Since 2013, Francesco Kozerski’s Global Web Advisors has been a leader in content marketing. The company has worked for a range of major companies and government agencies to produce and execute content marketing strategies.
The U.S. Air Force military brat is an entrepreneur at heart and recently started a new project — one of many — known as Sidewalk.pro. The projects Kozerski works on are ones many content marketing strategists dream of. From 360 VR projects with the University of Georgia and State Capitol to working with entertainers and major brands from around the world, Kozerski has achieved praise for the work his companies have done. While the content Global Web Advisors and Sidewalk.pro develop builds brands, it also showcases Kozerski’s strong reputation in the content marketing arena.
Francesco, you co-founded Global Web Advisors in 2013. Can you explain the business in your own words?
Absolutely! GWA is a creative digital content and business strategy consultancy, working across a wide-array of info-age business problems.
Our world requires a lot of web, apps, content, campaign strategies, data-driven workflow automations and resource planning all optimized to be competitive. Whether it be front of house, back of house or working shoulder-to-shoulder with C-level, we get our hands dirty with things like branding, marketing, sales, or operational troubleshooting of common problems that can waste resources and stifle business growth.
On the business strategy side, we have vast experience in front-of-house or customer facing touchpoints, like brand story, promise delivery, marketing, events, and of course, sales. Then, we overlay services that connect or optimize backend operations, HR, resource planning and sustainability reporting.
But with a name like Global Web Advisors we can’t not build web – so everything from websites, to apps, to advertising creatives – we consult on video production, and PPC advertising for both Google and social media in the “pay to play” world.
Over on the creative and content marketing side of the house, we have passion for photography and 360 VR/AR technologies. These include the ones we’ve produced for University of Georgia and our official State of Georgia Capitol tour, as well as ad creatives we’ve produced for Warner Bros. Batman, and Disney Star Wars consumer product projects.
As a company, being this many things is very challenging. However, we think it’s more challenging to focus on just one instrument, when our customers need the whole orchestra.
We’ve started to break off pieces into new companies that focus on specific components. For example, Sidewalk.Pro, that is completely dedicated to SMB brand image and communications on the world’s most used business directory – Google Maps.
How did you form Global Web Advisors and how did the business first come to you?
Actually, it was my brilliantly amazing partner and wife, Anne-Kathrin, who inspired us to start Global Business Advisors in 2012.
After a year, we decided that good global web advice was the best business advice we could give.
Global Web Advisors, LLC was forged from there and we’ve been adding to and adapting our service offerings since.
In Kozerski’s own words, Global Web Advisors doesn’t “sell magic pills”. What it does sell is high-quality content marketing with a range of ways to reach customers.
What are the main services your company provides?
When there are no business problems to solve for a client, then making great content and getting it in front of the right eyes is what we’re about. It’s what we continue to excel at year after year.
While I personally love producing eye-popping content like commercials, product heros or VR photography for apps and web, I’d say the main thing GWA provides, as an entity, is digital consulting and problem solving.
We don’t sell magic pills. We’re in the business of diagnostics and treatment of what we see as fundamental business operations and strategic communications problems.
What are some of the issues that small or medium-sized businesses have that you can help them with?
First impressions are lasting! Brand equity is a huge problem for small to mid-caps that want to grow deeper and wider into their markets. We’re all conditioned from a young age to like good-looking, trustworthy things. If a brand is out of focus, out of date, or non-existent, then we have to fix that first. We build brand value and strength by making good first-impression content, and then, grow whatever awareness, nurture or conversion campaign strategy up from that foundation. Investing in engaging content strategies is never a bad idea. It helps build brand and create buzz at the same time.
Beyond major logos, some of our favorite clients to work with are those SMB’s that have been doing well, those that have a stellar reputation, but maybe they’ve been brick and mortar and need to get into click to order. It’s not just from the advertising and marketing side, but also on the backend, when it comes to managing their processes, developing their action strategies, and their resources. We assist in digitizing their information, and analyze it to build a more efficient, and ultimately better business.
