Steps to Launch a Successful Startup

Startups are created everyday. Some flop – some flourish. Some get to be so insanely contagious and ubiquitous that we couldn’t imagine starting our day without them. But what does it really take to turn a novel idea into a thriving startup? How do we actually start?  Who better to answer this question than Shane Bliemaster, digital media guru and VP of Marketing at Nutshell. Here are some key steps Shane recommends taking before launching your startup:

Market Research

Use surveys to find your target demographic, the interest of your product, and to find the target demographic.

Tools used for Market Research: Survey Monkey and Google research

Landing Pages

An effective landing page has the potential to capture emails, track clicks, a/b test copy/design, and acts as a platform to test advertisements. In short, landing pages are able to get people talking about your start-up.

Tools used to create Landing Pages: Optimizely and Crazy Egg

Push Traffic

Spend money to place advertisements/surveys on widely used websites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Adwords, etc). From these ads/surveys, you will be able to see the interest level that individuals have in your start-up through a click count.

Research the Industry

Know your competition. Research them. Find out why they are successful.

Tools used to Research the Industry: Moat, WhatRunsWhere, Quora, and GrowthHackers

Finished with the steps above? Now you are ready to launch your site!

Below are some steps that Shane Bliemaster recommends to have a successful roll out:

Send Emails

Thanks to your landing pages you should have a substantial amount of emails collected. Separate the email addresses into cohorts. Slowly roll out invites with different email types to the different cohorts (different subject lines, different content, etc.) Track click-through-rates to see which email is the most read.

Tools used to roll out emails: MailChimp and URL Builder

Growth Hacking

Have a presence on social media sites. The more likes = the more credible your start-up will seem.

Growth Hacking Examples:

  • Create a quiz that people care about (Which district is your favorite in the Hunger Games?) In order to answer the quiz question, they have to like your Facebook page.
  • Create a prize incentive if a person refers a certain number of people to like your page.

Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency

Digital Marketing agencies have the tools necessary to create the largest growth rate for your start-up. A company like Ingenex will help build your online presence through the use of lead generation and inbound marketing resources.



5 ways blogging can make you money

Inbound marketing in the fastest growing marketing tactic for most businesses. The old ways of cold-calling people to generate new leads is over. People do not want a pushy salesman or marketer telling them what to buy or promoting a business anymore. It worked for years, but the new generation is focused on the inbound methods of marketing, and business blogging is one of those methods. Leading people to your business without pushing them, allowing future prospects to come to you by choice, could make you and your business more money! There are five small tips that can benefit your company’s blog drastically if you apply them correctly.


photo credit: Peregrino Will Reign via photopin cc

1) Blogging is critical to inbound success
Blogging allows you demonstrate leadership and educate your prospects. You can blog about current events in your industry and lead potential clients to you by giving them a solution to a problem they have. So if you don’t have a blog, now is the time to start brainstorming to get things going.

2) SEO in blogging
Blog posts are incredible at enhancing the search engine optimization of your website and helps to generate more visits, which can lead to more clients. SEO is focusing more and more on content and the quality of that content. Really what we are saying …the more information there is about you or your company online the easier you are to find.

3) Creating CTAs for your blog posts
Call-to-action. What do you want your reader to do? We are not making a business blog for fun, we are blogging to make money! At the end of your blog post put a nice image that ties in with your topic and tells the reader what to do next.

4) Social media, Social media,Social media.
Did I mention social media? Link your blog to every social media site you have. How many millions of potential clients use social media? Every single one of them! Share links of informative or funny content, surveys related to your business, and then add a link to your blog post at the end.

5) Keep your content current
One of the biggest problems with blogs in you must keep it up to date and current….and that takes time and effort. If you are serious about wanting to make money, then you can’t start a blog and then just forget about it. Keep blogging regularly. If you don’t do it, then people will find someone else who will, and they can make the money.

Google AdWords Display Network

There are two networks that you can post your ad to in Google AdWords.  The first is the search network where ads will be displayed on the Google search engine page.  The second is the display network.  The display network is a combination of image, text and video ads that can be displayed on millions of different websites including YouTube, Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger and much more.  Google AdWords implements your ad on websites you can manually choose or automatically through AdWords.

