QR Codes: Because Why NOT?
Three years ago on September 13, 2010, I uploaded a video about QR codes and I got a lot of confused questions that pretty much translated to, “What The Heck!!” At the time I was still learning about this technology, because it was still new to the United States. I would consume as much information as I could, with the goal of learning more about this cool “new” technology. In some circles I became the “GoTo” person for QR Code technology.
As my excitement grew I started to notice more and more of this technology out there. QR codes were on everything, people had them on their websites, online catalogs and more. I was guilty of this as well, until I though “Hey, wait a minute….” This is all wrong. That is when I started to understand that this technology is being utilized in the “hey new shiny object sort of way” but it was not being used as effectively as it could have been. That’s when I realized that the usage of QR codes might not ever reach its full potential because in some instances they were being used incorrectly.
- There is no reason to add a QR Code to your website because people are usually on your mobile or traditional website when they are viewing the QR Code. So if you had plans of using the QR code to direct them to your website, they are already there, there’s not need. Don’t use QR codes on a website to direct them to your website.
- QR Codes that are geared to open to a website should ALWAYS open to a mobile website, not a traditional website. We all know by now that a traditional website may not display properly on a mobile device. There ARE NO exceptions to this rule.
- QR Codes should NOT scan to “Download my catalog” because most of the time people have scanned a QR code with their phone. Absolutely NO one wants to use all of their data to download your HUGE PDF catalog to their phone.
The BEST and most practical use of QR Codes are to tie traditional print media to digital media. As digital marketers we can sometimes not grasp that everyone is NOT so enamored with the growth of technology as we are. However it is true! There are still many people that are very print-oriented and QR codes are a great option for that population of folks.
So as marketers we must recognize that although we are focused on digital media there is still an opportunity to tie traditional print to digital for clients that still utilize this form of marketing. QR codes are the perfect vehicle to get this done. As a matter of fact, this is the primary reason that QR Codes should NOT be discounted and should be revisited. There has not been an equivalent and cost effective medium introduced that is capable of tying together these two media as QR codes can, if executed properly.
Although it was once thought that NFC could bridge the gap between traditional print media and digital, it has not materialized as we originally thought that it would. This is primarily due to the cost and complexity of this technology for mainstream populations. Since the need to bridge traditional and digital, QR Codes remain the logical and least expensive way to go, as long as traditional marketing remains even a little relevant.
At one time we exclusively used traditional marketing, but we all know that things have change. In spite of this, there has not been a total elimination of traditional print media. So, we can still utilize traditional media to drive traffic to digital channels, creating a bit of a fusion between the older traditional marketing strategies and the new emerging digital marketing strategies.
Until the total discontinuation of traditional print media, as marketers we must find a way to tie together traditional and digital mediums for ourselves on occasion and for our clients. QR codes can be a very cost effective way to do this.
So lets give some thought to revisiting QR codes, if you’ve worked with them before or venture into something new if you haven’t.
The What, When, Why and How of Content Creation
We have moved full force into a world where marketing has become education based, NOT sales driven as it was in the past and this calls for a different route to be taken with marketing based initiatives.
Content creation is rapidly moving toward being a huge driving force behind what once was traditional advertising, marketing and sales. This changes how we think about marketing in general and will require organizations to re-evaluate their marketing strategies. Based on these changes, the ability to create original, thought provoking and shareable content is not optional anymore it is mandatory.
According to Ad Age’s survey, 55% of marketers have increased their content-marketing budgets this year and is expected to do so in 2014 as well. The companies that are forward thinking enough will be a part of this trend, those that are still old school will not and fall that much father behind in creating the digital footprint needed to present themselves as authorities in their field.
At one time there were sales collateral produced by companies that were used to promote that company as an authority in their field. Traditional print pieces, brochures and magazine articles were once used to promote organizations but with so many people living in a plugged in world these channels are no longer as effective as they were during the print era. This is the dilemma, so what’s a company to do?
