why coronavirus environment inspires content marketing

The Emerging Role of Content Projects in a Coronavirus Economy

About two weeks into quarantine, once the length of coronavirus stay-at-home measures became truly apparent, I felt a pressing desire to reconnect with old colleagues and friends.

It wasn’t just me. All at once, it felt like everyone was checking in each other people, working to gain insight into the true reality of the situation.

As unique as our professional experiences were, they were a lot of similarities.

Two things also became overwhelmingly clear:

  1. The marketers we talked to were planning to invest more in content this year than ever before.
  2. We had become very well positioned to help. Over the past year, we have been scaling up our graphic design and marketing capacity, as well as envisioning more project-based services.

The first-hand stories we heard from our friends were reiterated in overall industry trends.

Marketing budgets are getting cut 

In response to economic uncertainty, companies are decreasing marketing budgets. 

US spending on search advertising will decline by between 8.7% and 14.8% in H1 2020 – removing $6 billion to $8 billion from promotional budgets, according to eMarketer.

Canceled events are taking a toll on lead gen

Stay-at-home measures mean events of all kinds are canceled, a massive blow to one of many companies’ primary sales and lead gen channels. While webinars are filling in some of the gaps, they aren’t enough on their own.

Content converts, particularly now

Content has always played a key role in supporting all parts of the sales funnel: increasing overall awareness, generating leads and nurturing leads through close.

On average, conversion rates are six times higher for companies using content marketing, according to Aberdeen Group. 

marketers are investing more in content than ever before

But in the present coronavirus environment, content offers the unique advantage of rewarding time rather than financial investments, and it can promote a variety of expected outcomes.

Content can help you sell to your company’s future products and services. For example, let’s say you’re creating a new product to address coronavirus disruption in your industry. You can publish thought leadership content today that promotes the benefits of an ideal solution, drumming up demand in anticipation of its official launch.

Content can also help you highlight evergreen features that are always advantageous. If your product has a short deployment timeline, create content that highlights this value.

Content marketing supports the entire funnel

When we talk about content, we’re not limiting our conversation to long-form content, which is extremely influential but not the end-all-be-all. We’re referring to:

  • Blog posts: Great for lead generation through SEO and can be shared across every channel.
  • Infographics: Increase your reach; other companies love to share these.
  • Email marketing: As sales cycles shift (and possibly lengthen) email helps you stay top of mind. 
  • Press releases: Distribute company news publicly while validating market leadership and generating coverage.
  • Byline articles: Wonderful for thought leadership, boosting SEO and increasing awareness. 
  • Research: Identify yourself as the expert in your category through independent research. For inspiration, check out how we helped Adlucent capture attention during Amazon Prime Day last year.
  • Long-form content (eBooks, whitepapers, etc.): When hosted behind a gated form on your website or an ad, it directly generates leads. Repurpose this comprehensive content by turning it into more digestible thought leadership byline articles and blogs.

How to outsource content projects

Given the new urgency to create highly relevant and engaging branded content, we are now offering project-based services that help you grow your business without the commitment of a retainer.

We’ve always believed one of our biggest differentiators is that everyone on our team is a great writer.

Our new focus on end-to-end content marketing services means that we can help you write, design and promote content for any audience.

We’d love to talk with you about content ideas you’re mulling over, content types you’re considering or campaigns you hope to launch.

In addition to offering more project-based services, we’re also now offering a free, 30-minute consultation to our contacts. Take us up on our offer by emailing us at [email protected].

Jenny Bradford

Jenny Bradford: The First NYC Intern

Hello! My name is Jenny Bradford and I am the new FIRST intern in the NYC office. I am currently a junior at Marist College, a mid-size college in Poughkeepsie, NY. I am majoring in communications with concentrations in public relations and advertising and minoring in business administration.

This semester, I am participating in a program where a few students are selected to live in the city as we intern locally and take a few online classes. So, that’s where Ketner Group comes in!

Why I Chose Public Relations

Choosing a major for college was a daunting task. As someone who loves to learn and try new things, picking something and sticking with it seemed impossible. Luckily, I found public relations. I was drawn to PR because I love to write and solve problems and the flexibility of options within the industry excited me.

My past intern experiences have been in non-profit, healthcare, real estate and financial PR. I have greatly enjoyed diving in to all these areas, so I am looking forward to learning about the retail technology field next.

My Background

I grew up in St. Louis, Mo. before moving to Yorktown, NY, where my family lives now. I am no stranger to moving, but getting the chance to live in the city on my own has already been incredible.

In My Free Time

At Marist, I am the Director of Chapter Programming for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Additionally, I am a member of the Dance Ensemble, the Student Government Association, and The Circle, Marist’s primary newspaper.

This semester, however, I am excited to go to Broadway shows and concerts. I consider discount ticket shopping to be one of my most valuable skills. As a result of this, my friends and I deemed 2019 the “Year of Concerts” and we hope to see even more shows in 2020, while somehow spending less than we did in 2019 (wish us luck).

To date, I’ve been to more than 20 Broadway shows and this semester Hadestown and West Side Story are topping my dream to-do list. Besides that, I am eager to explore new areas of the city and hopefully eat some great food.

That’s All for Now

I’m thrilled to be the first intern with Ketner Group in NYC. I know I will take away invaluable professional and personal lessons from this great opportunity.

Anthony after successfully defending his thesis.

Anthony Czelusniak Joins Ketner Group

Hey all, I’m Anthony Czelusniak (SUH-lose-knee-ack), Ketner Group’s first Nashville intern. While I’m a journalist at heart, public relations enthralled me the moment I stepped into my first PR course. I’m a senior majoring in journalism with a concentration in public relations at Middle Tennessee State University. I’ve also found myself involved in experiences outside the classroom.

Maybe a Little Too Involved…

I say there’s no such thing, but my friends tell me I’m too busy. I’m the president of the MTSU PRSSA chapter, where I’ve taken the membership from two—the vice president and myself—to 12 and growing still. I also serve as editor-in-chief of Collage, MTSU’s premier creative arts journal. We collect and curate the best of what our creative students offer. From photography to prose, to sculpture and screenplays, Collage exists to show off the best MTSU has, and I am proud to lead the 25 member staff toward that goal.

However, the craziest endeavor I’ve taken part in was Investigating the Rationale for Social Media use by Nashville Nonprofitsmy undergraduate thesis. It’s exactly what it says on the tin, a look into how some Nashville nonprofits use social media. After 18 months of herculean effort, I successfully defended in December.

But Enough About School.

In my time off, I like to pretend to be a photographer. I even bought a fancy camera and everything. I also love to write poetry, putting a focus on breaking visual conventions within poetry. When I’m not trying to be an artist, you can find me neck-deep in the Nashville soccer scene. I’ve had season tickets to Nashville SC from day one, and on game days you can find me pitch side wondering when the last time the referee saw an optometrist.

Either that, or I’ll be wandering around in one of Tennessee’s beautiful wilderness areas. A peaceful break from a hectic life.

Choosing Ketner

It was my thesis adviser who told me about the Ketner Group internship. Just by reading the job description, I knew I had to be here. Seeing the words “paid internship” was such an inspiration that I had to apply right away. OK, not exactly.

After doing the research and learning about the culture of Ketner Group, I could tell this was a fun place to work. Somewhere that wasn’t full of stuck ups in suits. My first conversation with Kirsty reinforced that conclusion. The atmosphere at Ketner Group is unlike any other internship I’ve done. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of it.

Catherine Seeds, SVP and Partner, Ketner Group

Catherine Seeds Named President of Ketner Group Communications

Seeds’ promotion strengthens Ketner Group’s leadership team and positions firm for future growth; agency founder Jeff Ketner assumes role of CEO

AUSTIN, TX. – Nov. 5, 2019 – Ketner Group Communications, a public relations and marketing firm serving clients in the U.S., Canada and the U.K, today announced that Catherine Seeds has been named president. The move from her role as senior vice president recognizes Seeds’ longstanding leadership and key role in expanding Ketner Group into a national PR agency, with offices in Austin, New York and Nashville. Agency founder Jeff Ketner will assume the role of CEO as part of the leadership transition.

