The End Has Come

This will be my last required post for my Digital Marketing class. I am glad that I was given the chance to create this blog and try my hand at writing. It was interesting to see how many of my friends were actually interested in reading about what I had to say. I was happy to see that I did gain some attention in the blog world and gained many followers that were not people who I knew.

So what did I learn?

The main take away I got from this class and experience is how important digital marketing is. It wasn’t like I wasn’t already aware of this but I didn’t know to what extent its importance held. Digital marketing has its moment when it is in your face and obvious, like paid search and banner ads.

paid search

You know it exists and you see that it exists. Most of these type of digital marketing can be annoying and people want it to go away. What I didn’t realize was the amount of marketing that is sneaky about being marketing.  For example, lets talk about content marketing.

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Most of the time there is content marketing people don’t even realize that is advertisement. They are just fun, engaging items that bring the user to your site and you don’t even realize what they are doing.

Digital Marketing and just marketing in general is all about being the puppet master. We use different strategies like, inbound marketing, social media, database marketing,etc… to persuade users to come to our site and buy our products.  This has become a second nature to the users and they are so unaware how much everything has to do with marketing.

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The skill that marketers need to have is knowing how to relate and draw in all the different people. Personalization is a key factor  in drawing in all different types of users. Supplying different types of content on your blog or on your site allows for people to find something to their liking with your company.  This is why it is extremely important for marketers to not only be creative but to also have technical skills. By having technical skills marketers will be able to help the users even more and they will be faster about it. Research will go quicker and decisions can be made by the marketers with confidence, instead of having to trust what the IT guy is saying. Going through code academy was a great experience in this class and I am happy that I’ve made the decision to learn more and more about coding.

I could go on and on about what I learned in this class but I suggest that you read my past posts to hear more about what I have to say about digital marketing.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned that it was interesting to see how many people of my friends would read my blog and  how many new followers I was able to obtain. Well for the last day of my blog I did a bit of an experiment. I’ve been using Klout for a while now  and I was interested in how many people were influenced by me to a point that they would do what I asked.  For two days I asked people to help me out and read my blog. I never expected the results I would get but I got over 728 views in one day.

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Throughout the quarter I had been pretty consistent with my blog. I gained more and more followers but would  only get roughly 20 views per post.  I would regularly post on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I would just tell people they should read the blog but there was no real incentive for them to do what I asked. The fact that in one day I was able to get 728 views, granted only roughly 60 visitors, shows that I do influence a large group of people as long as there is something in it for them. In this case it was helping out a classmate and I promised I would stop giving them a hard time about reading my blog.

This could be used in digital marketing also. Brands want their customers to want to help them out, for example in co-creation. The dream is to ask your customers to do something, doesn’t matter what it is, and they will do it without a second thought. Granted me asking them to read my blog was very simple and easy but just  think if I kept asking small favors from my followers and escalating the level of difficulty each time. If the user gets something out of the favor, whether it be physical or psychological, they will more likely want to help. I’m excited to keep writing this blog and see what I can make out of this.

For the end of this blog I would like to say that I learned a lot and I defiantly got a lot out of this class.

I became HootSuite Certified: untitled

I became Google Analytics Certified:GAIQ

I also wrote 14,775 words with an overall view of 1,315.

Thank you for continuously reading and walking with me through this process.

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Content Marketing: It’s Kind Of A Big Deal

The time for content marketing is now. Traditional marketing, ads on television, newspapers, etc…, is fading away. The internet is where everyone has turned to find information, whether it be sports, news, communication, gossip, etc… The fight of gaining a customer’s attention has become immensely harder. No longer do they have to sit through television commercials to see what they want but they can just click off a page, or skip an advertisement and goodbye to you and whatever your business was trying to sell.  So how do you attract customers long enough to get them hooked?

You put CONTENT into your marketing strategy!

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Not just any content though. It needs to be relevant and valuable to your defined target audience. You want to be able to attract, acquire, and engage your audience.  This is tough with the ever-changing needs and wants of consumers. You need to be consistently producing quality content that is going to change or enhance consumer behavior. In return the customer is going to give your their loyalty and hopefully their money. 🙂

Some of you must be wondering well what does content marketing look like?

What I’m doing right now, blogging, is content marketing. I’m providing you with relevant and hopefully intriguing information twice a week. I’m marketing myself and what my thoughts and opinions are about the marketing world, with the hope that what I have to say is of interest to a few.

 You should have a blog. If you do not have one get one RIGHT NOW!

An example of a great blog is the Event Blog by Cvent: http://blog.cvent.com/

 They  were awarded gold in the 2013 Content Marketing Awards. Yes, there are awards for content marketing.  If you look at their blog you can defiantly tell why they deserved the award. The homepage alone has so much different information that there is something for everyone. Also the topics in general are fun and draw a customer’s attention. For example one of their blogs is called “I Ain’t Following you on Twitter: 3 New Twitter Follow Rules of 2014.”

Another great avenue of content marketing is video. You can make them fun and informational at the same time, which will intrigue your consumers. Federated Media Publishing took home the gold in the category of best branding video for the CMA’s for their Levi’s Curve Fit branding video. They shot five short documentaries of women bloggers. Here is one of the videos:

What Levi did here was brilliant. They had every day women give testimonials about how great their jeans are. Levi is demonstrating their expertise in jeans by showing that these jeans are for every type of women and by having most of these women be very dedicated to fashion it gives them authority in the fashion world.

Authority is one of the 7 steps in Scribes “7A” Strategy Framework to building an audience.  Scribe says that “Authority is central to a smart content marketing strategy.” You do not just get authority over night. It has to be earned and granted. Levi has defiantly earned that authority and that is why they are so successful to this day. One benefit of authority is that your content is going to be linked by other sites.   Like what I have been doing here and linking Levi’s content in this blog.  Not only are the people going to love you but so is Google. The more authoritative and important your site is the higher Google is going to place you in the rankings. Don’t think that you can fake authority though, like I said it needs to be earned and you do that with great content.

Other types of content marketing that I would suggest you look into are:

Social Media, Case Studies, Photos, E-Books, White Papers, Infographics, and Apps

Remember as  you are creating content always focus on your audience. Always focus on their needs and sales should not be your main goal. Be informative and creative. If you gain the consumers interests you are going to generate leads, increase the traffic on your site, and build a larger loyal audience. Eventually your sales will rise with hard work, but it is worth it.

 

Scribe ” A Content Marketing Strategy that Works”

http://markstaton.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/a-content-marketing-strategy-that-works.pdf

If you would like to see the other categories and winners of the CMA’s here is the link:

http://www.contentmarketingawards.com/media/misc/2013_Winners_listF.1.pdf