The Gardner School

Sip and Sample event at The Skylight
The Gardner School

Growing in New Markets

Green Apple has been The Gardner School’s full-service marketing partner since 2014. During that time, the school has grown from eight locations in four states to over 30 locations across seven states and continues to grow each year. 

Over the years, Green Apple has become a true extension of The Gardner School’s team, cultivating a deep knowledge of the brand, collaborating around new opportunities, and tackling numerous challenges together.

Supporting Expansion into New Markets

As one of the nation’s leading early childhood education centers, The Gardner School takes a strategic approach to entering new markets and launching new schools. Green Apple has spearheaded all marketing and promotional strategies for each expansion, executing detailed market research, targeted advertising, engaging digital campaigns, and designing marketing collateral tailored to each new target market. 

Learning and Growing Together

After nearly a decade, we’ve gained valuable wisdom about launching new schools, but the landscape of early childhood education has changed dramatically since our partnership began. Together, we’ve adapted our tactics to achieve the most effective approach possible.

For each new school launch, the Green Apple Strategy team customizes each launch campaign to include local engagement opportunities, a public relations push, and comprehensive traditional and digital advertising to reach even more families at a lower cost per engagement.

A Fruitful Partnership

Green Apple Strategy is proud of the partnership we’ve built as The Gardner School has grown. Through this partnership, meetings feel less like formal interactions and more like collaborative brainstorms where we can suggest ideas, work through challenges, and implement solutions to support their growth. As they’ve expanded throughout the country, we’ve helped them achieve major wins, including:

  • 3 market expansions with 26 new schools
  • 235.52% growth in website sessions since 2016
  • 253.9% annual growth in organic social media engagement in 2023
  • Over 75,000 views of TGS’s top five thought-leadership blogs in 2023
  • An email newsletter open rate of 58.6%
    • More than double the benchmark open rate for early childhood education

Client Testimonial

“The Green Apple team is a trusted partner in our marketing activities and goals. Their team of experts consistently works to exceed our expectations to provide insightful solutions to engage and connect with families. We are grateful for their hard work and dedication.” — Joy Haynes, The Gardner School

Client

Praise

COO
Green Apple has successfully implemented various strategies and projects that have both increased our brand recognition and directly driven business to our organization. Our dedicated Green Apple team is knowledgeable in what they do, produces quality work on time, and is flexible in pivoting to our ever-changing priorities. We’ve been very happy with the results of our relationship together and would highly recommend their service.
Charlie Kunberger
ATECH

more case studies

What Small Businesses Should Know About Google & Yahoo Email Authentication Updates 

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for small businesses to maintain effective communication with their customers. One significant update that demands the attention of small businesses is the impending Google and Yahoo email authentication updates that are set to roll out in February 2024. This might sound like tech jargon, but adapting to these updates is crucial for reaching customers through email.

As a trusted full-service marketing agency working with both B2B and B2C small businesses, Green Apple Strategy is here to guide you through these changes so that your email marketing efforts remain successful. So let’s break down what’s on the horizon and how to navigate these email authentication updates with confidence.

Why the Update? What’s Changing?

Email authentication is a critical aspect of email marketing, as it helps establish the legitimacy of the email sender. It verifies the sender’s identity, ensuring emails are legitimate and not sneaky spam. 

On February 1, 2024, Google and Yahoo are turning what was once considered best practices for email authentication into mandatory requirements. The updates primarily focus on strengthening the protocols that verify the authenticity of the email sender’s domain and ensure that emails are not being spoofed or manipulated by malicious cybersecurity attackers.

Ultimately, these authentication updates are a proactive step toward a more secure email environment. For small businesses, that’s a good thing! Fewer spammy messages mean a cleaner, more trusted email environment, which ultimately benefits everyone.

Actionable Steps for Small Businesses 

If you’re a small business relying on email to reach customers or partnering with a marketing agency for your digital marketing efforts, here’s how to update your email protocols so that any emails you send are not blocked or marked as spam:

Make Sure You’re Sending Emails from a Domain You Own

One of the key requirements for the new authentication protocols is that small businesses should be sending mail from a domain that belongs to your organization. For example, we send emails from “NAME@greenapplestrategy.com” 

Your domain name is an important part of your business or organization’s online identity, and sending emails from your own domain is key to maintaining a relationship with your subscribers. 

Implement DMARC & SPF at the Enforcement Level

The updates primarily focus on strengthening authentication protocols such as DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework). At Green Apple, we’ve already helped clients update these authentications at the enforcement level. These changes instruct email providers about how to handle unauthorized emails claiming to be from a certain domain. 

Get Technical (or Find Someone Who Is)

Setting up these protocols might sound like tech jargon, but fear not! Most email service providers offer user-friendly guides and support. For example, Campaign Monitor offers built-in tools for DMARC reporting and authentication management. You can definitely DIY this process, but you must ensure the new authentications are done correctly. You’ll also want to make sure that they’re used effectively after they’re implemented.

Lean on Agency Expertise for Authentication Readiness

With the complexity of the updates, it’s even more crucial to rely on your agency’s expertise in email authentication and deliverability practices. Ensure your agency has implemented SPF, DKIM, and DMARC on your domain and configured them properly. Ask for specific details about their implementation process and compliance status.

Stay Informed Through Collaboration

Regular communication means that your business will be able to quickly adapt to evolving email authentication standards. That’s why it’s important to foster a collaborative environment that enables you to stay informed about industry updates, best practices, and any additional recommendations from your marketing agency. 

