Three Best Things to Happen at the TrackFive Holiday Party

Have you ever had one of those warm, content feelings in the pit of your stomach as you realize you are exactly where you are meant to be? This is the best way I can think of to describe the TrackFive holiday party. Although we have different company events throughout the year, this is by far the highlight – even for those who aren’t crazy about the holiday season. The team gets dressed up and goes to a fully catered event at a classy restaurant. We get to share food, drinks, gifts, and so much laughter. We forget about the grind of work and just relax and enjoy the unique group of people that we work with. Everyone brings their significant other too, which really opens the door to us bonding on a more personal level. As the company grows, somehow this event remains a cozy, intimate evening in the heart of downtown Lancaster.

Top Highlights of the TrackFive Holiday Party

This year was extra special. Check out the top highlights of the 2018 TrackFive holiday party!

trackfive holiday party

1. Our Florida team came to visit

The holiday party is one of the few times in the year that our entire company is together. We make the people who work in Florida fly up here and suffer in the cold with us. Having them in the office all day, and then being able to spend casual time with them in the evening at the party really helps create unity. When you have two offices so far apart, it is really challenging to make sure the same company culture exists in both places. It’s also hard to feel like one solid team. Times like this, when we can all be together, are vital to overcoming those challenges. We have teams who are communicating and working together daily, yet have never met face to face. It’s always fun to meet those people in person. And what better way than to bond over great food, drinks, and the spontaneous karaoke after party?

2. We’re getting new benefits

The second-best thing that happened during the holiday part is that we finally got to hear about the big changes coming to our benefits in 2019. Our president revealed our new benefits to us at the holiday party. We’ve known for a long time that this was in the works, and by some miracle, it was kept a secret until the night of the party. This made the event really exciting. Although we already have some of the best benefits around, like our health insurance paid for in-full, TrackFive is adding a really cool new feature to the benefit plan. We have something like an ala-cart package deal, where you can pick from a selection of benefits up to a certain value. Some of our options are student loan or wellness reimbursement, and even a few unique ones like pet insurance! We have lots of pet lovers here at TrackFive, so this is a pretty cool idea.

3. SPOILER ALERT: We’re rebranding!

The most exciting part of the entire night was that we are rebranding! A challenge we run into a lot as a company is finding an efficient and clear way to explain what we do. For this reason, we decided it was time to rebrand and reform our message. It’s been more than 10 years since the company was founded, so it’s time for a facelift. We partnered with a local branding firm here in Lancaster, and we all got to see the new logo at the party. Sorry – we can’t show you just yet, but the rebrand will be official in the new year, so be sure to check it out then!

Want to learn more about what it’s like to work at TrackFive? Check out our current job openings!

How Animation Adds Value to Content for Our Brands

We recently added motion graphics to our marketing strategy, and the moving images have brought new life to our brands! Although we have dabbled with graphics and videos on social media, we never had an in-house designer to make our ideas look pretty or to produce them in a timely fashion. This year, we hired our first designer on the marketing team. Now, the Track5 family of brands – AllTruckJobs, TravelNurseSource, LocumJobsOnline, and AlliedTravelCareers – are getting an up-do. How animation adds value to our content is something that we’ve been really proud of in the last couple of months. That’s why I thought I’d share with you what we’ve been working on, and maybe even give you a few ideas to work with too!

Three Examples of How Animation Adds Value to Content at Track5

Here are three examples of how animation adds value to content within our family of brands at Track5.

1. It’s a visual way to tell a story

Animation adds value to content because it’s a visual way to tell a story. Often times, this sticks in the viewer’s memory more vividly than simple words on a page. It also engages your audience more, because it’s something that they can watch and appreciate. Sometimes, there are blog ideas we have that just don’t really turn out the way we thought. Maybe there’s just not much to say about the subject to write an entire blog about it. However, it could still be very important. This is when animation can really help because sometimes it’s easier and more interesting to get your point across visually.

