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Tallest Tree Digital Podcast
50 minutes | Aug 12, 2020
Richard Lorenc - Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
In this episode I interview Richard Lorenc, Executive Vice President of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).In my conversation with Richard, we spoke about FEE’s impressive gains in organic search traffic, FEE’s content strategy, and changing FEE’s visual branding.We also talked about which think tanks excel at marketing, measuring ROI in marketing, and how Richard and his husband Colin helped Q play a trick on Neelix.FEE is a leading light in the libertarian movement. Their mission is to make the ideas of liberty familiar, credible, and compelling to the rising generation. At FEE, Lorenc serves as chief of staff, manages corporate finances, participates in fundraising, and directs partnerships.Richard also serves as the chairman of the board of directors of America’s Future Foundation, the nation's premier network of liberty-minded young professionals.Beginning in April 2020, Lorenc became a member of the Georgia Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Richard joined the Mont Pelerin Society in 2018 and was a member of the Spring 2019 cohort of the AEI Leadership Network.
31 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
What the Iowa Caucus App Can Teach Us
Five questions we ask each prospective client:Why now? What's motivating you to do this now and not six months from now?Why us? Why not someone cheaper?Why not use something off-the-shelf?Why not handle this in-house?Why even bother? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to do nothing?
44 minutes | Jan 30, 2020
Does On-Page SEO Matter for Think Tanks in 2020?
Basics, Optimizing, Titles, DescriptionsOn-Page means it’s entirely under your control, it’s not about off-page signals like links to your websiteSEO still matters in 2020Google says “The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query.”Keyword-rich title tags bring trafficUse keywords in the first 100-150 wordsUse keywords frequentlyNo stuffing, but using keywords a half dozen times in an article is reasonable.Outbound links to related topics help to establish your page’s topicOptimize your URLs - short and with keywords in themBut make sure to have redirects in placePut the keyword in the front of your titleUse modifiers like best, guide, checklist, fast, reviewWrite your own meta descriptionsThis appears below your title in search results and helps your CTRContent ItselfWrite unique contentDetailed, crisp, updated, and expertLook at Analytics and double-down on what worksUpdate old posts and pages wherever possibleInstead of publishing a new page for an annual study, update the existing pageThis eliminates an old page at the same time you’re creating a new oneLook at search engine result pages and modify your content to fit the top resultsCTRQuestion-based titles have higher CTRHaving a Meta description at all boosts by 6%Using keyword in the description causes it to be bolded in results, making your page stand outUses schemasReviewsFAQs - Voice search is another reason to use FAQ scheme, because people ask Google, Apple, and Amazon’s assistants questionsUser “power words” to add emotion to your title, 7% more trafficAdd the current yearUXBoost Your Page SpeedUse Google PageSpeed to see if you need to address thisScripts are a big problemImage OptimizationPut headline and introduction above a huge image, it will keep people on the pageBuild up internal linksChunk your contentSubheadingsBulleted listsImages - Use unique images rather than stock and use good filenames and alt text
35 minutes | Jan 24, 2020
What makes a good homepage design?We talk about the Nielsen/Norman Group's "4 Credibility Factors"https://www.nngroup.com/articles/trustworthy-design/How can you incorporate these factors into your homepage?Design qualityUpfront disclosureComprehensive, correct, and current contentConnection to the rest of the webHow should you guide users?Primary & secondary calls to actionProvide more ways to engage, like social followingUse current user data to promote your most popular content upfront
47 minutes | Jan 16, 2020
50 Pieces of Content a Week
How does primary content gets broken down into micro content? That micro content essentially serves as ads on social media platforms that point back to your primary content. We talk about the role of tertiary content—the long-form posts we write that few people read—and why it shouldn't be viewed as primary. I go into an example of my in-laws' bookstore, which has taken this model and seen great success as a local business. Even though this is outside of our client base, it's a really easy example to grasp and it shows that you don't need much in the way of original content to draw people to your website and achieve your goals. Our "50 Pieces of Content a Week" goal is a little weak compared to Gary Vee's 64 piece a day prescription, but we think this is more manageable for small and mid-sized organizations.
