Writing good copy is darn hard. For content marketers, the onus of producing quality material is particularly heavy, because it needs to be so much at once: compelling, targeted, moving, convincing, relevant, genuine, clear, concise, even clever and entertaining, depending on the topic.

If all those criteria aren’t daunting enough, content marketers must also be watchful, mindful and
careful – all the time. Launch a self-interested pitch, and consumers will smell it. Go light on your research, and you jeopardize credibility and relevance. Underwhelm with the bland, overwhelm with the bombastic, and your audience will be equally unimpressed.

Content marketers should think of creating material like using a level: only the most sensitive touch makes it just right. Because quality content marketing punctuates copy with plenty of examples, let’s explore good writing in the same way.

  • THE BASICS
    The Bad and Ugly: Mary’s mother liked her new community. Mary’s mother could not believe it’s affect on she and her family.
    No matter how compelling your subject, readers don’t have the time or patience to muddle through copy riddled with errors in grammar, spelling and syntax or lacking in brevity and clarity.
    The Good: Mary’s mother couldn’t be happier and more comfortable in her new senior community. She was both surprised and invigorated by its positive effect on her and her family.
  • RESEARCH
    The Bad and Ugly
    : Studies show that planned activities reduce stress among senior citizens.
    This sentence is fine, as long as it’s followed by quantifiable and qualifiable data, but many marketers leave it at that: vague and unsubstantiated.
    The Good: A 2016 survey of 1,000 senior citizens across the U.S. and conducted by the National Alliance for Octogenarians revealed that activities such as water aerobics, arts and crafts, and off-site outings lowered blood pressure by 68% in people aged 75 and older.
    (Note: this is not a real study or organization.)
  • CREDIBILITY
    The Bad and Ugly:
    Our new senior community will completely change your parent’s life – you must come visit us today to believe it!
    Your community may, in fact, be a life-changer for your residents, but such overreaching claims will immediately cast doubt on your trustworthiness and genuine concern for your prospects.
    The Good: We have taken great care to discover and satisfy our residents’ every need and desire, and we are always eager to learn how we can make life at (community name) ever more fulfilling for your loved one. We invite you to contact us about a personal visit.
  • RELEVANCE
    The Bad and Ugly:
    We are a community leveraging team work for optimum results.
    Huh? Despite being non-descript and flat, this is the kind of copy produced by content marketers time and again. It speaks to no one and almost shouts that it doesn’t know its audience, or perhaps even itself.
    The Good: Choosing a senior living community is one of the most momentous decisions you and your family will ever make. (Community name) understands that and is dedicated to providing our residents peace in the assurance of skilled, caring staff, comfort in luxurious living spaces and world-class amenities, and freedom to make new friends and explore new activities every day of the week.
  • EMOTIONAL IMPACT
    The Bad and Ugly:
    In 2014, the aquatic center was built. In 2016, a game room was added, and at a meeting later that year, the Board of Trustees voted on plans to construct an outdoor terrace.
    Dry as dust.
    The Good: Each day, our new pool and spa is filled with residents eager to take the plunge into better health and fitness. Our “Dave and Busters”-worthy game room entertains visiting grandchildren and leaves them excited to come back. Residents and their families are thrilled about the exquisite rooftop garden and terrace coming next spring, just in time for the magnolia blossoms.
    Psychologists confirm that people are led by their emotional brains, and perhaps more than any other industry, content marketing must take advantage of that.

Your marketing experts can help you find that “just right” touch, bearing in mind all the variables that make your copy not just good, but great.

Ivy Marketing Group. Come Grow With Us.

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It’s addicting!  The fast-paced, ever changing world of public relations and marketing captures your interest and keeps you charged up to learn more everyday.  I love to find the best ways to tell our client’s stories and man, they have awesome stories!

It’s my job to discover our client’s goals and then match the best processes to achieve them, within their budgets, of course.  I get to explore traditional, digital and every manner of communication to determine which tactics, whether it is direct mail or TV advertising, a new website or PPC (to name just a few) will efficiently and effectively capture the attention of prospects. 

I also get to work with great people at IVY – they’re creative, fun, caring and super smart.  We’ve all been around the industry a while so there is not a novice among us.  Our clients are very cool too and totally passionate about the services they offer.  We’ve been working with most of them for years so we know they truly care about being innovative and responsible to the markets they service.  I have great admiration for all of them and look forward to every day. 

It’s true what “they” say, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day of your life!

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IVY was established in 1990 with a basic premise to offer professional, ethical and highly creative marketing, advertising and public relations services. We have successfully maintained our core values and have been part of many amazing projects, client growth and changes in the world of marketing that continue to happen at lightening speed. Most of our clients serve older adults in some capacity so we keep abreast of the opportunities and challenges they face.   Each day, we keep it real and fun and consistently deliver positive results to our clients and their markets.

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As a hybrid graphic and digital designer/web developer with over 17 years of experience, I am always on the lookout for innovative digital and print visual communications. IVY Marketing Group’s broad range of projects keeps my job challenging and rewarding, as each campaign is a new and exciting opportunity to effectively communicate our clients’ messages and help them achieve their goals. It’s my passion!

My body of work encompasses a diverse design style and wide base of clients, ranging from national associations, small businesses and big name brands like Hyatt and LiftMaster. I firmly believe that form follows function and highly value the communicative power of simplicity. 

Areas of professional expertise include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Word Press, Responsive Design, CSS3, and HTML5. The industries I’ve served include senior living, health care, hospitality and finance.

