Build Your 2024 Content Calendar: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Your content calendar is one of the most important building blocks of your marketing plan. By
creating eye-catching content, you can inform your audience, position your brand as a thought leader, and boost SEO. 

But, you might be wondering how to even get started.

Building a content calendar is easier said than done; we know. When you have the right tools, though, it’s really not as difficult as it sounds. In just a few steps, you can plan content for your full year to ensure that you’re connecting with your audience consistently through blogs, email, social media, and other content-related channels. To get you started, we’re sharing this step-by-step guide to building your 2024 content calendar. 

 

How to Build a Content Calendar in 7 Simple Steps

 
1. Identify the types of content you need. 

Before you begin, identify the different channels that you’ll be writing content for. This might include blogging, social media, email marketing, podcasts, or webinars. Any channel that you need to be posting on consistently will need its own calendar. 

Pro tip: Build your content calendar in a spreadsheet, using a new page for each type of content. For example, the first page might be blogging, the second social media, the third email marketing, so on, and so forth. 

 
2. Set a schedule for each type of content. 

Set a schedule for each type of content so that your content team knows when each topic should go out. This will also help you determine how many topics you need for each type of content. Your different channels will all have a set cadence. Maybe you put out one blog a week, one podcast episode every two weeks, and an email every month. Choose a schedule that works best for your audience and your workflow, and try to stick to that schedule as closely as possible.

 
3. Identify your audience’s pain points. 

Your content really needs to grab the attention of your audience. You have a better chance of doing that if you key into a challenge that they are looking to solve. As an example, your pain point might be that you are ready to build a content calendar but aren’t sure where to begin. That’s how we chose this topic—we know that our audience might struggle at times to map out consistent content. 

 
4. Research your competitors’ content. 

Researching your competitors’ content is not to suggest that you should use the topics that your competitors write about. Rather, you should see the types of content that they share with their audience. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must be aware of what your competitors are offering to prospects. Create a content calendar that is very much unique to your company; but, always research competing sites to ensure that you aren’t dropping the ball on any major stressors that your audience might face.

 
5. Identify the keywords you’re hoping to rank for. 

Using tools like SEMrush allow you to identify keywords that you want to target, increasing your chances of rising to the top of search engine results. By identifying keywords early in your content planning process, you can implement said keywords into your topic ideas.

 
6. Create topics for each channel. 

Now for the fun part. Begin building your content calendar piece by piece for each channel. We find it most helpful to map out our idea, the description, and target keywords for each topic. With this approach, you can easily delegate these topics to your content experts, and they will understand the direction and purpose of each piece.

 
7. Cross-reference your topics between channels. 

To make the most of your time and efforts, cross-reference your topics to repurpose as much as you can. For example, if you’ve written a blog article topic that would be great for a podcast episode, you can tweak the topic to fit your podcast audience.

Keep in mind that your audience consumes content differently depending on where they’re getting information. If you are writing a blog article about “10 Things to Know About X,” your podcast audience might prefer the topic to be presented in less of a listicle format and more of a thoughtful discussion. 

 

The Importance of Timely Content

Though it’s good practice to begin your year with a content calendar, remember that it isn’t set in stone. There will be events that happen in your industry, or even just out in the world, that will cause you to adjust your calendar accordingly.  A content calendar is a great planning tool, but you should always leave room for change. 

Would you prefer that a content marketing team helped you stay connected to your audience? We can help. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

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

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

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

Why the Update? What’s Changing?

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

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

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

Actionable Steps for Small Businesses 

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

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

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

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

Implement DMARC & SPF at the Enforcement Level

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

Get Technical (or Find Someone Who Is)

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

Lean on Agency Expertise for Authentication Readiness

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

Stay Informed Through Collaboration

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

Monitor Performance and Adapt Strategies

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

Don’t Panic, Get Prepared!

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

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

Bonus Tips and Resources

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

7 Marketing Tools Your Team Can’t Live Without

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Executing a marketing strategy is a lot like climbing a mountain. Both are focused on an audacious goal that requires effort and dedication to achieve. You need an intentional plan for how you’re going to climb the mountain. There will also be unexpected obstacles and unexpected turns along the way. Sometimes you have a clear path to reaching the summit. Other times, you may need a guide to help you navigate new terrain. 

And just like mountain climbing, you need a variety of marketing tools that can help you along the way. These tools may help you assess your current situation, work more effectively, and take the right steps toward reaching your goal. Each tool might serve a different purpose, but they’re all essential for your survival. 

