A Brighter Web | Grow your business with digital marketing
Is Twitter Worth My Business’ Time?

Is Twitter Worth My Business’ Time?

September 29, 2022

Quick—describe Twitter in less than 140 characters. It’s not easy to be succinct, but that brevity is one of the major advantages of Tweeting. Twitter might be great for influencers or debating politics, but does it have a place in business marketing? #GoodQuestion

How is Twitter different from other social platforms?

  • It’s more short form, micro posts with limited characters
  • It’s more focused on trending news content
  • Visual content still performs well, but it’s not entirely focused on that
  • Twitter is simpler because it has less of the added features of Facebook

How can Twitter work well for businesses?

  • It’s still a large and active social platform
  • There are lots of conversations to engage in
  • It’s a relatively easy platform to create short-form content for
  • Best for newsworthy posts and conversations (especially using hashtags)
  • A good way to keep on top of trends

Why might Twitter not be a good fit?

  • Many of their users are bots and fake accounts
  • Unlike LinkedIn, there’s a lot of political nonsense and anger
  • It’s much hard to maintain an active presence— it requires multiple posts per day to stay relevant
  • Sees a much lower engagement rate
  • Mostly suited for influencers with existing large audiences

How can your business take advantage of Twitter?

  • Use it mostly for quick updates and news content
  • Leverage visuals— one of the best platforms for GIFs
  • Join existing conversations using relevant hashtags
  • Connect with industry influencers
  • Set your expectations low and try to have some fun with it

What’s the future of Twitter?

  • They already went from 140 → 280, next is “articles”?
  • Open up API some more? Elon was planning to.
  • Cluttering themselves with too many different features (eg. Spaces)
  • Twitter Blue for $2.99/mo (ad-free, editing tweet feature)
Using Sitemaps and Wireframes For Better Websites

Using Sitemaps and Wireframes For Better Websites

September 15, 2022

If you’ve ever built a website before, you’ve probably heard about sitemaps and wireframes. But perhaps you’re not familiar with either, or why they’re important for custom website development. Let’s unpack the role sitemaps and wireframes play in creating websites and why to consider using both.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is a flowchart depicting the pages that need to be created for your site. Essentially like mapping out the chapters of your book before you start outlining the content.

Can you start building pages with a sitemap?

Like a book or school research paper, you need to create a content outline for each page. What topics need to be highlighted on each page? What is the main action a user should take on each page? A content outline gives you a good framework to start writing.

Which comes first: writing or wireframes?

Great question—many UX designers debate this very thing. Having a first draft of content is always ideal when starting your wireframes, but referencing the content outline is adequate.

What is a wireframe?

Think of a wireframe as a page blueprint before you add design elements. The black and white drawing (sometimes a hand sketch) of the page layout before you start thinking about the visual brand elements. More complex websites (and apps) require more complex wireframes.

How does this make a website stronger?

You remove the guessing game from your website strategy. You have a strong outline on to base the content on. This forces you to think about the purpose behind each page and slows you down enough to consider all of the details.

How to Tell Stories in Your Business

How to Tell Stories in Your Business

September 1, 2022

Storytelling is a term plenty of business leaders use—but are they actually prepared to tell stories? Finding the right stories in your company is one of the biggest challenges. In this episode, we’ll discuss what business storytelling looks like and where you can begin.

Why is storytelling worth it for businesses?

  • Stories are far more captivating than data or information
  • They create an emotionally-charged experience that people remember
  • Effective businesses invite their audience to imagine themselves as part of the story

What are the 4 things that every story has?

  • Context: setting and platform
  • Character: the perspective of the audience
  • Conflict: a problem that drives the narrative forward
  • Change: transformation because of the conflict

Where is the first place to start with business storytelling?

  • You’ve got to start listening to tell the stories of your audience
  • If you have people, then you have stories to tell
  • But you must earn their trust in order to hear their story
  • Always be ready to capture a story by writing down notes or capturing images
  • Share these stories with your team in a Story Library and have a set team of people who help you out

What’s a good example of business storytelling?

  • Humans of New York blew up when they started adding stories to their photos
  • The lesson is that you can listen either actively or passively for organizational stories

What are some storytelling resources?

