Manor Gardens Homepage

A New Landscaping Company Springs Up

Suppose you’ve been working in your industry for decades, and now you’re helping to manage a new company in that industry. How do you establish that company’s brand?

Chuck found himself in that very situation, as a manager of Manor Gardens.

Tilling the Soil for New Clients

Chuck and the landscaping team at Manor Gardens are all very experienced. But Manor Gardens itself is a relatively new brand. So, they needed their own website and marketing strategy to establish themselves in the Baltimore region.

Manor Gardens wanted to:

  1. Inform the Baltimore market that they offer residential landscaping services.
  2. Develop a strategy that includes both web and print marketing.
  3. Get the word out by springtime—when the peak landscaping season begins.

Planting Seeds Online and in the Mail

We came alongside Manor Gardens to help them meet these time-sensitive goals. We created:

1. A Website that Showcases Expertise

We wanted the website to show that Manor Garden’s team are experts in landscape design and installation. How did we do that? Through a combination of “show and tell.” 

To “show” their expertise, we designed the website to showcase the beauty and variety of their work. For example, we created a photo gallery of their featured projects. The gallery included some of our professional photos that demonstrate their high-quality work.

Manor Gardens Homepage
Manor Gardens Gallery Ashland

To “tell” about their expertise, we wrote and edited compelling content that highlights what makes them unique as a company. This included bios for both of Manor Garden’s managers, who each have 30–40 years of experience in landscaping.

Manor Gardens About

2. A Postcard that Announces Services

We designed a postcard that features a photo of their fantastic work on the front and a list of their main services on the back. This printed marketing material will be mailed directly to Baltimore residents. With this reference in hand, they can easily visit Manor Garden’s new website and call them.

Manor Gardens Postcard Outdoor Living

In Full Marketing Bloom

By mid-March, Manor Gardens had both a new website and a new postcard they could use to advertise their residential landscaping services.

Chuck said, “I really appreciated the fresh ideas that everyone from Accent Interactive contributed. I know they have expertise from working on a lot of companies’ websites, and I was able to collaborate with them to make ours unique. Plus, they were flexible with my timeline. I wanted to get our website up and running quickly, and then keep adding photos over time. So, it’s very easy to work with Accent Interactive.”

If you, like Chuck, want to establish your company’s brand and grow your business, we’d love to talk with you. Please connect with us to get the conversation started.

web design home building company home page

Redesigned Website for Home Building Company

Maryland Housing Market
(Source: Houzeo)

  • Mortgage rates have nearly doubled (from 3.12% in April 2021 to 6.79% in June 2023)
  • Houses take longer to sell (from an average of 11 days in 2022 to 25 days in 2023)

Steve and Chip are the owners of a custom home building company called Regional Homes of Maryland. Their company has successfully weathered all kinds of markets since its inception in 1986. However, the current, post-pandemic market has proven to be quite challenging for the housing industry.

Building a Firm Foundation Online

Steve and Chip knew they needed to take action to bring in more business. And a strong marketing foundation begins with a solid website.

Steve shared, “I knew that our website looked outdated. I saw that other successful Maryland-based businesses are using Accent Interactive to do their web marketing. So, I figured they could help us too.”

Sweeter Home Page and More

We were honored to work with Steve and Chip to redesign their whole website. After discussing their goals with them, we provided a design that:

  • Looks modern
    We introduced new colors, typography, and layout.
  • Shows instead of just tells
    We incorporated galleries of larger, edited photos to showcase their work.
  • Is simple and streamlined
    We re-organized the content and narrowed the options for an improved user experience.

Old Web Design of Home Building Company

New Web Design of Home Building Company

Tools of the Trade

Steve and Chip are thrilled with the redesigned website. Now the website is not only more attractive, but also more functional. In fact, Steve and Chip can use it as a marketing tool to get people in the door, as well as a sales tool to convert the prospects into customers.

Steve shared, “When we’re meeting with a prospect, now we can easily show them photos on our website. It’s a great way to interact and to visually emphasize our sales points.”

Who’s Next?

Feeling inspired by Steve and Chip’s story? Feel free to connect with us. We’ll be happy to talk about redesigning your website and other creative marketing strategies to grow your business.

Gotcha Covered ads

Instagram Ads Success Story: Gotcha Covered

Local Business Wants More Local Customers

Dave and Donna Smith own the Baltimore franchise of Gotcha Covered. These skilled design consultants provide expert recommendations and affordable, customized solutions, ranging from blinds to shades to drapes.

The business was off to a good start, but it wasn’t growing fast enough. Many prospects were located outside their service area, and they weren’t getting enough interest from qualified customers in town.

In 2022 Dave asked our team to help grow their business. Given the visual nature of the window treatments and their target demographic, we developed an advertising campaign on Instagram.

The Instagram Ads Campaign

We worked with Dave to create an effective strategy for advertising on Instagram. Then, we created an Instagram ads campaign with two different kinds of targeted ads:

  1. A General Ad, linking to their website’s home page
  2. A Design Style Ad, linking to the Design Style Quiz on their website

Both ads showed the same kind of images and were created to direct traffic to Gotcha Covered’s website. The differences between them were their headlines and their landing pages.

Instagram Ads Gotcha Covered

The Results

We ran the campaign for approximately two months. After that, we analyzed the results.

  • How many people saw the ads and clicked on them?
    The Instagram ads were shown 61,081 times (impressions) to 19,434 unique people (reach), generating 574 clicks. The result was a 0.94% click-through-rate (CTR).
  • Which age and gender demographic favored the ads?
    Most of the ads were shown to women in the 35–44 age range, but the highest CTRs were for women 55–64 and 65+.
  • How much did it cost?
    With a total cost of $817.56, the cost-per-click (CPC) was $1.42 and the cost-per-impression (CPI) was $0.0134.
  • Which type of ad performed better?
    It was evident that the Design Style Ads performed much better. They generated 493 clicks with a click-through-rate (CTR) of 0.96%, as opposed to 81 clicks and a 0.82% CTR for the General Ads.
  • How much Instagram post engagement was generated by the ads?
    The ads generated 718 post engagements, made up of 574 link clicks, 112 post reactions, 24 post saves, 7 post shares, and 1 comment.

Instagram Ads Gotcha Covered Daily Clicks

Instagram Ads Gotcha Covered Clicks Demographics

Instagram Ads Gotcha Covered Impressions Demographics

A Successful Window of Opportunity

After only two months of running the Instagram ads campaign, Dave was inundated with new business. He said, “This advertising campaign was so successful that we had to pause it to keep up with the demand. We are now revamping for future growth, and we hope to re-engage with this strategy again in the future.”

Business Lessons

Based on our experience with this Instagram ads campaign for Gotcha Covered, here are some important takeaways for any business.

  1. Put something special on your website that generates interest in your product or service.
    Due to the success of the Design Style Ad in particular, we discovered that customers were really attracted to the Design Style Quiz. This assessment was a good way to draw in people to the website. So, what could you put on your website that generates interest in your product or service? Is there some kind of quiz or assessment that gives value to what you offer?
  2. Use the power of social media advertising to attract people to your business.
    Dave realized that he needed a professional strategy to successfully advertise on Instagram, so he came to us for that. If you’re interested in coming up with a strategy for your business, then feel free to connect with us. We’d love to make your business the next success story.
Trade show exhibition floor

Have Trade Shows Made a Comeback?

As 2022 draws to a close, you might be wondering, “Should I plan on exhibiting at any trade shows in 2023?” In our post-pandemic world, decisions like these can be laced with doubt and uncertainty. So, here’s some information to help guide your decision-making.

How Did COVID-19 Affect Trade Shows?

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), during the last three quarters of 2020, 98.5% of B2B exhibitions were canceled. In 2021, the hybrid approach became more popular. Some people attended events in person; others attended virtually.

In 2022, in-person attendance continued to increase, and event cancellation rates continued to decrease. In fact, in the second quarter of 2022, only 2% of exhibitions were canceled.