41 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Menus & Navigation
37 minutes | Jan 1, 2020
Why did we choose roadmapping as a new approach?How are we addressing the problems of our former approach?How does roadmapping help clients?Get the diagnosis rightLess committmentStart projects with confidenceCreate a portable plan of actionCommon objections to roadmappingWhy pay when I can get an estimate for free?I know what I need, just built it.What am I really getting for this price?Who is the ideal client for roadmapping? And for Tallest Tree in specific?
76 minutes | Aug 18, 2019
Brian Phillips, Texas Public Policy Foundation
This week Cord interviewed Brian Phillips, the Vice President for Communications at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Cord & Brian discussed launching a policy tour of Texas, integrating polling into your organization, and how TPPF took on a recent property tax reform effort. Policy Tour Bringing political campaign experience to the policy world How TPPF took its show on the road and toured Texas with policy experts. Getting local or state press to cover events focused on policy How TPPF chooses a venue, format, and subject for each of its policy tour stops Inviting a state rep to these stops to increase audience engagement Streaming events live Limiting analysts to only three slides for their presentations Critiquing presentations after the facts and continuously improving How to plan a tour like this Managing town-hall-style presentations Money, manpower, and message Offering an exclusive to local papers Using polling to measure the effectiveness of the tour Polling & Messaging Writing poll questions that tell you something useful, rather than confirming your priors Digging into polling cross tabs to find out where an issue is resonating or with what group of people Integrating polling and messaging into your organization Using Facebook for quick-and-dirty message testing Selling policy experts on changing messaging by using data Property Tax Reform Campaign Policy issue campaigns are all about following the issue, reacting to news, and nuturing the messaging along the way Phases: public education, creating activitists, mobilizing activitists Polling helped to establish the "intensity" of this issue for voters Polling also showed that any reform needed to result in lower taxes, not just slowed tax growth or a different arrangement Creating a property tax calculator that would show voters their tax bill for the next 10 years Crafting poll questions to get real data, not just virtue signaling How releasing the results of a poll shifted the nature of the property tax reform plan Getting started with polling by using it on an issue where you're simply stuck Brian's book recommendation: Damage Control (Revised & Updated): The Essential Lessons of Crisis Management by Eric Dezenhall. Brian shouts-out Illinois Policy Institutes's news-focused approach to policy and the Foundation for Government Accountability's communication's team as great examples of successes in marketing good public policy. Brian also advocated trying new things, even if those things are only new to you. R&D can mean "rip-off and duplicate." Parting wisdom: there's no such thing as "the general public." You must have an audience in mind with everything you write or create. Please remember to rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, follow Tallest Tree Digital on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, and share this show with other public policy marketing and communications professionals like you.
78 minutes | Aug 11, 2019
Daniel T. Richards, The Federalist Society
This week Cord interviewed Daniel T. Richards, the Vice President & Director of Digital at The Federalist Society. Cord & Daniel discussed three FedSoc projects: the SCOTUS Brief video series, the "No. 86" educational project, and the National Lawyers Convention. SCOTUS Brief Changing style, rather than content, to increase engagement and get viewers to watch a video all the way through Managing a video release schedule and consulting with subject matter experts on content creation How FedSoc measures the success of this video project How-to use targeting in ads, including geotargeting ads at 150 law schools, to focus on your core audience No. 86 Why create an online educational series? How FedSoc uses student chapters and direct outreach to professors, even hostile professors, to promote courses Planning a project of this size and selecting the next courses to create Creating a release schedule that maximizes organic reach Using internal producers along with subcontractors like Phaedo Creative to create the videos themselves National Lawyers Convention What do marketers do when a conference is already hugely successful? Making a conference beautiful and emotionally engaging The importance of high-quality photography and hiring a professional photographer Using lighting, backdrops, and 4k video to make an event video look great Livestreaming and why FedSoc abandoned the idea of putting event videos behind a paywall How to use simple things like hashtags to promote an event Using "tweetboards" or a hashtag printer to get event attendees excited about sharing Using a photo backdrop to create your own red-carpet-style photo ops Scheduling interviews with event attendees Getting footage of attendees talking about your events, talking about issues, talking about your organization so you can update a general about your org video, update fundraising videos, or use in future video projects Using Airtable and Zapier to keep everything on-track If you work in the Washington, DC area, contact Daniel via email or on Twitter to RSVP for the next FedSoc rooftop marketing meetup. Please remember to rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, follow Tallest Tree Digital on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, and share this show with other public policy marketing and communications professionals like you.
