Menu

Marketing

  • Digital Marketing for Digital Nomads


    If you’re reading this from a coffee shop - while you also have spreadsheets, sales reports, or your personal portfolio open in other tabs at the same time - you might just be a digital nomad.

    Today, technology has made it easier than ever to get work done without having to tether yourself to a traditional office. Digital suites, Skype, task managers, messaging apps like Slack - all of these innovations have made it possible for people, and perhaps even entire businesses, to work without having to ground themselves in place.

    For some people, this means getting to work from the comfort of home. For others, it means making stops at a shared office space, or the classic coffee shop. And for still more, embracing the life of a digital nomad means truly hitting the road, working and traveling all at the same time.

    Our friends over at Hubspot have a great article spotlighting some digital nomads turning work into a vacation,available here. One big takeaway from that read, for us Geeks, was this: Embracing the traveling lifestyle and combining it with work can be an amazing opportunity, one that leads to increased productivity and more “moonshot” thinking. But it can also mean having to make sacrifices - when it comes to time and when it comes to budget.

    But here’s one sacrifice you shouldn’t have to make:digital marketing.

  • Digital Marketing for Financial Professionals

    Digital Marketing for Financial Professionals (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    With 69 million Americans banking online, and more than half of all Americans paying at least one bill online per month, there can be no question that the financial industry now lives and breathes on the internet. Whether you’re a planner, strategist, advisor, service provider, or any other financial pro, it’s time to make sure that you’re ready to thrive in the digital ecosystem.

    The first step? Bring your digital marketing campaign – including web development, social media, retention marketing, and content creation strategies – up to snuff. 

    Before we move on, let's first dispense with some reservations and myths about digital marketing that some of our financial advisor friends and colleagues have pointed out to us. Above all, it's important to bear in mind that FINRA and other regulatory agencies prevent financial advisors from marketing their accomplishments. From copyright to CAN-SPAM, we know the importance of keeping digital marketing on the right side of the law! But also know that while you may be unable to discuss, for example, specific returns, or guarantee a client's successes - check out FINRA for the exhaustive regulations - there are still plenty of things professionals can and should share, like the benefits of planning at all, or the importance of understanding all of the options available in the marketplace. 

    Ready to capture fresh leads and position yourself as a thought leader in your field? Here are the five keys to digital marketing success for pros in the finance industry:

    Meet Your Audience Where They Live and Work

  • Digital Marketing for Healthcare Professionals

    Digital Marketing for Healthcare Professionals (Source: Pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Healthcare is complicated, and marketing it seems like it would be even tougher. We’re talking about a multifaceted industry, one that includes actors ranging from hospitals and private practices to insurance providers, from pharmaceutical companies to medical device manufacturers, all bound by plenty of complicated regulations: HIPAA compliance, FDA restrictions on marketing, and the ongoing effects of the Affordable Care Act.

    With all of these variables and parties taken into consideration, it’s no wonder that “the healthcare industry as a whole tends to lag behind other industries when it comes to marketing by about two years,” according to HubSpot.

    So, whether you’re a healthcare provider reaching out directly to “payers and patients” or a medical company trying to reach physicians, shareholders, or advocacy groups, digital marketing is the key to a successful, healthy future.

    Here are five key elements of digital marketing to keep in mind for your healthcare brand:

    1.) Build a Functional, Responsive Website

  • Digital Marketing For Law Firms

    Digital Marketing For Law Firms

    There are more than 91,000 lawyers registered in the state of Illinois. And, according to LexisNexis, 76% of people looking for lawyers last year used the web to do so. When you put the two together, it's easy to see why law firms need a digital marketing strategy. Here's what to keep in mind when developing a site and blogging for your practice

    Write With Your Audience's Perspective In Mind

    Most law firms rightfully want to boast about their stacks and stacks of credentials and experience. While most attorneys have certainly earned some bragging rights, the focus of your practice’s digital marketing strategy should be showing support to your potential clients. Further, the ethics rules and guidelines governing an attorney's advertising, solicitation, and marketing limit what the law firm can or should say - and it varies by state.

    When someone searches for a lawyer, they’re essentially looking for help in solving a problem. Recognize that. Use your credentials as a way of showing how you’ll be the biggest source of help. In this case, being the smartest person in the digital room means being the most helpful, by giving out high quality content marketing materials - for free. Be mindful, of course, that your content could be interpreted as dispensing legal advice. With that in mind, write and edit cautiously, and/or be sure to always add the appropriate disclaimers. 

