Vicky, Meet Zone 5. Zone 5, Meet Vicky

My name is Victoria Barbeisch, but those on closer terms call me Vicky and I am the newest member here at the Zone 5 team as an Account Executive. Check out my Facebook-esque profile below to find out more about me. I hope you “Like” what you see!


About Victoria Barbeisch

image003    Account Executive at Zone 5

Tocquigny Logo    Past: Tocquigny

University of Texas at Austin   Studied Advertising at The University of Texas at Austin

SUNY Cortland   Past: State of New York College Cortland

Albany Egg   Lives in Albany, NY

Greene, NY   From Greene, NY


Contact Information

Work Phone                          518-242-7003

 Address                                25 Monroe Street



Google +                       [metaslider id=502



About Me

Things I like: Playing Tennis, Bowling, Video games, “Fun Runs”, Exploring Places, Finger Lake Wines, Law & Order: SVU (i.e. Elliot Stabler) and all John Green Books.

Things I loveMy Family and Friends, Iceberg Lettuce, Adult Swim, 90’s Pop, Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing, Cooking, Reading Adweek and Ad Age.

This is just a little about me. I am elated to be joining Zone 5 and although it has only been a short time here the people are AMAZING, and the work is fun AND rewarding. I cannot wait to see what is in store for me here.

Feel free to email me at or call me at 518-242-7003 anytime. I look forward to working with you!

Keeping Transfers On Track

Last week, the New York State Transfer Articulation Association (NYSTAA) hosted its annual conference at The Gideon Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, home of the famous Saratoga Horse Track. The location was indeed a metaphor for the conference theme—“Tracking Transfers…The Race to Graduate.”

NYSTAA and its members are committed to improving the transfer process and experience for both the student and its member institutions.

This was the first NYSTAA conference for Zone 5 2014 NYSTAA Conference Bookletand myself. Over the many years I’ve worked in higher education marketing, the focus has traditionally been helping colleges and universities attract, enroll and retain first-year college students.

I had to chance to sit in on two key sessions. The first was “Perceptions of Community College Transfer Students.” While many students are excelling academically at their community college, they have concerns regarding the transfer process and going from their two-year to a four-year college. Not surprisingly, cost was a major concern followed closely by the quality of academic advising available to them during the transfer process and upon enrolling at their chosen four-year college.

The second session, “Retention Initiatives: From Enrollment Management to Institutional Interventions,” was even more informative. The focus of this discussion was making sure that transfers not only have a smooth enrollment process but that they also have an engaging successful student experience enough to stay and ultimately graduate. As one of the session speakers pointed out, “for many schools, transfer students have been the ghosts in the overall enrollment process.” These schools must continue to monitor and proactively address the needs of transfer students just as much they do with their traditional, first-year students.

In the end, this conference helped confirm for me that transfer students must continue to be a key target audience for four-year schools. With the ever-rising cost of higher education, four-year schools can’t afford to not address the relevant needs of transfer students—from the point of enrollment and, ultimately, helping them to stay on track to graduation.



Leveraging the YouTube Creator Playbook

Digital marketers often feel like a butterfly in a windstorm when it comes to navigating the algorithmic and regulatory environment of social media. Today’s helpful suggestion may become tomorrow’s mandate. As marketing professionals, we are tasked with pursuing digital marketing strategies that can withstand the test of time. We typically achieve this by crafting compelling stories in a variety of mediums, and using this content in the appropriate way on each social media channel.

The Social Media Content Challenge

Although most brands have embraced content marketing as a primary driver of social media marketing success, many are still in the dark on the right approach. Varied levels of transparency or definiteness on best practices from the social media platform itself can add to this challenge. Even more frustrating for businesses is creating content that translates well across platforms and resonates with target audiences.

So it’s little wonder that I sat up straight when Google released the YouTube Creator Playbook for Brands. The first YouTube Creator Playbook, released in 2011, was a general guide for all YouTube content creators. Although helpful, it did not address the specific challenges faced by brands. The latest brand-specific guide is a rare gift from the Google gods and can positively impact your digital marketing efforts across various channels. You should be sitting up straight, too.

Why You Should Care About YouTube

Ok, so you’ve never uploaded a YouTube video in your life and don’t think the platform is appropriate for your brand. I’d challenge you to rethink your stance. As the second largest search engine in the world, it is the perfect mixture of social media and search marketing.

YouTube as a search tool

YouTube as a search tool

YouTube as a content delivery system

YouTube as a content delivery system

YouTube as a driver of social engagement

YouTube as a driver of social engagement

YouTube as a driver of ongoing social engagement

YouTube as a driver of ongoing social engagement

Regardless of your interest in curating video content, you should view YouTube as an important marketing test bed. What works well in terms of content on YouTube can likely be translated to either the social or search marketing realm.

