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Using User-Generated Content

You’ve created it. Your friends have created, and you’ve seen it all over social media whether you know it or not. We’re talking User-Generated Content (UGC). User-generated content is an affordable and inexpensive means of building credibility for your business. It’s about showing your customers that you care about their needs and it helps foster a human connection. UGC can prove very beneficial for your business. Why? Because your offerings are being praised by your audience’s peers. It can take the form of a nice comment on Facebook, a curated photo of one of your meals posted to Instagram or a rave review on Yelp. Think of it as word of mouth but digital.

Now that we know what UGC is and how beneficial it can be, the next step is to determine the type of UGC you want and strategize towards it for the best results. Here are some tips to help you devise a UGC plan for your business:

Engage Your Audience:

In order to engage your audience, have them interact with your brand and provide you with UGC, you need to put a focus on engaging content. A simple way to do this is by asking questions in your social media posts. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you can ask what everyone’s favorite dish is. You can also encourage people to leave reviews on Google, Yelp or Facebook. If you want to amp things up a notch, you can partner with micro-influencers or you can host giveaways where an entry requirement is to leave a review, comment about what they love about your business, etc.

Selecting the Best UGC:

Not all UGC is created equal. When selecting which content to share or repost, first look at things like grammar, quality of any visuals and overall shareability. Then, once you’ve compiled some options, strategize on how to get the most mileage out of these posts. To put this in context, pretend you’re the owner of a clothing store and you have a pair of jeans that are about to go on sale. Say you also have a great review of these jeans. Instead of just randomly selecting content, use the review of the jeans to also highlight that they’ll be going on sale.

Post Branded Hashtags:

Hashtags are a secret weapon for optimizing user-generated content. Consumers can easily look up content through branded hashtags. Try to keep your hashtags short, simple and unique to your business. Look at your competitors’ hashtags and think strategically about phrases and words that best describe your offerings. 

Sponsored and paid advertisements on social and digital have become redundant, and consumers may have a tendency to scroll past them. The right UGC strategy can be just what your business needs to create a connection that’s meaningful, engaging and profitable. 

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How to Craft Long-Form Written Content

Blogs are a major player in helping elevate your brand to thought leader status. They engage your audience and offer up an easy way to get across expert information. After reading your posts, your audience should leave knowing how to do something new or with valuable knowledge they can apply to their life, business etc. Here’s how to get started.

The Topic
The entire idea behind thought leadership is that you are publishing content that places your brand as an expert, so that’s a great place to start when brainstorming content ideas. You want to be very intentional with what type of information you’re providing your readers. For example, one subject has many different angles. You could write a How-To Guide on making cupcakes, but you could also write a piece on Top Cupcake Trends. Both posts are placing you as an expert on cupcakes, but take very different approaches. The key here is whether you’re offering a How-To Guide, the Do’s and Don’ts or even Three to Five Things You Should Know about a certain subject post, you need to provide insider information that you (someone who is an expert in the industry) would know and your audience wouldn’t.

The Structure
Due to the flexible nature of blogs, there isn’t a hard and fast rule on the best way to structure them, although you should also be aiming to make your blogs as digestible as possible. You should also ensure that each of your blogs have an introduction and conclusion.

See your introduction as an appetizer. You want to get your audience hungry, you want to hook them in. Introductions should be brief but also inform your readers in an interesting way what the next course is going to be. Your conclusion should wrap up the ideas you introduced in the blog. View this section as your dessert. Your readers are mostly likely pretty full on information, but they’re looking for a little something sweet to end the meal. Now we get to the entree, whatever happens in between the intro and conclusion is up to you. You can structure your blogs with bulleted lists, paragraphs and even graphs and charts, the only thing to keep in mind is that you don’t over serve. Make sure your main ideas are clear, easy to read and don’t present an overwhelming amount of information.

Making a Content Series
One great way to increase your thought leadership credibility is by implementing a content series. A content series is basically just a series of blogs. For example, you would have a mother blog on a certain topic, such as thought leadership. Then you would have 2-3 subtopics of that main topic outlined in that mother blog – like long-form written content, visual content and media. Having deja vu? That’s right, you’re currently in a content series. The beauty of a content series is that you have the ability to take a deeper dive into a specific subject in a cohesive way.

