Posts Tagged with marketing

Digital Marketing in 2011

Posted on Dec 21, 2010 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing, Social Media

With the rise of digital marketing, it can leave you wondering how you can improve your web presence and where to start!  Let us give you some quick tips….

The Obvious Social Network Route

As the movie The Social Network hit screens, the time came to reflect on the phenomenal success of Facebook and other social media sites. Facebook has an estimated 500 million users and this is likely to increase even further. Twitter now has well over 100 million users and is attracting an average of 300,000 new users a day. This makes it plainly obvious as to your main 2011 social media strategy. Facebook seems to attract users in the ‘right’ age group for marketing purposes, so dedicate a considerable amount of your budget towards setting up campaigns both on Twitter and Facebook.

Video Kills The Behind The Times Company

Yet it is important to push yourself to the front of the queue when it comes to jumping on the video marketing bandwagon. A recent whitepaper by Cisco suggested that more than half of all web traffic will be video-related by 2014. The days of the 30 second advert are dying out with more and more consumers skipping these dull and unimaginative productions. Sites like YouTube need to used more frequently with thought provoking and lengthier adverts the key to success. If you want someone to buy your cereal, don’t depict a happy family with 2.4 children eating the product by the kitchen. Edgy, new and deep will sell in future where fast, predictable and cheesy once ruled.

Email And Mobiles

As one might expect, email marketing is moving with the times. An extraordinary 97% of American households use email so a well constructed email campaign will reap dividends. It is a fact that social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are being integrated with email. The smartphone, Android and iPhone are linking even more users to their mail. The challenge facing digital marketers is to find a way to tailor their campaign for customers who view their email on a mobile device. The best strategy is to use a tool such as Litmus to find out more about your audience and tailor your campaign to them. This is necessary because it is difficult to find a current strategy that will work well for all mobile users.

SEO Is Still King

Believe it or not however, despite the huge budgets set aside for the all of the above, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is still top of the list when it comes to 2011 digital marketing tactics according to a poll carried out by Top Rank. Yet in order to get your content to the top of the search engine ladder, you still have to know your targets and audience. If you know your audience but not their triggers, start surveying. If you know what you want to market but have no idea to who, check out sites like eMarketer for market statistics. It should be remembered that no amount of marketing will work if your content is poor, sort it out. Oh, and avoid those nasty “please stay on my page and click on cancel for something special” pop-ups, these REALLY annoy consumers!

So where will this leave your marketing strategy for 2011?  All four of these pieces will make your marketing plan come together and keep up with the ever-changing trends for digital marketing.

Use Your “Inside Voice” In Social Media

Posted on Oct 18, 2010 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Social Media Voice

I think we can all recall our childhood of walking through museums and libraries and constantly being reminded to use our “inside voices” when taking field trips.  You are listening to the teacher or tour guide and speaking softly when talking with friends or asking questions.  Don’t you feel that the same applies to social media?

As individuals or businesses get started in social media, their first reaction is to start shouting out information to anyone who will listen about themselves or the products or services that they offer.  What’s the first word in the phrase “social media”? – “Social” – right?  We can’t be very social if we stand in a room full of people and shout out information without listening to what people are saying and even responding to their needs.  Maybe a review of “Field Trip Rules” is necessary!

Rule #1 – Listen And Learn
When beginning your social media strategy, take the time to stand back and listen.  What are people looking for and how could your business help them?  As you gather some of these ideas, start adding some helpful posts on your blog.  Once you do start interacting, you can always share your post with them, but most importantly these posts will help you stand out as a reputable source in your industry.

Rule #2 – Use Your Inside Voice
As you see areas for you to start conversing with people, the best way to jump into the conversation is to start with a whisper.  Offer a quick tip to see if you could help solve the problem.  No need to shout at them about your company and all that you offer when you first meet.  Remember, if you are talking on Twitter, you only have 140 characters and trust me…you don’t need to use them all!  A conversation starter could be to ask a question about their business or even an interest of theirs that you noticed in their profile.  By beginning the conversation slowly, your trust is built with your new connection.

Rule #3 – Don’t Roughhouse
Whether you are using social media as a means of customer service, lead generation, or a mixture of both, you are sure to run into some individuals that might say things you don’t want to hear.  Don’t be too quick to react, but take a step back and think of the potential dangers to your reputation if you push, pull, or say harsh words back to your online connections.  Always practice good manners, courtesy, and respect.

Don’t be caught in “social media timeout”….  Just practice the basic rules and you will be sure to enjoy engaging with your connections.  What rules could you add from your childhood?

7 Reasons To Use Email Marketing

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 by Michael Herman | Posted in Email Marketing

There are so many businesses that fear the unknown and are frightened of starting email marketing.  Although many are still hesitant to move away from their tried-and-true snail-mail methods, others are rapidly discovering that email marketing is one of the most effective means of generating sales.
When Shop.org surveyed retailers for its State of Retailing Online 2009 report, it found that email was the most-mentioned successful tactic overall.

The Ad Effectiveness Survey commissioned by Forbes Media in February/March 2009 placed email marketing second only to search engine optimization for generating conversions.

And research conducted in 2009 by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that email outperforms all other forms of direct marketing. The bigger question, of course, is why? Of all the hundreds or even thousands of messages consumers are exposed to each day, why is email marketing so effective?

