Much to blog about.

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Four Fresh Ideas to Generate Marketing Content

September 20, 2016 | by Mandy Bray

Like being in a long relationship, sometimes in marketing you have to be creative to keep things fresh and relevant when you’re talking about the same topics day after day.

The best kind of content marketing is that which informs and entertains, delivering value to your customers or stakeholders. Talking too much about your own products and services without showing interest in the other person can be a real conversation-killer.

With that in mind, here are a few ideas to help you generate new content and stories that will enthrall your audience and move them to action.

Address your audience’s pain points

Find out what makes your customers or stakeholders tick. What are the problems they face on a daily basis? Search for a common denominator. Ask people within your organization that have the most touch points with customers (sales, customer support, field personnel, etc.) what barriers they encounter or problems their customers discuss the most.

Once you have these pain points outlined, create marketing content that 1) acknowledges and empathizes; and 2) provides a solution to those problems.

What do you know?

When planning content, think about the assets that your organization has. It could be people who are knowledgeable in their fields, videos or artwork, resources, or data. A lot of organizations are sitting on caches of data that they don’t think is valuable to anyone but themselves. However, complex data can easily be broken down and presented and repurposed in interesting ways. Likewise, think through how the other assets that you have can be repurposed, or people leveraged for the valuable expertise that they have.

Give your customers a peek behind the scenes

You work hard to make your final product or service look like perfection to customers. Nonetheless, showing the process at work can help build anticipation among customers and help them connect with your brand on a deeper level. Look for ways to show progress, such as:

  • Build excitement for an upcoming event by showing preparations
  • Show a teaser image of a new product launch
  • Interview your leadership team
  • Make a video showing a behind-the-scenes peek of something customers wouldn’t ordinarily see

This strategy can also generate more consistent conversation when your organization may only have a few big events or launches per year.

Create the Content

If you find yourself in a real content rut, sometimes it will fall to you to make interesting things happen even if it isn’t in your job description. Plan an event. Give something away. Create a challenge. Go for a world record. Don’t be afraid to suggest ideas to leadership and other departments within your company for campaigns that you believe will have a big ‘wow’ effect on your audience.


We’re an integrated communications agency specializing in events & entertainment, nonprofit, and corporate marketing. We’d love to see how we can help you get started on your next content calendar or strategic communications plan. Contact us!


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Fall in Indy: Abundant with Colors and Events

September 14, 2016 | by Bohlsen Group

By Miranda Maritato 

We know you hate to see summer go, but admit it – fall is your favorite season. As the heat of summer simmers down, it’s the perfect time to get out and enjoy fall in Indianapolis. Check out some of the upcoming events:

Celebrate the Indy Bike Hub YMCA’s 5th Anniversary (#BikeHubBDay)

City Market – Indy Bike Hub YMCA

Month of September

Attention cyclists, fitness enthusiasts or anyone looking for some treadmill time: the Indy Bike Hub YMCA wants to celebrate their 5th anniversary with you. The Indy Bike Hub YMCA has been working to build a stronger and healthier Indianapolis through fitness programs and participation in community initiatives. Visit the Indy Bike Hub YMCA or wish them a happy birthday using #BikeHubBDay!

For more information about Indy Bike Hub YMCA, visit www.indymca.org/centers/indy-bike-hub/center-news

Indy Urban BioBlitz

Barth Avenue Bridge

Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Interested in being a good neighbor to the plants and animals that surround us? Come out for an Indy Urban BioBlitz hosted by Reconnecting to Our Waterways at the newly refurbished Barth Avenue Bridge on Friday, September 16. There will be displays, hands-on activities and a biodiversity movie to watch on a giant blow-up screen. This intensive 24-hour inventory of all the plants and animals in the area will focus on improving water quality for every living thing in the city.