By integrating a robust, knowledgeable blog presence on your website, you’ll not only reinforce your authority to website visitors, but you’ll also increase searchability and have the functionality to share across digital channels such as social media and newsletters.

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The Basics on Thought Leadership

The Basics on Thought Leadership

There are always buzzwords floating around the business world: productivity, transparency, ROI (just to name a few). And while thought leadership might be a topic you’ve seen, it’s so much more than just a buzzword. It’s essential for the growth of your business. So let’s dive into the basics. Thought leadership is being an expert on a specific topic or in a specific industry that people and publications can rely on to learn the newest trends. It’s a simple way for your business to reinforce your expertise on a given topic or industry.

So what’s the big deal? Well, other than the obvious fact that every business wants to be an expert in their field, it’s crucial to position yourself as an expert in front of your target audience.

How does one become a thought leader? By creating timely, knowledgeable and expert insight on a subject through branded content. Here’s how:

Long-Form Written Content

Blogs are a major player in helping your brand become a thought leader. They engage your audience and they offer up an easy way to get across expert information. After reading your posts, your audience should leave knowing how to do something new or with valuable knowledge they can apply to their life, business etc. By integrating a robust, knowledgeable blog presence on your website, you’ll not only reinforce your authority to website visitors, but you’ll also increase searchability and have the functionality to share across digital channels such as social media and newsletters.

Visual Content

As we mentioned above, relevant content is key to a successful thought leadership campaign, but it isn’t just enough to write blogs. You need visual elements to capture your audience’s attention and relay key points of information. Not everyone has the time or attention span to read blogs, so utilizing visual content like infographics makes your expert information easily consumed by social media scrollers. According to Facebook, on average, most audiences spend about 1.7 seconds on a piece of content. In order to get the most out of this very short amount of time and hopefully capture someone’s attention, a strong visual presence is key.

 Publicity

Another great way to increase brand authority is through publicity. Once your business has scored a media hit due to your excellent thought leadership content, you can not only expect a wider reach to your target audience via the media publication you’ve landed, but also increased credibility. When the media is relying on you as a source of expert information, this will solidify your status as a thought leader among your target audiences as well.

Stay tuned to receive additional blog posts as we take a deeper dive into the elements that lead to a successful thought leadership campaign. 

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Putting It All Together

Your website backend is properly configured. Your contacts are listed and tagged. You have digital ads running to drive new traffic and engage with existing users. What’s next? It’s time to tie it all up and put everything together utilizing what you’ve set up.

First, you’ll want to design a specific content series on a topic your audience is interested in. Say, for example, you’re a marketing company that focuses on small businesses. Perhaps you could create a blog series on the topic of small business marketing covering the specific topics of branding, digital marketing and thought leadership. Your contacts would be tagged according to actions they have taken on your site or completed in your newsletter – maybe they read a branding blog or clicked through to an article about digital ads. So you know this is a topic they care about.

Then, you’ll want to create some sort of lead capture to draw people in to the series. This could be something like a downloadable resource or guide – something that people find valuable and will input their information to receive. Once someone submits their information to download your guide, they will automatically be entered into the content series and tagged appropriately.

Your digital ads now serve two purposes. You can use a retargeting ad to engage with users who have submitted their information and shown they are interested in your topic (creating custom audiences based on their site activity may prove useful here). You can also run ads to drive new traffic to your site and push your content series out to a broader audience who might be interested.

So a user’s journey might go something like this: I’m a small business owner looking to grow my brand. I’m wondering about custom audiences and doing some online research when I see a digital ad directing me to an online resource guide for small business marketing tips. I see one of the topics it covers is – aha – custom audiences! I click the ad and am taken to your lead capture page where I enter my information in order to receive my downloadable guide. From there, I am automatically entered into your content series where I also receive emails about other topics I may find interesting (branding and automation, perhaps). Based on my tagging, I also often see retargeting ads. This leads me to click through to your website, decide I like what I see, and reach out asking for more information. Ta-da!

