Screen Shot 2022-05-23 at 9.37.45 PM - Nicole Lane

Nicole Lane

Sr. Account Strategist
If you're hosting a party, you better believe that Nicole will be the one to show up with the charcuterie board. Her skills are not limited to orchestrating the perfect spread of cheeses and meats, Nicole is a digital and paid media expert and HubSpot SEO certified. Being a former athlete, Nicole is driven to win by driving new leads to our clients, collaborating with your team on the latest digital trends, and achieving your ROI goals. When she is not leading our Digital Media team, Nicole and her husband are leading a house of three boys and a dog. She is a coffee and wine lover, a frequent beachgoer, and always laughs at corny jokes.


Most likely to know the lyrics to a random song.


Throw me to the wolves, and I’ll return leading the pack.


The team Nicole puts up with.


Articles by Nicole

IOI Insider

Constructing an Email Newsletter That Drives Clicks: A Small Business Owner’s Guide

In today’s fast-paced digital world, email marketing remains a powerful tool for small business owners to engage with their audience, build relationships, and drive clicks. An effective email newsletter can help you connect with your customers, showcase your products or services, and ultimately boost your business. In this blog post, we will walk you through the essential steps for constructing an email newsletter that drives clicks, specifically tailored for small business owners.


Know Your Audience

Before you start crafting your email newsletter, it’s crucial to understand your audience. Who are your subscribers, and what are their interests, preferences, and pain points? Knowing your audience allows you to create content that resonates with them, increasing the chances of getting clicks.


Craft a Captivating Subject Line

Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers see, and it can make or break your email’s success. It should be engaging, concise, and give readers a reason to open the email. Consider using personalization and creating a sense of urgency or curiosity to entice your readers.


Create Valuable and Relevant Content

Your email newsletter’s content is the heart of your email marketing strategy. Ensure that the content is valuable, relevant, and informative. It should offer solutions to your audience’s problems or provide them with something they find interesting. You can include articles, videos, infographics, or product highlights.


Visual Appeal Matters

A visually appealing email newsletter is more likely to capture your readers’ attention. Use eye-catching images, a clean layout, and mobile-responsive design to ensure that your newsletter looks great on all devices. Consistency in branding and color schemes can help reinforce your business’s identity.


Use Call to Actions (CTAs)

The ultimate goal of your email newsletter is to drive clicks. To achieve this, strategically place call-to-action buttons within your content. These CTAs should be clear, action-oriented, and directly related to the content you’re offering. Whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Get Started,” make sure they stand out.


Personalize Your Messages

Personalization can significantly boost your click-through rates. Address your subscribers by their first name, segment your email list based on their behavior and preferences, and tailor your content to their specific needs. The more personalized your emails are, the more engaged your audience will be.


Test and Optimize

Email marketing is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Regularly test different elements of your email newsletter, such as subject lines, content types, sending times, and CTAs. A/B testing allows you to identify what works best for your audience and make data-driven improvements.


Monitor and Analyze

To construct an email newsletter that drives clicks, you need to track its performance. Pay attention to key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and unsubscribe rates. Analyze this data to identify trends and make informed decisions about your email marketing strategy.


Keep Your Subscribers Engaged

Don’t just focus on acquiring new subscribers; make an effort to keep your existing ones engaged. Send relevant and valuable content consistently, and consider setting up automated email series to nurture relationships over time.


Comply with Regulations

Finally, it’s essential to follow email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR. Ensure that your subscribers have opted in to receive your emails and provide an easy way for them to unsubscribe.


Creating an email newsletter that drives clicks is an invaluable asset for small business owners. It’s a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, build relationships, and promote your products or services. By understanding your audience, crafting engaging content, and using best practices, you can construct an email newsletter that not only drives clicks but also contributes to the growth and success of your small business.


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The Impact of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Internet Searches for Soccer in the United States

The FIFA Women’s World Cup has become an influential sporting event that goes beyond the boundaries of the soccer pitch. With its widespread popularity and exceptional talent on display, the tournament has left a lasting impact on the sport’s growth in the United States. Let’s look at how it has impacted internet searches.