Medium-sized businesses need more. So to take it all the way home, we have a great team of top-notch production partners that we work with from video, television, up to major convention events or concerts. A good example of everything coming together – in 2017, GWA was integrated into a top consumer drone manufacturer’s product launch – a Star Wars licensed laser battle gaming drone. It was a Disney Golden Mouse product of the year recipient, and if you ask me, by far the most exciting Star Wars consumer product ever developed.
We worked shoulder-to-shoulder with brilliant manufacturer and inventor Darren Matloff, and consulted at various levels, organizing digital marketing, advertising and sales along with managing live event content production, we even handled press relations with mainstream media.
Global Web Advisors 360 Virtual Tours is a game changer for the company. It is a landmark product that will help companies, brands, and organizations reach individuals in new ways. The concept came from Kozerski’s love of photography and is about to take the industry by storm.
Please tell us about your 360 Virtual Tours.
360 photography is just the tip of the spear and really the first stages of scalable greatness for our company. We’re getting into augmented and mixed reality with some of our brands and what’s coming next is quite exciting!
I really fell in love with photography, for the second time in my life, when our first daughter was born in the spring of 2013. I just went mad, you know, just crazy with the camera and that jumped right into our business in a major way, in all kinds of formats and experiments.
So, our 360 photo virtual tours really are a passion product of mine. About five years ago, I applied and got accepted into the Google Street View program. GWA quickly qualified as a “partner agency”, as top producers of Street View 360 photography for businesses.
Since then, we’ve produced thousands of small business virtual tours and dozens for major brands and points of interest like the US Air Force Museum in Warner Robins, Ga, CocaCola Space Museum in Columbus, GA, The State Bar of Georgia, Best Western and Omni Hotels, Her Majesty the Queen’s Olympic Park in London, and so many more.
Though I’m always on site for a big project, I’m certainly no one-man-band. I lead a wonderful team of photographers, production specialists and game designers and developers. We’ve been directed and helped along the way by some really incredible people including our own Alex Crown, formerly of the State Chamber of Commerce; State Bar of Georgia Deputy General Counsel Bill NeSmith, Developer J.T. Williams, Youth Civic Engagement Expert Dr. Randel Trammell, and Glynn Davies formerly of Warner Bros, who was responsible for our expansion into european markets like London and Madrid.
It’s because of that list that GWA was able to have things like a development relationship with the University of Georgia, for whom we’ve built five products, including a virtual 360 transit system app for their Athens, GA campus. The students can instantly find the nearest bus and see the bus stop, route, times and everything near each stop, all in beautiful HDR 360 on any device. It’s REALLY helpful for finding your way around a big campus. The team at UGA has been nothing short of an absolute blessing to work with. In many ways UGA helped us incubate and innovate and we will always be grateful to the school and the City of Athens, GA. Go Dawgs!
In the 360/VR photography and app production segment, we’ve seen a lot, done a lot, and I have some strong ideas as to what cities, states, universities, large corporate campuses or military installations could do with the coming wave of augmented and mixed virtual mapping and marketing technologies.
Francesco, what is your definition of content marketing?
Content marketing is any kind of content that you create or use to convey your brand’s promise or message. It can be a book, a magazine, a photograph, even a movie! You know, like the Lego movies? That’s exceptional content marketing! Jello had a cookbook they took door-to-door. Anything a business creates on behalf of the business is content that can be used for marketing to build their brand reputation, to sell, to generate revenue.
Ultimately, content marketing can be in any format: images, print, video, infographics, VR, an app, or even this article is going to be great content marketing for my brand and hopefully this awesome magazine gets some miles out of it too!
While some individuals in the content marketing arena may struggle to keep on top of the industry, Kozerski doesn’t have that problem. Kozerski keeps his eyes peeled for cool new trends that pop up. Those trends can be the difference maker in the content marketing industry.
