Three FREE Things to Boost Engagement

We’re looking for explosive growth at a fraction of the cost, right?


Brands that are the best at building cult followings with content do the following few things really well. The best part? 100% free for you to adopt. You might think you’re doing them already…but if you’re not seeing the growth you want, chances are you could be doing better.

  • Clear buyer personas are absolutely key in building a targeted audience (and better conversion rates). If you’re not committed, you’re building a following of people that like one piece of content or another, not exactly who you are and what you stand for. Without clarity around the digital activities of you buyer personas, you’ll see a lot of fluctuation in your community and delayed progress overall.
  • Voice. Golden rule: people relate to people, they don’t relate to products. Think about the personification of your brand. What’s going to get your target to say, okay, you get me. Tone of voice is the least expensive and most important creative element to focus on getting right, first. When I’m writing copy for a brand, I’m running back through it 3, 4, 10 times to perfect this.
  • Purpose: The brands that win are selling something besides a product. They’re connecting on a higher purpose that their target cares deeply about. Your target is more than a buyer…we’re complex humans with multi-layered personalities and value systems.

Last tip for execs looking to drive incredibly effective, resourceful marketing departments: Scaling with paid traffic, before you have a proven content strategy, is like pouring gasoline into a vehicle without an engine. You can leverage these tactics to rapid test your content strategy. In fact, you should. But don’t let an agency tell you to spend a few thousand dollars to gather more data before you see results. It’s just not necessary.

I love talking about this stuff, and would be glad to hop on a free call if you have a questions about any of it.


How to Ruin a Social Media Campaign

Wanted to drop a quick line about social media campaign development in case you’re considering (or working on) something similar.

I do a lot of this with my clients and I see the struggle:

  • We want growth and engagement!
  • We want creative, out-of-the box ideas that stand out and win most original.

Sometimes, these two objectives are at odds with each other. Not always, but sometimes.

In the world of quick turnarounds and time restraints, we don’t always have time to challenge our assumptions, tweak, and perfect the perfect balance before launch.

I have a client who, before working with me, broadcasted a “giveaway” to its more-than-a-million followers. Promotion lasted for over a month, and after spending thousands for reach and incentivizing with a multi-thousand-dollar prize, there were only three entries… 😳.

How could this happen?

Their campaign goals and the call to action were incongruent. They overcomplicated things and it deterred engagement. Also, the story they were telling was random for what their content strategy had been up until this point…which means they assumed that their audience cared about something and mistook that assumption for fact.

Remember, there are two major aspects of an engagement campaign strategy:

1. The story you’re telling – CONNECT!


A lot of times, the simplest call to action is the best (tag a friend, share a photo). If you want to win points for creativity, make sure you’re leveraging details like tone of voice and personality…how the campaign is coming to life across all your touch points.

That sense of storytelling and personality is what will make the campaign fun, memorable, and (potentially) viral.

I’m opening up a handful of spots on my calendar this week for discovery calls. If your marketing team needs strategic alignment or your brand could use fresh content strategy, let’s hop on a call and get to know each other!



The Anatomy of a Successful Marketing Campaign

Here’s a fact: The world of marketing is filled with lots of spaghetti being thrown at walls…BIG IDEAS and crossed fingers.

It’s messy, and hope is not a marketing strategy. Plus, it’s unnecessary, because there’s never been a better time to get scientific with marketing…

Here’s why.

Strategy is the anatomy of a successful marketing campaign.

But you have two sides of strategy…think of them like your legs.

Creative strategy is your left leg and promotional strategy is your right. The strength of these will determine how fast you run…your ROI.

Left Leg: Creative Strategy

A lot of marketing entities rely on intuition to develop the creative foundation of a campaign: What they *think* will resonate best with their target audience. If this is the case, you’re wasting money.

Let me explain…

THE OLD WAY: Sit in a room and listen to the loudest talker get their idea across. Or maybe you all like one idea so you use it and cross your fingers. OR, spend a ton of time driving great ideas to the tippy top of your organization, only to have an awesome concept watered down to a state of sadness.

THE NEW WAY: Coordinate a brainstorm and take the best three ideas. Create “mini” campaigns around each: 10 different tag lines for each big idea. Use $50 to drive the same amount of traffic to 30 different messages (super basic, uncomplicated and not time-consuming creative) and see what wins. Build a campaign around the winning concept. Invest in what you’ve already proven.