For example, we recently made an infographic for our trucking brand, AllTruckJobs. The infographic showed some stats on why veterans make good truck drivers. It also included quotes from a few trucking companies saying why they hire veterans. To go along with the infographic, which is obviously a still visual, we created a short, motion graphic video. The video said essentially the same thing that the infographic says, in fewer words but with music and motion. This was a great attention grabber on social media, and then people who wanted to could click through to view the entire infographic.

2. It breaks up the written content

Motion graphics break up the written content on a page too. Although adding pictures to our content is great, having an animation that we created in-house brings our content to another level. To go back to the AllTruckJobs’ motion graphics that I mentioned above, we put the same video we used on social media into a blog. Having this in the middle of a whole bunch of text about veterans in trucking gives readers a way to interact with what they are learning. In this way, we got multiple uses out of something we created specifically for social media. Although the animation video was pinned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for a few weeks, this blog is evergreen and will keep the video available to our audience for years to come.

3. Animation videos increase your audience reach

By far the biggest benefit to our content that we’ve seen since we started using motion graphic videos, and live video too, is the increase in audience reach on social media. On Facebook and Twitter, specifically, we see an insanely larger amount of reach and engagement from our followers than ever before. This increases not just visits to our pages but shares, getting our brand names more exposure. It works the same way on LinkedIn. In addition, having animation is giving us more incentive to reach new audiences on visual platforms, like Pinterest.

Are you using animation in your marketing? Share with us how animation adds value to content for your brand!

Track5’s Top Five: What We’re Thankful for in 2018

I know, I know. You’re probably rolling your eyes because this blog is another cheesy, “what I’m thankful for,” post the week of Thanksgiving. Sorry to disappoint you. Despite it being cheesy or cliché or whatever, we do have a lot to be thankful for as we reflect back on 2018. Some of it is serious and sappy. Others things we’re thankful for are lighthearted and fun. Then there are a few that are strictly business. We kept the list short and sweet, but here’s what Track5 is thankful for in 2018.

Top Five Things Track5Media is Thankful for in 2018

Here are the top five things we as a company are grateful for this holiday season!

Opening a new office in Florida

what track5 is thankful for in 2018

The biggest thing that Track5 is thankful for in 2018 is our expansion into Florida. We just so happened to find lots of qualified developers in the Sunshine State so we had to open a second location there. Located on the Gulf Coast in St. Petersburg, we now have a team of seven people. We are grateful to have a solid team there working on our brands. We get to chat with them via our Slack chat service, and they’ll come up here and suffer the bitter Pennsylvania winter for our company Christmas party.

Creating new positions

Not only did we hire several new people, but we also created a few new, much-needed positions within our company. For starters, this year we added an executive administer to our team. This person is responsible for everything from keeping our snacks full to recruiting and hiring talent to accounting to keeping our company culture consistent across both offices. Little did we know that we’d find someone as sweet and fun as Aarin. She quickly became the cool, if “dad says no, ask mom,” office parent.

We also added Megan and Kelly to our team. They are our “make everything look pretty” people. Some kind of designers… none of us really know exactly how they do what they do, but we know that its added immense value to the content on our brands.

And last but definitely not least we have several web QA analysts who are working in newly created positions. These guys are amazing because they make sure that all of our websites function at the highest quality possible for our clients. They catch all of the things that the rest of us might miss, and they’re really good at it!

Increasing our staff

As you might have guessed from the previous two things we’re thankful for in 2018, we’ve increased our staff! We couldn’t have done this without a dedicated and strong sales team. Business is booming in our industries, especially in the trucking industry. This has kept everyone within the company on their toes, especially account management. It’s a good feeling when you see a company growing at such a steady pace. Most of the desks in our open office space are full! We hired nine new people in 2018, not to mention a few long-lasting interns. So many new, fun people… another thing Track5 is thankful for in 2018.

Watching our Track5 “babies” grow

what track5 is thankful for in 2018

Jillian, director of client accounts, is mom to baby Bryce. He comes to visit us on special holidays, such as Halloween.

We’re like a family here at Track5, so when anyone’s family grows, we consider it an addition to our own. This year we’ve been blessed to watch our two newest Track5-ers grow. Last year our company president had a son, baby Joaquín and our director of client accounts, Jill, had baby Bryce this year. The babies are just about seven months apart in age. We’ve also gained a couple pups and kittens. Oh, and we have a few weddings to look forward to in 2019!

The delivery service at Pat’s Pizzeria

Ok people. Don’t judge us. We work hard, we’re busy, and we get hungry. So, to say that our team members here at the Lancaster office use the delivery service at Pat’s Pizzeria frequently is an understatement. We’ve got them on speed dial. Their delivery driver’s car steers itself to our office. Why do we bother asking what we should order for lunch? Chances are that if no one has the time to run out, we’re getting Pat’s. Cheesesteaks. Salads. Club sandwiches. They’ve got it all. An office full of people with the same appreciation for food is another thing that Track5 is thankful for in 2018.

What are you most thankful for this holiday season? Now that we’ve poured our corporate heart out, feel free to do the same.

Track5Media to Participate in Startup Weekend Central PA

Do you have a business idea? Do you ever wonder what an experienced business owner such as Track5Media President Oliver Feakins would have to say about it? Well, here’s your chance to find out! Those of you with money-making ideas in Central Pennsylvania have the chance to pitch, collaborate, and learn from some of the best business owners in the area at Startup Weekend Central PA. On October 26-28, Track5Media President Oliver Feakins will be participating as a featured judge at the event, along with several other entrepreneurs, mentors, and coaches. The three-day event will take place at The Candy Factory, a co-working space in the heart of Downtown Lancaster. Lancaster, which is notorious for supporting startups and small, family-owned business owners, is the perfect backdrop for such an event. Here are three things you should know about Startup Weekend Central PA!

Three Things to Know About Startup Weekend Central PA

1.     What’s happening:

The event itself is a 54-hour startup crash course on starting your own business. It’s a chance for designers, developers, and entrepreneurs to get together for a “three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation,” according to the event’s website. The website also promises all the internet and coffee you can consume, so be sure to test that theory. Oh, and they’ll also feed you. Anyone with a business or product idea is encouraged to attend, and no experience is necessary. Over the course of the weekend, participants work in teams to pitch ideas, collaborate, learn, and eventually create a prototype of their business model by the event’s end. The event culminates Sunday afternoon when teams present their ideas to a panel of judges, who will decide on the winning team.

What can you learn from Oliver?

Startup Weekend Central PA with Oliver Feakins

Industry experts will act as speakers, judges, and mentors for the event. Luckily, with the event in downtown Lancaster, you get to hang out with some of the most successful business owners in the area. For the weekend, you can call our president Judge Oliver. Why should you care what he has to say? Well, for starters, he is the founder and president of Track5Media, a successful tech company in Lancaster that builds job board websites for niche industries. But that’s not all… He’s actually launched several start-ups over the years, won some awards, teaches Entrepreneurship at Millersville University and even runs his very own foundation, The Feakins Foundation, which is a non-profit which helps dreamers pursue their goals of a post-secondary education through college scholarships and guidance. So yeah, he’s a pretty cool guy and he knows stuff.

How do you sign up?

Are you still with me? If you have a business idea, you can spend all weekend tweaking it to reality with really smart, successful people like Oliver. Ok, good. So, how do you sign up? To participate, you have to buy tickets. However, you can use this special promo code – OLIVER10 – for a discount. Organizers say that plenty of space is still available, so don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Startup Weekend is an even that happens all over the country. There are three Startup Weekend events in happening in Pennsylvania this fall – Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh. Next weekend is the first time an event was held in Lancaster since 2015.

Top List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

The great thing about marketing for your own brands vs. being a marketer at an agency is that there is more leeway for trial and error than agency marketing. When you do marketing in-house and you come up with an idea that flops, you just switch gears and try something else. This year our marketing department spread its wings to try some different content formats. Our goal is to improve the solid content already on our websites. From enhancing our trucking podcast to using our podcast equipment to boost our other brands, we have a list of content formats that we tackled in 2018. Some flopped, some soared, but in all of them, we learned something to improve for next time. Check out what we’ve been working on!

Beyond Blogging: The List of Content Formats Track5 Tackled in 2018

For those of you who don’t know what Track5 does – we build job board websites for niche industries like trucking and healthcare, and then we market our own brands. We currently have four healthcare brands, a trucking brand, and then a trucking podcast. Here’s the list of content formats we used this year so far!

1. Top 10 Destination Video – AlliedTravelCareers

The most recent content we completed was a video for our brand AlliedTravelCareers. This brand really needed some love. It’s one of our newer brands, and social media engagement is a struggle. We had to brainstorm – what information do we have specifically tied to our website can we use to engage people socially? Naturally, we went for the travel aspect of our website and created a video highlighting the top 10 destinations where we have the most jobs available for allied workers. We made a video and did social snippets for a few weeks counting down to the #1 destination. Overall, engagement increased on our website! Our link building campaign surrounding the video was slightly less successful, but at least our brand name is out there and people were talking about it more than before.

2. How to Become a Travel Nurse Resource – TravelNurseSource

About a year ago we sat down and brainstormed how we could create an additional resource on our website that would step by step show people how to become a travel nurse. We looked at what already existed on the internet and in print. From there, we figured out what we could create that would give us a competitive edge. We interviewed people throughout the industry, came up with ways to make it downloadable and engaging, added video, and so much more. This project is currently in the final design stages and will go on our site early next year. The guide is a 10-chapter resource of evergreen content that will hopefully build us links for years to come.

3. Expert interviews in our industries – AllPhysicianJobs

Across all of our brands, we started doing industry interviews. We pick someone who has a prominent voice in the industry and do a recorded phone interview with them. This not only helped to give us a more trustworthy voice in our industry, but it created a new content format on our websites – audio. One interview in particular, on AllPhysicianJobs, highlighted a very emotional topic – physician suicide. This interview was not only relevant, but it’s something that often goes unreported. It is very personal to the audience we are trying to target. Plus, it’s interesting to everyone, not just doctors! Give it a listen!

4. Trade show podcast promotion – BigRigBanter

We launched our podcast about a year and a half ago, and so far, so good. There have definitely been a few bumps in the road, but overall the podcast has gathered a solid listening audience. We cover all kinds of trucking topics, from how to find love on the road to more serious subjects like sex trafficking in the trucking industry. This year, for the first time, we attended a large event in Dallas, TX called the Great American Trucking Show. We got interviews on-site with all kinds of people, talked to truck drivers, and were really able to promote our podcast through photos, audio, and video. When we got back, we put all of those interviews into an episode that turned out really cool. There were so many voices from the trucking industry in it, which hopefully attracted new audiences.

5. Niche Infographic

Of course, infographics made our list of content formats. We’ve made several infographics over the years for all of our brands. Currently, we are working on one that recognizes veterans in the trucking industry. We’re not talking about people who’ve been in the industry for a long time – we’re talking about soldiers coming home who seek careers in trucking. This project is cool because we got to interview a few of the trucking companies we work with to highlight their veteran-hiring programs. We also did some digging into our own site and found out exactly how many companies we work with that focus on hiring military. Not only does this infographic target a specific audience and use our proprietary information, but it includes some big names in the industry and has a very personal message to it. It will be live around Veteran’s Day, so be sure to check it out!

So, there you have the list of content formats we tackled so far in 2018. Are you interested in learning about content marketing? Check out our available marketing internships!