1.  Email Marketing Reaches Many!

It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t have at least one email address!  What this means for your business is that you can reach out to your entire customer and prospect base.

2.  Email Marketing Is Proactive!

Email marketing goes directly into your customer’s email inbox! They don’t have to search through a phone directory or newspaper to find your services!  With one click of a mouse, they can contact you directly to get a quote or more information about your services!

3. Email Marketing is Targeted

Most forms of advertising are based on the idea that if you hit thousands of people with your message, even though it may mean nothing to most of them, a few are likely to respond.

Email marketing is based on the idea of sending the right message directly to the right people based on their preferences, local market conditions, and other factors.

You can build a master list and then segment it by geographic location, marital status, gender, age, income, time of year, etc. Doing so eliminates a lot of the guesswork that makes other forms of marketing so inefficient.

4. Email Marketing Provides Data

We at Digital Street provide you with reports to show which emails or messages went through and which didn’t, so you can improve your next campaign.  You are able to run split tests, sending one offer or message to half your list and a different one to the other half, so you can get a better feel for what your customers want and what your prospects buy from you!

5. Email Marketing Allows You to Engage

It’s nice to get the immediate reaction from a customer who sees your ad just before going shopping. But your real goal is to build a relationship with a broader base of prospects so they think of you whenever it’s time to hit the stores.

Email marketing allows you to do that by bringing them shopping tips, updates on trends, seasonal items, and special loyalty-program deals on a regular basis. It’s a great way to engage them—and keep them engaged.

6. Email Marketing is Less Intrusive

Unlike telemarketing calls, email marketing doesn’t interrupt a prior activity to deliver a message. Opening email is the activity your customers and prospects are engaged in when they see your message. If you’ve done a good job of building that relationship, they’ll look forward to seeing what you have to say.

7. Email Marketing Works

According to the DMA’s (Direct Marketing Association) research, email marketing generated a return on investment (ROI) of $43.62 for every dollar spent on it in 2009. You’re unlikely to find that kind of ROI from any other form of marketing or advertising—the best reason of all to launch an email-marketing campaign.

When done correctly, email marketing allows you to become (and remain) visible to your customers and prospects with highly targeted messages at a minimal cost, all while delivering outstanding, measurable results that will ripple far beyond your pond of current customers.

Social Media Is Not An Exact Science

Posted on Mar 29, 2010 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Stressed+out

The brave new world of social media marketing has old school marketing firms struggling to adapt. Conventional wisdom has been turned on its head and the old rules and best practices for “what works” is now a constantly moving goal post. You can write out a detailed social media marketing plan for a company that sounds great on paper, but once it’s put into practice it may not be worth the paper it’s printed on. That kind of uncertainty scares the heck out of the old guard who likes a sure thing and whose clients demand nothing less.

Social Media is not something that lends itself to a one size fits all approach. What works great with one company may have no effect whatsoever with a different brand or company. Every brand or product has an audience that’s waiting to be engaged and the trick is to find out how and where they prefer the engagement to take place. Some brands work better on Facebook than on Twitter. Some find great success with both — or neither.

What business owners and marketing firms need to realize is that social media is dynamic and constantly changing. A good social media marketing campaign must be monitored continuously and tweaked when necessary. When you try something and it doesn’t work out you need to immediately pivot and try a different approach.

Be wary of any firm that guarantees outcomes using a particular method. Unless they have an uncanny ability to see into the future, they couldn’t possibly guarantee that. We can guarantee you results, but we cannot guarantee what will ultimately get those results.

Domino’s Pizza Shows Corporate America How To Use Social Media

Posted on Jan 11, 2010 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Domino's Pizza

Domino’s Pizza has shown itself to be extremely nimble when it comes to the changing media landscape. They were quick to respond a few months ago when two knucklehead employees posted a video of themselves on YouTube doing heinous things to a customer’s pizza.

Now, more recently they’ve harnessed the power of social media to listen to critics. Rather than run from criticism of their pizza or simply run a PR campaign to counter it, they’ve embraced it and tried to make better pizza. According to Domino’s, the most common complaint they receive via Twitter, email, Facebook, and elsewhere is that their crust tastes like cardboard. In response, they scrapped their recipe entirely and started over from scratch. There were complaints about the sauce tasting like Ketchup, so they scrapped that recipe too. As painful as the complaints were, Domino’s took them to heart and set out to make their product better.

What many companies don’t realize is just how much it means to customers simply to be heard. The only thing worse than buying a crappy product is knowing that the company doesn’t care if you think their product is crappy. When a company like Domino’s listens to customer complaints and creates all new recipes in  response to those complaints it’s a big deal. Even if their pizza still isn’t the best, they will have the kind of brand loyalty other companies only dream about.

Just letting your customers know you care is one of the most powerful marketing devices you can employ. I know that seems odd, but it’s true. Consumers are so used to hearing corporate spin and CYA excuses that it’s a real breath of fresh when a company acknowledges mistakes and promises to do better.

A Cosmic Shift In Advertising

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 by Michael Herman | Posted in Social Media

Take a look at this clip from brand guru Gary Vaynerchuk. He makes some some excellent points about the current state of the advertising industry and how bloggers can capitalize on it: