With a seemingly endless sea of content types and channels, brainstorming and developing creative content for your brand can be overwhelming. Here, MSPC content director Amanda Welshons shares three ways to create authentic content that educates, entertains and engages your target audience.

When it comes to content creation, starting can be the hardest part. There’s seemingly endless possibilities to content types: blogs, print articles, emails, podcasts, Instagram Reels, Pinterest Pins, on and on. So many channels and messages—not even close to enough time to consume it all!

So, what’s best for you? And, more importantly, what’s right for your audience?

Whether you’re launching a new content marketing program or recalibrating an existing one, you’ve come to the right place. At MSPC, we excel at content strategy, ideation and execution, among other services—and I’m thrilled to outline some tried and true tips to engage, educate and inspire your audience.

Here are some ideas to ramp up creative content development:

1. Be Intentional

Do not create content in a vacuum. To do it well, you need quality over quantity. Not every content type or channel will make sense for your company. Before you start, be strategic: know your audience, use whatever data is available to you and align your marketing plan to the sales funnel. Who are you talking to and how do you add value to their lives? Are you crafting content for awareness, or should you prioritize retention tactics?

Encourage creativity with your team and put yourself in the shoes of the consumer as you brainstorm. This exercise will help lead to content that’s relevant, authentic and evergreen.

2. Serve Your Audience

Brands often need to nurture their audience. To do this, publish content with utility—aka content your audience can actually use. Valuable utility content educates, answers questions, entertains, welcomes users and reinforces loyalty.

To me, utility content falls into two categories:

Brand-centric content: The things people should know about your products and services to get the most out of being your customer.
Lifestyle content: Adjacent topics that help explain how you naturally fit into the everyday life and aspirations of your target audience.

At MSPC, content ideation starts and ends with the audience. Here are key questions to ask as you ideate:

Brand-Centric Content

Lifestyle Content

Who can help you tell your brand story? Identify internal subject matter experts and voices who have a compelling point of view.

What topics can you own as a brand?

  • What drives your expertise?
  • What inspires your mission?

When do you want to show up for your audience?

Where is your audience?

  • Where do you want them to be? Think beyond physical place: where is their access point?
    • Point of sale?
    • Researching online?
    • What device?
    • What channels?

Why should someone engage with your brand? Consider this answer from the audience perspective.

How do you use your product or service?

  • How does it work?
  • How is it made?
  • How do you innovate?
Who are you talking to across channels?

  • Prospective customers?
  • Current customers?
  • Gen Z?
  • Employees?

What related topics can act as halos to your products, solutions or services?

  • What tips can you provide?
  • What visuals help comprehension?

When does your audience need you, and what is on their minds in those moments?

Where is your audience when they need your product or service?

  • Where are they before or after they need you?

Why should they come back to you once they’ve purchased?

How do you add value to every day?

  • How can you guide users to their best experience?

Taking the time to answer these questions should lead to a variety of topics that can help you tell your story, hook your audience and build community.

3. Share Employee Stories

Do not underestimate the value of content for and about your own employee base, especially if you are a large company. Case in point: The 3Mer magazine.

Our employee communications work for 3M highlights company news through an employee lens. We share stories of innovation, collaboration, philanthropy and impact—among other topics—from real voices doing the work.

This print publication’s success emphasizes the power of storytelling and that authenticity is worth striving for on your owned and social channels. After all, authenticity is key to connecting with your audience—a sentiment we’ve heard directly from readers.

Need help generating content? We’re never short of ideas. Get in touch with us.

Read next: The Value of Evergreen Content

Jill Roesler got into project management after numerous editors in previous roles commented on her intense organization skills. Today, she works with MSPC clients to steward a range of projects through every step, from discovery all the way through debrief.

What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?

Dedicated: My dedication to this role is threefold: I am dedicated to our MSPC teams, the client/client team and the success of the overall project.

Approachable: I’d like to think I foster an environment for all project team members to share their opinions and ideas. It’s those small, one-off thoughts that sometimes shift the direction of a project for the better!