Monitor Performance and Adapt Strategies

The final step you want to take is to work closely with your marketing agency to review and adapt your email marketing strategies in response to the updates. Your agency should inform you about any significant decreases you see in open rates and work together to identify and address the root cause.

Don’t Panic, Get Prepared!

These updates might seem daunting, but with a little proactive effort, you can avoid any serious issues. Partnering with a competent and proactive marketing agency can help you navigate the email authentication updates smoothly. Trust their expertise, communicate openly, and monitor performance for a successful email marketing strategy in 2024 and beyond.

For Green Apple clients: Our dedicated digital marketing team is proactively working to help our clients seamlessly meet and comply with the new email authentication protocols, guaranteeing the continued success of their email marketing campaigns.

Bonus Tips and Resources

In addition to following these guidelines, implementing email marketing best practices is crucial. Good email practices will ensure your newsletters and marketing campaigns land in your audience’s inbox and captivate their attention. The resources below can help you build an email strategy with a solid ROI. 

The Skylight

Sip and Sample event at The Skylight
The Skylight

A Case Study in Community Engagement

The Factory at Franklin, a cornerstone of downtown Franklin and Williamson County, Tennessee, embarked on a transformative renovation. More than just a physical facelift, the project aimed to reimagine the space as a vibrant hub of hospitality and connection for the community. At the heart of this vision lay The Skylight, a brand-new bar serving as the central social gathering place of The Factory. To bring The Skylight to life, The Factory partnered with Green Apple to support the launch through brand storytelling and event planning.

– Concepting Brand Identity-

Capturing the Essence of The Skylight

The Skylight presented a unique branding challenge. It needed to capture the buzz of a new and exciting venue while simultaneously honoring the rich history and architectural beauty of The Factory. To achieve this balance, Green Apple facilitated a series of collaborative brainstorming sessions with The Factory team. Through these sessions, a clear brand narrative emerged: The Skylight was to be a haven for authentic connection, a place where the past and present intertwined to create a space for shared experiences over craft food and drinks.

From this narrative, Green Apple created a comprehensive branding and messaging package. The Skylight’s name evokes the venue’s soaring atrium, a physical manifestation of the bar’s commitment to hospitality and openness. The logo, a stylized beam structure punctuated by a radiant starburst, symbolizes the vibrant energy that The Skylight brings to the historic space. 

– Event Planning –

Orchestrating the Grand Opening Celebration

To celebrate the grand opening of The Skylight and introduce the entire Factory complex to Franklin residents, Green Apple orchestrated a special “Sip & Sample” event, granting patrons a first chance to explore and sample offerings from current and future Factory vendors. This interactive format encouraged guests to delve deeper into the space, fostering a sense of discovery and community.

Green Apple managed every aspect of the event, from securing vendor buy-in and negotiating quotes for branded swag to managing ticket sales and VIP experiences. The team’s meticulous planning paid off, and the Sip & Sample event sold out within 24 hours, prompting the addition of more tickets to accommodate overwhelming demand. A waitlist of over 350 eager patrons further underscored the community’s excitement for The Skylight.

– Results –

The Skylight's Recipe for Success

The grand opening celebration was a resounding success, solidifying The Skylight’s position as Franklin’s newest must-visit destination. The event’s impact extended far beyond a single night, however. The waitlist provided a way to capture an invested email list to bring into play for future events.  Green Apple also established The Skylight’s social media presence, helping the bar amass over 1,300 followers within weeks of launch.

A strategic PR campaign further amplified The Skylight’s reach. Green Apple secured interviews with local news outlets and prominent Nashville lifestyle publications, generating significant media coverage. Over the next three months, The Skylight was mentioned in over 80 articles, translating to an impressive $1.8 million in advertising equivalent value.

– Creative –

What we did.

Logo Design, Brand Design, Messaging Strategy, Marketing Collateral Design, Event Planning, PR, Email Marketing, Social Media

Client

Praise

COO
Green Apple has successfully implemented various strategies and projects that have both increased our brand recognition and directly driven business to our organization. Our dedicated Green Apple team is knowledgeable in what they do, produces quality work on time, and is flexible in pivoting to our ever-changing priorities. We’ve been very happy with the results of our relationship together and would highly recommend their service.
Charlie Kunberger
ATECH

Cracking the Gen Z Code: A Small Business Marketing Guide to Gen Z Engagement

two-gen-z-girls-looking-at-a-phone

Gen Z, the generation born between the late nineties and mid-2010s, makes up more than one-quarter of the world’s population, and their buying power exceeds $140 billion. With so much competition on the horizon, how can small businesses leverage their brands with this socially conscious, diverse demographic of up-and-coming decision-makers?
 

Increasing Engagement with Gen Z

Be Authentic 

Gen Z likes to support brands with beliefs and value systems that genuinely align with their own. However, promoting values like sustainability, DE&I, and others must be done in a truly authentic way and not just clever marketing to drive sales. Small businesses can show commitment to significant issues by focusing on the human element behind their brands and building transparency by going “behind the scenes” or sharing where and how products are sourced to promote sustainability. 

Include User-Generated Content 

Another way to effectively demonstrate authenticity is with user-generated content. Showcase positive customer experiences and reviews, or ask current customers to upload DIY videos and share what they love about a particular product. Gen Z thrives on experiences, so seeing a real person use, enjoy, and demonstrate how a product looks, feels, and works can help your potential customers imagine what their own experiences will be like! 

Offer Sales and Promotions

Capture Gen Z’s attention with a sale or promotion. According to Campaign Monitor, nearly 83 percent like to receive promotions. HootSuite reported similar findings, with “discounts offered” cited as the number one motivator for getting Gen Z to engage with a new brand. 

Collab with Influencers 

Twenty-four percent of Gen Z women say that they are most likely to turn to influencers when learning about new products to buy. The reason is simple: they like to buy from brands they trust, and they hear about brands they trust from influencers they trust. Successful influencers share information in a manner that captures attention and forms connections; they are interesting, often funny, and always personally engaging. 

Choose the Right Social Media Channels

As the first generation to fully grow up in the digital age, Gen Z’s lives have almost always included social media, and they prefer to connect with brands this way. However, not all channels are created equal, and each brand needs its own unique mix of social media channels.

For Gen Z, Facebook is for gleaning information, X is for news, Instagram is for showcasing an aspirational aesthetic, and Snapchat is for connecting with friends daily. But TikTok is the best bet for selling brands and products, with Gen Z women ranking its influence on purchasing decisions second only to “recommendations from family and friends.” 

Connect with Emails and Newsletters 

We know social media works with Gen Z, but what about email? A report by Campaign Monitor shared that email is Gen Z’s second-most preferred channel for brand engagement. Gen Z is constantly online, and many check their email multiple times per day. However, most receive less than 20 emails a day. This means there is less competition in an inbox than on social media. Moreover, Gen Z indicated they want to hear from brands up to a couple of times a week. 

Keep in mind that Gen Z has an average attention span of eight seconds, so strong copywriting will be key for maximum results. While you should engage with potential customers on multiple channels, including email and social media, you’ll want to change up your messaging across platforms to keep things fresh. 

Strategize with Green Apple 

When it comes to building a successful marketing plan, our team at Green Apple understands that marketing does not operate in silos. We will take time to understand your business and your needs to develop an engagement strategy for Gen Z—and all the generations you serve. Contact us today, and let’s get the conversation started. 

PR 2.0: The AI Revolution for Strategic Communications

AI is quickly becoming embedded in our work and our lives. There’s a lot to keep up with as new developments are coming out almost every day. In the final days of 2023, the New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming millions of articles from the publication were used to train AI chatbot LLMs without authorization. This lawsuit is a clear sign that reform and regulation are coming for the AI market, but we’ll have to wait and see how the overall impact plays out.

Despite the evolving landscape, AI technology remains a powerful tool for PR professionals. The technology has played an important role in public relations work for years in a variety of ways, including;

  • Earned media and social media monitoring
  • Up-to-date journalist and outlet databases
  • Determining brand sentiment in earned media 
  • Determining trending topics and types of content

More recent AI advancements, like deep learning and text and image generation, are changing AI’s role in public relations, reflecting the type of disruption seen in many other industries. But its efficacy depends on our ability to use it strategically and cautiously.

We sat down with Green Apple PR Strategist, Chris Song, to take a closer look at how AI is assisting PR professionals and why it will never replace them. 

The Impact of AI on Strategy

Data and output from AI are really helpful for PR teams, especially for the strategic process. A recent study released by Muck Rack shows a majority (61%) of PR professionals are already using AI or are interested in using it. That’s a 40% increase since March 2023. The report shows the most popular use of AI among PR professionals is for copywriting. But it’s also helping PR pros like Green Apple’s Chris Song brainstorm ideas, conduct research, and monitor brands.

AI is making it easier to keep track of our clients and their brands in real-time while also cutting out the “noise” produced by incorrect or duplicated results. Similarly, it helps us keep an eye on their partners, competitors, and industries as a whole, which can inform our marketing and PR efforts.”

When prompted with appropriate inputs, AI can assist with the copywriting process by generating creative ideas and topics in the brainstorming phase of an earned media campaign. It can also sift through large amounts of earned media content (e.g., headlines, social media posts, bylines, etc.) to help PR professionals do what they’re already doing—identifying trending content and connecting with journalists (and audiences) interested in their clients’ products and services.

The Human Element

AI can help make your job easier, but it can’t do your job for you. When it comes to PR, there’s a foundational communication skill that will always need a human touch: relationship-building.

“Good relationships are critical. A lot has changed over my time in PR—about 15 years—that makes that even more true today. More traditional news outlets have smaller staffs sharing the same workload as before, which means getting through to gatekeepers is a more complicated process. On the other hand, there are more media content generators and curators than ever, so the relationships we do have must deepen while we also pursue more contacts to build trust and credibility with new and emerging voices. That’s something that AI isn’t capable of doing.”

AI has many other limitations. Having a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips doesn’t guarantee accuracy, timeliness, or the effective application of that knowledge. Publicizing incorrect data and outdated information could erode trust between PR pros and their audiences while making brands vulnerable to criticism. 

Beyond what AI does know, there are many nuances that it cannot understand: the appropriate tone and voice for a particular situation, the timing of any given earned media effort, or highly localized sensitivities based on current events and politics. Writing and creating content for people isn’t the same as writing for a search engine algorithm, and quality, human-centered writing requires both heart and hand.

Best Practices for Utilizing AI in Public Relations 

The storytelling element of PR still requires an emotional intelligence that only humans can provide. AI can help us get away from blank stares at the screen, acting as a great brainstorming tool. We’ve outlined a few best practices to keep in mind when using AI for marketing in our recent blog and have listed a few more below.