How do you stay on top of changes in the content marketing industry?
It’s not that difficult to find and analyze new trends and applications, cool stuff rises quickly and ultimately you just need to be aware of the developing mediums and platforms that can potentially deliver. I have a picks-and-shovels mindset and am a gearhead by nature so I’m always looking to the next edge or tech advancement.
Keeping up doesn’t have to be hard, here’s a tip for that – it’s the way I stay on top of virtually anything – set up a great big bunch of Google Alerts!
You can get a daily digest for absolutely anything that gets indexed or discovered by Google sent directly to your email automatically. I’ve successfully workflowed Google Alerts into Trello boards to create my own personal news, finance, sports and weather reporting. I make sure that any topics, industries or keywords, if I’m on a project or if I have to learn new stuff, gets sent to me by Google every day. It’s really helpful if you want to stay on top of competitors’ SEO or marketing strategies as they happen, or if you want to know PR headlines as they come out on, for example, let’s say an investment opportunity.
What makes a piece of content successful in your eyes?
Engagement! Stealing enough attention to win intention is the name of the game. It doesn’t necessarily need to be eye-popping but it definitely needs to hit the target. If it’s difficult for your business to create visually stunning content, then you just have to work smarter on engaging with your target audience.
Your business may not require or be right for various kinds of content, so make sure that when you make a piece of content that you’re always thinking with the market in mind first. Just because you could do something for your brand doesn’t mean you should. The market is going to be the ultimate decision maker and you should sit back and allow that to happen.
How has content marketing changed since you started Global Web Advisors in 2013?
We’ve seen lots of changes in the way content is developed, deployed, shared and then, of course, how it gets data-analyzed into meaningful and reproducible business results.
The way to market a business is always changing. Mostly because technologies and mediums are always developing forward. When we take a step back, evaluate a brand and compile methods to market, there are an infinite amount of approaches. No matter which way you slice it, content marketing via words and feeling is still and will always be at the core of any great marketing strategy.
When we started GWA in 2013, our main focus was written content for our clients. It worked across all search engine platforms to get rankable results. We still (and always will) emphasize this in any of our current marketing strategy developments as a fundamental component of effective marketing. It also depends on what stage of the funnel you’re producing content for. If you’re introducing a brand, product, concept or idea, it’s much easier of course to get an audience to consume non-text content, so, of course, there’s a massive shift toward video formats. If Content is King, then great video is Arthur and social media is the round table and chairs.
Web content specifically, has gone from a more text heavy blog-sphere to more video-influencer-driven economy, with lots of different kinds of transparency and authenticity built-in. That’s the stuff really driving community relationships to new levels and generating new brand content opportunities now and tomorrow – communitized brand content, like the way Coke puts people’s names on bottles to connect only on significantly deeper levels.
In the future, I fully expect to see much more dynamic personalization by hyper-intelligent systems that can create on-the-fly unique experiences depending on the person consuming the content in that moment.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your business?
It wasn’t easy, but we kept moving forward. Our businesses were affected in both negative and positive ways. Global Web Advisors’ subsidiary company Sidewalk.pro, was completely focused on working with brick and mortar restaurants, retail, small business shops, helping them with their Google My Business. Then of course 2020 came along and we went from a team of thirty people in sales and customer services to two. We had to halt that business until this year, and focus on the larger project-based consulting of GWA.
On the positive, while schools were out, families were home, and businesses were closed, we brought brands to where those people were. High-quality virtual tours are being used more now as hybrid brand marketing and organizational tools for wider amounts of businesses, universities and points of interest. The demand for VR tours surged in 2020 as businesses needed to show-and-tell more than ever.
Our previous work with the Georgia State Capitol and a recent partnership with Georgia Civics and Engagement allowed us to develop educational walk through virtual tours of both the GA State Capitol Building and the Nathan Deal Judicial Center here in Georgia with more sites and landmarks slated for later this year.