For more information, visit: http://reconnectingtoourwaterways.org/event/indy-urban-bioblitz/

JA JobSpark

Indiana State Fairgrounds

Sept. 29 – 30

Never underestimated the power released by a single “spark.” The Junior Achievement of Central Indiana is hosting a two-day, hands-on learning experience in different career options geared towards 8th grade students at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on September 29 and 30. The JA JobSpark helps students plan for high school, post-secondary education or a different career track.

For more information, visit jajobspark.org 

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s Candlelight Theatre presents “The Witching Hour”

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Oct. 14,15, 21, 22 and 23

Join Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site’s Candlelight Theatre for a hair-raising performance. The only School of Wizardry and Witchcraft in North America is opening its doors for future sorcerers and sorceresses. “The Witching Hour” takes audiences from room to room throughout the Harrison mansion for historical and fictional tales told by witches. Performances begin every hour and last approximately 75 minutes; they are scheduled for Friday and Saturday 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Visit here for ticket information: http://www.bhpsite.org/events/signature-events/candlelight-theatre

Taste…the Wine Regions of California and Taste After Dark

Salesforce Tower

Oct. 21, 7 – 10 p.m.

Do you enjoy drinking wine? Do you enjoy drinking wine from California? Indulge in the best of California’s vineyards, artfully presented food tastings and a live and silent auction all for the benefit of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Indiana. New to this year’s event is the “After Dark” segment, including electrifying beats provided by a DJ, wine tastings, creative food pairings and more. Don’t miss out on this evening of fine wine – all atop Salesforce Tower at the spectacular D’Amore.

For more information or to register for either event, visit rmhccin.org.

ICC Fall Concerts

Multiple Locations

Oct. 28, 7 p.m.; Oct. 30, 2:30 p.m.

Enjoy a family-friendly, not-so-spooky concert put on by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir and special guests Echoing Air on October 28. “Music of the Night” will take place at Broadway United Methodist Church, 609 E 29th Street.

On October 30, join the ICC for “Sweet Melodies: A Classical Afternoon,” a showcase of music they performed at a recent visit to Carnegie Hall. The concert will be at St. Joan of Arc, 4217 Central Avenue.

For more information, visit icchoir.org.

Spirit & Place Festival

Multiple Locations

Nov. 4-13

Celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial year and explore the different meanings of home. Spirit and Place Festival presents home as a place, a space and an idea with 40 events. Indianapolis’ largest collaborative festival, the series of events focus on using the arts, religion and humanities to shape individual and community life.

For a full list of events at this year’s festival, visit spiritandplace.org.

IPS Hall of Fame

Indianapolis Public Schools Headquarters

Nov. 10

Support the IPS Education Foundation and celebrate icons who have graduated from Indiana Public Schools at this year’s IPS Hall of Fame luncheon on November 10. This event includes performances from IPS students, honors several outstanding graduates and allows students the opportunity to see what is possible with an IPS education.

For more information http://ipsef.org/hall-of-fame-luncheon/

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Indy boasts impressive fall entertainment schedule

September 6, 2016 | by Bohlsen Group

By Jordan Galligan

Although the summer may be coming to a close, Indianapolis entertainment is just getting started. With a calendar chock-full of concerts, festivals and unique sporting events perfect for people of all ages, Indy’s fun entertainment scene is open for business. Experience everything these events have to offer!

Here are some of the upcoming events this fall:

WHITE RIVER FESTIVAL

Various Locations – September 9-27

Interested in celebrating and cherishing Indy’s natural beauty? The annual White River Festival will return with this year’s theme of history. The festival will feature 19 days of events that bring awareness of the area’s land, wildlife, plants, streams and people. The year-round focus involves the “Clear Choices Clean Water” initiative, founded in 2010 by the White River Alliance to educate the community on the choices people make and the cause and effect on lakes and streams. If you would like to submit an event that coincides with the festival’s campaign to improve water quality awareness, check out the criteria to be added to the calendar. Be a part of Indy’s beauty and preservation!

For event locations and to join the movement, visit www.whiteriverfestival.org.