  • Double-check everything.
  • Get specific. Just like a Google search, the more information and content you put in, the more you’ll get back.
  • Don’t copy and paste.
  • Don’t allow AI to write your press releases.
  • Don’t become overly reliant on AI for ideas.

The Bottom Line

Artificial intelligence is not something to fear. Instead, it’s an exciting opportunity to improve efficiency and creativity! The concept of AI “competing” with PR comes from a misunderstanding of one or both subjects. Even in the foreseeable future, AI can only supplement the work of a PR professional. Inevitably, some professionals will rely too heavily on it, while others will ignore its utility to the disadvantage of themselves and their clients. In the end, how ethically and effectively AI is used in PR work is up to you. 

An Innovative Marketing and PR Agency

Our team of experts at Green Apple are using the latest tools and innovative approaches to tailor the marketing we do for our clients. If your business could use an updated approach to branding, marketing, and PR, we can help. Reach out to us to discover more effective ways to connect with your audience.

Tips for Navigating the Changing SEO Landscape in 2024

In the dynamic realm of SEO and digital marketing, small businesses often feel behind the eight ball. You may recognize the paramount importance of search while grappling with the relentless pace of its evolution. The challenge has only increased in 2023 as the influence of artificial intelligence on search algorithms increases, making the SEO landscape a complex terrain to navigate. 

At Green Apple Strategy, we understand the unique struggles small businesses face in this ever-evolving digital environment. As an agency passionate about empowering companies with the best possible marketing talent in the industry, we have the privilege of working with several SEO specialists to support our clients’ needs. For this post, we’ve asked them to share insights on the profound shifts shaping the SEO landscape this year, along with actionable tips tailored for small businesses who want to increase their SEO clout.

Biggest Trends Shaping SEO in 2024

Here are the most significant trends shaping search engine optimization in 2024:

1. Google Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Remember the days when keyword stuffing was an essential SEO tactic? Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) marks a pivotal shift in this effort. Keywords are no longer the sole path to higher rankings. Instead, small businesses must focus on crafting content that speaks naturally to their audience’s questions, concerns, and desires. Think less robot, more friend sharing valuable insights.

2. Search Continues to Get Smarter 

With AI and machine learning taking center stage, search engines are getting even better at knowing what searchers are looking for. Search tools now analyze user behavior, search history, and contextual clues to predict what someone wants. Businesses can stay relevant by creating content that anticipates user needs and provides solutions for their audience.

3. E-E-A-T: Trust Is the New Currency of Ranking

Google wants you to trust the websites you land on. That’s why they’re emphasizing Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) like never before. To create content that EEAT will find, focus on quality over quantity, showcasing your expertise through well-researched content, transparent authorship, and building backlinks from credible sources. In 2024, being a trustworthy voice in your field is SEO gold. 

4. ChatGPT Whispers: SEO Gets Conversational

AI language learning models like ChatGPT are showing us how search is becoming more conversational. People are asking questions like they’re chatting with a knowledgeable buddy, not typing robotic keywords with Boolean operators. That’s why it’s essential to start thinking of your content as a helpful guide, a knowledgeable friend offering clear answers, and addressing user pain points effectively.

Tips for Navigating a Changing SEO Landscape

Here are a few best practices that every business can implement when it comes to navigating SEO in 2024:

1. Cultivate Conversational Thought Leadership

Google prioritizes trustworthy sources, and blending thought leadership with a conversational tone strengthens your E-E-A-T (expertise, authority, and trustworthiness). Businesses can take advantage of this by regularly publishing insightful content that leverages their knowledge or by collaborating with industry experts. For example, consider FAQ-driven content to address user queries directly, and keep a conversational tone to address popular search terms.

2. Build Topical Authority Through Content Depth

Strategic content creation is more crucial than ever before. As you plan your content calendar for 2024, it’s essential to establish topical authority by building a comprehensive content library on your chosen themes. Explore subtopics thoroughly, offering valuable information and insights from subject matter experts.

3. Leverage Video Content for Double the SEO Impact

Search engines have noticed that people are consuming video content like never before, and visual content is now indexable and searchable. If you’re not investing in video, 2024 might be the ideal time to begin filming insightful videos or webinars.  As you post your videos online, follow SEO best practices for YouTube, such as using relevant keywords in your video titles, descriptions, and tags for increased discoverability on both Google and YouTube.

4. Embrace the Shift to Alternative Platforms

With users flocking to platforms like TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and Reddit for information, search marketing is continually expanding, with social media being used as a search engine. As a small business, it can be valuable to adapt your strategy and leverage data from these diverse sources to stay relevant in the evolving SEO landscape.

5. Refresh Existing Content for Continued Relevance

In a crowded, fast-paced content landscape, refreshing existing content is crucial for maintaining ranking and search engine visibility. One simple way to extend the life of your content is to repurpose outdated content to ensure it still aligns with user intent, adheres to best practices, and competes effectively with newer material.

6. UX: The Constant in SEO Change

Amidst ongoing SEO evolution, user experience remains a constant priority. Google continues to prioritize smooth UX. If you understand that SEO is structured around making the user experience as frictionless as possible, then you have the right mindset to build your SEO strategy

7. Embrace Adaptability for Long-term Success

Change is the only constant in the future of SEO. The integration of AI and evolving content standards necessitate an adaptable and evolving strategy. As a small business, it’s essential to embrace continuous learning and recognize the importance of making strategic adjustments to thrive as your audience changes the way they search.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

At Green Apple, we’re committed to always staying one step ahead of the latest trends and equipped with the tools and expertise to guide you to the top of the SEO mountain. In The Core, our monthly newsletter, we highlight the latest trends and timely marketing tactics small businesses should know. Click here to subscribe to The Core and gain insights you need to achieve your goals in 2024.

