Think. Create. Design. WRL.

Our 3 Key Takeaways from #CMWorld17

WRL’s Nathan Kappel, Olivia Tharp and Matt Nist recently ventured to Cleveland to attend our industry’s largest conference, Content Marketing World! From various positioning strategies, social and tracking tools, business tactics and so much more, we learned how truly diverse content marketing has become and how it will continue to evolve.

Here are our 3 Key Takeaways

 

Matt Nist

  1. The conference started off with keynote speaker Linda Boff giving us food for thought – Are you with an agency or are you with a company? Boff, the Chief Marketing Officer at GE, said first and foremost you have to know who you are. If you don’t know the answer to that, then how can you expect to connect to your audience? Going along with that, you should show up as a person, not as a company or brand. When you can do this, you begin reaching your audience and even unexpected audiences as well.
  2. It’s critical that you reach the right audience. You must know your audience, and in turn, what they want to hear and see in order to connect with them. When writing blogs, posting on social media or sending newsletters/info to your customers, more is not better. Sending and/or posting 100 great communications is much better than sending 1,000 that don’t resonate with your audience.
  3. Challenge your clients to think bigger. Are you just doing the same marketing/advertising/messaging over and over again? You need to see what’s coming and focus on the long-term objectives because when doing this, 60 percent of the time you will outperform everyone else. That’s not to say that short-term objectives should be forgotten, it needs to be a mix, but you need to think differently. Don’t do it “just to do it” by pushing out content randomly. Instead, share your content in a thoughtful, proactive way.

 Bonus

And a fourth, my favorite… “Remove the bullsh*t,” per keynote speaker, Casey Neistat speaking about relating to your audience by remaining authentic.

 

Olivia Tharp 

  1. Put your company’s culture at the core of all your content marketing practices,” said Frank Thomas, Director Corporate Communications at adidas. “Connect to your target audience through your employee’s authenticity and engagement.” They must believe in your product or service to share content naturally.
  2. Jay Acunzo, founder of the Unthinkable podcast and CMW keynote, opened the conference with some profound advice, “Don’t aspire to be average, follow your intuition, ask yourself the right questions and realize your exceptional potential.” He emphasized that learning through intuition – the ability to succeed at a higher speed – instead of learning through data makes the process the point, not the result. You will be able to better inspire action from your audience through emotion and insight.
  3. When Amanda Todorovich, Content Marketing Director at the Cleveland Clinic, spoke about how she drives web traffic and grows the Clinic’s Blog audience, she told us to keep a few key things in mind: 1) You can’t be all things to all people, 2) Define a strategy and stick to it, 3) Learn to say NO, and most importantly, 4) Look at your content and your audience as your assets.

Bonus

Relevance is the killer app.” ~ Jay Baer, Founder of Convince and Convert

 

Nathan Kappel

  1. Ask the question: “What’s in it for the customer?” This seminar focused on the structure of a business, the importance of content and conveying a customer-first brand. By asking the question “What’s in it for the customer?”, you are forced to take action on the things that actually matter within the company. Businesses that are customer focused get more. In contrast, a company that is employee-first minded will soon not have any business. So, if you can’t come up with a solid answer for that question, it may be time to move onto another task.
  2. When writing content, ask “So what?” At another seminar titled, “What to Do When You Run Out of Content Ideas,” a long list of solutions was followed by a question to ask yourself, “So what?” By asking this question for all new content ideas, it eliminates bad content ideas and useless jargon. It helps you, the writer to focus on why it matters to the reader. Therefore, before you start your next writing, ask yourself, “So what?”
  3. Use data to leverage content strategies. A lot of new content is often created without a plan or end goal. At another seminar, our speaker showed us her content strategy and backed it up with data. In this way, she was able to sell her team and managers on her plan. By tracking the content she pushed out, she was able to see how her readers responded and report the results and new plans better to her managers.

 

WRL Showcase – Photography

Jayson Shenk, The Land Where I Work

 

 

Recently, one of WRL’s photographers, Jayson Shenk had his work featured alongside another artist, Emily Hendel at University of Mount Union’s Beeghly Hall Gallery. This event was a dual reception with work from his self-published photo book, The Land Where I Work. He says he’s pursued photography ever since his parents bought him a Fisher-Price camera as a kid. Shenk has been shooting professionally since 2005.

“Most of my fine art type work lets me push the boundaries of my technical knowledge with photography and helps me learn more about creating shots – a lot of it being translated into my work,” says Shenk. “For this, I learned a lot about low light and long exposures, which translated into the recent series of photos I took for a client.”