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Track5Media | Lancaster Tech Company

Imagine walls painted bright green and burnt orange; a long row of salty delicious snacks lined up in the kitchen; the constant aroma of coffee drifting across the room and Throwback Thursday ‘90s music playing quietly from Spotify. That’s me setting the scene of the Track5Media office space. Let’s talk more about the snacks. We don’t just get free coffee and breakfast bars – we have small bags of Lays chips, Goldfish, Doritos, breakfast sandwiches, and every once in a while, unique treats. This month it’s Mochi ice cream. Who knew Japanese ice cream could trigger such endless conversation in a typically quiet, focused group of workers? It’s so good. It’s too cold on my teeth. What’s the chewy covering on the outside? Our curiosity about Mochi is probably equivalent to your questions about our Lancaster tech company – what are they creating in there? What do they do exactly? Are they a media company? Luckily for you, I’m here to tell you the top five things you didn’t know about Track5Media but always wondered.

Top Five Things You Didn’t Know About Track5Media

Lancaster tech company

Here are the five things you didn’t know about Track5Media, from what we do to where the company’s name came from!

1. We build lead generation websites and market our own brands

I think there’s some confusion about what exactly Track5Media does. Despite the name of the company, we are not a media company. We are also not a marketing agency. We are, in fact, a technology company that builds lead generation websites. In simpler terms, we build job board websites for niche markets. For example, TravelNuseSource.com is a job board that nurses can use to find available jobs that are posted to the site by our clients (healthcare agencies). Although we are heavy in marketing, we are marketing our own brands and do not sell our marketing services. All of our in-house marketing is focused on making our websites stronger to benefit our clients. Our goal is to drive traffic to our websites so that we can help hiring agencies to find solid leads.

2. We have two locations… and they’re both awesome for different reasons

Track5Media is a Lancaster tech company, and our headquarters remain on the west side of Lancaster City. However, this summer we opened a second location in St. Petersburg, Florida. Both locations are awesome for several reasons. Lancaster is great because that’s where the awesomeness all began. Most of our employees are still in Lancaster, and the location is surrounded by beautiful parks, eclectic restaurants, and the unique and culture of Lancaster County. If you enjoy hiking, nature, small cities, and a more laid-back atmosphere, Lancaster’s the place to be. The St. Petersburg location, on the other hand, is awesome because it’s close to the beaches, and the backbone of our team (all of our developers) work there! We literally couldn’t exist without our Florida co-workers. If you’re drawn to pristine waters, sandy beaches and a lively nightlife – check out St. Pete!

Lancaster tech company

3. Track5Media employees are spoiled… and we know it

To work for Track5Media is to be spoiled. And I don’t mean because they pay us to work there. I hope your company does too! What I mean is, as well as the snacks, we get several team outings throughout the year, such as trips to Hershey Park and happy hours. We have pizza parties. Some of us even get to travel for work, like our annual trip to Dallas, TX. Our CEO does annual reviews with each of us, which includes a lunch date with him. We also have exceptional benefits, like health insurance covered by the company! Yes, you read the right. I told you we are spoiled.

4. We win awards and cool stuff like that

Did you know that Track5Media is on the Inc. 5000 list for 2018? That’s right! We are not only one of the fastest-growing Lancaster tech companies, but we are one of the fastest in the nation!

5. The name Track5Media has no fun story behind it…

All this bragging about how great we are – I’d like to tell you that there’s this really cool, deep, meaningful story behind the name Track5Media. There’s not. The company’s founder, Oliver Feakins, just thought it sounded cool and decided to name his company that.

So, there you have it –  some fun facts about the Lancaster tech company. What are other things you didn’t know about Track5Media? Ask us in the comments below!

Track5 Takes on Philly | Marketing Attends Digital Summit 2018

Sometimes, the most valuable thing you take away from traveling to a business conference isn’t industry related – sometimes it’s the connections you build with your team members, and the shared experience of going into it together. This week our marketing team traveled from Lancaster to Philadelphia for the Digital Summit marketing conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

There’s only three of us in the marketing department, and we spend 40 hours a week at work. So basically, we spend more time together than we do with our families, significant others or friends. Yet, were rarely spend that time getting to know each other or doing what some would call “team building.” This week, we were able to do both – grow professionally while learning more about each other. As a result, we have returned with new knowledge and as a stronger team!

With that said, here are four highlights of our trip to Philly and the top three things we learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference!

