Author Archives: Will C. Holden

Digital Marketing Lessons from Award-Winning Smart Ashes

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We were humbled to learn earlier this year that our Be A Smart Ash campaign for the Denver City Forester received the annual Kudos Marketing Award from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). And we were perhaps even more excited to be invited on NRPA’s monthly webinar to detail some learnings about the campaign.

So what exactly is Be A Smart Ash? We’ll let the campaign tagline do the talking:

1 in 6 trees in Denver are ash trees. And if we do nothing, it’s just a matter of time before they’ll ALL be devoured by the emerald ash borer, the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history. But who wants to be a Debbie Downer when you can Be A Smart Ash? Spend some time on our site and learn how you can help protect your ash and our urban canopy by identifying, treating and replacing Denver’s ash trees.

The Denver City Forester, a division of Denver Parks and Recreation, enlisted our help with a five-year integrated marketing campaign that has included naming, branding, messaging, content creation, internal and external communications, media relations, website development, SEO, digital advertising, video production and social media management.

The goal? Raising awareness about a tiny pest called the emerald ash borer (EAB), which has decimated ash tree populations in more than 25 states and parts of Canada.
Read more after the jump…

New Toys for Existing Social Media Platforms


As the development of new social media platforms has slowed, the development of new bells and whistles that existing platforms are using to distinguish themselves from the competition has accelerated. This week was no exception, and below we examine new functionalities all four major social platforms have added within the past five days.


Marketing Land: Facebook Ads Can Now Link to Brands’ Whatsapp Accounts
Yes, we know that this new Facebook functionality requires you to first build a WhatsApp account for your brand. Not only is that time consuming, it may not be advantageous for many U.S. brands, as 84 percent of the messaging app’s active users live outside of the U.S. But for brands trying to reach a younger audience, being able to simultaneously tap into the more established, legacy audiences on Facebook as you’re targeting newer, youngers audiences on WhatsApp within the same campaign could prove to be very worthwhile. Read more after the jump…

Lunch: The Answer to Your Content Collection Woes


“It’s just lunch.”

It’s an online dating service as well as the answer to your content collection woes. Bear with me as I try to land this plane.

All content creators have been to the point with clients when you’ve felt as though you’ve hit a wall, either creatively or logistically. It happened to us working for our clients at SCL Health Medical Center, and believe it or not, it was the vastness of content possibilities and not a lack of them that jumpstarted our head scratching.

With dozens of medical practices from Aurora to Evergreen and specialities ranging from plastic surgery to cardiology to primary care — and all of them needing our assistance with digital marketing — our small team was both spoiled for choice and stretched thin when it came to content creation.

Enter the lunch brainstorm.
Read more after the jump…

Digital advertising playbook for nonprofit holiday giving campaigns

Giving Campaigns

It’s that time of year again: That time when nonprofits start to think about capitalizing on the charitable mood that tends to spike around the holiday season.

But here’s the problem: Just about every nonprofit across the country is having this same inclination. Take Colorado, for instance: We have Colorado Gives Day every year in early December, which is a 24-hour period in which Coloradans are encouraged to give to their favorite registered nonprofit. The nonprofits who raise the most then receive an extra funding boost from an incentive fund created for that day.

But with all that competition, there’s plenty of noise, especially in the digital space. So how do you help your campaign stand out?

That’s a question many clients have posed to us — so much so that we’ve developed a bit of a playbook; one that has shown to be particularly helpful for smaller nonprofits looking to fully dive in to the holiday giving season for the first time.
Read more after the jump…

We Trended on Twitter, and This is How We Did It

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We’ve all been there: Your client wants his or her message, product or event to trend on Twitter, the account they’re using doesn’t have a lot of followers and you don’t have immediate access to Justin Bieber to lend your hashtag a hand.

So what do you do?

We were faced with this scenario earlier this year working for our hard-nosed clients at Colorado Succeeds. Tell this scrappy education nonprofit they can’t accomplish X, and they’ll have accomplished X, Y and Z in the time it takes you to lay out the case as to why they’ll never accomplish X.

