of people saw the same opportunity, and even though the potential customer base for yoga has grown, her market is oversaturated. Bridget needs a way to differentiate her business from the competition.

I bet you think we’re about to suggest content marketing as the solution? Nope. In fact, digital content creators have the exact same problem as Bridget.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee shop, commercial construction, or your content marketing plan, when you’re not the only player in the game, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.

Digital marketing strategies often fall flat because companies fail to analyze the competition’s efforts before jumping in. You must look for ways to add value and break through the noise. But how?

Continue reading How to Create Content that Cuts Through Clutter and Crushes the Competition

Director of Content Marketing
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.

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.

Email Marketing: Can You Trust Best Practices?

There’s a lot of advice out there about email marketing, from myths and best practices to guidance from gurus and case studies with stats that will blow your mind. But is it all trustworthy?

If you’ve become frustrated with your company’s email marketing results, you may be relying too much on outdated, inaccurate, or anecdotal evidence. Here’s the truth about email marketing best practices and some honest advice about what matters most …  Continue reading Email Marketing: Can You Trust Best Practices?

Director of Digital Marketing
Officially, Derek is Element's Digital Marketing Director, specializing in search engine optimization, social media marketing, and website user experience design. However, outside the office, Derek cannot be pinned down to a single title, so let's go with "happy-hour-turned-late-nighter," "driveway fire-starter," "fins-up-Parrotheader," "world traveler," "Frisbee-throwing-dog-lover," and "up-to-the-minute digital dominator."

7 Ways to Make a Winning Super Bowl Commercial

As amazing as it would be, the vast majority of us will never be able to afford an advertisement during the Super Bowl.

If you do happen to have four or five million dollars in your marketing budget, that money might be best spent somewhere besides a single 30-second spot.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make a Super Bowl caliber commercial.

In fact, if you play your cards right, you could create something that gets just as many eyeballs and buzz as the Budweiser frogs. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you don’t have to pay millions to get people talking. You just need to make something that’s worth talking about.

Let’s take a look at some of the elements that go into making an advertisement of Super Bowl quality.

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Director of Content Marketing
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.

How to Create a Marketing Budget

Let’s talk about the ‘b’ word everyone likes to avoid: Budgets. When it comes to putting together your marketing plan or next project, writing down that number next to each line item can be tricky. While you’re planning out how to create a marketing budget, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Look at previous plans and budgets. Past project costs will shed a lot of light on your budget and is a great place to start when planning.

Don’t forget the details. Make sure you fully understand what all needs to come out of your marketing budget (salaries, agency fees, printing, postage, media, etc.). Next, add as much detail next to each line item as possible. Understanding where expenses come from within each project will help you make a more accurate projection.

Be upfront and honest. If you work with an agency, talk candidly about your objectives and budget. There’s always multiple ways to skin the cat so perhaps they can find ways to shave off dollars without losing the impact. Even if the initial project estimate is out of your ballpark, it’s worth a conversation to explore the possibilities.

Prioritize based on your goals. Which projects will have the most impact and will directly affect your annual objectives? Move these to the top so that if you can’t stretch your budget to accommodate all your activities, you’re at least getting done the ones that will move the needle.

If you’ve got too much on your plate or are looking for a fresh perspective on your marketing plan, remember agencies have experience planning and budgeting for a variety of clients and can add valuable perspective to the budgeting and planning process.

Director of Account Services
Nikki Peroutka has handled account service duties at Element for more than a decade. She remembers pre-PDF days when every proof required a face-to-face client meeting, and the number of colors in an ad determined its price. This, of course, makes her feel like an old marketing-weary battle-ax. Yet, she brings a youthful, fresh perspective to overseeing all client relationships as well as managing her own accounts. When her daily Director of Account Services duties are done, she enjoys relaxing with a good magazine or book, chasing around her son Oakley, and doing DIY projects around the house.

Tips for Crafting Your Story

By: Kate Shropshire

Twitter started real-time conversations, now they have facilitated real-time video with their on-the-rise app, Periscope. We can do more than listen, we can watch things happen live. Periscope is a platform for users or brands to live stream video to the world where users are tuning in to see live broadcasts of the first appearance of the Royal baby or sunsets on mountains.

Similarly, Snapchat is bringing brands to the devices consumers are attached to. Snapchat users can see celebrities get ready for award shows or watch a video story of an international musical festival and its attendees.

So why do these platforms matter? They provide new ways for brands to showcase a story on social media. These platforms also require creativity to breakthrough the status update quo. Here are 4 tips for brands when crafting a storytelling strategy.

  1. Think Mobile. As more and more people rely on the Internet for news, entertainment, and communication, it’s no secret your consumers are on their phones. To reach consumers, brands need to participate on the platforms people use daily. Brands are using Snapchat to give an inside look to consumers. Taco Bell shows off new products in Snapchat stories and the NBA generates excitement around the playoffs. As a brand, you can be one click away to consumers on the platforms they already trust and love.taco bell snapchat (picture source)
  2. Offer True Engagement. Engagement comes naturally as users can comment on Periscope streaming videos while they are happening. As a brand, there are now opportunities to really connect with consumers instead of pushing one-way messages at them.periscope on phone(picture source)
  3. Keep It Short. Some users are watching 8-second Snapchats instead of 2-minute videos. People want quick content that costs them little time as they move on to the next thing. Consumers want behind the scenes, exclusive looks at the world around them, and they want it fast. For the Billboard Music Awards, brands showed red carpet updates to fans through quick stories that highlighted the popular stars.IMG_4546
  4. Channel Your Inner Artist. With Snapchat, brands can type, doodle, use emojis, and pick filters for video and pictures. Brands can create anything they want since custom content is easy. Use the opportunity to show case some personality and get creative.SnapChat_Scavenger_FB-300x300 (picture source)

Now go explore the story-telling possibilities. Try it out and showcase the personality of your brand.

Digital Marketing Specialist