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Creative

Inbound Marketing SLC & StartSLC Combine Forces for Most Successful IMSLC Yet

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Utah is swiftly becoming what many are calling a “mini Silicon Valley”. Year by year, venture capitalists have been investing more and more money into Utah-born companies – so much so that the state has become one of the most popular destinations for venture-capital funding.

This is not your typical valley.

saltlakevalley

startslc logoBeehive Startups recognized the need to bring more attention to the growing startup community and recently helped host the largest startup and technology festival to ever be held in Utah. Lucky for us, we were able to witness the great success of StartSLC with our own eyes. Over 4,000 people attended StartSLC, which offered over 66 different events to choose to attend.

Inbound Marketing SLC was just one of the 66 events offered, but for us, was our most successful event yet. In keeping with our themed events, this time we could think of no better topic to focus on than, well… startups.

We invited four speakers with four very different but notable backgrounds to come preach to us about what it takes to find success in small businesses.

danbischoffDan Bischoff, Content Hook,  spoke about finding success from a content marketing perspective. Over the past couple of years, content marketing has grown into somewhat of a necessary evil (everyone’s doing it), and an annoying, overly-used marketing term at the same time. What does content marketing mean, anyway? And why are so many people failing at it?

Bischoff answered these questions, and also the question of why less and less companies are using content marketing, in his informative presentation. View his presentation below for insights into what content marketing roles are necessary for domination.

View Dan Bischoff’s Presentation: 10 Roles You Need for Content Marketing Domination

danrodenDan Roden gave a compelling speech about branding. He pointed out that the actual product or service sold by a startup is, in many cases, secondary to the branding behind it.

“So many people think that their marketing is about their product. No one gives a rip about your product if your product is some product they can buy anywhere else. How does your product make them feel?”

Roden also described the one most important thing you can do for your company to differentiate yourself from others – watch for it in his presentation.

View Dan Roden’s Presentation: StartUp Marketing Tips from the Trenches

williamlamWilliam Lam, founder of Dark Energy, shared his experience and knowledge of how startups can find success on Kickstarter. Building a supportive network and being aware of industry trends were two of the many useful suggestions he had for small businesses wanting to gain support from the community.

“You have to be willing to go out and ask people to pledge for you,” said Lam. Not only that, but you have to put a heck of a lot of thought into what you are trying to accomplish with your project.

View William Lam’s Presentation: The Anatomy of a Successful Kickstarter

belovedLastly, three guys from Beloved Shirts spoke to us about the evolution of their brand voice. From a silly instagram account to a product list of over 22,000 skews, Beloved Shirts came out of nowhere and become a unique voice that resonated with people. College students to celebrities loved seeing a company image that wasn’t afraid to be just straight up strange.

Robbie, the face of the brand, pointed out that “…if you have no voice you have no brand. If you have no brand you’re just a commodity. And it just becomes a price battle at that point.”

View Beloved Shirt’s Presentation: Crafting a Voice for the Company

Inbound Marketing SLC is getting a little bigger with every event. Partnering with Start SLC was definitely a step in the right direction and we look forward to more opportunities to partner with local startup communities.

In the meantime, stay tuned for slide decks and full summaries of what we learned from our IMSLC guest speakers in upcoming blog posts by yours truly.

What topics and/or speakers would you be interested in hearing from at the next IMSLC? Let us know in the comments below!

HOW TO: Name a Product or a Company

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By Rebecca Brebberman
Hello my name isShakespeare wrote: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but he wasn’t talking about your small business. When it comes to naming your new product or company, a name can make all the difference. Your name can influence whether people want to try out your product or do business with you. Or it can make them forget you.
According to Igor, a naming and branding agency:

“Great names are a powerful force in the branding, marketing and advertising campaigns of the companies they work for. They differentiate you from competitors, make an emotional connection with your audience, and help to build a brand that ignites the passions of your customers.”
Of course you can always pay someone else to name your company for you, but with some brainstorming and thought, you can probably come up with something on your own. Here are some tips to help you get started.

  1. Instead of trying to think of a name right off the bat, first think of adjectives that describe your product or company. What is it that you want to convey in your name? What is the essence of your product or company? Use words that have a positive image.
  2. Use a thesaurus to find words that are similar to the ones you have brainstormed. You can also think of nouns—animals, places, or famous people for example—that evoke the same kinds of emotions you want to communicate.
  3. Evaluate the words that you have come up with and choose ones that you like. Play around with them. Merge the words, mix the order, see if anything jumps out at you as being appealing and unique.
  4. When you have narrowed it down to a final choice, it may be worth discussing with a trademark attorney. You can also conduct a trademark search at www.uspto.gov. Also, do a search for your chosen name on popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing. This will tell you how much competition there is for your name, or if there might be any confusion with other types of products.
  5. It may also be worth it to consider testing your name through focus groups. Even though your name might sound good to you, it may be a turn off to others. Getting others’ opinions (especially those who could potentially use your product or service) can be an eye opener and can either confirm or reject your hypothetical name.

