FINAL ENTRY DEADLINE | JULY 26TH, 2024   ENTER NOW

Jury Selection

Nick Kastner, Director of Brand and Digital,
Forum Communications

Nick Kastner is the Director of Brand and Digital at Forum Communications, a Georgia-based full-service marketing agency. His focus is helping clients build consistent and meaningful brand messaging and leveraging technology to drive business results.

Over his 20+ year marketing career, he or teams he has led have won more than 30 marketing awards (including a Webby Honoree) and driven positive results for over a hundred different organizations. He has spent the majority of his career in agencies with his greatest wins for clients being in higher education, healthcare, financial services, B2B, B2C services, audio / music, and non-profit industries.

In addition to presentations for organizations like the international HighEdWeb Annual Conference and interviews in INC., Nick is proud of a long list of firsts as the first digital marketing instructor for the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing, the first instructor of digital marketing at the University of North Georgia, and wrote the first cover story on the topic of SEO and ROI in financial services for ABA Bank Marketing Magazine.

Nick's Picks

Podcasts

Authority Hacker
I started listening to this podcast during the pandemic and haven’t stopped. Gael and Mark do a fantastic job of inviting industry experts, discussing Google updates or giving small tips and tricks to help businesses in SEO. If you need some new ideas or tricks on how to deal with an SEO issue, they’ve likely covered it in this podcast.

GaryVee Audio Experience
I met Gary V. during one of his first keynote speaking events at Digital Summit in Atlanta. I didn’t know who he was but we struck up a conversation at the bar and next thing I know – he’s on stage! Little did I know he would become one of the most well-known entrepreneurs and agency owners in the world. Nonetheless, I’ve always enjoyed his books and there’s always a gem of information that I can take back and make practical for our team.

In The Red Clay
Outside of business, I enjoy some true crime or music podcasts. Given I’m from Georgia, I feel obliged to mention this one. Some of the happenings in this true crime podcast were just a few miles from my hometown. If you’re interested in true crime, Georgia history, or moonshine and mafia stories, this is probably one of the best podcasts you can listen to.

Digital Tool

SERanking
I’ve worked with nearly all of the major SEO tools – Moz, SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc. – over my career. I’ve come to really like SERanking as it is a little more technical than some of the other tools. None of these tools are perfect, but if you feel like you’re really familiar with most SEO elements, in my opinion, SERanking is for the more advanced SEO staffer

Sendible
Our agency spent a great deal of time trying to find an affordable social media management tool that would work for our structure and for our clients. We landed on Sendible. Again, nothing is perfect, but Sendible seems to work well for most workflows with external clients.

ContentAtScale
This is new for us – but we’re using ContentAtScale to kickstart our content efforts for select clients. This tool utilizes AI to help us structure and create initial drafts of content for clients and then our team along with the client works to customize the message and to provide real-life examples. So far, it’s been a life saver in terms of amplifying content production while also managing the costs of content production.

RankMath Pro
I had to add RankMath to this list. RankMath Pro is the latest innovation in SEO for WordPress sites. This tool has been great for us and our clients. In addition to a few other cards up our sleeve, RankMath Pro is part of our SEO activation for a number of our ongoing SEO clients.

Books

Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
If you needed an easy read to better understand consumer behavior, this is it. Although originally written in the 80’s, I would still consider it a “business school classic” and something that every marketer needs to read.

Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin
Rand is literally the marketing wizard. This book is his personal narrative on starting Moz, his experience as an entrepreneur, and the dangers of burying all of your efforts in growth hacking. This is a solid read for marketers, entrepreneurs, and those in software or agency life.

Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
Lean Analytics will change the way you see your organization’s or client’s analytical efforts. It alters the framework in which most businesses structure their analytics and KPI measurements to focus on the things that matter the most. I went as far as making this required reading for one of the college courses I teach.

Music from the Early 2000’s

Five Iron Frenzy – The End is Here
All through high school, I had a mild obsession with ska and reggae bands. I played trumpet in high school and for years played in a ska band (even opening for Bon Jovi in 2006!). One of my favorite bands in the ska scene was Five Iron Frenzy. This was their final album before the broke up and still has some of my favorite FIF songs including New Years Eve and On Distant Shores.

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
If you know who My Chemical Romance is – you know why this album is required listening from the early 2000s. If you don’t know who they are – they very well may be one of the most influential bands of the past 20 years. This album was considered a rock opera and concept album focused on a character known as “the patient” that was dying of cancer. This was “emo” at its finest and some of the catchiest lines and guitar lines you’ll find on any rock album from that time period.

Outkast – Stankonia
Given I’m from Georgia – and I was in college in the early 2000’s – how could I not mention Outkast?!? There are a variety of classic Outkast songs on this album. There is no more defining rap / hip-hop artist from this time period from Atlanta than this Big Boi / Andre 3000 classic.

Websites from the early 2000s

So Netscape Navigator was my web browser in high school until this kind of broken web browser – Internet Explorer – showed up. If I wasn’t chatting with friends on AOL IM or ICQ, I was on these websites.

MySpace
The OG of social media. I mean, I was friends with Tom from Myspace. I had to be cool.

Amazon.com
In the early 2000’s, Amazon looked like a bunch of giant blocks of text – but we all wanted to buy books from the site. We had no idea it would become the behemoth of a company it is today.

Hotmail
Only the cool kids had hotmail email addresses.

 

When you enter your work into the Davey Awards, it’s reviewed by AIVA Jurors like Nick. Enter your projects before the Final Entry Deadline on July 26th.

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