How Video Marketing Works to Capture Your Audience’s Attention 

Capturing and keeping your audience’s attention is a constant battle. You pour your heart into crafting compelling messages, but sometimes words just don’t cut it. That’s where video marketing comes in—a potent force that can capture attention and forge a deeper connection with your viewers.

We’re passionate about helping businesses harness the power of video marketing, and we’ve seen how it transforms brands from faceless entities to relatable, engaging forces. Ready to get started? First, let’s look at why video is so valuable.

The Value of Video Marketing

Why is video marketing such a game-changer? The stats speak for themselves:

  • People retain 95% of a message they watch in a video, compared to 10% when reading text. (Source)
  • Incorporating videos on landing pages can result in a staggering 80% boost in conversion rates. (Source)
  • Videos are shared 12 times more often than text and image content combined. (Source)
  • 92% of video marketers in 2023 say video gives them a good ROI. (Source)

These numbers paint a clear picture: video is more engaging, memorable, and effective at driving conversions than traditional marketing tactics. But what makes it tick? Here’s the magic behind the curtain:

  • Emotional connection: Videos tap into our emotions, allowing us to connect with brands on a personal level. A well-crafted video can evoke laughter, tears, or awe, instantly forging a bond with your audience.
  • Storytelling power: Videos let you subtly weave in your brand narrative, showcasing your values, mission, and the people behind the scenes.
  • Visual impact: Let’s face it, words can be dry, and it takes work to read them. Videos bring your brand to life with vibrant visuals, dynamic motion, and engaging design. This multi-sensory experience leaves a lasting impression on viewers.
  • Versatility: There is an incredible range of styles and formats you can pull from: explainer animations, product demos, live streams, and customer testimonials.  The possibilities are endless with video. There’s an approach for every message and every audience.

     

Captivating Video Marketing Ideas to Capture Attention

We’ve successfully filmed and edited many different types of videos to cater to the diverse needs of our clients. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider one of the following videos to jump in and start creating. (And if you need a little more guidance, we’re always here to ideate, plan, and execute a comprehensive video marketing strategy for you!)

Company Overview Videos 

Embedding videos on your website is a game-changer. It allows you to convey information in a visually appealing manner. To understand how, take a look at one of the videos we created for The Gardner School, providing a glimpse into their ethos and environment. 

Client Testimonial Videos

Let your satisfied customers do the talking! A video testimonial builds trust by showcasing real people’s positive experiences with your brand. This video we created for Crain Construction shares clients expressing their satisfaction with the projects they completed with Crain.

Campaign or Brand Videos

Videos for specific campaigns or initiatives can be tailored to add a personalized touch. The video we crafted for United’s Project UNITE initiative is a prime example, effectively conveying a message and generating enthusiasm for their efforts to bridge the digital divide in Middle Tennessee.

Thought Leadership Videos

Videos are a great way to share your knowledge and build credibility. You can establish yourself as an industry expert with video masterclasses, Q&A sessions, or insightful interviews. Our master-class style video for textLIVING positions the brand as an authority in its domain, fostering trust and credibility.

Lights, Camera, Connection: Leverage the Power of Video Marketing

In a world saturated with content, video marketing emerges as a powerful way to capture the hearts of your audience. If you’re seeking a way to stand out and forge meaningful connections, don’t underestimate the power of video—because, after all, it might just be love at first watch for your audience.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level with video? Contact Green Apple Strategy to start creating your marketing masterpiece!

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.

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!

Wrap It Up: The Year’s Top Marketing Trends We’re Taking into 2024

Whew! What a year it’s been for the digital landscape! Platforms changed their names, viewers were glued to restock videos, and social commerce soared. Despite ebbs and flows in online trends, the need for a solid digital presence remains the same. It’s critical to a brand’s success. 

To make planning your digital strategy a bit easier, we’ve done the heavy lifting and developed a list of the top video and social media marketing trends in 2024 that will make an impact in the new year.   

Social Media Marketing Trends in 2024

User Generated Content and Micro-influencers

Influencers with several million followers have had their day. In a surprise marketing shift, brands are turning to micro and nano-influencers, who have anywhere from 500 to 100,000+ followers. Audiences find micro and nano-influencers to be genuine and tend to relate better to their niche content. As a result, followers are more likely to purchase products or services promoted by this type of influencer. 

Brands also benefit from user-generated content that customers make about their personal experiences with a brand. Again, it’s the authenticity that leads to peer recommendations, satisfied customers, and brand-new customer acquisitions. 

