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Minnesota Business Magazine Community Impact Awards

Risdall is named a Finalist in 2015 Community Impact Awards

Each year Minnesota Business Magazine holds the Community Impact Awards to honor companies in Minnesota that place a high importance on giving back to their communities. For the magazine’s 2015 competition, Risdall was named one of three finalists in the Creative Campaign category for its strong devotion to helping families and children over the years. Risdall’s History of Community Involvement As a full-service digital marketing agency, Risdall is able to give back to the community in a unique way. Through a combination of monetary and skills-based donations, the agency helps non-profits and organizations in need. We have longstanding relationships with

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Risdall Content Marketing

How to Repurpose Your Content to Get the Most Out of Content Marketing

Repurposing content is an often overlooked feature of a content marketing program. Repurposing is useful for two reasons: getting a single message out in multiple ways, across multiple platforms, and easing the burden of always having to create new content or finding content to curate. In the recent seminar, Growth Powered by Risdall, I, Dave Dougherty, Risdall’s Digital Marketing Specialist, covered how to repurpose content once you’ve spent time developing your strategy and curating and creating content for your content marketing program. Don’t Sell Yourself Short by Not Repurposing Content Repurposing can be either drawing attention to an older piece

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Risdall Content Marketing

Using Content Marketing Strategy to Power Business Growth

In the November content marketing seminar, Growth Powered by Risdall, the digital marketing team opened the half-day festivities by explaining why you should start your content marketing planning with strategy. Content marketing is defined as the process of finding, developing and sharing relevant, valuable and engaging content with target audiences, with a goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers. Without a good strategy in place you’ll be shooting into the dark, hoping that your content will do what you want it to. In this blog and video, Josh Dahmes, Risdall’s Chief Digital Marketing Manager explains the

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Risdall Content Marketing

Have Your Content Work for You through Content Optimization

This fall Risdall’s Digital Marketing team hosted a half-day seminar called, Growth Powered by Risdall, in which the digital team covered the most important aspects of a content marketing program. The video attached to this blog is a presentation by Tracy Henry, Risdall’s Senior Marketing Manager, covering how you should go about optimizing your content. For a long time, the focus of optimization has been on search engine optimization, or SEO. While that is definitely a part of it, optimization is a much larger topic that also focuses on the purpose that the content is created for and how the

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Risdall Content Marketing

How to Amplify Your Content to Get the Most Out of Your Digital Marketing

Throughout the year Risdall likes to host seminars where we can provide the latest and greatest tools, techniques and how-to’s for our current and prospective clients. Recently Risdall put on a seminar titled: Growth Powered By Risdall, which focused on content marketing. In this video version of the presentation, Risdall’s Tracy Henry, Senior Marketing Manager, spoke about how to amplify your content across various Internet channels to get the most out of your digital marketing initiatives.   What is Content Amplification? Content amplification can be defined simply as the marketing of your marketing materials. The reason to do this is

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Risdall Content Marketing

How to Use Google Analytics to Properly Analyze Your Content Marketing

In November, Risdall put on a live seminar called, Growth Powered by Risdall, which focused on content marketing. The topics included content strategy, content curation, content creation, content amplification, content optimization, and analyzing your content’s performance. In this portion of the seminar, Risdall’s Marketing Manager, Beth Varela, explains three tactics: How to apply the right metrics to your content How to use secondary dimensions in Google analytics to attribute metrics to content How to assign the right goals to each piece of content in your content marketing initiatives Content Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey Content marketing is like any other

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Mobile WebAward Image

Risdall’s Clients Honored with 5 Best in Industry Awards in 2014 Mobile WebAwards

Congratulations to Risdall and our clients! The results of the 2014 Mobile WebAwards competition are in, Risdall’s clients received five Best in Industry awards! On top of the awards, Risdall was named an Outstanding Mobile Interactive Developer for taking home five awards this year. These wins demonstrate the talent of Risdall’s expert web development team, which stays on top of the trends in traditional and mobile website design. “It is an honor to be considered a digital leader among web design agencies in the Twin Cities,” said CEO Ted Risdall. “With changing communication comes changing technology, and we are excited

