Until Next Time…

The time has come for my Marketing internship to end. It’s bittersweet, yes, but it also brings a new beginning for other opportunities I can obtain to share my talents with. I have sharpened and gained skills at Blueforest Studios, which include social media, researching, and writing.

I had been an avid user of many social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram long before coming to Blueforest Studios, but there were elements of each outlet I did not take the time to understand. Check out the video for details on what I learned.

I simply thought the concept of social media was to post whatever crosses your mind and people would then see your post, but social media is definitely more than just posting. On some platforms (think Twitter) you might have to provide a hashtag or handle or two for people to find your post in order to engage with you.  There’s much more strategy involved than most people realize.

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I have learned a proper social media strategy involves:

  • Having engaging content to keep viewers interested
  • Knowing your audience and tailoring your posts to their interests
  • A superb description where you use (common) terms people can search
  • Using a handle to give a company/person recognition and using a hashtag in order to engage in a conversation about a timely topic or conference. Both handles and hashtags must be relevant to what’s being posted.

I now feel confident logging on to social media outlets and posting because I have acquired the necessary tools to make posts worthwhile. I will continue to learn more about social media through online networks and webinars.

Researching items came naturally to me. It’s a fascination of mine and is something I do on a daily basis, outside of work. During my time here, I have researched various topics ranging from the company’s brand as well as other companies to people.

Writing is much easier to do since I have had multiple writing opportunities at Blueforest Studios. My thought process is clearer and I write faster as well. I have broadened my social media skills and am aware of components of each platform which is necessary to use it properly. I  truly feel I am ready for any position in the mass communications field. Anything I don’t know, I definitely can learn.

I learned much more at Blueforest Studios, but social media, researching, and writing were the three skills I saw an immediate improvement in.

My ultimate goal is to become a Producer/Host. I love conceptualizing my ideas and creating masterpieces for people to enjoy whether it is through words or video or both. Before my departure at Blueforest Studios, I was required to create an exit project. Immediately, I thought to myself, “Why not make a video and star in it? It’s what I intend on doing with my life.”

Alas, my goodbye video was formed. I wrote, produced and starred in the piece while members of the Blueforest team assisted with shooting and editing the video. Check it out!

To the Blueforest team: Thank you for the opportunity to gain skills I didn’t have and hone skills I already had. Many thanks for exposing me to areas of focus that will benefit me in the long run. I will miss you. Goodbye is the new hello if you keep connected, which I certainly will.

 

 

Blueforest Inside Look Part 3

We’re at our final stop of the Blueforest Studios tour. This is the stop where the eyes and ears masterminds come together to create a knockout masterpiece for our clients. Prepare to meet some more of our video and audio team members!

Sean Riddle

Sean

The Fit Project Manager

Sean ensures all Blueforest projects remain on point and on schedule. He works with the sales team, video team, and clients to take a video from start to finish. You can find him in creative meetings, on the set, or busily sending emails from behind his computer.

According to Sean, the magnificent part of working at Blueforest Studios is never knowing what each day will bring. He likes the fact that no two days are alike.

Bryan Reklis & Vann Dwiggins

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The Friendly Video Producer & The On-The-Go Video Producer

Bryan and Vann are video making machines who diligently create top notch content for clients. The process of video production includes three parts: pre-production, production, and post-production.

During pre-production, Bryan and Vann brainstorm ideas, write scripts, and meet with clients to conceptualize and plan. For production, the two complete varying tasks from directing shoots or being a grip (which involves carrying, setting up and moving equipment around).

Post-production is when the pair fulfills duties such as capturing footage, managing data, editing footage,animating graphics, and playing the content with audio and music.

Bryan thoroughly enjoys editing video at Blueforest Studios.

“I especially love working with a good interview. I get engrossed in taking an hour long interview and turning it into a compelling 5-minute story,” he reflected, “I love to pour over the footage, listening to bits and pieces over and over until the story begins to emerge in my mind. After that, things start falling into place.”

Vann’s favorite part about working at Blueforest Studios?

“I like being out shooting in the field,” he said.

Dustin Painter & Donald Best

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The Avid Coffee Drinkin’ Audio Engineer & The Fashionable Audio Engineer

Dustin and Donald are the In-House Recording Engineers. The audio duo track voice-overs, hold client meetings, and occasionally go on set to record audio for projects.