The display network gives you the perfect chance to use digital marketing services for you or your company.  The display network advertising option is a great way to use images and

photo credit: deryckh via photopin cc

photo credit: deryckh via photopin cc

videos that invoke emotional or meaningful responses to get people interested in your brand, goods. services or website.  It also gives you the opportunity to reach new customers by advertising on the websites that they visit most because you have the ability to select where your ad will appear!

The display network uses similar algorithms as the search network using keywords that you have chosen to find the best sites to put your ad on.  Using negative keywords can be helpful too, you can make sure your ad doesn’t get put on sites not relevant to your ad even though the site may include your keyword.

If you want to convey your good or service through an image or video then the display network is going to be the perfect option for you.  Especially if your good or service can use a heartwarming message that simply wouldn’t have the same effect as a text ad.  Google’s Ad Gallery gives you templates for free that make designing your ad easier with a design team and if you don’t have on you can hire a digital marketing agency to do it for you!


3 Ways to Make the Most of Your Internship

Businessmen greet each other before a meeting begins.

photo credit: thetaxhaven via photopin cc

Internships are increasingly popular among today’s college student population. In fact, many colleges are beginning to require internships in order to graduate (or at the very least, they’ll offer credit for internships).

In my experience as an intern at Ingenex, I’ve learned a bit about important things that we can do to make the most of our internships

Ask Questions

This is easily one of the best things an intern can do while on the job. You’re coming into a business setting with no experience! Ask about business operations. What is a normal day in the office? How does the company fulfill its strategy? Most importantly, ask about your performance. Constructive criticism can help you figure out how to work in a professional environment. You’ll figure out fast how to adjust your work style. In turn, you’ll be more efficient in future positions.

Try Different Things

If the company you work for is flexible about projects that you can work on, take advantage of the various opportunities available to you! Fortunately Ingenex is one of those companies. Since I began working here in May, I’ve gained experience with social media campaigns, writing analytics reports, researching for strategy implementation, client interaction and other tasks.

Do Your Best While On the Job!

Let’s be real for a second. It stinks when you work an unpaid position. That doesn’t mean that you have an excuse to slack off while you’re at the job. Whether you are a paid or unpaid intern, you still need to show up to work on time and do your best. Your work ethic does not go unnoticed! When you work with honest effort, your employer very well may be interested in bringing you on board full-time. Even if there aren’t any positions open at the company you interned with when you look for full-time work, they’ll be more likely to connect you with someone in their network who IS hiring.

So what do I recommend you do if you are searching for a much coveted internship? Apply for an internship with Ingenex Digital Marketing! I’ve had a blast working with an amazing team of full-time staff and fellow interns. This internship has taught me how to have fun in a professional setting while still acting like a professional. I also learned how to balance multiple projects and deadlines at once (which is crucial in the marketing business). If you feel like you may be a fit with the company, don’t hesitate to apply. You won’t be disappointed.

An Overview of Account and Campaign Management in Google AdWords

photo credit: Kinologik via photopin cc

photo credit: Kinologik via photopin cc

In the previous blog post we learned about the basics of Google AdWords.  This post will focus on managing your account and Campaigns for your Google AdWords account.

When you sign into your Google AdWords account there will be several different tabs that each serve a different purpose.  The “Home” tab will give you an overview which will be a summary of the important account information.  “Campaigns” tab will give the user the option to create, edit and delete campaigns.You can also create ads and manage campaign settings.  The “Opportunities” page is where you will find new keywords, improve your bids and budgets and overall this page serves the purpose of helping you improve your campaign.  “Tools” helps you manage and improve your account.  Using this page can help prevent future issues.

The Gear menu gives you access to your billing information letting you enter/change billing details, see your billing history and print invoices.  Also in the tools page is account

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photo credit: rbrwr via photopin cc

settings.  In account settings you can control your personal information such as sign in name and user preferences and allow other users to access your AdWords if you desired.

