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4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

4 Things That Innovative Companies Are Doing In 2014 To Avoid The #DigitalApocalypse

There will always be companies that are innovators, adapters and sadly those that are incapable of seeing the future of industry. This is the business equivalent to natural selection, unfortunately.

America was once driven by the production of goods and as we transitioned to a more service oriented country, there was an evolution of sorts.  There were companies that adapted and some that didn’t do so well.  Those companies went the route of the steel mills in Allentown, Pa. The decline of a primarily production oriented world to a more service oriented world took a while to totally decline, but the transition of traditional to digital, that we are living through now is moving at a much faster pace toward its demise.

Two examples of the extreme change and fast transition from a traditional to digital world is the release of the Beyonce album, or I should call it the Beyonce Digital Project because that’s what it was. Some are saying, what’s the big deal and who really cares. WELL, we all must take notice because the release of the Beyonce Digital Project was a game changer in the music industry. This album release will change how marketing is done moving forward and this change will not be limited to just the music industry. At one time artists had to go through a series of procedures and promotions to push a new project. Beyonce’s release flipped the script on the entire industry in a mind-blowing move that totally blind sighted the industry. She used the brand that she built by way of social media, to be her own team of brand ambassadors willing to plop down their hard earned money to grab that digital release. In this bold move, Beyonce went directly to the consumer, cutting out any and everyone in the process by releasing her music directly to iTunes to be downloaded digitally. THIS was HUGE and changed the game more that we could ever imagine.

The second instance that displayed a step in a digital direction was Paramount dealing the deathblow to film, as we once knew it.  Paramount will be the first movie studio to go all-digital with the distribution of their films. THIS IS HUGE! At one time, Paramount would release films in 35 mm format, which costs around $2,000.  Now, due to going digital with the future releases of film, they can release films in digital format at around the $100.00 price point. The kicker here is that although this format is cheaper for the movie distributor, the smaller movie houses will incur the brunt of this move at least initially. These smaller and probably mostly independent movie houses will have to shell out upwards of $70,000 to become digital ready. This again, is a huge demonstration of the “adapt or die” philosophy, which will impact some business in an adverse way.

Both of above examples are an indication that we are at the beginning of a full blow digital revolution.  Organizations should take notice of the changes that are happening before their eyes, some will but many won’t. I’ve actually noticed that some organizations are not embracing digital at all but in fact, they are moving back to their toasty non-digital comfort zone.  All indications point toward a mostly digital world so it’s advantageous to embrace the change sooner rather than later. Progress is never comfortable but is inevitable, ready or not.

Although the changes that are happening within organizations are not as extreme as the two examples that I spoke of previously, companies still must adapt to a world that is moving closer to all digital. Below are four relatively simple things that can save your organization from the #DigitalApocalypse.

Concentrating on Content:

Concentrate On Content

Concentrate On Content

There is an ongoing debate about content; it’s effects on SEO, if it should be called Content Marketing and more.  Who cares about all of the back and forth and the correct phrasing, WHATEVER!  What matters is that without content, moving into 2014, you will most definitely be screwed.

The importance of content is irrefutable, you must have it and it must be GREAT. Content will effect your entire digital marketing plan, your social media strategy, your SEO and more. Content creation has become a $118.4 billion industry. Those numbers alone are an indication of the importance of great content. So prepare to become a publisher, outsource your content marketing or essentially become invisible online.

If you think about the importance of content creation it is very logical, if you produce more quality content it increases the amount of content that is available to be indexed by Google. This is especially important after the Hummingbird changes with Google, which was a game changer for websites, indexing and SEO.

NOW, it is just not enough to grab your local black hat SEO dude that promised to get you to the top of Google and have him buy some back links for you. In fact if you do that, you may not need content for quite a while, because Google may penalize your website or your website could even be banned.

