What’s the key to a successful digital media strategy?

Websites, especially for Search Engine Optimization should defiantly be doing this. A successful Social Media campaign has this as a crucial characteristic. This one defining element or practice is an absolute must for anyone who wants clients and customers whorepeat business and develop long-term relationships. In fact you probably find this to be as true for personal relationships as you would for any aspect of a business before and during the digital age.

Be Genuine!

Websites that develop a structure that take user experience and align it with their purpose find higher conversions. Don’t build a site for a plumber that looks like iTunes. Let that sites experience be what mirrors the genuine experience that is that service or product.

SEO success is defined by the genuine nature of the sites target and content. Search Engines are in the business of helping people find what they are looking for, build the content and keyword targeting around your clients, services and or product.

Social Media is all about the culture that your organization has, what’s your social media personality? Social Media isn’t about hard sales, its about relationships, find ways to develop social media strategies that support who or what you really are beyond what you sell or do.

Jump on Match.com, eHarmony, or have a friend set you up on a blind date, it’s just like business. You’ll get someone new in front of you, but if you want to get beyond the first introduction you better be who you are, pretending to be what your not will scare away your valuable long term relationships and leave you with a short sighted one night stand. Remember, 20% of your customers may provide you with 80% of your business, but if you find a way to build long-term relationships that develop from your genuine culture and services you’ll find value in every interaction.

If you want “world of mouth” opportunities, find a brand perception that matches you or your organization. Don’t try to control it, facilitate it by being genuine.

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Customer Engagement for Small Business

Telling business owners that they need to have some plans for customer engagement is easy. However, once they have absorbed that tidbit of helpful information, many may be lost as to what customer engagement can actually entail. Most likely, there is nothing that you in particular are selling, that can’t be found somewhere else. So what can the small business owner do to show that their product is the right choice for the consumer?

Be a Customer for a Day

Spend a day emulating the actions that your prospective consumers do.

  1. Call your customer service number.
  2. Go through the motions of purchasing your own product.
  3. Fill out your contact forms.

Make sure that your customer experience matches your outlook and ideas.

Build Communication Options

Not everyone uses Facebook and Twitter believe it or not. Make sure you have traditional methods of communication as well as digital ones. List phone numbers and a physical address for your business, even if it is online based.

Exercise and Act on Your Listening Skills

It isn’t enough to reply to customers questions or request with generic terms. When prospective consumers ask for discounts or other beneficial options, show them you are listening by enacting them. You will get no better word of mouth advertising then having a consumer who can say “I asked for a discount, and they gave me one!” This doesn’t mean you have to offer that discount to everyone who asks, but you should never outright ignore those request.

Show Your Integrity

Since bad news can travel with light speed on the internet, you may need to go out of your way to show your customers that not only are you expert at what you do, but that you back that professionalism with personal integrity. Show your customers that the people behind the brand care.

Let Your Customers Advertise for You

Anything that you can do to get your consumers to share their product or service experiences with the public will provide you with two benefits. Obviously it will give you the valuable advertising you are seeking, but it will also provide you with media that you can post to help build top-notch links for your site. Don’t expect your customers to do this for no reward though. Their time is valuable too. Try to run contest for the best written or video reviews of your project. Reward the winners appropriately for their time spent talking about your products and services.

Above all it is important that any consumers approaching you for your products or services walk away with the sense that you are a brand they can trust and rely on.

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Understand the Basics of SEO: Why Geo and Subject Domain Names Rock!

Search Engines are in the business of helping a user find the content they are looking for! If you keep this in mind you’ll start off with a great relationship with the Search Engines and the Visitors to your site.

Websites have three main areas you’ll want to really pay attention to:

  1. Structure
  2. Content
  3. References

As a website owner you’ll want this to be how you operate your lead generation through the search engines. Unless you’re an adult site, gambling or daily deal, people will not generally respond to a website about Plumbing when they were searching for Pizza.

Time and Money are important, you’ll get alot further if you concentrate your resources were they should be and where they will produce the highest rate of conversion. If you’re going to chase down multiple areas and categories do it in a way that provides unique, useful and provides a genuine experience for the user.

SEO Tip: Geo & Subject Domains > Brand Domains

An example of how this has been done is through domain masking and forwarding. Take the Domain PapaJohns.com, now that’s a great domain because people looking for “papa john’s” will find exactly what they are looking for, but will they still find it if they put in “MyTown Pizza” like “Brooklyn Pizza”, “Chicago Pizza”?

Here is an example of how we use forwarding on Digital Brand Marketing Education, the publically promoted domain is dbmei.com and that makes sense because it is short and simple. It makes for easy emails and sharing in social media without having to shorten the domain. However When you land on the site, you notice the actual domain changes to digitalbrandmarketing.com

Search Engines give a lot of value to domains, after all if you’re naming the site that, then those words must be relevant. In our case we want people looking for “Digital, Brand and/or Marketing”  to find our publication and those keywords fit perfectly with our content.

If you own Jerry’s Seafood.com, and your restaurant is in the town or geographic location of East Hampton, you might want to think about masking or forwarding the domain to easthamptonseafood.com or easthamptonseafoodrestaurant.com.

This is just one tip to help with your sites SEO, obviously you want the title tags, content, etc to all also fit this search term.