Seeds’ appointment as president helps ensure a solid foundation for the agency’s continued growth and success. She joined Ketner Group in 2002 and has played a key role in every phase of the agency’s success. Seeds was instrumental in the opening of Ketner Group’s offices in New York and Nashville in 2019. As president and partner, her role will continue to grow, both in ownership and responsibilities. She will work closely with Jeff Ketner and the agency’s senior leadership team to guide the agency’s growth and expansion, focusing on key accounts, business development and agency culture.

“Catherine has been a driving force in our success for many years. I’m thrilled to announce her new role as president, and we are excited to share further news about the agency in 2020,” said Ketner. “Catherine has earned the loyalty and respect of clients, editors and industry contacts, and she constantly inspires our team to think big and expand our vision of what’s possible. Ketner Group will thrive under her leadership, and I look forward to working with her and our leadership team to make sure our agency continues to exceed client expectations for many years to come.”

Ketner Group was founded in 1990 and has expanded exponentially in the last three years. Year-over-year revenues grew nearly 40% from 2017 to 2018, as the agency added new clients, focused on additional market segments, added new services and created a senior leadership team to help guide agency growth and direction. Ketner Group has received multiple local, regional and national awards in recent years. Austin Inno recently recognized the agency as a winner of the 2019 “50 on Fire” awards.

Ketner Group focuses on B2B technology and professional services clients in a number of markets including adtech/martech, legal, IT, healthcare and other areas; it is also widely recognized as the premier PR agency for retail, grocery and CPG technology companies. The agency works with clients throughout the U.S., as well as Canada, the UK and Germany.

“For more than 19 years, I have had the opportunity to help leading technology companies in a variety of industries find their unique stories that engage, inform, surprise and impact their audiences,” said Seeds. “Successful public relations is a wonderful mixture of creativity and critical thinking, and the best part of my job is working with our clients and my team to find just the right amount of those two key ingredients to create something special.”

“I am truly honored to be named president of Ketner Group and incredibly lucky to work alongside such an amazing and talented team of PR professionals. I look forward to overseeing the company’s future growth as we continue to expand our services and expertise to meet client and industry demand.”

Ketner Group Communications opens office in Nashville

Ketner Group Communications Expands With New Office in Nashville

Third location of Austin-based PR agency marks the second office launched in 2019, and will be made official with presence at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Aug. 27, 2019 – Ketner Group Communications, a public relations, marketing and communications firm serving clients in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., today announced its continued geographic expansion with the opening of its office in Nashville, Tennessee. As the second satellite office to launch in 2019 – following the announcement in early 2019 of its New York City office opening – Ketner Group’s Nashville presence positions the company to work more closely with the area’s emerging business-to-business (B2B) technology players.   

“There’s a reason why Nashville is listed in Forbes Top 20 for both job growth and business, and it’s because of the emerging technology scene and supportive atmosphere that’s ideal for building game-changing companies,” said Jeff Ketner, president, Ketner Group Communications. “Nashville is a great place for startups and small business owners, with a good deal of support in place for entrepreneurs to accelerate their visions. The city is also attractive to national companies looking to launch new regional headquarters and Nashvillians who are returning to their roots after career stints in Silicon Valley or other tech hubs. In launching our next office location in Nashville, Ketner Group is committed to being a part of the growth, and we’re excited to play a role in telling the compelling stories coming out of these innovative businesses.”

“The growth Nashville has seen in the technology space has been significant in the past five to 10 years, but we are seeing an explosion now that CKE, Nissan and Schneider Electric have opened their U.S. headquarters here, and Amazon has announced a new office with 5,000 high-paying jobs,” said Greg Buzek, founder and president, IHL Group, a Nashville-based retail technology analyst firm. “As a long-time resident, I believe we are uniquely poised for continued growth as a result of our friendly atmosphere, creative pool of talent and sheer geographical space available for business.”