7 Marketing Tools Your Team Can’t Live Without

Here are seven types of tools you need to execute successful marketing campaigns: 

1. Collaboration Tools

Executing a marketing plan requires significant collaboration. When you’re managing all the elements for your content marketing campaigns or seeking input on an important design project, there are numerous stakeholders and steps that need to be addressed. 

At Green Apple, our hybrid office model has trained us to become experts in marketing collaboration. Here are just a few of the collaboration tools that make it easy to collaborate with clients, team members, and freelancers in the Green Apple Orchard from across the country:

  • Google Workspace — Google’s collaborative tools such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets make it easy to create, approve, and deliver assets in a timely fashion. Rather than tracking multiple documents or attachments through email, Google makes it easy for team members and clients to collaborate in the same documents in real time. 
  • Basecamp —  Project management is essential for streamlining work and optimizing efficiency. Basecamp rolls all of the core necessities of project management into a browser-based tool that makes it easy to track campaigns from start to finish. We’ve used Basecamp for years, and it has become an integral tool for our team.  
  • Zoom — Video conferencing became an essential business tool during the pandemic. We’ve found it incredibly helpful for improving our team’s virtual meetings, meeting with clients in other cities, and connecting with The Orchard, our remote contract team members.
2. Design Tools 

The image you portray is important. The good news is that it’s easier than ever to find affordable design tools that make your brand stand out and look professional. Tools like Canva can be incredibly helpful for designing eye-catching graphics and images for social media. However, knowing when to use Canva and when to outsource to a professional can be essential to maximize the impact of graphic design for your brand. 

3. Digital and Social Media Management Tools 

With all the various social media platforms, it’s almost impossible to manage all of your content production needs without a social media management tool. Social media management tools help you plan, schedule, and monitor your social media posts. These tools also give you the chance to review and analyze your audience engagement on multiple channels. 

At Green Apple, Sprout Social is our social media management tool of choice. It makes it easy to manage various social media accounts for all of our clients. It also provides comprehensive reporting that provides a detailed look into content performance through competitive analytics and strategic insights.

4. Online Advertising Tools 

Online advertising has exploded in recent years. In fact, digital advertisements will account for more than 66% of the total global advertising spend by 2023. It allows you to create targeted messages to reach and expand your audience, improve your brand awareness, and generate more qualified leads.

At Green Apple, our digital marketing team collaborates with online advertising specialists to design and implement online advertising campaigns for B2B and B2C clients. Some of our favorite tools include Google Keyword Planner and Adstage. 

5. Lead Capture & Nurturing Tools 

If you rely on inbound marketing to generate sales leads, you need a marketing tool that captures potential customers and guides them through the marketing funnel. The good news is that most tools integrate with your website to create a seamless user experience.

Over the years, we’ve used lead-capturing tools such as Unbound and Leadpages to capture leads. We’ve also worked alongside several clients to leverage marketing CRMs such as Hubspot to track and manage marketing leads.

6. Website SEO Tools

Whether it’s keyword research, content optimization, or checking your current page rankings, every marketer needs a go-to tool for planning content and optimizing it for SEO. 

Green Apple recommends SEMrush, the top-rated keyword tool we use for our clients. We’ve found that it’s the best tool to implement SEO tips that actually work. Their platform offers comprehensive reports to monitor competitors’ backlinks and offers backlink audits for sites that have already linked to your website with an anchor text. 

7. Customer Experience & Testimonial Tools

In today’s digital world, consumers hold the power when it comes to your brand reputation. A negative customer review or poor client experience can have a devastating impact on your brand. At the same time, testimonials and feedback can be some of the most beneficial assets for brand management.

At Green Apple, we’ve worked with a variety of customer experience and testimonial tools to capture feedback for our clients. Delighted is a customer satisfaction platform that allows you quickly and easily capture feedback through customer surveys. LoyaltyLoop is another tool we use to better understand and improve upon the customer experience. 

Finding the right set of marketing tools can be overwhelming. It’s important not to lose sight of the forest through the trees. Focus on your end goal and then find the tools that will help you get there. Our team at Green Apple can help you determine which tools are a fit for you. We’d love to take a look at your marketing goals and help you design and execute a strategy to meet them.

Surprising New Marketing Trends that Work

Every January, marketing pros come out with their “top trends” to watch for the upcoming year. These are popular and helpful resources since marketing always seems to be changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends. But we rarely take time to look back and highlight what marketing trends actually worked.  

At Green Apple, we’re constantly looking for new ideas or strategies that might help our clients achieve their goals. We also recognize that one of the most helpful tactics can be to stop and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. As we head into Q4 of 2022, we thought we’d take some time to reflect on the first nine months and highlight the marketing trends that have been most effective so far this year. 

7 Surprising New Marketing Trends that Work 

While AI, visual content, and personalization were all hot trends heading into 2022, here are seven tactics we found to be most helpful for our clients this year: 

1. Flexible Strategies that Pivot

Most companies head into a new year with a comprehensive marketing plan that lasts 12 months. The problem occurs when the strategies and tactics fail to produce results. Then what?

The one trend that everyone can depend on is that tactic effectiveness will change and shift throughout the year. We’ve found that developing flexible approaches that anticipate changes can be one of the most valuable ways to pivot your marketing efforts without abandoning your entire strategy

2. Surprise & Delight 

Consumers are seeking comfort and delight as they emerge from the pandemic. This year, we’ve seen incredible results from taking time to show appreciation and bring joy to someone’s day through surprise and delight strategies. These moments work as a brand differentiator, and they can also be a highly effective strategy for fostering long-term customer loyalty.  

3. Adapting Content Strategies to Meet Changing Consumer Habits 

The way people consume content has changed. While video-based content and social media were at the forefront of the discussion this year, it’s particularly important to consider your audience’s preferences when crafting your content strategy in 2022. A decade ago, most marketers focused primarily on written content, whether online or in print. Today’s businesses must consider the way content marketing and consumer habits have evolved

4. Promoting Your Corporate Social Responsibility Platform

As conscious consumerism continues to gain steam, many companies have made social responsibility part of their company DNA. On a large scale, we saw numerous companies highlight their plan to reduce their carbon footprint in 2022. But even on a smaller scale, we’ve seen the power of highlighting your company’s desire to make a positive difference in your community. 

5. Employee Engagement

In today’s digital world,  it’s essential to make an effort to know your customers on a personal level. Without it, your digital marketing efforts are likely to fall flat. Getting your employees involved in your marketing has become a powerful strategy. Shifting your marketing strategy from product- or service-centered to people-centered could be a helpful strategy as you look for ways to connect with your audience in Q4 and beyond. 

6. Micro-Stories & Bite-Size Content 

Tiktok and other video-based marketing channels were all the rage at the beginning of the year. And while they’re influence has undoubtedly grown, we’ve seen the “micro-content” trend expand to nearly every marketing channel. For example, we’ve seen incredible success in helping our clients reformat content into micro-infographics for media. In short, the easier we can make it for people to read and digest our content, the more likely they’ll share it. 

7. SMS Marketing 

Text campaigns were one of those surprising trends that no one was really talking about at the beginning of the year. And yet, it seems like so many companies have turned to SMS marketing as a way to reach customers. SMS messages have an open rate of 98%, making texts the superior marketing channel. While many B2C companies have used SMS for product alerts and promotions, we’re curious to see if there are ways B2B companies can utilize it to engage customers as the tactic continues to evolve. 

While you might not be able to predict which channels and tactics will really work next year, you can embrace the timeless principles and strategies that are behind them.

Campaign Monitor: A Marketing Agency’s Review

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While marketing trends come and go, email still remains an essential tactic for businesses to engage with existing and potential customers. 93% of B2B marketers use email marketing for distributing content and promoting their products. On top of this, 72% of customers have said that they prefer email as their main source of business communication. 

Finding the right platform for your email marketing efforts can make a tremendous impact on your ability to create, send, and optimize your campaigns. Our team at Green Apple has used a variety of email marketing platforms over the years. To date, Campaign Monitor has been our favorite, especially for B2B companies or service-based businesses. 

Why do we use Campaign Monitor as our go-to email platform? We asked our digital marketing team in this review to share a few specific reasons they love Campaign Monitor. 

3 Reasons We Love Campaign Monitor for Our Clients’ Email Strategy

1. Campaign Monitor has a user-friendly platform. 

Campaign Monitor provides one of the simplest and most intuitive experiences of any email platform. Their email templates are by far the easiest to use. Their customer service representatives also provide quick, responsive answers to any questions. If there is ever anything that our team isn’t quite sure how to do, they’re very quick to explain how something works. Another user-friendly aspect of Campaign Monitor is that all of our clients are in one place when we log in. This is extremely helpful when managing dozens of email campaigns.

2. Campaign Monitor makes it super easy to build beautiful and effective emails. 

The layout and design of emails impacts conversion rates. With Campaign Monitor, you don’t need robust design skills or coding experience to design effective emails. Campaign Monitor provides a variety of templates that are easy to customize to create branded newsletters. This is not always the case with all email marketing platforms! If you do want to invest in more individualized design, Campaign Monitor has the capacity for designers to create custom-designed emails in Campaign Monitor.

3. Campaign Monitor provides valuable insights and helpful reporting tools. 

One of the most powerful tools available to any marketer is the ability to analyze the results of an email campaign. Campaign Monitor’s reporting capabilities are really beneficial. We can view detailed analytics to help uncover where our clients’ most active subscribers are coming from and how they engage with the content. The campaign dashboard makes it easy to see exactly how each email performed. It’s also incredibly simple to pull reports for our clients so they can view the data for themselves. 

Want to Elevate Your Email Marketing Efforts?

Green Apple Strategy is constantly looking for ways to help our clients find effective ways to reach their audience. If you’re looking for a way to elevate your email campaigns, our experienced team can help provide you with the ideas and insights. Reach out to us today for a consultation.

4 Signs Your Email Campaigns Aren’t Working (And How to Fix Them)

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email campaigns not workingEmail marketing is one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience and turn subscribers into buyers. However, simply having a strategy and sending regular emails to your intended audience doesn’t mean email campaigns are working. The only way to know if your campaign is working is to track it. If you want to elevate your email campaigns, it’s important to evaluate each of the factors that determine your success. In order to help, we wanted to highlight a few of the common reasons your email campaigns might not be working and provide some quick ideas for how to fix them. Here are four areas to evaluate and improve if you’re looking to generate better results from your email marketing campaigns.   

1. Your Emails Are Ending Up in Spam Folders

Your audience will likely never see your email if it ends up in their spam folder. How do you measure this? Check the deliverability rate of your campaigns. Deliverability measures the rate at which emails reach subscribers’ inboxes.  If you notice your deliverability rate is low, here are a few things you can do:
  • Make sure you’re using a reliable email service provider and avoid spam triggers.
  • Delete old or inactive email addresses from your list and keep only people who are engaged.
  • Check which email addresses bounced and remove those email addresses from your list.

2. Your Emails Aren’t Being Opened 

As the old “tree falling in the woods” adage teaches us: if an email is never opened, will anyone read the message? The answer is no. The two biggest factors for determining open rates are often the subject line and send time.  That’s why your subject line is one of the most important aspects of elevating your email marketing campaigns. If you’ve struggled to increase open rates: 
  • Consider tweaking your subject line strategy to find more effective ways to capture attention and inspire your audience to open the email. 
  • You can also test the day and time that you send your email to see what works best.
  • Use A/B testing to try out several versions of an email campaign to determine which is the most effective at increasing engagement. 
 

3. People Aren’t Clicking Through or Taking Action

Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click on your calls-to-action (CTAs). This is the ultimate goal of any email campaign. The email is the vehicle you use to inspire your audience to take the next step. Taking the time to create UTM codes that track post-visitor engagement is a great way to determine the effectiveness of every single email you send.  If you’re experiencing lower clickthrough rates than you used to generate, you might consider:
  • Segmenting your emails to create more personal and targeted campaigns for your various target audiences.
  • Optimizing the format of your content to ensure it’s easy for people to read.
  • Testing different CTA formats to see what generates the greatest response, including buttons, links, images, and questions.
 

4. People Are Unsubscribing

An unsubscribe rate measures the number of people who opt out of your email list once they receive an email from you. If someone unsubscribes from your list, you’ve lost your chance to engaging with them through email. So how do you avoid people unsubscribing from your email campaigns? Here are a few ideas:   You spend a lot of time and energy crafting emails for your audience. The last thing you want is for the work you do to be ignored. Constantly testing and tweaking your emails is essential for keeping up with customer demand and ensuring the work you put into your campaigns generates the results you want. If you’re looking for ways to stay on top of the latest email trends, subscribe to our newsletter. We’ll provide helpful insights you can use to reach more customers. 

