Trends & Insights to Optimize Your Digital Marketing Strategy


A woman holding a piece of metal artwork in the shape of an eye.Marketing is constantly evolving and changing. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of digital marketing. What worked in the past becomes antiquated just a few years later. Even a tactic that worked last month might not be as effective. That’s why businesses in every industry need to stay informed on the trends and insights to develop an effective digital marketing strategy to reach their target audience. 

We recently asked our Digital Marketing Strategist, Amanda Bihun, to highlight a few of the most important trends you should know. Amanda and her team do an incredible job of translating the latest digital marketing trends into strategies for clients in a variety of industries. 

Trends and Insights to Optimize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Here are a few of the most important trends and insights you should know in order to optimize your digital marketing strategy. 

  • Know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing digital platforms. 

Today, AI is used in almost every area of digital marketing. Reaching your audience through digital channels is all about leveraging the algorithms they use. The challenging part is that every digital platform has its own algorithm and every algorithm is constantly changing. For example, Google is in the middle of the biggest change to the analytics platform the company has ever conducted. In order to reach people in today’s digital world, you must be proactive in keeping up with, or even ahead of, these algorithm changes.

  • Effective digital marketing requires a long-term approach.

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about digital marketing is that it will create immediate results. Just like any other form of marketing, digital marketing requires a long game mindset. It also requires you to test and optimize different strategies. Increasing important metrics such as leads and sales takes time to gain momentum. For example, investing in digital advertising on social media or Google does not guarantee you more leads on day one. It puts your brand in front of new people, but you have to build trust with that new audience over time. Digital marketing requires you to take the entire journey into consideration as you develop your strategy. Ultimately all of your digital marketing efforts work together to build the brand and reach your audience, but none of them will double your profits on day one.

  • Don’t ignore the basic foundation of digital marketing.

A house is only as good as its bones. If you hang curtains or plant pretty flowers out front, it will look good in the short run, but it will not keep your house from falling down if the support beams are cracked. Digital marketing is similar. You need to put in the time to make sure your foundation is solid. The support beams of digital marketing are your website, your social channels, and your email engagement strategy. Investing in these areas will help future-proof your marketing and help you create a strong foundation that works even as things change.

  • Consider your target audience’s perspective in everything you do. 

When it comes to creating your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to look at everything you do from the user’s perspective. Oftentimes, businesses can be so close to their products or services that they forget how to view their brand from a  potential customer’s point of view. If you want to reach new people, it’s important to create a customer-centric culture, figure out your buyer personas and the questions they have, and how you can help them. It is important to reach potential customers where they are to nurture qualified leads into becoming repeat customers and, eventually, brand enthusiasts. 

  • Always be testing and analyzing.

Just because something worked last week does not mean it will work this week. Just because your audience is on Instagram this year does not mean they will still be there next year. Brands must constantly test new strategies and watch the analytics to see where and how their audience is engaging. At Green Apple, we analyzing digital marketing trends for our clients every month. We’ve found that constantly analyzing your efforts is also helpful because it allows you to pivot your marketing efforts without abandoning your entire strategy.

Here’s the bottom line: Long-term planning and short-term course corrections are both essential when it comes to developing an effective digital marketing strategy. If you want to stay ahead of the latest trends, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter. It’s one of the primary ways we keep clients informed on the latest trends they should know.

Meet The Team: Allison Gordon

With a passion for people and an interest in marketing, Allison Gordon is the perfect addition to our Green Apple team. In her role as an assistant client relations specialist, Allison supports the needs of our clients by managing many of the day-to-day responsibilities of implementing their marketing strategy. As a 6 on the Enneagram, Allison leverages her innate skills to complete tasks and meet all client requests. Her positive personality and her desire to overcome any obstacle make her an incredible asset at Green Apple.  Allison joined the team in 2022 while pursuing her MS in Marketing from the University of Alabama. After multiple years in the hospitality industry, Allison recognized the impact marketing could make and decided to pursue further education. She found Green Apple through a family friend and quickly realized this was the perfect place to add real-world experience to what she was learning in school. “I love that marketing is universal,” Allison explained when asked about what sparked her interest in the field. “No matter what industry you’re in or what type of message you’re trying to convey, you’re going to need marketing. It provides an opportunity for companies to get creative and be strategic in how they introduce and express themselves to the world in order to grow their business.” As a native of Franklin, TN, Allison enjoys spending time with my friends and family during her free time. Whether she’s trying new restaurants, exploring Nashville, going on walks, attending Titans games, or eating Jeni’s ice cream, Allison is up for just about anything as long as she has good company!