It’s time for companies to take the shift in consumable media serious and open their eyes and minds to change. People are just not consuming media utilizing the channels such as print as much as in the past. Media or content is consumed on social media channels and blogs by way of tablets and mobile devices. So it is imperatives that business who want to be viewed as authorities start to take content creation very serious. Businesses MUST start creating content AND publishing that content to the channels that people are utilizing!
So let’s take a look at the what, when, why and how of getting started.
This is the easiest question you can address because the WHAT of content creation is promoting WHAT it is your organization does. Every office has one or two people that are informed about EVERYTHING about the company. These are also usually the people that have been with the company since the company started. This person is a valuable source of information to a content creator! They are your brand ambassadors and they have the ability to provide the WHAT of content creation for your content creator.
You should create as much content as you or your company can physically manage and post it as much as possible. If you get a content creator that is on their game they will be able to stretch out a small amount of content into multiple pieces of creative and engaging posts on a blog. This content can then be posted over a period of time. It would be a great idea to create a publishing calendar so that you can have an organized and consistent flow of content moving through your digital channels at all times.
By providing an abundance of content this allows you or your company to become authorities within your industry. If you become an authority in your industry you can increase your exposure, improve Google placement and potentially increase sales. This is just a no-brainer.
At one time the company with the biggest marketing budget was the company that had the most exposure and sales. The same thing applies here except we are dealing with online content, which has essentially replaced a lot of traditional marketing channels as a way to consume media.
There are so many ways to create content and so many types of content that you can create, written, visual, video or a combination of all. The most important thing is to provide a variety of types of content and use analytics/insights to gauge the effectiveness of the content that you are providing. Some say that visual content does best, some say video but every audience is different. This is why using the data from analytics is imperative because it will allow you to see what kind of content your readers like. This allows you to create and share more of the content that is in demand and less of the content that is less than favorable.
To get a better idea of the importance of creating content for your brand, take a look at the infographic below.
As marketing changes so MUST the willingness of companies to keep up with the trends that will keep them ahead of their competitors and content marketing is one of those trends. We no longer have such a high demand for print, brochures but an increasing demand for blogs, newsletters, website articles, white papers, and special reports. Content creators are key to providing this type of content and it is essential that that content be original, engaging and shareable.
So stop reading and get started with creating great content for your brand!
Posted in Content Marketing
Tags: Advertising, Anise Smith, Blogging, Business, content, content creation, Content Curation, content is king, content marketers, Content marketing, Digital marketing, Facebook, google and content, Google+, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, providing great content, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Twitter
Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD
I grew up in an era that was not technology focused; there were no computers, mobile devices, or Internet when I was in high school. My generation did not even grow up with cable. In fact I remember when cable initially hit the scene, when MTV actually played music and the HUGE campaign “I want My MTV” which was used to push MTV to mainstream. Oh, those were the days. A lot has happened with the growth of technology since my high school years. If you have been able to adapt and embrace this super fast growth of technology, that is fantastic. However, if you have not you could be a little screwed now and a lotta’ screwed later. This, is especially the case if you are trying to run a business based on philosophies and an organizational structure from the 1980’s, MTV Era. The biggest mistake in taking that path is that this audience is dead or on life support.
Think about this, we are reaching an age when we have augmented reality and your business cards can talk. We are moving toward the Semantic Web, closer to an era when ALL of the computers mechanisms in our devices will be able to communicate with each other. Do you seriously THINK that people are in touch with old school methods? NO one is looking backward, or I should say consumers aren’t looking backward. This means that your organization is being left behind, if you are not forward thinking.
Companies that have not embraced our new social oriented culture and the growing mobile market, are whistling in the wind. Those companies are targeting a dwindling population. Just visualize it as a numbers game. Think about the target markets that are NOT online and those that are NOT mobile, this number is growing smaller and smaller as more people embrace the digital marketing space. So companies should NOT be gearing their primary marketing campaigns toward a demographic that is shrinking. It’s really common sense. Companies should be looking to always GROW their audience NOT focus on the shrinking audiences.
In essence, in choosing NOT to adapt to newer technologies companies are choosing to throw in the towel on their businesses whether they realize it or not. Companies MUST go where their audiences are, that’s the only way in which they will continue to grow. In fact Seth Godin wrote a post “What do you think of my brochure? ” 7 YEARS ago, about the total reliance on brochures as a way to reach an audience. That piece was applicable in 2006 and is even more so now.
The Internet is the 2nd most widely utilized channel for news. If people go to the Internet and social media channels for something as valuable and important as news, they will also go there for other information as well. So, every business SHOULD make it a priority to have a strong social media and mobile presence. The old saying, “If we build it, they will come.” definitely applies to a strong digital footprint. On the other hand, if we build it and it’s geared toward a dwindling demographic, they may NOT come. As business owners we should be interested in substantially shifting those odds in our favor by going where our customers are.
Ultimately if companies are not tapping a new more social and mobile oriented market with content geared for this demographic, they are taping a dead audience. Take a look at the video below to see exactly HOW much social and mobile is ingrained in who we are, as a culture now.
People are on the go, we now live in a super fast paced world, and people are looking for content that they can access easily and quickly on their mobile device. They DO not want to read a companies long-winded prepackaged full-page ad in whatever magazine that’s lying about in an office or waiting room. They want quick access by way of mobile while they are on the go. So as business owners we must be willing to supply them with this information or they will go to competitors that will.
The take away, while your organization is spewing their prepackaged printed message, other more innovative companies are going where their audiences are and moving past that 1980’s strategy. The time to step it up was a few years ago and companies that have not done so may be living a “STUFF” got real nightmare if they select to continue on this path.
I am not saying that companies should roll over and die, I am trying to subtly nudge those living in a time warp to adapt or die.
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Digital marketing, Facebook, Internet Marketing, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Mobile website, MTV, Search Engine Optimization, Semantic Web, Seth Godin, Social Media, Target audience, Web 2.0
Just a few years ago people were feeling a sense of urgency to get a very basic web presence up and running. Now companies that panicked in creating that very basic website now have bigger issues if they have not moved beyond updating that website.
Organizations not only have to keep up with all of the changes with web creation vs content management systems, they now have to integrate mobile into the mix. With the integration of mobile platforms, organizations must be able to adapt marketing strategies for mobile while keeping up with the many changes that go along with those platforms.
It is a brand new world, that world is fast moving, powerful and can literally fit in your pocket. We are living in a world driven by mobile technology and users that need to have an ongoing source of information all the time and at their fingertips drive this. This is GREAT for people like me that are driven by technology, that have embraced this super quick moving technology but for businesses it can be tough keeping up. Especially if your organization is NOT technology focused.
So, not only do organizations have to adapt to mobile technology they MUST see that the dynamic that pushed the change are the people that are utilizing these technologies. PEOPLE are the driving force behind the change, they consume information differently, and they NEED to have information at their fingertips. So since organization MUST adapt their business strategy to incorporate mobile technology they must also understand that people have also changed. This understanding will help in visualizing the future sales and marketing strategies of their organizations.
At one time people were fine with consuming content by way of traditional sources such as newspapers, radio, television and other printed materials. NOW there’s a wave of people that have limited interest in those forms of media. These are the people that are driving the super quick change and this is a huge demographic that organizations must adapt their content for and recognize that these people are the population that are driving the change.
Mobile technologies are growing at a quicker rate than any technology in history. Take a look at the infographic below to give you the what, when, how and why of this growth and what you need to do to adapt your organizational structure to capitalize from this growth.
Digital Marketing will be used to some degree for practically every marketing campaign moving forward. Whether we go with a campaign that includes video, slides or social media channels, digital marketing now is a huge aspect of marketing now. One of the most important things we can do when deciding which digital marketing channel that we utilize is deciding which platform(s) may target our audience best. This is becoming increasingly more important with so many digital marketing channels available now.
If we want to be successful in our Digital Market campaigns it is very important to stay abreast of all of the channels but also to be aware that all channels do not fit the needs of all audiences. For instance Pinterest is primary geared toward a female demographic so if we are marketing services that are geared mostly toward men, this may not be the ideal platform to use.