Four Highlights of Our Trip to Philly

1. We explored the city

city scene - digital summit marketing conference

Philadelphia is notorious for its mural art and breathtaking architecture. But it doesn’t have the nickname of Filthadelphia for no reason… there’s lots of trash on the streets, and sadly, many homeless people who are struggling. Luckily, we were able to admire some art and feed a few of the less fortunate while we were in town. It was fun just to stroll through the neighborhoods and check things out together.

2. We got to hang out in a casual setting

team photo - digital summit marketing conference

Our team enjoyed a few drinks at BRÜ Craft & Wurst. From left to right: Lenay, Troy, and Margaret

There’s something to be said about a casual happy hour with your coworkers. Want to try my beer? Ew, that one is gross. I like mine better. Seated outside on a busy, Center City street, we people watch. A group of drunk college girls stumbles by, one snacking on her leftover pizza right out of the box. This triggers story time… “I remember when I was in college… ” You learn a lot about your coworkers when you break free from the office walls. And it feels good to laugh and relate on a personal level after a long day of work and travel.

3. We ate some delicious food

We may have many differences, but thankfully, we all like Italian food. Not to rub it in or anything, but we ate pretty well on our work trip…

food - digital summit marketing conference

Maggiano’s Center City Philadelphia

4. We learned a lot at the Digital Summit marketing conference

Just to be clear, we didn’t only eat, drink and gossip on this trip. We also learned a lot and shared an incredible experience networking with thousands of other people in our industry. I’ll admit it. We nerded out a bit and got excited about trending digital marketing topics.

With that said, here are the top three take-a-ways I learned at the Digital Summit marketing conference:

Top Three Take-a-Ways from the Digital Summit Marketing Conference

1. There are always new tools emerging for marketers

The two most helpful tools I learned about at the conference were related to SEO and page design. The first tool I learned about was an additional plug-in for Yoast that tells you what blogs you already have on WordPress that might be related to the one you’re currently writing. The plug-in lists these blogs on the right side as you’re typing, which is great in helping you create internal links. I can see this tool being especially helpful for people who are new to the marketing team. For example, our interns don’t necessarily know everything we’ve written about in the past.

Another tool I learned about, which would be extremely helpful for all of our brands is tinypng.com. It is a website that compresses your images so that the file size isn’t so big. Large images often slow down page load time, but yet you don’t want to alter the size and distort the image. This tool reduces the image file size without compromising its quality.

2. Talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you

Sometimes people say the simplest of things, and yet a reminder of something so basic can change everything. For example – talk to your consumers the way you wish businesses would talk to you. One speaker pointed out that there’s probably a pizza shop in every town that is advertising as “the world’s best pizza.” We don’t believe those signs, right? Then why would we market to our audience that way? Think about how to deliver a message to your fans that is authentic, sincere and still incentivizes them to use your brand. This thought process can also be applied when emailing prospects for link building. Don’t shoot them a basic email with a weak sale. Talk to them like you would your friend, and see how far your authenticity will take you.

3. Don’t forget to work on yourself

The third and most memorable take-a-way from this year was something related to soft skills. Across the board, I think this is the most important thing we could all improve upon – time management and productivity. The final keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, is notorious for compiling and explaining various research on timing. A best-selling author of several books on behavioral science, he raised some really good points. For example, he asked, what point in our workday are we most alert? Then, what type of work are we doing during that time? He broke it down for us. Most people have three stages to their day: a peak, a trough and a recovery. What does that mean? Basically, you’re sharpest in the morning and at night, with a lull midday. Sounds familiar, right? According to Pink, you should do your analytical work in the morning (that means stop checking emails right when you get to work!), do your administrative tasks when you’re in your trough stage and do your insightful or creative projects last.

Pink - Digital Summit Marketing Conference

Best-selling Author Daniel Pink was the Keynote Speaker at the Digital Summit marketing conference.

Were you at the digital summit? What did you learn? Share with us in the comments below!