B2B Exhibition Industry Cancellation Rate, %
Exhibition Cancellation Rate graph

So, trade shows are making a comeback. But they still haven’t reached pre-pandemic metrics. In the second quarter of 2022, the CEIR Total Index (which measures overall exhibition performance), was still 25.5% lower than in 2019.

Real GDP vs CEIR Total Index graph

In-Person vs. Virtual Events

Understandably, some prospective exhibitors and attendees are reconsidering the ROI of traveling to trade shows. They are concerned about not only the health risk but also the financial risk. It’s expensive and time-consuming.

However, in-person events offer benefits that just can’t be replicated virtually. In fact, in 2022, 95% of trade exhibition professionals said they prefer in-person events over virtual events.

Think about some of these key advantages of being in person.

  • Networking
    When you’re trying to build business relationships, it’s essential to have the human element of face-to-face time, not just screen-to-screen time. People tend to be more engaged when they are physically present and can move around, not just stuck in a chair staring at their device.
  • Multi-modal conversations
    In-person events allow for that spontaneous chit chat in the hallway or for those structured presentations in the exhibition hall. During virtual events, it’s more difficult to strike up small talk in between sessions.
  • Multi-sensory demonstrations
    In-person events provide opportunities for customers to touch and interact with your products. They’re not limited to the two dimensions of a screen.

So, from a marketing perspective, you can get more value per hour when you’re in person instead of on Zoom.

Your Brand on Display

If it’s been a while since you’ve attended any in-person trade shows, we encourage you to consider it as part of your marketing plan for 2023. We’re also happy to help you prepare any materials you might need for that industry event. If your banners are looking dusty and outdated, we can help you design new signs and displays. Or if you need business cards or brochures to hand out, we can also help with those print publications. We’ll help you make the most of the in-person event, by making sure your booth showcases your brand.

Instagram advertising

Advertising Your Business on Instagram

Clients often ask us, “If I’m willing to invest more in online marketing, where should I put my money?” Usually, we explore two main options with them: search engine optimization (SEO) and advertising.

If a client is interested in advertising, then the next question is, “On which platform(s)?” One strategy is through Google Ads. Another strategy is through social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram. Each platform has its own strengths. And in this article, we’ll explore the benefits of advertising on Instagram.

What are Instagram ads?

Instagram ads look like any other content on the app, except that they are labeled “sponsored” and have a call-to-action feature. The ads can be created as images or videos that appear in a user’s feed. Or they can be designated to appear in other places of the app, such as in Stories, Explore, or IGTV.

Why pay for an Instagram post?

If your company already has a presence on Instagram, and you’re posting regularly, that’s a great start! Ready to take it to the next step? Consider building upon your organic reach with paid reach.

  1. Increase your reach.
    In 2021, Instagram’s global advertising reach increased by 20.5% (compared with Facebook’s 6.5%). Creating ads is a strategic way to reach more of your ideal audience. You’re not passively waiting for organic results.
  2. Attract more of your target audience.
    You can define the ad’s target audience based on various factors. This includes their interests, habits on Instagram, and demographics (such as location, age, and gender).
  3. Provide a call-to-action.
    With Instagram ads, you can invite people to take the next step of engagement. For example, you could direct them to a landing page on your website. Or you could direct them to your Instagram shopping catalog.

How much does Instagram advertising cost?

You can pay per-click or per-thousand-impressions. Costs can vary based on factors such as targeting, industry competition, time of year, and ad placement. You can set a budget and timeframe that works for you, and you can update it at any time.

Is it better to advertise on Instagram instead of Facebook?

Instagram is owned by Facebook, but there is a difference in their advertising metrics. As of 2021, the rate at which Instagram audiences engaged with brands was ten times higher than Facebook’s. Also, Instagram users tend to have a higher purchasing intent than Facebook users.

What kind of company benefits the most from Instagram advertising?

Companies from various industries can be successful, especially if they:

  1. Have stunning visual assets to showcase their services and products
  2. Cater to the millennial and Gen Z audiences
  3. Are eCommerce businesses

How can Accent Interactive help?

If you’re interested in trying out Instagram advertising, no need to feel overwhelmed. We can provide support with:

  • Advertising strategy
    We’ll help you consider: What should you promote? How should you define your target audience? Which kinds of Instagram ads should you use? What should the call-to-action be? What’s the recommended budget?
  • Content creation
    Having professional, catchy images is a must for Instagram. As photographers and videographers, we can help create those ad-worthy visuals. And of course, we can help create the ads themselves.
  • Campaign management
    We can help track the performance of your ad campaigns to learn what works and improve it over time. We’ll schedule meetings with you to keep you updated and engaged with the process.

Interested? Let’s have a conversation about growing your business by advertising on Instagram.

SEO: The Organic Strategy to Improve Google Ranking and Web Traffic

If you want your company’s website to be at the top of search engine results pages, without using paid advertising, then it’s all about SEO.

What to Know About Search Engine Optimization

The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. In other words, by implementing SEO best practices, you naturally get more people visiting your site, and the people who visit are more likely to fit the profile of your ideal customer.

SEO and Google Ads are both effective marketing strategies. They can be used simultaneously to help you attract even more people who are trying to find you online.

How is SEO Different from Google Ads?

Both SEO and Google Ads have the same goal: to boost your business by improving your site traffic. But the strategies vary. SEO and Google Ads each have their own advantages. The benefits of SEO? It is:

  1. Free: SEO is non-paid; Google Ads are a form of paid advertising, in which you pay per click.
  2. Organic: SEO provides natural search engine results; Google Ads are sponsored search engine results.
  3. Effective long-term: SEO endures after the strategy is implemented; Google Ads disappear immediately once the paid campaign ends.

SEO Improves Google Ranking

Google’s search algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites. When someone does a Google search for a service or product that your company offers, how likely are they to find your website? Does it show up on page one or page twelve of the results?

SEO increases the likelihood of your website naturally showing up ahead of other competing websites in a prospective client’s Google search.

How Effective is Search Engine Optimization?

Statistics from 2021 show that:

  • The top five organic search results account for over 67% of all the clicks.
  • Only 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page.
  • 70% of marketers say SEO is more effective than a pay-per-click strategy.
  • Updating and republishing old blog posts with new content and images can increase organic traffic by up to 106%.
  • Video is 50 times more likely to improve organic ranking than plain text alone.

How Accent Interactive Helps with SEO

So, how do you get your website to be at the top of search engine results pages? There are many ways that we help clients optimize their websites for search engines and for user experience.

For example, a few of our proven techniques include:

  • Keeping content fresh and relevant
    Search engines regularly crawl, index, and rank your content. This means that everything on your website (text, images, videos, links, etc.) is cataloged and evaluated. The newest, most relevant content gets the best ranking in search engine results. This is why we work with clients to regularly publish new blog posts, feature recent projects, or integrate multimedia, for example.
  • Optimizing keywords
    We’ll help you research which words and phrases people typically use when they want the kind of service or product you offer. For example, are they more apt to search for “moving company” or “movers”? Once we discover the keywords for your company, we’ll integrate them into your site.
  • Evaluating and refining SEO results
    We’ll review certain metrics that help us understand what’s happening with your site’s organic traffic over time. For example, we’ll look at how many users are finding your website and how much time they tend to spend on various pages. Based on the results, we’ll keep refining the SEO strategy to accomplish your business goals.

Client Success Story: A Moving Company Moves Up in Google Search Results

One of the clients we’ve helped with SEO is a moving company that is based in Maryland. After they asked us to design their website, they decided to be proactive and continue to invest in their website’s search engine results.

This graph shows how the SEO strategy has successfully been increasing overall site traffic, including organic search users.

The moving company also decided to target certain locations in Maryland where they want their business to increase. So, we have been creating webpages specifically for each location. This graph shows how site traffic has been increasing in a sampling of those target locations.

Not only has site traffic increased, but the search engine result ranking has also improved. For example, from 2019 to 2021, the average placement for Timonium, Towson, and Cockeysville moved up into the top two search results for relevant search terms in those locations.

Your SEO Strategist

SEO is a smart way to keep your website organically standing out from the competition when a prospective client searches for your services online.

If you’re interested in exploring an SEO strategy, then let us know. We’ll help you optimize your web content so you can grow your business.

Google Ads: The Pay-Per-Click Web Marketing Strategy

When you’re browsing on Google or YouTube, you’ve probably seen those ubiquitous advertisements for various products and services. Could it be a worthwhile marketing strategy for your company?

What to Know About Google Ads

Here are some things to consider and how Accent Interactive can help.

  • You can target a specific audience based on certain metrics.
    Google displays your ad to people who might be interested in what your company offers. We can help you strategize who to target, based on criteria such as their location, demographics, search words, or topics of interest.
  • You can choose from different kinds of ads.
    For example, some ads are just words, and some ads have an image or video. Some ads are designed specifically for mobile devices. We can help you decide what type of ads are most effective for your company.
  • You can customize the content.
    As creative marketing professionals, we can help craft a compelling message or create a visual attention-grabber for those ads.
  • You determine the budget.
    You have control over how much you spend each month on Google Ads. We can advise you on how to get the best results for your budget.
  • You only pay for real results.
    Google will only charge you when the ad leads to results such as a click to your website or a call to your business.
  • Your Google Ads need to be managed.
    To see how effectively your ads are performing over time, it’s important to regularly review the results and make adjustments to keep improving them. We save you the time and hassle by doing that for you. We’ll schedule meetings with you to keep you updated and engaged with the process.

How Effective Are Google Ads?

You might be wondering, “Do Google Ads actually work?” Yes, they can be a fast, effective way to grow your business. In fact, statistics show that pay-per-click advertisements have a 200% ROI. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Ads are high ranking in search results.
  • Ads are visually interesting.
  • Google uses artificial intelligence to find people who are most likely to click on the ads.

A Google Ads Client Success Story

One of our clients has been running a small business since 2002. He used to advertise his professional services through printed platforms, such as the Yellow pages directory book. Yes, they were popular back in the day—but not anymore.

Our client realized that he needed to invest in a digital marketing strategy instead. He noticed our creative marketing work for others in his industry. So, he came to Accent Interactive. First, we helped him design a stunning website. Then we helped him create and implement Google Ads to drive traffic to that website.

As this graph of real data shows, this client has seen a remarkable increase in the number of people clicking on his ads, going to his website, and calling his company. And we continue to refine the ad campaign strategy to keep improving the results even more.

Your Google Ads Guru

Google Ads can be a proactive way to help more potential customers find your company online. It’s like casting a targeted net to pull in more business from the vast ocean of the Internet. Get in touch with us, and we’ll help you develop a web marketing strategy to grow your business.

drone photography videography business marketing

Your Eye in the Sky: Drone Photos and Videos

Now that spring is here, it’s a great time to think about getting outdoors. April through September is the prime time for capturing footage that features your company’s work. The weather is nice, and the scenery is in full bloom. (Added bonus: an outdoors photo shoot is a socially-distant activity!)

Rely on Our Drone Expertise

Drone photography is a specialty of ours. At Accent Interactive, two of our Creatives have commercial drone licenses. We have the training, the certification, and the experience that is required for commercial work. As professional designers and videographers, we have the artistic eye and the technical skills to capture just the right shots from the sky.

Benefits of Aerial Photography

Drone photos are good for marketing your business because they:

  • feature areas that would otherwise be inaccessible
  • capture interesting angles and perspectives from high-up and far away
  • show off the uniqueness and full scope of your work

Some of our recent drone photos:

Benefits of Aerial Videography

Drone videos are great because they:

  • allow speed control of the camera
  • make static objects more compelling to watch
  • offer customers an engaging experience that helps build your brand

Some of our recent work that features drone video:

Soar into the Drone Zone

We have been using drones for clients whose work involves construction, engineering, real estate, sports fields, or campuses. For example, if you’ve installed a new roof or if you’ve done groundwork that spans multiple acres, a drone is the most convenient way to show that work.

