How to Get Started with Digital Marketing

This is Marketing Podcast

Digital marketing can mean many things. Choosing the right channel, the right content and knowing what the goals are all things you can decide ahead of time. In this podcast, I discuss what I consider to be the three best digital marketing strategies for your business right now in 2018: Email, YouTube and Google Adwords. I talk a little about how to produce content for each, what to measure, and how to know if you are choosing the right company to work with.

DIY Marketing

This is Marketing Podcast

I can be my own worst enemy with this statement, but, marketing isn’t hard. In fact, I think that anyone can be a marketing expert. When it comes to your business, you are the expert.  Tapping into the many marketing resources we have around us only enhances your knowledge of your business, and your ability to sell. In this podcast, I discuss how to get started with Do It Yourself Marketing. I talk about some internal tips you can use to find employee’s to build your marketing content, and what to look for in a consultant that you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on.

The Value of an MBA, with an Actual MBA Student: Nick Baran

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MBA programs seem like they are dime a dozen these days, but there is real value in getting an MBA. On this episode, I sit down with Nick Baran, a real MBA student that has a background as a teacher. We talk about why he made the choice to quit his career and pursue an MBA. He talks about making that decision, working an internship with a large corporation, a lot of what it’s like to work for me and the value he has gotten out of the MBA thus far. This is a great episode with a lot of ground covered for what it’s like to be a real MBA student.

Nick’s looking for work! Hire him by emailing him at [email protected]

I Do Not Negotiate with Adverterrorists

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I literally just made this word up, I think. Adverterrorists is long for advertisers, and I don’t like either of them. In this episode, I’m pretty fired up, because I get 100 sales calls and emails a day, so I’m here to talk some shit about them. If you are in a marketing position or own your own business, you know my pain. What you might not know is that this is an opportunity to get prices down and to have a little fun in our marketing day. I’m having fun in this podcast, you should listen along.

Marketing App of the Month: Infogram

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As marketers, we can spend the rest of our lives producing reports for clients and executives, and if you are like me, you hate it. However, I spent some time looking for something to make my life easier when it comes to reporting and I might have found the single best online app for building what I refer to as “sexy” reports: Infogram. In this podcast, I talk a little more about why data visualization is important, but also why Infogram is a worth your time and your money. Disclaimer: They aren’t paying me to say shit about their app.

Chatbots for Your Business

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What is a Chatbot? How can a Chatbot help my business? All great questions, and all topics that I cover in this week’s episode. Chatbots are nothing new, but like with any technology they are becoming increasing important for our content strategy and communication strategy. With an increase in social media communications, our customer service team might not be big enough to handle all the communication that we have every day with our customers. Chatbots can help fill in some of those frequently asked questions, and provide a real 24/7/365 support line. I think they offer a lot more than that, including data that can help us produce other valuable content for our customers.

Why Facebook’s Growth Plateau is Good For Business

Facebook released it’s fourth quarter earning yesterday, raising a lot of questions for investors about what the changes of the News Feed might mean to it’s revenue moving forward. To catch you up, read this article from Quartz on it’s quarterly report.

What Hanna Kozlowska points out is that Facebook really is untouchable when it comes to social platforms. Although the reports might paint a different picture of their growth, which shows a slowdown in revenue growth and active users, the fact that there are still 2.20 billion active users means that there is a lot of opportunity for businesses to find their audiences and engage with them on a daily basis.

Changes to the news feed was a step in the right direction for the platform. As Zuckerburg continuously stresses that Facebook is about creating interactions among users, not users and businesses. Sure, you might miss more of your Tasty videos, but Facebook was originally built as a platform to stay connected to friends and family. The change means that those videos being harder to see directly from a business, but it doesn’t mean that your friends sharing them won’t give them exposure.

Changes like this create call-to-actions for content creators. It’s no different than what YouTube is doing to their platform by changing their partnership program. They are making sure that users are having the experience that the platform was created for, rather than allowing the content creators to manipulate that with average videos and posts that junk up feeds.

As a business, you need to take inventory of what videos you have been creating. The analytics that Facebook provides is a great first step to analyze what videos have had the most engagement with your audience. Figure out why those videos have had the most impact, and create a roadmap for future productions. What emotions were left on each video, and what did the comments say? If you aren’t analyzing these metrics now, you aren’t paying attention to your audience.

