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Start Now on Your 2015 Marketing Plan

Kayti Christian

Businessman drawing marketing concepts

 

While January may be wrapping up, it is not too late to make a list of goals for 2015. I personally like to take January to de-clutter and simplify my life before setting new aspirations anyway, so you are not alone if you have yet to think about your goals this year. Below are 5 things to consider while making your business and marketing goals for 2015.

 

1. SEO takes time.

Is one of your 2015 business goals to start ranking on the first page of Google search results? Jayson DeMers recently wrote a great article for Forbes about realistic expectations for SEO campaigns. You can read the entire article here. Simply put, search engine rankings do not change overnight. Gaining (and more importantly, maintaining) high search rankings takes time. If your goal is to be showing up on the first page of Google in time for the holidays this year, it is time to start planning now.

 

2. Set a budget and have realistic expectations.

Whether you...

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Hiring A Marketing Agency: Things To Consider Before Committing

Vallene Kailburn

Old Town Media

The truth is, working with a marketing agency is more than just a business transaction. A constructive partnerships is more like entering a committed, personal relationship and over the years I’ve found that the initial meeting is more like a two-way interview. The most successful collaborations are those that are a good fit for both parties. Realistically, not every agency is a good fit for every client and that’s okay. 

While no business owner wants to lose work, there are certainly appropriate circumstances where an agency will turn down a bid. If the agency feels as though the relationship is not going to be constructive or positive, no amount of money or work will make that relationship worth entering. To help future clients and other agencies, I’ve put together a list of things to consider before entering a committed relationship with a marketing agency:

Things For Clients To Consider When Choosing A ...

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How to Keep your WordPress Site Secure

Mike Selander

security

Here at Old Town Media, we use WordPress for the majority of our websites. We're not alone - WP is used on 23% of the sites on the whole Internet which make WordPress a very, very juicy target for hackers and those looking to exploit issues. Luckily, WordPress has a lot of features that you can use to secure your site and keep it from being hacked.

And let me tell you, it is no fun to have your site hacked - you will be out money, time, and the pain of fixing the site. Preventative measures are far cheaper to implement than to have your site cleaned up from a hack and today we're sharing the best ways that you can keep your WordPress site secure.

It All Starts at Home

Keep your local machine clean

The beginning of keeping your website clean is keeping your computer clean - if your machine is infected than a hacker can easily watch for keystroke inputs, websites visited, etc and gain access to your website and hosting using your own credentials without you eve...

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Old Town Media Gives Back in 2014

Cassidy Lundmark

In 2014, we wanted to show our commitment to the community by giving back and donating some of our services to various nonprofits. Along with service-based donations, our staff volunteered more than 50 hours at the Food Bank for Larimer County!

Last year, we donated more than $15,000 in services! We provided all print work for the 41st Annual Dallas Cattle Baron’s Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society, the largest single-night fundraiser in the nation for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. This was our first year donating services to The Cattle Baron’s Ball and we were thrilled to contribute to the cause. Check out all of the great photos from the ball!

We also donated select print work throughout the entire year for Realities for Children and all print work for the Fort Collins Rotary Peach Sale. We donated new websites to The SAVA (Sexual Assault Victim Advocate) Center, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Larimer County, Angel House HNS...

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Going Green in 2015!

Cassidy Lundmark

Go Green

 

In 2015, one of our goals is to be more environmentally friendly. To get the ball rolling, we recently joined ClimateWise Fort Collins. ClimateWise is a free, voluntary City of Fort Collins program dedicated to helping local businesses and the environment. The goal of the ClimateWise program is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting waste reduction, energy savings, alternative transportation and water conservation.

As a business, we have always made sure to recycle our wine and beer bottles, among other recyclable items. In the new year, we are making extra strides to help the Fort Collins community meet some of its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

In the spring, we are having a bike to work challenge!  (Kerrie is exempt because she lives far away, but she drives a Subaru - so it’s okay.) The employee who bikes to work most will receive a desirable prize. When we have staff outings, we are committed to carpooling in Kerrie’s Subaru, even if the office ...