Take a look at the Infographic below to give you an idea of HOW to target the proper digital marketing channel for your target audience.
Please Include Attribution to InternetServiceProviders.org With This Graphic
That guy just posted some stuff to #Facebook, He’s obviously an EXPERT. I’ll hire him said no company ever!
I often have conversations about Digital Marketing and how things have changed. We have gone from focusing on Social Media and toward focusing on Digital Marketing all within a year. Although there has been a transition in dialogue and definitely a shift in consciousness, one thing that has not shifted is the degree of people claiming to be experts.
I’ve had a number of people say, “ I am a F-ing Expert.” Oh, I’m sorry seriously? I wonder if these people realize that I’ve been following them on a variety of social media channels AND I have a permanent echo in my mind of some of the dumbazz questions that I’ve seen in their feed. So, um yeah you post some stuff to your Facebook page but a Digital Marketer, that does not make you.
We have really reached the age in technology that companies are searching for more than a person that can post a few cute animal photos to their Facebook feed. I have always said that Digital Marketing is about way more than just posting content to Facebook. The social media aspect of digital marketing is about posting content that reaches out to touch readers/views and engages them enough for them to respond and share. This is of course all WITHOUT tagging 200 friends with the highest Klout score.
Not only do the peers of the so called experts KNOW that these people are no such thing, so do employers looking for talent in the Digital Marketing space. It’s NOT enough to post some stuff to Facebook, you must be on your game now that capabilities in this space is high. The first indication that a person is NOT on their game is those that claim the loudest about their expertise in an industry are usually the ones that aren’t. How can you be an expert in a field that is growing at super quick speed? The people that are dominating this space are those that quietly go about their way doing their thing while continuing to learn their craft.
It is not even a question about companies diving into this space; it is a must if they want to stay in business. Guess what, if you really think that claiming that you are an expert is going to be enough, good luck with that.
I read a statistic that said 90% of content consumed occurs in front of a screen. This means that most of the content that is being read, which has to be created by someone will probably be created by someone in the Digital Marketing space.
A huge part of being a Digital Marketer is creating engaging, relevant shareable content NOT just posting some crap on Facebook. Although the creation of this content is very important, there are so many more things that define what digital marketing is all about. Those that GET THIS, will be the ones that will be in demand in this space.
Right now we are at a pivotal moment in history and in the growth of this industry and it’s the ultimate Shit Got Real moment. NOW is a time when the Marketers that are so in demand move to the top of the pack and the chest beating, “Im a F-ing expert” Gurus fade to black.
If you want to compete in this space it’s time to start doing and stop yapping. Some of the in-demand skills are any combination of the following:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Management Systems
- Web Analytics
- Customer Relationship Management
- Web Usability
- Mobile Web
- Mobile Marketing
- Direct Response Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Content Optimization
- Product Marketing
- Marketing Agency Experience
- Project Management
- Video Editing/Creation
- Video Marketing
- Social Media Analytics and more
This list includes just some of the expectations of a Digital Marketer that I’ve read about. So needless to say you MUST be on your A Game, beyond just posting stuff on Facebook and boasting about your perception of your own expertise.
Hiring within this Digital Marketing Space is at an all time high and I expect that it will be continuing it’s upward growth. This growth is primarily due to the opinion that traditional marketing is failing in the area of producing tangible results. There was a huge report conducted by The Harvard Business Review, which states that CEO ‘s are tired of traditional marketing that lack results. This opinion is probably a huge factor in the growth of the Digital Marketing Industry. Take a look at the graphic below to display the growth in this field.Although traditional marketing may be struggling according to this study it doesn’t minimize the need for businesses to market their companies capabilities. This is one of the things that are fueling the growth of Digital Marketers. It allows companies that are hiring to merge services already in use with new technologies to cover an area that is growing exponentially.
So if you are on your game in this digital marketing space, you are holding a winning hand right now. Take a look at the areas in which companies expect to place organizational focus in the graphic below.