The Marketing Sandbox: How to Discover Your Next Best Marketing Tactic for 2024

The beginning of the year is always an exciting time to dream about future possibilities. It seems like the marketing world is buzzing with the latest trends and promising strategies this time of year. However, the flurry of new marketing trends can often be overwhelming, making it challenging for businesses to decide where to invest their resources. With a constant influx of new tools and ideas, it’s easy to feel paralyzed by the decision of which new tactics to implement. 

But what if there was a space where you could experiment, innovate, and stumble without jeopardizing your entire marketing campaign for the year? At Green Apple Strategy, we’ve started referring to this as the “marketing sandbox.”
 

What is a Marketing Sandbox?

Remember the childhood joy of building sand castles and digging for buried treasure in a sandbox on the playground? Children enjoy a sense of endless possibilities and the freedom to experiment and create without fear of consequences—that’s the essence of the marketing sandbox.

Just like the childhood toy, a marketing sandbox provides a controlled environment to test new ideas, explore emerging trends, and discover what truly resonates with your audience. It’s not about reinventing your entire marketing strategy; it’s about calculated exploration within a defined framework to find your next great marketing idea.

Tips for Incorporating the Marketing Sandbox Concept

At Green Apple, this is a concept we’ve incorporated numerous times over the year—for our own marketing efforts and our clients. In order to introduce a specific marketing strategy or test a new social media platform, we incorporate one or two new ideas each year to stretch our thinking and enhance our marketing efforts. 

So, how do you build your marketing sandbox? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Explore Emerging Trends in Marketing

The first step to finding your next great marketing tactic is to be aware of the latest trends and technologies shaping the marketing landscape. Whether you’re learning about user-generated content, social commerce, or social listening, staying informed will equip your team with the insights needed to innovate effectively.

Allocate a Portion of the Budget for Experimentation

One benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t require a massive investment. We often encourage businesses to set aside a dedicated budget for sandbox initiatives as they think strategically about their marketing budget for the year. Companies can mitigate risks by earmarking funds specifically for experimentation while fostering a culture that encourages innovation.

Encourage Cross-Collaboration Across Departments 

To ensure your marketing tactics are aligned with your overall business objectives, you’ll want to break down silos and encourage collaboration across different departments. By fostering an environment where teams can share ideas, you can leverage diverse perspectives to drive innovation and create cohesive marketing strategies.

Fire Bullets, Not Cannonballs

This is a principle from popular leadership author Jim Collins. Instead of investing significant time, energy, and resources into large-scale initiatives, start by launching smaller, low-risk experiments within the marketing sandbox. By firing “bullets” (targeted, low-cost tests), businesses can gauge the effectiveness of new tactics, gather valuable insights, and refine strategies based on real-world feedback before they invest in sweeping changes.

Marketing Sandbox Ideas for Various Industries

Now that you have an understanding of the best practices, let’s see how the sandbox can work in action across different industries:

Affiliate Marketing for E-Commerce:

By leveraging the trusted voices of affiliates, e-commerce businesses can unlock exponential reach, ignite audience passion, and fuel a sales engine that hums long after traditional campaigns fade. As you look at the year ahead, consider how to partner with influencers or niche websites to promote your products. 

Educational Content Marketing for Healthcare Brands:

Empowering patients with educational content marketing builds trust, fosters brand loyalty, and positions healthcare brands as valuable partners in proactive health journeys. As an expert, put your knowledge to good use by creating informative content that addresses common health concerns or topics relevant to your specialty. Share this content on your website and social media platforms to position your practice as a trusted source of valuable information.

User-Generated Content for B2C Businesses:

User-generated content empowers B2C businesses to foster authentic connections and drive engagement by showcasing real-life experiences and testimonials from satisfied customers. Encourage customers to share their experiences and use this content on your platforms to showcase authentic testimonials and attract potential customers.

Text Marketing for Local Restaurants: 

Customer loyalty is the lifeblood of many local restaurants. With an impressive open rate and the ability to deliver timely, targeted messages, text marketing offers a low-cost yet impactful solution for hospitality businesses looking to connect with their guests.

By exploring these low-cost marketing tactics, businesses can effectively engage their target audience, drive growth, and achieve their marketing objectives without breaking the bank.

Unlocking Potential: Harnessing the Power of Innovation and Creativity

The “marketing sandbox” offers a refreshing approach to innovation and experimentation in a complex marketing landscape. By embracing this concept, businesses can foster a culture that values creativity, rewards innovation and drives meaningful results. As we venture into 2024, let’s encourage businesses to step out of their comfort zones, embrace the potential of the marketing sandbox, and discover their next best marketing tactic. 

Let Green Apple Strategy be your partner in turning your marketing ideas into reality! You can learn more about our approach to building a marketing strategy or contact us today.

Harnessing AI in Marketing: How to Bridge the Gap Between Efficiency and Authenticity

AI has recently been identified as a technology that will impact almost every industry. As a marketing agency, one of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received over the past year is, “How does AI fit into our marketing toolbox?”

At Green Apple Strategy, we are continually exploring innovative tools and trends to bolster client success. Whether it’s tools like Canva, Airtable, or ChatGPT, we want to find tools that help us deliver exceptional results. The best way we can describe our approach to AI is that we use it as a tool that empowers our team to work smarter. It’s a helpful resource, but it doesn’t replace the human element of our work.