Skills Marketers Need to Kill It This Year

When I tell people that I work in marketing, I usually expand on that with a generic explanation like, I write blogs, website content, and manage social media for several brands. Immediately I get a response along the lines of, “so, you get paid to play around on the internet all day?”

Yes. Sort of. But not really.

Marketing isn’t as simple as it sounds, and it’s probably one of the most undervalued but cultivating tech careers out there. Believe it or not, websites don’t just magically show up on the first page of a Google search, and the information you’re reading online isn’t all written by robots. So, with that said, here are the skills marketers need to kill it this year!

Top Six Skills Marketers Need to be Successful

skills marketers need

1. You should be good at reading people

When you’re trying to lead people to your brand, you have to be good at knowing their triggers. In other words, you have to understand who your audience is and what they want. Marketing is often the process of leading someone on a personal journey to where they finally decide on your brand. That’s why reading people and building relationships is one of the most important skills marketers need to kill it this year.

2. You should be even better at communicating with them

Once you understand who your audience is, the next step is knowing exactly how to communicate with them to get them to do what you want them to. Keep in mind that there are many forms of communication – emails, blogs, newsletters – are all written forms. But there are also other ways to communicate with your audience such as videos, podcasts, and infographics.

3. Technology is your best friend

Technology is your best friend if you want to kill it in marketing going forward. Technology is constantly evolving and so should your technical skills! If you don’t know how to make a video or take a stellar photograph, take a class. If you’ve never recorded and edited audio (like in a podcast) try it out! Also keep in mind how technology works, and how your audience might be using it. For example, it’s not enough to think of keywords in the context of a Google search. You now have to consider that your audience is asking Alexa or Siri questions about where to find travel nursing jobs or the highest paying trucking positions.

4. Content creation is key… so you better be creative

Just because technology is taking over doesn’t mean that some good, old-fashioned writing skills can be tossed to the side. Writing and content creating is still one of the key skills marketers need. In fact, blog writing is getting more and more technical and competitive. It’s not enough to write a fluff piece of 500 words and slap it online. Now, research, interviews and in-depth content is killing it. This means that you better be creative if you want to succeed as a marketer. Like I said above, it’s also very important to think of content creation outside of the written medium.

5. It’s your job to make boring data interesting

Data… statistics… zzz.

Let’s face it. Numbers can be extremely boring, especially for creative writers and those artsy types that are typically drawn to marketing careers. However, data is powerful, especially if it’s specific to your brand. It’s your job as a marketer to pay attention to granular details and find a way to use it to your advantage. Yes, this might mean working with numbers. I know, you’re rolling your eyes. However, with the right presentation even the dullest of data can be interesting.

6. If you’re lazy… bye!

If you don’t want to work hard and fast, don’t pursue a career in marketing. This is an industry that is technology driven, constantly changing and requires monitoring, adapting, and commitment. So, basically, if you’re lazy… bye! Laziness, or the ability to half-ass projects, is not one of the skills marketers need to kill it this year.

What do you think are some of the top skills marketers need to be successful? Share with us in the comments below!

How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

Full disclosure: Before I accepted my position as a content marketer at Track5Media, I was a reporter. Now that I’ve crossed to the other side, I have to be the pesky marketing person harassing the media. It’s quite an adjustment. After a year into my marketing position, though, I’m realizing how much of a benefit it is to have both a marketing and journalism perspective. From my commitment to fact checking to my awareness of how press releases are received and perceived, I see how my time as a journalist shapes me as a marketer. I’m not special. Lots of journalists are making the transition in their careers from journalism to marketing. I know that the skills I brought with me, I’m also competing with in this industry. With that said, I realize that my experience is still valuable to those who haven’t been frantically looking for a story on a Friday afternoon. Here are some tips (from my perspective as a reporter) on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Five Tips on How to Write a Press Release that Journalists Won’t Ignore

how to write a press release

Are you tired of writing press releases and sending them but not getting any news coverage? Here are five tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore.

