Category Archives: Content

No Advertising Budget? No Problem.

Great user-generated photos are frequent at Silverton Mountain.

Great user-generated photos are frequent at Silverton Mountain.

Jon Woods and I had the opportunity this past week to take a day off of work and visit one of our favorite places in the entire state: Silverton Mountain. Silverton is a somewhat sleepy mining town that sits in the extremely steep San Juan Mountain Range between Ouray and Durango. It opened in 2002 with just one lift providing access to nearly 2,000 acres of backcountry-only terrain (there are no groomed runs and most are 40-percent+ grade), and another 22,000 acres accessible by their helicopter service. The mountain is only open Thursday through Sunday, and 90% of the season requires guides for visitors, ensuring that only a handful of skiers and boarders have access to the fresh snow daily.

Why is all of that background important? Silverton serves a fairly niche audience of hardcore skiers and backcountry enthusiasts, so they have to be that much more strategic to reach their customers in a meaningful way.

Read more after the jump…

Social Media and The President of the United States

The President hasn't shied away from laughing at himself from time to time.

The President hasn’t shied away from laughing at himself from time to time.

I recently came across this rundown of how the Obama Administration has approached social media over the past eight years, and aside from being amazed at how far digital communications have evolved since 2008 (imagine, if you can, a pre-Instagram world), there are also a number of great takeaways from how the President and his staff have embraced social media during his two terms, and what we can learn from their efforts:  Read more after the jump…

A Seven-Step Social Media Strategy for Startups

Screen Shot 2015-10-19 at 3.44.39 PMThis week marks the return of one of GFM’s favorite events: The Wright from Something Independent. The Wright Award Night is a celebration of Colorado-based companies that are finding success at the intersection of lifestyle and commerce. Each company presents a 90-second video, and then finalists answer questions from a panel of business experts – Shark Tank-style – to narrow the field to one winner. Past winners include FlyLow, MHM Backpacks, Voormi, and Eldorado Climbing Walls.

This is the third year GFM has been a sponsor, PR partner and social media content curator for the event, and each year we find ourselves energized at the entrepreneurship of Colorado companies, and the outdoor industry in the state as a whole. Part of our excitement revolves around the potential all of the contenders have to bring their brands to life via social media and digital marketing.

As many entrepreneurs know, there is only so much time left in the day for managing social media. Here is a seven-step process for any startup to follow to develop (and organize!) a social media and digital marketing strategy:

Read more after the jump…

The State of Digital Marketing – 2015

GFM's Saint Joseph Hospital Opening campaign encompassed web, social media, media relations, SEO and digital ad campaigns.

GFM’s Saint Joseph Hospital Opening campaign encompassed web, social media, media relations, SEO and digital ad campaigns.

If you’re in the marketing communications industry, you’re probably familiar with terms like “content marketing,” “social media marketing,” “community management” – or simply “digital.” But can you explain the difference between each one? What does “digital marketing” actually mean?

Marketing departments and creative agencies are at a crossroads. Think about how greatly our work – our strategies – have evolved in the past five to 10 years. Marketing channels, consumer behaviors, third and fourth screens, mobile, SEO, distribution methods, customer service, thought leadership, media relations, bloggers/influencers, social networks, digital content, video, social advertising…it’s all different, and it continues to evolve. Marketing departments are struggling with where to prioritize budgets (and who to hire to do the work!) – and if any of you attended the Evolve or Die SXSW session this past March, it’s clear that traditional agencies have just as many questions about navigating the digital arena. Read more after the jump…

Email: What Alternatives Are Companies Using?

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.20.34 PMAs marketing communications professionals, we live and breathe by email. In fact, it’s hard to remember what we did BEFORE email. How did we ever communicate with each other? Naturally I was intrigued when I came across this article: Is There Life After Email? Yes, And It’s Amazing

The author of the article worked for WordPress.com, a company that doesn’t rely on email. He said that while all employees have email accounts, they rarely used them. He maintains that there are two primary reasons for using email at work: CYA and showing off.

Read more after the jump…

Making Compelling Brand Videos

GFM Client Partner 34 Degree's recent brand video.

GFM Client Partner 34 Degree’s recent brand video.

GFM has been partnering with Fourth Wall Productions on a variety of social/digital video projects since February, and in that time, we’ve seen and heard a lot of opinions about what makes a great brand video. Some of it has been good, but a lot of it has been misguided.

I recently ran across this Ad Age article titled “Best Practices: What is the Optimal Length for Video Content,” and while it does discuss best practices for varying lengths of videos, it actually goes beyond the question of “length,” and into some extremely relevant overarching points about successful video strategies.

Read more after the jump…

SXSW Denver Download Recap

The large and lively crowd at GFM's SXSWi Denver Download 2015

The large and lively crowd at GFM’s SXSWi Denver Download 2015

We had roughly 115 clients; partners and agency friends join us on Tuesday morning for our fourth South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) Denver Download event. A huge thank you to Infinite Monkey Theorem for hosting and providing cold brewed coffee and breakfast cocktails, Boulder’s Upstart Kombucha for powering us through the morning with samples, and 34 Degrees for sending everyone home with the tastiest crackers on earth.

Our esteemed panelists discussed the overarching concepts, themes and new technologies from SXSWi 2015, and in case you missed the event, or if you were there and want to compare notes, below is a high-level recap of the panel discussion – from content to influencers to trends in technology.

Read more after the jump…

Where to Start with Content Curation

Content Low_FlickrCreativeCommons“We’re going to have a robust content curation strategy in 2015!”

How many of you work with folks who made these claims during your most recent planning cycle? Or perhaps, you oversee a team itching to overhaul current content plans and made these claims yourself?

Announcing content strategy intentions and actually putting a stake in the ground from a time and budget perspective are two very different things. This is why MarketingProfs’ article, “Curating Content: A Few Principles and Tools to Guide Your Efforts,” caught our attention this week.

Read more after the jump…

This Week: GFM @ SXSW Interactive 2015

Keepin' it Weird at SXSW Interactive in Austin.

Keepin’ it Weird at SXSW Interactive in Austin.

GFM’s Jon Woods and Jim Licko are headed back down to Austin this week to attend and report back on the South by Southwest Interactive (#SXSWi) conference – but this year they’re bringing Laura Love and Ramonna Robinson with them.

Laura and Ramonna were selected to speak at this year’s conference, and their session – Coding Culture: Programming a Best Place to Work – will highlight the importance of building great workplace culture, and offer tangible concepts and tips for creating a place where the best of the best will want to work. If you’re in Austin, be sure to stop by conference room 407 at the JW Marriott on Monday at 5pm!

Read more after the jump…

Search Engine Optimization and SEO for 2015

For many years, Google in particular has stressed quality content as the key to good search engine rankings. However, with some success achieved through simply technical means, many SEO practitioners still have not given a great deal of attention to the value of their content. I can’t count the number of times new client prospects have come to me saying that their competitor’s website has no optimization in place, and yet it still outranks them. Usually, it is because the competitors site is established and has engaged readers who regularly visit the site and have a relationship with the organization. So, what will it take for a website to attract readers and visitors?

In looking at the future of SEO in a recent Searchengineland article, search guru Jenny Halasz opined:

What a lot of people don’t understand is that SEO is a creative field. You can test it, and you can hypothesize, but at the end of the day, what works for you may not work for someone else. There are simply too many variables to say anything for sure.

For those of us mired in the depths of analytics, research, statistics and implementation strategies, considering SEO as something other than a primarily technical field this represents a fairly radical change.

Read more after the jump…