  1. Surge in Search Volume – According to Google Trends data, searches related to soccer in the United States experienced a substantial increase during the FIFA Women’s World Cup compared to previous years. The tournament’s occurrence led to a sharp rise in search volume, indicating a heightened interest in soccer-related topics across the nation.
  2. Regional Interest – Analyzing search data by region reveals intriguing insights into the geographic impact of the Women’s World Cup. Soccer has traditionally been more popular in certain states, but the tournament managed to pique the interest of regions less associated with the sport. States like California, New York, and Texas, which typically exhibit a high interest in soccer, witnessed a surge in search activity during the Women’s World Cup. Moreover, states with lower soccer interest, such as Utah, Oregon, and Wisconsin, experienced significant increases in soccer-related searches during the tournament, showcasing the event’s nationwide appeal.
  3. Rising Interest in Women’s Soccer – The FIFA Women’s World Cup has undoubtedly contributed to raising awareness and interest in women’s soccer. Google search trends indicate a notable spike in queries related to women’s soccer during the tournament. People searched for information about the players, schedules, match results, and even women’s soccer leagues and events beyond the World Cup. This surge highlights a shift in perception, with more people recognizing and appreciating the talent and achievements of female athletes in the sport.
  4. Player Searches – Individual players became breakout stars during the Women’s World Cup, and their exceptional performances led to increased search interest. Players like Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, and Rose Lavelle saw a significant uptick in online searches during the tournament. Not only did fans seek information about their playing careers, but they also explored their off-field activities and advocacy efforts, further engaging with the sport and its personalities.
  5. Social Media Impact – Social media platforms played a vital role in driving internet searches related to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Memorable moments, spectacular goals, and emotional celebrations spread like wildfire on social media, leading to higher search volumes as people sought more information and videos of these events. Additionally, hashtags related to the Women’s World Cup trended on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, encouraging fans to engage with the content and search for further soccer-related topics.
  6. Long-Term Impact on Youth Participation – One of the most significant impacts of the Women’s World Cup on internet searches is the potential long-term effect on youth soccer participation. As more children witnessed the excitement of the tournament and the achievements of their female role models, interest in playing soccer has likely grown. This interest might translate into more searches for local soccer clubs, training programs, and resources, as parents and children seek ways to get involved in the sport.

The statistics speak volumes about the FIFA Women’s World Cup’s impact on internet searches for soccer in the United States. The tournament has driven a surge in search volume, expanded interest in women’s soccer, and captivated the attention of regions less traditionally associated with the sport. Players have become household names, and social media has played a pivotal role in sparking curiosity and engagement. Moreover, the tournament’s influence may extend to long-term effects on youth participation, as a new generation of soccer enthusiasts emerges. With each Women’s World Cup, soccer’s presence and popularity in the United States continue to grow, solidifying the tournament’s status as a catalyst for change within the sporting landscape.

Want to capitalize on this increase in traffic? Talk to IOI about solutions for your team, club, or organization – including our SPECIAL OFFER on sports websites.

IOI Insider

The Power of Meta’s Threads: A Game-Changer for Business Promotion

In the fast-paced world of social media, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to promote their products and services effectively. As digital platforms evolve, Meta (formerly Facebook) has introduced an exciting feature called Threads, which provides businesses with a powerful tool for self-promotion. Let’s compare Meta’s Threads with Twitter and explore how businesses can leverage Threads to boost their online presence and engage with their target audience.

Before diving into their applications, let’s first understand the fundamental differences between Threads and Twitter.

Threads: Threads on Meta are essentially a series of connected posts that enable users to share longer-form content in a cohesive manner. They allow users to create engaging narratives by linking multiple posts together, maintaining the context throughout. Threads can include text, images, videos, and interactive elements, providing a rich and immersive experience for users.

Twitter: Twitter, on the other hand, is a microblogging platform known for its concise nature. With a character limit of 280, tweets are brief snippets of information that can include text, images, and videos. While Twitter provides real-time updates and encourages succinct communication, it often poses limitations on expressing comprehensive ideas or narratives due to its constrained format.

Now that we have a clear understanding of both platforms, let’s explore how businesses can effectively use Threads to promote themselves on Meta.