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All my life, I have loved writing. As a child, I could often be found in my room “writing a book.” While “novelist” is not (yet) on my resume, I am a storyteller. I believe that everyone and everything has a great story, and it is my joy to find that story and share it with the world.

After earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism and completing my master’s studies in the same field, I joined a small advertising agency with powerhouse clients in the hospitality industry, such as Hyatt, Hilton International and Carnival Cruise Lines. I began as a proofreader and achieved the position of senior copy writer within a year.

After my first son was born, followed by two more, I started a freelance writing business that included (among several others) such clients as Advocate Health Care and Coldwell-Banker Realty. Clients in the education arena included DeVry University’s Becker CPA and Stalla CFA Reviews, DePaul University, and Naperville School District 203, for which I won two state public relations awards.

For nine years, I was employed as Communications Director for a large faith community, where I managed all aspects of internal and external communications. I was writer, editor, designer, web master, and content manager.

As such, I am experienced and comfortable writing multimedia for a broad variety of industries, products and services.

I joined IVY Marketing Group in 2013, when I began writing client press releases on a freelance basis. I loved the work—and my teammates—so much, I was thrilled when I was invited to come on board in a greater capacity.

I have immensely enjoyed getting to know our valued clients in the senior housing industry, the people they serve, and telling the many wonderful stories that come out of content marketing done right—with the love and care our IVY teams puts into everything we do.

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It all starts with one idea. Working with the Ivy creative team for over two decades has always meant taking one great idea and bringing it to life to help our clients meet their goals. We enjoy the challenges offered with every creative opportunity and try to make the design process itself enjoyable for our clients.

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Making certain that the projects IVY produces are word- and picture-perfect is my specialty. But I also love implementing marketing campaigns and programs that bring our clients success. Details are my thing, so it is a pleasure to have worked with IVY twice now, first after college four years ago and, recently, for the past two years.

The IVY Group is a terrific team of creative, positive and talented professionals that I love working with and, judging from the length of stay of our clients, I think they love our team, too!

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Rock-climbing, training for an 80-floor stair climb event, running a 5K…This is just a tiny peek into what people 20 and even 30 years older than I am, are doing on a fairly regular basis at some of the retirement communities that IVY represents.

I’m of the generation that still has reoccurring nightmares about what the next step looked like when my grandmother could no longer live by herself. The very best option at that time was living at a “facility” and  included eating rubbery chicken and playing an occasional game of BINGO. Period. That’s why my parent’s generation begged us not to ever put them into “one of those places.”

I am so proud that IVY’s clients are at the very forefront of an industry that creates opportunities, challenges, and most of all freedom for seniors, allowing them to explore hobbies, interests, passions…the next chapter of their very full lives.

I feel reassured for my own future. Even more, I feel honored to be able to share the impactful stories about this paradigm shift in the world of senior housing. What we hear and see at our clients’ communities is fascinating and inspiring!

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Keeping up to date on new public relations strategies, online engagement tactics, and promotional tools is my passion.

With my hospitality background in marketing top Chicago restaurants and hotels, I was eager to bring fresh concepts and communication strategies to our clients and have really enjoyed learning various industries.

Our clients have such exciting and unique events and programs, which really makes it motivating for me to make the most of their content.  Results like increased sales leads, website visits and social media connections make everyday rewarding and interesting.

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I oversee, plan and implement projects and processes at IVY.  Often,  I am the conduit between our writers and designers, with printers, and other vendors to fulfill the marketing needs for our clients. I also manage media buys and coordinate production of advertisements.

Working for a flexible and fluid company that is constantly growing, changing and evolving is fun and rewarding. There is always something new to learn.

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My bio has a big blank in the beginning—Mom and Dad rescued me in Wisconsin, and no one really knows my origins. They were probably ruff. What matters though is where I am now, running IVY Marketing Group. There are humans here who think they’re in charge. In truth, they do actually have amazing experience in content marketing and public relations, but I’m super important and the center of attention. I mean, look at this face. Right? And I know I’m the top dog because honestly, I’m the only one allowed to sleep through staff meetings and eat things that people drop on the floor.

The fact is though that I truly love staying awake at staff meetings. Everyone talks and laughs and they’re always excited. That surprises me a little because it’s not like anyone has thrown a ball to play fetch or anything. But I guess what gets my pack of peoples’ tails wagging is their work and their clients. I don’t know what a website or a blog is, but I do know that my pack must be good at them because they’ve earned all sorts of awards for these and other things. My bed had to be moved because the framed certificates were taking up so much room. Despite the inconvenience, I’m proud of these awards!

I serve several important purposes at IVY. I always let Mom (and the world) know when the mailman is here. When people come into the office, just one (usually) quick non-invasive (usually) sniff, allows me to determine important characteristics…like if they had anything good for breakfast, own any pets (pet owners are the best!) or if they stepped in anything on the way in. (It’s sort of like me conducting a first job interview.) I generously share my tummy because I know people like to give it a good scratch. I always give kisses, whether one is feeling lonely or not. And I’m always happy to share someone’s meal, especially if they’re trying to lose weight. My pack describes me as being engaging, amusing, and entertaining. (When I hear a siren, I “sing” along and it makes them laugh.) NPR talks about the benefits of having a pet at the workplace. Studies show pets lower stress hormones and improve morale and productivity. I wholeheartedly agree that a dog in the workplace is the best thing since rawhide bones.

As for my pack of people at IVY…they are amazing and always make my tail wag!

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