A few things to note down when starting up your accounts with Google AdWords.  First off the currency that you choose to pay with can not be changed once it is selected.  So it is important to select the currency you will be using.  Second, the time zone you select can only be changed once.  If you need to change it more than one time Google requires you to contact them.  If you wish to change your email address for AdWords be aware that this will change your email for all Google products including Gmail!

Google AdWords has 3 main types of notifications.  One is an alert that will let you know if there is a problem with your ad or campaign and this can be found in the red box on the account screen page.  Then there are 2 less critical notifications that tell you about an update or new feature and one to tell you ways to improve your campaign.  Both can be found in the preview bar at the top of your screen

Campaigns are used to control your different ad groups.  In your campaign you can set a budget for your ads, you can choose what network you wish your ad to be featured on and you can set the location and timezone where you want your ad to be on at, along with many other features.

Organizing your campaigns can be extremely beneficial for you.  If you’re organizing your campaigns and ad groups it can make the difference between someone clicking on your ad and someone not.  How so?  Well consider someone searching for running shoes, if your keywords are not organized by ad group the ad that could appear may be for dress shoes.  With organization and planning, the only ad that would show up would be one specifically tailored for running shoes.

In Campaign Settings you can change your campaign name so it relates to the theme of what your ad is.  You can change the “Type”, the settings shown to you, allowing you to delete features you will not need and customizing the ones you want to use.  The “Sub Type” can also be managed in campaign settings which determines the settings and options that will help you focus on your business objectives.  Most importantly, you can manage the Networks your ads are on.

There are 3 Networks currently offered on Google AdWords, Search Network, Display Network, and  Search Network with Display Select.  A Search Network is where your ads

photo credit: HelloImNik via photopin cc

photo credit: HelloImNik via photopin cc

will be displayed on Google search engines.  The Display Network is where ads will be featured on websites that Google handles advertising for.  The Search Network with Display Select is a combination of the two.  There is 2 subtypes that you can pick for the Search Network and the Search and Display Network and 1 subtype that you can pick for the Display Network which is the “all features” with text, images and video ads on the website.  “Standard” and “all features” are offered for both the Search Network and the Search Network with Display Select.   For the Search Network  all features includes all standard settings along with ad delivery and all ad extensions.  For the Search Network with Display Select the “all features” subtype is the standard setting plus varying targeting methods, and ad deliveries.

Campaign Settings also give you the option to customize devices (laptops, tablets, phones) you want your ad to go to, as well as location and language settings for your campaign.  Once you get familiar with the previous setting there are more advanced settings options that contain ad scheduling and ad deliveries.

Once you get your campaigns all set up you have the ability to copy and paste one campaign and edit that one so you will never be required to start from scratch.  AdWords can have as many as 10,000 campaigns per account and 20,000 ad groups for each campaign! This is why organization and understanding how campaigns are set up and run is so important.

The Basics Of How Google AdWords Works

For those unfamiliar with what google AdWords does this blog post is for you.  Essentially Google AdWords is a way to advertise online on over a million websites.  Traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper, flyers and mail lack what AdWords gives you.  AdWords gives the user the ability to change to ad at anytime, remove it at any time, view progress reports of who sees the ad and directly reach people searching for the service or good they provide.  This blog will focus on how Ads are ranked and chosen on the Google search engine page.

photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg via photopin cc

photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg via photopin cc

When someone searches for something on Google they are interested in, lets say they searched for running shoes,  instantly any ad with “running shoes” as a keyword will be selected, ranked and displayed on either the top, side or bottom of the page.  The ranking system is based on 3 main contributions.  Cost-per-click or Bid, Ad Format and Quality.  All these together are called an Ad Rank.  The ad with the highest Ad Rank will be shown at the top of the list.  This method is used because Google wants to show the most useful ads in the higher positions and to prevent companies from just buying the ad space.

Cost-per-click or your bid amount is the amount you’re willing pay every time someone clicks on your ad.  You are only charged when someone clicks on your ad and not just for it appearing on a page.  The maximum-CPC is the maximum amount you are willing to pay per click.  However, often times due to the fact that you only have to pay the amount to beat the competition of the second highest ad below you this will not be the amount you pay.  The actual-CPC is the minimum amount you have to pay to keep your ad spot.  Since this is a part of Ad Rank as a whole if the ad below you has a much lower ad rank yours, your actual-CPC will continue to get lower and save you even more money!

Although the highest bidder will get more points towards their Ad Rank this does not necessarily mean they will get the top spot.  The quality of your ad is a major part of the Ad Rank.  This means that when someone clicks on your ad the landing page it takes them to is useful and has what they are interested in, the page is easy to use and provides users with what they are looking for.  Also a factor in quality is the expected amount of clicks it will receive.  If the page is expected to get lots of clicks this will boost the Ad Rank points and make it a higher quality ad.  So the more people click on your ad the higher the rank will raise.  Your ad relevance will contribute to the quality aspect too, the more relevant your ad is to what the users are looking for the higher up it will move.

Ad formatting is the third major part of the Ad Rank system.  Ads that are formatted better with more useful information such as a phone number, links and domain names will give the browsers more reason to click on your ad helping your Ad Rank raise.

Google uses all of the factors to create the Ad Rank which determines the placement of your ad.  The best ads will be in the “Top placement” position meaning they will be shown at the top of the page on every page.  The ads that are lower ranking with be shown on the side or bottom, referred to as “Other placement” which usually will only be on one of the pages and not continue like the “Top placement” ad does.

Using google AdWords to advertise on google gives you the opportunity to change your ad at any time, directly reach those interested in exactly what you are offering and reach millions of users everyday.

7 Steps That Will Help You Gain Twitter Followers

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

Twitter is a consistently growing part of inbound marketing, but you cannot reach your entire targeted audience if you do not have a large amount of interested followers. This is a guide to help you gain more interested followers for yourself or your company.

  1. Tweet more.                                                                                                                  It is very important to have a large amount tweets that are relevant, interesting and appealing to your followers. Retweets and favorites on each one of your tweets can help lead to more followers quickly so use something like “Retweet this if…” to give your tweets a better chance to get retweets.
  2. Learn the types of communication on twitter                                                         (#, @ replies, quotes…. etc) help interact with your followers. The use of # and @ tools can help communicate with potential followers or potential clients. The more interacted you are with your followers will help encourage business and help in spreading the word about your page.
  3. Use various already created accounts                                                                Use FaceBook, Email and LinkedIn to connect with those on twitter who you are already connected on 1 of the previously mentioned Social Medias. Follow people you are already friends with to maximize your chances of getting followed back and then use those people to branch out by following there followers.
  4. Utilize other applications                                                                                    There are several apps that go hand in hand with twitter to help regulate tweets and tweet previously drafted tweets for you when you are unavailable. Having regulated and well-spaced apart tweets will help produce organization that is very appealing to followers and potential followers alike.
  5. Connect with people of similar interests                                                        Twitter presents weekly chances to join chats and communicate with nation and world-wide people in the field you want to talk about.  This will help you gain followers because you will be presenting your opinions to others who share the same interests.
  6. Reach out to those with similar interests                                                                  When you find someone with information you aline with or are interested in, reach out to them. This creates an opportunity to gain followers based on what you connect with them on.  The people who are branching out on certain topics are people you want to connect with.  They will help you find more people and more followers by retweets and @ connections.
  7. Find People                                                                                                            Twitter recommends accounts to follow in the ‘Find people’ page for a reason.  Twitter will recommend people to follow that you may know and gives you a chance to import your contacts to see who already has a twitter.  This is a helpful tool because instead of having to spend time finding people to follow, you can find them right here.

Follow these steps and put time and effort into this and you can gain thousands of followers that can help you or your business, help you promote and help you get your name out there.

My Experiences as a Freshman Marketing Major At Michigan State University


photo credit: jimmywayne via photopin cc

photo credit: jimmywayne via photopin cc

As an incoming sophomore at Michigan State University I experienced what every marketing student’s first year is like. The prerequisites that are needed to get into the business school are certainly not the most entertaining classes but like any other college they are required. The business prerequisites I took for my start to my marketing major were Computer Competencies 101 and Macro-Economics 202, both fairly difficult courses which show you throughout the semester different directions you can go with a business marketing major.