At one time the black hat SEO route, to increase search rank was a method that could get results, if only for a short while.  Even if the results were temporary it would allow your neighborhood black hat SEO dude to run out his 3-month contract while looking like the magical SEO guru. NOW that is not enough, so black hat SEO dude may have to step his game up.  The folks over at Google are pretty darn smart and are hip to those tactics. The days of black hat SEO are seriously numbered if not extinct.

Leaving black hat SEO methods behind in favor of content creation is a great route to go and it’s an above board method of increasing rank with Google without the risk of being penalized. Content creation will allow companies, small and large to compete on a level playing field, for moving up in search ranking with Google. No matter the size of the company, if they produce great content and if they push that content by way of their social media channels THEY will reign supreme in the relevance game with Google.

Content is truly KING for a variety of reasons:

  • Great content allows you to present your company as an authority in your industry, increasing your rank on Google.
  • Content will increase the likelihood that people will link to your website, this solves your back link issue. Hence, increasing your rank with Google.
  • Great content shared on social media was not thought of as important a few years ago, but those days are over. Social Media is extremely important and sharing great content on social media channels allows you to appear “likeable” and this will increase your rank with Google.
  • Great content with effective keywords increases your on page optimization and guess what? It will [let’s say it all together now] increase your rank with Google.

The takeaway about content:

There is NO easy button, no guru to bail you out and no work around. YOU must start to produce great content if you want to become relevant enough with Google to increase your ranking. Google is a business, just in case that has slipped the minds of folks. As a business it is their job to produce the best results for search queries because this allows them to generate ad revenue and to STAY in business. Gaming the system is not the best route to take at this time with Google. So guess what, either make a decision to dedicate yourself to the work needed to create great content that is worthy of being pushed higher in search ranking or your competitors will.  It’s very simple.

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Focusing on Mobile

Mobile is not going away, primarily because we have evolved beyond talking on the phone that is attached to the wall. Beyond just the telephone aspect of your mobile device, it has essentially become a pocket-sized computer that forward thinking organizations are using for targeting a previously untapped demographic.

At one time it was just enough for organizations to have a website that displayed the brand, company name and address. Then we progressed to having a Facebook page with a company brand and relevant content. NOW it is not optional but imperative that organizations have a mobile presence as well.

With the decline of desktop and laptop sales the increase in buying trends for mobile and tablets are hard to miss. I actually had a conversation with a Director of Marketing at one of the largest organizations in my area that said, “We do not need a mobile presence.” My mind slammed shut with a final, “Conversation Over” as she was obviously living through a #DigitalApocalypse.

The takeaway about mobile:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go with a responsive design or traditional mobile design. It is, however imperative that your company’s online presence be viewable by mobile and tablet, this is no longer an option.

#DigitalApocalypse is the disastrous phenomenon in which individuals; organizations and entities have selected NOT to embrace our new digital world.

Analytics

Analytics

Analytics

I will be the first person to tell you that I am not really a numbers person, but what I should say is that I am not a numbers person when those numbers have no relevance to my interests.

I took a web Analytics class in grad school, I absolutely loved it and I was immediately HOOKED. This was a tough class for some but for me, the concepts immediately clicked.  I think this is because I saw how beneficial these concepts would be moving forward. When I saw the heat maps and demographics I fell in love, in fact it was love at first sight. Oops I’m so sorry, I’ve digressed terribly.

One thing that I immediately loved about analytics then and what I still love about it now is that it shows the data. You know where your visitors are coming from, you know how long they’ve stayed, you know which pages and content they’ve focused upon.

I can never express the importance of analytics enough; because analytics display your success and bring attention to areas that you may need to focus upon more, in graphic details. If your brain rejects the word analytics think of it in terms of measuring your results, because that’s exactly what analytics are. Analytics measure the effectiveness of your campaigns, your efforts, and your time. They allow you to see what’s happening, what you are doing successfully and what you need to improve upon.