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Web Development Trends

Web Development Trends for 2015

Like many marketing practices, website development is an ever-changing field. To succeed in this field, designers need to constantly adapt to what consumers desire. We’ve looked at our clients’ requests and come up with three web development trends that designers can watch out for in 2015. Responsive is everything. In January, 55 percent of Internet access came via cell phones. With more people accessing websites on their smart phones, websites need to be responsive if you want visitors to get the most out of your site. All the buzz around responsive websites is because they adapt to whatever size screen

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Award-Winning Web Design

4 Elements for an Award-Winning Healthcare Website

Your website can give viewers their first impression of your company. And as we all know, a first impression is hard to change, so let’s make sure it’s a good one. Follow these four elements to set the foundation for an award-winning healthcare website that will be sure to leave a good impression. Big, Beautiful Pictures A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in the case of healthcare websites. The human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text, and visitors often spend most of their time looking at photos on a page rather than reading paragraphs of

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Movember Risdall

Movember Moustaches’ Last Hoorah

Just as the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone, so have Risdall’s Movember moustaches. Our team gathered donations and grew their moustaches for the entire month of November to raise awareness for men’s health. The moustaches serve as ice breakers to spark conversations on important issues that affect men, specifically mental health, prostate and testicular cancers. To spruce up the moustache season around the office, we held a few friendly competitions where employees voted on three different types of ‘staches: the most professional, the thickest ‘stache and the most minimal moustache. We had two more awards for “Highest Number of Donors”

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Risdall Thanksgiving

Feeling Thankful this Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Feeling thankful to so many and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. 2014 represents our 42nd year in business, and I wanted give thanks for all that has made this possible, especially our clients. First, I am thankful for Risdallians. Fueled by an unmatched work ethic – plus jars of candy and scooter laps around the building – we have worked tirelessly this year to make a difference for our clients and our community. I am also thankful that we were able to give some of our time to pro bono projects

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Risdall Celebrates its Newest Higher Education Client

We’re celebrating a big win after learning The University of Texas at Tyler chose Risdall to be its long-term agency partner. The upcoming projects will involve all of the agency’s services, such as brand research, strategic positioning, online marketing and video production on the road to making UT Tyler the first choice for higher education in Texas. In the past, Risdall has worked with several schools in the higher education industry, including Brown College and McNally Smith College of Music, and we look forward to our work with the team at UT Tyler. Through extensive research, we’ve gained a full

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3 Tips from Taco Bell for Marketing to College Students

College students have been a primary market for Taco Bell for years. With the cheap tacos, late-night hours and witty humor on social media, Taco Bell has whole heartedly embraced its following. Here are three strategies that we can learn from the fast food mogul to garner a strong Gen Y following. Humor sells According to a survey by Chegg, college students recall humorous stories 80 percent better than their non-humorous alternatives. Whether it’s YouTube, window clings or radio spots, the marketers at Taco Bell are experts on using humor to develop the brand’s personality. Socialize on social  media Taco

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Risdall Movember

Movember moustaches keep growing at Risdall

The moustaches are showing and the donations are growing in our third week of the Movember fundraiser at Risdall. Our team has raised $680 so far, and with two weeks left, we’re on track to hit our goal of $1,000. Movember was created to spark conversations about health issues specific to men. For the month of November, participants grow and groom their moustaches, and only their moustaches, while gathering donations for their team. The neatly groomed moustaches unify participants, or Mo Bros, and provide an ice breaker for conversation topics that aren’t widely discussed. All donations support research for men’s

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Content Strategy

6 Steps for Content Marketing

As a full-service agency, Risdall continually works to develop each team’s skills, bringing out its full potential. Since we entered the digital world in 1993, we’ve continued to maximize our digital processes. With that in mind, we’ve created a six-step approach for content marketing at Risdall: strategy, curation, creation, optimization, amplification and measurement. Although we could create a blog post for each one of these steps, we decided to start with an overview of how each step fits into the process and works toward a client’s goals. Risdall’s 6 Steps for Content Marketing Strategy What Is It: Strategy means defining