How To Write Subject Lines That Increase Your Email Open Rate

mailbox with green filed in the background


Do you remember the last email you opened from a brand or company compared to one you automatically deleted? More than likely, it was the subject line that was the difference. In today’s digital age, effective subject lines are essential for writing the perfect marketing email

Why Effective Subject Lines Are Important for Email Marketing

Here are a few reasons why your email subject lines matter more than ever: 

1. Your audience is flooded with emails every day.  The average person sends and receives 121 business emails every day. The emails you send have significant competition when it comes to earning the attention of your audience.

2. Your subject line is the primary driver of email openings. According to research, 64% of readers make the decision to open an email based on the subject line alone.

3. Bad subject lines could impact your deliverability rates.  69% of email recipients report emails as spam after reading the subject line. If your subject line could potentially be considered spam, your deliverability for all other emails moving forward could suffer. Spam traps can cause your domain or IP address to be denied, affecting your email deliverability rates and sender reputation.

4. Emails are still the most effective way to stay top-of-mind. While it has become increasingly difficult to stand out in your audiences’ email inbox, email is still the primary way you can stay top-of-mind for potential customers. In fact, 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning. Your email could be the first thing they see when they wake up.

5 Types of Subject Lines You Can Use

Now that we’ve outlined the importance of crafting the right subject line for your email, let’s talk about some various tactics you can try. Here are a few different types of subject lines we’ve used with our clients over the years:  1. Listed Subject Lines  There’s a reason lists have grown so common in content marketing: they work. Lists provide content in a short, simple, and skimmable format. As human brains are naturally drawn to digits, lists are an easy way to pique a reader’s attention. 2. Scarcity Subject Lines Humans have a deep fear of missing out—on anything. Email subject lines that mention scarcity tend to perform well because they create a sense of urgency for your audience to open the email. 3. Personal or Local Subject Lines People are looking for content that is most relevant to them. This is why crafting email subject lines with unique and specific information can create a sense of personalization. 4. Clever & Witty Subject Lines A witty subject line can stand out among the scores of boring ones around it. If you know your audience well, a clever joke can get your email opened and shared. 5. Emoji Subject Lines Recent studies show that emails with an emoji in the subject line show a 56% increase in open rates. Using emojis can help your subject line stand out, as long as you don’t overdo it.

5 Keys to Craft the Perfect Subject Line for Your Marketing Emails

We’ve identified a few different directions you could take with your subject lines. But how do you know what will work best for your audience? Here are a few best practices to craft subject lines that will stand out and elevate your email marketing campaigns

1. Take Time to A/B Test Your Subject Lines Effective marketing is all about experimentation. This includes the subject lines you use in emails. Constantly experimenting and analyzing your subject line strategy through A/B testing is a great way to optimize your email campaigns. Compare open rates, and try to understand why some subject lines are more effective than others.

2. Use Segmentation and Personalization As we highlighted above, personalized subject lines can be a great way to stand out. This is where segmenting your audience based on location, preferences, or interest can be a great way to add personalization to your subject lines. According to Campaign Monitor, using the recipient’s first name in the subject line increased the chance of the email being opened by nearly 15%.

3. Make It Short and Sweet (and Mobile-Optimized) Most people’s attention spans are very short—so generally it’s a good idea to keep your subject lines brief and to the point. The most effective subject lines are typically no more than five or six words. It’s also important to remember that people are most likely checking email on their phones. Brevity is especially important since most screens only display 30-40 characters in a subject line.