Ketner Group’s Nashville office is led by Kirsty Goodlett, who made her return to the agency earlier this year to begin laying the groundwork for the new location. Goodlett first worked with Ketner Group seven years ago as a client, and later came on board to serve as an Account Manager with Ketner Group for two years. Now as Director of Nashville, Goodlett will continue to lead several key accounts while developing new business relationships in Nashville’s flourishing tech scene.

Tomorrow at the 36|86 Entrepreneurship Festival, hosted by Launch Tennessee, Goodlett will be joined by Lisa Roberts, founder, Great Catch Consulting, and Ben Kurland, co-founder, BillFixers, to speak on a panel titled “How to win press and influence customers.” During this session, Goodlett, Roberts and Kurland will speak from their experience working with startups, entrepreneurs and seasoned tech companies to provide attendees with best practices for generating media pickup, incorporating PR into the overall business strategy, and crafting stories that resonate.

Ketner Group Takes On The Big Apple

Amazon’s HQ2 expansion to New York was the biggest news in corporate expansions for 2018. But let me set the record straight. Ketner Group thought of it first.

This time last year we started laying the groundwork for expanding to the Big Apple. And we’re thrilled to say, it’s now a reality. Ketner Group Communications has just opened an office in New York City, led by our fearless team member Adrienne Newcomb. It’s a dream come true for all of us at Ketner Group, and it underscores our commitment to growth, innovation and client service. Check out our recent Q&A with Adrienne to find out how this native Texan is adapting to New York. (If you know Adrienne, you won’t be surprised to learn that she’s embracing it 100%.)

Besides the world’s best pizza and bagels, New York is a strategic move for Ketner Group. We’re excited about it, and it makes sense for a number of reasons, including the following:

The Center of the Media Universe

First and foremost, New York is the undisputed center of the media universe. Where else can you hold high-value, in-person press meetings with The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Bloomberg and WWD in a single day? We’ve managed dozens of press tours and press meetings for our clients in New York, from top-tier to relevant trade media. Our interactions with New York media will pick up dramatically, now that Ketner Group has on-the-ground representation.

A Focal Point for Technology Innovation

New York is also the #1 area for retail, fashion, advertising and CPG innovation, and this will only accelerate with HQ2. The Retail Innovation Conference, hosted by our friends at Retail TouchPoints, is a prime example. Our client RevTech Ventures will participate in the May conference, focusing on the impact of disruptive, venture-backed companies in retail. New York is also home to XRC Labs, widely recognized as one of the top accelerators for disruptive retail and CPG companies. Moreover, in our first few weeks on the ground, we’re already talking to early-stage companies that will have a big impact in their markets. You may not have heard of them yet, but you will; we’ll make darn sure of that.

New Opportunities for Growth

Finally, our New York expansion is a sign of Ketner Group’s remarkable growth. We experienced a nearly 40% YOY growth rate in 2018, adding six new clients and increasing our team by over 50%. We’ve already added two major clients in 2019, and we’re not slowing down. We’re proud to say that our former KG’er Kirsty Goodlett has returned to Ketner Group as a senior team member; check out her intro blog to learn more about Kirsty’s recent re-entry to our team as an Account Supervisor.

None of this would be possible without our amazing team here at Ketner Group, as well as the best, most supportive clients in the business. We’re privileged to work with so many innovative companies that are shaping the future of how we work, shop, play and live. They trust us to tell their stories, and we work like crazy to exceed their expectations every day. Our New York office will only make it that much easier.

For more information, check out our press release announcing our NYC office.

New Things Are All Around – Welcome to Ketner Group Communications

I always tell people it’s the little things that make me happy – a good hair day, catching all the green lights on the way home, or finding that lost $10 bill in my pocket. That’s why today, the official launch of our new and improved Ketner Group website, I am grinning ear to ear remembering all of the (several dozen) little things that happened during the journey of creating this latest version of KetnerGroup.com.

For starters, before the painstaking, yet satisfying process of developing the new website began – Jeff Ketner and I made the bold decision to change the name of the agency to Ketner Group Communications, leaving behind Ketner Group PR + Marketing. As an agency, we have grown in so many ways over the past few years, not only in our ranks, but also in expanding our scope of services to offer social media management and digital content marketing to clients. We felt that the word “communications” better described where we are now and where we are headed in the years to come. We think it fits us quite nicely, and we hope you like it!