Honest: Transparency and honesty with the client and the MSPC teams is one of my greatest career values, which I practice daily.

What has been your favorite MSPC project and why?

I like working on projects that expand my own wheelhouse and contain deliverables I haven’t worked with yet. The Next Avenue project was just that: a website audit, competitor SWOT and a new approach to customer journey mapping that I hadn’t experienced before. The findings were fascinating and it really showed me how talented those at MSPC are! (Especially since this project was early in my career here.)

What skill, hobby, experience, etc., do you have that would surprise people?

Although I’m a project manager here, I’m also a published author. I’ve written several educational children’s books and had my own byline in a community newspaper. I’ve also written for various magazines and company blogs. Oh, and I often take my cat for walks around the neighborhood nearly every day in the spring, summer and fall!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to own a candy store called “Jilly Beans,” overflowing with gummy candies, artisanal chocolates and a full ice cream bar. It’s never too late!

Recommend two or three accounts to follow on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or your platform of choice.

@astoldbymichelle on Instagram: She has a quirky, feminine interior design style that’s full of imagination and splendor.

“Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!” podcast: I’m a complete nerd about all things mythology and this podcast (@mythsbaby on Instagram) captures Greek and Roman mythologies really well!

Read next: Why Journalists Make the Best Content Marketers

Gina Czupka is a content director at MSPC. Here, she explores the daunting task of setting your brand apart from thousands of competitors with four factors that can help you build a stronger brand identity.

Sometimes I like to think of myself as being above brand loyalty. I am uncatchable, wily and savvy, too wise to the ways of marketing to be lured in. And then I look through the cabinets and cupboards of my house, and I am humbled to realize that no, I am most definitely not immune to the power of a good brand. Vanishingly few people are.

But here’s the thing: For every branded product that I buy, own or evangelize to my friends, there are dozens—maybe hundreds or thousands—of competing products. And we’re inundated with messages from those legions of brands every day.

There’s an oft-cited statistic that we see between 4,000 and 10,000 brand messages *per day* (as I fact-checked this stat, I saw ads for two car companies, an investment firm, a direct-to-consumer jewelry brand and an ISP on just one page). Nevertheless, plenty of brands—both big and small—manage to grab attention, inspire trial and gain loyalty.

How do they do it? I’m sure you’ll be shocked (shocked!) to hear that there’s no simple formula or one-size-fits-all solution to creating a standout brand identity. Come to think of it, that’d be the best way to not stand out. What the brands that do stand out have in common is that they’re balancing a number of factors that, taken together, build a memorable, likable brand identity and bolster the odds of discovery.

Whether you’re starting from scratch or trying to reach a new level after hitting a plateau, consider these four crucial factors to build a stronger identity for your brand.

1. Understand your value proposition

There’s a reason your brand exists: You do what you do differently or better than your competition does it. But it’s not enough to vaguely feel like you’re different—or to assume that consumers will understand what makes your brand special.

You need to define your unique value proposition. Put into words all of the specific ways your brand solves your customers’ problems and makes their lives better, and then identify how you do those things differently than your competitors.

You won’t use this information to draw direct comparisons in your content. The exercise is more about galvanizing internal excitement, developing a cohesive perspective about what your brand is (and is not), and laying out your content subject matter.

2. Have a perspective

The old adage still applies: You can’t please all of the people all of the time. And to be a standout brand, trying to be everything to everyone is counterproductive.

The way your brand comes across in your content—the things you talk about, how you talk about them, how you produce and use visuals, where you show up—should leave people with an understanding of your brand’s personality. Does your brand have a sense of humor about your industry? Is it all about compassion and service? Do you absolutely oppose or support Thing X?

When bold, unafraid perspectives show up in your content, your brand is not only more memorable, it’s going to connect more intensely with people who share similar sensibilities and keep them interested in you.

3. Don’t underestimate experience

How people experience your brand—at any stage in the consumer journey—has far-reaching consequences. The way your brand makes people feel can keep them coming back, spur them to spread the word and earn you broader attention. The key is to do something that is unusual or unexpected that adds value to customers’ experiences.

