Get to Know HGR’s Gina Tabasso

HGR's Marketing Communications Specialist Gina Tabasso and her horse, Idyll

What is your job title?

Marketing communications specialist

What are your job responsibilities on a day-to-day basis?

Digital marketing and public relations, including community partnerships with the city, chamber of commerce, Euclid High School, AWT Robobots and others; weekly blogs; social media monitoring and sharing on Facebook and Twitter; quarterly newsletter; monthly column on manufacturing in two Observer newspapers; staff the LiveChat feature on our website; maintain the email and mailing contact lists; generate bi-weekly Amish inventory listing; participate in online industry forums; edit daily sales email; manage and respond to HGR’s email box; special events coordination, such as F*SHO, IngenuityFest or MAGNET’s State of Manufacturing; liaison with vendors and caterers; administer our annual STEM scholarship; seek content backlinks from other websites to ours; secretary for HGR’s values committee; marketing department onboarding for new employees; cover the front desk phones and customer check-ins, as needed; wash cookout dishes and put out donuts; and whatever else will support my team.

What qualifications are needed to succeed in your role?

Writing, editing, research, time management, deadline driven, organization, communication skills, being a positive ambassador, building relationships

What background or prior work experience do you bring to the table?

I consider myself a brand evangelist and content marketer who uses print, digital and event marketing to enhance my company’s reputation and position in the industry in order to drive traffic, build leads, and serve existing and new customers. I’ve managed internal and external communications and marketing for PNC, CWRU, Timken, J.M. Smucker Company, Dealer Tire, Penton Media, and Construction News Corporation, as well as taught college English, writing, communication and marketing classes. I’ve also learned a lot from mentors and organizations with which I have volunteered.

How long have you been with HGR, and why?

Three years, because it’s a family environment where customers and coworkers become friends; we all work together to get people what they need when they need it. I feel valued and respected, as well as enjoying what I do. Each day is different and interesting.

What amazing things are you doing in your personal life?

I write poetry, read lots of books, spend tons of time at the barn and in the park riding my horse. I collect books, perfume and, most recently, endless amounts of cute fairy garden stuff.

What can you tell us about your family?

I’m an only child and lost my dad three years ago. My nuclear family consists of my mom and my fur babies – Gwyn and Stas (cats) and Idyll (horse).

What is the most important thing in the world to you/what matters most?

Serenity, balance, personal peace, and health

Any words of wisdom to share?

I do a lovingkindness meditation every day and ask for safety, health, happiness, and ease and peace for myself and others.

Organic SEO tips and tricks

Tips & Tricks iconWhat is SEO?

Many companies have websites or social media pages but don’t maximize them for search engine optimization (SEO). So, first, what is SEO? Basically, it is all the techniques (paid and unpaid/organic/earned) that affect the visibility of your website in key-word search results that potential customers are conducting. Then, these potential customers will be better able to find your website or product and, hopefully, be converted into customers.

As you may know, this search hinges on algorithms created by the leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!. Their bots or spiders “crawl” your website for key words then index your website in the search results based on a complex mathematical formula. This is called unpaid, organic or earned SEO.

How can you maximize organic SEO?

Tip #1: Optimize your images by creating alt tags and descriptions. Yes, images count.

Tip #2: Use internal linking to drive traffic to a poorly performing page on your site and get backlinks to your website from other websites.

Tip #3: Keep your content fresh since the spiders crawl the pages regularly.

Tip #4: Use key words in your page titles, subheadings, product descriptions, category landing pages, file names, link text, URLs and blog posts.

Tip #5: Create a Google Plus and Places page and get reviews since Google also indexes these.

Tip #6: Create a YouTube channel and add videos since Google ranks YouTube videos highly in search results.

Trick: If you create meaningful content that can be shared on your social media pages, mention others to increase the likelihood of shares, likes and saves. That way, you get in front of their followers, as well! Social media content also is indexed in search engine results.

What else can you do?

You also can increase the likelihood that potential customers will find your website with paid SEO or search engine marketing (SEM). This is where you gain traffic by buying ads or conducting pay-per-click campaigns on search engines through Google AdWords, Bing Ads or Yahoo Search Ads.

6 reasons why you need digital marketing to expand your business

woman touching digital screen

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Liz Fox, senior marketing associate, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network)

Manufacturing has always been at the forefront of change and innovation, notably in creating and implementing new measures to better serve the needs of the company and its customer base. But the rapid pace of technological growth – paired with reluctance to invest in new and/or unexplored systems – has left small- and mid-sized businesses struggling to keep up in an increasingly connected world.

However, digital marketing services can be utilized for different purposes in different industries with the ultimate goal of increasing revenue and establishing credibility. The following reasons not only address the numerous benefits of incorporating digital marketing in your overall strategy, but also how different techniques can grow your business sooner rather than later.

  • Lead delivery and conversion – Lead scoring empowers companies to better track how customers are finding them. By using a marketing automation platform in conjunction with customer relationship management (CRM) software, manufacturers easily can monitor how incoming traffic gets converted to leads, followers, subscribers, and/or closed sales.
  • Reduced marketing costs – Traditional media, such as print, radio, and television, harbor high rates and are, in some cases, ineffective at getting to your target market. Digital marketing not only touches a wider range of clients, but also bears better returns on investment. In fact, according to Gartner’s Digital Marketing Spend Report, 40 percent of surveyed small- and mid-sized companies claimed they saved money by using digital means of promotion.
  • Level playing field – Now that digital marketing services are becoming more cost-effective, they are no longer exclusive to large, multinational corporations. Smaller companies are granted access to services and capabilities that can help them better compete in growing industries. Sales and marketing strategies as a whole also are subject to expansion, which enables manufacturers to compete on similar levels.
  • Better customer interaction –In today’s world, consumers are more likely to follow or purchase from companies with a personal touch, and aspects of digital marketing allow small manufacturers to reach out to their customer base with new products and updates on the company. In particular, branching out into social media – especially Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – builds trust and credibility, which leads to substantial increases in sales and revenue.
  • Enhanced identity and brand reputation – In addition to customer interaction, active social media accounts and a comprehensive website offer brand enforcement not found in traditional media. People are more likely to trust companies that have clear messaging and a substantial digital presence, as interactive elements, such as forms, buttons and feeds, can generate excellent results.
  • IoT integration – Over the last decade, the Internet of Things has grown into a hot topic for manufacturers, and many companies are embracing the ideology of interconnected devices on the shop floor. Digital marketing can act as the first step to preparing you for this shift and, eventually, will play a larger role in how you streamline your business.