ClearVerve Marketing, LLC

Promise Marketing Blog

Building a better workplace is similar to building a brand: it’s about believing in it


People engage in movements, places or ideas because they believe in them. They think the thing is important; they care about it.

They’re all in.

At least that’s the truth Chester Elton, founder of the global training and consulting firm The Culture Works and co-author of three New York Times bestsellers about workplace trends, believes. Elton was in town recently to speak at the 10th annual @TECMidwest Inspirational Leadership Conference. His presentation mostly focused on empowering managers to inspire a new level of commitment and performance and creating a culture of belief. He teaches leaders how to engage, enable and energize their workforces. The formula of E +E+E outlines how high-performance organizations deliver extraordinary results by creating a vibrant, productive culture where people believe what they do matters, and that they can make a difference. Elton says managers of high performing workgroups create a  culture of belief. In these distinctive workplaces people believe in their leaders and in the company’s vision, values and goals. Employees are not only engaged but also enabled.

After listening intently, laughing and crying at the lively and touching presentation, it occurred to me similar concepts are true when it comes to marketing a product or building brand awareness.

Believable brands generate buy-in. Marketers do this by showing and sharing features, benefits and advantages of the product. They get others to speak for it and commit to the culture; try it.

Why should you work to get your customers to believe you and what you’re trying to achieve? Because you are engaged in something important and something you care about. To have any hope of succeeding, you need to get in the corner with you. You need them to be all-in.

For the betterment of your brand, nonprofit, community, school or family you should remember there is great power in building a culture where people believe. When that element is there and when you show your heart, people will follow.

Jackie Costa is the director of content marketing at Clear Verve. She works with clients to communication more clearly and create smarter, better, channel-appropriate content. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.

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How do you get people to care?


Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to Rich Meeusen of Badger Meter speak at the Milwaukee Rotary Club. Listening to Rich speak is always an experience. He is funny, energetic, and at one point or another probably managed to offend nearly everyone in the audience!

At the end of the presentation, Rich was asked why homes are not built with the same water-saving technology that is used in vehicles such as boats and campers. Rich responded that he believes it is probably because consumers are not demanding it. This is partially because consumers are charged the cost of delivery for water, not for the value of the water. That’s why water in Milwaukee is more expensive than water in Phoenix. In Milwaukee, water is plentiful and should be inexpensive, but the cold winters mean that pipes break and our system requires more maintenance. In Phoenix, the pipes are newer and require little maintenance. People generally don’t value things that are inexpensive. If water has little monetary value, there is no reason to conserve it. If there is no reason to conserve it, people won’t care about conserving it. We have other things to worry about.

Many of our clients deal with the same challenge. How can you get someone to value something they don’t understand? If someone doesn’t understand the value of your service, how can you compete without resorting to competing on price? If you’re marketing a cause (such as water conservation), how do you get people to care?

The answer is education and patience. For a cause, such as water conservation, the answer is a lot of education and a lot of patience. Rich shared a story in which his father threw a bag of trash from McDonald’s out the window of the car while he was driving down the road. His father thought it was his right to do such a thing. Rich, who grew up with Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear, would never have dreamed of littering like that. Rich admitted that he runs the water while he brushes his teeth but his granddaughter shuts off the tap. Sometimes it can take a generation or more for the message to sink in. Of course, as an organization you may not have the time to wait for an entire generation of people to grow up so that your message can be heard. But some messages are big enough and important enough that it could take an entire generation for the message to sink in. Be patient (when you can). Remember that no matter what you do, some people may not be receptive to your message. Sometimes the best strategy is to simply focus on those who are.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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Keep it simple!

Monday, March 31, 2014 — 


At Clear Verve, we are big believers in content marketing. Working with organizations such as law firms, accountants, banks, health care providers, and cause-based organizations, we know the power of sharing information and client education.

However, a report from Harvard Business Review suggests that it can be easy to go overboard with information sharing. Prospective customers need decision simplicity. We often remind clients that knowing too much can actually make it easier for prospective customers to say no. It is important to communicate enough that a prospect can ask a follow –up question, but not so much that they can talk themselves out of the purchase.

So what does this mean for you? It does NOT mean that you should stop blogging, writing newsletter articles, and creating infographics or videos. It does mean that you don’t need to go into detail when explaining something. Unless your content is targeted at a technical audience, most people only need to know the “scratch the surface” stuff. This is because when someone is in the initial stages of making a decision, they often don’t know enough to ask good questions. If your communication contains too much technical information, your prospect starts to worry about things that they didn’t even know were supposedly important. If there are too many things to worry about, prospects become overwhelmed and unable to make a decision at all. You just talked them out of the sale.

Christina Steder is the President of Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to plan, create and execute marketing campaigns. Follow her on Twitter as @clearverve.