Scraping the Best from the YouTube Creator Playbook

So now that you’re (hopefully) convinced, time to dig into the meat of the Playbook. It’s a great visual guide, but if you’re looking for the highlights, we’re here to help:

Section 1: Content Marketing as Part of Your Brand Strategy

  • Combine your brand’s identity and positioning with user intent and interests to create content that inspires, educates, and entertains
  • Create complementary content that fall into the hygiene (e.g. – customer-focused how-tos and product demos), hub (e.g. – vertically-focused product positioning), or hero content (e.g. – product launches or recognition within your industry) framework
  • Store your marketing content in a centralized, easy to access location, remain consistent in your content delivery, and boost your content’s reach through an integrated outreach campaign
  • Benchmark success against your industry and set metrics for performance

Section 2: The 10 Fundamentals of a Creative Strategy on YouTube

  • Create easy to share content
  • Collaborate with YouTube content producers who are already reaching your target audience
  • Center content on trending topics (within and outside your industry)
  • Make your content accessible and understandable to unfamiliar audiences
  • Be consistent with formats, schedule, elements, and voice
  • Target your audience by studying competitor user engagement trends
  • Create timeless content that can be re-purposed over the span of your campaign
  • Ask for feedback and respond to viewer comments
  • Use viewer comments or questions as fodder for your next video
  • Feature real people within your organization rather than paid actors or stock footage

Section 3: Schedule Your Content

  • Build a content calendar for predictable and ongoing content
  • Plan for larger campaigns for hub content types
  • Aim for one to two hero content types throughout the year for a big push

Section 4: Optimize Your Content

  • Use annotations to create calls-to-action in your video
  • Use playlists to group together similar content types
  • Choose thumbnails that represent the primary theme and message of your video
  • Use metadata such as tags and descriptions to attach keyword-rich identifiers to your content

Section 5: Promote Your Content With Paid Media

  • Boost the visibility of your content with a paid campaign
  • Identify the advertising tactic within the platform’s media kit that best highlights your content type
  • Use the platform’s analytics dashboard to monitor campaign progress and make adjustments as needed
  • Start with a broad campaign then refine the target audience based on campaign engagement
  • Define success on a pre-determined conversion metric (e.g. – clicks to website, channel subscribers, number of shares)

Section 6: Amplify Your Content With Social

  • Use the platform’s built-in analytics to identify top users and fans
  • Highlight users who consistently interact with your content in a positive way
  • Respond to comments and feedback using a “human,” genuine voice
  • Link Youtube and Google+ to access “top fans” data

Section 7: Measurement

  • Identify one key metric within the following categories: audience, expression, and participation
  • Segment performance based on media type: paid, owned (i.e. – organic), and earned (i.e. – PR and social sharing)

Again, the Playbook warrants a thorough read over a cup of tea, but these highlights can get you started. How would you apply these principles across other digital marketing channels?

Spring Ahead in Higher Ed

A couple of weeks ago, we all turned our clocks ahead with an eager anticipation for spring to be upon us given the harsh winter we’ve had. Yet, by the look and feel of the weather outside these days, it appears that a warm spring is very much on a slow pace to reach us.  However, in the higher education world, spring is in full swing and that means it’s another busy time for Zone 5 with our work for our client colleges and universities.

Over the coming weeks, we will be traveling around the country (and abroad) meeting and collaborating with some great clients as we continue to help them to define and communicate their brands to prospective students, parents, alumni and other key audiences.  It’s fun and exciting work since each campus is unique—and working to uncover each school’s brand uniqueness does make for a great and fast-paced spring!

Here are just a few of the campus visits and assignments that we have ahead of us…


First, we’ll be heading to North Carolina A&T State University to conduct campus brand training sessions as part of an internal rollout of the new branding campaign we developed entitled “Aggies Do!” Following the internal rollout, we will be working with A&T on the planning and development of an extensive suite of external branding communications to be launched this fall.

Next, we will be returning to Marshall University in West Virginia. Over the past several months, we’ve been immersed in a brand assessment of Marshall including qualitative and quantitative market research. We will be presenting the results of our assessment and research that will serve as the foundation for the development of a new brand positioning and messaging platform for Marshall. (Oh, and if you haven’t seen the Matthew McConaughey movie “We Are Marshall,” I highly recommend it…even if I’m a little biased!)

We will then travel across the boarder for our annual spring kick-off visit to Algoma University in Ontario, Canada. Our partnership with our friends in the Great White North dates back to 2010.  Each year since then, we’ve had the pleasure of developing Algoma’s integrated recruitment communications. Over the last few months, we’ve also been busy on a new brand identity platform for the University. The new identity will be unveiled formally to the campus community on this April visit as well.

Now, let’s work on the spring-like weather…

NYSEIA – Annual Conference

Originally intended to occur every 18 months, it was coming upon two years since The New York Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA) had held their last conference and exposition. Most of the baseline structure of the event had changed – the Association had a new director and many new board members – any continuity from the previous conference had been lost. With the very strong growth of the industry since the last convention, a larger “splash” was desired. The Association not only desired a bigger impact, but higher attendance and a longer program that would allow them to cover more industry topics.

With an eye on developing the overall NYSEIA brand, Zone 5’s creative team branded the new event the “NY Solar Industries 2010 Conference – The Business of the Sun.”

At the show, NYSEIA wanted to recognize successful solar champions and projects across the state at high-profile awards presentations. Zone 5 created the “6kC” Awards (named after the surface temperature of the Sun), developing the logo, awards and PowerPoint presentations for the awards ceremonies. Our team also developed tradeshow materials including the conference program, literature bags, directional signage and email blasts promoting the event. In additional to creative work, Zone 5 staff also managed registration, hotel coordination, public relations and conference updates on the NYSEIA website.

From the previous solar conference in 2008, NY Solar Industries
2010 saw an 80% jump in attendance. Through a broader palette of sponsorship and attendance options, revenue from the conference also improved at an increase of 65%. 6kC awards were presented for eleven projects and four “solar champions” at both the opening reception
the first night and keynote luncheon the second day. Feelings were so positive after the conference that plans are underway to turn NY Solar Industries 2010 into an annual event.