CSE 101 provided me with knowledge of computer aspects of business such as using Microsoft access and excel to handle business accounts. A made up company would provide employee information and it was our task to organize and calculate out certain information such as tax deductions and payroll. As the class progressed, the material needed would be more advanced to the point where implementing self-created formulas to get the information I needed was second nature.

In macroeconomics I was required to learn a vast amount of new information in a semester, not previously taking a macro class made this difficult but manageable. Even though the class is centered on economics you could still learn valuable marketing lessons that were hidden in the information. For example we spent a good amount of time learning about supply and demand curves in the economy. Understanding these supply and demand curves is key for marketing. Knowing when money and time should be invested in marketing a good or service is a vital resource to possess. If you market it when demand is low and there is a recession in the economy fewer people are likely to want it. If you market it during an expansionary gap where the income and demand are raised then more people are likely to go out and buy it and you will be able to sell it at a greater price.

Although it might not seem like it at first, most prerequisites helped me one way or another in my path to becoming a Marketing graduate from Michigan State University. I go into every class hoping to learn something that brings me closer to my goals. Being a marketing student I am always trying to market myself. It is important that I make a good impression on my teachers and am an active participant in class because you never know when you might need a letter of recommendation that could mean the difference between you getting the job and not getting it. I love Michigan State because it gives me the opportunity to pursue my goals at a level of which I was never used to in high school. As a first year marketing student going into my second year, it is just the beginning, the chances to get an internship or job after college are created as I work harder to learn and achieve.

How will you stand out to land the position?

Still looking to land that perfect summer experience?


It’s hard to have a stand out resume in today’s digital world – it means going above and beyond a fancy font and exceptional organizational skills. Having great experience is necessary, but millennials are continuing to outdo each other by making themselves noticeable in other, more creative ways.

We’ve compiled a few of the most impressive, stand out millennial applicants that have gone viral:

So, did they land the gig?

For Lindsay, although it didn’t take her past an interview with UofM, it did land her a position with us (Ingenex Digital Marketing)! The Lego resume has helped Leah to get into contact with many employers but has not yet landed her a position. The Resume Bar worked great for Nick, and he got the position he was targeting.

Each of these viral examples have been a great way to be noticed and get your foot-in-the-door – but because these are just a way to stand out, it’s still essential to nail the interview.

Helpful tips from the Ingenex interns:

  • be yourself
  • be prepared
  • be honest – we know you’re a student and still learning
  • be open to new possibilities
  • be ready to learn


Next steps… apply! Make a cover letter, update your resume and join our team in Ann Arbor!

photo credit: One Way Stock via photopin cc

Interview with an Intern

Our summer intern program is coming to an end next week. For three months our team of five interns had the opportunity to gain more experience in the field of digital marketing. Today, one of our interns, Jessica Morrow will gave a snap interview about her experience.

Photo by: Chelsea Hensbergen

Photo by: Chelsea Hensbergen

1) What motivated you to have an internship at Ingenex Digital Marketing?

Derek Mehraban taught my New Media Drivers License class. The class was very interesting and helpful in making the most out of my social media pages. I was excited to learn how to apply what I learned from that class to real-life client situations.

2) What did you learn during your three months internship?

I learned about the importance of blog posts and SEO and how to write them in a way that is appealing to read. The use of links and pictures not only keep the readers’ attentions, but it adds credibility and searchability to your posts.

3) What was your favorite experience?

I liked the fact that people with all different forms of education and majors could come together and work for one company. Some of the employees were self-taught, some have computer science degrees, advertising degrees, journalism degrees, and more. But these different forms of knowledge were able to mold together and make Ingenex successful.

4) Do you think this internship will help you find a full time job?

This internship has helped me gain the writing skills and writing samples that could be appealing to a potential boss during a job interview.

5) Could you give some recommendations for anyone that would like to be an intern at Ingenex in the future?

Be ready to write. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when writing posts. Most importantly, don’t be shy and talk to the other interns!

If you have any other questions for Jessica or other interns just click here!

By: Joao Mattos and Jessica Morrow