If this still seems like a bit too much, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

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Celebrating the 16th Annual Sound System Block Party

On Saturday, July 20, The Silver Room hosted their 16th Annual Sound System Block Party in Hyde Park. The Block Party is a free event that fosters a space for diversity and inclusivity, artistry, bumping music and activities the whole family can enjoy. That’s why Fetch was so excited to be able to participate in the festivities for the second year in a row!

Thousands of Chicagoland community members showed up in support of the event and with multiple dances and concerts, The Silver Room Block Party was a huge success. People from all over Chicago came to Hyde Park to admire the artistry of the many creatives that performed.

But how did attendees know which stage to stop by to catch their favorite artist or what time the movie festival started? That’s where Fetch comes in. We had the unique opportunity to design an app that detailed everything guests needed to celebrate The Greater Good. From artist bios to stage locations to the festival’s schedule, we were able to organize, optimize and stylize an app to enhance the Block Party experience. And even though the party is over, you can still keep the good vibes going by checking out the Block Party playlist and downloading the app on the Apple Store or Google Play.

Photos by: @stoptime.live & @schtephyy

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All About Our Summer Interns


Gianna Scheuneman is a senior at North Central College majoring in Broadcast Communication. After she graduates with her Bachelor’s degree, Gianna aspires to branch out in the Chicago Marketing/PR Industry as an Account Executive and hopes to eventually work her way up to a managerial role.

One thing Gianna Didn’t Know Before Starting This Internship
One major lesson that I learned throughout my time interning at Fetch is that it is critical to expand your mindset in this industry. Brainstorm, create and execute as many goals and ideas as you can to ensure that you, your brand and business are constantly evolving.

My favorite thing about interning at Fetch is working around diverse content for clients. I was never doing the same work for just one client each day; there was always something to take on within 3-5 clients and you are able to learn about so many different industries within a role in the Marketing and PR industry.

Gianna’s Favorite Thing About Interning at a Small Business
I especially value working at a small business because this challenges you and your team to work towards as many goals as possible for each client with a limited amount of time each day. You are essentially building a brand from scratch and this ensures that new ideas, digital trial and error experiments and further strategies to consider are constantly flowing in the workplace, and also puts your time management skills to the ultimate test.

All About Gianna
Even though I was born and raised in Chicago, I am always looking for the best places to eat, see or limited events to experience throughout the city. If I was not pursuing a passion for Marketing/PR, my dream job would be a Chicago food and lifestyle blogger. I would love to write, take photos and share my experiences with the world every day, on top of traveling.

David Flores is a born and raised Chicagoan who currently will be enrolled in his junior year at Northwestern University. He is studying Communication Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. David is passionate about his community, music and elevating the people he is around.

One thing David Didn’t Know Before Starting This Internship: I personally did not know how much collaboration there is between small businesses throughout the city of Chicago.

David’s Favorite Thing About Interning at a Small Business: I enjoy the community and close collaboration that a small team provides. It allows for work to share a multitude of different perspectives rather than pertaining to a certain department of a business.

All About David
I enjoy spending my free time learning more about hip hop culture, ultimately hoping to hone my skills in hip hop production and dj’ing.

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Digital Ads

After you’ve properly set up the backend of your website and carefully curated your contacts, you can utilize what you’ve set up to really get in front of people using digital ads. Read on for the basics in beginning to use digital ads to both drive new traffic to your site, as well as engage with existing users.

Driving New Traffic

Digital ads can be used to drive new users and increase overall traffic to your website. One way to do this is by creating a general ad to get in front of new audiences that do not already exist for you. Not sure who to target for your first ad campaign? Start with the data you already have. A great strategy for targeting new users is to create a look-alike audience based on the data of people who have already been on your site. This will allow you to cast a wide net, but with parameters by targeting people with similar features or attributes as those who have already interacted with your brand. 

Also important to note – you should exclude from this particular ad the audience that has already been on your site. The message to people who haven’t engaged with your brand will be different than the messaging you want in front of people who have previously interacted with your brand

Engaging With Existing Users

Digital ads can also be used to engage and re-engage with people who have already been on your site. You can create these ads to be more specific based on users’ activity while on your website. Remember those pixeles we talked about setting up? That’s how certain ad platforms track activity. You can now use that data to create an ad to specifically target people who have viewed a particular product or read a certain blog on your site.

