Category Archive of blog news

Happy Two Year Workiversary, Jeff!

Two years ago today, Jeff Seevers joined the North Star Marketing team as a part of our growing roster of marketing managers. Since then, he has blown us away with his commitment to client relationships, irrepressible creative thinking about every project he touches, and his vision for our work and how we live out our mission. Jeff has been quietly working behind the scenes on high-impact initiatives for North Star this year, and we recently sat down to get the scoop on what he’s been up to, and what’s ahead.

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Pursue Growth: Chasing Sustained, Powerful, Recognizable Growth

Clark Morgan leads the Online Marketing Team efforts at North Star. Clark understands and chases sustained, powerful, recognizable growth internally and for our client partners like nobody else on our team. 

How Would You Define Growth?

Growth has been something that has fascinated me since I was a little guy. I think it started back in middle school with lifting weights and just being amazed at how our bodies can grow bigger and stronger with the right combination of stress, nutrition, rest, and time. Helping people and businesses grow has become a passion for me, but it has also been one of the most challenging areas of my life.

I’ve learned that growth can mean a lot of different things to people depending on who you ask. For some companies, it gets boiled down to more clients; increased profits; and making the company bigger. These are all important, but they’re really the indicators that show us growth has occurred. The real growth itself happens out of sight, under the skin. 

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Kaleen Goodeill Celebrates 3 Years at NSM!

Kaleen Goodeill is our veteran marketing manager in the K-12 school industry, one of several core markets North Star Marketing serves. Today she marks her three-year workiversary on our team, and we caught up with her for an interview to hear what’s new and developing in the K-12 space. We also asked her to reflect on what she has learned in the last year as she keeps growing her skills for serving this dynamic market.

First of all, thanks for all your work, Kaleen! You do an amazing job of leading our team and so many of our school clients. Maybe start us off by sharing something you enjoyed working on in the last year.

One of the most surprising and fun things I’ve been able to do this year is step in with Micah Fox to support our sales team. As he meets with prospective school partners to discuss marketing solutions and strategy, I’ve been able to join in those calls to support him directly and share my role with those schools. [Laughs] I don’t think of myself as a salesperson, and I didn’t even expect to enjoy the sales process, but I have enjoyed this because it has tied in really closely with the thing I love most about my job. Read More

Jordan Celebrates 3 Years at NSM!

Slow, sure growth is a sign of a healthy plant with the strength and roots to flourish for many years. Three years ago today, Jordan Buckhalt joined the NSM creative services department as a budding graphic designer. It’s been wonderful to see him grow.

Jordan, what’s the best thing you learned this year?

For the last six months, for 20 hours of my spare time outside of work every week, I’ve been in the midst of a deep dive course on user experience. I’m close to my certification now, and it’s been amazing to start applying what I’m learning at work. Today, I have a much better understanding of the data that helps us understand our clients’ end-users that we design for in our work. When we can tie what we learn about them to the goals of our clients, that alignment has strong potential! Read More

5 Key Questions for Choosing a School Mascot

If I were to say to you, “Lions and tigers and bears,” you’d likely respond with “oh my!” and have a yellow brick road in your mind’s eye. However, if I were to say “Detroit Lions, Clemson Tigers and Chicago Bears,” you’d likely either growl or grin, depending on your loyalties. And your mind’s eye would likely picture an energetic mascot surrounded by crazy sports fans. 

I daresay everyone has a favorite mascot, whether it’s from a local high school, a collegiate team or the insurance gecko. A mascot is a visual representation of a group’s culture, and today, we’re talking about school mascots.

Source: North Star Marketing

Mascots should generate excitement and inspire loyalty from parents, alumni, athletes, middle schoolers, and kindergarteners. Fans should be proud to proclaim, “I’m a Hillcrest Raven!” because the mascot gives them a sense of belonging to a greater group. Read More

Reclaiming Online Visibility in 2019 [3 Critical Strategies]

“We want to rank first for that keyword.”

If you run a small business, I’m sure you’ve had that thought. It’s a great goal to have. And yes, ranking first for a specific term has its advantages.

But it also doesn’t mean what it used to. Take a quick look on Google today, and you’ll find that first position organic search results are now pushed down the page and below the fold by ads, local map packs, and other Search Engine Results Page (SERP) features. It’s likely your prospects could search Google for a keyword you rank well for, but never see your company’s listing! 

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See What the WordPress Gutenberg Update Means for Your Website

WordPress is an amazing Content Management System (CMS) that powers websites across a wide variety of industries.  In fact, more than 30 percent of the top 10,000 websites run on WordPress. It is open source, meaning that it is free to use and hundreds of developers donate their time to keep the platform safe, secure, and fast.  Our development team at North Star Marketing consists of a few developers that help give back to that community through volunteering time and speaking at WordPress Meetups and WordCamps all over the country.

Getting Ready for the New Gutenberg WordPress Update

North Star has helped hundreds of clients – from schools, colleges, and healthcare networks to banks, accounting firms, and manufacturers – reach key audiences through engaging websites that are built on the WordPress platform.  We’re making sure all of the websites we host continue to function seamlessly when the next major update to WordPress, Version 5.0, is rolled out in the next month. If your website currently utilizes WordPress, keep reading to learn what to expect with this latest update.

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Why VirCon6 is a Must for School Marketers


If you’re in education marketing or admissions, don’t miss this virtual conference.

I first became aware of Brendan Schneider through my friend, Rick Newberry (a.k.a. “Globetrotter,” a.k.a. “Selfie Samurai”), an enrollment consultant who has worked with hundreds of schools across the U.S. and beyond to help them boost their numbers in a sustainable way.

As I’ve followed Brendan over the years, I’ve come to appreciate why he’s a go-to source for so many marketing and enrollment professionals. He’s not speaking out of theory. He’s practicing his craft as Director of Advancement at Sewickley Academy in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. And he gets results.

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Triad Payroll Company Increases Mobile Engagement 97% with Responsive Website

Responsive Web DesignScott Jenkins, President of Payroll Solutions, knew his website wasn’t up to par. It was nearly ten years old, and his team realized that a responsive design would be vital to meet client needs. As a result, Jenkins contacted North Star Marketing in late 2016 and launched his new site in April 2017. Since launch, the company is already seeing indicators from the new website that positively impact productivity, sales, and client retention. A few of these include:

  • Increases in direct traffic to the site
  • Fewer visitors leaving the site (lower bounce rates)
  • And a significant increase in mobile visitor engagement

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The Social Tool Your Company May Be Missing – Google+


The world of social media often fosters confusion rather than traction. Businesses simply don’t know where to invest their time and energy. If you’re like most, you’ve probably explored at least one of the widely-used platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. But if you have limited time to invest in social media, there’s one platform you don’t want to overlook – Google+. With more than 343 million active users, you’ll want to join the party.

With a vast majority of web searches taking place on Google, your Google+ page can have huge SEO implications. A lot of the information that Google indexes about your company can be controlled by keeping this social media platform up to date. Additionally, Google+ integrates easily across other Google platforms, like Gmail and YouTube, and offers a unique combination of both social and SEO opportunity.

A verified and up-to-date Google+ page can improve both your organic search results, as well as your local rankings. This will allow your business to be more prominent on a page of search results, and increase the number of times you show up on a page. 

Google+ may not be the most well known social media platform, but its vital role in boosting your SEO value should not be overlooked. If you want to learn how to effectively use your Google+ page to drive more traffic and find new leads, contact North Star Marketing today to learn how we can help you take advantage of this powerful social tool.