REACHing for experience in an inbound marketing agency

It’s hard to believe that my first day at Reach was an entire semester ago. It feels like just yesterday I walked into a beautiful brick building in the heart of Kissimmee for my first day. I remember I was nervous, overdressed, and trying really hard to look like I knew what I was doing. Kelly Trace, Reach’s chief strategist and #GirlBoss, was quick to inform me that this is not an ordinary company. Kelly was not lying. Reach is a special place that cares about each other as much as they care about their clients.

Reach is an inbound marketing agency that aims to “make real impact” in the community while also providing the best product for their customers. I was greeted with positivity and immediately welcomed to the team. Everyone was quick to lend a hand and answer any questions I could think of. I felt my worries fade away, and I began to embrace the Reach lifestyle.

I have learned a lot in my months as a Reacher, and I am excited to be the next entry in the Intern Series. Here are ten of the most important things I learned while interning at Reach.

Inbound marketing exists and is very important

I had never heard of inbound marketing before applying to Reach. I quickly discovered that inbound marketing is a specialized style of marketing that focuses on content creation that attracts, engages, and delights customers. After hands-on experiences with inbound marketing, I believe it is the way all marketing should be done. Inbound marketers do not rely on annoying pop-up ads or spending a pile of money so customers see the same ad a million times. The inbound strategy focuses on relationships with the customers and delighting them so much that they become brand ambassadors for your company.

Being online is a MUST for any size business

Reach works with clients of all shapes, sizes, and industries. One thing Reach has provided them all with is a great web presence. Having a regularly updated and easy to use website is extremely beneficial. Having a website allows your business to be more discoverable and provides a space to share information with potential customers. Websites can also be home to forms which you can use to create more possible leads and countless other benefits. Bottom line is that if you own a business, you need a website.

Google is the king of the internet

Google handles 40,000 searches per second! The first page of search results is a coveted position that alas, only a handful of companies can hold. This creates a fierce digital war between competitors. Companies try to “rank” for keywords that have something to do with their business. Inbound marketers attempt to create content that will please potential customers and the almighty Google’s algorithm. Every word on a website matters because Google crawls the site looking for things you could rank for. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a huge part of digital marketing. Google is the number one search engine by a healthy margin, so it is safe to say that Google is king. I never realized the complexity of a Google search until I was the one trying to be found.

Downtown Kissimmee is full of great food

Being a stone’s throw away from the best pizza, BBQ, and ice cream in town is both a blessing and a curse. Lunch at Reach is always a team effort. The team collectively decides on the restaurant of the day and then a herd of Reacher’s parade to it. Whether we sit down and enjoy the atmosphere of one of downtown Kissimmee’s unique restaurants or rush back and eat at our desks, the food is always amazing. Everyone has heard of the “Freshman 15” that students tend to gain their first year in college, but people who join the Reach team desperately try to avoid the “Reach 10,” which is difficult when the office is regularly filled with the smell of fresh pizza and garlic sauce.

Walks are your friend

Staring at a computer screen can be draining. You aren’t physically doing much but your brain is going a mile a minute trying to solve problems and put out fires. It can get overwhelming and monotonous, so when your phone lights up and you see that someone wants to go on a walk, it feels like they just offered you a free vacation. Taking a five-minute stroll with my co-workers was one of my favorite things because it prevented work from feeling like work. A small break and a chance to actually catch up with each other always made me feel better and ready to take on some more tasks.

Those ads you see are not random

Working for a marketing company gives you behind the scenes look at things the average person probably never thinks about. If you are seeing an ad on social media or a website it is because a company thinks that you are the kind of person that will buy their product. An insanely detailed filter can be used to single out a specific type of person. If you have searched things about football and liked a sports talk show’s page that is the reason you are seeing ads for NFL jerseys all over your facebook.

Buyer persona’s change the game

One key component of inbound marketing is creating buyer personas. Creating a buyer persona is a simple task, but it can change the way your company behaves. A buyer persona is an imaginary representation of the type of person who will buy your product. If you create a buyer persona, it allows you to personalize your ads and campaigns to your ideal customer. It also humanizes your customers, so instead of selling to some stranger, you are selling to Techy Timothy who is a 20-35-year-old man who stays up to date on technology and enjoys classic movies. Techy Timothy may not exist, but it is a lot easier to think of an ad he might like than it is to think of an ad that will please every possible customer out there.

Blogging can be more than just clickbait

Today’s internet is full of clickbait articles with no real substance. The goal of these articles is to get you on the page just so you can see the ads. At an inbound marketing firm, blogging is an important tool that we use to share information with customers to tell our stories. Not only does this entertain customers, but it gives our sites more content, which can make them rank higher on Google search pages. If a customer likes a blog, they might share it with their friends and family, getting the page more interaction and engagement, which can lead to more potential customers.

Organization is key

One of the most impressive things at Reach is the level of organization. Everyone’s Google calendar looks like a rainbow with colors all over the place and no blank space. At team meetings, you can see people taking notes in personalized notebooks that are filled with notes, deadlines, sketches, ideas and anything they think is kind of important. I was in awe at the color-coordinated, bookmarked, and sectionalized notebooks I saw people using. After a few weeks, I realized that that level of organization was necessary for the crazy deadline-filled life of a marketer.

You never stop learning

Being a part of the ever-evolving world of digital marketing guarantees that what works today will most likely not work tomorrow. Just keeping up with the hundreds of studies and trends being released would be a full-time job. Marketers are tasked with studying those trends and creating content that will reach and engage their target audience. Reachers are constantly watching webinars and reading studies to stay up to date on the newest trends. They are not doing this just because it is interesting. All the information they receive they need to know so they can continue to be successful. The internet giants also make things more interesting. If Google or Facebook makes a change to their algorithms, it can change everything a marketer was planning to do and force them to learn all the new ins and outs of the updates. New technology is released every day. For example, a client would be very upset if you spent all the ad money on Myspace banner ads because it was a very successful campaign in the past. A marketer needs to be able to adapt and improvise.

 

Bonus lessons

  • If you work in an office with mostly women, the handsoap in the bathroom smells amazing and changes with the seasons.
  • Whoever sits closest to the outlet has an extreme amount of power, so it is important to befriend them quickly.
  • Printers can be very complicated so there is no shame in asking for help.
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