Facebook, Twitter and …….

If you were anything like me, when you heard the term digital marketing, you immediately thought social media. In order to digitally market your company, you need a Facebook and Twitter account. WRONG! Digital marketing is so much more than Facebook and Twitter and this class showed me how to expand my digital marketing skills.

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SEO

Search Engine Optimization is a facet of digital marketing that will help companies appear higher on search results, when done correctly. Most people don’t click to the second page of search results, so SEO is beneficial for several reasons.

  • Increase the number of visitors to the webpage
  • Gain more clients
  • Have an edge over your competition
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Establish your company as a powerhouse

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These are all very beneficial rewards of utilizing SEO, however it has to be done right in order for these results to occur.

Here are some tips to maximize your SEO results:

  • Regularly produce original content
  • Use headings and tags for content to be found
  • Include links to reputable sources
  • Have reputable sources include links to your website
  • Stay up to date with the current Google Algorithm

Google Analytics

 This is a great way to track and analyze the success of your website and SEO progress. Google Analytics is incredibly user friendly and easily helps to draw up reports providing companies with valuable insights.

You should use Google analytics if you’re looking for metrics on:

  • The demographics of your audience (Male V. Female, median age, mobile V. web)
  • Time of day you receive the most interaction
  • Click through rates
  • Campaign measurement
  • Key Performance Indicators
  • google-analytics

Learning all of these factors helps to understand your audience, when you’re getting the most exposure and helps determine what’s working and what isn’t. Ultimately it provides direction on what methods should be used when implementing the next marketing plan.

Blogging

 Blogging is another aspect of digital marketing that helps to increase engagement and interaction with the brand. Blogging shows the human side to the company and gives it a voice. A blog is where company representatives can become approachable to consumers.

This style of writing allows for more engagement and encourages consumers to interact. In every day life a typical consumer would probably not be able to have a conversation on the phone with a CEO, however, with a blog this becomes possible. The CEO can post thoughts, product progress or new ideas on the blog and consumers can read his/her direct thoughts and comment back. In a really good blog, the authors of the articles will respond back to the comments and generate conversation.

Some tips for a successful blog include:

  • Use pictures and visuals to aid the writing
  • Avoid large blocks of texts, make it easier to scan
  • Write in your own voice and show personality
  • Use bolded headlines
  • Encourage readers to comment and interact
  • Provide thoughtful responses to comments

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All these different factors contribute to the overall digital marketing toolbox. Much more sophisticated than simply creating a Facebook page and Twitter account!

🎶Hello, Is it leads you’re looking for? 🎶

digital-marketing-los-angelesThe wonders of digital marketing – Why I’m a believer

If you’re doubting the relevancy and value of having a digital marketing plan hold your thought and think again. Now-a-days in order for businesses to be successful companies must have a digital marketing strategy included in their marketing plan. Without it out, your missing out on the possibility of impactful revenue generating opportunities and a greater chance of reaching and converting qualified leads. The world is quickly becoming digital and when this train takes off you don’t want to be left behind. There is still a place for good ol’ fashioned traditional marketing methods but digital marketing offers a cheaper, faster, versatile and more practical form of marketing than traditional. This is a form of interacting that should be taken advantage of. Don’t believe me? Check out this article http://singlegrain.com/10-companies-doing-online-marketing-right/ highlighting 10 companies that have successful digital marketing strategies.

  meme What I’ve learned.

Content truly is king. Robert Rose said, “Marketing is telling the world you’re a rock star. Content marketing is showing the world that you are one.” Content is the backbone of communication and is anything that adds value to the consumer during the buying process. It’s about giving consumers an idea of why your product or service will benefit them – and encourages the consumer to buy. Terry Foster said “Content marketing is a way to break through the enormous clutter of messaging that we’re all faced with as consumers every day.” It’s about engaging your audience, building authority, and relaying valuable information that consumers can benefit from. Effective content marketing can lead to increased web traffic, good SEO ranking and increased sales.

8I’ve completely underrated the value of blogging.