55 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
Todd Myers, Washington Policy Center
This week Cord interviewed Todd Myers, Director of the Center for the Environment at Washington Policy Center. He is one of the nation's leading experts on free-market environmental policy and the author of Eco-Fads: How the Rise of Trendy Environmentalism Is Harming the Environment. Cord & Todd talked about: How to establish trust when working on a fraught issue Overcoming biases Working in a policy area that’s not easily quantified Using smartphones to solve coordinated action problems Find the right venue or audience for the issue you’re addressing Making a frenemy into an ambassador Challenging claims about your motivations When to use consultants Finding success on Facebook The importance of experimentation Working with unlikely allies Hosting a policy nature hike Holding a debate instead of a one-side forum Todd's book recommendation was Brian Caplan’s The Myth of the Rational Voter. Please remember to rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, follow Tallest Tree Digital on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, and share this show with other public policy marketing and communications professionals like you.
52 minutes | Jul 29, 2019
Whitney Munro, Foundation for Government Accountability
This week Cord interviewed Whitney Munro of the Foundation for Government Accountability. Whitney and Cord covered a lot of topics, including: Micro-targeting state legislators Message testing with real voters Building profiles of website visitors/email readers How to pronounce "Pardot" Collecting feedback from your target audience Telling human stories about policy Choosing software platforms based on what they can deliver, rather than something that is "built for non-profits" Adopting successful business strategies Auditing campaigns The importance of letting go of bad ideas on moving on Why the Institute for Justice and the Atlas Network are killing it right now Please remember to rate and review this show on Apple Podcasts, follow Tallest Tree Digital on Twitter, like our page on Facebook, and share this show with other public policy marketing and communications professionals like you.
43 minutes | Jul 22, 2019
Rob Montz, We the Internet TV
Rob Montz is a director at We the Internet TV, a fellow at the Moving Picture Institute, and co-founder and CEO of Good Kid Productions. Rob's work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC World News, the Economist, USA Today, and The Washington Post. His documentary works have covered topics including free speech on college campuses, the North Korean regime, criminal justice reform, and the virtues of entrepreneurship. His latest docs are Trump as Destiny: Why the Reality Show Presidency Was Inevitable, and Is Instagram Destroying Teenage Girls? Hosted by Cord Blomquist of Tallest Tree Digital.
45 minutes | Jul 15, 2019
Scott Barton, Pacific Legal Foundation
Scott Barton is a nonprofit leader focused on digital communications, strategy, persuasion, and building entrepreneurial teams, which makes him a perfect guest for our show. While working at the Institute for Humane Studies, a university-based nonprofit, Scott co-founded and directed the Learn Liberty project, a digital education platform to promote the ideas of free markets and individual liberty to college students. Scott helped Learn Liberty build an impressive library of over 400 videos with over 25 million views. Scott has recently taken his talents to a new home, the Pacific Legal Foundation, where he serves as the Director of Communications and Outreach. Scott talked to Cord about how organizations can tell persuasive stories about their ideas, mission, and work.
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