If you are NOT holding a winning hand in some of these area, brush up on your skills, stop bragging and get on your game. Because really no one wants to hear about what a rock star, guru, maven what-ever-the-hell you are calling yourself this week, especially if your game AIN’T TIGHT.
It seems that the role of digital marketing is having an even bigger impact on the organizational structure than anyone had thought it would. At one time the only player in the technology driven workspace was the IT Department. They WERE the GODS of the workplace, the organizational powers that be, the Oz of all things with a technology function.
Well, times are a changin’ and those changing times are directly connected to super quick growth of digital marketing. As we continue to venture into the digital space more and more, it is realized that the IT space is very different than the Digital Marketing space. The traditional IT departments’ focus has been on supplying information and technology resources, updating software, infrastructure, viruses, onsite servers and more. These functions are very different than what is required within the ever-changing digital marketing space. Digital Marketers although technology focused have a different function and that’s to adapt business processes from traditional to digital. The function of Digital Marketers are geared toward but not limited to Social Media Optimization, Big Data, Content Management, Digital communications, Social Engagement and more.
This space is growing, as is the demand for employees in this Digital Marketing space. It’s not just about having a great website anymore, that was so last decade. Now businesses are scrambling to adapt to changes in consumer behavior. If you know anything about business, you know that losing touch with consumer behavior could be equivalent to digging a grave for your organization. At one time, consumers read circulars and clipped coupons. Now, consumers use their ipads, mobile devices and QR code scanners to compare pricing and grab deals. Organizations must have a sense of urgency if they plan to keep up with these changes in consumer behaviors. Quite simply they must adapt or die.
Organizations are now aggressively trying to catch up and keep up. They must now be on top of mobile, social, local, visual in ADDITION to web. Lets not even discuss what new technology is looming just seconds away from being the NEXT BIG thing. The ability to adapt is huge for any organization! This is where the need for a Chief Digital Officer would come in. So, now is the time to jump into this space if you have not done so already.
Roles such as Chief Digital Officer will be an integral part of any organization and they will play a huge role in the very structure of the organization as it moves from traditional to digital. These Digital Marketing pioneers will be responsible for moving the company’s entire digital presence to another level, from initial digital project development and beyond. There will be a need to tackle ecommerce, online marketing and social media and transformation of analog to digital media. So this field is huge and growing faster than anyone ever imagined, I’m sure.
According to a study, it is predicted that 25% of businesses will have created and filled the position of Chief Digital Officer by 2015. That is just two years away, so I suggest you dive into the digital marketing space right now if you have not done so already.
If you are in anyway dabbling, working and/or educating yourself about Digital Marketing Technologies you may find yourself on the receiving end of aggressive pursuit because the supply has yet to catch up with the demand for those with this knowledge.
Take a look at the slideshow below to give you an idea of some trends that have been instrumental in directing us toward this path of no return.
In closing I say, we are living through a historical time when everything is transforming before our eyes. NOW is the time to be apart of history making events that will be as pivotal as the 1st automobile, the invention of electricity and/or the 1st color tv. I recommend anyone that has even the smallest interest in digital marketing dive right in……. the waters warm.
Posted in Digital Marketing
Tags: Anise Smith, Business, Digital marketing, digital marketing vs IT, Internet Marketing, It, IT departments, IT departments dead, IT Departments obsolete, IT is dead, Marketing, Marketing and Advertising, Marketing strategy, Mobile, Social Media, Technology, Technology Jobs, your IT department is dead
We are indeed in a new era now and yet there are still organizations that haven’t really fully grasped that times have changed. There are still remnants of what the world was before The Digital Marketing Revolution, but much has changed. A huge example of exactly how much has changed is TIME Magazine’s decision to go totally digital with their magazine. Pay attention!
Digital Marketing has literally changed the world in the past few years and will continue to alter the things that we have become accustomed to. We are moving past what once was to a new reality in the digital marketing space. Digital Marketing has changed how content is created and how content is consumed. So many things have changed from tradition to digital. We now consume most of our media, news and other content digitally. We are now moving toward mobile payments by way of our mobile phones. Advertising will soon be virtual and visual by way of Google Goggles or a similar device. Semantic Web is moving close to our reality, nudging us into a world where all of our devices will have the ability to communicate with each other. WE are literally in a brand new world and it’s happened so quickly.