10 Ways to Promote Your Upcoming Webinar

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You have plenty of wonderful ideas and expertise to share with your audience. What better way than a webinar? The thing is, though, that a hefty amount of thought, planning, and design goes into creating a webinar. And, after all the work you’ve put into building this resource, wouldn’t it be great if someone attended? Of course, we know you want as many people as possible to see your webinar. So, we put together a list of ways that you can promote your upcoming webinar.   

1. Send an Email Blast 

First up, send an email to your newsletter subscribers. Because they already follow you, they’ll be interested to see that you’re providing them with helpful content. You can increase your chances of a successful email by adding an eye-catching subject line and segmenting your list to narrow in on those who would be most interested. In your email, make sure to include all necessary details along with a clear explanation of the benefits of attending.

2. Add a Line to Your Email Signature

Consider adding a line about your upcoming webinar to your email signature. That way, you always have a reminder there for clients and prospects. Be sure to add a link so that they can find more information! 

3. Feature it On Your Home Page

Try featuring information about your webinar on your Home page. When clients land on your site, they’re already looking for insight. Imagine how excited they’ll be to see that you’re offering to share your know-how!  

4. Create a Paid Social Campaign

Help your followers find your webinar with a paid social campaign. Before you put money behind your ad, make sure that you determine which of your social media platforms performs the best and where your audience spends the most time.

5. Write a Blog 

Writing a blog to announce your webinar and feature a high-level overview will give you a multi-purpose piece of content that you can use on your website, social media, and in your emails. It will also be great to send to those who ask for more information.

6. Add a Pop-Up to Your Website

To draw even more attention to your webinar, try adding a pop-up to your website. You can use this as an opportunity to encourage visitors to sign up or learn more. 

7. Collaborate with Influential People or Businesses in Your Industry

Many people in your industry have access to your target audience—social media personalities, podcasts, industry experts, and bloggers, just to name a few. Connect with these people to offer your insight on their next project (e.g., guesting on their podcast) to create an opportunity to plug your new webinar. Since your audiences are so similar, you’ll find that many of their followers are there for precisely this type of content.

8. Hand Out Flyers at Your Next Event

Have a trade show coming up? Design an engaging informational hand-out that you can give to attendees who may be interested. These events are also an excellent opportunity to collect email addresses from those who would like to receive more information.

9. Post Consistently On Social Media

Add a consistent routine of posting about your webinar on your social media accounts. Feature fun, informative content that lets the user know exactly what they would gain by attending.

10. Tell Everyone You Know

Word of mouth is a more effective marketing strategy than some may think. Tell everyone you know about your webinar, and be sure to send them follow-up information if they seem curious.

Need Help Building or Promoting a Webinar? 

Green Apple builds and promotes webinars for clients in various industries, and we find that it’s an incredibly robust marking tool with a high return on investment. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

10 Marketing Questions to Answer Before Launching a Product or Service

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Dreaming up a new idea for your business can be an exciting and rewarding process. You are about to offer your audience something they need or want, and so you’re helping people while growing your company. But, we can get swept away into dreaming about our ideas sometimes, can’t we? In all the excitement, we can lose track of the reality of a launch. 

We want to help you think through how you can launch your new products or services in the most timely, cost-effective, and successful way. Here are ten marketing questions to answer before launching a product or service. 

1. Does it align with my company’s goals? 

When we add elements to our company’s repertoire, it’s crucial to ensure that they align with the vision we have for our brand. Because no matter how small, each product or service says something about your business—and could very well change the trajectory of your brand’s growth. So, it’s first and foremost important that you choose your additions wisely. Picture your business in two to five years. Does this product or service still fit into that picture? 

2. What problem does it solve for my audience? 

The primary reason to build a new product or service is to solve an issue for your audience. Does this idea address a common pain point for your customers? If the answer is yes, you may have just come across your next big seller! If not, you may need to return to the drawing board.

3. How can I build strategic messaging around it? 

Once you have your golden idea that aligns with your brand and solves a pain point for your customer, you’re ready to craft messaging. This is an involved process, but every second is worth it in the end. You can use your answer to question two, “What problem does it solve for my audience?” to inform this process. Once you have the answer to that question, you can begin building your messaging strategy. 

Identify the key messages that you’re sending to your audience and hone in on what your tone will sound like. In general, you’ll use this time to map out how you will communicate your offering to your customers so that they will not only understand it but will then want to take action. 