We also worked with the University of Georgia, developing a Virtual 360Transit application for their campus app. This joined other projects for the UGA golf course and all the campus dining facilities. We plan on continuing our efforts in VR utility, expanding to other states and schools near us very soon.
On top of all that, during 2020, we also developed an online platform for Youth In Government, an online resource for the Georgia school system to use to teach students about civic engagement and how government bodies work.
Now that businesses have reopened, we’re preparing Sidewalk.Pro to raise a seed round, while working on several brand revival projects for small/medium sized businesses. We’ve also assisted the Georgia Department of Education with branding as well as in further developing their online interface functionalities for their recognition program for Georgia School of Excellence Recognition and Georgia Teacher of the Year.
What we’ve done is adapt and adopt to survive and thrive.
What do you believe the future will hold for Global Web Advisors and yourself?
It’s hard to say. And of course really exciting! There’s a lot of amazing client and project opportunities that I’m involved with at some level or another right now. The gradient goes from executing our own businesses, university and state projects, patented commercial aerospace drone technology, designer cosmetics, telemedicine, entertainment, blockchain, to, of course, world class luxury guitars.
But in a very focused and serious way, Global Web Advisors has a foot in some pretty big doors. We have a potentially state-wide VR project that we’re all super excited about, as well as some big entertainment names coming to us for projects now too.
Teye Guitars are of particular interest to me. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all amazing and very cool people. I have to say that, they let me bring those guitars home from Nashville to make brand content. It’s impossible to maintain professional objectivity when I’m so addicted to the product. It’s bad, in the very best way.
Lastly, and not that I’m jumping on any bandwagons, because I’ve thought about this for years now and I’ve been watching the industry closely, just waiting for a real opportunity to fix a problem, and that’s the blockchain space. I’ve got a novel idea for a useful, healthy blockchain project that’ll give back to the world instead of just throwing away energy and depreciating its own supply as some sort of coy utility scheme. Something that really has a HEART.
Francesco, what is a day in your life like?
It depends on our client roster and the genuine demands of life but days of my life are incredible. I wake up to an amazing family and see my girls off to school and then my wife and I get to work on any number of amazing brands with great people!
Every day is different, which is good for brains like mine. It could be anything from setting up an ad for a product, magazine cover or VR photo shoot, working with Sidewalk.pro, brand consulting an entertainer, working with the talent at Teye Guitars, or startups like SkySail Technologies (unbelievable commercial drone tech), or Sevelin cosmetics. There’s also a new personal brand in my life in the real estate industry that I’ve been working late nights on with a dear old friend and partner. I may get to spend a couple hours connecting people to great events – like the Filo Festival coming up on July 11th, developed by the wonderful Dave Precheur who has been an amazing friend to us at GWA.
Some days, I get to go sawmill trees into lumber to make furniture. My grandfather, Myron Cato and I got into it a few years ago. He’s the brilliant man that taught me to see things for more than the sum of their parts, ultimately, that’s why I’m good at taking brands apart and putting them back together. He bought me my first three computers and taught me the fundamentals of project management and quality control at a very young age. I’m thankful he always encouraged me to work hard, be consistent and aim high.
On my very best days, I’m surrounded by people that I hold dear. I’m a fully blessed man when it comes to family and friends. It’s the real wealth in life. We just purchased some beautiful hill and creek land to enjoy in our family free time, so I try to spend some time outside each day playing with my family. Anne and I have four young daughters and everything is always moving and changing, so I’m never bored.
Can you tell us more about your projects?
There are a lot of amazing clients and customers at GWA, but a few that really are on the front of my mental stove are; TEYE Guitars, these guys are like the fine watches of the guitar world. They’ve been the best kept secret in their class and I’ve had the personal honor of photographing (and playing!) these astounding instruments. We’ve just completed a new brand feel for Teye and are making some key brand awareness content in the six major global markets. In 2022, TEYE is going to have their greatest year ever.
