Ever since Al Gore invented it (Gore didn’t, Vint Cerf is the Father of the Internet) the web has proven a powerful and important part of our lives and our economy. Chances are the paths to success on marketing your company, campaign, or organization online have eluded you.
Don’t feel bad. This is why companies like The Rocket Group exist – to help you.
I was there in the late 1990’s when the internet first became a popular means of marketing and since our founding in 2001, awesome and affordable web design and development has been a strong foundation of our business.
Web design is a powerful and important part of business and the current economy. The Rocket Group is here in Jefferson City, Missouri to help business, causes, and campaigns like yours launch successful stories through powerful websites.
When you hire The Rocket Group, you will get an original website (no templates or clip art here) that’s easy for you to manage. The websites we build are search engine optimized, responsive on mobile devices, and integrated with your social media marketing and interactive online content.
You can see our portfolio of web design, below.
We normally work with content management systems like LightCMS but we also offer service for WordPress, Drupal, Ektron, Business Catalyst or any other system you prefer. Whether you need a one-page brochure website or a large enterprise website, we can build it.
Our services don’t stop there. Once your site is complete, we can train your team on how to use your new website, and we also offer ongoing website maintenance.
Let’s launch your website success story today!
Creativity Is Not A CommodityGus Wagner - Comment (0)
Here at The Rocket Group the office television is often tuned to MLB Network in the background. I’ve come to the conclusion, based on the commercials, the entire network is paid for by our competitors. Commercials for bulk printers, clip art graphic design, template website, and even social media management companies fill the airwaves between pitches.
These are what we refer to as commodity marketing companies. It’s simple point-and-click-add-a-widget-without-a-creative-thought design. While this approach may work for some efforts and businesses it is not business we are interested in working on.
I spent in almost a decade in and around manufacturing so I know how widgets are made on assembly lines. There is actual little thought which goes into the processes on the line as it is usually all automated by that time.
You can do the same thing to market your company, organization, or campaign – which probably consumes your every waking moment and thought – by buying products from services mentioned above. If you are not interested in taking a creative and original approach to your marketing then you are probably not interested in standing out from your competition.
These commodity marketing services may help you but it is more likely they will grab your money and run. You will be left with an inferior marketing product.
What you need is a real live marketing professional, like ourselves or any of thousands across America, who will look you in the eye, walk your floors, and work with you to develop a brand, a message, and graphic tools for the web and the real world which will connect with the audiences you are trying to attract and retain.
These tools, developed in a partnership with you, will help you succeed in making money, raising awareness, and dominating your market.
If you need creative services for your efforts, contact us or any other marketing professional.
If you need clip art which is probably being used by hundreds of other businesses like yours, then watch the MLB Network to see the companies you should call during every commercial break.
How to Easily Work with Video in Your MarketingGus Wagner - Comment (0)
One of our favorite things to do when blogging for ourselves it to add a video element to the content. You can see the videos which go with many of our blog pieces on marketing on our YouTube channel, throughout our Blog page, and even with this post.
You can do the same thing to increase the opportunity for potential customers to find you. Video works to help you get found and to establish yourself as a topic expert online.
You’re watching and reading this page right?
Video is a key component of search engine marketing and with the rise of mobile devices, visitors are more likely to watch you talking about your topic than read the words you write. The reason: YouTube is the second largest search engine online.
Yes, Google does own YouTube but the video platform still performs remarkably well separate from its mothership.
Creating content may also seem like a burden but video makes production even easier. Video also gives you another form of content to publish and share through your social and other communication channels.
And it’s simple to do.
Yes, we do make high end video productions and we have access to all the cameras, lights, and tools of the trade we need to do so. For these blog videos, we prefer to use a simple Flip cam, tripod, and white board set up. You can emulate our set up from the photo below.
You can’t even see the safety net!
The one thing not pictured in this photo which you will need is trust in yourself.
You have to exude confidence in the topic you are discussing to make yourself believable to your audience. Practice makes perfect so run through a couple of presentations on video then watch and learn from them. You will see your bad habits and tics (or your wife/husband/coworkers will when you show your work to them) and you will be able to iron the wrinkles out before you post anything on YouTube.