Extreme Office Makeover

WRL Rebrands its Conference Rooms

First impressions are everything. Our clients know and trust that WRL will always deliver high quality and innovative work from our expert team – a team who is dedicated to maintaining strong, long lasting customer relationships. However, while we have always put our clients and their project work first, as a result, our office space fell to the back burner. But here’s the good news – we’re finally prioritizing ourselves as well as our customers, and have made some big changes around here.

No more are the dated orange conference room chairs and blank white walls thanks to the WRL Interior Design Team led by resident creative director, Norio Saneshige. We completely revamped our home away from home and are excited to show it off.

Norio explains how he came up with the key design themes throughout, “My theme for our interior redesign was modern, clean and inviting with a touch of mid-century design flair to reflect our WRL brand. One of the many unique things about WRL is that we have our own interior design team within the agency. Each team member came up with ideas and I helped coordinate them all to fit the overall theme of the space, thus, it was a collaborative effort. We had so much fun picking out the wall colors then painting and selecting furniture as well as the pieces of décor. We are very proud to call it our own.”

The project began a little over a year and a half ago, first bouncing ideas off each other at the creative conceptual stage and then progressing all the way to the finished product you see here. As of July 2017, our collective dreams of a modern space finally came to fruition!

When you first enter, both of the rooms feel even more bright, positive and inviting in person. Furthermore, an area in the main conference room worth significant mention is the back wall. Nestled between two modern lamps and expertly crafted abstract artwork of Stark County’s railways and industrial photography by WRL’s finest, is an illuminated showcase of our agency’s awards. While remarkable, our awards aren’t the first thing to catch your eye in that case – it’s the ephemeral, multi-colored lights that captivate your attention. Their vibrant shades of blue, red, purple, green, white, yellow, etc. are a perfect metaphor to what and who we are as an agency. We’re bright, loud, unique and eclectic, but can be both timeless and enduring at will.

We highlight our different colors in our diverse skillsets, but we also are chameleons who morph to any challenge and to our clients’ needs. We come together to form a beautiful kaleidoscopic of humans and creative thought. Our team is unlike any other you’ll encounter, and that’s the remarkability of how we thrive. The vibrant collaboration, the eclectic company culture and the enduring effort each and every employee puts into his or her work is what makes us, us. At WRL, you’ll gain a loyal partner in your career and perhaps a new friend in life.

While the final design didn’t come without some passionate discussions, we’re happy to say that we’re extremely pleased with the finished product. We hope you will be too! So come see us in our rebranded office and let us Think.Create.Design. for you. Contact us today!

Online Security – Protect Your Web(site)

By Corey Culler

At WRL, we take information security seriously. Your data is valuable, so why not protect it? Many hosting providers are only reactive to security issues, but WRL proactively protects your data by actively researching security issues and developing fixes for them before they become a problem.

WRL offers several security packages – basic, integrated and advanced security plans – that can be tailored to client needs. All of our plans include keeping plugins/modules up to date, daily database and file backups, and guaranteed server security. The intermediate and advanced plans go further, including web application firewall setup and dedicated support hours that can be used to enhance or repair the website.

According to Wordfence, a leading security consulting firm and author of the Wordfence security system for WordPress, vulnerabilities in plugins are responsible for 55.9% of all attacks on WordPress. After that, the most common attack vector is brute-force password cracking. WRL protects you from these attack vectors by limiting the number of password entry attempts across the entire network. We also block malicious requests that attempt to take advantage of known plugin vulnerabilities.

If you’re interested in securing your valuable data, we’d love to protect you and your business’ website. Contact us to see how we can be your secure solution today!

Follow Your “Cocoro” (Heart) with Noriokids.com

By Norio Saneshige

Since I was a child, I’ve always loved creative activities such as drawing, building and designing – and I still do at WRL! My favorite activities as a kid involved building with Legos as well as building forts and hideouts. I had such a great time!

Most of us have almost forgot how fun and exciting these moments were, but as a father of two children, I’ve encountered many situations where I can see in their eyes that they are going through the same experiences I used to go through. That is why I created Noriokids.com and more specifically, the Cocoro – Interlocking Playhouse System.

“Cocoro” means “Heart” in Japanese. As we all know, ‘home is where the heart is’. I believe that the Cocoro playhouse will be the home of fun, excitement, comfort, shelter, creativity or whatever children want it to be – it’s up to them to decide. Allow them to follow their hearts to experience this unique playhouse.

“It takes a village to raise a child.
It takes children to raise a village.”

 

The environment children live in nowadays is much more convenient and digitized. You can have the virtual experience any time on your digital devices and I love it too, however, I feel that they don’t have enough chances to be immersed in the real world with “hands-on” experiences.

