November 27, 2017

Recap: Digital Summit Chicago 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:00 am

The Digital Summit series made its inaugural stop in Chicago this year. The 2-day digital marketing conference was filled with insights on digital, email and content marketing. Here are a few of my top takeaways.

Deep thoughts by Ann Handley…

The conference kicked off with an inspiring and entertaining keynote by content queen, Ann Handley of MarketingProfs, who encouraged us to be bigger, braver and bolder with our digital content. Ann talked about the importance of data, used in conjunction with listening and instinct. Your brand should be in a place where your customers or clients will say “They get us!”

She also emphasized that your story is the start of what sets you apart. She challenged us: what is the story everyone tells in your industry and how can you tell it differently?

Lastly, she suggested that we be braver in our perspective and tone of voice. Think about how you sound vs. how you look. How can you make the ordinary (about pages, landing pages, email confirmation pages) extraordinary?

Email is still king—but keep it simple

Nora Snoddy of Emma told us that ROI of email is double of all other channels, (so yes, you should be sending out those regular email campaigns). She said that including video and GIFs can lead to higher CTRs. And she also advised not to give people too many options, stick to a single call to action (using first-person, action verbs) and tell people exactly what you want them to do.

She encouraged us to use automated email campaigns, as well as using reminder emails as a way to increase sales.

A few of her recommendations were to monitor CTR increases between campaigns, as well as subscriber growth over a year. And, split test those subject lines!

Don’t create new content—reuse what’cha got!

One of my favorite sessions was from Ginger Shimp of SAP. The visual learner in me loved the content map she presented, as well as her easy system of creating and repurposing content.

Ginger recommended starting your content creation with the end product, say a whitepaper, and then versioning it into various other content pieces: blog, cast study, podcast, video, eBook, microsite, presentation, infographic, web documentary, just to name a few.

She also brought up the idea of creating a video whitepaper (Is anyone doing this already? Please share, I would love to see!) One of her recomendatons is

Make search work for you

Shana Sullivan of Vertical Measures spoke about how to make search work in this ever-changing time. A few things to avoid are:

  • Duplicate content
  • Slow page load times
  • HTML problems such as missing metadata or title tags
  • Bad (or not enough) backlinks
  • Poorly optimized images and videos
  • Thin content (too short blog posts)
  • Not being mobile-friendly

She also told us what people are actually searching for:

  • Cost/price comparisons
  • Problems/issues
  • Comparisons
  • Reviews
  • Best of/Top posts
  • Resources

And she recommended using Google Suggests and Keyword Tool to get keyword ideas before you start writing your content.

Prepare for the skim

Lorraine Goldberg of spoke about being data-informed, not data-driven when doing email marketing. Look at and analyze trends, web analytics, news, social intelligence, SEO as well as top subject line performers.

She emphasized preparing for “the skim” and creating content that stands out. She also encouraged thinking at the little things in people’s lives—what are their day-to-day challenges and how can you help. And most of all, stand for something!

Take it from The Onion…

One of the most entertaining sessions was from Joe Fullman of The Onion. In addition to sharing classic Onion moments, he spoke about the 3 Ds of content: design, distribute, develop.

He suggested to continually measure reach of each content type by network, make sure content is format-driven, and develop content to be derivative and modular, easily targeted to each audience.

Now, time to put it all to work!

Overall, my takeaways at Digital Summit were to make a plan with concrete goals, be bold and tell a unique story, create content that can easily be repurposed—and most importantly, stand for something.

April 3, 2017

A to Z of Design: A is for Alignment

Filed under: Design & Art,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — lidia @ 5:07 pm

A to Z of Design: A is for Alignment

Alignment is the positioning of text, images or design elements in a layout.

Items can be left-aligned (also called flush left), right-aligned (flush right), centered or justified (when text aligns on both left and right edges).

Justified text can cause strange gaps, so extra attention must be given to line breaks and spacing.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

April 9, 2016

A to Z of Branding: G is for growth

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 2:00 pm

A to Z of Branding: G is for growth

G is for growth

What happens to your branding when your organization grows or changes? Your branding needs to evolve along with it.

The first step is to do a “branding audit” to see which areas have changed. Review your organization’s target market/audience, service offerings, story, personality, and client outreach or community relations. Depending on how much has changed, you may be able to tweak your branding rather than doing a complete overhaul. However, if you feel that your purpose or “reason for being” has considerably changed, then a rebrand may be a better idea.

Follow along with the A to Z of Branding daily blog series here or on twitter at #AtoZBranding

July 7, 2015

35% off Chronicle Books + free shipping? Yes, please!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 12:35 pm


LOVE this time of year: Chronicle Books’ Semi-Annual Sale! Get 35% Off PLUS Free Shipping. Click this link and use code: FRIENDS

Happy Shopping!

Note: this is an affiliate link for Chronicle Books because I love them.

April 21, 2015

R is for repeat

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 10:00 am

A to Z of being a mom in business: a daily blog series

R is for repeatR is for repeat

I find myself repeating words or phrases to my toddler constantly. They say that this is one of the best ways for children learn and I agree.

I’ve also learned that you can apply this to small business by observing what other successful businesses are doing and “repeating,” or applying those concepts, to your own business.

What concepts or ideas do you “repeat?”

April 1, 2015

Would you read it: my children’s book pitch (eek!)

Filed under: Creativity,Uncategorized — lidia @ 3:15 pm

Would You Read It Wednesdays: Don't Pinch Me!

Some of you may know I’m a budding children’s book author-illustrator (see my self-published book City Kid: ABC here).

I recently submitted a children’s book pitch to Susanna Hill‘s weekly blog feature, “Would You Read It Wednesdays.” It’s an opportunity for writers to submit a pitch for a book they are working on and get valuable feedback and comments from the kid lit community.

Read my pitch for “Don’t Pinch Me!” here.

So… would you read it??

February 10, 2015

Rethink your plans

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 10:00 am

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do in the first place doesn’t mean it’s useless

February 3, 2015

Failure…or success?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 10:00 am

Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

January 27, 2015

Nonsense wakes up the brain cells

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 10:00 am

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells ... It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope… And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.

April 28, 2014

Your business’ greatest asset is its ability to connect people.

Filed under: Uncategorized — lidia @ 4:36 pm


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