The takeaway about analytics:

You can have the most beautiful, fancy website with all of the bell and whistles imaginable, but if you have no data to analyze the successfulness of your web campaigns, your website is essentially worthless. This applies to traditional websites and mobile websites alike.

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

Increasing Your Google+ Usage

There is so much back and forth about Google+, it always has been and probably always will be.  I was a part of the original beta team on Google+, as were most of my digital marketer friends, so of course I have always been a huge advocate of the platform.

Google+ has been improved upon since its original debut!  The layout has improved substantially, Google integration has greatly improved and it has grown its user base.

Although the improvements to the look and feel of Google+ have been spectacular what is more impressive is that content posted on Google+ show up in search results.  This is why I don’t understand the push back about this platform. Why would we NOT want our content to show up in search results, after all that is WHY we are there right, why we are online, why we work so hard to increase our exposure, right? Increased exposure means more business and more sales, which is after all what most web presences are all about.

The takeaway about Google+

If you want more exposure on Google start using Google+, it’s just that simple.

Wrapping up:

Digital Marketing is a game changer on a worldwide level but organizations must have the ability to recognize the change and adapt in mid-stride sometimes, due to the quick nature of the changes. We are living through an exciting time for those involved with digital marketing and those that are willing to embrace the change. Lets all embrace the many changes that I anticipate are ahead and enjoy our brave new digital world.

As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, so please circle and follow.

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10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

10 Steps to Using Digital Marketing Strategies To Find Your Dream Job in 2014

2013 is coming to an end, therefore it’s time to analyze, evaluate and make changes going into the New Year.  We all make resolutions about, health, wealth and happiness so why not include changing our employment situation. This is especially the case if you are one of the 71% that hate their jobs.

When I wrote the article, 71% of people hate their job; I was astounded by the response to the article.  I was more surprised that there were so many people that were unhappy with their employment situation.

Sometimes people can feel stuck in a situation due to a variety of reasons and they become very reluctant to make a move, so they just grin and bear it.  It seems that there are up to 71% of the population that are willing to grin and bear it.

Guess what people, we are moving into a new year so NOW is the perfect time to make changes in your life.  More people need to be a part of the 29% that LOVE their job instead of the 71% that hate it.

We are now living in a very digital world, so now we need to look at new ways in which we can gain the edge in competing for jobs. If you are a Digital Marketer, you may find yourself consulting, working for an organization or both.  Sometimes as digital marketers, we do not effectively market OURSELVES as a BRAND and that is very important.

If you are in a more traditional industry, chances are you are NOT marketing yourself as a BRAND either.  In this increasingly digital world, all people that are looking for new opportunities should start to see themselves as brands so that they can compete in this tough job market. Most people are using some type of social media recreationally. So, if you are involved with social media even socially, these ten tips will be perfect for your 2014 strategy for grabbing your dream job.

Whether you are a digital marketer or just someone looking for a new career path, it is imperative that you see beyond your present situation and come up with a creative way to change your career path.  The first step is visualizing yourself, not as JUST a person trying to get a job, but as a brand. It is very important that you think of yourself as a BRAND and you should market yourself accordingly.

A huge part of viewing and marketing yourself as a brand, is maintaining a very visual digital marketing footprint separate from the brands that you work with, if you are a digital marketer.  It is GREAT to work in this ever-growing digital marketing industry but as digital marketers we must maintain our own digital marketing persona totally separate from the organizations that employ us or that we consult with.  So, it is very important that we continue to develop and grow our own individual personal brand and digital footprint.

If you are NOT a digital marketer you should start to incorporate some branding content into your personal profiles. It is very important that all people see themselves as marketers, if only to market oneself to the world in seeking a new or better career path.  It is more important than ever to utilize social channels for career advancement in addition to traditional résumés and this is primarily due to the growing importance of our digital footprint.

I’ve read on numerous occasions that traditional resumes are very close to becoming irrelevant because our entire digital presence is available online for all to see.  More and more recruiters are utilizing the digital presence of employment candidates to get a better feel for potential employees before they even read resumes.  This is one of the reasons that we must make sure that we have a positive and flattering digital footprint and that we continue to develop our own personal brand.

Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search
Use Social Media To Improve Your Job Search  produced by Gumtree

There are pluses and minuses to having your entire online persona for all to see. The biggest plus is that you are always visible; the biggest minus is that you’re always visible. LOL. This is the primary reason that we must be aware, more than ever about the types of content that we display on our digital marketing channels. So it is imperative that we have a strong personal brand and a positive digital footprint. Take a look at the ten steps below, to help develop your personal brand:

Anise Smith logo

Anise Smith logo

1.  Logo: Create a logo for your brand. My brand is Anise Smith, so the first thing I did when I started to develop my brand almost five years ago was to have my name created in logo form.  If you are creating a new logo make sure you have it created in 3 different formats.  Have your logo created in EPS format, which allows it to be duplicated for print and web, PNG for use when you need a transparent background AND jpg for general use.

2.  Uniform Branded Look: You should have a consistent branded look across all of your social media channels.  So create your Facebook cover, Twitter layout and other digital collateral with the same branded look.

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

Create A Uniform Branded Look On Social Media

3.  Facebook: CLEAN up your Facebook profile! I have seen some things in my daily virtual travels that would definitely be viewed as negative. If you want to promote a positive personal brand YOU MUST start with presenting a positive Facebook image.

I am connected to my father, teenage son and many family members on Facebook, so I only share information that I would share with them offline.  This is a great way to mentally keep your content clean and shareable. Don’t post information that you wouldn’t share with your grandparents, parents or children. If you wouldn’t yell it across the dinner table during a family meal, DON’T post it on Facebook. PERIOD!

Before you hit the POST button, think about how an employer would view your post. If there’s even a question of how your post would be viewed by employers or just followers in general, DON’T hit POST.  Better yet, picture your grandma peering over your shoulder while you’re writing your post. If grandma wouldn’t approve, don’t post.

Facebook is a huge part of branding yourself and you should use it wisely. Assume that ALL potential employers will check your Facebook profile, because they probably will. So it is best that you put your best foot forward starting here.  After you clean up your profile, showcase yourself. This may involve loosening some of your privacy settings to showcase certain areas of your profile.

  • Make a cover photo that showcases your talent. Facebook covers are 851 × 316.
  • Add your employment history, in the work and education section.
  • If you attended college, utilize the education section to add information about your school.
  • Use the project area to add the projects that you’ve worked.
  • Facebook just added a section for professional skills; add your skills in this section.
  • Don’t forget to use the contact us section to add your website, blogs and social media channels.

Facebook can be utilized almost as a resume if you add the right content and if you are a little creative.

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

Branding Yourself Using Facebook

4.  Twitter:  This is a great avenue to showcase your knowledge and to present yourself as an expert in your area, which is very important in creating a brand for yourself. Having a great Twitter profile allows you to make amazing connections while building followers organically, both of which are crucial to your personal brand.  So make sure you are utilizing this channel and showcasing your capabilities to your followers and potential followers.  If you are unfamiliar with Twitter start practicing keeping your verbiage short, because you only have 140 characters to make your point. So, you must use them wisely. To get started check out these easy steps:

  • Create a header for your Twitter layout, it should be no larger than 1252 × 626.
  • Create a Twitter background with your contact information. Twitter backgrounds are 1920 × 1200.
  • Display a presentable image of yourself.
  • Add a descriptive; yet brief bio using 140 characters.

The importance of Twitter cannot be overlooked in the process of branding yourself. Studies have shown that recruiters from the top employers in the country, are using Twitter as a way to recruit top talent. YOU want to be considered the top talent and you want to be noticed by these recruiters.  So Twitter is essential!