INDY JAZZ FEST

Multiple Venues – September 15-24 

The Indy Jazz Fest returns this year, featuring a 10-day lineup with artists performing throughout the city at venues “All Around Town.” The IUPUI Campus Center, historic Madame Walker Theatre, the Indianapolis Central Library, The Jazz Kitchen and many more sites will all be utilized, with the entire festival celebrating the legacy and footprint of legendary Indianapolis native and GRAMMY Award winner Wes Montgomery. A full day will feature five stages and more than 30 bands at the Remembering Wes Celebration presented by IUPUI, and be sure to check out the closing night celebration with 11 bands on two stages, both inside and out, featuring a shared buffet of food from The Jazz Kitchen and Yats. You don’t want to miss out on this night of spectacular music and food!

For tickets, schedule and more information, visit www.indyjazzfest.net.

RED BULL AIR RACE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Indianapolis Motor Speedway – October 1-2

Gear up and strap in for this high flying spectacle elevated above the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway! Some of the world’s most elite pilots will come together for the Red Bull Air Race World Championships, a breathtaking phenomenon of aviation innovation. The championship represents the ultimate motorsports competition: pilots must maneuver around an aerial racetrack, with speeds that regularly near 230 miles per hour. Indy will mark Red Bull’s seventh stop of the season, nestled between stops in Lausitzring, Germany and Las Vegas, Nev. With tickets starting at $20 and $30 for Saturday and Sunday general admission tickets, respectively, it also won’t break your wallet to witness the aerial fun.

For more information and to experience this memorable day at the IMS, get your tickets at www.ims.com/tickets.

KELLOGG’S TOUR OF GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONS

Bankers Life Fieldhouse – October 15

Already missing the 2016 summer in Rio? Want your chance to witness Olympic athletes in action? Now is your chance as the 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions rolls through Indianapolis! American fan-favorites will be in action, including 2016 Olympic all-around champion Simone Biles, 2012 Olympic team and all-around champion Gabby Douglas and 2012 Olympic team and floor exercise champion Aly Raisman. VIP packages and platinum tickets are available with special Olympian experiences, such as a pre-show Chalk Talk hosted by five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin, Q&As with selected members of the 2016 Olympic Team, a post-show autograph session and more.

For more information and tickets to catch these Olympic medalists perform live, visit www.BankersLifeFieldhouse.com.

INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONIC CHOIR

Carnegie Hall – October 16

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir will return to New York City’s Carnegie Hall this year for the first time since 1978, as the choral ensemble celebrates its 80th anniversary season as one of the nation’s most established and dynamic musical organizations. Part of the performance will include a piece titled “Les Illuminations,” written by 20th century English composer Benjamin Britten, not to mention countless other ensembles. If you’re looking to make the trip to the Big Apple, limited space is available for 75 persons to join as non-singing travelers with a package that includes flight, lodging, concert tickets and other special opportunities.

For more information on the performance and New York package, visit www.indychoir.org.

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Welcome David Cordell to the Bohlsen Group team

September 1, 2016 | by Vicki Bohlsen

I knew it was going to take a very special person to fill Bohlsen Group’s creative director role. And, after an intensive six-month search, I feel we’ve hit the jackpot!

David Cordell is not only a talented web designer, creative services manager and art director, but he has an entrepreneurial attitude that will be instrumental as he builds Bohlsen Group’s creative services division.

David graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana State University in 1997, and then joined Williams Randall in Indianapolis as a web designer and later as an art director. He worked there for the majority of the past 20 years, directing design and development for web and print projects.

David was instrumental in working on many high-profile client accounts, including: AAA, Clabber Girl, Firestone, Holiday World, ICVA, Indiana Department of Tourism, IPL, IndyCar Series, Harrison College, Mike’s Carwash, Pop Weaver and NCAA. His work was the recipient of ADDY awards from the American Advertising Federation in 2007, 2009 and 2013.

Besides David’s obvious ability to produce award-winning marketing solutions that involve design, web, advertising, packaging, environmental branding, television, radio, video and more, he has vast experience in managing internal and external resources and procuring and managing vendors.