Social Commerce

We’ve all made our share of purchases made through social media, and this method of shopping is expected to grow in popularity. In-app purchases and shoppable posts will make it easier for customers to buy directly from their social media feeds. Ensure a successful approach to social commerce by optimizing your social media platforms for sales, creating content that encourages purchases, and implementing a seamless buying process. 

SEO-Powered Content 

Using keywords for search engine optimization is still critical to getting your web content to display in Google’s search results. Now, it will also play an important role in social media content. As more and more users treat social media like search engines, SEO keywords will help them discover your clever content more so than hashtags. The right keywords can also contribute to the virality of posts, which will be influenced by SEO and not just hashtags. 

Social Listening 

Evaluating campaign success usually means evaluating quantitative data and analytics, but brands are also seeing the benefit of monitoring social media for qualitative customer feedback, experiences, and opinions. Responding to these comments can help build your and increase customer engagement. Social listening and garnering feedback from social media can also lead to customer-friendly improvements in support, marketing campaigns, and products.

Video Marketing Trends in 2024

Video Content and Captions

Video content will continue to flourish in 2024 because it’s a powerful way to connect with customers, share brand stories, and showcase products. Short-form video content will also remain popular, as it is easy to consume on certain social media platforms. 

As you’re creating content, be sure to add captions to all videos. More and more viewers are watching videos without sound, and adding captions makes your content more accesible. Include keywords in your social media captions to make your videos easier to find. Social media is now serving as a search engine for users, and a descriptive caption can help them find your content.

AI-Generated Content

Artificial intelligence is making waves in many industries, including marketing. AI-powered technologies can help you analyze large amounts of data effectively and efficiently. You can use it to uncover new approaches to strategy and tactics or even to automate mundane tasks, freeing up your time to tackle larger endeavors. Customers can also benefit from AI-based bots that can answer questions about a product or service and serve as a first touchpoint of a brand.

Increases in Consumer Privacy 

Consumers are concerned with privacy protection and want to know they can trust your company with their personal information. A study by PwC found that 83% want more control over their personal information. You can help your customers feel secure by being transparent in your data collection efforts, asking for their consent, and following all privacy and compliance regulations. 

Streaming and CTV

CTV, also known as connected TV or smart TV, continues to grow. Consumers will continue to use streaming platforms via CTV to watch their favorite programs, movies, and shows. Stay on top of its popularity by incorporating a marketing strategy for CTV into your plans for 2024. 

Marketing Strategy is Always On Trend

Trends come and go, but planning will continue to be the little black dress of marketing strategies in 2024. Green Apple can help you decide which marketing approaches will work best with for your B2B or B2C brand. We also collect data measure the results, optimize what’s working, and scale with you as you grow. Reach out to our team today to see how we can make today’s marketing trends work for you.

Your Comprehensive Guide to Annual Marketing Planning

Annual planning can feel like a balancing act for most small to mid-sized businesses. On one hand, small business owners and marketers recognize its necessity for long-term success and sustainable growth. On the other hand, developing an annual marketing plan can seem like an obstacle course (at best) or an exercise in futility (at worst). Can we develop an annual marketing plan that works? More than that, is it possible to enjoy the process of creating one?

After more than a decade of walking businesses through our approach to building a marketing strategy, our team has learned several valuable lessons regarding annual planning. We’ve discovered how to ensure your yearly plan is aligned with other critical areas of your business—from supporting business development efforts to coordinating with operations. We know the common pitfalls that prevent businesses from gaining traction. 

As we prepare for the new year, we wanted to offer helpful insights for annual planning and ideas for businesses requiring a more needs-based approach to marketing planning. In this article, we’re highlighting some of the principles for effective yearly marketing planning and a few essential questions that your strategy should be able to answer.

5 Principles for Effective Annual Marketing Planning

Here are a few essential principles we utilize when developing annual marketing plans: 

Embrace proactive planning.

Effective annual marketing planning requires ample time and consideration. This keeps you from feeling rushed and avoids the obstacles created by the hustle and bustle of the holidays. 

At Green Apple, we typically initiate the planning process for clients in Q4, but the ideal timing may vary depending on the client’s industry and specific needs. For some clients, an earlier start may be necessary based on the scope of planning requirements and implementation deadlines.

Align long-term vision with short-term execution.

One of the temptations of developing an annual plan is that you may come up with dozens of great ideas but need help implementing them. While it’s essential to incorporate a long-term vision, you also want to be realistic.

Balancing long-term vision with execution helps you evaluate your brand holistically and get a clear picture of where you’re headed. Then, you can break those goals down into more manageable steps. For example, your company might know where you want to be in three years. By balancing that vision with short-term execution, you can create an annual marketing strategy that fits into your overarching company goals. 

Collaborate with various departments and key stakeholders as needed. 

Effective annual marketing planning requires buy-in and participation from all relevant departments, including sales, operations, and customer service. This collaborative approach ensures that marketing efforts are aligned with the broader business strategy and contribute to achieving common goals.

For instance, at Green Apple, we want to make sure we know our clients’ sales and operational goals for the next year. With this information, we can ensure their marketing and advertising plans for the next year can help them reach those objectives. When objectives and departments are overly siloed, your marketing strategy won’t be as successful. 

Start with a comprehensive understanding of your current marketing plan. 

The foundation of effective annual marketing planning lies in a thorough assessment of current marketing efforts. This includes identifying successes, challenges, and areas for improvement.

During annual planning with our clients, we ask insightful questions that help us evaluate their marketing efforts from the previous year. This includes identifying everything the client needs to be doing. All of this information is used to help us determine what strategies are working, what can be improved, and what efforts aren’t providing sufficient ROI. 

Use data to inform your strategy.

Developing a data-driven approach to marketing is essential. Data analytics can help you identify the most effective channels and messaging for reaching your target audience. Continuously refining your understanding of that target audience is also essential for deploying effective marketing campaigns. By understanding your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and behaviors, your marketing efforts can be tailored to resonate effectively and achieve your desired outcomes.

7 Questions Every Annual Marketing Plan Should Answer

Once you’ve developed your annual marketing plan, here are seven critical questions you should be able to answer. Recognizing these before you get started can help you as you go: 

  1. What is your overall marketing budget for the year? How will you allocate your budget across different marketing channels and tactics?
  2. What are your marketing goals, and how will you track and measure your progress toward them on an annual, quarterly, and monthly basis?
  3. Is every marketing tactic connected to a goal, and do you clearly understand how each strategy will help you achieve that goal?
  4. What specific tactics and content will you create for each marketing area of marketing, including email, paid advertising, social media, and PR?
  5. What new marketing initiatives do you plan to launch in the next year? How will you promote and launch each new initiative?
  6. Do you understand what’s being implemented monthly and who executes each marketing initiative?
  7. How will you adapt your marketing plan based on insights you discover through data or changing market conditions?

By answering these questions, you can develop a comprehensive marketing plan to help you achieve your marketing goals.

Let Green Apple Strategy Help You Develop Your Annual Plan

Need some help getting started on developing your annual marketing plan? 

Our team can help you build an effective strategy to help your business achieve its goals—and actually enjoy the process! Learn more about our approach or connect with our team to start a conversation.

Sleighing Social Media: How to Keep the Spirit Alive During the Holidays 

The holiday season is a time when social media comes alive with festive cheer. Businesses are vying for attention while also trying to capture the holiday spirit. If done well, holiday marketing on social media can be some of the most valuable content you produce. 

We’re here to guide you through some simple yet highly effective ways to enhance your social media efforts during the holidays. Read on for some tips to capture the festive spirit and give your brand a competitive edge in your social media posts. 

Create a Holiday-Themed Content Calendar

Planning in advance is key to successful holiday marketing. Create a holiday-themed content calendar for the days, weeks, or months you want to focus on, and plan a number of posts to celebrate the season. Not only does a content calendar help you stay organized and consistent, but it’s particularly helpful in planning ahead during a season when many of your employees are taking time off. 

Ensure you’re utilizing the right social media marketing tools to help guide your strategy toward success. 

Drop the Hard Sell Approach

We know the holiday season is an opportunity for many businesses to boost sales, but there’s more to it than just pushing products. Take a step back to think about how you can soft-sell your product during this season. Here are a few ideas:

  • Share user-generated content 
  • Share stories about your team members or any holiday traditions at your company
  • Share customer stories, testimonials, and reviews
  • Take a conversational approach

By focusing on meaningful non-sales content, you can make an impact and build a deeper connection with your audience, giving your brand greater resonance even after the holidays.

Be Inclusive of All Holidays 

There are billions of people on social media, all with different beliefs, traditions, and customs. By showcasing your awareness of this fact, you can appeal to a much larger audience and show current and potential customers that you’re an inclusive company. Add all of the upcoming holidays to your content calendar and embrace the spirit of the season through the beauty of diversity and inclusivity!

Design Gift Guides and Highlight Gift Ideas

Instagram is a popular social media platform for holiday marketing because of its visual nature. You can enhance the visibility of your best deals, promos, and events by showcasing them in your bio links and highlighting them in shoppable posts. Create content that focuses on gift ideas or holiday shopping guides relevant to your products or services. 

Showcase a Charity or Nonprofit Organization

Share the love this holiday season and showcase a cause you and your audience care about. Shine the spotlight on the nonprofits you support by sharing photos and videos of your team volunteering and infographics about the organization’s impact. Don’t forget to tag the nonprofit on all platforms for additional organic reach! 

Engage Your Audience

Social media platforms offer a variety of engagement features you can use to help show your brand’s personality. Organize fun and engaging contests or giveaways, or schedule holiday-themed polls, questions, and quizzes on your stories to encourage user participation. Infuse a little joy, playfulness, and holiday spirit into your content, and your audience will respond positively. 

Share User Generated Content

User-generated content is a great tool to boost interaction and build an authentic connection with your audience. It also doesn’t take much legwork. Repost or retweet user-generated content that showcases your product or service being used during the holidays. If you don’t have much user-generated content to choose from, ask followers to share their holiday stories, photos, or ideas related to your product or service. This is a great way to build a library of content that you can use all year long! 

Collaborate with Influencers

Incorporating influencers in a planned holiday campaign could help you reach a wider or even untapped audience. Influencer marketing is a proven and reliable method for generating brand awareness year-round. According to a Q3 Sprout pulse survey, 89% of marketers agree influencer marketing impacts their brand awareness. The authentic content micro-influencers (influencers with 10,000–100,000 followers) are known to produce is just one benefit of working with them.  

Analyze and Adjust 

Take a step back and look at the analytics. Your data from the previous holiday season can equip you with meaningful insights that guide your future content. Understand what performed best and adjust your strategy accordingly. A thorough analysis can help you plan for seasonal content for next year and beyond. 

Let Us Help You Reach Your Goals

At Green Apple, we help our clients build effective campaigns for the holiday season and all year round. If you need some guidance and support from marketing and PR experts, we’d love to discuss your goals and figure out how we can help you reach them. Contact us anytime to start the conversation. You can also subscribe to The Core, our monthly newsletter, to get the latest marketing insights and inspiration delivered directly to your inbox. Happy holidays and happy social media marketing!

How to Create a Marketing Moat 

In the ever-evolving world of marketing, businesses are constantly searching for ways to stand out from the competition to achieve long-term growth. Just as castles were fortified with moats to protect against attacks, today’s business owners can create their own “marketing moats” to maintain a competitive edge and better protect their market share.

Build a Strong Brand Identity

The impression that your brand makes on a customer can help you stand out from competitors. Develop a memorable brand story. Brand storytelling explains your differentiators and humanizes your brand. It helps customers understand who you are and why your business exists. Building a strong brand or achieving brand recognition can create a marketing moat that keeps customers returning because people prefer brands they recognize. 

Another impact of building a compelling brand story is creating a bond with your customers. This connection can foster trust and loyalty, which can turn into positive feedback and testimonials. You can use this feedback to promote the strong relationships you build with customers, which strengthens your marketing moat. 

Clearly Define Your Unique Value Proposition

Identify what sets your brand apart from competitors and communicate why customers should choose your products or services. Here are a few ways to identify your unique value proposition:

1. Understand your target audience. 

2. Analyze the competition and identify gaps in what they offer. Capitalize on these gaps.

3. Determine what makes your business unique and highlight those aspects.

Be sure to integrate your unique value proposition into all of your marketing and messaging consistently. Check out Green Apple’s approach to building a marketing strategy for tips to ensure your strategy is set up for success from the start. 

Invest in Consistent Content Creation

Produce relevant and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, videos, curated social media content, paid media efforts, email marketing, and more. Establish credibility by positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry and offer valuable insight through white papers, webinars, online courses or trainings, and free consultations. All these resources can be promoted on social media and through email marketing. A well-executed content calendar and email marketing strategy can help you plan and organize your content so it remains relevant and consistent.

Work With Us To Build Your Marketing Moat 

At Green Apple, we help business owners execute ideas with a solid strategy behind our approach. Let us help you build a marketing moat that will lead to long-term success by establishing a presence that stands out from the competition. To learn more about our process and discuss how we can help, contact Green Apple Strategy