5.  Google+: There has always been some controversy about the importance of this platform. I’m not exactly sure why, since it is a GOOGLE platform. Most know that Google is pretty darn awesome.  So, needless to say I’ve been a fan since the Beta release! Another reason to get acclimated to Google +, Facebook has been losing a bit of steam recently so it is very important that you create a profile on Google+. Additionally content shared on Google+ shows up in search results. Enough said!

*Note* You can schedule your posts for Google+ and other social channels.  I’ve used a few but I find that, Buffer is the best scheduling platform available.

6.  Blog: I am really partial to WordPress but the most important thing is that you have a blog, which you contribute to regularly. So, select the platform that you are most comfortable with. [Wordpress, WordPress, WordPress, hmm, did I suggest WordPress?] A blog allows you to present yourself as an expert in your field utilizing your own content AND it allows you to provide this content to your social media channels.

Additionally you can create a page on your blog for your online resume. A web version of your resume allows you the convenience of sending a link quickly from pc, tablet OR mobile device directly to anyone that is interested.

Also, make sure that your blog is viewable by way of mobile device. So many people are mobile that it’s almost mandatory that your blog be viewable by mobile device.  This also offers you the unique opportunity to respond to emails from recruiters and send a resume link right from your mobile device, within seconds. WINNING!

7.  Triberr: If you have a blog YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST be a part of Triberr. If you are not familiar with Triberr, you need to become familiar quickly.  Triberr is THE BEST platform to utilize if you want to get exposure for your blog. This platform is second to none!

So, Triberr in a nutshell: It’s a platform that allows exposure of your blog through mutual sharing of content.  As a part of Triberr you would join tribes of interest. After joining the tribe(s) you would then connect the RSS feed of your blog to the Tribe. This allows your tribe mates to share your blog content to their Twitter followers.  Additionally all of your tribemates will have their blog RSS feed attached so that you can share their blog content with your Twitter followers.

The Triberr platform allows you to multiply the reach of your blog through the mutual sharing of content. This platform is Google Juice for blogs and if you have a blog you need to be a part of Triberr, period. Check out Welcome to Triberr and the Guide To Getting Started With Triberr.

8.  LinkedIn: Is probably the most important step you can take to meet contacts, extend your network and place yourself in the faces of recruiters searching for your expertise! Make sure you have a presence on Linkedin, make the proper connections, get endorsements, join groups and totally embrace this platform.

MOST companies in search of top talent will be actively involved with LinkenIn, so make sure you have a GREAT profile and keep it updated.

  • Use keywords in your headline and through out your profile.
  • Use an appropriate profile photo.
  • Complete your entire profile.
  • Add slideshows, links and blog posts to display your skills.
  • Share professional content that is relevant to careers or your industry.
  • Monitor your profile because you can see who has been checking you out. If you have a visit from a person of interest, visit their profile. They will now know that you have visited their profile and this may allow you to spark up a conversation.
  • Follow companies that you have an interest in because you may be able to connect with people of interest at that company.

Linkedin is one of your most valuable resources you can utilize, if you want to change your employment situation.

9.  YouTube: Videos are a GREAT way to showcase your talents. So create a 2 Minute video to showcase your capabilities.

  • Add keywords to any and all videos that you create because this will help Google to index your videos.
  • Add your video to your website or blog.
  • Share your video on your social media channels.
  • Add your video to your LinkedIn profile.

10.  BrandYourself.com: Allows you to monitor your digital footprint as it displays on Google.  You will get a report if any of your digital marketing channels have gone up or have fallen down in ranking.   This service is GREAT because it allows you to see how your brand is displayed on Google according to rank and it is FREE!

BrandYourself.com

BrandYourself.com

Are you currently utilizing any of these platforms to brand yourself? Are you using different channels? Let me know!  As usual, I welcome any comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter, circle me and/or follow me.

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It’s A Brand New World, It’s Mobile And Is Your Organization Ready?

Mobile
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.