4. Start with Action-Oriented Language Actionable subject lines can often inspire people to click on your email by instilling urgency and excitement. For example, in an email inviting people to an open house at your new office, the email subject line might read, “Enjoy free drinks at our new office!” rather than a more generic (and less actionable) “You’re Invited to our Open House.”

5. Tell Your Audience What’s Inside the Email If you want people to take action, it’s important they know what to expect if they open your email. Make it clear what’s waiting inside the email. This is something your audience wants to know, and it can be the difference between an email that is opened and one that isn’t.

Email Marketing Strategies That Stick

At Green Apple, we’re constantly working alongside our clients to stay updated on the latest email marketing trends as they evolve and change. By using some of our tips, we hope you can come up with creative and engaging subject lines of your own. Reach out today if you need a reimagined and effective email marketing strategy.

5 [Virtual] Client Appreciation Gifts for 2022

Present wrapped with pink ribbon
When you can’t be face to face with your clients, relationship building becomes a bit more challenging—especially when it comes to showing your gratitude. Though Zoom calls are an excellent stand-in, they are hardly the same as taking your client out for coffee or dinner and giving them a gift that shows how much you appreciate them. To help bridge the gap, we have a few out-of-the-box suggestions to spark some inspiration. Here are five virtual gifts that any client on your list would be happy to receive. 

1. Virtual Gift Cards 

Virtual gift cards make gift giving easy. Even if your schedule is packed with video calls, you can shop for a gift card within minutes and have it sent to your client’s inbox. Choose a gift card from a retail shop or restaurant you know they will (or already) love. Many feel that gift cards are impersonal, but it’s all in what you make of it. Identify a specific need or interest that your client has, a hobby they enjoy, or a restaurant they’ve mentioned. Send them a meaningful note with the virtual card to let them know why you chose this specifically for them and that you’re thinking about them.

2. Donations in their Name

This year, show your clients that you care about their passions and the greater good. If you know of a cause that your client is particularly moved by, you might consider donating to a nonprofit that supports that cause in their name. They will appreciate that you remembered something so dear to their hearts. 

3. A Virtual Class or Other Online Experience

As our world continues to move to virtual experiences, there are even more digital gift options to choose from. For the client who loves to cook? Maybe a virtual cooking class. For the client who is always looking for their next adventure? Maybe try a virtual history tour of an exotic location. Websites like Master Class and Airbnb have a vast selection of a wide range of experiences to choose from. There’s something for everyone!  

4. A Cameo Message from their Favorite Celebrity

Does your client follow a favorite celebrity? You can request a personalized video message on Cameo from stars across the country. From Kate Flannery of The Office to Snoop Dogg, a Cameo video is a one-of-a-kind gift that your client can cherish forever. 

5. A Packed with Purpose Gift Box

Now to think inside the box. If you’re looking for virtual gifts that you can order online quickly but that your client can hold in their hands, try a gift box. You can show your gratitude with fun variety boxes full of snacks that they (and everyone in their house) will enjoy. Packed with Purpose makes it easy with high-quality, customizable gift boxes that give back. We especially love the “A Sweet Thanks” box that features a small-batch caramel cheddar popcorn mix, chocolate cookies, toffee, and more.  Are you looking for new ways to engage and connect with your clients? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

4 Ways to Identify Your Ideal Client

You’re scrolling through your feed and see someone wearing an outfit that you admire. While you love it on that specific person, you know deep down that you wouldn’t be able to pull it off quite as well, or maybe even at all. Finding the right client is similar to finding the right wardrobe—they must be the right fit. So, even when a new client is enticing, it’s important to determine whether they’re aligned with your business goals. To make it easier to choose where to invest your efforts and which clients are the best fit for you, here are four ways to identify your ideal client.

1. Start with What You Have

Start by looking at the clients or targets that you already have. These individuals already trust and utilize your brand and are a suburb foundation to build your client base. What qualities do these individuals possess? What are their behaviors or characteristics? Research your audience’s demographics, interests, needs, purchasing habits, challenges, etc., to develop a client persona and begin your search. 