4. Which platforms should I use to announce the launch? 

Using your messaging strategy, you will send your messaging to customers on the most appropriate platforms. Take a moment to review your analytics for different channels to decide where it will be effective to spend your most effort. You should not ignore the platforms that aren’t performing quite as well, but this step will help you choose your priorities.

A few platforms to consider are:

  • Email marketing
  • Blog articles
  • Social media
  • The local and national media (i.e., press releases)
  • Paid advertising 

For tactics that haven’t performed well in the past, maybe this is your chance to redesign your strategy to build your audience before your launch. 

5. Have I updated my website and social media profiles? 

Launching a new element of your business is a wonderful opportunity to review your website and social media profiles. Whether it’s updating website headers and social media profile graphics or description content, you’ll want to ensure that these channels are updated to reflect the most current and accurate information about your brand. You can also take this chance to boost your website’s visibility by reviewing your SEO practices. If your site is a local brick and mortar, optimize it for “near me” searches. Otherwise, focus on overall SEO, which is a powerful tactic, no matter what type of business you have. 

6. Which customers of my audience will be most interested in this? 

By identifying which customers will be most interested in this new product, you can again position your priorities. Identify where this customer spends their most time, what they care about, and how you can speak to their pain points. Customer profiles are a useful tool when exploring your customers’ wants, needs, and habits. With this information under your belt, you can build targeted messaging for the customers who are dying to have your product or use your service. 

7. How will I continue the product or service’s success following the launch? 

Marketing is an ongoing effort. So, it’s essential that you plan for success not only as you prepare for launch but also for as long as your business is in operation. You can follow proactive marketing principles to monitor the success of your marketing campaigns continually. All the while, you must find new and creative ways to keep your current customers interested and entice prospective customers.  

8. Are my marketing and sales teams aligned on the launch details? 

At Green Apple, we often discuss sales and marketing alignment with our clients. Your launch’s success will largely depend on the streamlined communication in your business, so your sales and marketing teams must be telling the same story. When their message is aligned, your customers know what to expect and view your business as one trusted, unified front.

9. What services should I invest in for the highest return on investment? 

Your return on investment depends on the efforts that go into your launch and the effectiveness of those efforts. But, it’s important to realize that you can’t do it all. You can, of course, but professionals who specialize in those efforts may be able to do them better, faster, and cheaper than you can. For example, you may spend twice the resources to build something internally that an outsourced partner could do in half the time while delivering a much more professional and effective product. Take a second to consider what your team is not fully equipped to handle and identify the best partners to work with to fill those gaps. 

10. How do I market the new product or service to my employees? 

A massively important element of marketing that many companies overlook is internal marketing. It’s just as crucial that you market to your employees as you do to your customers. When your employees fully understand your business and are excited about what you’re selling, they will be more excited to share that with others to help your customers succeed. Your employees are your most valuable asset, so ensure that you spend a great deal of time supporting their knowledge about and overall satisfaction with your brand.  

Do you need help building a robust and effective marketing strategy for your brand’s product or service launch? We can help. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

What You Should Know About Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z

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By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?  This statistic shines a bright light on how our marketing lens should shift as generations age. Before we knew it, Millennials will be three-quarters of the workforce, and in the blink of an eye, Gen Z will be right behind them. So, how do we market to these audiences? What makes them tick? In this article, we share what you should know about appealing to these two age groups.  But first…

Is generational marketing worth it?

Though many brands are hoping to attract an audience of any age, some are surprised to find that they are only seeing individuals who fit the same profile. Of course, one may think, “Well, that’s the audience that is attracted to our business.” While, yes, there is some validity to that, you may be missing entire generations of people who would be interested in what you have to offer.  If you’ve noticed that you aren’t attracting the younger Millennial and Gen Z generations, consider these tips. 