Target the right reporters

It’s not enough just to write a press release and blast it out through one of those fancy distribution websites. I mean –  do that –  but also think about how to target the right media. Is there someone locally you know who covers the industry you work in? Is there a specific magazine or industry newsletter that might be interested in your news? It’s always best to target the right audience.  a personal copy of your release.

Get their attention

Make sure you have a catchy subject line when you email them. Look at some recent articles that they wrote, and consider the language or phrases they used. Make your subject line sounds like something they would write.

Make them care

Just because something is exciting to you and your company, doesn’t mean it’s exciting to everyone else. That’s why if you want to know how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore, you have to think about what makes it to interesting to other people. Construct your press release with that thought in mind. You already care. That’s why you’re making the announcement. Your job, however, is to convince other people that they should care too.

Give it to them straight

Consider the five W’s – who, what, where, when and why. Make sure your press release answers all of those questions and then some. Make sure you give them all of the details and that they’re accurate. For example, if you forgot to write a press release about a new hire and it’s six months later, don’t try to tweak the content so that it seems like it just happened. There’s nothing more frustrating for a journalist than to be fed old news.

Follow up

The most important part of how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore is to follow up. You can do everything right, but at the end of the day, reporters are busy. They’ve got many others just like you sending them story tips and press releases, and they have an editor yelling at them to make a deadline. Even though they might be interested, your outreach could be lost in their inbox. Send them a follow-up, or even give them a call! Sometimes having a friendly conversation on the phone will help you to stand out above the rest.

Do you have any additional tips on how to write a press release that journalists won’t ignore? Share with us in the comments below!

Stop Creating Content Just to Create Content

Do you ever find yourself using extra words in a blog just to get to your word count? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the content we create and what exactly makes it valuable. It seems like as marketers, we throw these arbitrary numbers out there – all blogs should be at least 500 words or Google likes content that’s closer to 1,000 words or briefer blogs are better because people have shorter attention spans these days. But what about… write until you’ve made your point and then stop? Stop creating content just to create content.

Stop Creating Content Just to Create Content – Four Things to Consider

stop creating content just to create content

  1. Who is your audience?

In order to stop creating content just to create content, first, consider who your audience is. Once you have a topic selected, how much background do you need to include for your readers? Do they prefer technical writing or a fluffier piece? What questions do they have, and how do you plan to answer them in your content? With your audience in mind, you can better decide what information to include, what to cut and how to construct your copy.

  1. What is the purpose of your content?

Next, you need to ask yourself what is the purpose of your content? Although you know the basics – to write SEO content for your website that Google can crawl but that also engages readers – what else are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get your audience to perform an action once they read your content? If you put yourself in their shoes, what could you say to compel them to do what you want them to?

  1. Did you get your point across?

Next, ask yourself – did you get your point across? Often times I find myself at the end of writing a blog thinking – I believe I said everything I can say about this subject. However, sometimes I’m still not on my word count. So, I go back through the blog and I add extra words or fluff sentences to make my content longer so that I don’t get in trouble. I’m guessing I’m not the only one…

This is a terrible idea.

I know I need to stop creating content just to create content, and so do you. If you can justify a shorter or longer piece than what you are required, be confident in that decision and just go with it. Even if your manager disagrees, chances are, your readers will thank you.

  1. Is your copy compelling?

The last question I think is critical – is your copy compelling? Or another way to word this… is your content boring? If you were bored writing it, chances are people won’t want to read it. Not only do you have to get your point across and include a call-to-action, you also need to be creative. Don’t be the person who has a catchy headline and then puts people to sleep with a boring, long blog that basically says, “I’m writing this so that I get paid.” How can you engage your reader as much as possible every step of the way?

stop creating content just to create content

In a previous life, before I entered the colorful world of marketing, I was a journalist. Perhaps it is that old-school journalism training that has me brainwashed into thinking you should get your point across as fast and creatively as possible. Or maybe that’s just fake news. Either way, I hope I gave all you fellow marketers out there something to think about next time you sit down to write. With that said, I’m going to stop creating content just to create content now. You’re welcome.