2. Discover and Target Your Desired Audience

Advancing one step further, consider distributing a client questionnaire to your most beloved clients, buyers, followers, etc. Once you have detailed information from them directly, you can target similar or lookalike audiences. You’ll be delivering products or services to people who will enjoy it most, plus you’ll be working with more of your favorite type of people—win-win.  Sample questions can include:
  • What do you like most about our product/service?
  • Where are your problem areas in the X industry?
  • What does your typical day look like?
  • What made you choose us over X?
  • What social channels do you prefer?

3. Establish and Drive Solutions for Problem Areas

Once your initial research phase is complete, you will have an accurate idea of your audience’s primary problem areas. Since your goods and services are most likely a possible option for these individuals, you need to highlight why you are the best solution. Your messaging is key when it comes to communicating with your ideal customer. Accentuate their pain points and emphasize how you can resolve them. Incorporate your targeted messaging in your marketing materials, social networks, website, advertising efforts, and other places where you communicate to your audiences.  

4. Compare and Align Your Values

When determining if a client is right for you or not, aligning your values is an additional way to identify individuals who fall within your niche. If you strongly believe in your values, don’t ever feel like you should compromise to gain business. As a company, you must clarify your values at the beginning. If the potential customer doesn’t respect or have similar values to you, that’s okay. In most cases, the individuals or companies with more aligned principles are the ones who result in long-term relationships.  While someone else may be able to achieve particular looks (or have specific clients), you have just as much range with your unique culture, staple talents, and specialized approaches that they won’t venture. The people who align the best with your business are the ones who will stay, just like your staple wardrobe pieces that you wouldn’t dare trade. 

Identify Your Ideal Client with Green Apple

Green Apple Strategy helps businesses effectively build their brands and market toward their target audiences. We’re ready to help you establish your values, reach your goals, and develop strategic campaigns. Schedule a consultation with us today and get started.

Hiring a Marketing Agency: The 7 Questions You Should Ask

dog raising paw

Searching for the right marketing agency is a process. We understand—there are a lot of options. How can you know which one is the best? Like any relationship, they need to earn your trust, and you want to feel confident before selecting the right one. Before you grant them the power of connecting with your audience, spending your marketing funds, and accessing your client information, you need to feel assured in your decision. To make the process easier, we assembled the top seven questions you should ask your contenders before hiring a marketing agency.

1. What Are Your Industry Specialties?

Are you a B2B or B2C company? Do you have a niche? While some marketing agencies don’t promote specializing in one area, discussing their most popular industries or projects is worth mentioning. If you want to improve SEO, and the agency focuses primarily on media relations, be sure to keep your goals in mind and not settle if you want an agency that has more experience in your current priorities. 

Having conversations about common client types also allows you to ask if they are currently working with any of your competitors. Knowing possible conflicts of interest at the beginning will prevent potential development or implementation roadblocks that could negatively impact your service.

2. How do you Communicate with Clients?

One of the greatest benefits of working with a marketing agency is having insight into marketers’ perspectives. However, you want to be sure that these suggestions and ideas are being effectively communicated with you.

Even if you’re new to agency business, you have an idea of how often you need updates or what your communication preferences are. Asking for reporting and dialogue habits will help determine if that’s what you want in an agency partnership. Most agencies will listen and correspond to your preferences. That being said, it will be helpful if your priorities align. That way, both sides are comfortable, resulting in more effective processes and results. 

3. How Much Will This Cost?

Yes, talking about money can be uncomfortable. However, these conversations are necessary early on to determine your options. You don’t want to go with the least expensive option because they’re the cheapest, and you also shouldn’t proceed with the most costly if there’s no valid reasoning. 

Describe what you want and ask them what that range looks like, but continue to dig beyond that. Determine how pricing is structured, what resources they’ll utilize, what percentage goes toward efforts vs. billing, etc. Once you have the numbers you’re looking for, compare with a few other finalists and determine what seems the most valuable to you. 

