Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Most Overlooked Elements of Digital Marketing

(Excerpt from OnlineSpin email, September 9, 2009)

The Nine Most Overlooked Elements Of Digital Marketing

By Cory Treffiletti

It can be difficult to stay on top of everything if you're a digital marketer; there's arguably no medium with as many moving parts as this. So you can tend to overlook some of the most important elements. Here they are for your viewing pleasure!
The nine most overlooked elements of digital marketing are (in no particular order):

1. Mobile search. Mobile search is fast becoming one of the most important components of mobile marketing. Search is becoming integrated into every mobile device, whether it be through applications built into the phone itself or through voice, and more and more users are tapping into it daily. Local search is even more important, as people want to know what's around them and find information on the go. Not many marketers are actively looking at mobile search, but in many cases companies like Google are packaging it together with other ad buys so you may be using it already and not even know it. I'd check it out if I were you.

2. Affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is still one of the most scalable and efficient means of building your business online. Whether you're looking to drive traffic, acquire customer information or generate sales, a strong affiliate strategy can do wonders -- but it gets overlooked a lot because it's not sexy. Affiliate marketing used to be sexy; back in the days of Amazon and CDNow ruling the Web. The Netscape Now button started it all off with a bang, and someone is going to revolutionize the business very soon. In the meantime, however, I wouldn't continue to overlook this behemoth of performance.

3. Banners (really!). I know, I know. "Banners are dead" and all that. I never said it, some other folks did. Banners are not dead and they still make up the lion's share of the online marketing budgets. They drive awareness, they drive interaction and they drive loads of business every day. Banners will have a place in your marketing efforts as long as your keyboard does!

4. Commerce and etail sites. Many people forget about the benefits of advertising on etail sites like Amazon and Walmart.com. These sites offer huge reach, targeted placements to actual shoppers and access to lots and lots of behavioral information. They may not do heavy integration or might cost you a lot to consider -- but standard ads on these sites can move product!

5. Relationships. I tried to remind everyone of this a few weeks back and many of you read it and got the message, but it is worth repeating. Our business is driven by relationships, so never overlook the people you talk to on a daily basis, as they can be your best source of ideas and information!

6. Digital outdoor. Digital outdoor is overlooked because too many people are confused as to who is responsible for implementing it. In some cases the digital agency handles it and in some cases the outdoor shop is in control, but in either case it can offer a highly targeted, regionalized opportunity that is scalable and highly impactful.

7. Research. Research is the basis for everything we do. There are lots of great companies and great tools that offer valuable insights into the behaviors of the digital audience. They are all in the same boat, looking to bring business into the category. They work with you and they are willing to go deep to prove a point, so use them!

8. Email. When was the last time you spent a session discussing your email and eCRM strategy? Those of us who spend all day online are quite cynical about the inbox as a marketing tool, but every day brands sell products and make money by email. Your competition is probably doing it very well, so maybe you should be too!

9. Pricing. The rule of the day is this: not everything is cheap. I am one of the biggest culprits when it comes to pushing on pricing, but I also recognize when something is of more value. I know when a special opportunity may command a premium that is just fair. So be sure you are evaluating all options from the same point.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Social Media Advice Written for Ad Agencies, Great for All Businesses

Fueling Advertising Agency New Business Through Social Media


(Excerpt from Fuel Lines, authored by Michael Gass, agency new business consultant, primarily to small and mid-size advertising agencies, utilizing both traditional and new media tools. Follow him on Twitter to learn more.)


The direct link to this post can be found at http://tinyurl.com/cfvabz


I want to set an example of practicing what I preach. My new business model is simple: I am an active participant in social media and use the tools that I recommend you use to generate new business for your agency. Hopefully you will be able to do the same for your clients.
Social media “teaches” ad agencies to do new business the way they should have been doing it all along:

*Identifying a target audience
*Leading with the “benefits” to your target audience rather than agency capabilities
*Developing a differentiating appeal that resonates with your target audience
*Establishing relationships first. Ours is a relationship business. People want to work with people they know, trust and like
*Social media is networking on steroids.


For you as an agency principal to “get” social media you have to be a participant. I know you probably already feel that you have enough on your plate and you will never be consistent. Just understand that in reality all you will need to do is two things. And they are the two things you should be doing irregardless:


*Online reading (a systematic, organized and pinpointed reading program to keep you ahead of the curve)
*Writing (Greatly improving your communications skills to clients. Learning the language that resonates with your prospective client audience and learn appeals to them)


The great advantage of social media for agency new business is that it allows you to accomplish a number of things at the same time that are of great benefit to you and your agency:


*Professional enrichment. A systematic way to stay ahead of your clients and provide leadership. Clients want leadership not partnership. It is possible for you to know better than your clients how they should go to market.
*Hone your communication skills. You don’t know what you know till you write it down.
*Networking. Social media is networking on steroids. You can reach and engage so many more people on a daily basis through social than you ever could in person.
*Organic search. SEO is a huge plus from the use of social media.
*Feedback from your target audience. They are your ultimate judge and jury. They’ll let you know what is appealing and what isn’t. It’s your job to figure it out.
*Relationship building. It is just natural for people to want to work with people that they know, trust and like. The transparency that is a big part of social media allows you to build more relationships without geographic limitations.
*Repurpose your content. Your blog posts for instance have a long, long shelf life. You can reuse that content in email newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, press releases, article marketing, white papers, ebooks, slideshare, just to name a few. The time that goes into one post is magnified dozens of times over.
*Drive traffic. I’ve found that as optimized as my blog is for search I’m able to drive targeted traffic to my blog site using tools email newsletters, Twitter and other social platforms.
*Improve your outreach. If you can’t measure it you can’t improve it. Social media is more measurable than traditional media.
*Consistency. No new business program will work unless it is consistent. Social media allows you to “maintain” a new business program even when your agency is at its busiest. The many benefits of social make it prime important to you and to your agency and also to your clients and thus easier to maintain.


This all sounds like a lot of activity but again all an agency principal needs to do to make this happen is read and write.


Use Google reader to organize your online reading habits and write for your agency’s blog, anywhere from three to five posts per week. Junior level staff or even interns can be easily trained to repurpose your content across a number of social media channels.


As important as your website was for your agency it is now more important to have an agency blog.
The blog is the gateway to your agency and your website has become your agency’s online brochure. A blog should be your agency’s central platform for all of you social media activity.
I thought you might like to see a break down of my analytics for the month of March, plus some from this past year, to better see how social media is working for me:


It’s been a “March Madness” for FUEL LINES. A number of records were set:
25,712 page views for the month
99,946 page views for past 12 months
2,787 page views, March 25, for busiest day ever
824 votes for blog of the month