 

 

Infographic Source:  InternetService.net Infographic Source:  InternetService.net  

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That guy just posted some stuff to #Facebook, He’s obviously an EXPERT. I’ll hire him said no company ever!

DigitalMarketingManager

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
  • Branding
  • 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.

[Source: WANTED Analytics] Digital Marketing Employment Growth

[Source: WANTED Analytics] Digital Marketing Employment Growth

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.

Digital Growth Areas 2013

Digital Growth Areas 2013

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.

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I can be reached by Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. I’m pretty sure the GURU’s will be the first to comment.

If You WANT To Be A Chief Digital Officer You’d Better Start Preparing NOW

Cheif Digital Officer

 

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.

 

As usual, I welcome comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can catch me on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ !   Cheers!

#Yahoo: One Small Step Back Or One Large Leap Toward Jumping The Shark [Infographic & Video]

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark

 

We are living in a quick-moving digital world with companies that are technology focused running to keep up with the growth. As Digital Marketers we see how fast things are moving and we recognize the players in the technology game, those that are not even in the game and those that are struggling to keep up.

 

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are huge innovators and players in the growth of different forms of technology. We will not mention Bing because although Microsoft spawned this mess called Bing we won’t hold it against them, ONLY because they have extremely cool Bing commercials.  That brings us to one of the other wannabe players in the game and that’s Yahoo. They may have been a player in the game, back in the days of Infoseek, Askjeeves and Looksmart but they have never really been on the grid with the real innovators in this technology game. I think one of the things that separates the companies that are innovators from those that just never seem to catch up are the employees that drive these companies.

 

Most companies are only as good as the team that drive them and the innovative companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google ALL have top caliber employees.  These companies have the vision to hire the best of the best because employees represent their brand. Innovative companies are expected to have the best!  Companies that are not technology focused usually fall short of employing the best of the best because they usually don’t have the same resources as the tech giants. So we tend to excuse their lack of technology focused employees and forward thinking vision.

 

Organizations that present themselves as technology focused like Yahoo is not one of the types of companies that we should excuse for the choices that they’ve recently made.  When companies that are not known to be innovative are embracing that technology has changed the traditional working onsite dynamic, Yahoo decides to take a step back with their descision to take away the work at home option from their employees.

 

Cloud computing, laptops, tablets, mobile devices, high speed Internet and most importantly a global world has made the cubed office for technology companies like Yahoo an option not a neccesity. Or I should say HAD made it an option until Yahoo Turned Back the Hands of Time ” Cue in Cher’s Song” Hit play below.

I digressed seriously, my bad. The point is that Yahoo has taken a HUGE step back when other companies are moving forward. Yahoo has always struggled to be at the head of the pack as far as innovation is concerned but now they have gone beyond a step back, they have jumped the shark.

 

I’m pretty sure that Yahoo has a huge staff of innovative and creative employees that are reeling. I am also quite sure that there are lots of companies circling like vultures to pick up the pieces of the employees that can no longer work from home. I see the vultures circling the Yahoo headquarters now, in hopes of grabbing some new blood for their employment pool! If I were a huge company in need of a few good men or women, I would be camped out at Yahoo headquarters like a techie for a new iPad.

 

Hey Yahoo, take a look at the Infographic Below….and Oh Yeah Watch out for that shark.

 

Yahoo Has Jumped The Shark

Hey Yahoo Watch Out For That Shark!

Augmented Reality Business Cards Taking Your Business To The Next Level

AugmentedReality

We all know that technology has changed our daily lives and how we do business.  Some companies are really up on their game and embracing these changes and some are not.  The companies that are on their game and truly embracing technology will really utilize new technology to propel their marketing efforts to the head of the pack, moving beyond their competitors.

Digital marketing has really transformed how we do practically everything; I would say that there is not a single industry that has NOT been affected by the growth of digital media.

One of the biggest changes that we’ve made in the past few years is how we consume media. We’ve gone from a traditional print world, to a world that has a very digital focus. We have gone beyond just computer use to tablets and mobile, this growth is a total game changer.