  • Digital Marketing for Nonprofits

    Digital Marketing for Nonprofits (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Nonprofits and charity organizations have led the charge on so many amazing causes and campaigns over the years. We have the tireless work of nonprofit crusaders to thank for so many things, from cleaner water and air to safer streets.

    But how will these important organizations continue to do their essential work in a marketplace increasingly defined by shorter attention spans and tighter budgets? The answer is digital marketing.

    Here are five ways that nonprofits can put the power of the internet to work for their marketing, helping to drive in donations and increase outreach without breaking the bank:

    1.) Take Advantage of Unique SEM Opportunities…

  • Digital Marketing for Politicians

    Digital Marketing for Politicians (Source: Commons Wikimedia)

    Whether you’re a local alderman or the President of the United States, every politician needs to have a solid digital marketing strategy. As more and more Americans – including your constituents – spend more and more of their time online, it’s important to keep up.

    For many voters and constituents, your online face is the first one they’ll see; it’s important to give your community an online presentation that demonstrates just how knowledgeable, engaged, and experienced you truly are.

    "Now, more than ever, every elected official and candidate needs a professional digital presence to stay connected to voters." - Kelly Dietrich, GetElected.com 
    GetElected.com

    Your updates, your achievements, your photo opps: In 2016, all of these need to live online and be easily accessible to the curious citizens in your community. Here’s what politicians need to know about digital marketing:

    Be Engaging, Get Conversions

  • Digital Marketing for Real Estate, Architecture, and Interior Design

    In the fields of real estate, architecture, and interior design, appearances and aesthetics play a big part in the final product. Whether it's an entire building or just one room, you only get one chance to make a lasting first impression.

    The same goes for digital marketing!

    Putting a digital marketing strategy in place is one way to enhance and share the appearance of yourself or your firm in the minds of your next clients.

    By producing content that speaks to specific audiences, bringing in visual media that represents the unique view of your firm, and building an engaging website, real estate agents, architects, and interior designers can use digital marketing to secure leads and demonstrate their professional finesse.

    Ready to build your brand’s digital home – and reach your next batch of paying clients? Here’s what home professionals need to know:

    1.) Handcraft a Dynamic Website

  • Digital Marketing for the Hospitality Industry

    Digital Marketing for Hospitality Industry

    More than a third of all Americans have plans to travel more than 50 miles from home in 2017, according to AAA. Of all of those people planning to travel, a full thee-fourths "say resting and relaxing is very or extremely important to them,” according to a study from the Associated Press.

    And among those travelers, hotels and motels remain the most popular type of accommodation by a wide margin. Despite the rise of short term vacation rentals, 45% of vacationers plan to use hotels, according to the AP.

  • Do Social Marketers Really Know How to Put Data to Work?

    Do Social Marketers Really Know How to Put Data to Work?

    We’ve talked before about the importance of monitoring your social media analytics. Understanding how your social marketing campaigns are operating can give you an enormous insight into what to do with them in the future, in order to maximize their efficiency and help you attain your unique social goals, whether that’s increasing engagement, capturing leads, or refining your brand narrative.

    But it’s important to realize that the raw data generated through social media goes beyond mere “likes” and “shares;” instead, your social marketing is yielding valuable information that you can apply to every aspect of your digital marketing.

    Using social media to “listen” for potential clients, for instance, is a highly effective way to define – and reach – your brand’s ideal audience; monitoring the performance of different Facebook Ads and spend can help you refine your approach to copywriting, and even your overall brand messaging.

  • Do You Have a Trustworthy Website?

    Do You Have a Trustworthy Website? (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    What makes Facebook less “trustworthy” than LinkedIn in the eyes of small business owners? What makes Squarespace top Weebly or Wix?

    Asking why consumers prefer one thing over another can sometimes feel like asking why someone prefers red to blue, or finds clowns scarier than spiders. It’s just a “feeling,” a “vibe,” or an “impression,” they’ll say. It just seems more trustworthy, and that can’t be quantified!

    And while the whims of an audience might be impossible to ever fully understand, we know that there are all sorts of web design and content marketing best practices your brand can put into place to make a positive first impression on your visitors. And establishing trust is hugely important to establishing a relationship and turning searchers into customers – you might have the best Call-to-Action on the web, but nobody’s going to click it if they find your site untrustworthy.