Interesting content is one of the top reasons why consumers follow companies on social media and subscribe to email communications. One of the best vehicles to deliver that interesting content is through blogging. There are over 500,000 new blog entries posted everyday. Consistently publishing relevant, valuable and interesting content is what positions a company as a thought leader and a trusted resource. Research shows companies that generate 15 blog posts per month average 1,200 new leads per month. And, company blogs increase visitors to their website by 55 percent. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound traffic which means more search engine traffic. Blogging is a great way for companies to sustain an online presence and share the best they have to offer.

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Applying the knowledge

I’ve learned that in this digital time – having an effective digital marketing plan is important. Just having a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page isn’t enough. You have to know how to use social media and the other various elements of digital marketing to engage, interact, convince and convert leads into loyal customers. I will definitely use a lot of the information I learned in this class in my presentation for NextStepU. Their target audience is heavily engrossed in this digital era so it’s important for them to meet them where they are.

So you think you’re a Digital marketing Rock star?

I am currently going for my marketing masters through Roberts Wesleyan. The last class was about Strategic Digital marketing, and since we are all in our 20’s I am sure we all thought we would already know everything already.

We were shown otherwise!

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An ever changing and evolving kind of marketing!

The digital world changes continuously. There are always new ways to be reaching your target audiences and you have to be aware of what tools they are using. I was not aware of all the different types of applications out there and how many digital tools can be utilized; it is not just about email and your website anymore!

The conversation prism was one tool I used a lot throughout our class, if we needed to brainstorm ideas I would look at the prism first to see if any ideas or tools jumped out to me. This tool obviously does not include every possible option in the digital world but it makes you think about the type of category your idea or product may fit into.

Conversation Prism

Through the prism I have looked at these tools that I was unaware of:

  • Nicheworking- These social network sites are meant to bring people together that all have a common interest. Here are a few to check out: goodreads, Care2, and Foodspotting, and Dogster.
  • Social Curation: This is a collaborative sharing of web content, that can be organized one or more themes. Includes Pinterest and Flipboard.

What is all this hype about blogging?

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So when we all first saw we had to blog for this digital class, I was dreading it because I never wanted to blog and figured no one would want to hear what I have to say. Since 4 weeks ago, I have grown to like blogging and am thinking about starting to do on my own site and see how it goes, I tried it before and was not having any success. I think I was missing some important factors on how to get your blog read and followed.

  1. I was not creating tags or categories for my blog posts. These play a huge role in search engine optimization, thus getting your blog post found and read. Without these tools there is a small chance of getting your awesome blog in front of readers that would enjoy what you have to say.
  2. Use headers! Would you rather read something typed up with headers to break up the text or one long document typed like an APA paper, and trust me I am sick of looking at and writing APA papers. Users want to be able to skim and read the parts that are IMPORTANT TO THEM (sorry was trying to get your attention while you were skimming)!

So that is all you need to know! Happy Marketing!

Just kidding, marketing and especially digital marketing has so many possibilities and it is honestly endless. Do not stick to something because that is the way it has been done before, try something new and use the data and metrics to back up your decision!

Are you paying attention?

imgres (2)Business use

With business trying to get the most out of every dollar they are spending, are they watching and knowing what that dollar is really doing? The marketplace that we know of today is very different then yesterday. The current tools and marketing practices allow much greater detail about a single customer. This leads to the question what are the marketers doing about it. It can be fast paced and changed for every customer but it’s not stopping there. It’s important to know what the marketing is trying to drive. With the end goal being sales most of the time it’s easy to just measure sales numbers but measuring something else could lead to greater return.

With the use of Google analytics imgresit now can give you a glimpse into much more than just the end sales numbers. Trying to figure out where or how your customers are coming to you? This powerful tool will show important data for a business to track.

One example of using this data to drive sales is Home Depot. With completion from Lowes taking market share away Home Depot need to react. The way that they did this was to make little changes over time to its website. These little changes were big drivers of the outcome however. One of the things that Home Depot noticed with its data review was that shopper would leave there site to find out how some tools worked, their answer was to include small video clips of the product in action. The other was that most people were using a mobile operating system when viewing its site. Homedepot.com was already mobile friendly but was not as easy to use. The change they made was to the search field making it the center of the mobile site.