  1. Storytelling and Brand Narrative: Threads offer businesses a unique opportunity to craft compelling stories and share their brand narrative in a more comprehensive way. By linking multiple posts, businesses can take their audience on a journey, unveiling the layers of their brand, product features, success stories, or even behind-the-scenes content. This storytelling approach helps create a deeper connection with the audience, ultimately building brand loyalty and fostering engagement.
  2. Showcasing Products and Services: Threads can be an excellent avenue for businesses to showcase their products and services creatively. By utilizing a sequence of posts, businesses can present the key aspects and benefits of their offerings. Combining visuals, videos, and informative captions, Threads allow businesses to effectively demonstrate the value they bring to their customers, leading to increased interest and potential conversions.
  3. Interactive and Educational Content: Threads provide an interactive canvas for businesses to educate their audience. By breaking down complex topics into a series of posts, businesses can deliver bite-sized, easily digestible information. This format is particularly useful for tutorials, step-by-step guides, product demonstrations, or sharing industry insights. Interactive elements like polls, quizzes, and questions within Threads can also be leveraged to encourage user engagement and feedback.
  4. Engaging with the Audience: Threads open up new avenues for businesses to engage with their audience and build a community. By encouraging comments and discussions on individual posts within a Thread, businesses can cultivate meaningful interactions, respond to queries, and gather valuable feedback. The threaded nature of discussions allows for more organized conversations, making it easier for businesses to follow and address user comments.

As businesses strive to stay ahead in an ever-evolving digital landscape, it is crucial to adapt to new tools and features that enhance their online presence. Meta’s Threads offer a powerful and engaging way for businesses to promote themselves, enabling them to tell their brand story, showcase products, educate their audience, and foster community engagement. By leveraging the unique capabilities of Threads, businesses can create impactful content that resonates with their target audience, ultimately driving brand awareness, customer engagement, and business growth. So, whether you’re a small startup or a well-established brand, it’s time to explore the potential of Threads and unlock new opportunities for your business.

IOI Insider

Top 5 Reasons To Go With A Pro To Build Out and Optimize Your Website

​​In today’s digital age, having a well-designed and functional website is crucial for any business or individual looking to establish a strong online presence. While there are various DIY website builders available, hiring a professional web developer or designer can make a world of difference. These are the top five reasons why you should consider hiring a professional (cough, cough, like IOI) to build your website.


  1. Customized and Unique Design:
    One of the main advantages of hiring a professional to build your website is the ability to have a customized and unique design. Professional web designers possess the knowledge and expertise to create visually appealing layouts that align with your brand identity. They can tailor the design to match your specific requirements, ensuring that your website stands out from the competition. With a distinctive design, you can create a memorable user experience that leaves a lasting impression on your visitors.
  2. User Experience Optimization:
    User experience (UX) plays a critical role in the success of any website. Professional web developers understand the principles of UX design and can create websites that are intuitive, easy to navigate, and user-friendly. They consider factors such as page load times, mobile responsiveness, and clear call-to-action buttons to enhance the overall experience for your site visitors. By providing a seamless and enjoyable browsing experience, you increase the chances of converting visitors into customers or clients.
  3. Technical Expertise and Functionality:
    Building a website involves more than just aesthetics. It requires technical expertise and knowledge of various programming languages, frameworks, and content management systems (CMS). Professional web developers possess the necessary skills to ensure that your website functions smoothly and efficiently. They can integrate advanced features and functionalities, such as e-commerce capabilities, database management, secure payment gateways, and interactive elements. A professional’s technical expertise ensures that your website is not only visually appealing but also fully functional.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
    Having a beautiful website is pointless if it doesn’t rank well in search engine results. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of building a website that drives organic traffic. Professional web developers have a deep understanding of SEO best practices and can optimize your website’s structure, code, and content to improve its visibility in search engines. They can implement proper meta tags, headings, alt tags, and ensure that your website loads quickly. By hiring a professional, you increase the chances of your website being discovered by potential customers or clients.
  5. Time and Cost Efficiency:
    While it may seem tempting to save money by building a website yourself or using a DIY website builder, it can quickly become time-consuming and costly. Professionals have the experience and efficiency to create a website more quickly and effectively. They are aware of potential roadblocks and can troubleshoot issues efficiently, saving you time and frustration. Moreover, investing in a professional website from the start can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly redesigns or fixes that may be required with a DIY approach.


Hiring a professional to build your website offers numerous benefits that extend beyond just appearance. From custom design to enhanced user experience, technical expertise, SEO optimization, and time efficiency, professionals bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to ensure that your website is a powerful tool for your business or personal brand. While there are costs associated with professional web development, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial investment. So, when it comes to your online presence, entrust the task to a professional to create a website that leaves a lasting impression and helps you achieve your goals.


IOI Ventures is currently running a website promotion for sports organizations. CLICK HERE for more information.

Case Study

Under Armour Flag Football Paid Media Campaign Hits Year-Long Target In One Month!