An important step to keep in mind here is that these two types of ads (driving and engaging) should be run concurrently. This is important because it will allow you to get initial engagement, and also to send those new contacts through your retargeting systems. Now when someone in your new audience clicks through to your site, the brand will be reinforced in front of them as they convert over to an existing user.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Interested in the digital aspect of marketing? Read here to learn about contact curation, the other side of marketing.

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Contact Curation

Now that you’ve properly set up the backend of your website, you are ready to begin your marketing efforts by really diving in to your contacts. For our purposes, let’s assume you already have a functional CRM up and running. The next step is then to both nurture and engage with your current contacts, as well as to capture new contacts or leads.

Think of your ultimate end goal – maybe you want people to sign up for your newsletter, download something or complete an action. How will you get them to do this? It’s as easy as simply listing and tagging your contacts. Read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Create specific lists and tags for your contacts. Generally speaking, a contact will enter a list when they sign up for something (like your newsletter list), and a tag will be assigned to a contact based upon their activity (like a tag for contacts who have clicked a certain button on your website). This will then allow you to treat or target contacts differently based on their particular list or tag.
  2. Build forms that point back to those specific lists and tags within your CRM. These forms will be embedded as calls to action within your website, newsletter, etc. The corresponding lists and tags should be associated with the content in which the call to action is embedded.
  3. Design automations or drip campaigns specific to each list and tag. Remember that pixel you set up with tag manager? Now you can see the activity of anyone in your list on your website. By creating a tag in your CRM for certain actions, you can automatically enter these contacts into a drip campaign.
  4. Set up a tagging automation for newsletter and site activity for current contacts already in your list. You can set up alerts to be notified if they complete a valuable action on your site or through your newsletter. You can also send contacts information that is valuable to them based on their actions.

Your new, enhanced CRM is now ready for you to double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Interested in the content aspect of marketing? Read here to learn more digital ads, the other side of marketing.

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F.A.T. Stacks 101: Backend Basics

While some marketing technology does require industry and tech knowledge, there are several easily accessible, user-friendly marketing tools that any entrepreneur can implement on their own. In order to do so, you’ll first want to ensure the backend of your website is properly set up. This will lay the foundation for everything that is to come, as your website is homebase and all of your future marketing endeavors should point back to content on your site.

Properly setting up the backend of your website enables you to identify high-performing content as well as to track visitors to your site and then target those visitors based on their activity while on the site. Sounds pretty great, right? It must be complicated. Not really – read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Install google tag manager on your website. Tag manager is essentially a hack cheat code which allows you to insert tracking codes and pixels on your own without the help of a web developer.
  2. Sign up for google analytics and add tracking code. This will enable you to identify where traffic on your website is coming from.
  3. Connect google search console with your google account. Search console helps you see your high performing webpages, search terms and content. This will allow you to optimize your site for search engines.
  4. Insert facebook pixel. Adding the facebook pixel to your site will allow you to create custom audiences and then target those audiences with ads based on their specific site activity.
  5. Add google ad pixel. This will enable you to tell which of your ad clicks lead to customer activity on your website – such as purchases, sign-ups, and form submissions.
  6. Insert ActiveCampaign pixel to each page of your website. Installing this code will let you see the website activity of all contacts in your CRM and the follow-up with targeted email campaigns.

Your new, enhanced website will now be ready for you to dive in and double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Learn more about digital ads or contact curation, the two biggest parts of marketing.

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PR Council Awards Fellowship to Fetch IMC!

Fetch is honored to be one of five firms selected to receive a fellowship from the PR Council. The PR Council is a trade association designed to connect the present and next generation of PR professionals, industry innovators and business leaders. The PRC has active members from over 108 leading US agencies.

As part of our fellowship selection, we will receive access to the organization’s resources and programming. “Diversity and inclusion are core to the mission of the council and its members,” said Weber Shandwick president Gail Heimann, chair of the PR Council board. “I know that what we learn from the impressive leaders of these firms will add enormous value and meaning to our efforts and help to accelerate the change we need in our industry.”

We can’t wait to dive into the council’s business-building, talent development and networking initiatives as well as participate in committee work to further the organization’s agenda on behalf of the PR industry.