It’s all about the proposal!proposal

Haven just gotten married I know this to be very true, the ENGAGEMENT is very important. It takes planning, time, effort and lastly the right people. This is true in marriage and in marketing, divorce is expensive, so it’s best to get it right the first time.

In marketing when talking engagement it’s about the digital marketing efforts and how they are imgresworking. The most common is Facebook, and the efforts are to get people talking about your product. This holds true for most digital marketing not just Facebook. When done correctly and well planned with ad buys and maximizing the usage social media can be a great tool. When done poorly, a company could have just created a place for unhappy customers to come together and have a very large voice about a certain product.

One of the last things I learned is that people have to not know they were looking for you as a company but your name comes up when they GOOGLE something. SEO is a big thing and it’s something that companies need to be aware of. This knowledge could point out major short comings or allow an advantage over the competition.

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Last, but not least.

imagesX6P1AGFPTell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn”-Benjamin Franklin.

I really enjoyed this digital marketing class. I have learned a lot of valuable information that is not only interesting, but extremely valuable. The reason I have gotten so much out of these past five weeks is because we have gotten deeply involved in every aspect of what we were learning. From creating our own blog posts to presenting a real digital marketing plan to the “board”, I have been able to learn new ideas in a way that has allowed me to really grasp the concepts and fully understand what I need to include in our client project.

Blogging

images5H4R4FHSThe first aspect I will take with me into our final client project is blogging. Five weeks ago, I had never written a blog in my life. I have found that I actually enjoy doing it, and even more, I enjoy reading other people’s blogs as well. Not only are blogs full of information that is relevant to a person’s particular interests, but they allow you to engage with people you would never normally interact with in life. I think a NextStepU blog will be very beneficial for the company’s growth. There is a lot that can be said about college prep, financial aid, choosing a major, how to get through dorm life and many, many other topics. This will be a great tool to use to get all kinds of current and potential clients of NextStepU engaged and interested in the company.

Google Analytics

The next area that I found extremely useful and interesting was the lesson on Google Analytics. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit I didn’t exactly know what this was until we learned about it in class. However, I am amazed at the enormous amounts of information you can gather about people that visit your webpage. This tool is imperative to measuring the success of your marketing tactics. I’m not sure if NextStepU is currently taking advantage of Google Analytics, but I would be interested to see their results if they are. Regardless of whether this tools is currently being utilized or not, it will certainly be incorporated into my final client project.

Social Media

This is a very important factor to be considered for NextStepU. First of all, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest definitely need to be a part of the final client project marketing plan. These are a few of the top social media sites being utilized by college age kids. Again, until this class, I never knew the ins and outs of paid social media advertising. I knew it existed, of course, but I didn’t know how it worked exactly. Since NextStepU currently has followers on Facebook and Twitter, I think a social media ad campaign would be very beneficial.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this digital marketing class and I seriously learned a lot of extremely valuable information. Definitely one of my favorites so far!

Digital Marketing–the “nice to have” office decoration.

I update my company’s Facebook page once a week.  I’m a digital marketer!

A digital marketing strategy is an intricate undertaking.  It would be nice if it only required updating Facebook regularly,  but there is a much bigger picture involved.  This blog will outline two important factors surrounding digital marketing learned in the MSMK 570 course.

1. My website stinks.  Let’s toss it and start over.

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Slam on your breaks.  According to Mediajunction’s web designer blog, design and development of a typical website can cost between $15,000 and $25,000.  There goes your marketing budget.  Why not start from where you are, and rethink the current concept of your website.