What do you get when you combine a passion for sports, an entrepreneurial spirit, and kids? Under Armour Flag Football Leagues. IOI Ventures has partnered with Under Armour’s Flag Football team to expand their footprint and grow the number of flag football leagues across the country.

The partnership encourages families to sign their children up to play, as well as generate leads for new league operators. Without league operators, Under Armour can not expand its program. Challenge accepted.


IOI worked closely with the Under Armour Flag Football team to draw up a paid media campaign to drive leads for league operators. They expressed a goal to onboard 10 new league operators this year. With a rigorous vetting process and high turn-down rate, IOI was challenged with driving a significant number of qualified leads to try and yield just one league operator per month.


To achieve this goal, we knew that we needed to increase the volume and quality of the leads coming to their “Start A Flag Football League” landing page (a past IOI website project). 

IOI’s account management team worked with Under Armour to settle on a budget and regional targets for league operators. The IOI paid media team then worked with the Account Manager on a detailed paid media campaign brief outlining the goals of the client, their target audiences, geographics, keywords, custom URLs for tracking, headlines and descriptions for context in the ads. 

Additionally, IOI’s creative team worked with photo assets from the client to refresh the visual elements of the ads.


In just 31 days, IOI was able to generate 930 leads at a cost per lead of $7.04. Because of the close attention to detail around audience targeting and geo-fencing, the quality of the leads was confirmed when the client told us that they were onboarding 10 new league operators and had 5 more ready to onboard shortly thereafter. 

As a result, Under Armour Flag Football moved their proverbial goalposts back a bit. Their new goal for the year is now 30 league operators – and we are confident that we’ll get them there.

Need help generating leads or revenue with paid media? Get in touch with our IOI team now and level up your digital marketing.

IOI Insider

Digital Marketing Trends in 2023

As the new year begins, businesses are setting marketing resolutions to help them achieve their goals for the year ahead. Here are some common resolutions businesses may make and tips on how to achieve them.

  1. Increase brand awareness: Many businesses want to increase their visibility and reach in the market. This can be achieved through a variety of tactics, such as social media marketing, content marketing, and influencer marketing. To increase brand awareness, businesses should focus on creating engaging content that resonates with their target audience and finding ways to amplify that content through various channels.
  2. Improve customer engagement: Another common resolution is to improve customer engagement. This can be done by creating personalized content and experiences, responding quickly to customer inquiries, and providing exceptional customer service. Businesses can also use customer data to create targeted marketing campaigns that speak directly to their audience.
  3. Boost website traffic: Many businesses aim to increase the number of visitors to their website. This can be done by improving the site’s search engine optimization (SEO) and creating valuable content that attracts visitors. Additionally, businesses can use paid advertising to drive traffic to their site.
  4. Increase conversions: Once a business has increased website traffic, the next step is to convert that traffic into paying customers. This can be achieved by optimizing the website for conversions and creating effective calls-to-action. Additionally, businesses can use A/B testing to determine which elements of their website are most effective in driving conversions.
  5. Measure and optimize performance: Lastly, businesses should set a resolution to measure and optimize their marketing performance. This can be done by using analytics tools to track key metrics such as website traffic, conversions, and customer engagement. Businesses can then use this data to make informed decisions about which marketing tactics are working and which ones need improvement.

If you are looking to improve your brand, brush up on your writing skills, or create a style guide for your company, fill out the form below to better help IOI understand how we can help guide you!

IOI Insider

3 Digital Marketing Hacks I’m Thankful For

Tools that should be in every good digital marketer’s back pocket

Digital marketing is a BIG industry and our team here at IOI Ventures specializes in quite a few areas, so it’s important that we work smarter, not harder. None of us can manufacture more hours in the day, so there are a few tools that we use to make our jobs a little easier and allow us to over-deliver for our clients.

In this season of giving thanks, I am sharing THREE digital marketing hacks for which I am truly grateful.

  • Canva

At IOI Ventures, we do not have a designated graphic designer. While many of us know our way around the Adobe Suite, we wear too many hats to devote all our time to creating graphics from scratch. We use Canva to create everything from social media graphics, gifs, Instagram stories, email graphics, logos, brand guidelines, and even presentations. 

The best part about Canva for many digital marketers, it’s FREE! While there is a paid version that gives you more access to templates, stock photos, and premade elements, the free version can certainly do the trick for most people.

