Have you ever had a moment where you looked at your media and thought, “Does this make sense?” If yes, keep reading. Anneliese Gartner is the founder of Apto Media and has grown her business from a video production company to a full blown marketing agency.
SDS: You started your career in video and transformed Apto Media into a full-fledged marketing agency. How’d you decide on making the pivot?
ANNELIESE GARTNER: We started in 2018 as a video marketing company and pivoted in September 2019 because our clients asked us to. As we delivered video marketing plans to our clients, they asked what else we could do to strengthen their marketing plans. Our clients were tired of going to 3-4 different freelancers to complete their branding and marketing needs. So, we became that one company. We listened to our clients and pivoted to what they needed.
SDS: What is a marketing agency and what are the biggest misconceptions people have around them?
AG: We focus on helping brands find their voice, build their foundations and grow through brand and marketing strategies. For branding we focus on brand strategy and design, website design, social media and email marketing set-up. Our marketing packages include building, developing and creating for social media, email marketing and planning entire marketing strategies. However, we are also developing educational services that will include a variety of Masterclasses and Courses to help clients continue to grow their business through branding and marketing strategies.
One of the biggest misconceptions with marketing agencies is thinking that they handle everything. Yes, we bring a lot to the table – but the best marketing plans we’ve created for clients are the ones when there is consistent communication with us about updates of their business and services. Even if you’ve added a new employee to your team! Consistent communication is key with every plan. When we realized that some brands didn’t understand the communication level we needed, we implemented an onboarding process that explains everything we need from them consistently in order for us to create them the best marketing strategy.
SDS: As a marketing agency, Apto Media works with all different types of customers. What is your favorite part of the marketing work?
AG: My favorite part of the marketing work is the analytics. We do an extensive analysis report for our clients that tells them exactly what’s doing well and how we can improve their marketing strategy to grow their business. If you’re ever wondering what’s working or not working in your business, look at your analytics.
SDS: What’s the biggest trick on moving the needle with marketing? Is it email? Social media? Ads?
AG: At first, it’s best to stick to two platforms, build your audience and then expand to other platforms. For instance, the two that I highly recommend when you first start out is email marketing and then pick one social media platform. With email you’re not battling the algorithm, you’re only battling if your subscriber decides whether or not they want to open up your email. With social media you’re battling the algorithm and sometimes things can be missed by your audience. It’s best to have both set up for success so that your business is always in front of your ideal audience.
SDS: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a company just starting out?
AG: Try everything and then narrow down. Everyone tells you to niche down at the beginning and yes, eventually do that, but when you’re at the early stages in your business you have to do a little bit of everything to then realize who you like working with, the type of work you like doing and how you want to run your business.
SDS: What can we expect from Apto Media in the months to come?
AG: We are excited to launch more consulting and educational services. If COVID taught us anything, it’s that niching down too much isn’t the greatest. Before COVID we only had agency services that served clients with physical locations (restaurants, interior design firms and small boutiques.)
When COVID hit we immediately realized we needed to switch it up and expand our clients to not only helping online businesses, but also to those who could complete marketing on their own. The consulting and educational services allow clients to know what marketing strategies they need to implement in their business on their own. We want everyone to become an expert marketer in their business.