Dustin says the finest part of working at Blueforest Studios is “there’s a lot of very talented, creative people and everybody gets along well.”

Similarly, Donald added, “I love everyone that works here. Everyone’s very awesome, really cool and super nice.”

Both Dustin and Donald enjoy the ability to be open and creative at Blueforest Studios as well.

Instagram Debuts Story Feature Of Its Own

Brendan_sm_blogWritten by Brendan Bello

If you are familiar with Snapchat stories, Instagram just introduced a similar service last week. It’s called Instagram Stories, a new feature that allows users to upload photos and videos up to 10 seconds to their feed.

InstagramSnapchat

Aside from the simple text option, users can draw on their stories via marker, highlighter, or neon options with a sizeable color palette. If they’re feeling fancy, they can swipe through a couple of basic filters. Once users are finished shooting and editing their videos or photos, they can select who can see their story and who can’t.

Instagram Stories stay live for 24 hours and are deleted unless the user saved them to their camera roll.

Instagram & Snapchat Features Breakdown

Instagram Stories

So far the feedback from our team and some marketers has been very positive.  We’ll have to wait more than a week to see how it will play out in the marketplace.  What’s your experience?

Blueforest Inside Look Part 2

As promised, our tour of Blueforest Studios continues. This stop will focus on some of our graphics and video team members as well as some of our current interns whose creative geniuses help spark Blueforest Studios.

Meet Emily Kohler

Emily Collage

The Laid-Back Illustrator+Animator

Emily provides animation and design components for clients’ projects at Blueforest Studios. This can include storyboarding, typography, motion graphics, character design, and 2-D animation. Every client has unique needs so Emily works diligently to create a different illustration or animation style to fit the needs of the video.

Regarding the best part of working at Blueforest Studios, Emily stated, “It’s rewarding to have to constantly keep on my toes with new styles and techniques to complete each new project as it comes in.”

Alana Selby
 
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The Crafty Tall Illustrator+ Marketing Assistant
 

Alana uses her nifty illustration skills to create material for content and images for Blueforest Studios’ social media pages using Adobe Suite products such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. She also lends a helping hand to the Marketing department.

Her favorite part about working at Blueforest Studios?

“I get to be super creative and I get to do my own thing and they (Blueforest Studios executives) trust me to make what I think is best and that’s really awesome.” she said.

 

Bennett Northcutt
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The Go-To Junior Intern
 

Bennett originally started out as a Finance intern in June 2015 and was slated to work for 135 hours. At the end of his term, Senior Vice President Kathy Langfield offered Bennett the opportunity to continue helping around the studio including with the sales team which he creates presentations and research leads for. Recently, Bennett has worked alongside Kathy to orient and welcome selected high school interns to Blueforest Studios. He refers to himself as the “go-to guy” for general tasks such as creating Google forms, working on a project agreement, or even occasionally fixing the printer.

For Bennett, the most terrific part about Blueforest Studios is the atmosphere and the people he gets to work with. “I feel as if I am part of the team and that my age is not a factor in how I’m treated,” he remarked.

“I like that my duties are constantly changing and that I get to do things like figuring out why a printer isn’t working,” Bennett continued, “I enjoy being able to contribute ideas in creative meetings and never feel afraid or discouraged from sharing my opinion or suggestion with Kathy or members of the team. In my opinion, you can’t find that in most places.”

He said among many other factors, the willingness of the Blueforest staff to accept teenage interns makes coming into Blueforest Studios daily something to look forward to.

Bennett recently graduated high school and will be moving on to attend UNC at Chapel Hill in August.

Kendra Jones
Kendra Collage
The Bubbly, Question Asking, Marketing Intern
 

Kendra was hired as a Marketing Intern in March 2016. Her daily tasks include writing blogs and press releases, researching various topics, looking up information about different companies to compile lists of potential contacts, posting content to social media, and researching and monitoring the brand’s online presence.

She has an open mind and is willing to learn any and everything about anything because she believes being multi-skilled is vital to succeeding in the workforce, regardless of what field one pursues.

Kendra loves the atmosphere, people, and the creative freedom Blueforest Studios allows. She also finds researching topics intriguing since she learns something new each time.

“I am able to write multiple materials with minor changes. The work I provide still has my voice and that’s very important to me. If I write something, I would prefer it to sound like I did.” she said, “I absorb and enjoy receiving feedback for completed tasks because it will help me grow as an individual.”

“I also like the fact that Blueforest Studios has a Planet Fitness aura,” Kendra added, “It’s a judgment free zone, just like the gym.”

Kendra’s internship will be coming to an end sometime in August. 

 

BtB Marketing – Raleigh Business-To-Business Marketing Agency

Not all marketing is created equal!  Some companies need straightforward pieces that convince consumers that their product solves their problem!  (Think about Bayer Aspirin Commercials). That’s not a simple task but good agencies can break down the problem and craft a campaign that will clearly communicate the solution to the consumer.  Then there are those who need to market to businesses which means that you’re generally selling to more than one type of person some type of complicated solution.  It’s not just the cheapest widget but the least expensive widget that solves a complicated problem and makes the decision maker look great.  If that’s your challenge and you need a holistic solution – BtB Marketing might be for you.

On this week’s “Kimberly’s Corner”, Associate Creative Director of BtB Marketing Josh Adams sits down with Kimberly Corrigan and briefly discusses what BtB Marketing does and what sets them apart.

BtB Marketing is a full-service, business-to-business, integrated marketing agency in Raleigh offering integrated marketing services to companies and businesses who want to market to other businesses.

The messages BtB Marketing provide are not the same as a standard marketing agency. Their messages are more factual, data driven, and less appealing to emotion.

What makes Btb Marketing special is that they’re “one of the few agencies in the area that focus on business to business specifically in the technology space,” according to host Kimberly Corrigan.

To learn more about Btb Marketing, check out their website here.

Facebook, YouTube and Video Marketing

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Video and marketing go hand in hand for promoting an idea. Social media outlets are a common place for businesses and professional marketers to advertise and popularize their content.

According to MediaPost, Animoto, a video creation service, conducted a social video report which says “nearly 2/3 of marketers are planning to incorporate video in their campaign for the coming year.”

Small and medium-sized businesses alike are embracing the integration of video in social media.

CEO of Animoto Brad Jefferson says social media video is a must-have for any size company and “small businesses are not far behind,” when it comes to using videos for marketing on social media especially since video distribution on social media is affordable and convenient.

Even though there are other social media outlets such as Snapchat and Instagram, Facebook still remains the top used platform for marketing among professional marketers and small businesses. YouTube is the second popular marketing platform.

Kathy Langfield, SVP of Blueforest Studios states: “We have found that Facebook offers an easier point of entry for the small business.  It’s so easy to upload a video that is professionally produced or shot on a phone and then Facebook makes it very easy to create a paid campaign to promote the video.  Really anybody can do it.  We have not seen the direct ROI with Facebook video but there’s no doubt that it’s getting results for B to C businesses who use it effectively.”

The social media video report also predicts YouTube will see the most growth in paid video promotion by small business owners and Instagram will see the most growth among professional marketers.  Langfield also mentioned that; “YouTube is far more effective at reaching audiences that are interested in your service or product but the YouTube algorithm can be more difficult for the amateur user to master so it can make small business people reluctant to use it.  There is also an expectation that videos found through search or paid placement on YouTube are going to be more polished professional videos.”

As the social media video world keeps advancing, both businesses and professional marketers will continue to evolve their strategies and figure out which platforms are the best for marketing.

Which platforms are you using to market your company or your brand?

Matchmaker for Nonprofits

Oftentimes, many nonprofits may not have the ability to acquire enough sponsors for their various events and activities. This week’s “Kimberly’s Corner” features a company which links nonprofits with those sponsorship opportunities from local and national corporations.

Kimberly Corrigan recently spoke with Megan Hennay, Strategy Manager of ZipSprout. ZipSprout works directly with corporations seeking marketing and sponsorship opportunities, serving as a matchmaker service between corporate sponsors and the local nonprofits.

To learn more about ZipSprout and what they do, check out their website https://zipsprout.com/

Facebook is Downgrading Business and Media Posts

if you rely on Facebook primarily for news from businesses and media outlets, you might have to scroll further. Facebook has made a change to its news feed algorithm regarding the hierarchy between user posts and posts from businesses and media outlets.