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Movember Team Moustaches

Risdall sports Moustaches for Movember

From a simple After Eight to the intricate Connoisseur, gentlemen at Risdall will show off their moustaches of all sizes and styles this month in appreciation of Movember. Following the official rules of Movember, Risdallians started with a clean-shaven face on November 1. For the entire month, gentlemen, and women, will grow and groom their moustaches, transforming into true Mo Bros. Starting in Australia in 2003, the popular fundraiser was created to benefit men’s health issues by sparking discussions about health concerns and raising funds specifically for mental health, prostate and testicular cancers. The movement has grown to include 21 countries, and has

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Growth Powered by Risdall Rockets Cub Scout Recruitment

Risdall helped refresh Northern Star Council Boy Scouts’ brand and public image in the first year of its statewide Rocket Into Scouting recruitment event, culminating in a 43 percent enrollment increase from 2013 totals. In 2014, Northern Star Council strategically transformed Rocket Into Scouting from a multiple-date event into a single-time recruitment effort, where kindergarten through fifth grade boys who signed up for Cub Scouts and their families received a free model rocket to build and launch at the first pack meeting. Through the efforts of multiple Risdall services, Rocket Into Scouting enrolled 4,143 new Cub Scouts at over 700

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The Network Connect Explores the Future of Angel Investing

If you’re looking for the ideal area to invest, Minnesota is the place to be. With 248 unique businesses started between 2010 and 2013, investors have put a total of $247.7 million toward startups in Minnesota in the last four years. One factor encouraging investors both in and out of state is the Minnesota Angel Tax Credit program, which provides a 25 percent refundable tax credit for investors who put their money toward qualified small emerging businesses. The program has more than doubled since it started in 2010 with $7 million in credits. Four years later, the program increased funding and dispersed

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Risdall Creates Award-Winning Website for Colorado Symphony

Risdall shined a spotlight on the Colorado Symphony’s online presence with a new website, The site won Best Entertainment Website in the 2014 WebAwards, scoring 68 out of 70 points based on seven distinct criteria. “We wanted a dynamic website technology with a very rich set of features and capabilities that was also easy to use,” said Douglas Yost, director of information services at the Colorado Symphony. The Colorado Symphony wanted to clean up its site with a slick navigation menu, an easy-to-scan blog module and an eye-catching event calendar with pop-up descriptions. The orchestra wanted a website that

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Par Aide Presents Risdall with a Unique Gift

Risdall’s Wii golf course is now complete with two brand new golf ball washers from our valued partner, Par Aide. To honor our ongoing relationship, Par Aide presented the agency with two shiny, 4-foot-tall golf ball washers, but not just any ball washers. Par Aide took the time to match the Master Ensemble ball washer perfectly with Risdall’s signature purple, and converted the Deluxe Ensemble ball washer into a functioning lamp. At Risdall, we couldn’t help but remember the unforgettable scene from “A Christmas Story,” when old man Parker receives his prized leg lamp. In Mr. Parker’s words, “It’s indescribably

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Risdall’s Clients Honored in International Competition for Outstanding Websites

The unique relationships between Risdall and our clients inspire us to create superior website designs that meet all of our clients’ needs… and win awards too. This year, 19 of those websites went on to win awards in the international WebAwards competition. On top of that, the Web Marketing Association recognized six of those victorious websites as best in their categories, meaning they had the highest score compared with all other submissions. Congratulations to all the winners! We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the latest technology and a team of industry-leading experts who love what they do, and when

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Use a Vivid Vision to Look at your Business through a Crystal Ball

  The Vistage Executive Summit joined Minnesota’s brightest leaders with some of the world’s most talented speakers to share their knowledge about innovation in business. One speaker, Cameron Herold, explained his concept of creating a vivid vision – an activity to align your team with the future of your company. The CEO knows exactly where he wants his company to end up, but if his vision isn’t shared with employees, he’ll be viewed as the guy dancing alone in the video above. This is where a vivid vision comes in. A vivid vision is a detailed description of the future of your company.