Organizations’ door of opportunity of denial about the importance of digital marketing is closing swiftly. ALL organizations should be embracing this technology, no exceptions! I believe that the full transition to digital marketing is not only mandatory but inevitable. As an individual you can continue to deny the importance but on an organization level, it is NOT the wisest move. Women, unfortunately may be in denial more than others. C’mon ladies step it up!
Back in the day people started their day with coffee and a newspaper. NOW people start and END their day with their Facebook feed. HELLO!!!! That means if you are NOT on Facebook and other digital marketing channels you are missing the opportunity to float your company content through the newsfeed of hundreds maybe thousands of people. Can you afford to miss that kind of opportunity, as an organization? Believe that your competitors (at least the ones that HAVE stepped their game up) are willing to embrace the technology that you are NOT willing to embrace. So, RIGHT now your competitors are reaching YOUR customers. Awkward.
We MUST start to think about Facebook and all digital media channels as the source of news that was once totally dominated by traditional media sources like newspapers and the local news. PLEASE DON’T WRITE ME, MISUNDERSTANDING WHAT I AM SAYING because I am not saying that those venues are no longer relevant ONLY that there is now competition and that those channels no longer dominate media as they have in the past. People can and are tuning in to Facebook on a regular basis, maybe more so than traditional news channels. I know personally when I get a bit of a buzz about a breaking story, I don’t run out to buy a newspaper, or wait for the 6:00 news! I pull out my iphone and check my Facebook newsfeed. Every FACEBOOK page and Facebook friend are discussing news that hasn’t yet reached the televised media channels. Why would you NOT want your organizational content floating through the newsfeed of people that feel a need to have information FROM YOUR ORGANIZATION at their fingertips? Even if you have a rockin’ website social media is the vehicle that will push your web content to your readers and present an opportunity for readers to share that content with their friends. Umm WIN!
As an organization it is not important to be savvy in the digital marketing space just to say you are, but it is important for the well being and continued growth of your organization. Think of digital marketing channels as the VEHICLE that will drive your content to current and future clients. It’s just that simple. If you EVER doubt the importance of the digital marketing space and why you your organization needs to play an active role, again, take a look at the choice that TIME magazine made to go totally digital. YOU need YOUR ORGANIZATION to be a part of this revolution. Adapt or DIE!
Although there are many women business owners that have really embraced digital marketing, there are still some that really don’t see the big picture about the digital marketing space, it seems as if women are ignoring the importance to a greater degree than men. This is unfortunate especially in organizations when men tend to rule, this could be an opportunity for women to move ahead of the pack. Although women that are NOT business owners are affected more by the lack of movement in the digital marketing space, there are unfortunately women at all levels that are lagging behind. There seems to be a Digital Marketing and Internet usage disconnect about the importance of this technology that is affecting women more than men and this could have devastating consequences to women business owners if not addressed sooner rather than later.
Take a look at the infographic below to see how much women of all educational and economic levels are falling behind in the digital marketing space. On a personal level women may be able to bounce back from this but women business owners may have more of a challenge ahead if they chose to continue to ignore the importance of Digital Marketing to the wellbeing of their organization.
In the past marketing departments, although always crucial, were sometimes not considered a huge part of organizations. This was of course before the Internet era, which created a huge shift in marketing, social media has further changed how we all consume media and this has changed how companies marketing their services. All of these things combined have drastically changed the world, as we know it and these changes must be reflected in organization. Change or die!
At one time there was a variety of traditional means in which companies used to expose their brand to the masses. Although these channels are still in place they have gone through drastic changes. Marketing channels that were at one time the main focus of a marketing campaign is now just a part of the bigger marketing focus. I’m not saying that traditional marketing is dead so please save the ranting comments. I’m saying that times have changed and like anything, marketing has evolved.