4. What Do I Own before Our Contract Ends?

There are some instances where the client does not own any of the content that the agency developed for them. This could include photography, graphics, coding, or other branded resources that you may assume are yours. It is imperative to discuss this information upfront so that you know exactly what you are agreeing to. Just in case the relationship or project goes awry, you want to know what is legally yours to avoid issues. 

5. Who Will I Be Working with Directly?

Building a foundation with your leading account holder(s) is beneficial for communication, expectations, and trust. Asking who you will be working with allows you the opportunity to research the individuals on LinkedIn and discover their professional background, including experience and longevity. While newer executives shouldn’t be discarded, it may give you peace of mind to find senior team members who will assist you with your account.  

6. Can I see Your References?

Just like when you’re shopping online or deciding on a restaurant, reviews and photos give you what you need in your decision-making process. In your agency decision process, request case studies, testimonials, and examples that they find valuable. If ROI is important to you, ask specifically for projects with metric-centered results, like audience growth and CTA conversion. If you’re re-branding or need graphic design assistance, focus on visible transformations, like logo or website portfolios. 

7. What Are Your Expectations of Your Clients?

Is there a limit on revisions? Are there certain times that are off-limits? When is an appropriate turnaround time for approval? Talking about expectations for you as a client helps you distinguish how much or little you want to be involved or if your priorities coordinate. 

At the end of the day, you’re the client, and they are working for you. If their expectations aren’t reasonable for you, don’t settle. There are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Bonus: Ask yourself: What does my gut say?

We sometimes tend to ignore gut feelings, and we usually regret that. Maybe an agency looks good on paper, but you lack the chemistry with your account executive. Don’t dismiss your intuition, even if your brain is thinking something else. 

Throughout the process, you’ll learn the agency’s values, culture, and leadership, and you will quickly find out if there are certain details that you can’t get past. Trusting your instincts will only lead to better opportunities. 

Thinking About Hiring a Marketing Agency?

Hiring a marketing agency involves many factors, and it can be daunting signing the dotted line. We want you in the right marketing hands just as much as you do. Green Apple Strategy helps companies strategically tell their stories and successfully implement their goals through our comprehensive set of services. Schedule a consultation today. We would love to see if we’re the right fit for you!

Green Apple Goes Hybrid


Green Apple has been
a virtual team since March of 2020, and what a year it’s been! We’ve loved connecting with each other remotely, becoming even more collaborative and creative. And, during that time, we’ve learned a few things about ourselves as a company, leading us to a new chapter in Green Apple’s story—a hybrid office! You’ll now find us at 1010 16th Avenue South in Nashville. With continued safety precautions top of mind, we’re finally ready to be together in-person on a part-time basis. Here’s how we got here and the kinds of opportunities that this office opens up for us.  

What Do We Mean by “Hybrid” Office? 

Though we will remain a virtual team, Green Apple will now have a central office, where we can come together for meetings, brainstorming, team building, open-space working, and team collaboration. We will keep our flexible work schedules, but our team members will now have the option to come into the office as they please. As a bonus, this office gives us the space we need for a few exciting projects on the horizon. 

What this Means for Green Apple

Our time spent working remotely has been incredibly productive. We’ve had the space to step back and analyze what the future holds for Green Apple and to put a plan in place to make it happen. This office space gives us a central location to bring those plans to life. 

With that, we’re thrilled to announce that we have recorded the first episode of our new podcast, Core Conversations—where marketing and gratitude come together to explore what makes us so passionate about our industry. The first six episodes of the podcast will debut as part of another Green Apple endeavor, The Orchard Press. This passion project will feature the Core Conversations podcast, a collection of thoughtfully designed and beautifully crafted thank you cards available for ordering, and a gratitude-focused blog. We’re living out our core value of gratitude in a creative project that is evolving every day. Stay tuned for launch details!

What this Means for our Clients

You can now see smiling Green Apple faces in the vibrant neighborhoods of Edgehill, Music Row, and Vanderbilt. We chose this location very intentionally and are excited to be here among all of the history, great food, and entertainment that the area has to offer. It also gives us easy access to The Gulch and downtown Nashville.