Another thing to remember is to not worry if you don’t go ‘viral’ or even get 1,000 views. It only takes one customer or prospect seeing your video presentation to cover your overheard and make a profit on doing video blogs this way.
Still have questions? Drop us a line anytime and we’ll be glad to help you get started on producing your own video content!
*When using our Flip cams. It’s much more involved when we bring the big toys out to work!
Drive Them To Your WebsiteGus Wagner - Comment (0)
We talk a lot about social media here at The Rocket Group. That is because there is still an enormous learning curve taking place every day with the platforms of social. All business marketers recognize that social does not stand alone as the only marketing tool. All of your marketing tools should be used to drive audiences to your website.
In olden days, businesses were never reliant on their phone number being listed in the phone book. They supported their brand name and product with newspaper, direct mail and electronic media. Those tools are still used (and we still develop for them) in conjunction with social media to drive audiences to the point of purchase: your storefront or your website.
You should never put all of your marketing budget into one egg in your business communications basket. Businesses, organizations, and campaigns should still invest in the tools which work best to reach their target demographic. It will never exclusively be one method of communication.
Driving your audience to your website also means you get the chance to encourage them to sign up for your email list (ahem, up to the right at the top of this page, ahem) and once you have that you have an almost complete relationship with your customer. If they have Liked you on Facebook, followed you on Twitter, and signed up for your emails there isn’t much left for you to do to connect with them digitally.
Or is there?
Now the hard work begins of publishing consistent and valuable content which will keep them from unsubscribing or unfollowing you. Focus on creating content which can be used in different formats across your digital communications. Make a post to your blog then format the message correctly for posting to Facebook, tweeting, and email so that the audience who sees it clicks your link and is driven to your website.
By keeping your connections strong and valuable to the customer and publishing as much social, print, and email content that is linked back to your website you will find yourself with a success story.
If we can help you launch that success story, please feel to contact us at any time!
Portfolio: Website for The Red BarnGus Wagner - Comment (0)The Rocket Group recently launched a website for local startup, The Red Barn.This local business is an events center for weddings, parties and meetings. While it is in the start up phase the clients wanted a site to highlight the natural beauty of the surroundings and to have a focal point for clients and prospects to contact them for details and reservations.Additional features of the site including a photo tour and details of the offered amenities are utilized by clients once they receive log in information from the owners of The Red Barn.For this site we provided original photography, web design and development, email management and hosting services.This site is optimized for efficiency across multiple devices and is produced in a simple one-page format.For more information on launching a success story for your website, feel free to contact us at anytime!
Jefferson City Social MediaGus Wagner - Comment (0)Our 2014 Social Media classroom series here in Jefferson City, Missouri has taken off with flying colors…along with learning, sharing, problem solving, Likes, Shares, and Retweets.Join us for one, or all four, of the classes in this series to help your social media efforts be more successful. Hit the links below for information on what each course will cover and to register. All classes are held at The Space co-working complex here in Jefferson City and begin at 3 PM and end at 5 PM.I won’t leave until all of your questions are answered!Gus Wagner is also available for private training sessions for individuals and groups as well as public and private speaking opportunities.
Classes in the past have included Social Media 101, Social Media 201, Facebook 201, Twitter 101, Twitter 201 and a session on Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube. We do have a second round of classes planned to take place before the end of 2014 as well.Classes from the past may be repeated again in the future if you demand it enough.Classes may be cancelled and refunded due to participation levels.
These classrooms are set up in a presentation format with open conversation and a hands on laboratory at the end of each one. I don’t leave until all of your questions are answered!A quick sample of the classroom set up and contentnSee Also:
Portfolio: Tobacco Is Not A VegetableGus Wagner - Comment (0)
Recently we completed a marketingnpackage for a first-time author, Tim O’Neill.
Tim has written a book about hisnlife’s journey and having to defend that journey at the pearly gates. The bookngoes by the awesome name of “Tobacco is Not a Vegetable.”