Right Leg: Promotional Strategy

Your options for promotion include (but are not limited to):

1. Paid social

2. Targeted sharing

3. Videos on organic

4. Influencer marketing

5. Content syndication

6. Link building

7. Email marketing

8. Paid search (if it makes sense for campaign goals)

Which mix suits your brand and audience best? Apply all.

If you have a question about what any of these mean or if you’d like some feedback on your current marketing campaign, schedule a time to speak with me.

In your corner,


Engineering + Automation = ROI

Everybody knows that marketing’s a ton of work. Your “content manager” or “social media manager” or “marketing manager”—whatever we’re calling it—needs a Swiss Army Knife of skills and a time machine.

On any given day, we’re morphing through these roles:

  • Producer
  • Director
  • Writer
  • Social media advertiser
  • Community manager
  • Photographer
  • Photo editor
  • MC / Videographer
  • Content strategist
  • Analyst
  • SEO Expert
  • Budget manager

Throw some influencer management in there for good measure.

…But the level of engineering and automation that’s entered the inbound space in the past year alone makes is 1000% easier to ensure you stay focused on ROI-driving activity. (They act like the tech is scary but it’s not, it’s helpful.)

Let me explain what I mean.

Engineering: Ad platforms are so sophisticated at this point, we can use small budgets to test messaging with our audience, see what works, and scientifically engineer a campaign around what we know resonates with our target, instead of guessing. Are you doing that?

Automation: List building, segmentation, sequencing, scheduling, etc. These tools continuously get more intuitive and powerful. It’s never been easier to grow your audience on autopilot.

Is your team leveraging the suite of tools we have at our disposal to maximize the impact of your message and optimize your resources?

Here are my favorite ways to engineer and automate.

Can I ask you a question?

If you’re a little stuck with marketing right now, what’s your plan? And if a single phone call could help get your team moving quickly in the right direction…why not schedule it?

In your corner,


This post builds on the anatomy of a successful marketing campaign from a few days ago. Creative strategy is your left leg, and the tools we have to engineer the proper message to the right market is the muscle. Promotional strategy is your right leg…automation…you see where I’m going with this. 

5 Must-Have Tools to Engineer and Automate Your Marketing

The other day I wrote a note about how engineering + automation = marketing ROI.

These are my five favorite tools for winning with content.

  1. Facebook Ads: Not the way you think…hear me out! Yes, these are great for closing the loop and proving ROI from your marketing. That’s a given and probably wouldn’t be new (or useful) for you to hear. But I’ve been using them to engineer messaging: Testing communication variables to prove what works before we build a content strategy and marketing program around a message. More on that here, I get into around 5:10 minute mark.
  2. Social Drift: This app uses AI to learn the type of liking, following, and commenting your account would naturally engage in and automate it. This shouldn’t replace manual community engagement. Rather, it’s a strategic supplement to the service that you’re delivering on these channels. There are so many activities that your content manager needs to keep up with. It’s a high value activity (for driving growth) but requires very little skill, making it a perfect activity to automate.
  3. Sprout. If you’ve already heard of Sprout, it’s awesome enough to get redundant about. Buffer, Tailwind, Latergram, all serve a similar purpose, but Sprout’s my favorite and worth the small investment. Strengths include:
    • ​Allowing small team to stream-line content creation and approval
    • creating a central hub for community management of all your channels in a single place
    • Scheduling content, automating deployment, duplicating content
    • So much more 😉
  4. Facebook Ads + Email CMS: Freestyling here…I don’t care what CMS you’re using (we can deal with that later), but if you’re not automating your list growth, we need to chat immediately. This is arguably the most profitable content marketing system you need to implement into your business.
  5. Animoto: This one’s for the creative side. It’s about engineering the perfect video with a fraction of the resources (time and money). Errrrrybody knows we need to get up on the video game, but videographers (skilled) are really expensive and video projects take a long time. Something like Animoto shouldn’t altogether replace real video projects, but this makes it really easy to test video/product testimonials (things of that nature) in your ad campaigns.

Questions? Schedule a free strategy session.