People are hardwired to ignore the common, but notice and remember the exceptional. In an interview on the “Make Something Cool” podcast, Rory Sutherland, vice chairman of Ogilvy Group, referenced this fact in relation to a few brands: San Pellegrino, with the little protective foil lids they put on canned drinks; DoubleTree hotels, with the hot cookies they give guests at check-in; and the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles, a fairly modest place with an outsized fan base thanks to its poolside popsicle delivery hotline and exceptional customer service.

Beyond making me crave cookies, popsicles and a nice cold Clementina, these examples drove home for me the power that these little out-of-the-ordinary touches have in creating a memorable brand identity.

4. Know how to show up in an algorithmic world

The simple prospect of being seen is among the most flummoxing of all challenges these days, but the main takeaway is that you can’t do just one thing. Yes, you need to be on social media—and probably on multiple channels, depending on where your audience tends to congregate. With the state of the algorithms right now, you need both an organic and paid presence, especially on Meta’s turf.

Making a dent in organic is an uphill battle that needs a veritable army of content producers churning and posting at what is (to my mind) a rate unsustainable for human workers. Paid has to be in the mix. And even then, you never know what the future updates will hold. So as insurance—or really, as a best practice—you need to do everything you can to cultivate and support owned channels.

Bring people in organically with an SEO-optimized website rich in valuable content, get them signed up for email, and you’ve got a more qualified audience who have raised their hands to hear what you’re saying, algorithms be [darned].

Taking these four factors into account as you create a brand-building strategy will help set you apart. But keep in mind that they’re a starting point; consistency is what will give your brand real staying power. When your brand takes hold, the hard work isn’t done—it’s just entering a new phase. Innovate, explore and expand your efforts to ensure that your brand stays relevant and fresh.

Read next: What Is SEO Content Marketing and Why Is It Worth the Effort?

“UX design reawakened my creativity, passion and gusto.”

Get to know Reynold Kissling, visual artist and musician turned MSPC UX designer.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I didn’t really know what I wanted to be when I grew up until I was 34 years old. I toyed around with being a visual artist and a musician, but the ever-gnashing jaws of real life pulverized those careers into mush, and they have been relegated to the realm of the weekend warrior. Out of the ashes came UX design, which has rescued me from the doldrums of lousy jobs and half measures and reawakened my creativity, passion and gusto.

Breakfast or dinner? Describe your ideal meal.

Oh man, dinner for sure. Hot take: Dinner for breakfast should be more of a thing, especially if it’s leftovers. On that subject, turning leftovers into nachos is always a great decision.

What has been your favorite MSPC project and why?

It’s been really fun and rewarding working with Pentair to develop the educational and e-commerce hubs for their site, and I think as much of that comes down to our relationship with the client as the work itself (which is also really fun). They are just a joy to work with, have a really great energy and do a fantastic job of implementing our content and wireframes quickly and with a high degree of quality.

Every time we have delivered work to Pentair, they have come back wanting more, and that is the best feeling I think you can have in this business.

What skill, hobby, experience, etc., do you have that would surprise people?

I am a top-level online Sudoku player, with my high score in the top .01% of all players worldwide (sadly, this has not yet made me into a millionaire or an A-list celebrity).

Recommend two or three accounts to follow on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or your platform of choice.

Baumgartner Restoration is a fantastic YouTube channel that lovingly details the painstaking work of fine art restoration in a way that is witty, fun, relaxing and sometimes pretty surprising.

Jon Bois is ostensibly a sports writer, but his YouTube channel (and various series on SBNation) does so much more. I recommend it to anyone. From his two-hour exploration of the disappearance of the name “Bob” from sports to his thought experiment regarding Barry Bonds playing baseball without a bat, Bois can make any subject—no matter how banal or stupid—utterly fascinating.