    Want to increase your leads and conversions by making your site more trustworthy? Here are four website ideas sure to boost your brand in the eyes of your audience:

    1.) Build Confidence With “Social Proof”

  • Does Anyone Still Read Digital Newsletters?

    Rumors of email’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

    Maybe you’ve been put off by the declining cultural relevance of Outlook or Yahoo! Mail. Maybe you’ve read reports that social messaging is going to supplant email marketing in the coming years. Maybe you’ve just been put off by the fact that email is the oldest toy in the chest, while there are shiny new doodads to play with.

    We get it! But the fact is, email is a workhorse – and a truly great digital newsletter can work wonders for your brand in a way that no other form of marketing communication can.

    Don’t believe us? Let’s break down the numbers.

  • Does Your Department Need a Content Strategy?

    It’s time to separate “content” and “content marketing.”

    Because, while they often get lumped together, it’s important to realize a fundamental truth: Content is a vital and valuable tool for every single part of your business.

    Traditionally, content marketing is thought of as the cornerstone of all inbound marketing strategies. Essentially, the thinking goes, you create and distribute unique, branded content in order to cultivate a situation where your potential customers come to you. In the end, this helps you generate more traffic and hotter leads – with a fraction of the effort and at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing methods.

    We’re not here to tear into content marketing and its role in inbound; in fact, it’s our bread and butter here at Geek. We know full well that content marketing works.

    What we’re here to say today is that it’s important to consider all of the other ways that you can put content to work for your organization, at every level of your company and at every step of the buyer’s journey.

    Because, you see, content isn’t just about marketing. It’s about sales. It’s about retention. It’s about client management. It’s about PR. It’s about recruiting. It’s something that every department can use to their advantage, starting right now.

  • Don't Be Fooled By the Promise of SEO 'Short Cuts'

    Don't Be Fooled By the Promise of SEO 'Short Cuts'

    It’s easy to see why someone may be lured in by the promise of instant search engine success. Being told that you can increase your traffic 600% in a few days or start ranking on the (so-called) "front page of Google" instantly is appealing. We get that! After all, the end goal of most digital marketing is to generate new leads and conversions; who wouldn’t want to jump through all the busywork and get to those valuable conversions as quickly as possible?

    Let’s make one thing clear: We’re certainly not here to knock SEO (search engine optimization); in fact, we believe that creating original content that gets you recognized and ranked by search engines is one of the most important things you can do to drive new customers to your website, as well as retain your existing audience base.

  • Don’t Make These Email Marketing Mistakes

    Don’t Make These Email Marketing Mistakes

    The most powerful marketing tool available in business today is email.

    A bold claim, we know, but the facts don't lie. The Direct Marketing Association published a study in the book “The Power of Direct Marketing” on the effects of different types of internet marketing. Email came out on top with nearly twice that of any other approach.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Nearly twice as effective as any other marketing approach.

    With that in mind, email marketing can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and engage your customers. However, you should be warned - if done the wrong way, email can be useless, or worse, harmful to your business.

    Here are four mistakes you should avoid if you want to reap the benefits of of email marketing.

    Not Targeting Your Audience

  • Emails Keep Breaking in Outlook? Here's What to Do

    Emails Breaking in Outlook? Here's What To Do

    You’ve spent hours crafting the perfect email newsletter template. You’ve sweated over your text, your margins, and your alignment and you’re finally as happy as a clam. All that’s left is to send it to your client and await their glowing feedback!

    But what happens when their response isn’t as sunny as you’d like? In fact, your client is complaining that the photos are out of alignment or totally missing, the text is too poorly-formatted to read, and the whole thing looks like an unfinished, jumbled-up mess.

    If your boss or clients are using Outlook, you’ve probably been on the receiving end of this before, helplessly watching on as the free mail service changes the look of your entire email thanks to its major rendering differences.

    So what can you do to make sure Outlook doesn’t garble up any of your future email masterpieces? With our thanks to this great article at Hubspot, here are five tips to help ensure your emails are ready for Outlook:

    1.) Make Use of Tables

  • Evergreen Marketing in a Nutshell

    Evergreen Marketing in a Nutshell

    Do you want to make your content more searchable, more shareable, and more appealing to your customers? If you answered “yes” to any of the above – and we hope you did – then it’s time to think about trees.

    Pine and fir trees – like the kind we bring indoors to light up around the holidays – are known as “evergreen trees,” because their vivid green leaves stick around all year long.