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10 ways to create engaging Facebook posts

Friday, March 14, 2014 — 


We blog. We tweet. We post. We wonder…actually our clients have wondered what they can do to increase engagement and improve the chances of their corporate pages being shown in the Facebook news feed? Here’s a listicle that will help.

1. Use engaging copy, images and videos

  • Photos and videos get more attention and help your message stand out.
  • Lifestyle images like the ones you see from your friends on Facebook are always engaging. Try sharing images of your products or photos of your customers enjoying your services.
  • Try to keep your posts between 100 and 250 characters to get more engagement. Shorter, succinct posts are better received.

2. Create a two-way conversation

  • Take a poll. Ask a question. Ask your audience to share their thoughts and feedback on your product and services. This is another way to listen to your customers and improve your business.
  • Posting content that shows you took their feedback into consideration can build customer loyalty and show you value their ideas.

3. Share exclusive discounts and promotions

  • Offer special deals or perks to your customers to keep them interested and to drive online sales. Include call to actions with links to the most relevant page on your website.
  • To improve engagement with your promotions, include clear calls to action, redemption details, and when the promotion ends to add a sense of urgency.

4. Provide access to exclusive information

Reward people who are connected to your page and drive loyalty and online sales by providing them with exclusive information. Make them feel special by sharing exclusive product news, contests and events.

5. Be timely

  • Your audience will be more likely to engage with posts when they’re related to subjects that are top of mind, like current events or the holidays.
  • Timeliness is also important when replying to comments on your posts. The faster you reply, the more likely fans will engage with you in the future.

 6. Plan your conversational calendar

  • The easiest way to stay in regular contact with fans is by creating a conversational calendar with ideas about what to talk about each week or month.
  • A content calendar will not only help you post regularly, but will ensure your content is well planned, interesting, and that you don’t miss major business events and news. Find a frequency that works for you and your audience.
  • And don’t always post about how great your product is.

7. Schedule your posts

  • To better manage your time, you can schedule your posts in advance and plan for upcoming holiday events and specials.
  • To schedule your Facebook posts, simply click the clock icon on the lower left-hand corner of your page’s sharing tool.
  • Schedule your posts when most of your customers are online. You can find out this info by visiting your Page Insights and going to the posts tab.
  • After you’ve scheduled a post, you can manage your scheduled posts by going to the top of your page and choosing Edit Page and then selecting Use Activity Log.

8. Target your posts

If your posts are meant for specific groups of people, you can target your post in your page’s sharing tool by clicking on the target icon at the bottom left corner and selecting Add Targeting. You can target your post based upon gender, relationship status, educational status, interests, age, location and language.

9. Use link posts to drive people to your website

  • Link posts have a larger, clickable area that helps drive people to your website.
  • In your page’s sharing tool, enter the offsite URL, then click Enter.
  • The title, description and image are taken from your URL, but you can still customize the text and image of the post. Be sure to select compelling imagery that will blend into the news feed experience.

10. Review the performance of your posts

Check your Page Insights regularly to understand what’s working to keep your posts relevant and engaging. Page Insights will help you understand your audience and what types of content interests them.

Jackie Costa is the director of content marketing at Clear Verve. She works with clients to communication more clearly and create smarter, better, channel-appropriate content. Listen for her on Twitter as @JackieMCosta.

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Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir


One of the highlights from the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism (WISGOT) last week in Lake Geneva, Wis., was from the renowned composer, Eric Whitacre and his presentation about his Virtual Choir project.

The Virtual Choir began in 2009 when one of Whitacre’s fans recorded a YouTube video of herself singing his music. He saw the video, and it sparked an idea. Whitacre summoned online fans to make videos of themselves singing their respective musical parts (e.g. soprano, alto, tenor, etc.) and post them to YouTube. Afterward, he worked with Scott Haines to cut the videos together to create the first Virtual Choir. Since then, three more Virtual Choirs have been produced.

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 4: Fly to Paradise is the most recent Virtual Choir, which features 8,409 videos and 5,905 singers from 101 countries.  Both the graphics and music composition are worth checking out.

According to Whitacre, he credits the momentum of the project to a few things, including:

  • People want to connect with others with same interests
  • Virtual Choir gives people a chance to share their talents without judgment (Eric and his editing team included all singers that uploaded a video)
  • It challenges people to grow as vocalists and take on piece of original composed music
  • Choir participants are part of something larger than themselves
  • It is easy to be submit a video and if you do not know how you can get help (see next reason)
  • Ambassadors for this project are all over online now to help new members be a part of this project

I have become a big fan of this project and this music has inspired me as a former vocalist. In fact, I might just be a part of Virtual Choir 5 – more on that later!

Susan Schoultz is Design Director at Clear Verve Marketing and works with clients to create and execute marketing campaigns.  Follow her on Twitter as @susanschoultz.