Read next: Content Marketing Writing Tips: Why Editing Is the Analog UX

As a content specialist, Emma Pitzl crafts and refines all types of content for a handful of B2B technology and healthcare clients at MSPC while serving on the TechChannel content team. She has a bachelor’s in English from the University of Minnesota.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a meteorologist—I was weirdly obsessed with the weather as a kid because I was terrified of thunderstorms. I would actually sit for hours and watch shows on The Weather Channel. Maybe I thought I could predict the weather myself if I watched enough episodes of Storm Stories.

How did you come to be at MSPC?

In college, I worked for a student-led brand communications agency called CLAgency (now known as Backpack). Shameless plug: If you’re a student at the University of Minnesota, Backpack is an insanely great opportunity to get real-world experience and make professional connections.

Through CLAgency, I got connected to MSPC and started as a contract editor right after graduating (and conveniently, right before COVID). After that, I spent six months as an intern before being hired on full time in 2021. The pandemic made it a winding journey, but I’m grateful that I had the support of my coworkers at MSPC the whole time!

Recommend a book, movie, album, etc.—a favorite or something you’ve consumed recently.

I always have to recommend the movie Interstellar. A space movie directed by Christopher Nolan and scored by Hanz Zimmer…how could you not recommend it?

When it comes to music, my go-to rec is a band called half•alive and their album Now, Not Yet. It plays around with a lot of genres, so there’s something for everyone (and the lyrics are top-notch).

What’s a cause that you are passionate about and why?

Every December, I wear a dress for 31 days straight in the middle of the Minnesota winter.

Why? It’s part of an annual fundraising campaign for Dressember, an anti-human trafficking organization that uses creativity and fashion to reclaim the dress as a symbol of freedom and dignity for victims of human trafficking. Since 2013, the movement has raised more than $13 million for partner organizations.

The human trafficking industry is estimated to be valued at $150 billion, and it affects nearly 40 million people worldwide. Those are some crazy numbers. That’s why I’ve participated in the annual fundraiser for the past three years—I’m more than willing to have cold legs for a month if it makes even a small difference!

What skill, hobby, experience, etc., do you have that would surprise people?

Back in my glory days (aka middle school), I was a five-time spelling bee champion. I guess I was destined to be an editor!

These days, my hobbies are a little more sporty: playing volleyball (and cheering on the Gopher volleyball team), golfing (my dad put a club in my hands when I was a toddler), doing yoga and hiking. I’m also a sucker for a good crossword puzzle or a night of trivia at a local brewery.

Read next: Content Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference, Again?

September Olsen is a senior digital content analyst at MSPC. Here, she dives into how Universal Analytics is being replaced by Google Analytics 4 in July 2023, and how you can recreate your favorite reports.

You’ve likely heard the news by now, but in case you missed it: Google recently announced that Universal Analytics (UA) will no longer process data starting July 1, 2023.

That means users across the globe will need to pivot their data collection to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) by then to continue data collection with no interruptions.

If you have yet to do so, Google has plenty of documentation to assist you in your GA4 setup from your current Google Analytics account.

When you first log into GA4, you’ll notice there’s a new interface, and you may be on a scavenger hunt to find your favorite reports from UA in the new system (we were too). While the basic Google Analytics metric names and dimension definitions have remained the same, the layout of the platform has changed.

We’ve outlined three of our most commonly used reports in Google Analytics Universal Analytics (UA/GA3) and how to find the equivalent in Google Analytics (GA4) below.

Report 1: Breakdown of Pageviews for Certain Pages

Where it was in UA: Behavior > Site Content > All Pages

Where to find it in GA4: Reports > Lifecycle > Engagement > Pages and Screens

GA4 defaults page sorting by page title, not URL string. To view this report as URLs, click the drop-down above the table near the blue “+” sign, then select “Page path + query string and screen class.” A good reminder: Make sure your site’s title tags are in place and are unique to each page.

What it’s used for: This feature is used to track page views by page rather than the site as a whole, now called “Views.” It also gives a breakdown of the average time on a page, which is particularly useful for determining how long users spend consuming your content.

Bonus: Filter by session_start event to get your landing page report. This is similar to the “Entrance” metric from UA.

