Tom Lucas with Paul Bunyan Broadcasting talks with Sarah Hokuf about how businesses can utilize this time for spending more time on their marketing. This is from their "Open for Business" segment.



Tom Lucas: Open for business updates you on the many businesses in our communities that remain open, and any changes that would happen, if there are any, that covid-19 concerns and regulations have made on our businesses and services. Today we’re talking with Sarah Hokuf who is with Evolve Creative in Bemidji.

As of right now, with Evolve Creative, it’s important to note what you do. Which again, is a digital agency, and so primarily what you do hasn’t changed a great deal, it’s just where you’re doing it from pretty much?

Sarah: Correct. Yes, we are all working from our home offices at the moment.

Tom Lucas: Alright, digital agency, what does that mean – it’s primarily a business assist, is it not?

Sarah: Yes, we help other businesses evolve their brands and create websites for them. 

Tom Lucas: So, websites are a portion of it but there’s much more to it than that when it comes to marketing?

Sarah: Yes, any creative solutions that are needed for a company from doing design work, creative strategy, website development, and we do a lot of video development as well.

Tom Lucas: Are you finding or are you expecting to find that the covid-19 situation that a lot of businesses have been dealing with in some ways is going to perhaps have them thinking in terms of propelling into a current or future scenario where you could help?

Sarah: Yes, for sure. A lot of people who may have not put a lot of thinking or effort into their online presence will need to be doing that now more than before, because they’re not going to be having in-person sales and meetings. So, they need to have a good presence on their websites to get that in-bound marketing traffic from doing calls. A lot of that is through video work as well, so they can make a video and send that as their sales tool.

Tom Lucas: As far as Evolve Creative is concerned this is something, again, as you note, they may be realizing now that it’s something that they’ve needed for a while, because some people who were kind of ahead of the game – the adjustment hasn’t been as big.

So, as far as what you’re developing there now, you’re moving forward with videography, correct?

Sarah: Yeah, we are expanding our video department. There are not a lot of video production companies in Northern Minnesota, people usually have to go a couple hours to get a really good quality team. So, we have pretty much three people that have a lot of experience with it in our company. So, we decided that would be a great service to provide. Expanding on video, we are really good at helping businesses tell their story and the best way to tell your story is through a video. You can capture all the services and products you’re providing with more of an emotion with music added into the video.

Tom Lucas: Now, for some that have had down-time as a result of the current situation, I know that some have been doing physical remodeling and things like that, but this actually seems to be an opportunity presenting as well to do the kind of thing that you’re doing.

Sarah: Right, in their down-time they should be thinking about all the steps that they could do to improve their marketing. As in, “do we have an outdated look? Do we have the right messaging on our website?” They can be working with teams like ourselves that can help on the creative side, giving them an opinion on, are they portraying the right message on their website and all their marketing materials.

Tom Lucas: You know, with Evolve Creative, as we move forward, one of the things that we talked about are strategic solutions, you seem to want to focus especially on American-made products.

Sarah: Yes, that is our direction that we’ve been starting in for 2020, and that has grown even more now with covid – wanting to focus on bringing manufacturing back into the United States. I think that will be a really strong push in the coming years. So, we want to help businesses that are engineering American-made products to really push sales for them and help them increase their brand awareness.

Tom Lucas: Alright, so Evolve Creative moving forward in spite of it, and of course in many ways a valuable service for businesses that want to move forward as well.

Sarah: Yes, we are here to help businesses grow!