Our mission is to inspire children to discover how fun and exciting it is to use their imagination to create their own worlds and values. I believe EVERY child has this limitless potential to be whatever they want to be to make a difference in our world, but it all starts from pure imagination!

It has been an amazing journey to work with local organizations, which together, inspire many children in northern Ohio to follow their “cocoros”.

Successfully Climb the Social Media Ladder

WRL’s Social Strategies, Savings & Beyond to Increase Your Reach & Revenue


By Olivia Tharp

 

What many existing companies may not realize is that there’s an extremely beneficial free online marketing tool that is being underutilized, if used at all. In fact, 24 percent of small businesses aren’t using social media due to the fact that they may be slow adopters, skeptics still stuck on the outdated stigma that “Likes don’t matter”, or are just too busy to dedicate time to being diligent on at least one channel.

Engage in Social Benefits

The simple truth of the matter is social media for business saves time, money and most importantly increases your company’s ROI by spreading your company’s messages instantaneously and with extraordinary effectiveness.

Many companies are quickly adopting and being more active on social networks, recognizing it as a business necessity for both B2B and B2C. Once implemented, it’s important to leverage internal support for a social business case to both leadership allocating funds as well as to employees securing new marketing budgets dedicated to social.

How Far Our Reach Goes for You

Social media experts have a variety of diverse capabilities in the digital marketing field. We offer everything from social media ideation and creation of developing monthly planners, to social management of scheduling all posts with links, tags, photos in the online tool Buffer.com, to monitoring comments/messages on pages for reputation management, to general project management tasks and social media marketing research on industry articles, events, benefits to audience for both organic and boosted posts for all social media channels. Knowing how to navigate the social realm is strategic and learned – we can help you find your way, turning social media influence into action.

These experts are also able to provide monthly scheduled planners with linked, tagged and photo postsmonthly/quarterly Social Reporting and Performance Analytics that include a summary of posts and impressions, landing page visitor counts, interactions with resources and links and provide recommendations for improvement. These statistical metrics and insights prove your social strategy delivers ROI to your organization showing that these efforts play a large role driving sales conversions.

If your business wants to learn more on how to optimize your social media accounts, we offer Social Media Training as a complete digital marketing solution. WRL provides this diverse educational service that advances your company’s online marketing and media success. We share with you the techniques and best practices to create and execute comprehensive strategies that effectively leverage digital channels to protect, build and enhance a company’s reputation while supporting its business objectives. Social media training provides tactics that include customized messaging and optimal posting times for clients who are interested in learning more about using different channels and managing or implementing their social accounts.

WRL Performances and Insights

I had the opportunity to speak at Florida Tile‘s National Sales Conference in Lexington, KY earlier this year. I spoke about how beneficial social media is for business and how to best utilize it through the upcoming Facebook Ad Campaign WRL planned for their company. We’re grateful to have Florida Tile, as well as many more clients as trusted social media partners.

 

Like” What We Do?

WRL brings solutions to your market that will empower you to drive business growth via social media. Let us help you turn your Social Media Influence into Action. Contact Us Today.

Women’s Impact Awards – 5 Years of Unleashing Power & Realizing Potential

Celebrating Women Who Leave a Legacy & Make an Impact

 

Women’s Impact Inc. Award Recipients (left to right) – Sue Ramsey, A representative for Merle Griff, PhD, The Honorable Judge Taryn Heath, Kay Feagles, and Nancy Platek from The Women’s Fund Endowment of Stark Community Foundation

WRL Art Director and Women’s Impact Awards Planning Committee member Tracy Arenson and WRL PR and Social Media Specialist Olivia Tharp joined nearly 150 professional female colleagues for the 5th Anniversary of Women’s Impact Awards on March 23. Alongside Main Event Sponsor Mercy Medical Center of Canton, Ohio, WRL Advertising was proud to be a Supporting Sponsor for this inspiring event.

Olivia Tharp and Tracy Arenson of WRL Advertising

This milestone occasion celebrated four deserving individuals and one local organization who have encouraged women to move forward boldly in areas as diverse as entrepreneurship, personal independence, justice, sports and financial empowerment. These inspiring leaders – Kay Feagles, Merle Griff PhD, The Honorable Judge Taryn Heath, Sue Ramsey, and The Women’s Fund Endowment of Stark Community Foundation – have made it their purpose in their respective areas to transform women’s lives by creating connections, encouraging education and offering advice to further advance women in our community.

Since the Canton chapter’s inception in 2012, this group of Women’s Impact, Inc. members has continued to grow in number and further expand its programs and offerings. These currently include mentoring, signature professional development events, a speaker series, networking events and restorative activities – all which aid to the organization’s ultimate goal of encouraging women to unleash power and realize potential.