To generate a landing page report and find the most popular landing pages:

  1. Click the event count metric
  2. Click “All Events”
  3. Type session_start in the search bar
  4. Select the session_start metric
  5. Sort from high to low

Report 2: Acquisition Overview

Where it was in UA: Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels or Source/Medium

Where to find it in GA4: Reports > Lifecycle > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition

The default version of this report is similar to the “Channel Acquisition” report in UA. To get this report to provide a further breakdown by source, medium or campaign, select the desired metric in the drop-down at the top of the table column.

What it’s used for: This report shows you where traffic is coming from and how many events or conversions have happened per channel.

Report 3: Search Traffic Report via Search Console

Note: This requires linking your Search Console account to GA4. If you have yet to do that, you can follow these instructions from Google.

Where it was in UA: Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages or Queries

Where to find it in GA4: There are two locations to find these reports.

Option 1: Acquisition > Overview. In the bottom right corner, by default, are the two tables for Search Console. Click “View Google organic traffic acquisition” (landing page impressions and clicks) or “View Google organic search queries” (search query impressions and clicks).

Option 2: By default, the Search Console collection of reports shortcut is unpublished in the navigation bar. To publish, go to “Reports” on the far left, then click “Library” at the bottom of the navigation bar. Under “Collections,” find Search Console, click the three vertical dots in the corner of the box, then click “Publish.”

The set of Search Console reports will now appear under the main “Reports” tab on the left. To find search query data, click into the “Queries” report from Reports > Search Console > Queries.

To find organic landing page data, click into the “Google organic search traffic” report from Reports > Search Console > Google organic search traffic.

What it’s used for: This report tracks your website’s search performance by number of impressions and clicks by landing page or search query. These results can be used to optimize your site to appear higher in search rankings and receive more organic traffic.

Good luck as you make the transition from Google Analytics UA/GA3 to GA4. Know we’re all in it together!

Read next: 3 Instagram Features You Should Be Using

Adam Greenwald is a senior digital content analyst at MSPC. Here, he explores social media best practices and how you can grow your personal and business social networks to increase the organic reach of your social posts.

It’s called social media for a reason, and while that may seem obvious to some, it might be new territory for others. Working with on-air talent at WCCO Radio and the digital team at WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota for four years before coming agency-side has taught me the power of authentic audience building—something MSPC does so well for our clients and owned brands.

Social media is ever-changing, and because of this, so are its best practices. Below is my collection of social media best practices that I’ve picked up over time. If I’ve left any good ones out, please feel free to share.

Maximize Organic Reach: Say Yes to Tags

Hashtags are half art and half science, and the extra organic, unique users you can reach makes finding the sweet spot for hashtags with each social post worth it.

Be Responsive: Keep the Conversation Going

Reach Out in Person: Build Your Network IRL

Want more social media tips? Check out the guide I put together for LinkedIn sharing best practices + how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

And if we aren’t already connected, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I’ll follow back! : )

Read next: Content Marketing Dashboards: Measuring Content ROI with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Kelsey Hanscom is a graphic designer at MSPC with a variety of digital and print experience. She’s responsible for concepting, designing and implementing digital strategies for MSPC’s clients, including social media campaigns, motion graphics, video, digital marketing and more.

A Minnesota native with a love for the outdoors, Kelsey spends her free time hiking trails with her English Shepherd, Ellie. She holds a BFA in graphic design from the University of Minnesota.

In today’s edition of 5 Questions we get to learn more about Kelsey:

What three words would your colleagues use to describe you?

Dedicated GIF user. I might be overanalyzing this, but using GIFs sparks joy in me. They can be funny and lighthearted, and it makes me feel like I’m adding some of my personality into remote working. If I can communicate what I need to say with a GIF I will choose that over typing a message.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be an artist! I was always painting and drawing things; it was my go-to activity. I’m pretty sure my parents and grandparents could fill a museum with all the artwork they received over the years.

I found graphic design in high school and have been set on that career path since, and I couldn’t be happier. If my 5-year-old self saw me now, she’d be pretty psyched.

What has been your favorite MSPC project and why?

I recently completed an animated promotional video for TechChannel that I’m still super excited about. Motion graphics challenge me to use my brain in a completely different way than other design projects, and the satisfaction of seeing everything moving together the way you want it to at the end is *chef’s kiss.*

What’s a cause that you are passionate about and why?

Mental health—so many of us struggle in silence when we don’t have access to necessary resources. Oftentimes mental health issues also are exacerbated by our policing and correctional systems. Our communities can be stronger with the right supports in place to take care of our people.

Recommend two or three accounts to follow on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or your platform of choice.

@Goodtype on Instagram is a great place to see great type and letter art.

I love @Gramparents on Instagram because it’s just so wholesome.

And D.A. Bullock (@BullyCreative) on Twitter for local Twin Cities activism.

Read next: 5 Best Types of Content Marketing for Great Storytelling

Google Analytics is an incredibly powerful (and free, for most of us) tool that enables you to get a wealth of data about your websites and your clients’ websites. And while Google Analytics works really well with no configuration, there are several simple tweaks that will make its data more powerful, more useful and more accurate.

Note: Some of these tweaks require the use of filters. Filters physically remove certain data from your Google Analytics reports. Once a filter is applied, the data that was filtered is gone forever; it can’t be recovered. Filters don’t work retroactively, either. They only start working the day they are created. If you’re unfamiliar, you can read up on filters in Google Analytics here.

4 Google Analytics tweaks:

#1: Make sure you’re using the latest version of Google Analytics

Universal Analytics (UA) has been the go-to version of Google Analytics since 2014, but Google recently announced Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the latest iteration of its tracking code and methodology. That means Universal Analytics will no longer process new data starting July 1, 2023. To make sure you’re able to collect year-over-year data for 2022, you should create your GA4 account as soon as possible, but you can continue to use your UA data until next year. We’ve outlined a few tips to help you make the most of your data while you plan for the big move.

#2: Filter out your company’s internal traffic on production sites

Most companies get at least a small portion of traffic from their own employees. For production (live) websites, your employees’ data should not be counted. This ensures accurate and honest reporting. (The exception here, of course, is an employee intranet or site geared toward employees.)

To filter out employee traffic, you need to know your company’s public-facing IP address(es). If you don’t know them, your IT department should be able to point you in the right direction.

In Google Analytics, go to Admin (it’s in the main bar along the top). On the left side, make sure the correct account is selected from the ACCOUNT drop-down menu. Then go to All Filters. Click the + New Filter button.

Image123.jpg

Give the filter a name, use Predefined filter as the filter type, make sure Exclude is selected, and then choose traffic from the IP addresses.

Type an IP address in the IP address box. Finally, under Apply Filter to Views, select all of the appropriate views, and click the Add > button. Click Save at the bottom, and you’re done! Repeat this procedure if you need to add multiple IP addresses.

Image4_4Tweaks-(1).jpg

For more information on filters, see our article “Do Google Analytics Filters Apply Retroactively?

#3: Set all URLs to lowercase

By default, Google Analytics is case-sensitive. This means that pages with the same names but different cases will appear in reports as separate entries. Consider these three entries:

By default, Google Analytics would track the aforementioned URLs as three separate pages, making it more challenging to get an accurate count of your metrics. To get a more consolidated view of page activity, it’s best to consolidate all URLs into lowercase. Using this tweak, all of the information would be reported under “/blog” from the example above.

Here’s how to force Google Analytics to convert all URLs to lowercase:

Again, go to Admin in the top menu bar, choose the appropriate account, go to All Filters, and click the + New Filter button.

Give the filter a name, and this time choose Custom filter as the filter type. Choose Lowercase, and then choose Request URI from the Filter Field dropdown menu.

Image5_4Tweaks.jpg

Apply the filter to the appropriate view(s) using the Apply Filter to Views widget, and click Save.

#4: Enable tracking of website search results

With a simple tweak, Google analytics can provide detailed metrics about your website’s search functions: how many are searching, what search terms are being used, and how individual search terms are performing. Note: this is not to be confused with organic search data, like search data from Google and Bing. We are talking about the search function built into your website.

Return to the Admin area via the main navigation bar. Select the account, and then the property, and then the view. Click on View Settings.

Image6_4Tweaks.jpg

Scroll down to where it says Site Search Settings, and toggle the switch to On. Next, enter the search parameter that appears in your site’s URL after someone searches. If you don’t know what this is, go to your site and perform a search, and then observe the URL. There will likely be a parameter after a question mark in the URL. Here is a sample from our website.

Parameter example screenshot

In this case, the parameter used to specify a search is the letter q, so enter this in the Query parameter box. You can also check Strip query parameters out of URL. In our case, this would remove the “?q=XXXX” from other entries in Google Analytics. When you’re all done, click Save at the bottom.

Image7all.jpg

The search data will start to appear within the Behavior > Site Search reports. It may take a day or so before data starts appearing in the search reports.

We use these tweaks in almost all of our Universal Analytics accounts, and they’ve made life easier by providing more data and streamlining existing data. 

Also, Google has already put together an excellent guide for switching to GA4; refer to the Google Analytics Help Center for more details.

Read next: Do Google Analytics Filters Apply Retroactively?

Keelia Estrada Moeller is a senior content strategist at MSPC and the senior editor for TechChannel. She specializes in technology and healthcare content and has worked with a variety of Fortune 500 clients.

Keelia offers expertise in copy editing, interviewing, writing, CMS management, SEO optimization, Google Analytics, social media, project management, client relations and more.

Keelia holds a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. in English from the University of St. Thomas. She’s currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Minnesota.

In this edition of 5 Questions, we get to learn more about Keelia:

Breakfast or dinner? Describe your ideal meal.

I’m easy to please: Pizza and beer are an ideal pairing in my world!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

Well, if I’m being honest I really thought I would end up at Hogwarts until I hit 5th grade … so, from then on, I decided that being a writer was the next best thing. I loved books and writing; they were always my safe place.

I loved the feeling of getting lost in a book or a paper I was working on. Writing in school was never a chore—it was my escape. So once I learned that becoming a writer was a realistic career, I was hooked.

What has been your favorite MSPC project and why?

Launching TechChannel in 2021 is by far the MSPC project I’m most proud of. It was a difficult endeavor but it showed our team’s ability to pivot during unexpected times and innovate where and when it mattered most.

Recommend a book, movie, album, etc.—a favorite or something you’ve consumed recently.

I would highly recommend The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, both on Disney+. I won’t recommend a book right now, as most of the books I’ve read recently relate to Frankenstein, and are in Spanish … read on to find out why.

What skill, hobby, experience, etc., do you have that would surprise people?

I can’t decide between two, so I’ll list both:

  1. I’m currently pursuing my Ph.D. in English at the University of Minnesota. My dissertation will focus on the reception of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in Spain, and I’ll be examining several Spanish adaptations and translations within my research.
  2. I regularly do strongman workouts and have been training in the sport for about a year and a half now (if you’re wondering if “strongman” workouts include lifting boulders, metal logs, sandbags and other large metal contraptions, you’re correct). My brother, who is also my trainer, is a professional strongman and holds several titles across the Midwest. Eventually I hope to start competing more, but for now, I just enjoy the feeling of empowerment I get from training. For reference, here’s a photograph of me lifting a 150-pound keg:

Read next: 11 Subject Matter Expert Content Creation Tips

MSPC’s recent Masters of Content presentation to the Content Marketing Institute showcased three projects that met and overcame challenges—and produced fantastic results. Here, MSPC senior content director Molly Bennett shares a recap of the webinar.

Nothing gets the creative juices flowing like a problem (or a challenge, if you want to be all glass-half-full about it). And one of the great joys of working in a creative industry is that there is always something to learn, always something to test out and—yes—always a problem to solve.