Traditional marketing strategies are now being utilized in conjunction with digital marketing strategies to take marketing to a new level. One of the coolest displays of this is Augmented Reality Business cards, this technology blurs the world between what is real and what is computer generated. This allows you to put a really cool spin on your traditional old business card.

Take a look below at how augmented reality is allowing you to add a new dimension to business cards in the videos below:

Let’s just for one second think about how HUGE Augmented Reality could be and realize that this could be an avenue in which to serve up the ultimate business pitch to that client that you’ve been trying to reel in, it could allow you to push your company capabilities to ANYONE that has your business card. Augmented Reality literally allows traditional media to become digital and that is HUGE for the future of marketing!

What are your thoughts? Do you see Augmented Reality in the future of your Digital Marketing Mix?  As usual, I welcome thoughts or comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

Are Women Falling Behind In The #Digital Marketing Space? [Infographic]

BehindInTEch

 

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.

 

 

Women Lag Men By 25% In Internet Adoption

Graphic via Braintrack

Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN [Infographic]

Technology And Education, Let The Evolution BEGIN

As a person that has taught in a technology forum,  I have a love for education and the integration of technology in this field.  Additionally as a parent, I feel as if education MUST change if we want to compete in this technology focused world, and change has to happen at the early childhood level NOT just the college level.  This is imperative if we want to prepare our children for the real world.  As a nation we must refocus our attention on schools, adding technology and addressing all areas that are lacking in regard to creating a more technology focused educational system for the coming generations.

It is really not optional, it is something that must be done and it must start at the Pre-school level if we want our children to be prepared to co-exist with technology in a world that is becoming more technology focused every day.  Actually technology is moving so fast that is not growing at a daily pace but more of a minute by minute pace. This is one of the reasons that embracing technology at the preschool level is imperative.

Although technology has grown,  the way in which we teach our children especially in the public school systems has not changed as much as it needs to, if we want to set our children up for success.  When I was in elementary school, there wasn’t a need to change education to include technology as we were NOT in a technology focused world. However, that is not the case now, changes need to happen at the preschool level and onward to prepare our kids for college which has embraced technology.  Not doing so is creating a divide that we may not have the ability to be bridge if it is allowed to go without being addressed much longer.

Take a quick look at the video below which will give you an idea of our lack of evolution in regard to education and how we seriously need to change how we view education as a whole.

As stated earlier, I grew up during a time when there was a lack of technology in schools, but it was during a different era. Times were very different, and technology was not a primary focus of anything, let alone EVERYTHING as it is now.  However when I ventured into a technology field at the second phase of my career I was immediately hooked and realized the importance of technology and the role that it could play in our lives,  the lives of our children and in our entire future.  This is one of the reasons that I returned to school. Also,  I just needed to be a part of the historical growth of all things related to technology.

When I decided to return to school for Internet Marketing 3 years ago, technology was no where near as advanced as it is now and that was just 3 years ago.  The super quick growth of mobile devices and tables have really pushed the growth of technology at a exponential rate of speed. It is quite astounding! I do not anticipate the rate of growth slowing down anytime soon.

There has been tremendous growth of technology usage at the higher education level which is amazing but I would love to see MORE education initiatives to prepare younger children which could bridge the gap between preschool and the higher education level.  For a person that is heavily involved and vested in the growth of technology I see any growth as  phenomenal thing and I am looking forward to seeing what will come in the not so near future, especially in the area of Pre-K to 12th grade education.

Take a look at the Infographic below to display just how far we’ve come in the usage of technology in the field of education.

Please include attribution to OnlineColleges.net with this graphic.

Major Ed-Tech Trends for 2013

As usual, I welcome any thought, comments or questions; good, bad, ugly or indifferent. You can catch up with me on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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Digital Marketers: Your Digital Footprint Is NOW Your Resume

Digital Footprint

 

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.

 

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