When I met David I knew he’d fit right in. I introduced him to the staff as “spirited, fun, funny and kind”.

I’ve gotten to know him a bit more, and I think I’m right.

You might find him starting the day with a balanced diet of fruit in the form of a strawberry pop tart, while he hits some garage sales looking for vintage toys or napkins for his collections.

He may or may not work out, depending on whether he plans to eat greasy food or chocolate that day. If he does work out, he is likely listening to the “Comedy Bang Bang” podcast.

He will drive at least one of his three kids (Isabella, Roman or Hudson) to a daily activity, especially if it is an excuse for getting out of mowing the lawn.

And, he will likely end the day alongside his beautiful wife with a bit of Netflix, NFL or pro soccer, while having a glass of wine.

What isn’t there to like about David Cordell?


To read more about the people that make Bohlsen Group shine, visit https://bohlsengroup.com/about-us/our-team/


 

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How to create brand advocates through CSR

August 30, 2016 | by Vicki Bohlsen

There are a myriad of ways for companies to participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from directly supporting the community, to creating unique and health-focused working environments, all the way to something as simple as being transparent about practices – both internally and externally. Chances are your organization is doing something positive in the realm of CSR and you just haven’t realized it yet. Once you discover that great thing you’re doing, the next step is to figure out how to share that message with others.

Part three of our Power Play workshop series focused on turning those positive CSR efforts into a force for creating advocates, brand champions and rabid fans. For example, you’re probably familiar with Lush’s recyclable packaging and fight against animal testing or Whole Foods’ emphasis on local sourcing for products and donations to food shelters. Then of course there’s local group American College of Education who is an avid supporter of Teacher’s Treasures, who both work hard to improve the current state of education in the United States.

Stop and think – how did you know these things? How did those wonderful endeavors happening behind the products become standard knowledge for consumers even outside of their main audience?

There are several ways of communicating your CSR story to a broader audience, so we invited four of Bohlsen Group’s experts from different backgrounds to share their insights during out event. The audience during this most recent Power Play workshop definitely put our experts to the test with some great questions. While the full Q&A would be quite lengthy, here are some key takeaways to inspire you toward speaking about your CSR endeavors:

Heidi Harmon Bohlsen GroupHeidi Harmon on Media Relations

A lot of companies are afraid they will be seen as bragging if they tell the media about the cool things they’re doing. Sometimes a press release is a scary thing to put out there, however, if you do it in the right way, it allows the media to do the bragging for you. There might be a potential client or vendor who finds they want to work with you because of what they read in a press release or feature article on your company. In this way, media relations can be a more authentic way of generating your fan base.

Mandy Bray Headshot 250x250 2Mandy Bray on Content Marketing

Remember the old adage, “Facts tell, but stories sell?” When creating content around your CSR program, always make the extra effort to put stories and people at the center of your campaign, above and beyond listing your accomplishments. People buy from people, not brands, and when your story is told from the mouths of enthused stakeholders – whether employees, customers, or partners – you’ll generate a fan for life and avoid that sense of bragging.

Muriel Cross Bohlsen GroupMuriel Cross on Social Media

Get your employees and internal audience to be your own brand ambassadors and share your social content from their own accounts. When we became B Corp certified we were all aware of what was happening beforehand and were as excited about it as our president Vicki Bohlsen was. That meant once the announcement went out, we were all talking about it from our own accounts, and to this day we still share content related to the B Corp practices i.e. Bohlsen’s Best blog posts. Social media is a direct pipeline to a potentially large untapped audience. 

Spencer HotzSpencer Hotz on Strategic Planning

Do your employees understand your CSR endeavors? Is your message consistent across social platforms? Are the focal points in your content pieces the same as the ones in your press release? Where is your main audience finding you? Planning how to participate in CSR is just as important as planning how to talk about it. You should create a dedicated internal team to work on key messaging, keep an eye out for strong ambassador stories and help ensure that your whole organization is consistent when sharing your story.