Using Personality Assessments at Your Business

Using Personality Assessments at Your Business

August 18, 2022

Personality tests are more than just Buzzfeed time-wasters. They can be tools for understanding coworkers, building better teams, and becoming more self-aware. So which personality assessments are the most helpful and how do they apply to marketing?

Show Notes

What are some of the personality assessments out there?

How does GreenMellen get into using personality assessments?

  • We have always been a team of do-ers. We get things done, we are task-oriented. This was great for projects, but when it was time to grow our services, we hit a wall.
  • After one of our business coaches suggested a team personality assessment, we learned we how best to work with one another.
  • Just “being nice” isn’t the right approach.

Are personality tests perfect? What are the pros and cons?

  • Pros: Quick shorthand to understanding how people think and operate, fun to do as a team, gives you language around types of people and behaviors
  • Cons: can be overly generalized, overused to make big decisions, hard to know which one to use, not obvious how to put the results into practice. 
  • People can “own” them a bit too much and try to become what the test said they should be, which is certainly problematic.

What does this mean for marketing and your business?

  • Make sure you have the right people on your team.
  • Know what roles and tasks motivate people
  • How to communicate properly with people
  • Think about what personality each of your audience personas has
Balancing Remote Work with In-Office Work

Balancing Remote Work with In-Office Work

August 4, 2022

Remote work has been around for decades, but a global pandemic and booming technology have allowed for working from home to become more commonplace. But is this practice a fad or the future of work? How do businesses handle this changing landscape of work?

Is this the desirable benefit some people think it is? Is it the future or a fad?

  • Depends largely on the industry.
  • Some businesses are able to get away with it more than others.
  • It can also be individual. Some people are more productive at home than the office.

How have we made this work at GreenMellen?

In-person work:

  • Collaboration time
  • Social time

Remote work:

  • Block your lunch hour
  • Stay on communication channels

What are some of the benefits or disadvantages as we see it?

  • Pros: more flexibility, no commute, happier employees, save $$ on offices
  • Cons: less face time, abuse of company time, less collaboration, more isolation

How can other businesses prepare for more remote or hybrid work?

  • Find the right communication channels—Slack, Zoom, Loom, etc.
  • Help people set boundaries (reference our episode on mental health)
  • Find ways to maintain a culture and keep people plugged in
  • Keep an open mind and listen to what your team expects

How does this impact marketing?

  • Online presence matters even more than ever—both for customers and the team
  • Collaboration and communication become a challenge, but still achievable
  • Save money in office space and put it back into marketing that has direct results?

 

What’s the Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing?

What’s the Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing?

July 21, 2022

There are two basic approaches to business marketing: inbound and outbound. Outbound means going to your audience, while inbound refers to attracting your audience to your brand. There are pros and cons to each approach, but the best marketers use a blend of both.

What’s the Difference Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing?

Outbound is essentially pushing marketing messages out to an audience. This means going to the channels where they are and broadcasting to a broad group.

Inbound flips that by trying to attract people back to your marketing channels. It’s usually about creating content that people find and willingly enter your marketing funnel.

What are some examples of each?

Outbound looks like advertising, sponsoring conferences and trade shows, sending direct mail pieces, or cold calling. It’s pushing your brand to people. 

Inbound can include blogging, lead generators with email automation, or free educational webinars. It’s pulling people to your brand.

What are the big differences between the two?

Outbound is more traditional. Jumping on someone else’s platform used to be the only way to do marketing. It can reach a broader audience that doesn’t already know you so you get better brand awareness and have an immediate impact. But it’s more invasive and can have a higher cost with a lesser return on that investment.

Inbound marketing is newer and more built around the digital space. The goal is to provide value to a smaller, targeted audience and then nurture them to make a purchase. However, this can also take more time to build content, and it can take more time before you see results.

Is one approach better than the other?

Inbound is becoming more popular because it’s not as invasive, it’s more focused, and has lower direct costs. However, it’s usually best for businesses to take a balanced approach. There are pros and cons to both, especially depending on your industry. 

Try a mix of both to see what works for you. Especially if your industry is dominated by one or the other, taking the alternative approach can help you to stand out.

Are thee the only two marketing approaches?

These are two of the most recognized approaches to marketing, but I wrote an article a few years back about a theoretical third approach: what I call outlandish marketing.

The idea is to do something different that helps you to stand out even if it doesn’t obviously or immediately improve your bottom line. Some examples of this are the Guinness Book of World Records, the Michelin Restaurant Stars, and Domino’s Paving for Pizza.

Preparing to Migrate to Google Analytics 4

Preparing to Migrate to Google Analytics 4

July 7, 2022

Google Analytics is among the most useful free tools in digital marketing. But as of 2022, businesses must transition to the newest update—Google Analytics 4. Here’s how you can handle this change and make the most of it for your marketing.

What is Google Analytics 4 and why do we need to move to it?

  • 1995 - Urchin created
  • 2005 - Purchased by Google, becoming Google Analytics.
  • 2011 - New version
  • 2012 - UA unveiled
  • 2020 - GA4

How is it different from Universal Analytics—aka GA 3?

It's hard to explain over audio, but there are two main things:

  • Instead of Pageviews, events, transactions, etc, it’s all just “Events”.
  • This makes it much more complex out of the gate, but much more powerful.

What does this mean for the future of digital marketing?

  • GA4 is trying to do more without cookies, which will help.
  • As your audience goes into more separate channels (website + app, for example), this can do a better job of pulling all of that data into one place.

How can businesses make this transition?

  • Run both sets of code for the time being.
  • Start collecting data ASAP so you'll have historic data.
  • Use tools to make sense of the data (like “scorecards” for some of our clients)

Why is data and analytics vital to marketing?

  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
  • Know what’s working and what’s not, and make changes accordingly.
  • Allows you to run experiments and objectively see what works better.

Resources

10 Ways Marketers Can Get Better at Selfcare

10 Ways Marketers Can Get Better at Selfcare

June 23, 2022

Self-care is frequently discussed, but too often overlooked, especially when it comes to marketing professionals. To start off a new year, let’s examine why self-care is as important as ever and why it’s needed for every marketer. Do yourself a favor and listen to this episode.

3 reasons why self-care is important for marketers

  1. You do better work when you’re your best self
  2. Reduce stress and anxiety
  3. Avoid burning out

10 tips for better self-care

1. Take breaks during the day

Download an app like WorkRave or Timeout. Take a one-minute break every hour. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes. Otherwise, you’ll never find the time for yourself.

2. Set clear working hours

Consistently start and stop your workday at a specific time. Let your boss know when these are. You might not always have this autonomy, but work towards it.

When you’re done working, create a shut-down routine to tell your brain that work time is over. Turn off notifications. Shut the computer. Unplug the wifi, if that’s what it takes.

3. Get sleep

It sounds basic because it is—sleep is one of the most important things your body needs. But working or living on little sleep isn’t sustainable in the long run. Snooze for at least eight hours.

Depriving yourself of restorative rest will sap your productivity and make you more vulnerable to getting sick or injured (when you’ll have no chance but to stop working).

4. Don’t eat at your desk.

Eating is another obvious tip. Take this to the next level by using lunch as an excuse to take a break. Don’t eat while hunched over your keyboard. Your productivity naturally wanes during the course of the day. But stopping for half an hour to eat gives you a natural boost.

Don’t use this time to watch a video or catch up on emails. If you must be productive, eat with another person. Talk about something other than work. Use lunch to deepen a relationship.

5. Take a walk

Walking is one of the most basic, but structural practices for better physical fitness. As a bonus, it’s also great for your mental well-being. Walking allows your mind to wander and process.

Stroll, don’t scroll. Walking outside is even better because you get sunlight and fresh air. Walking with another person is best of all because of the added social benefits.

6. Find ways to refuel

Motivation naturally flags over time. We all go through dips in our work. So it helps to have sources of inspiration and energy when we’re stuck in a rut.

You know what works for you. Go to a conference. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Watch a TED Talk. Read a blog post. Meet with a mentor. Pick one a do it regularly.

7. Take a vacation

Most businesses offer paid time off as a benefit to their employees. But the majority of Americans don’t use all of their PTO. Even when they do, they often work on vacation.

Plan a trip every year. Even if it’s just a staycation to visit your own town. Disconnect for work for an extended period of time. Send work a postcard if you need to.