    Evergreen content works the same way. We consider a piece evergreen if it’s timeless, with a long, maybe even indefinite, shelf life. It’s the kind of content that your readers will always be seeking out, regardless of the time of year or the hot trend of the moment.

    When done right, evergreen content is foundational: It provides the definitions or helps answer the questions your users are already looking for, and it’s a vital piece of any content marketing strategy.

    Having the right kind of evergreen content marketing in place can help drive sustainable, continuous traffic to your blog or site, allowing you to build your following and, with the right tools, convert visiting users into clients.

    Need some ideas to get started? Here are a five types of evergreen content that never go out of style:

    1.) Curated Content

  • Everything I Ever Needed to Know About SEO I Learned in Kindergarten

    Everything I Ever Needed to Know About SEO I Learned in Kindergarten (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

    Remember nap time? Ugh, what could be better than having a built-in hour of sleep right in the middle of a busy day?

    Looking back at it from an adult’s perspective, kindergarten truly was an amazing time. Not just because of the naps – and the painting and the toys and the recess – but because it was one of the most fertile learning periods that any of us are likely to have. The lessons about civility, integrity, and hard work that we got back as five year olds still serve us today – particularly in our field of content marketing.

    Don’t believe us? Here are five lessons from kindergarten that we use in the realm of SEO every single day:

    Keep It Simple

  • Facebook Introduces Call-to-Action Buttons on Business Pages

    Dollar Shave Club Call to Action FacebookDecember has been a great month for digital marketers. While Twitter has been getting a substantial amount of press for its new Twitter Cards marketing platform, Facebook introduced another great prospect for digital marketers earlier this month.

    Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Facebook's newest phenomenon - Call-to-Action buttons.

    This feature, detailed in Hubspot, will serve to drive more traffic from your Facebook page directly to your website.

    This feature will be unveiled for worldwide use in 2015, so if you don't yet see this feature in your Page yet, never fear. It's coming.

    What a "Call-to-Action" Button is, and How it Works

    The Call-to-Action button Facebook is introducing takes its form in one of 7 pre-made options:

    1. "Sign up"
    2. "Shop now"
    3. Facebook Search Changes Open Doors For Small Business Marketers

      Facebook Search Changes Open Doors For Small Business MarketersRemember when Facebook introduced Graph Search? It has already been two years since we saw the launch of this enhancement, which turned Facebook users' searches from "Chicago" to the more specific (and more useful) "Friends who live in Chicago, Illinois" option.

      Now, Facebook has given us another great search tool, which replaces their former integration with Bing search engine. The results appear to optimize personalized search results, taking Graph Search to a whole other level - one that small businesses can use to their advantage.

      Here's what we know so far, courtesy of the Walker Sands blog.

      Encouraging News for Brands

      Changes in Facebook's algorithm last year left small brands struggling to reach fans. Organic reach was suddenly reduced to near zero without using a paid strategy. With this new search strategy, however, it looks like smaller businesses may have fighting chance.

      Facebook users can now search specific posts that have been shared by friends and Facebook pages you're a fan of.

      What does this mean, exactly? I'll give you one word that you've undoubtedly heard in your marketing career before: keywords.

      Creating Keyword-Boosted Content

      If you run a dog walking business, your new search strategy will include creating posts and content with keywords around dog walking, your service location, pet care, and more. You can use an extensive keyword strategy like this one to help identify keywords you'll want to pump up your posts and content with.

      Story-Based, Shareable Content

    4. Facebook Update Penalizes Certain Kinds of Statuses

      Facebook Penalizing Business Page Text UpdatesFacebook made an announcement this past Tuesday unveiling some small, but rather significant changes to how text and link statuses get ranked in the News Feed.

      The announcement explains that Facebook users typically don't like to interact with text statuses from companies as much as they do with their friend's updates, so they decided to demote the importance of text updates from companies on the News Feed.

      Additionally, this change will have two other big ramifications for Facebook businesses, according to Hubspot:

      1. Other types of status will also become more (or less) effective

      If some statuses get demoted in their magic Facebook ranking, others must rise to take their place.  We assume this means that ads, personal updates, and link-share status updates will climb the ladder of salience.  Facebook was rather vague with this comment, so we're simply speculating.  Time will tell.

      2. Links that fall under the "link-share" subgrouping will get promoted further

      Links can be shared in one of two ways on Facebook.

      a) The first looks like this, where the link is part of the text of the status itself (not considered a "link-share")

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).