Special Thanks to the Women’s Impact Awards Planning Committee (left to right) – Barb Mucci, Paula Mastroianni, Laura Baloun, Dianne Digianantonio, Tracy Arenson and Dawn Campanelli

Each member has exemplified what it means to be passionate and powerful in her career and in her life. Many Women’s Impact members – from various occupations, ethnicities and ages – have not only achieved their dreams both professionally and personally, but surpassed even their own expectations.

Sue Ramsey, one of the night’s honored awards recipients and the highly decorated and extremely humble former Head Women’s Basketball Coach of Ashland University voiced a memorable quote one her mentors once shared with her, “What I am is God’s gift to me. What I do with myself is my gift back to God.” ~ Leo Buscaglia

Do something today for yourself to unleash your power and realize your potential.

Your Virtual Tour is a Reality with Our Google Street View | Trusted Team

WRL recently added a new service, Google Street View | Trusted.

Google Street View – a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides panoramic views from positions along many streets in the world – now provides the Trusted program. A potential customer can view not only the exterior of your business, but the interior as well through high-quality, 360 degree images taken by our verified Google Trusted photographers.

Take a look at the most recent Google Street View Tour of panoramic shots we took of the Boardman Community of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Retirement Services in Ohio.

Google Street View | Trusted is very affordable and practically effortless for you.  The virtual tour is linked with your Google+ Page and can be embedded into your company’s website and your other marketing channels so it’s easy to find, view and only takes a few hours to complete. This feature is another great way to increase traffic to your website and doubles your image presence on Google.

Research shows a 67 percent increase in interest among consumers who see virtual tours. Additionally, consumers use mapping products, like Google Street View | Trusted, 44 percent of the time when searching for businesses, and 41 percent of those searches result in an on-site visit. Therefore, being able to see inside a company is a great way to build trust and generate even more awareness for your business.

If you’re interested in making a virtual tour of your business a reality, we’d love to produce one for you.
Contact us to see how we can be your Trusted partner today.

Front End Web Developer Internship

We have a paid internship position available if you have the experience and a hunger to train as a front end web developer. You’ll work with our web development team on creative and functional projects for a variety of clients. Knowledge and experience with the following would be ideal:

  • HTML, CSS
    • Bonus points if you have experience with CSS animations
    • Bonus points for SCSS/SASS or LESS
  • JavaScript, jQuery (Only basic knowledge required)
    • Bonus points if you have experience with JavaScript animations
  • Familiarity with WordPress, Drupal, Bootstrap
  • PHP (Only basic knowledge required)
  • Hunger to expand your knowledge and your skill set.

Additional skills and knowledge that would make you a better candidate:

  • Git (or other version control system) experience
  • Knowledge of SEO Best Practices and how to find and fix common issues
  • Familiarity with GSAP, SVG Animations, Google Analytics
  • Familiarity with Photoshop & Illustrator, or other image editing software

Please submit your resume and portfolio to Randal Pope at rpope@wrladv.com

Jacquie Mazziotta Honored with NSME Achievement in Excellence Award

The National Sales & Marketing Executives™ (NSME) of Akron/Canton recognized the 2017 winners of the Accent on Excellence™ awards on February 28 for demonstrating the highest levels of professionalism during their careers in sales and marketing. Our own Jacquie Mazziotta was one of the honorees for excelling in her current role of providing public relations and marketing communications strategy for several clients in the manufacturing, retail and commercial building industries at WRL Advertising.

Prior to her current role, Jacquie worked in education with several school district superintendents in Summit County as well as with educational leaders at the state level on messaging development and strategy.  A champion for public education, she served as communications director for Stow-Munroe Falls City School district where she was vital to the passage of a new $6 million levy as well as a $5 million renewal campaign. There, she spearheaded the implementation of social media combined with multi-faceted marketing strategies, leading communications efforts into the digital era.

The NSME Achievements in Excellence awards recognize the best practitioners in the sales and marketing profession. Winners are selected by NSME leaders, based on nominations from local professionals. Criteria include professional experience and demonstrated performance, as well as community and civic involvement.

Jacquie joined 26 other sales and marketing professionals being honored with the Achievements in Excellence™ award. (A complete list of winners is available at NSME Akron/Canton – Achievements-in-Excellence Recipients.)

David Baker, President and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame, was named 2017 Executive of the Year; Dan Flowers, President and CEO of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank, was honored with the Outstanding Community Leader award; and Angela Garbicz, a graduating senior at The University of Akron, received the Jim Butler Collegiate Award.