One way to think about the rapid evolution of AI is to think back to the early days of search engines. Before Google, our primary sources of information were found in encyclopedias, phone books, or word-of-mouth recommendations. While Google revolutionized information access, we never copied and pasted information from the results page. Just like a Google search doesn’t replace dissecting a nuanced text, AI alone can’t create impactful marketing. The magic lies in human interpretation, crafting engaging narratives from data, injecting the right voice, and ensuring factual accuracy. 

3 Benefits of AI in Marketing 

When it comes to utilizing AI in marketing, here are three benefits we’ve noticed: 

Information Architect

Imagine having a tireless research assistant who scours the internet, analyzes trends, and uncovers hidden insights. That’s the power of AI in information gathering. It gathers mountains of data and gives our team a solid foundation to build strategies. Like Google, AI becomes a starting point and a research partner that we can use to shape the informational content we gather into strategy.

Inspiration Igniter

Stuck in a creative rut? AI can be a secret weapon. Its ability to generate different creative formats and ideas can spark unexpected insights and take you down untrod paths. Think of it as a digital brainstorming partner. You might not always use its exact suggestions, but it’ll get those creative juices flowing, helping you break free from the blank page and land on something truly unique and engaging.

Efficiency Engine

Marketing agencies wear many hats. AI can be an efficiency guru, automating tedious tasks like scheduling social media posts and generating basic design elements. This frees us up to focus on the human touch—crafting compelling brand narratives, building genuine connections, and injecting your brand with that unique personality that only you can bring.

How to Harness AI for Marketing

As you think about incorporating AI into your marketing efforts, here are a few essential “dos and don’ts” to consider: 

Do: Use AI as a tool for ideation and brainstorming. 

Its ability to process vast amounts of data can spark innovative ideas and strategies you might not have considered.

Don’t: Blindly use AI-generated content for critical platforms like your website. 

Always ensure that human oversight refines and enhances the content to resonate authentically with your audience.

Do: Be specific and detailed in your AI requests. 

Much like a Google search, the more context and information you provide in an AI prompt, the more tailored and relevant the AI-generated results will be.

Don’t: Neglect the human element. 

While AI can streamline processes, always contextualize and modify the content based on a deep understanding of your audience and industry nuances.

Do: Embrace AI’s analytical capabilities to glean insights from data. 

Utilize these insights to refine your marketing strategies and make informed decisions.

Don’t: Solely rely on AI to understand your audience. 

Engage directly with your audience, gather feedback, and use AI as a complementary tool to enhance your understanding, not replace it.

The Future of AI in Marketing 

In marketing, AI presents a promising blend of efficiency and innovation. At Green Apple Strategy, we recognize its transformative potential for small businesses. AI can’t replace your marketing team, but it can empower and enhance it. While AI streamlines processes, the essence of authentic connection remains a human touchstone. As you consider how to harness AI’s strengths for your marketing efforts, we hope to bridge the gap between efficiency and authenticity and find a more effective way to capture your audience’s attention and achieve your marketing goals.

Green Apple CEO and Founder Named 2023 Gold Stevie Award Winner

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor the achievements of women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run. We’re so proud to announce that Green Apple CEO and Founder Samantha Pyle has been crowned a 2023 Gold Stevie Award winner for Best Female Entrepreneur! 

Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 nominations each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. By honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the awards recognize outstanding performance in the workplace.

This accolade underscores Sam’s exceptional leadership and innovative approach to running a business. From leading strategy for clients to implementing paid VTO and successfully managing the transition of Green Apple into a remote office, Sam’s forward-thinking ability to navigate challenges is inspiring to her team and to her fellow entrepreneurs.

Green Apple’s process places as much value on strategic thinking and planning as it does on creativity and hard work. By starting with strategy, Samantha has built an agency that helps clients transform marketing from an obligation into a desirable, habitual practice in creative storytelling that is mutually beneficial to her clients, their customers, and their communities.

Representation and inclusion are a cornerstone of Green Apple Strategy’s success. With a core employee group composed of 90 percent women, Sam prioritizes diversity in her hiring and business development practices. A diversity of experiences and perspectives in any workforce, especially within the marketing industry, drives creativity and productivity and empowers organizations to genuinely empathize with their audiences.

Samantha’s influence and efforts extend far beyond the agency she’s built. She currently serves on the board of Thistle Farms, an organization that has provided a loving community, hope, and healing for women for over 25 years. In the past, Sam has served as board president of the Survivor Fitness Foundation and on advisory boards for the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home, the American Cancer Society of Middle Tennessee, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee. She recently completed her term on the EO Nashville board as the co-chair of Catalyst, an entrepreneurial development program for small businesses in Nashville, after her own participation in the Catalyst program.

Sam is currently pursuing her MBA at Lipscomb University, one of the nation’s top-ranked business programs, and is slated to graduate in the spring of 2024. We’re delighted to see our CEO recognized publicly for all that she brings to the table. 

 

2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

As the year draws to a close, it’s natural to look back and reflect on all that’s happened. And for anyone with an Instagram account, it’s that time again when our social media feeds transform into a musical montage of friends’ top tracks and favorite artists courtesy of the Spotify Wrapped campaign. Whether you’re thrilled or slightly overwhelmed by the influx of Wrapped recaps, there’s something undeniably heartwarming about the collective effort to reminisce and rejoice in the memorable moments of the past 12 months. 

Here at Green Apple Strategy, we’ve caught the Wrapped fever and decided to create our rendition, celebrating the harmonious blend of creativity and hard work that went into our favorite marketing campaigns of the year. Just as Spotify songs transport us back to specific moments, our 2023 Wrapped is a chance for our team to relive the marketing magic generated through countless hours of brainstorming, planning, and execution. 

 

2023 Wrapped: Green Apple’s Top Moments & Marketing Campaigns of the Year

Without further ado, join us as we unwrap the highlights and unveil the stories behind Green Apple’s 2023 Wrapped: 

United Communications’ Project UNITE Celebration Event

Our partnership with United Communications has provided us with the privilege of supporting Project UNITE, their groundbreaking initiative to bridge the digital divide in Middle Tennessee. In January, we had the honor of organizing a newsworthy celebration event to commemorate the remarkable impact of Project UNITE.

We started 2023 off with the planning and promotion of a marquee event for our client, United Communications. United realized the size and scope of the celebration they wanted to have would require all hands on deck, so their marketing team reached out to Green Apple for support. United Communications leveraged our event planning expertise to create a celebration that would support the company’s brand promise of providing a world-class connection with a local commitment. Green Apple also played an important role in the timing of the event, coordinating efforts with government agencies to ensure Governor Bill Lee and other elected officials could attend prior to the start of Tennessee’s state legislative session.

The celebration was a huge success, generating significant interest from local TV news outlets in Nashville and Knoxville that resulted in 24 print and digital news articles. Green Apple’s PR and Content Marketing Strategist Chris Song played a vital role in this event’s success and says it’s certainly a project he won’t soon forget.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished as a team to make this event such a success for United Communications. Through a single event, we promoted our client’s close partnerships with community leaders throughout Middle Tennessee, galvanized more public support for Project UNITE, and helped shine a light on the largest broadband infrastructure investment in our state’s history.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ Website Launch 

We are incredibly proud of our collaboration with Survivor Fitness, an organization that empowers cancer survivors to reclaim their health and well-being through personalized training and nutritional guidance. Driven by its remarkable mission, Survivor Fitness has experienced rapid growth in recent years, extending its reach to thousands of cancer survivors across Middle Tennessee. To make an even greater impact, Survivor Fitness sought a new website to effectively convey their transformative story. Our team wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to partner with this exceptional organization. We meticulously crafted the website’s design, content, strategy, and project management, ensuring it accurately reflected Survivor Fitness’ dedication to empowering cancer survivors on their journey to holistic wellness. 

 

Crain Construction’s 90th Anniversary Celebration 

Crain Construction, a Nashville-based commercial contractor, has shaped the city for 90 years. Their dedication to building strong relationships alongside their impressive portfolio of construction projects has earned them a well-deserved reputation in the industry. Earlier this year, Crain Construction marked this remarkable milestone with an unforgettable celebration at one of their signature projects, The Prancing Horse of Nashville Ferrari Dealership. The event brought together generations of company leadership and employees, clients, and industry trade partners who have been integral to Crain’s journey.

Green Apple took care of the strategy and execution behind every detail of the party, including designing and sending the invitations, scheduling a video shoot, and coordinating PR coverage. Green Apple Client Relations Specialist Lindsay Lanahan and Assistant Client Relations Specialist Allison Gordon put a lot of work into this project. They both agreed it was one of the most memorable of 2023.

“It was so fun working with the client to create a memorable night commemorating their longstanding success. Plus, having the event at a brand-new Ferrari dealership was a cool experience!” Allison said.

Lindsay agreed, saying, “We got to celebrate in person with so many of the Crain employees we’d been interacting with for so long and hadn’t gotten to meet yet. We even got to meet Mark and Michael’s parents! The video shoot we did at their office was also a great experience.” 

 

Volunteering Together at Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms, a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting and empowering women, has been a beacon of hope and healing in Nashville for years. As an agency committed to giving back to our community, we had the privilege of volunteering with Thistle Farms several times throughout the year. These enriching experiences have allowed us to contribute to their remarkable mission while strengthening our team bonds. From assisting in candle preparation to decorating Christmas trees, each volunteer opportunity has been a testament to the power of collective action and the spirit of selflessness. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to partner with Thistle Farms and make a meaningful impact on the lives of the women they serve.  

 

Sip & Sample Grand Opening for The Skylight  

The Factory at Franklin, a cornerstone of Franklin’s vibrant community, has undergone a remarkable transformation this year, redefining itself as a hub of connection for the community. Following its renovations, we had the honor of conceptualizing, planning, promoting, and executing a grand opening event to unveil the reimagined space and introduce the community to The Skylight Bar. The event was a success, drawing in over 300 enthusiastic attendees and selling out within 24 hours. The carefully crafted promotion generated over 1,300 Instagram and Facebook followers for The Skylight within weeks and garnered an astonishing $400,000 in advertising equivalent value. This grand opening event is a testament to the power of creativity, coordination, and the unwavering dedication of our team.

A few members of our team worked at the launch, including Assistant Client Relations Specialist Jordan Forbes.

“It was amazing seeing the great turnout,” she said. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and it generated excitement for the new bar and all the new restaurants opening. I loved seeing the Green Apple team show up for the client and do everything we could to ensure the event was a success.” 

 

textLIVING’s ProTalks by Joe

textLIVING, a rapidly growing white-label software company, recently embarked on an intentional journey to support its current partners and enlighten aspiring entrepreneurs and sales professionals seeking to venture into the white-label realm. In collaboration with the textLIVING team, we proudly launched ProTalks by Joe, a captivating masterclass-style video series. The success of ProTalks by Joe is a resounding affirmation of our ability to seamlessly collaborate with The Orchard, our esteemed team of marketing specialists, to transform the creative idea into a reality.

 

Maxwell Roofing’s Culture Walls and Video Shoot 

With a history spanning nearly 70 years, Maxwell Roofing’s values have been a cornerstone of its success, and our team eagerly embraced the opportunity to visually encapsulate this rich heritage by working with Maxwell Roofing to create Culture Walls, large-format signage that reflects their company’s values and inspire their employees. This project was a great example of our ability to combine different marketing strategies to achieve a common goal.

In 2023, we got the green light to move forward with Maxwell Roofing’s recruitment video. In October, members of the Green Apple team spent an entire day working alongside the company’s leadership team, coaching them through their portions of the video, and conducting multiple interviews with their employees. Olivia Cooper, Client Relations Director at Green Apple Strategy, has worked with the Maxwell Roofing team for years and says this memorable project provided her with some unique insight into the company. 

“Roofing is a hard career, so hearing these employees’ stories from behind the camera on why they chose this career and why our client, Maxwell Roofing, is such a great place to work was unique for us. One of the best parts of our job is getting to tell the story for Maxwell, via video, about why they’re such a great place to work.”

 

Survivor Fitness’ GivingTuesday Campaign

The 2023 GivingTuesday campaign for Survivor Fitness also stands out as one of our most impactful and inspiring marketing projects of the year. The campaign’s theme, “Because of You..,” resonated deeply with donors, highlighting the transformative impact of their contributions on the lives of cancer survivors. Another noteworthy milestone has been the organization’s remarkable year-over-year impact of GivingTuesday, expanding from supporting 300 training sessions in 2019 to 530 sessions this year. The growth is a testament to the dedication of the Survivor Fitness community, board, and team. 

 

The Gardner School Campaign Photos

The Gardner School has been a Green Apple client for over a decade. Every spring, ahead of a new school year, we head out for a photoshoot to collect a massive amount of content to use for TGS’s annual campaign. Months of prep work go into designing the look, feel, and messaging of a new campaign, and photos play a huge role in helping us tell a story. The Green Apple team works with the client to select a photographer, organize a day-of schedule, and create a comprehensive shot list for every photo that needs to be taken on that day. Client Relations Specialist, Kayla Reyes, says the effort is well worth it.

“These campaign photos are used regularly in all that we do for TGS year after year. We use them in paid media, advertising, social media, and the website (just to name a few). I know the client loves looking at them, and so does our team, after months of planning. I just think it is a resounding success that we can curate, create, and use these beautiful photos all year, ” she said. 

 

Working Remotely (from around the world)  

Several years ago, Green Apple embraced a hybrid agency model. Throughout the year, we witnessed the transformative power of remote work as our team members​​ worked from new and unexpected locations while seamlessly delivering exceptional service to our clients. Whether they were enjoying pretzels in Germany or taking Zoom calls from Ghana, working remotely has fostered a sense of connection and camaraderie and enriched our lives with experiences that extend far beyond the confines of a traditional office setting. 

 

Growing the Green Apple Family 

This year, our Green Apple family welcomed various new members who brought joy and encouragement. We celebrated the addition of several new team members, each one bringing their unique talents and perspectives to our agency. We also welcomed the heartwarming addition of a few new babies, whose smiles and playful spirits warmed our hearts. And to top it off, we celebrated our adorable four-legged friends who added their furry presence and unconditional love to our team.

 

Green Apple’s Soundtrack for Success: Our Team’s Spotify Wrapped

As we reflect on 2023, we’re filled with immense gratitude for the incredible moments and marketing campaigns we experienced. This year has been a testament to the dedication and passion of our team, who have worked tirelessly to implement creative ideas and celebrate our clients’ growth. 

And, of course, as Spotify fans, we’d be remiss not to share some of our favorite songs that kept us motivated and inspired throughout the year:

  • On My Mama – Victoria Monét (Allison Gordon)
  • Karma – Taylor Swift (Allison Gordon)
  • The Story – Brandi Carlile (Christa Spencer)
  • Pennies From Heaven – Louis Prima (Christa Spencer) 
  • Chloroform – Phoenix (Lindsay Lanahan)
  • Witchoo – Durand Jones & The Indications, Aaron Frazer (Olivia Cooper)
  • Barbie World – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (Courtney Cochran)
  • Banks – NEEDTOBREATHE (Kayla Reyes)
  • Northern Attitude (with Hozier) – Noah Kahan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • East Side of Sorrow – Zach Bryan (Katie Shayotovich)
  • As It Was – Harry Styles (Sam Pyle)
  • I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan with Kasey Musgraves (Sam Pyle)
  • Two Step – Dave Matthews Band (Sam Pyle)
  • Maine – Noah Kahan (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Summer Rain – Zimmer90 (Eden Hutchinson)
  • Bluey Theme Song – Bluey feat. Joff Bush (Chris Song)
  • How Deep Is Your Love – PJ Morton (Chris Song)

     

Discover How Green Apple Can Help You Amplify Your Success In The Year Ahead

Green Apple Strategy is more than a marketing agency. We partner with businesses to help them grow. Whether you’re planning your next event or looking for ways to help your brand grow, our team is here to help. Let’s schedule a time to talk about your marketing goals for the year ahead!