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What Makes or Breaks Digital Content: Q&A Video with Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios

Andy Crestodina established one of Chicago's premier web design and development agencies fifteen years ago, Orbit Media Studios, but admits that there is some brand confusion around the company’s services provided and practices preached. As the author of “Content Chemistry” and founder of Content Jam in Chicago, so much of Andy’s expertise revolves around educating marketers about content marketing.

He says that his team takes the approach of “building cars AND teaching drivers ed.” While his company focuses on web design, they understand the importance of providing education to marketers that goes deeper into SEO, analytic conversion, content strategy and much more.

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Author: Jeff Coon

Digital Marketing Mistakes Manufacturing Companies Should Avoid

Gone are the days when marketers make fly by the seat of their pants decisions or decisions based on what they THINK will work for their prospects and customers. In a B2B world, not taking a data-driven approach can be one of the biggest mistakes a manufacturer makes when putting various tactics into place. It is essential to constantly evaluate your prospect and buyer’s behaviors and the analytics behind their actions. Taking this information and using it to make educated decisions about the tactics you employ will make a huge difference in gaining the attention of qualified leads.

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Author: Andrea Meyers

Dos and Don’ts of Online Images for Boring Industries

A picture is worth 1,000 words. Just think about it. One provoking image of war, love, or even a product offers a better description and representation than pages of text. That’s true whether you’re talking about a history book or a website. And yes, you're reading this image right. Nothing is allowed.

Online articles with images every 75-100 words get double the amount of shares as articles with fewer images, according to Buzz Sumo. Even more interesting, Buffer revealed that images get 567% more inbound links than text-only content.

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Author: Steve James

3 Ways Insurance Companies Can Decipher Web Visitor Behavior to Boost Leads

Insurance agents have a lot of options for getting new leads, from cold-calling to trade events, and paying for traditional advertising. The disadvantage of those methods (aside from time and cost) is that you are reaching a broad group, not necessarily people who are looking for what you offer. This is why the information you can obtain from your website is so valuable - these are visitors who are searching for information about the exact products and services that you offer.

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Author: Andrea Meyers

The Impact of Storytelling on Inbound Marketing: Q&A with Sam Slaughter, Journalist & Content Marketing Expert

The past two decades have brought a definite transition in the way businesses and individuals share their story and position themselves as industry experts. The emergence of content production as an inbound marketing tactic has kept marketers incredibly busy over the last few years – so much that a lot of the content produced was done just for the sake of sticking to a consistent distribution schedule. Readers are now becoming more adept at cutting through the clutter and identifying a post that is just regurgitated information about the latest trending topic. What readers are looking for now are the pieces of content that set a brand apart – something that shakes up the industry or marries the brand with consumers needs through inspiring and in-depth storytelling.

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Author: Andrea Meyers

Weekly Flashback: Buyer Journey Models and 99 Percent of LinkedIn Users Make This Mistake

Have you done the necessary research to create an in-depth buyer journey map? If not, you could be missing out on critical data that would improve the success of your marketing strategy and campaigns. This week’s flashback posts include some great examples of buyer journey models, rules to help you crush the competition, the LinkedIn mistake almost all of us are making and much more. Take a look at my favorite posts from this past week: 

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Author: Steve James

It Takes a Village: How to Integrate Social Media Beyond the Marketing Department

Village_Web.jpgIf you are a marketer that has ever worked for a business with multiple locations or divisions of a company, you know how difficult it can be to effectively implement a strong social media strategy that focuses on customer behavior and needs. Many marketing professionals have the expertise to implement a strong social media plan in regard to practices, trends, and tactics, yet most do not have the same level of day-to-day customer interaction as other employees within the organization.

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Author: Andrea Meyers

Weekly Flashback: 9 Tools To Up Your Instagram Game & Doing Snapchat Right

There are so many opportunities for marketers to build their brand and business using social media platforms. In regard to those that offer live streaming, there has been has been a lot of discussion about the growth of these channels. This week’s posts dive deeper on Facebook’s new live streaming feature and how to do Snapchat right, in addition to some great posts on tools to up your Instagram marketing game, documenting content marketing workflows, and conversion rate optimization. Here are five interesting posts that stood out to me this past week:

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Author: Steve James

Should Your Marketing Department Outsource Content Development?

Content marketing can show great ROI for both B2B and B2C companies, so why do so many companies, even those with dedicated marketing departments, struggle with getting it done effectively and frequently? Content marketing is complex and always changing, and hiring the amount of skilled staff that you would need to do everything from writing to editing, to promoting and social-sharing, is time consuming and costly to keep all functions of content production and promotion in-house. Additionally, implementation of a strong content marketing plan can be overwhelming for many small businesses. 

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Author: Andrea Meyers

Top 11 Midwest Marketing, Advertising and PR Conferences You Can’t Miss in 2016

Each year, our team at Stream Creative is proud to issue our picks for the top Midwest marketing and advertising conferences. With budget and short-distance travel in mind, we’ve lined up a great list for 2016!

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Author: Janice Dombrowski