The hybrid space will allow us to meet with clients for strategy sessions and other collaborative efforts. We also now have the capacity to record podcasts in-house, which we will continue to lean into as we explore podcasting internally. 

We’ll See You at 16th Avenue South!

Are you looking for a strategic, full-service marketing firm centrally located in Nashville? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation. Our team is happy to sit down with you to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve each and every one of them.

Enneagram and Marketing: How Type Ones Accelerate Your Strategy

Are you an Enneagram Type One? Have one on your team? 

Type Ones are known for their sense of responsibility to improve the world around them. They tend to accomplish this by striving for perfection, following the rules, and doing what’s right. This person is your organizer—the one keeping everyone in check and keeping everything moving. We’re lucky to have a Type One on our team that is a master of attention-to-detail and organization—two common traits of this Enneagram group. Olivia Cooper, our Senior Client Relations Specialist, is the secret weapon of our marketing team. Let’s take a look at why that is and how the Type One on your team can help accelerate your marketing strategy.  Read More: How Understanding The Enneagram Can Help Your Customers

Type Ones Identify Opportunities for Improvement

“Type Ones are often improvement-oriented. We love to fix everything or solve problems to make something as perfect as it can be. Marketing is always changing, so it’s important to constantly make strategies better as the industry and clients evolve,” says Olivia.  What an essential quality in marketing, right? This right here is what we love about our Olivia, and what we love about Enneagram Type Ones as a whole: they continually make us better marketers, better brands, better communicators. You name it, and your Type One will help you identify opportunities for improvement to make your brand better as a whole. After all, in our fast-changing world, we need Type Ones to show us the light and help us to keep up.

Type Ones Have Great Integrity

“I care very much about doing the ‘right thing.’ Being ethical in marketing is extremely important for transparency with consumers!” she says. Above all, consumers want a brand they can trust so that they can feel good about where their money goes. The Type Ones on your team will always be looking to do what’s right by you and your audience. 

Type Ones Are Organized

“I am pretty organized, which helps me keep everything together. This is especially useful for marketing at an agency, where I’m balancing many different clients at once,” Olivia explains. In fast-paced environments, Type Ones are your ally. They will be the person keeping your projects afloat and ensuring that nothing is overlooked along the way. 

Type Ones Are Detail Oriented

We all like to say that we’re detail-oriented. In fact, I would venture to say that you can find those words on the vast majority of people’s resumes. However, as much as we feel like we need to say that we have a keen eye for detail, that isn’t always the case. No matter how hard we look, we’re going to let a few things slip through the cracks. Not Type Ones. They’re looking out for perfection. “Even the tiniest details are important in marketing. People don’t forget the small things, so I’m always looking out for clients in this way,” says Olivia.

Ready to Accelerate Your Marketing Strategy? 

Our team enjoys learning more about each other through Enneagram Types and Culture Index surveys to ensure that we communicate and work together effectively. In the end, this is all to improve our clients’ marketing strategies and use our small team to garner big results.  Are you looking to see what full-service marketing can do for your brand? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

What Not to Do During a Zoom Meeting

No matter your industry, you’re likely now familiar with the phrase, “I’ll send you a Zoom invite!” While digital meeting tools like Zoom have been gaining momentum organically during the past decade, the practice of virtual meetings has skyrocketed in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan reported in April of 2020 that daily active users had increased from 10 million to over 200 million in just three months.  As millions around the world began staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Zoom has since become popular with organizations, schools, media outlets, churches, and more. Digital meeting tools are being used for everything from a one-on-one hangout to team strategy sessions to large-scale events.  And, the practice doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, as the number of users will no doubt increase in 2021 and beyond!  Though digital meeting tools like Zoom are an excellent way to effectively communicate when you can’t have a physical meeting, there are certain things to consider when using this constructive technology. Our team at Green Apple has made Zoom meetings a regular part of our work days since becoming a virtual team in 2020, so here’s our list of things we recommend not doing when it comes to proper Zoom meeting etiquette.

