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lab notes

Leverage Marketing’s Lab Notes

This past July, the Leverage team created our first LinkedIn Newsletter, Lab Notes. Our goal was multifaceted. We hoped to help professionals and businesses grow in their understanding of marketing, inspire conversations about the latest marketing trends, and celebrate remarkable West Michigan women making their mark in our communities. If you haven’t subscribed or heard of our newsletter, we hope you take a moment to continue reading below! Below is a sample of what you can expect from our team each month on LinkedIn. Let’s crack the code to marketing success together and empower each other on a journey of professional growth and achievement.

 

Lab Notes: Edition One Originally Published on July 6, 2023

Eight Tips for Developing a Cohesive Content Strategy 

You can’t always plan to “go viral” when developing content. Instead, the most successful creators are the ones who utilize a content strategy and publish content consistently. However, content creation for multiple channels can feel daunting and exhausting if we are honest. To help your team develop an effective content strategy, our Digital Content Manager, Kate, has created a list of eight tips for developing a content strategy and avoiding content burnout.

Set your content goals.

What is the ultimate goal of your content? Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Would you like to re-engage former customers? Generate new leads? Determining your top goal will set the tone and direction for your content.

Research your audience and develop an understanding of who you want to target.

What are their pain points? How can you address their needs? What does your buyer journey look like, and how do you want to engage with your audience at each step?

Make Annual Planning a priority.

Set aside time with your team to look ahead over the next six months or the entire calendar year. For every upcoming event, map out your marketing needs, from social media posts to email campaigns and press releases.

Develop content pillars.

Content pillars provide a framework for your weekly social media posts each month and help to ensure that your platforms receive a mixture of different types of content each week. They also take care of some of the mental legwork of creating content. Potential content pillars include Customer Reviews, Educational Posts, Reels or Video Content, Meet the Team, Customer Stories, Community Resources, New Products, Sales or Specials, etc.

Create Monthly Social Media Calendars.

Creating a social media calendar ahead of time cuts down on last-minute posting so your team won’t scramble for posts each week. Planning content also helps your brand and its story stay consistent.

Don’t be afraid to recycle or refresh past social media posts and blogs.

It’s okay to post the same content from time to time! Algorithms are set so that only 1-2% of your followers will see your organic (unpaid) posts. Likely, the majority of your audience hasn’t seen this content yet. On the other hand, if a customer has already viewed this content, reposting still serves as a good brand reminder to keep your company top-of-mind.

Utilize project management software.

Project management software is truly a game changer! At Leverage, we use Asana to help track the entire team’s progress on many different projects. It helps keep projects moving, stores all important details, and ensures everyone is working toward the same goal.

Use analytics to measure your success.

Like any part of marketing, content strategies are about testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Use Google Analytics GA4 and social media insight dashboards to determine what types of content resonate with your audience and provide the best brand experience.

 

The Social Media Examiner explores AI for Business and ways marketers can utilize resources like ChatGPT to optimize their workday. 

Think email marketing is an ineffective marketing strategy in 2023? Think again. Allie Bloyd of Allie Bloyd Media explains How to Crush the Inbox Game in her latest YouTube video. 

In the past few years, the distinction between B2B and B2C has changed. In a recent Ad Week article, Paul Hiebert writes about Why B-to-B Marketers Should Adopt a B-to-P Mindset.

 

The Leverage team caught up with Tami Parks, owner of Great Lakes Wedding Gown Specialists, former owner of September’s Bride in Holland, and founder/owner of Wed Company Wedding Wear. Tami is passionate about helping couples find styles that celebrate their love and embrace their authenticity to feel confident on their big day. Her latest venture, Wed Company, reimagines wedding wearing and focuses on sourcing styles for all shapes, sizes, and orientations. 

 

Please tell us about yourself and your background! 

Hi all! My name is Tami, and I’ve lived in the Holland area all my life. From the time I was twelve, I’ve worked in clothing care. My parents owned laundromats and dry cleaners, and I was able to spend time learning every area of the business. I am also married to my high school sweetheart, and we have two fantastic adult sons who are married to equally amazing spouses. In my spare time, I love to knit, collect beautiful yarn and am a church pianist. 

 

What inspired you to open Wed Company Wedding Wear? 

When I was in Chicago for the National Bridal Market this past March, I became inspired to create a retail space for people getting married and looking for options not easily accessible at traditional bridal boutiques. There are three areas in which I decided to specialize for Wed Company: Vintage Gowns, Gowns in Colors and Prints, and Gender-Neutral Suits. Body positivity and size inclusivity are important underlying values of our service and the products we offer as well! 

 

You have been in the wedding industry for several years – what is your favorite part of the industry? 

There are so many things – I’m not sure I have just one favorite! I love developing relationships with designers and vendors, especially fellow independent American small businesses. My favorite products to buy and sell are veils. 

 

How has the wedding industry changed since you first started? What trends are you noticing now? 

One of the biggest trends is that weddings and wedding wear are becoming more personalized to the wedding couple. I love this trend! Weddings should reflect the couple’s unique style and love story. 

 

Do you have a favorite wedding wear success story or memorable moment? 

My very favorite projects are when we restore and update a vintage wedding gown for a bride. Perhaps the dress is her mom’s, grandmother’s, or a beloved relative and the gown needs extra TLC. I love the process of whitening that gown, fitting it to the new bride, and then adding a modern veil to personalize her look. The transformations are always incredibly beautiful! 

Learn more about Wed Company Wedding Wear and schedule an appointment by visiting: https://www.wedcompanygr.com/.

 

This month, Leverage’s Senior Project Manager Shelli shares a cake recipe that her family cannot get enough of: Mandarin Orange Cake. 

“I have made this cake three times already this summer for my family and get-togethers. My mom introduced it to me a few years ago, and it has become a summer staple in our house. Even my husband, who is not a fan of fruit in desserts, loves this cake. I love it because it’s incredibly easy to make with minimal ingredients.” 

Click here to view the full recipe

Shelli’s Baking Tips: 

  • I purchase the 15 oz can instead of the 11 oz of oranges and use them all. I find it helps keep the cake moist.
  • If you are in a time crunch, throw the hot pan in the freezer to cool the cake more quickly. 
  • Put the cool whip container in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Don’t worry, the plastic won’t melt.
  • Don’t skip on flouring the pan. The cake will stick without it.
  • Make sure the vanilla pudding is “instant”.

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