That was the theme of a recent Masters of Content presentation that Erin Madsen, VP of content; Kate Rogers, VP of digital strategy; and I gave to an audience of 900 folks on behalf of the Content Marketing Institute. We walked the audience through three case studies of projects with creative constraints, showing them how, working in close collaboration with our clients, we broke through these constraints to produce effective, polished content that delighted our clients and got noteworthy results.

Here’s a bit about these projects. If you’d like to watch the presentation on demand, you can register here.

Project: Patient testimonial videos for Biologics by McKesson, a specialty pharmacy focused on cancer and rare diseases

Creative constraints: Pandemic restrictions meant we needed to conduct and film the interviews remotely via Zoom, using the patients’ own devices instead of professional equipment.

Our solution: During the pre-screening and pre-production calls, we addressed many factors that could be barriers to a stress-free filming day, including device compatibility and quality, noise pollution, lighting and WiFi connections. After we’d made adjustments to accommodate these factors, we provided each patient with a crib sheet so they had all the information they needed before and during the shoot. These patients had powerful stories to tell, and we didn’t want anything to get in the way. Watch the videos here.

Project: Internal communications for 3M manufacturing and supply chain employees

Creative constraint: Most of these employees have no or limited access to email and digital channels at work, resulting in less connection with 3M as an employer.

Our solution: We met the audience where they are. We launched “The 3Mer,” a high-quality print publication that is mailed to production employees’ homes. It surfaces content they were missing out on due to a lack of access to corporate email, showcases new content tailored to their roles and improves retention and engagement with the broader 3M culture. And despite the fact that the first issues of the magazine were in production at the height of the pandemic, the team stayed flexible and nimble, adapting story ideas to our new reality and navigating pandemic safety protocols to produce polished photo shoots.

Project: A content campaign for Small Business Week featuring small-business customers of U.S. Bank

Creative constraints: The seven selected business owners were located across the U.S. and worked in a variety of settings, from brick-and-mortar to online-only. Despite that, all images needed to meet U.S. Bank’s new visual guidelines and standards for photography.

Our solution: We decided that Instagram was the most effective channel to host these small businesses’ inspiring stories. After identifying what made each business unique, we interviewed the business owners and scheduled photo shoots using photographers and videographers in their local areas. We successfully managed many moving pieces, with interviewees and vendors in seven different locations across the U.S. The client was thrilled—so much so that we created another Instagram campaign later in the year looking at how small businesses navigated the challenges of COVID-19.

Read next: How to Be a Great Digital Content Marketer: 9 Pieces of Unsolicited Advice

MSP Communications has a new address, and we’re excited to show off our new digs. Here’s why.

As of Oct. 18, MSP Communications—including MSPC and Cities Media Group (publisher of Mpls.St.Paul and Twin Cities Business magazines)—has a new address near the up-and-coming Prospect Park neighborhood:

953 Westgate Drive, Suite 107
St. Paul, MN 55114

This office is special. It’s the first time we’re not located in Minneapolis—though we’re just outside the city border—and it’s the first time we’ve owned our building. That gave our leaders the opportunity to carefully craft each detail of the workspace just for us and the future of our work.

Our agency’s working model will remain hybrid, giving employees the flexibility to visit when and how we want: for collaborative meetings, as a shift in the home-office routine, or as an excuse to lunch at the nearby Malcolm Yards food hall. (I can’t wait to have Wrecktangle Pizza again!)

When summer hits, I look forward to collaborating with colleagues before walking to grab a pint at Surly Brewing or a cocktail at O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co.

I do miss downtown, and I’m nostalgic about the buzz of the Nicollet Mall Farmers Market and the summer food truck scene that parked along the streets of our former office. Luckily, our agency’s new home is a block away from the light rail, making visits to our fave haunts along the Green Line quick and easy.

This Badger would never be excited about the Gophers, but we’re a few stops away from U of M campus life, too. And I can see the many positives of being closer to the bright minds that may grace our office one day.

As we navigate the evolving work world with our clients, we look forward to in-person gatherings and meetings at the new space.* We know you’ll love it!

Read more about our new office from Twin Cities Business. Photographs by Caitlin Abrams.

*All MSP Communications employees and visitors are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.