5 Things You Should Know About Marketing to Millennial and Gen Z Audiences

1. Your brand story should be authentic.  
Your audience can spot “fluffy” marketing campaigns from a mile away, especially Millennials and Gen Z. They have grown up with a surplus of information on their computers or at their fingertips, giving them years of practice at filtering out what isn’t worth their time. Tell a story that speaks to their motivations and their needs. Provide them with a practical reason to engage with your business because, trust us, this audience wants to feel good about the companies they support. You can allow them to feel connected to your message by crafting an authentic story they can care about.
2. Email marketing is still effective, even for Gen Z. 
Most people assume that Gen Z’s attachment to social media makes it the best, or only, way to reach them. However, according to a recent study by Campaign Monitor, 58% of those surveyed check their email multiple times per day—so there is very little competition for space in their inboxes. Don’t be too quick to assume that traditional marketing tactics are lost on younger generations—those may just be the avenues we need to grab their attention. 
3. Use your limited time wisely.
Make your marketing count. A widely-used and often disputed marketing statistic is that Millennials have a 12-second attention span, whereas Gen Z has eight seconds. Many believe that the issue is less about the ability to pay attention and more about an overwhelming amount of options. Whichever you feel is true, the goal is the same: your time is limited, so use it wisely. Let’s imagine that you only have eight to 12 seconds to make these younger audiences notice you. How are you going to stand out from the countless competitors vying for their attention? 
4. Hone in your customer experience. 
As we discuss the importance of authenticity and helping your audience feel connected to your brand, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention customer experience. Millennials and Gen Z have higher expectations than generations before them—not in a way that feels demanding, but rather they want to feel taken care of by the brands they’re trusting with their hard-earned money. Younger generations are more selective and want to believe that you want to help them solve a problem or meet a need. Analyze your customer experience to ensure ease of use and that each customer feels special and supported throughout the process. After all, who wouldn’t want that in a buying experience? 
5. Focus on diversity, inclusivity, and equality. 
Millennials and Gen Z help us identify areas in our society that need to be more diverse, inclusive, and equal. Though these challenges have long been fought for by many generations, these two age groups are using their social platforms to raise awareness about these issues—and it’s changing our expectations for the companies we support.  Take brands like Aerie and Target, for example. They identified that their customer base wanted to see more representation. These brands answered society’s call—embracing the idea that humans are diverse, and we deserve to see that in the brands we support. Both retail chains have begun to show greater representation in their marketing, including more diversity in body shape, race, and gender. You’ll notice this change in other areas as well, such as mannequin sizes and clothing options.  Though these are specific examples, we can learn from Aerie and Target when considering how to speak to our Millennial and Gen Z audiences—through supporting causes they care about and making a genuine difference in the world. 

We Can Help You Reach New Demographics

If you take one lesson from this article, let it be this: these generations want to feel good about where they spend their money. So, let’s do everything we can to show them we’re worth the effort. Do you need help finding the missing pieces to your marketing demographic? Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.

5 Questions Your Marketing Should Answer for Prospective Customers


The digital world has changed the way we make purchasing decisions, including B2B businesses. Consumers and potential clients are more in charge of the buying process than ever before. In fact, it’s been
reported that “57% of the purchase decision is already complete before the customer even calls the supplier.”

If this is true, that means potential customers are expecting to be able to answer the questions which were formerly answered directly by a salesperson. This is where marketing comes in.

5 Questions Your Marketing Efforts Should Answer for Prospective Customers

Whether it’s through your website, email marketing, or advertising campaigns, here are five questions your marketing efforts should be answering for prospective customers:

  1. Why should we trust you? More than likely, your business is just one of a dozen or more options that customers can choose from. Why should they choose your business and trust you to solve their challenges? The best way to increase trust and help people understand why they should choose your business is to position yourself as an expert and share meaningful insights. Numerous studies have shown that when the brain recognizes that someone is an expert, it is far more likely to comply with that person’s suggestions.
  2. Why should we choose your specific product or service? There are two primary reasons people choose a particular product or service: cost and differentiation. To differentiate your product or service, potential customers must understand your unique value proposition. Your value proposition is a unique value that a buyer desires and will receive from your company, product, or service. Think of the word “only” and how you can apply it to your business, products, and services.
  3. Why now? Overcoming the lack of urgency is a challenge for many B2B marketing and sales professionals. While you don’t want to become an overbearing hustler (that doesn’t work), you need to help your customer realize that embracing change now rather than later is in their best interest.
  4. Is it worth the investment? When you are asking buyers to purchase something from you, you are also asking them not to do something else. The most effective way to answer this question is to appeal to the emotional reasons people buy. Knowing this, identify ways to start creating emotional connections with prospective customers to increase their likeness toward making a decision.
  5. Is it worth making a change? People have a natural aversion to change. The brain is wired to associate a high level of risk with accepting a new idea or purchasing a product or service. The most compelling ways to incite change is to find problems by challenging the status quo with insights that compel your buyers to think about how they can improve themselves or their business.