So naturally, it was a goal for them to gain trending status for their inaugural Succeeds Prize, a first-of-its-kind live awards show for teachers set to be broadcast live from the University of Denver by KUSA, Denver’s NBC affiliate and market leader.

So where did we start? First, we went straight to the source to find out how Twitter defines trending. This is what we found word-for-word, as put forth by the platform in 2010:
Read more after the jump…

How Client Video Screenings Save You Time (And Sanity)

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For every producer who has written “Version 14” next to a video you’ve passed along for client review, this blog post is for you.

It’s no secret that the video editing process for clients can be exhausting and redundant. Though we certainly realized this universal truth before, it became all the more clear to us when we acquired the video production company now known as CenterTable Studios earlier this year.

It was after housing an out-of-town client in our office to work on a video project that it donned on us: The editing process became a whole lot easier when we were meeting with a client face-to-face.

That was the moment client video screenings were born.
Read more after the jump…

Charleston TSA nets simple, genius PR win for much maligned industry

See how TSA's "Great Catch" signs throughout the Charleston airport security lines have improved public impression, traveler interactions & employee morale. See how TSA nets a simple, yet genius PR win for the much maligned industry with "Great Catch" signs throughout the Charleston airport | GroundFloor Media PR Agency | Denver, CO

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has posted “Great Catch” signs across the Charleston International Airport celebrating the efforts of their security agents.

What do you discuss with your TSA agent?

Believe it or not, that’s a question I often ask myself as I approach the gatekeepers of airport security. Is it the weather? Do I venture a joke about the tumultuous sea of humanity I just traversed? Should I preemptively acknowledge the fact that my ID looks like it’s been acid washed (it does)?

Thankfully, that question was answered for me on my latest trip.

“Thank you Officer Mady,” I said to the agent. “Thanks for making sure that doubled-edged knife didn’t make it on my flight.”

You see, someone who works for the Transportation Security Administration within the Charleston International Airport has posted “Great Catch” signs throughout airport security lines — an arena where eyes are prone to wander and likely land on graphic images of weapons.

But instead of simply declaring these items aren’t allowed in your carry-on (duh), beneath the images are stories about how Charleston TSA agents have detected these very items during the course of security screenings.

All of a sudden, Officer Smith and I had something to talk about.
Read more after the jump…

Brevity No Longer Drives Social Media Copy — But This Does

Patti Martin, right, with her SCL Health Medical Group heart surgeon Jason Shofnos. (Photo: Patti Martin)

Patti Martin, right, with her SCL Health Medical Group heart surgeon Jason Shofnos. (Photo: Patti Martin)

Hello, I’m Will Holden. Like Troy McClure, you might remember me from such blog posts as Research: The Ideal Length of a Facebook Post is 40 Characters and the client call, “Shorter Now and Always”.

Well, to make another cheesy pop culture reference: The times are a-changin’.

Yes, at one point in time I relied on great research from Buffer that 40 characters — not 40 words, but 40 characters — was indeed the ideal length of post copy for Facebook. And just to be clear, I’m not making an effort to abandon or challenge those findings. As a content creator and former journalist, I still believe conciseness is next to godliness.

But that doesn’t mean I’m great at consistently achieving it.

That’s one of many reasons why I was somewhat relieved when my own experience threw some dirt on the totality of implications that can be made from Buffer’s research into the succinctness of social copy.
Read more after the jump…

Owner of Popular Denver Restaurant Regularly Puts Online Critics on Blast

Onefold Denver restaurant owner Mark Nery is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)

Onefold Denver restaurant owner, Mark Nery, is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)

Consider your audience’s response.

That’s a cardinal rule for consumer brands when developing digital content. But does the same now go for consumers aiming to critique these brands online?

In an age in which critics have become brands unto themselves, that notion is certainly an interesting one. And one of my favorite Denver restaurants provides a captivating case study.

If you’re a brunch junkie, you’ve done yourself a disservice if you haven’t been to Onefold in Denver, a quaint spot that artfully weaves comfort foods of the Asian, French and Mexican persuasions. That is to say, there’s always a line out the door and it’s highly likely you’ll be dining amidst a sea of chambray and skinny jeans.

Read more after the jump…