  • Do you have goals and objectives?  This is the important first step.  Second, what will your KPI  (key performance indicator) for each goal be?  This is essentially how you measure whether your goals are successful or not.
  • Do you have a target audience in mind?  Your content needs to instantly appeal to your ideal visitors, convince them you are worthy of their time, and make it easy for them to navigate around your site.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) is not dead.  Create quality content that will help you get found by Google. The key to SEO is fresh content, written by a real person, that is valued by other people.  Content should inform, inspire, and interact with your audience.
  • Make your site user-friendly.  Are there clear calls to action on your main page?  Is the content well organized?
  • How are you building trust on your website?  Is your website considered an authoritative resource?  Are other bloggers linking to your pages?  This goes back to importance of quality content.
  • This last one comes from Halligan and Shah’s book “Inbound Marketing.” They encourage you to add some collaborative functionality to your site, like a blog (which is easy to update on a regular basis).  It’s also FREE to create and manage.

2. I can’t trust digital marketing, because there’s no proof of ROI (return on investment).

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If you think this is true, think again.  Digital marketing can easily be measured.  You can track and measure results from SEO using Google Analytics, and make positive changes based on the results.

Analytics will tell you:

  • What’s working, what’s not, and what can be eliminated.
  • What pages are keeping people from completing tasks, and where you are losing people.
  • Where you can improve so people can find what they’re looking for.

Key take away: customers are hard wired and connected.

We are in a digital era.  For your business to be successful, you have to have a digital marketing strategy.  It should include:

  • A mobile accessible website-in 2014, smartphone sales grossly outnumbered pc sales.
  • SEO–optimizing your content successfully will increase your website’s visibility within the search engines and help drive traffic to your site.
  • Content is king–utilize a blog to increase user engagement.
  • Social media–build your brand’s presence over multiple social media platforms, and share your story with impactful images and videos.
  • Email campaigns–according to a Forbes article, 65% of consumers are inclined to make a purchase in association with a well planned email campaign.

Go out and leave your digital footprint!

Digital marketing and I

It’s All New to Me                     

Working toward my masters in marketing has changed the way I view so many things.  It makes me look at all of the different forms of advertising surrounding me with a more critical eye.  Seeing all the tactics behind the promotions to entice me to buy makes for interesting viewing because I end up comparing the successful to the rather laughable.  While probably annoying the people around me as I pick apart the media.  A commercial which recently makes me wonder what the company was thinking is the new Yoplait commercials.  If you haven’t seen them, they feature a woman who’s a native French speaker talking about how the yogurt has less sugar, while subtitles run at the bottom.  I just wonder about the effectiveness of this execution and the type of responses others have to this campaign.  Entering into digital has added another magnifying glass to my arsenal giving light to new concepts and processes to evaluate.

 

Digital Breadcrumbs

            One of the most interesting aspects for me was the class on analytics.  Being able to see the various effectiveness of the methods of delivering the message is a dream.  Tracking this way allows for previous mistakes not to become habits and evaluation of strategies.  It also provides factual support when presenting any ideas and justification for funding of proposed plans.  Coming from an accounting background, traceability of funds and returns on investments are key factors.  With analytics there’s the ability to pair the creative with the numerical in a very real way, satisfying multiple departments.

 

Changing Habits

One of the earlier blogs done revolved around different segments of the conversation prism.  Each blogger focused on a segment and worked to explain what it is and its impact.  It was fascinating to see the cultural shift we have faced in just the past few years.  My segment focused on the social marketplace, delving into this new way of shopping which places community as its centered and shared idea.  The post on the location segment was intriguing given it is a sensitive topic for some generations and just a way of connection to others.  It’ll be interesting to see future developments in this segment.

And Above All Else…

Content is king!  It is what drives people to you and keeps them coming back.  Which may speak to the reasons why the yogurt commercial bothers me.  It doesn’t drive me to the brand because of the enlightening fact of 25% less sugar.  Instead, it confounds me as to why the message is being delivered this way.  Perhaps it is an attempt at being artistic or even whimsical, but to me it just seems distracting and silly.

Throughout this entire process the objectives of each course have been to apply the lessons to our client.  In terms of my take a ways, the only dim point is the lack of analytics provided to us.  Overall the NextStepU is strong.  The area which needs help is how to reach consumers.