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Posts from Facebook users’ family and friends are now prioritized over those from businesses and media outlets. This means people will see posts from their friends at the top of the news feed and content from businesses and media outlets will show up less predominantly. The change comes after Facebook’s recent struggle with a decline in personal sharing on its platform.

According to the Huffington Post, a recent report from the Pew Research Center has found 44% of Americans get their news from Facebook, which is a bit over 142 million people.

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WRAL and Triangle Business Journal posts and a picture of sunset shared by WRAL

As a result of the update, the traffic of posts from the pages of businesses and media companies will likely decline, especially for those places that depend on Facebook primarily to reach its audience. However, the change will have less of an impact if most of a companies’ traffic comes from users sharing and commenting on its content.

Nevertheless, if one of your Facebook friends share a business or media outlet’s post, you will see it at the top of your news feed because the content was posted by a connection.

Posts from businesses and media outlets are not being eliminated; they are simply being pushed down so that video of your niece or picture of your best friend’s new hairstyle will not be missed. After all, Facebook was established with the notion and priority of connecting people with friends and family.

What kind of posts are you seeing on your news feed now?

This is what we are seeing on ours:

 

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Posts about a dog and rabbits

Have you noticed the change?  Do you care?  Share your comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Network and Play with Atlantic BT

Kimberly Corrigan is the host of “Kimberly’s Corner,” an ongoing mini-series which aims to showcase fun events local businesses are holding or inform the public about what services the businesses offer in general.

This “Kimberly’s Corner” features Eric, Senior Solution Account Executive, of Atlantic BT. Atlantic BT is a web design firm that specializes in various areas of digital development including designing websites and cloud applications. Atlantic BT classifies itself as “digital problem solvers.”

One of the many cool events happening at Atlantic BT is Thirsty Thursdays, a free event where, on select Thursdays through September, business individuals network with the Atlantic BT staff all while eating free food and playing games.

Cornhole competitions are a featured activity at Thirsty Thursday. Individuals form teams and supply a donation. Items are also raffled off for a donation. The purpose of the event is to support charities “near and dear” to Atlantic BT’s employee’s hearts.

Atlantic BT’s next Thirsty Thursday is on July 14th. To register, check out their website http://content.atlanticbt.com/thirsty-thursday.

The Key To Creating A Memorable Story

Brendan_sm_blogby Brendan Bello

 

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The best way to convey a message is through memorable storytelling.

At the Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar in June, Blueforest’s very own Ammon Ehrisman taught the essentials of every memorable story.

After welcoming many people of various nonprofit organizations, Kimberly Corrigan opened the seminar by introducing herself and Blueforest Studios. Ammon followed suit and had everyone introduce themselves, briefly explain what they do, and what kind of message they wanted to convey using the tools the seminar would give them. To get into the creative mindset, everyone read a paragraph from a legal document and then watched a few short video clips including the story of The Good Samaritan as told by children and a commercial by Southwest Airlines.

Storytelling Seminar

While the attendees were preoccupied watching the videos, Ammon drew a picture of the brain to show what parts were used in reacting to the document and the videos and committing them to memory. He illustrated how only a few select portions of the brain lit up when reading the legal document compared to when watching the video clips. Ammon explained that audiences are able to form a memory when more parts of the brain are activated, in this case, during the videos which conveyed a clear message and story, but not the legal document because it lacked a story and contained perplexing vocabulary.

The objective of the seminar became to find the essential elements of a memorable story. After a round of excellent answers, everyone narrowed the key essentials down to the character(s), their values, and a threat to those values. In the story of The Good Samaritan, the main character is ambushed and beaten by bandits while traveling. Travelers of his own religion pass by him and do not help him, but the Samaritan, someone from another religion helps him and takes care of him. Despite the threat to his own values, the Samaritan helped the beaten man.

To practice, Ammon lets everyone choose one of their own messages which they could apply the storytelling elements. One woman, from White Memorial church, wanted to convey a message for her stewardship campaign, called “A Time to Discern.” Another person told their story of how they were inspired to donate to their church because one of their friends is wealthy yet is always the first to volunteer, host fundraisers in their own home, and serve their church. The woman from White Memorial Church thought it was a great example and said she would try to find a similar instance in her own church.

Ammon concluded the seminar by sharing his own personal story of how he became a director even though he was discouraged to go into the field as a young man. Walking away from the seminar, everyone gained a valuable understanding of crafting an engaging and memorable story.