Digital Marketing

With the advent of massive social media advertising, internet banner ads, and direct email marketing, many companies have abandoned tried and true marketing methods to go digital and boost their firms online presence. But going exclusively into a cyber-marketing strategy can be a big mistake. We can't neglect the amazing speed, versatility, and customization of digital marketing. But what's often overlooked is the ability to use these tools jointly with the traditional marketing strategies to build power for both components. As you develop your advertising and publicity campaign, consider some of the ways that the old dog can do new tricks.

content marketingSeventy-one percent of marketers will increase their spending on content marketing this year, according to recent Curata report. The report, which surveyed 500 industry professionals, found that best-in-class marketing campaigns rely on a predominance of 65 percent original content, supplemented by curated and syndicated material. The payoff is tangible, with 62 percent of companies reporting that content marketing improves both their quantity and quality of leads. But creating content costs money, a reality reflected in Gartner's finding that small businesses will spend 10 percent more on digital marketing this year. If you're just starting to promote your business via content marketing, your budget is probably limited—making it imperative you develop a cost-efficient strategy for funding your initial promotional push.

Scale Your Budget to Your Revenue

A 2012 survey by Staples found that the average small business operates on a $2,000 per year marketing budget. According to the Small Business Administration, however, the smart strategy is to scale your marketing to your revenue projections, which might make this too small.

[caption id="attachment_5754" align="alignright" width="300"] Credit AMC TV[/caption] By Satish Polisetti As more sites like Facebook, Twitter and Buzzfeed blend ads directly into a user's content stream, the future of online advertising is quickly shifting. It's a brave new world defined by content, not dimensions; mad math, not mad men. Science and data, not merely creative endeavors. Where are we today? Currently, online ads are defined primarily by size and dimensions -- with IAB ad unit guidelines describing leaderboards (728 x 90 pixels), skyscrapers (160 x 600), and full banners (468 x 60), to name a few. These very basic but widely accepted standards are based on the artistic perspectives of a previous generation - from the minds of creative geniuses you might see on Mad Men. These have more to do with traditional ad buys, and print ad dimensions, ones that have not really changed much in the past few decades since the swinging 60's of Don Draper. When we jumped into internet advertising, the look and feel of advertising changed, but standards failed to get with the times. And then there were banners:

A business's online presence has never been more paramount to its success in gaining and retaining customers. Consumers search for and share, post, pin and Tweet every interest and action online on a daily basis. It’s important for your business to  be present on all those online marketing channels and also maintain a cohesive image across all platforms.

Where does your audience get their information? One reason to really, truly know your audience is that the answer to this question is "Everywhere!" In the old days, we had print and TV (and only three channels) and signage and it was an easy bet as to where to place your messaging. Today's world contains everything from text messaging to billboards to social media. Chances are your audience is looking at about 7-8 different messaging channels a day. You've heard of many of the popular ones but others like a podcast ad or a GPS-enabled mobile banner may not be as obvious. Knowing your audience means you can identify trends. The younger the audience, the more they tend to change channels regularly. The older audience typically finds something they like and sticks with it.

When I ask someone about their target audience or client the first reaction is usually a blank stare.  Or they might answer "anyone 18-80!" in an enthusiastic bright tone. Unfortunately trying to market to "anyone 18-80" is nearly impossible. You really have to understand  the true sweet spot within your client base, particularly if you're starting on a content marketing campaign. What I've found is that with a little digging, most business owners really do know their client base pretty well. But they don't want to miss anyone who actually might buy something so they say "everyone". This is faulty logic because we can't market effectively to "everyone." Here are five way to help you identify your own client "sweet spot" without leaving anyone out: 

While the terms brand and logo are often used interchangeably, your logo is just a small part of your overall brand. Your brand is anything that represents your company and your logo is the single image that customers identify you by.  If you take time to design an effective logo your customers can identify your company in minutes just by seeing the image.  Some great examples of effective logo designs are  McDonald's golden arches,  Nike's Swoosh and Amazon's smiley face. While you cannot expect your logo to imprint your brand in just a few days,  the design you choose could be sending the wrong messages to the right customers. Here are five of the worst messages your logo could be sending your customers: