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Get to Know Nathan Keech

Meet Nathan Keech, owner and executive producer at Keech Media. Although a lot has changed since he started producing digital media professionally back in 1999, some things have stayed the same– like the rewards of his work. “I’m an entrepreneur at heart,” Nathan says. “I love it when my business succeeds, and I love it when other businesses succeed as a result of what we do for them.”

Nathan has known sales ever since he was a kid “selling gumballs in fourth grade.” Now, his work generally requires that he flip-flop between two hats. Within his sales role, it’s all about “entering a relationship with another business in which we are actually going to make a difference in their lives. And I can say that with confidence. A salesperson has to believe in what they’re selling to be successful.”

After Nathan and a client confirm business goals, he goes to work as Keech Media’s executive producer. From the network of video producers, content writers, social media managers, web designers, and other specialists that he has come to trust, Nathan will select a team to match each specific project. “I’m overseeing any number of projects at any given time, which has been very, very rewarding,” Nathan says, “because I get to see the result that my input initially has and then see it come to fruition.”

It’s hard to know which hat is his favorite– sales or production. Sales has always been his chance to grow his network and connect with like-minded business owners. “As a small business owner, myself,” Nathan said, “[clients and I] share so many of the same challenges. And we can really play off of some of our own experience and talk about those challenges in [our] conversation, you know? It helps me relate to them on a very personal level.”

When it comes to digital media production, though, it’s hard to not get excited about new media channels and marketing methods that are expanding in the industry. Regarding the immediate future, Nathan says, “Video blogging, I think, is really going to start taking off. I’m really excited about the prospects and the opportunity to help businesses with their shorter ‘bite-sized’ content.”

No matter which hat Nathan is wearing, he is an example of work ethic, passion, and integrity on every project– and we love working with him.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern 

Cultivating Customer Experience

Lately, we’ve been exploring the ways in which a brand personifies your business. We’ve talked about the importance of defining and documenting your business’s personality, building your brand, and using a brand guide to manage your brand’s evolution.

This week, we want to share a foundational element to your business’s personality by asking a question: as a business, what are your value propositions?

As a consumer, why do you come back to your favorite restaurants, service providers, consultants, or retailers? Patrick Bet-David divides the most common reasons into six categories– we like to call them value propositions– that generally bring customers back on a regular basis: Fast. Cheap. Quality. Luxury. User-friendly. Customer service.

Which value propositions keep customers coming back to your business? When it comes to sharing your brand, focus on your value propositions.

Customer Experience is Valuable
When Patrick talks about customer service, he also introduces customer experience. “Think about customer service as reactive,” he says. Think of it as addressing a complaint or promptly fixing an issue. It’s important stuff. Customer experience, however, goes a step further. It’s about being proactive– going above and beyond and taking little steps to delight your customers.

Keech Media loves new customers, but the foundation of our business rests on client retention. In order to keep clients on board for the long-term, we’re all about customer experience. For us, customer experience is about consistent communication, along with high quality and best-value services. We take every opportunity to serve as a one-stop- shop for our clients’ media marketing needs, and it keeps them on board and also telling others about their experiences with us.

No matter your other value propositions, pursue great customer service and (even better) customer experience as a foundational value. And it’s not limited to the six that Patrick mentions. Consider these steps and questions:

1. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Or, better yet, ask your customers: what keeps them coming back to your business? These are your value propositions.
2. How can you make your value propositions known to your market?
3. What actions can you take– little or big– to give your customers awesome
experiences, causing them to come back regularly as loyal patrons?
4. Which value propositions represent growth opportunities for your business? What little steps can you take to enhance customers’ experiences in these areas?

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

Case Study: Aerial Sessions with Bituminous Roadways, Inc.

We’re all about unique projects, especially when we’re working with a company like Bituminous Roadways, Inc. to showcase time-tested quality. When Heidi Sedlacek, marketing coordinator for Bituminous Roadways (BR), inquired about aerial photography, we were eager to establish a partnership.

Every year, BR produces a calendar for its existing and prospective customers, employees, and other stakeholders, printing and distributing about 3,500 calendars total. As a company specializing in the design, construction, and maintenance of asphalt pavement areas, BR’s annual calendar calls for a bird’s-eye view of its work. When they approached Keech Media, they found that and more.

“I had taken a look at the website,” Heidi said, “just to look at [Keech Media’s] capabilities, and liked what I saw. I also liked that they did more than just photography– that it was graphic design, website development, some marketing consultation– those types of things.”

After hearing about the project, our executive producer, Nathan Keech, suggested we don’t stop at just still photography. What if, during the aerial sessions, we gain the still images for the calendar and some great video footage?

“…it really made sense for me to [multitask],” Heidi decided. And so the Keech Media team shot both still photography and video during the aerial sessions, cutting labor costs and producing multiple end products for multiple media channels.