Marketing basics remain a huge part of what marketing has evolved into but the trend toward what works now is very different than what worked for the pre-Internet/Digital Marketing era. We are living in a much quicker digital driven society, we want to access information immediately by way of our mobile device and ipads, so traditional print media has to bring in a digital element of it is to become relevant. A prime example of the change is TIME magazine’s move toward digital media and totally away from print. This is a HUGE indicator of where we are going and we should ALL be paying attention.
At one time it was enough to exclusively utilize pamphlets, flyers, brochures or print media ads. However, times have changed, we are literally in a new world. If people are tapping into digital and you are ONLY going with print media and ads, you are losing opportunities to market your brand. Trust me when I tell you, your competitors are working to get the jump on you if you are still stuck on “old school” exclusively. Where does this leave your campaign marketing? Are you reaching the audience that you need to reach in order to remain relevant and competitive? Most importantly are you giving your business the opportunity to grow, expand and reach new clients?
It is not important that you start to implement digital marketing strategies into your business it is imperative to your business. It is no longer optional, utilize the strategies that your customers are involved with or close up shop. That’s real talk people.
There are some old school folks that view marketing as a waste of time but to those, think about YOUR job if nothing else. YOU can work for the best organization in the world that has the BEST services to offer its customers but if no one knows about it, the company is irrelevant and you may very well be looking for a job in the not so distant future. Minimizing any aspect of a business is just NOT an optional in this era of organizational transition to a more digital workplace. REAL TALK!
Although we have a long way to go with trying to catch up with how quickly marketing is transitioning, it is exciting to see so many organizations that are implementing strategies to integrate newer strategies into their digital marketing mix. Although there are still companies that are behind the eight ball in implementing change there are many that are 100% on their game. These organizations are implementing the latest and best strategies to remain ahead of their competition. Take a look at a few of those strategies below:
- GO Local: The digital marketing space is HUGE, and it is easy for a company to get lost in the mix. One of the best ways to stand out is to heavily focus on local marketing. This has been made easier with the integration of local with Google+ local pages. Geo-location channels such as Foursquare are also a great way to promote local exposure.
- Visual Content Marketing: We are very familiar with image driven marketing if we have ever used Fickr. Now, there are so many other channels that are really taking image driven marketing to another level. Pinterest was the first to give us a taste of where visual content is heading and now Instagram is making waves in this area as well. Both of these platforms allow companies to use customer’s love for visual media as a way to market organizational capabilities and services. Integration of these platforms is an absolute must for any marketing department.
- Direct Response Marketing: This is marketing designed to prompt an immediate measurable response. With the emergence of social driven digital marketing in the past few years it has moved us away from measurable forms of marketing. Direct Response Marketing allows us to utilize digital marketing strategies yet create an avenue in which to immediately measure the response. This form of marketing can utilize traditional media with coupon codes, QR codes and other channels as a call to action to create an immediate measurable response from the target audience.
In this quick moving digital marketing era it is imperative that we stay ahead of our competition so it is very important that we recognized the latest trends and apply those trends to our organizations if they fit into our organization model.
I admit it! I am a bit of a Social Media Guru basher, only because the self proclaimed gurus place themselves in a position to be ridiculed by giving themselves a silly little title like Guru. As if the title Marketer, consultant or similar title is just NOT good enough. The title Social Media Guru minimizes the importance of the Digital Marketers role in this new digital driven world. Social Media Gurus…Silly Rabbits.
The title of guru not only, will not improve your credibility but it also will not give you the skills needed to succeed in this increasingly digital driven world if you are in fact one of those gurus that have not stepped their game up beyond just playing on Facebook. I’ve said before, 2013 will make or break the people in the digital marketing space and expose those that are just playing from those that are really on their game. There are increasing numbers of organizations that are looking to take their marketing strategy to the next level. These organizations are looking for people that are ON their game not those that are playing games, social media guru games.
One of the biggest things that 2012 displayed was that more skills were needed in this space beyond just playing on Facebook. The Digital Marketing space is maturing and with its maturity so is the growing expectations of more, from companies that are looking for skill sets beyond just social media. Companies need cutting edge strategies created by cutting edge marketers that are on their game because now is the time for some companies to utilize these newer marketing strategies to pull ahead of their competition. So for businesses, it’s All About The Benjamin’s and NOT about the gurus.