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scroll down content strategy

Are Huge Images Right For a B2B Website?

Many readers of online magazines have noticed a shift lately – sites like Medium, Fast Company, and The Great Discontent are all shifting to huge images that often force users to scroll before reading content.

The writers at Digiday speculate that the trend is due to an evolving understanding of how visitors come to websites:

“Large photos are often used by publishers as a way of providing texture to a homepage and making a brand impression,” Digiday writer Ricardo Bilton wrote. “But with most traffic now coming to article pages, it means article pages have to do more of the heavy lifting of homepages.”

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content curation

How to Simplify Your Content Curation


What is it?

Many brands start their web marketing strategies with content curation.

Content curation is the process of organizing and displaying information about a particular topic. Although you can curate your own content, most online curation involves content generated by other people.

Content curation is not a new, or uniquely digital strategy. Museums, anthologies and galleries are forms of curation.

In the digital world content curation can consist of sharing links to other people’s content on social media, Buzzfeed-style lists, and roundup posts, among other things.

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SEO Tips

SEO Trends in 2014

Recent changes in search engines and other emerging online trends have led to a number of new developments in SEO.

While most of these concepts aren’t ground-breaking or brand new, they’re more important than ever in establishing and maintaining a concrete presence online. If you haven’t optimized your site for mobile, integrated your social media efforts with SEO, or shifted your content strategy, jump on board now to keep up with the trends and your online visibility intact.
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Risdall Marketing Agency

Risdall Signs 20 New Accounts in Q1 2014

It was a strong start to 2014 at Risdall, with the agency signing on 20 new accounts in the first quarter.

Many of these clients are focused on business-to-consumer marketing, and were looking for an agency that could deliver fully-integrated strategic campaigns.
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What is Native Advertising?

Native advertising is a catchall term for targeted paid marketing tactics.

The oldest form of native advertising is an advertorial, like Oglivy’s “Guinness Guide to Oysters.”

Oyster Ad
Native Advertising is a nebulous concept:

  1. There is no real consensus on what the term means.
  2. Most definitions are so broad as to encompass every form of paid digital advertising except for basic banner ads.

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Advice For Graduating Designers and Copywriters

I recently had the privilege of participating in a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association networking event.

This MIMA speed networking event consisted of about 30 students and aspiring marketers who got 2-3 minutes each to speak with 30 marketing professionals, including myself.

A third of the would-be marketers seemed terrified, but all of them braved through it. It was a fun event for everyone (I hope).

I found myself giving the same six pieces of advice over and over:

1. Learn how to position yourself.

Most of the seniors unnecessarily limited their job searches because they had a very narrow idea of what they wanted to do.

  • Are you a copywriter with social media experience? Look for content strategy and community manager jobs.
  • Are you a business major with a communications minor? Check the project management and public relations listings.

The easiest thing to do is look at all of the open positions at an agency or marketing department and ask yourself whether you can do a job with minimal training.

For example, a writer isn’t going to learn software development overnight, but he or she can probably figure out basic social media and project management skills if necessary.

2. Get your portfolio together.

The first step to getting a marketing job is learning how to effectively market yourself.

The number of graduating seniors without updated portfolios almost drove me to hysterics. Read More

Fancy Words

Why Marketers Love Buzzwords

I love LinkedIn Pulse articles.

These articles consistently offer new perspectives on changes in the business world, particularly marketing.

One of today’s LinkedIn articles was about visual storytelling in marketing. The article quoted a marketer who used the word “infobesity.”

I cringed.

My reaction to the word “infobesity” made me wonder why marketers use such strange and pretentious language.

Why do we consistently violate Dr. Struck’s prohibition against fancy words?