“In the future, if we need video, [we’ll] have this library of footage,” Heidi said. “Looking forward, I hope to do some video case studies, or maybe use some footage for an [overview video]. So it just made more sense to do everything that way.”

We love content repurposing and loved talking with BR about the multiple ways they plan to use their still photos and video footage. “…we produce a poster every year for the Minnesota Asphalt Pavement Association,” Heidi said, “ and four of the projects that we’ve shot will go on this poster. They also do a call for calendar photos, and I will be submitting a few of our options that we’ve done with Keech Media. I’ve also submitted an award
application for one of the locations that we were at. So it’s not only for the calendar, but there are other projects for which we’ll be using the photography.”

For Heidi and BR, what set Keech Media apart? “The word that comes to my mind is integrity,” Heidi said. “He’s building not only a professional relationship, but a personal relationship, too, which I value. He wants to build relationship with his customers.”

Both Keech Media and BR are passionate about sustained quality and better results, and that makes us an excellent partnership for the long term. “I’m just looking forward to what might be some future projects that we’ll work on,” Heidi said. “I hope that we can continue the relationship, move forward, and do some great things.”

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

Your Brand Guide

We’ve talked about how to define your identity and use it to lay the foundation for your brand. Now, we want to share a tool to equip your brand for healthy, intentional expansion in conjunction with your evolving identity. When you’ve decided which elements reflect your identity, it’s time to document your decisions within a brand guide.

A brand guide is a living, breathing document. It keeps you grounded and empowers you to explore and expand your company’s personality. It defines boundaries for you and your employees regarding specific elements like color, tagline, go-to marketing channels, tone of voice, special behaviors and customer experiences, images, and more.

Check out a couple of the visual brand guides that we’ve created for our clients. When it comes to visuals like this, it’s all about conveying a consistent message of professionalism and personality to a target market.

Elements like these will surely grow and change as your business evolves, but having them documented from the start will keep you consistent in your communication and empower you to make intentional, measurable changes to the elements of your brand– on your own terms. With a brand guide, you and your employees are equipped to post social media, create sales material, partake in industry conversations, and more, with clear parameters surrounding your organization’s identity and personality.

For more ideas how to reach your target market with intentional and consistent personality, check out the rest of our blog or find us on Facebook.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

Building Your Brand

Once you’ve defined and documented your identity with a mission and vision statement, how do you find your voice? Once you’ve taken due diligence in documenting what your business is about, you’ve earned the pleasure of sharing your identity with your target market. It’s time to build your brand.

Like many elements of business, building your brand is starts with simplicity. Evan Carmichael starts with a single word: Believe. That’s what he’s about.

For us, it’s a phrase: Smart Marketing. Better Results. And everything we say and do has this phrase between the lines. When it comes to marketing, knowing who you are is the first step and knowing your brand is the second. Then, it’s all about balance: your mission is to maintain consistency and, at the same time, explore new ways to express the ever- evolving personality of your business. Here are just a few considerations that make up your brand:

Your color scheme
Colors bring emotion. What do you want your consumers to feel? For examples of how a color scheme can speak for a business, check out our design portfolio.

Your tagline
It might be who you are and what you do. (“Smart Marketing. Better Results.”) It might also be a phrase that reflects your personality or values. (“Just Do It.”)

Your go-to marketing channels
What are the pillars that compose your marketing homestead? Consider your goals, the personality you’ve defined for your business, and the needs of your consumers.

Your voice
Is the tone of your content formal or casual? Is it in first person or third person? Is it inspirational? Informative? Funny? Convicting? It’s good to say “all of the above” and decide on a case-by- case basis, but you also want to promote a consistency that gives your consumers the impression that your business is a singular, well-rounded “person.”

For examples of how your identity can effectively define your colors, content, voice, and other creative elements that are fundamental to your brand, contact us for a complimentary consultation.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

Marketing your Identity: Define your Mission and Vision Statement

When we sit down with clients, one of the first things we want to know is how well they know themselves. Have they defined who they are, what they do, and why and how they do it?

Before you start any marketing, make sure you’ve documented your identity with a mission statement (what do you want to accomplish now? Why? How?) and a vision statement (what do you want to accomplish in the long-term? Why? How?). Most
businesses could tell you what they’re about, but distilling that knowledge into concise statements is a challenge that’s worth the time and effort involved.

But what makes it so important? Every marketing effort you make will flow out of the identity you’ve defined for your business. Drawn from one of Dave Ramsey’s presentations at EntreLeadership’s Master Series event; here are three reasons why your documented identity needs to weigh in on every decision you make:

It keeps you from fatal distraction. “A mission statement is an out-of- bounds marker,” Ramsey says, “It defines what you are not as much as what you are…” The danger of distraction applies to marketing just as much as anything else. Stay focused on your goals and your target audience.