Additionally, as organizations realize the importance of adding digital marketing to their strategy, some are realizing the need to have more control over the content that is being released to represent their brands. This is starting a trend of organizations hiring internal digital marketing staff to handle their marketing strategies as opposed to outsourcing. Stuff just got real!
So, when companies select to hire staff to work onsite it creates a more opportunities ( and more competition) for the Digital Marketers that are on their game. In an increasingly competitive space that is separating Digital Marketer from Social Media Guru, it’s time to be on your game. That is if you’d like to out-compete the social media gurus of the world. One of the things that i’ve noticed that separates the legitimate Digital Marketers and the Gurus are the impressive digital footprint of the digital marketer, and lack there of for the guru. THIS will be the game changer in this industry in 2013.
A marketers digital footprint or online presences will be what allows them to stand head and shoulders above their guru counter parts, when competing within the digital marketing space. It is NOT an option it is a requirement if you want to excel as a Digital Marketer, it really is your resume because it displays to the world YOUR presence. If a person does NOT have a noticable if not exceptional digital footprint wouldn’t that be an indication of the effectiveness or lack there of, in regard to their digital marketing strategy? If I were in search of a Digital Marketer to create a campaign strategy for my organization, the first thing I would do is to check out their digital footprint by Googling them. It they have an impressive presence on Google this would be an indication that they could theoretically create an effective presence on Google for my organization. If they didn’t, um well I’d think, YUP Guru and keep it moving.
I’m not saying that there’s no hope for our friendly neighborhood social media guru, I’m just saying that NOW is the time for the gurus to step their game up. Get your skills in order, learn some new things, learn a bit of web design, maybe even graphic design and more to compliment what you know. Step your game up! We are at an amazing time in history, a time of change from traditional to digital and its a great time to be in this industry.
So, if you are pursuing a career as a digital marketer or if you want to move your game beyond the social media guru status the thing that you should do AFTER you step your skill level up is the following:
- Work on creating a brand for yourself, because after all you are marketing YOU. If you want to be taken serious as a digital marketer make sure your brand is tight! Be consistent with the look of all of your online presences and websites.
- Creation of a great Social Media Strategy to market YOURSELF. When marketing oneself you MUST think of yourself as the BRAND, you really want to step beyond your competition and surpass them. So creation of a successful social media strategy for yourself is ESSENTIAL. If your social media strategy is weak that’s what will be displayed for all to see. Be the Digital Marketer that YOU would want to hire.
- Not all Social Media Channels are right for your brand so take a look at the channels that are out there and utilize those that best fits your needs.
- Create a blog if you don’t have one because a blog is a GREAT way to get the word out about what you have to offer and to display that you are on your game.
- If you have a blog, focus on creating great content. Go for creating a content rich presence for yourself, after all you are branding YOU. Content is King does apply and probably always will so you should always think about providing great content.
- Great content by way of original material, curation and content sharing are terrific ways to provide great content.
- Build followers! If you have great content people will follow you. It is just that simple, there is no magic bullet. If you provide content that can be of use to people that follow you in the very busy world, people will depend on you to provide informational that is beneficial to their lives. Again, they will follow you.
We are at such a pivotal period in the growth of online technologies now and it we are in a time when companies and organization recognize how essential an online presence is and the importance of having digital marketers as a part of their marketing team. It is time for the Digital Marketers to stand above the rest and that starts with having an impressive digital footprint because YOUR Digital Footprint IS YOUR Resume in the Digital Marketing space.
- Social Media Gurus -vs- Digital Marketers: Gurus Your Days Are Numbered!
- There Are 181,000 Social Media ‘Gurus,’ ‘Ninjas,’ ‘Masters,’ and ‘Mavens’ on Twitter | DigitalNext: A Blog on Emerging Media and Technology – Advertising Age
- Five Social Media Trends for 2013
- 13 Things Digital Marketers Should Master In #2013