I also recommend looking at what videos haven’t done well, and makes notes on the content type, length, look, feel and timing of those videos. The data may point to the fact that the times you posted created engagement, rather than content. Timing could also refer to the frequency of your posts. Don’t overwhelm your audience with a lot of content all at once. Space it out so that users have time to view and share what you have posted, before posting the next piece of content.

Cycles of this analysis will tell the story of your Facebook audience, and it will create an opportunity to maximize your reach, engagement and share-ability of each post.

What is Branding?

I get asked this question a lot: What is branding?

The answer is different depending on who you ask, and I have a different answer than most. Some may say that branding is marketing and advertising, however, I think branding on it’s own can be a great concept to calculate the strength of your business to your customers.

Think of branding in a simple statement:

Repetition of your business in visual, messaging or social form to your audience.

What’s that mean? We all have different ways in how we represent our business to our audiences. It can be a logo: A simple graphic that is recognizable without words. Think Nike, Pepsi, Under Armour, etc. All recognizable without the label of text. Those companies have spent millions of dollars for that recognition. That doesn’t mean that your business has to have millions of dollars to achieve this, because over time customers that consume your product will become more familiar. The key is consistent repetition. The more times your logo is out there, or your message, the more your audience will automatically make that association with your business. The key is consistency. Don’t change colors or your messaging when you are in branding mode. Keep it simple enough that users don’t have to think.

If we are talking branding in social media form, we can neglect the fact that no two social platforms are the same. Even with the similarities of Instagram and Snapchat, the audiences that use them are vastly different, which means the content you produce has to be different.

Companies that are good at this have established a concept, visually or by way of messaging that is strictly followed. The “we are always this” and “never this” concept. In most visual identity guides it’s defined very clear, with a lot of support as to why.

Is it ok to rebrand ourselves?

Yes, rebranding is part of growth for a business. This doesn’t mean that you have to rebrand in a cycle, and for a lot of businesses, this is hard not to do. For some reason, there exists this idea that we have to change our message or look every so many years to stay fresh. Ever hear that saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”? Of course you have, and that is key to avoid leaving your audience confused.

If you are changing around your business model, products or services, then yes, rebranding might be a good option. I would approach this answering the following questions:

  • Why are we rebranding?
    What are you trying to achieve by changing your brand?
  • Who is impacted by this?
    Think about your audience, but don’t forget about the internal stakeholders that might be affected by changes. How will you communicate the changes to them. Think especially about your sales team, because they will be the ones that get the most questions.
  • What is impacted by this?
    All your marketing materials, print, stationary, business cards – a rebrand goes deep into business. Anywhere you see a logo or statement is a candidate for change. This is directly tied to dollars being spent, so include any budget implications because of your change.
  • What exactly is changing?
    Rebranding could be as simple as a logo change, and nothing else. With that in mind, cycle back through the above questions and keep in mind that you are only changing that. It changes the answer to a lot of those questions. If it is a full-scale name, logo, color scheme and message rebrand, you have a lot more to think about.

    Pro Tip: Do not be the company that says you are going to rebrand and “just use whatever is left up first and then start to use the new look” – this can kill your rebrand and cause more problems. If you are going to rebrand, discard the old look and go all in with the new.

The Bottom Line: Branding is highly effective to your marketing strategy. 

I compartmentalize branding, marketing and advertising as three different strategies to a business. Branding, at the highest level represents you in the simplest form. As long as you can distribute you brand as often as possible to your audience, you will achieve success with that strategy.

This is Marketing Podcast Support:

I talk about branding a lot in my Podcast, here are some listens that go more in depth with this blog:

  1. Branding Your Business

  2. Rebranding Your Business

  3. Email Marketing – Branding Your Emails – Daily Marketing Tip #28

  4. Personal Branding and Landing Clients

  5. How to Brand Your Business – Daily Marketing Tip #9

  6. Using Frontify for Brands, Style Guides and Startups


Impact of the Changes to the YouTube Partnership Program

This is Marketing Podcast

Youtube released a press release earlier this month talking about their changes to the YouTube Partnership Program. For those channels that do not have 1,000 subscribers and more than 4,000 hours of view time, you will no longer be able to monetize your videos. What does this mean to you as a business? In this podcast, I discuss these changes, and what opportunity I actually think it will present to YouTube content contributes and those businesses on the brink of starting video as part of their marketing strategy.