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Instagram: The Secret To Driving Engagement

Aditi Datta

Office dogs

Instagram is brilliant. This seemingly simple photo sharing platform capitalizes on the fact that most people almost always have their phone in their hand and most people have incredibly short attention spans. The creators blatantly took advantage of the fact that our brains have the easiest time processing photos - and we love them for that. Now, with over 300 million users, the question is this: how can businesses utilize this photo-based app to help build brand engagement? Inspired by our friends at wishpond, we've put together a list of the best types of Instagram photos that help build relationships with followers through candid photos and drive engagement.

Customer Photos

We are firm believers in the fact that social media is all about engaging with your followers and in our case, clients. So what better way to engage your followers than to get them involved and feature them? Before posting to Instagram, consider how your photo will impact your customers. Why would t...

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2014 Recap: 10 of Our Favorite Moments

Kayti Christian

old town media

 

2014 was a great year for Old Town Media! Check out some of our favorite moments from the year:

 

1. Launching 80 new websites!

(view more of our portfolio here)

2. Expanding our business to Cheyenne and joining the Chamber of Commerce.

3. Scaring people with Edward (see creepy photo below).

4. Kerrie hired 3 employees (women) this year - tripling the size of the marketing department and offsetting the male/female ratio in the office.

In order from left to right: Kayti, Kerrie, Cassidy, Aditi

  

5. Val was one of the select few to be accepted to Leadership Fort Collins and has spent the year learning about Fort Collins' poverty, educational system, health services and more.

6. Volunteering throughout the year at the Larimer County Food Bank (and taking selfies).

7. Designing, building and launching the Colorado ...

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Working Smarter: Chunking

Kerrie Luginbill

photo

I noticed yesterday, as I sat staring at my four page to-do list at 4 p.m., that I needed to come up with a plan to work smarter. 

Note that I said smarter and not harder. I'm not against working hard, I think working hard is imperative for long-term success. But I already know I work hard, the question is do I work smart? 

In an attempt to work smarter and encourage my team to work smarter, I have decided to incorporate a process labeled "chunking" into my workday routine.

(Yes, I actually wrote down the definition of chunking on the whiteboard so everyone at Old Town Media has to stare at it while in the office).

So, what is chunking?

Chunking is a sorting process that helps efficiency and, in a literal sense, helps with crossing things off your to-do list faster.

According to an article in the New Zealand Herald, there are three styles of chunking:

1. Chunk up to identify the bigger elements of a task, looking for the bigger picture.

2. Chunk...

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Why Patience Is The Key To Social Marketing

Aditi Datta

Got Patience?

Patience is a virtue

There's no doubt about that. But in our world of instant gratification, we tend to forget that things take time.

Most recently, I've found that business owners are growing increasingly frustrated with social media and the not always immediate return of investment. So despite what some "social media experts" might lead you to believe, building a stable social presence takes time, effort and patience - like any normal relationship. Similar to how there is no magical potion to convince someone to fall in love with you, it is nearly impossible to speed up the formation of your online presence.

Let's start with the fundamentals.

The point of social marketing, especially for businesses, is to establish brand loyalty. This means that customers trust you, value the content you are providing and consider you an expert in your field. In order to get to this point, we must accept a few key things:

1. Committing to social media is like getting marri...

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WordPress 4.0.1 Security Update

Mike Selander

WordPress just released a late-cycle security update for version 4.0. This update fixes several light potential issues including admin-side cross-site scripting. None of these issues are extremely urgent, but it's worth it to update your installation if you're on 4.0 already.

The Problems:

The main issue is a series of admin-side cross-site scripting vulnerabilities that would require someone to already have an author account on your website to exploit. Basically, this applies to almost no one but it's good to lock it down anyway. The other issues involve several password exploitation issues. None of these issues are likely to affect most business owners.

Should You Update?

The only issue that anyone has run into so far is issues with shortcodes that are incorrectly created by a plugin - however, we haven't seen any issues with our clients and this problem yet. If you are already on WP 4.0 then hit update with no fear - the update shouldn't break any functionalit...

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