When you are ready to take your marketing photography to new heights, give us a call. We’ll be your eye in the sky.


Create Your Own Instructional Videos

Now, more than ever, what used to be done in person is being done virtually. That includes training and learning.

More Than a How-to Guide

There are many training opportunities in business:

  • On-boarding new employees
  • Helping recently promoted staff members adjust to a new position
  • Delivering training programs to clients

These are all great case uses for making your own on-demand, instructional videos.


  • Customized content Get your unique message out.
  • Scalability Reach an unlimited size audience.
  • Watch anytime, anywhere Provide the flexibility and freedom for people to learn at their convenience.

Your Local Production Studio

Making a business-worthy video takes professional equipment. Don’t worry if you don’t have the know-how, the technical gear, or the studio. We’re here to help.

We’re all set up to film your professional-quality instructional videos.

  1. Our green screen enables you to choose a virtual background.
  2. Our teleprompter makes your time in the studio efficient.
  3. Our professional cameras, microphones, and lighting equipment make the most of your message in our sound-proofed studio.

COVID-19 Safety

We are abiding by the recommended guidelines to keep everyone safe in our studio. The production team will be wearing masks and keeping their distance. Our priority is to create a safe environment throughout the whole process.

Learning Management System

Once you’ve created your instructional videos, what’s the best way to use them?

One option is to create your own online platform to facilitate the learning. Oftentimes, we assume that the people who watch our presentations understand the material. However, that’s not necessarily the case.

An online learning management system helps people engage in an active way. They can log in, watch the videos, and answer questions. This provides accountability, tracks their progress, and boosts your confidence about what they’re learning. We can also partner with you to help make this happen.

Lights, Camera, Action

We’re all trying to adapt to the current environment. And sometimes, we can adapt in a way that provides surprise advantages.

Let us know if you want to leverage the power of video technology to help your people learn. What would you like to create?

Jarrettsville Builders home page 1

Custom-Built Website for a Custom Builder

When it comes to building websites, or to building homes, there’s not a “one look fits all.” We recently helped a client that understands the value of customization—not only for the homes they build, but also for the marketing of those building services.

Celebrating 70 Years

The year 2020 was a milestone anniversary for Jarrettsville Builders. They had constructed an impressive portfolio of buildings throughout the decades. But during that time, their website had aged. It was time for some long-overdue renovations.

“Many years had passed since Accent Interactive designed our first website in 2004,” said William Minton, the president of Jarrettsville Builders. “We wanted to bring our website into the 21st century.”

Co-Active Creativity

Our creative team collaborated with Jarrettsville Builders to design and build a website for them that was updated and mobile responsive. They also wanted to feature some of their more recent projects.

“Accent Interactive encouraged us to become an integral part of the process, since no one knew our business better than we at Jarrettsville Builders,” said Mr. Minton.

The Website Makeover

We created a new design with features such as:

1. Home page slider: This shows off a representative variety of work at first glance.

Jarrettsville Builders old home page

Jarrettsville Builders home page 1

2. Branded design: The color scheme and custom anniversary graphic reinforce Jarrettsville Builders’ brand.

Jarrettsville Builders home page 2

3. Professional photography: The onsite photos we took capture Jarrettsville Builders’ expertise in commercial buildings, custom homes, and community service projects.

Jarrettsville Builders custom homes

Built for Success

Now Jarrettsville Builders has a modernized website that is as attractive and solid as the buildings they construct.

“The finished product is extraordinary,” said Mr. Minton. “The Accent Interactive team possesses an abundance of talent and patience. We offer our sincerest thanks for bringing this to fruition.”

Looking for ways to give your business a unique voice in the marketplace? Our team would be happy to help you create something tailor-fit.

About Jarrettsville Builders

Jarrettsville Builders, based in Harford County, Maryland, specializes in building custom homes and commercial buildings. Since 1950, this family-owned and operated business has established a legacy of quality workmanship.