You can find more of these tips at developer-resource.com.
If you are trying to come up with a name for your product or company, I strongly recommend reading this because it goes over many helpful do’s and don’ts of naming in addition to the ones above.

Also, be sure to check out The Name Inspector. This site goes over 10 different types of names—such as real words, made up words, and word compounds—and gives you the pros and cons of each type of name. This is a great resource to give you some ideas of how to play around with words, and help you decide on a great name for your product or company.

HOW TO: Write a How To Article

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By: Ashley Van Wagoner

If you’ve ever attempted to write a “how to” article, you may find it’s either the easiest thing you’ve ever done, or a fairly daunting task. Perhaps you found it was much more complicated than you thought it would be. Regardless of how you feel, here are a few tips to help you out!

1) Keep it simple. Most people who are researching a “how to” aren’t looking for complicated. Short, sweet and to the point. Think of it in terms of someone who has no knowledge on the subject or a vague idea of what you are talking about and go from there.

2) Don’t insult your readers’ knowledge. Keep it simple but keep it smart. It can be a tricky balance. You may be the expert on the subject of your how to, but that doesn’t mean you know everything. Humility and confidence are great characteristics to keep in mind.

3) Research outside sources. It can be useful to see how outside sources explain your subject or what extra information they can provide. I’ve been surprised at others’ analogies and insights, I’ve found it helpful.

4) Images are a good thing. Some people are visual learners and can understand better with pictures. As much as possible, use images to help guide your readers through your how to.

There you go! Short and sweet.

HOW TO: Make a Good Prezi To Supplement Your Content Marketing Efforts

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By Rebecca Brebberman

I don’t know about you, but I have always been a PowerPoint person. In school we were trained to do PowerPoint presentation after PowerPoint presentation—one, two, sometimes even three presentations per week! Phew, that comes out to a lot of PowerPoints!

Well, it turns out that some people just don’t like PowerPoints. Yes, there are definitely some major downsides to PowerPoint. You have to go through each slide in order and it doesn’t leave a lot of room to deviate from your planned presentation. If that’s what you’re going for, then great! But if you want more flexibility and freedom to move around from idea to idea and cater to the specific needs of your audience, then Prezi might be the way to go for you.

This week I was tasked with creating a Prezi for one of our clients. Well, I found this assignment a bit challenging, as I am new to Prezi. So in order to do a good job, I did some research and found some useful tips to make a good presentation. I thought I’d share this information to help out all you new Prezi-ers out there.

“Presentations like no others: an animated visual feast unlike the usual boring set of bullet points.” –PCMAG.com
So why Prezi? Prezi is cool and unlike PowerPoint because instead of creating slide after slide of bullet points and text, text, text, you are working with a giant canvas. All of your information is on one page and you can zoom in and out to highlight different areas. It’s also cool because Prezi is all done online, which makes it very easy to share with others. You don’t need to install special software to use it, just go to Prezi.com and create a free account.

If you are brand new to Prezi, there are a few videos you can watch on the website under the “learn” tab. Here is a great introductory video from their site, but make sure to go to Prezi.com to watch them all.

Here are some tips on how to make a great Prezi:

    1. Before you begin creating your presentation, I would suggest either sketching out or making an outline of what you want your Prezi to look like, because it will save you time in rearranging everything later on. You want people to be able to see the big picture first and then you can focus on specific areas by zooming in. If you try to design it as you go along, it will probably end up looking messy and unorganized. I found it is best to create the “skeleton” of your presentation first, and then go back in and add in all your specific details after.
    2. When you have all your information, you can create a “path” that connects your information in the order that you want to present it. You don’t have to create a path though if you want to do all the moving and zooming manually…although to me this seems like if could get annoying. Please don’t make people motion sick when you are creating your path—this can be a problem. Try not to twist and turn a lot or move over a very large area at once. This can be achieved by moving back to the big picture before panning all the way over to the other side of the canvas.
    3. A big pet peeve of mine is when you are sitting through a presentation and it’s all bullet points and paragraphs of text! Make your presentation interesting—add visuals. Don’t put in a huge paragraph of text if you can help it. Remember that the Prezi (or PowerPoint, or whatever else you are using) is an aid—it should not take away from your main goal, which should be connecting with your audience. You should be familiar enough with your information that you only need to write down the key points, supplemented with visuals, and then you do all the talking about it. Don’t just read straight from your presentation! This is boring! We all know how to read and we can do that part ourselves. We want you to expound on it and engage us!

Those are all the tips I am going to share with you today. But if you want to learn more, check out theprezenter.com—he has a blog all about Prezi—or thewikiman.org’s blog article titled “Prezi for the Win? Ten Top Tips to Make a Good One.” This is where I found a lot of helpful information and tips before I started my own Prezi. Or you could also search the Prezi website, watch some good Prezis to get some ideas, or search for “how to make a good Prezi” under the “Explore” tab. Believe it or not, there are several Prezis on how to make a good Prezi.