To promote the launch of the booknand to help drive recognition of Tim’s efforts to key audiences, we developed anSocial Media plan based on key quotes from the passages of the book andndesigned graphic images for Facebook page content. We also produced a couple ofninterview videos with Tim which can be seen here: http://youtu.be/o1JmhgOpSKA and http://youtu.be/Eh1ko8OHv_E
Highlights of this Facebookncampaign can be seen below. We were able to grown Tim’s audience from zero to ancouple of hundred by the end of the campaign, raise local media attention andndrive attendance to his book signings, and help him to peak in the top 2000 ofnbooks sales on Amazon.com.
We thank Tim for hiring us tonmanage his online success story and recommend the book to everyone as well.nCheck out TobaccoIsNotAVegetable.com for the Amazon sales site.
Get Your Name for ChristmasGus Wagner - Comment (0)
What do you want to findnunderneath your Christmas tree and what do you really need?
Now that all of the BlacknFriday’s and Cyber Monday’s are over. I would suggest you should ask Santa fornyour name. Well, at least your online one.
You have probably Googlednyourself before to see what the internet has to say about you but have you evernlooked up to see if your personal name (Gus Wagner for example) is available asna domain? Chances are it might be available and, if so, you should grab it nownas an investment in yourself.
Most registry services, we currently prefer GoDaddy, allow you to register your domain name for around $10 a year.nIt gets more affordable as you add years to your subscription as well.
Owning your own name also allowsnyou to have a truly personalized email address like, Farrah@FarrahFite.com ornsimilar. It’s the 21st century and you shouldn’t be using AOL, Gmail, or Outlook.com for your professional email address. TWEET THIS
What else can you do with yournpersonalized domain? You can create your own website about yourself and yournprofessional or personal achievements or you can point the domain to go to yournLinkedIn or Facebook account thereby making it easier for people to find you.
So unless you want your name tonbe owned by someone else with your name, or someone that just wants to own yournname, be sure to ask Santa for your domain for Christmas. TWEET THIS
Or just buy it for yourself!
Launching a Landing PageGus Wagner - Comment (0)
Crisp. Simple. On Message: Your quick guide to building a better landing page.
If you have a website, you’ve probably considered (or are already using) a landing page. When done correctly, a landing page is an effective tool for a business website. A good landing page helps you capture leads, build awareness and close sales.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a standalone page that’s distinct from your main site. Its purpose is to promote something very specific, like a workshop or new promotion, and to encourage the viewer to take a specific action.
How do you plan a new Landing Page?
First, keep in mind that a landing page is not meant to be a major source of information, like your homepage and the rest of your site.
1. Determine your promotion
What will your readers get, why do they need it and how much does it cost? Keep your promotion crisp, simple and on-message. Don’t give them more information than they need. In fact, the less copy you can use to get your message across, the better. If you need to, you can redirect them to more in-depth information by using embedded links in your text.
2. Create your call to action
Create a specific action for your customers to take, and place that call to action above the fold. In fact, if possible, keep all your content above the fold. What do you want them to do? Call, sign up or order right away? Make it easy for your customers by telling them exactly what to do.
3. Use vivid imagery
Images > Text. If you can show it instead of say it, do so. Always try to include some type of visual image to capture and retain interest. If you want to see what we mean, check out this collection of 40+ Best Landing Page Designs.
4. Be specific
Don’t be afraid to create more than one landing page for a single promotion. The more targeted you can get, the better! Do you use Facebook or have an email list? If so, create unique pages for each. It’ll also help you to track which of your marketing avenues are responsive to your landing page promotion.
5. Monitor your results
We use CampaignMonitor for our email marketing and they do a great job with landing page campaigns, too!
At The Rocket Group, we have a lot of experience building landing pages and we’re here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email. We’d love to help you build landing pages for your next campaign!
#LexPort15 Presentation Materials on Web Design and MarketingGus Wagner - Comment (0)
Thanks to the Missouri Bar for having us present on web design and web marketing at the #LexPort15 conference recently. Slides and video from the presentation are embedded below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below or use the contact link above to start the discussion!