Author: Andy Seibert

How to Become Agency of the Year

How to Become Agency of the Year

 

2017 was an amazing year for Imprint. We had been nominated as Small Content Marketing Agency of the Year by CMA three times, and winning last September on our fourth consecutive nomination put a real spring in our step. Among other accolades, we were just named to Gramercy Institute’s Top 12 Financial Agencies for 2018.

To date, there have been over 50 awards for our clients and ourselves, and we haven’t yet reached our fifth year anniversary!

What’s the thread to creating the winning work? Some Imprint team members weigh in with six tips:

 

  • Tap the best of others

I think one of the strong suits of the team here is collaboration. There’s a real team effort in strategy and optimization, not the traditional silos that you see in other agencies.

– Brendan Burke, strategy @Imprint_Brendan

 

  • Don’t settle for cookie cutter

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to our work. Our content programs are strategic and highly tailored to the needs to our clients and their audiences. From scheduling and process, to editorial and creative, everything we do is customized to deliver the best end results for our clients. We push our clients out of their comfort zones and encourage them to try new formats and approaches that we believe can strategically help them reach their goals.

– Kim Papa, editorial @Imprint_KimP

 

  • Get your hands dirty

We combine strategy and creativity with roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-it-done delivery.

– Meg Staknis, strategy 

 

  • Look outwards, not inwards

We’re laser-focused on our clients and on their business. We’re focused on their markets, their challenges, their audiences and the opportunities that content provides to create relationships and deliver results. We’re always looking at the bigger picture, the trends and technologies that will make our work as resonant, effective and innovative as possible.

– Duncan Milne, strategy @ContentDuncan

 

  • Be audience-first

Our work embodies the perspective of the audience. Always.

– Ashley Brenner, design @Imprint_AshleyB

 

  • Speak up!

The Imprint team is not afraid to question the norm, to voice an opinion.

– Ken Williams, business development @Imprint_KenW

5 Essential Content Marketing Ideas for 2018

5 Essential Content Marketing Ideas for 2018

A New Year can be a new beginning. Some people make resolutions, while others just reflect on the past. The Imprint team is all about looking ahead, and we’ve compiled five ideas to incorporate into your fresh thinking for 2018.

1. Stay nimble, stay ahead

Make 2018 all about testing, reading results and switching up your approach based on what you find. For example, when it comes to social, don’t just rely on organic engagement. Make sure you are testing paid promotion and leveraging influencers. You can be tactical using A/B testing on the fundamentals, and strategic by testing on new platforms, if your audiences are there.

2. Break the B2B mold

For years we’ve been moving our clients away from traditional B2B company talk and toward having a conversation with the audience that’s true to who they are: people.

3. Make it real

To exhibit expertise, brands create white papers. To drive engagement? Brands should tell stories, create a narrative and make their content relatable.

4. Use data wisely

In the age of Big Data, content marketers need to be thoughtful about the use of data in their programs. The key question to ask: what is the desired outcome of the use of data? Look at a customer’s journey through the sales funnel, and use data to serve up relevant content to increase engagement, if possible, at every interaction. In terms of showing personalization, we recommend layering that on more as the client moves deeper in the funnel.

5. Choose quality over quantity

Content marketing continues to become more complex, sophisticated and messy. Make sure that you are not creating new content just for the sake of creating it. Refresh and reimagine wherever possible and focus new content creation efforts on what you need to engage your key targeted audiences.

We’re starting the New Year off with renewed energy and ready to kick 2018 into high gear!

What You Can Learn from Russia’s Content Marketing

What You Can Learn from Russia’s Content Marketing

If you’re on Facebook, there is a good chance you’ve been exposed to a post produced by Russian-backed agents. Exploring Russian’s influence on the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, Facebook has reported that the Russians reached 126 million Americans on its network.

You might be angry, you may need to see more evidence. But one thing is clear—it’s a classic case study of content marketing.

Let’s review the five steps Russia took to master content marketing:

  1. Know your audience and segments. Russia was able to read the divide that was happening between major political parties, and within the parties.
  2. Understand the message that needs to be told in order to resonate. What are the issues that were motivating segments? From feeling the Bern to being with Her, there was much emotion to navigate.
  3. Create content that drives action. In this case, the messages were overwhelmingly controversial and hateful―and unfortunately well done for the strategy.
  4. Be smart and strategic with targeted distribution. The Russians were able to use social platforms to target specific states, groups and individuals.
  5. Effectively spend and measure. While the budget wasn’t large, it showed just how much impact a $100,000 toward media can have.

The Russians may have influenced our elections, but they definitely stole content marketing.

Content Marketing Agency of the Year: Thank You

Content Marketing Agency of the Year: Thank You

It was our fourth nomination, and it turns out this was our year.  At the 2017 Content Marketing World conference, run by the Content Marketing Institute, Imprint was named “Content Marketing Agency of the Year” (<100 employees).  It was truly a surprise!  We were in great company, as the five other nominees seem to do really interesting work.

Our clients are amazing, and they are the thread to why we were honored with this award.

  • They push us to think differently. Our clients want us to respect the past, but not be hindered by legacy.  We make sure their brand is clearly infused in the work so even the most common of concepts stand out and can be owned.
  • We relentlessly focus on a client’s audience.  It’s not just asking the why that is important, but really the for who.  Because when you concentrate on what audiences need and want, you don’t really need to justify why content is created.
  • They trust us. We value quality over quantity and are measurement obsessed.

We’re committed to bringing our clients excellence and drive for results.  But at this moment, we’re taking a breath and saying, thank you!

Print isn’t dead, only patience

Print isn’t dead, only patience

In the Campaign Live piece below, I offer my thoughts in regard to print media–the death of which has been greatly exaggerated.

 

Click-through rates, opens, impressions, downloads and…dog-eared pages? Developments in analytic capabilities have allowed marketers to understand the ROI of each initiative, and in an increasingly digital world, these results begin to pour in almost immediately after pressing go.

Read More at www.campaignlive.com

Is Winning Everything?

Is Winning Everything?

Taking Learnings from Rio Onward to Cleveland.

I just returned from attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and I’m off to Cleveland next week for Content Marketing World. Two different cities, for sure. But I learned some lessons in Rio which I am definitely packing in my carry-on.

Content Marketing World is like the Olympics of content marketing: multi-days, tons of talent, ending in very competitive awards categories. Imprint, at only three and a half years old, is nominated for Small Agency of the Year for the third year in a row.

So what did I learn in Rio that I’m taking to Cleveland? Of course I was reminded of the preparation, dedication and focus of world-class athletes. What really inspired me, though, was the sense of team. While everyone wants to win, the spirit of the collective work – what happened throughout the year – matters most.

The Olympic games in Rio put these athletes in the spotlight. But how hard do they train when no one is watching?   I didn’t have to ask that question to Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton, the fittest married couple on earth. The answer is hard; they train very hard. This year, Ashton repeated a gold medal win in the men’s decathlon and Brianne took the bronze in women’s heptathlon.

At a small agency, you do everything. You roll up your sleeves, dig in and do your very best. And often there isn’t anyone watching.   You’re representing your team, and standing for your collective mates. I am so proud of the team at Imprint and the incredible work that has been done this year.

Win or lose in Cleveland, it’s bigger than one award. Here we go!

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