The next project I’m excited about is of course our Georgia Virtual Tours mission, to add every town and point of interest in the state to our official VR project. It’s a pretty big undertaking and will mean a lot of great creative jobs on the team opening up both behind the lens and behind the monitors, especially as we expand into other states.
Another business that I don’t want just to gloss over, is Sevelin Cosmetics. The brand is going to do really well in segments like CBD lip gloss. The founder is this incredible artist-designer, L. Duane Sevelin, and he’s developing lines with some TikTok influencers to light the fuse for a big Q4 push of his direct-to-consumer retail brand. Sevelin will be up in lights in the makeup world very soon, he’s a uniquely vivid character who isn’t afraid to make content for his brand!
In 2020, the need for telemedicine surged and I was lucky to be introduced to some really wonderful people in that industry; Telemedicine Gurus (think Netflix of medical and behavioral health). We’re working on getting the first million families signed up to the service this year. I absolutely love it for my family, we have young children and didn’t have it in our insurance plan so it’s a total no-brainer, my whole family can see doctors on demand for less than $20 per month. I feel this is one of the projects that I get to do good in the world with. What’s more important than physical and mental health?!
And lastly, a project that I’m literally head in the clouds about is SkySail Technologies. The uniqueness of the business has some inherent branding challenges, I mean we’re talking about ground-breaking aerospace energy designs that have just been patented by most of the world’s major countries, regions and IP governing bodies. Best of all they’re not a one-trick-pony! There are truely world-changing concepts coming from the mind of inventor and founder, Dushan Kandasamy. There’s a healthy dose of mystique, that is also really very James Bond.. Or maybe it’s just Carl England, CEO of the UK-based team that gives off that vibe; probably doesn’t hurt!
SkySail is going to be landing a U.S. headquarters this year and have been meeting with major brand leaders and investors in the drone, delivery and aerospace industries.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Well, that’s a whole bunch of other interviews. Lots of stuff really. I’m planning a scrambler motorcycle brand with my brother this year. We’re going to build some aviation inspired toys out of old recycled dirt bikes. I’m an Air Force brat, born in Northern Italy. My mom is from Bermuda. I grew up in a small Georgia town that is the set of the Netflix show Stranger Things – Jackson, Ga. I woodwork, weld, work on dirt bikes and create digital art for my personal website, all for hobbies. I’m also designing and building our family’s new home. I’m having fun nerding out on building envelope science for that.
Can you share two of your favorite quotes with us?
“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – J. Maxwell
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
You mean if I had all the infinity stones and could just snap my fingers like Thanos? Easy! All the children in the world would be instantly safe, healthy, and have everything they needed.
What makes you different?
I’m very good at what I do because I’m a passionate creative to the core and I have a background in sales and consulting that gives me an edge in business.
I’ve studied, lived through, experienced and absorbed an abundance of business situations across various industries, from mom-and-pops up to ten-figure brands.
Mostly, I understand what drives impulse across a wide-range of industries, market caps, and psychologies. It’s what probably makes me one of the more unique business consultants around, if you ask me. That and a sincere attitude of gratitude.
Kozerski has developed a unique company that improves the lifespans of other businesses. Global Web Advisors’ reach is far more than just the business world, however. Kozerski has creatively developed and executed content strategies for governments as well. Now in the company’s ninth year, Kozerski continues to develop as an entrepreneur with his latest business launch, Sidewalk.pro. With a great business-life balance, Kozerski is living the dream many entrepreneurs seek.
Links to Mentions:
All Photography and Images by Francesco Kozerski
Image Assists: Anne-Kathrin Kozerski, Abhinav Chauhan
Special Thanks to Creative Assists: Ansel Chapman, Anne-Kathrin Kozerski, Michael Precheur, & L. Duane Sevelin.
Journalist and author. Contributor