 

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Time to Get on Google +: How to Set up Your Google + Brand Page

I think for many of us, when Google + came along that it also came with a bit of that new social network feel and its accompanying apprehension. Most smart networkers at least made their way there to grab their own vanity URL’s and at least get the virtual networking ball rolling in the right direction. However, with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn usage, many networkers have already found themselves pushed to the limit in either the time or resources it may take to keep all three fed and running properly.

To date, Google +’s numbers have posed absolutely no dangers to Facebooks user numbers, but it has recently passed through a 55% increase in users during its strongest month ever and is focused on reaching the 400 million user mark by the end of 2012. Considering that Facebook didn’t pass the 60 million member mark until almost four years after its creation, these are actually still quite impressive numbers. So if you haven’t taken the time to reserve and build your businesses Google + Brand page, now is definitely the time.

Building Your Google + Brand Page

There are already some incredible Google + Brand pages out there to take important lessons from.

After a few moments of looking over the above pages, you should have a relatively good idea of what your aesthetic and functional options may be. Sign into your Google account and then head to the Google + Business page to get started.

Create a Page

On the creation page you will need to simply select the category your business falls under. If none of the options seem an appropriate match, choose the other option at the bottom left.

Business Info

  1. Next you will add your businesses name and website URL.
  2. Next select the additional category that best suits your business. The sub categories are dependent on the main category chosen.
  3. Lastly, select who, by age group, is allowed to view your Google + Brand page.

Photo and Tagline

You only have ten words to create the perfect tagline for your business page. Put deep thought into this process taking into consideration the most vital keys for your SEO needs.

The Sharing Begins

On the next page you can begin to share your page with your personal Google + circle, or save that task for later.

The Social Media Drill

Google + Brand pages are not so different from Facebook fan pages when it comes to management. If you have even basic knowledge of how to manage your Facebook and Twitter accounts, you can pretty much rely on a try or two before you are just as familiar on Google. Don’t forget, Google + is currently experiencing novel rises in its user base, don’t miss the chance to increase your brand awareness via this format in 2012.

Similar Article:

Google+ Pages Open the Doors for Brands and Businesses

 

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Find A Lifetime of Success in 2012 by understanding “Time” & “Why?”

Ready to understand why some people are far more successful than others?

Brace yourself! I am going to share my perspective on why 2011 was such a success for me and give you something to think about in 2012. Here’s the funny part, I made more money in 2011 than I have ever and that little fact actually has little to do with why I was so successful in 2011.

I have had some great mentors and it’s all due to listening! You see those that know me might think that I am more of a talker, but I do a lot of listening. The fact that I actually hear what I am listening too makes it all the more effective. A lesson that’s valuable for life and Social Media.

TIME

In the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” the Character Gordon Geckko turns to a young man and tells him that “time is the most precious commodity that I know of” a statement of absolute truth! While Einstein argued that time could be something of perception, in the case of the “theory of relativity” scientists make assumptions and simulations that space-time and other aspects of physics and astronomy  do not change the current state of time, in relation to the phenomenon of life.

During my masters program, we studied a concept that fascinated me on its own, supply and demand. The wildcard here was that demand was driven by perception. The concept became even more exciting when later we talked about the monetary value of leisure! The economic evaluation for leisure comes when there is not enough value to make the individual work more, or in the tipping point where the individual is willing to work during a time period traditionally reserved for leisure.

Time is clearly something that holds financial value, and in the case of supply and demand, we have a market where supply is consistent. There is only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and so many months in a year and so many years that we live. However, what if life is not as long as we believe it to be? The supply may be shorter or  longer then perceived. Demand seems to be the one thing in America that we do not have in this equation.

Whatever you choose for your profession, do not let it dictate your life. Travel, Family, Exploration and the Art of Doing Nothing are just as important and I believe a healthy part of a successful life.

WHY?

I will tell you right now, if you work for or with someone who answers “Why?” with “because I said so” or “that’s how we do it” RUN!

That person is likely, lazy, selfish and/or just plain ignorant! Yes, ignorant! I have had these people just like everyone else and it made for a negative professional career experience in the fields of education, banking and sales. There is probably nothing more dangerous to the health of an organization, its culture, and our economy then these people. “Why?” is crucial to success!

Why is how we learn, grow and develop. It is crucial to success both for individuals and organizations. A supervisor, manager or superior has an fiduciary responsibility to both the organization and the client to teach their subordinate everything they know. I pride my work in student affairs with the notion that I had started teaching my staff from day one what I do and why so. In my absence, everything, for at least a while could run as consistently as if I was still there. If you don’t believe that you should prepare for your absence, then what will you do if you should be promoted? Do you not believe that your people are  more effective contributors to a culture where you have empowered them?

A small business owner should have the same relationship with their consultant and media professionals, if you do not invest the time to teach them about your business how will they be able to understand its culture? If you do not understand “Why?” the consultant or media professional is doing something then how will you know what to do in their absence or to communicate the evolution of the business. You may not be able to do what others due, either because of talent, skills or time, but you still better understand why they are doing it.  

Both “Time” and “Why?” are a crucial part of life, not just business or professional development. Adapt a plan that encompasses learning and educating the “Why?” to those around you, and you will find “Time” which will bring you prosperity in 2012.

It was a great 2011, I am looking forward to an even better 2012! Hope you’ll Join me!

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