It reminds you, and your market, of what you can do. What are your go-to products and/or services, and what marketing initiatives will make your specific skillset shine?

It reveals your personality, dreams, passions, and values. Why does your business exist? Where do you want to take it? Questions like these are the elements that inspire both you and your customers to continue doing business.

You can’t truly present yourself if you don’t know yourself. Invest in creating a vision and mission statement, and the insight will set you on the road to marketing success. Need help defining and documenting your identity and using it to connect with your market? Contact us for a free consultation, and look for next week’s post, where we’ll discuss how you can transform your unique identity into your brand.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

The Case for Video

When it comes to converting, engaging, and selling to consumers or business clients, what’s the most effective medium? If you had to guess, you’ll probably pick the medium that most recently or powerfully struck you. If you’re like many, you picked video.

Video Done Right
While a poorly-produced video makes your brand less attractive to consumers, videos produced with consistency and quality will powerfully attract users to conversion. Why? Because captivation precedes communication. Consumers are eager to connect with a
brand by experiencing direct value and relatability before they even make a purchase. It’s not just about the biggest billboard or the most web ads– it’s about showing consumers what you have to offer by providing media that really matters to them in the way that they want to receive it.

Here are a few reasons why Keech Media considers video to be one of the most foundational elements involved with almost any marketing portfolio, including dynamic statistics from sources like the Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study.

1. It’s an industry standard. According to Animoto, one in four consumers will
actually lose interest in a company if the company doesn’t have video. That means
consumers consider the use of quality video to be a fundamental litmus test for
whether or not the business understands their communication preferences. Quality
video means credibility.
2. It’s popular. Animoto discovered that four times as many consumers would rather
watch a video about a product than read about it. Insivia reports that 90% of users
say that seeing a video about a product is helpful in the decision-making process.
3. It’s powerful. Compelling video content is one of the most dynamic mediums when
it comes to lead conversion. Unbounce reports that using video on landing pages can
increase conversion by 80%.
4. It’s versatile. Because you want a variety of content for different consumers, think
about re-editing a video into 30- or 15-second commercials, or using the video
script as an outline for a blog post or sales sheet. When it comes to getting the
biggest return on your investment, video content is a great resource for creative
media repurposing.

For every value proposition and every target audience, there is an ideal medium. While
video isn’t the right media channel for every marketing landscape, it’s a popular, powerful,
and versatile way to connect with your market. For help discovering the media channels
that fit your marketing goals, contact us.

 

By Keech Media | By Michael Finnern

Passionate about Production Calendars

Whether your goal is brand awareness, lead generation, sales, or another specific result, your mission is to build trust with your target audience. Present the same consistent quality with your marketing media as you do with your products and services, and you’ll show consumers that, whatever you put your hand to, you’re never a one-and- done type of business. If you’re serious about consistency, you need a production calendar.

Goals, resources, timeline, and adjustments
Production calendars aren’t about chaining you down—they’re about providing a bird’s eye view of your marketing efforts so you can take off and keep flying. A production calendar allows you to visually map out your goals and resources (or, in this case, your work capacity) as well as to think about how those elements relate to each other and affect your timeline. This insight equips you need to be both intentional and flexible in your production, which actually helps you post quality content much more consistently.

Take a look at this screenshot showing a few rows from our production calendar. People build production calendars to fit their varied needs, and ours proves that it doesn’t have to be complex.

To the left, we have the brand for which we’re writing. Then, we work backwards. When do we want to post? July 15. Okay, so we should have the final draft to our social media specialist (Erika) by the end of the day on July 14. In order to have a couple of hours to finalize the draft for Erika, we’ll need to have the draft approved by our creative director by about 6:00 p.m. on the 14th. In order to give our creative director a day and a half to approve our draft, we should send the draft to him by the end of the day on July 12.

Just get it on the calendar—even if it’s in pencil
With all this planning ahead, remember that target dates like these set everyone up for success, especially because success doesn’t necessarily mean the fulfillment of every deadline, every time. Rather, planning target dates allows for smooth, productive communication when adjustments are needed—and they’ll be needed often.

For example: Let’s pretend the employee who frequently writes your content is going on vacation. Instead of assuming that there won’t be any content posted for those three weeks, the production calendar empowers him to be proactive. Because he has a bird’s-eye view, he already understands he needs to work ahead, adjust dates, find substitute writers, communicate with the team, and take any other action necessary to ensure that content keeps flowing while he’s gone.

That’s the difference between your target audience experiencing three weeks of radio silence and three weeks of engaging, consistent content. And because we’re all about engaging, consistent content, we’re passionate about production calendars. For help with yours, contact us.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

The Results of Content Marketing

In order for your marketing to succeed, you need to define what success looks like. You need to pinpoint the results that you want your business to obtain from content marketing. According to industry research, four of the five items shown below are the most important results to B2B marketers in North America. The fifth in this list– Web Traffic/SEO– is one of the most important results, in our opinion. How many of the following results stick out as
ones that your business needs to pursue? Which is your most important?

Lead Generation
On HubSpot.com, Anum Hussain says that generating leads through content is about making an organic, genuine connection in which someone “indicates interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.” Someone who signs up for your newsletter, requests more information about you, comments on one of your posts, or shows interest in some other way has become a lead. By presenting content that is valuable, funny, or inspiring, you’re perpetually prospecting for leads, inviting consumers to investigate you. When a consumer encounters your content and shows they’re interested, you have obtained a lead that is of better quality than you would have gained from something like a cold call.

Lead Nurturing
According to Lindsay Kolowich on HubSpot, 50% of leads aren’t ready to buy at the time of conversion. That means there’s a transition between interested consumers and invested customers. According to this infographic by Eliv8, nurturing the conversation and connection with a newly-converted lead involves persistent and relevant email marketing.

Sales
When it comes to closing the deal, research conducted by LinkedIn shows that 86% of buyers will listen if sales professionals provide insights about their business. Whether you are your own sales rep or you’re working with a sales team, remember that, according to an excellent article by Alex Lopes at the Content Marketing Institute, today’s largely digital marketplace means that it’s not just about face time; sales efforts need a generous dose of
valuable content in order to demonstrate credibility, build relationship, stay top of mind, prove you solve the problem, and speak your prospect’s language.

Brand Awareness
It’s not just about the biggest billboard, the smoothest cold calls, or the most web ads– it’s about showing consumers what you have to offer by providing real value for them on a regular basis, even before they make any purchase. By consistently teaching, entertaining, or inspiring your readers with content that reflects your brand, you will prove yourself as a thought leader in your market and, as a result, come up first in a consumer’s mind when their need arises.

Web Traffic/Search Engine Optimization
Quality content will drive traffic to your website. With proper consultation and analysis, you can make sure that your content is both appealing to audiences and organically optimized for search engines. You don’t need to cut corners when it comes to search engine optimization; simply be intentional about producing a stream of varied content that addresses your target market’s problems or interests and use relevant keywords in every place you can, including metadata and image descriptions.

Smart Marketing=Specific Results
Smart marketing is all about producing better results. Which of these five results does your business need to focus on the most? What other results do you want to glean from your content marketing? For more tips on defining your results, laying your foundation, and planning a customized marketing campaign that achieves your goals, check out our series titled Tools for Your Marketing Campaign.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern

Tools for your Marketing Campaign: Part 4

In this series, we’ve explored some of the tools involved with planning and executing a good marketing campaign. We can either produce content because “that’s what we’re supposed to do,” or we can use effective tools to define our “who, what, where, and when” so that our media accomplishes our “why” and connects with our audience.

You’ve created your content for the best channels based on your goals and your audience. Now, when do you post? After all your effort, you don’t want to preach to the choir or, worse, to an empty room. When it comes to promoting your media, it’s clear that certain posting times are better than others.

So, when are the perfect times? Get your pen ready, because…

…it depends. Peak times on various channels differ heavily, depending on your audience and a number of other elements.

From our perspective, gaining insight from voices like Hubspot, The Huffington Post, and Social Media Today on social media posting times that are generally optimal is a good place to start. Those voices agree, however, that the best times to post are very different depending on your “why, who, what, and where.”

The Tool: Audience Interaction Data from your Content Calendar

In a future post, we will discuss the beating heart of every content marketing initiative– the content calendar. In addition to helping you plan for consistency in your posting (an element that we think is even more important than posting at the perfect time), a content calendar allows you to document direct results surrounding each of your posts, helping you define your peak times for your audience. Use your calendar during production to define the deadlines surrounding each post, and then add a column to record the audience interaction after the post has gone public. For example, audience interaction data can be as simple as the following:

Content Title 1: Facebook: Posted 5:30 p.m. Friday 7/29: Nine shares and 23 likes
Content Title 2: Facebook: Posted 8:00 a.m. Sunday 7/31: One share and four likes
Content Title 3: Facebook: Posted 12:00 noon Tuesday 8/2: Four shares and 44 likes
Content Title 4: Facebook: Posted 4:30 p.m. Thursday 8/4: One share and 18 likes

What insights do you gain from this small snippet of (fabricated) data? Of course, there are many factors that affect audience interaction, but accounting for posts that are relatively similar in nature and yet receive different response rates at different times of the day or days of the week can shed valuable light on the posting times that are best for you. 

For help in selecting the right tools to create a campaign that accomplishes your goals, contact us for a free online marketing analysis.

 

By Keech Media | Written By Michael Finnern