Why Marketers Love Buzzwords

Buzzwords accomplish several important things in the marketing world:

1. Revitalization of old ideas.

Why say “infobesity” when “information overload” will do? Everyone knows what information overload means, but infobesity revitalizes the concept for a modern audience.
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Apple Maps

Our Agency Is Not A Superfund Site

Why is Apple Maps directing ad agency clients to a toxic waste dump?

Apple’s troubled map product can’t find the Loch Ness Monster and apparently it has a hard time locating suburban advertising agencies as well.

When Risdall clients attempt to use their iPhones to find our agency, they end up in a Walking Dead-worthy location.
Apple Maps

Apple is Directing Our Clients to the Former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant.

Apparently this massive Superfund site has a street network, and one of these streets is called Main Street. (Coincidentally this polluted area almost became the site of the new Vikings Stadium until the team was able to squeeze more funding from Minneapolis.)

The Munitions Plant is in Arden Hills, a suburb next to Risdall’s city of New Brighton.

Apple Maps takes our clients to this toxic waste site when they ask Siri for navigation directions to “Risdall Advertising Agency” or even when they type our correct street address (city included) into their iPhones.
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Markup Post

Is Structured Markup Worth It?

Google and Bing support an increasing amount of structured data markup. These are snippets of code that tell a search engine exactly what type of content is on a page, and (in theory) make your website appear more relevant.

The value of structured markup is debated in SEO circles. The issue is that structured markup makes it easy for a search engine to scrape the content from your website and immediately serve it up on the results page.
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content strategy pigs

Clickbait: The Case Of The Swimming Pigs

My Facebook stream is littered with old pictures of swimming feral pigs, and there’s a good reason why.

Clickbait The post about the pigs (who live in the Bahamas) is the latest example of a clickbait post gone viral.

Clickbait: The Easy Way to Get Views

You only have to spend a few minutes on Facebook or any mid-market news website to see gobs of clickbait – those articles with sensational headlines and funny images optimized for generating maximum page views.


Clickbait articles are generally low quality content that is designed to be consumed quickly.

It is “fluff” content like top 10 lists, GIFs, and cute animal pictures. Clickbait is the type of content shared by that annoying girl from high school whose Facebook request you regret accepting. (You know, the same girl who is constantly trolling for Candy Crush lives.)
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Risdall Advertising Agency

Preserving, Protecting and Defending Your Company’s Security and Reputation Seminar

Few organizations relish disaster planning, but doing so is essential should a crisis occur.

Explore management’s three most critical issues: risk control, crisis control and reputation protection. Join three experts to explore critical management issues where they will provide key insights, ideas and wisdom you can use for protecting, preserving and promoting your company’s reputation before, during and after a crisis or disaster.

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SEO Tips

Were You Hit By A Google Algorithm Change? How To Tell.

Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, recently posted a video on how to tell whether your website was hit by a Google algorithm change or if it is simply losing out to better content.

Cutts first drew the distinction between manual actions and algorithm-based rank penalties. Cutts noted that manual actions from Google’s web spam team are the easiest to identify because these will result in notifications in Webmaster Tools.

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mobile strategy

The Other View: SMS Marketing Statistics

For the past few years, text message marketing has been promoted as a highly effective way to reach your target audience.

Risdall even toted the virtues of text marketing during our recent mobile seminar:

Here are some common SMS marketing stats:

  • 98 percent of text messages are read and responded to within 90 seconds (compared to 2.5 days for email.)
  • Coupons received via SMS are more likely to be redeemed and shared than mail coupons.
  • Users are less likely to opt out of an SMS campaign than an email campaign.

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Risdall Advertising Agency

Web Development, User Interaction Expert Joins Interactive Team

Colin SteinmannUnderstanding how humans interact with technology is critical in building websites that are easy to use. With this extensive background in cognitive systems, Colin Steinmann expands the capabilities of Risdall’s interactive team.

Colin recently joined Risdall as a front-end developer, and specializes in WordPress theme development using HTML5, PHP, JavaScript and CSS3 technologies. He pairs this knowledge with experience in information architecture and interactive design to create intuitive websites.

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