I love that it quickly allows me to resize graphics to fit the marketing channel for which it is intended. For example, a square Instagram graphic for a feed can easily be made into an appropriately sized Facebook graphic, LinkedIn graphic, and even a vertically-oriented (optimized for mobile) Instagram story.

Pro Tip: Canva has a convenient background remover feature to help simplify your graphic design needs when dealing with uploaded jpg or png elements.

  • HubSpot

Did you know that IOI Ventures is a HubSpot Solutions Provider? (We even have the seal on our website to prove it!) 

HubSpot is an INCREDIBLE CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool – but it does more than keep track of your customers’ contact information. We utilize HubSpot for email marketing, website chat, automated nurture sequences, social media scheduling, reporting and so much more. It is truly our one-stop HUB for the integration of so many digital channels.

HubSpot is also a great resource for digital marketers. The HubSpot Academy has online learning modules, certificate programs, and a plethora of downloadable materials to continue to assist in your digital marketing evolution.

Looking to add HubSpot to your toolbox? Let’s Talk.

  • SEM Rush

While not for beginners, SEM Rush is a very helpful tool when it comes to measuring organic website traffic and doing keyword research and analysis. When our clients need to identify how they rank for keywords, we can not only show them their own data but compare them to their competitors.

A feature I have come to use rather frequently is the Traffic Analysis tool. This gives you a peek behind the curtain of other sites and their authority ranking, referral sources, audience demographics, and different trend analyses. If you’re managing a website or building a new one, SEM Rush needs to be on your radar.

Website development is one of our specialties here at IOI. Our talented team can build sites from the ground up or refresh your current site to make sure it’s running at peak performance.

While these marketing hacks are high on my list, I am most thankful for our wonderful team of hard-working, creative, and fun individuals at IOI. Collectively, we are thankful for our clients who trust us with their digital marketing needs. If you’d like to be one of them, get in touch! Let’s Work Together

IOI Insider

5 Social Media Non-Negotiables

Best Practices Every Social Media Manager Should Follow

When it comes to managing social media accounts, you can either “check the box,” meaning you do the bare minimum, or you can follow some “best practices,” which should set you up for success.

IOI Ventures strives to reach optimal levels of engagement while also growing social media followings for our clients, and these are the best practices that help us reach those goals.

  • Every graphic/video your account posts should be “on brand.”

While we love variations in content and appreciate creativity, it’s important to keep your brand guidelines in mind. That means that you should aim to have your logo present, stay relatively consistent in regard to colors and fonts and keep the proper tone for your audience.

  • Never let your stories completely expire on Instagram.

Instagram stories help engage with customers on a more personal level and help you jump to the front of the top of their feeds. Feed posts may help educate customers and attract new business, but are more polished. Your stories should still ring true to your brand but are a more authentic and down-to-earth depiction of your organization.

  • Respond to comments and direct messages quickly and personally.

As a matter of principle, you should have automated responses when possible along with an internal strategy for engaging with customers who are sharing their thoughts or asking questions. While it’s probably unrealistic to expect brands to have 24/7 coverage of their social media channels, there is an expectation from a customer or client that they will receive a response within a few hours of their submission. Remember, the key to capitalizing on social media is engagement, so you need to make sure to ENGAGE with your audience.

BONUS TIP – While it can sometimes be unnerving to receive a negative review, comment, or DM, you should still respond. Often times these are great ways to learn how to better serve your clients and can help alleviate some customer service issues. If they are just trolling you, feel free to mute or block them. 

  • Give your audience a CTA (call-to-action) as much as possible.

Whether you want someone to comment, share, click on a link, or leave a review – whatever the call to action is, you need to ask for it (and provide links). Depending on the platforms and depending on the structure of the post, certain CTA may be more appropriate than others. But do not miss an opportunity to get engagement or drive traffic to your website.

PRO TIP – Instead of using a third-party “link in bio” service, create a mobile-friendly page on your website to use as your Instagram bio link tree. The page can simply contain buttons linking to internal pages, and articles or can serve as important referral sources for partners.

  • Hashtags are always helpful.

Use each platform’s best practices to be sure you’re using the right amount and do a little research when discovering which hashtags are trending and tie into your brand or category. You can check out one of our previous blog articles about hashtags for some helpful tips.

If you’re looking to turn up the volume on your social media, be sure to reach out to our team of experts. We can’t wait to help you reach your social media goals.

Let’s Work Together