So, a new name meant a new logo, with a new color palette, to go along with a new website! Enter our new and amazing friends from Mixtape Marketing (bless their hearts) who have hung in there with us since November 2017 and have been the best marketing and design partners we could ever ask for! No one ever said creating a new website was easy, but the Mixtape team made the nearly year-long process of getting this sucker off the ground a fun and enjoyable experience. Our hats off to them.

As part of the new Ketnergroup.com site, we wanted the content, design, tone and imagery to better reflect who we are as a group and our philosophy as an agency. As the homepage says, we are “obsessed with exceeding client expectations” and we love showcasing our can-do culture. It’s at the heart of who we are. We are a fun group of taco and latte-loving “strategists, writers, talkers, listeners, tweeters, readers, music nerds and goofballs” who love nothing more than to see our clients win big. We think that sentiment is perfectly reflected in the new website.

While we hoped to have launched the site sooner, we had a few worthwhile roadblocks come up this past year that needed our attention – like the six new clients we brought on in 2018, which led us to hire three new employees, bringing our current KG full-time employee count to 10. We were nominated as a finalist in “company culture” for the 2018 Greater Austin Business awards, and have been busy finalizing the details to open a New York office in 2019. Oh, and we bought new chairs for our conference room – they are so nice and comfy! Like I said, it’s the little things.

I suppose you can consider this blog the digital version of a “ribbon cutting” ceremony for the new Ketnergroup.com! To make it KG official though, we celebrated with some Torchy’s chips and queso, a big chocolate cake and champagne. It’s how we roll.

Welcome to Ketner Group Communications – our door is always open!

New Year, New Site, New Baby!

This has been an exciting couple of months at Ketner Group. As we covered in our last few blogs we had a very successful NRF with 11 of our 18 clients attending, making announcements and holding over 80 meetings with analysts and media.

Jeff Meets Jack!Behind the scenes, our team has been furiously working on building this brand new site that you see today. Countless hours went in on our end cultivating the content and working with Creative Pickle to create this beautiful site! We thank them for their patience and creative leadership.

Thirdly, and most exciting, we are happy to announce that our fearless leader, Jeff, and his wife, Molly, are
now grandparents! Their daughter and son-in-law welcomed Jack Andrew Winterroth in to the world at 9:30pm on Wednesday, February 3. He is a healthy 6 pounds and 12 ounces. We are thrilled to welcome this newest addition into the Ketner Group family. Congratulations Jeff, Molly and the entire Ketner clan!

 

Caitlin New is Austin’s PRSA Member of the Month

We just wanted to give a shout-out to our Director of Company Branding, Caitlin New, as she’s featured as the Public Relations Society of America’s Austin Chapter member of the month for January.

Caitlin is currently serving on the PRSA Austin board as Programs Chair, and is also on the planning committee for the PRSA Southwest District Conference (June 5-7) as the Special Events Chair. Check out her member spotlight article here!

Enough shameless bragging, now.

Ketner Group is a proud sponsor of Austin Twestival! (3/25)

In case you haven’t heard, TOMORROW (3/25) is the big day for the Global Twestival! Caitlin and I (Valerie) will be there to show our support of the great cause  this Twestival benefits (details on that below) — and also to represent Ketner Group, since we signed on as a sponsor of the event.

We really hope you can make it out, too! Mark your calendars for 7pm tomorrow, Thursday, March 25 for Twestival Austin at Molotov downtown! RSVP here now.

About the Twestival (from the website):

On Thursday, March 25, people in hundreds of cities around the world will come together offline to rally around the important cause of Education by hosting local events to have fun and create awareness.  Twestival™ (or Twitter Festival) uses social media for social good.  All of the local events are organized 100% by volunteers (in Austin, this Twestival effort is being led by the awesome @michaelpearsun) and 100% of all ticket sales and donations go direct to projects.  If you would like to get involved, please Register your City, Register your School, or Volunteer  and we will get in touch.  Organizers will be given a handbook and invitation to our collaboration workspace.  Follow @twestival for updates.

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