1. Don’t replace professionalism with comfort.

We get it—when you’re at home, you’re in your comfort zone. However, it’s important to always keep your audience in mind when it comes to a Zoom meeting. A best practice for your appearance and attire is to pretend you’re still meeting in person. Ask yourself questions like, “What would I wear if this was an in-person meeting? Or “How would I sit or communicate if we were in person?” All in all, you’ll never go wrong with dressing for success and setting up your space at a desk or table, just as you would if your meeting was at an office or coffee shop. Tip: Don’t show up to your Zoom meeting in your pajamas or gym clothes, and avoid laying on your bed or relaxing on a sofa.

2. Don’t set the scene for distractions.

Your surroundings say a lot about you, so it’s essential to make sure that they say the right things for your audience. Before you log on to your Zoom meeting, make sure you have chosen a clean backdrop in your space that doesn’t distract viewers from your communication. If you don’t feel like your home or office space has a desirable backdrop, you can always explore Zoom’s Virtual Background feature, which allows you to display an image or video as your background during a Zoom Meeting.  Tip: Pick a solid or less busy wall as your backdrop, and use good judgement if opting for a virtual background.

3. Don’t forget to eat beforehand.

We’ve all seen it—and possibly done it ourselves—but it’s definitely best to avoid eating during your Zoom meeting. Unless the meeting is intentionally designated as a lunch-and-learn or lunch meeting, try to eat before you log in. Tip: If your meeting involves lunch, make sure you keep yourself on mute while chewing or swallowing.

4. Don’t Zoom and drive.

It should go without saying, however, it’s never a good idea to take a Zoom meeting while driving. Not only are there numerous issues that come along with distracted driving, but some employers could even be liable if a worker has an accident while driving distracted on a Zoom meeting. Tip: If you do have to take a Zoom meeting while on the go, make sure you’re the passenger.

5. Don’t put a private message in a Zoom chat.

There will likely be moments when you want or need to share a private comment or thoughts to a specific team member who’s also a part of the Zoom meeting. If that case arises, make sure not to share those comments in the Zoom chat feature where everyone may see them. Tip: When you have a private comment or message to share, it’s a safer bet to use a platform other than Zoom.

6. Don’t forget to mute yourself when not speaking.

We’ve all been a part of a Zoom meeting when you’ve heard things in someone else’s background that can be distracting (or maybe even embarrassing). You’ll never go wrong by keeping yourself on mute until it’s your turn to speak. Tip: Especially if you have children, family members, or pets in the house who may need to come and go in your space, keeping yourself on mute is always a win. Also, refrain from playing music or leaving the TV on in the background to prevent sound distractions.

7. Don’t be late.

Not only should you not be late to your Zoom meeting, but it’s best to log in a few minutes early to ensure you don’t have any connectivity issues that can make you late to the meeting or possibly miss key introductions. Tip: Set an alarm on your phone to help you remember to log in early to your Zoom meeting.

8. Don’t discount the importance of good lighting and camera angles.

This one is probably one of the easiest yet most ignored aspects of Zoom etiquette, but good lighting on your face is vital to you being seen clearly by other participants. If possible, adjust your camera to be at around eye level and take note of the angle of your laptop screen if using the built-in camera. Tip: Take your Zoom meeting in the space of your home or office that has the most natural light, and use overhead lighting when possible. 

9. Don’t have a busy desktop backdrop in case you need to share your screen.

If you are the meeting host or could be asked to share your screen at any point in the meeting, make sure to clean up your desktop and close any browser tabs that you don’t want meeting recipients to see. For security purposes, make sure you don’t have any important documents that contain personal or confidential information open or displayed on your screen. Tip: In addition to cleaning up your computer desktop, consider whether your computer’s wallpaper is professional or appropriate for others to see.

10. Don’t forget to participate.

Above all, don’t be the one Zoom meeting attendee who isn’t participating. Even if your role is just to listen and take notes, it’s important to stay engaged throughout the meeting by chiming in when appropriate and maintaining eye contact as much as possible. Tip: Find moments throughout the meeting to offer comments and ask questions, as your contributions could be beneficial to everyone involved. And, when possible, always try to log into your Zoom meeting with the video feature so that everyone can put a face to the name. Are you looking for a marketing partner that can help you navigate successful meetings and presentations, especially when it comes to virtual meetings? Contact Green Apple Strategy to schedule a consultation.