8. Don’t multitask

It’s tempting to try and tackle four or five or a dozen tasks simultaneously. That seems like a productive use of time. But it’s actually the opposite because you do none of them well.

Constantly switching focus makes you less productive and strains your brain. Work toward focusing on one thing at a time. Figure out what’s important and dive in deep.

9. Look at your work environment

Are you at your workspace right now? Look around. What do you see? Do you like how your desk looks? Does it seem like a good place to foster creativity and productive work?

If not, then spend some time working on your workspace. Dim the lighting. Declutter your desk. Store some snacks and water nearby. Hang some artwork. Maybe even invest in a standing desk (if you’re into that sort of thing like me).

10. Connect with people

A theme that’s emerged in a few other tips thus far has been engaging with other people—whether that’s family, coworkers, friends, or even strangers. Work can be isolating. Engaging regularly with others keeps you connected and helps fight off depression.

Occasional texts or messages are OK. Longer video calls or face-to-face conversations are even better. Find people who will pour into you like a professional mentor, or even a therapist. Figure out what relationships you need and find people to fill those roles.

12 Tools Every Marketer Should Use

12 Tools Every Marketer Should Use

June 9, 2022

The only thing we love more than digital marketing tools is sharing them with others. They won’t replace your work, but they might just make it easier or save you time. We’ve compiled a list of our dozen favorite digital marketing tools that you should check out today!

Tool recommendations are like the dessert of any conference presentation. So this episode is basically just a sugar rush of fun information of tools to test out and try.

We’re not going to mention some of the more obvious ones you’ve already heard of like WordPress, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, etc.

Mickey’s Top Tools

  1. RSS Reader: Feedly
  2. CRM: Pipedrive, SalesFlare, HubSpot or Notion
  3. Reading: Kindle, Blinkist, and GoodReads
  4. Notes: Google Keep, Roam Research, Evernote
  5. Keyboard shortcuts. Operating system, to browser, to apps; here’s a handy list
  6. Heatmap: Crazy Egg or HotJar

Robert’s Top Tools

  1. Writing tools: Grammarly and Hemingway app
  2. Password manager: LastPass or 1Password
  3. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer & Email Subject Line Tester
  4. Survey tool: Typeform or Survey Monkey
  5. SEO tools: Moz or SEMRush
  6. ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com
Should My Business Have a Podcast?

Should My Business Have a Podcast?

May 26, 2022

Podcasts are popular. The fact that you’re reading this or listening to this episode proves it. They’re not just for entertainment either. Podcasts can be great sources of information and building a brand. But not every business needs a podcast. Here are a few things to consider if you’re thinking about starting a podcast for your business.

Show Notes

Why are podcasts so popular?

  • Podcasts are where blogs were 20 years ago.
  • We’re slowly coming down from the boom. Plateauing in popularity.
  • However, we expect that podcasts will still be popular in the near future.
  • They’re easy to consume, especially passively.
  • There’s a wide variety of topics and formats. Good way to find a niche.
  • They blew up after we had the delivery platform (smartphones), unlike blogs.

Should every business have one?

  • It’s a way to repurpose content and get it in front of more people.
  • More places for people to find you.
  • It builds trust and credibility.
  • It forces you to stay on message and informed.
  • M: We hired our CPA firm because of their podcast. Not anything specific, but just a few years of hearing their great content helped me understand what they were about, and even helped me develop more trust in them (without actually talking directly to them)

What are the reasons not to have a podcast?

  • The biggest downside is the investment of time (and one-time equipment).
  • It’s becoming an increasingly saturated market.

How does your business get started with creating a podcast?

  • Get a name. Make it clear and unique.
  • Pick out your hosting platform. Eg. Podbean, Libsyn or Anchor
  • Set up your account.
  • Decide on your format. Eg. interviews, roundtable discussions, audio blog
  • Pick a host(s) and list of potential guests.
  • Brainstorm episode topics. Start with 50, not all of which you’ll use.
  • Decide on a publishing cadence. Monthly or bi-weekly. Start less.
  • Start to make a content calendar.
  • Build your setup. Buy mics and headphones. Know where to record.
  • Record several episodes before launching. Batch recording is better.
  • Edit episodes.
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