Green Apple Goes Virtual

zoom snapshot of Green Apple team working virtually
The Green Apple Strategy team recently shared how our perspective has changed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We shared those thoughts after weeks of soul searching and challenging ourselves to understand what makes our team tick and how we can improve. A few of the lessons we learned from the pandemic were expected: flexibility is everything, teamwork is crucial, and encouragement can move mountains.  But, there was one lesson we didn’t expect to learn—we work beautifully as a remote team. And so, without further ado…Green Apple Strategy has gone virtual!    You might be thinking, “Didn’t you just move into a new physical office space?” And the answer to that is yes, we did move recently; however, after more than three months away from the office, we began to notice that we work like a well-oiled machine, no matter where we are. Our care for our clients and our penchant for teamwork is boundless. We carry it with us wherever we are.  As we continue learning about remote work, we wanted to share a few insights into what makes it work. Who knows? Maybe you’ll take the leap, too.

3 Key Benefits of Remote Work

1. Higher Levels of Productivity
According to CoSo Cloud, 77% of remote employees report greater productivity. We’ve found that this statistic is overwhelmingly true for our team. “Making the transition to full-time remote work has pushed me to be intentional with how I prioritize tasks and make myself available for last-minute or urgent tasks that arise,” says Adam York, Content Marketing Director. We’ve seen that our time working remotely has allowed us to concentrate even more fully on our clients than before. Technology makes it so that our team is able to connect every morning for a “water cooler chat” to stay connected and up-to-date, and we use project management tools that allow us to handle client work wherever we are.
2. Team Connection
Many teams that consider going remote fear that their team will become disconnected from each other. We’ve put activities and meetings in place to ensure that we work as a unit. Kate Leggett, Client Relations Specialist, agrees: “In a lot of ways, I feel closer to the team than ever! We have a meeting to kick off the week every Monday and, for the rest of the mornings, have “water cooler” chats to start the day. It’s really great to have dedicated times to connect as a team.” We’re excited to go beyond our virtual meetings and one-on-one chats to begin scheduling fun team outings as well. Samantha Pyle, Owner and Chief Strategist, can see the connection between the members of her team: “We have always been a close team, but nothing like we are now. I truly feel like our team has connected on another level, because we are very deliberate with our conversations through video chat, making an extra effort to get to know each other and enjoy each other’s company. The days of checking in on someone when walking past their office door have evolved to scheduled Zoom calls, and we don’t take that time together for granted.”
3. Employee Wellness
In another statistic from CoSo Cloud, 52% of remote workers say they’re less likely to take time off than if they worked in an office. While we always support our employees taking time away from the office with their families and disconnecting from work, we have seen that this statistic rings true. Our team is able to use the flexibility of remote work to take care of themselves without sacrificing time in the office. We have more opportunities to practice self-care, like doing yoga or taking a walk—and in turn, we can be more focused and present for our clients’ needs. Madi Ballou, our Assistant Client Relations Specialist, weighs in: “I have time to focus on my personal health and self-care. I appreciate cooking now more than ever. I picked up painting again, which I used to love. Overall, I think I have learned to take more time for myself.”

Our Steadfast Commitment to Our Clients

Our team will always put our clients first—not just because it’s good for business, but because we absolutely love seeing our clients succeed. Just ask Olivia Cooper, Client Relations Specialist: “Getting that happy reaction from a client is worth every moment. It’s so fun to work with a team and clients who are willing to not only work hard and think smart but try new things to deliver the best results.” We’ve seen that remote work fuels our team’s satisfaction and creativity, allowing us to deliver original quality content to our clients. We are excited to start this chapter of our business and are confident that moving to remote work is the best decision for our team and our clients.  Thank you for following the Green Apple journey as we grow and evolve. If your company is interested in working with a marketing team who loves our clients, please contact us to schedule a consultation!