- Make it personal- Create a campaign that allows customers to interact and is unique to them. ClickZ’s example is the OfficeMax “Elf Yourself” campaign that launched awhile ago and allowed users to insert a picture of themselves on to dancing elves and send it to their friends. Allowing the users customized experience to be shareable will also be beneficial and will help drive customers back.
- Use your human resources- If low on budget or just looking for a different way to interact with customers, you can allow employees to take on a larger role and be the face of your campaign. REI did this by having customers tweet them asking for gift ideas and having their employees respond back with personalized video recommendations. This empowers your employees and gives your company an authentic voice.
- Go mobile- If you are a larger company, you should already have a mobile app, but many smaller start up companies do not yet. E-commerce has been growing constantly and receives a substantial push during the holidays. Utilizing mobile apps and having a good mobile website will allow you to keep the customers attention throughout all platforms. Mobile apps also allow push notifications that can alert customers of deals or let them know when they are near your physical store.
- Make your customers lives easier- Provide your customers something that saves them time or makes something they do easier. HubSpot did this by giving potential customer a free zipfile with a bunch of stock holiday photos that they could use for their social media sites. Customers appreciate the time saver and get a free sample of what your company can do for them.
- Don’t shortchange email- Even though fun and catchy social media campaigns are all the trend, don’t forget about email marketing. Customers still expect to receive great deals through email and sending ads with eye catching visuals and simple, straight to the point copy will get the attention of your customers and hopefully get them on your site. Also, including deals that are online exclusive or offering free shipping are a good way to generate more online sales according to Accenture.
If you are not that experienced with Google AdWords and Google Analytics, you’ve probably not heard of the new Treemaps report. Treemaps is a hierarchical display of data showing you what keywords are working and which are not through easy to interpret nested rectangles. Treemaps will display the favorable features of your keywords with green rectangles and unfavorable features with red rectangles.
I have not viewed this new report myself, but according to an article by Matt Lawson of Search Engine Land, it is an easy to read report that will that will make optimizing your search engine campaigns much easier. Check out all of Matt’s article here for much more detail.
Bianca Rothschild wrote an article for the Huffington Post recently outlining some great tips to improve your social media strategy. My interpretation of them is below.
- What questions are you answering?- Try to relate all your social media posts to questions your audience (customers) want to know. Social media is a tool to connect with customers so they should be your primary focus when posting.
- Establish your brand messaging- All of your posts should represent your brand and what your company stands for. Social media is how a lot of consumers connect with businesses so you want to always be portraying an accurate representation of your company and your brand.
- Create a social media calender and stick to it- It is easy to get distracted by normal day-to-day business issues and neglect your social media campaign. Try to counter act this by creating goals and objectives to hit on a timely basis.
- Be patient- You won’t gain a million followers and have a super successful social media campaign over night. It takes time to build the relationships and attract an audience. Stick with it and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Monitor and measure what is working- Always be checking how your efforts are being received by your audience. Make sure you know how your efforts are paying off. If you see a certain strategy garnering a lot of attention, keep expanding on it.
- Make pivots when necessary- If one strategy has not been working for a good period of time, try to change it up and go in a different route. If one form of social media seems to not be making an impact while others are, don’t just abandon it, try to adjust your efforts and go at it a different way.
- Pay when possible- One of the biggest benefits of social media marketing is that it is free, but, when you can, take advantage of the increased features that come with paid ads. Paid ads can give your campaign a big boost and gain you a larger audience that can then be exposed to your free content later.
To see Bianca’s full article on the Huffington Post, click here.
Digital marketing is a new concentration that is gaining a lot of traction and should be priority of most businesses. Forbes.com posted an article detailing the 5 most important digital marketing concerns.
- Mobile Considerations– Mobile transactions are growing every year. Consumers are finding it more convenient to purchase items mobile than from standard desktops/laptops. With this growing market, businesses need to make sure that their websites and ads are well suited for mobile devices .
- Organic Search– Organic search is all about optimizing your website with relevant information and keywords to your product/services so that you are ranked higher on search engines. Be careful when doing this though, Google and other search engines are very smart and will notice when a website is “keyword stuffing” with unneeded keywords and links.
- Content Marketing– Post items and articles that are relevant to your business. This will drive conversions for your website and draw in more visitors.
- Social Media Marketing– Social media is a good and free way to distribute your content and interact with customers. A strong social media presence can also build a stronger brand that will be reflected in other areas of your business.
- Nurturing Website Visitors & Email Marketing– Utilize email marketing to convert more website visitors into purchases. Website visitors are more inclined to make a purchase if there is a well timed email campaign.
For a more in depth look at the points above, check out the original article from Forbes here.
There are 5 courses that are required to obtain a digital marketing degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn:
- Marketing 363– Digital Consumer Search and Marketing (focuses on using Google Adwords for search engine optimization)
- Marketing 454– Marketing Research (focuses on programs like SPSS to track and interpret data from consumers)
- Marketing 455– E-tailing and Retailing (focuses on different channels of retail stores and the benefits/downfalls of each)
- Marketing 458– Communications Strategy and New Media (feels like a general marketing class. Focuses on the basics of marketing and the different strategies to utilize)
- Marketing 463– Digital Analytics and Content (follow up to Marketing 363-must be taken winter semester after taking Marketing 363. More in depth look at Google Analytics and SEO)
You must also take 2 of the following courses get a digital marketing degree. I have only taken 2 of these so my knowledge of all of them are limited.
- Marketing 382– Understanding Consumers
- Marketing 402– Marketing Management
- Marketing 457– Global Marketing and Consumer Culture
- ITM 321– Database Systems I (focuses on basics of database structures and features. Mainly uses Microsoft Access. Can be taken as credit for an ITM degree also)
- ITM 371– Managing Electronic Commerce Systems (Can be taken as credit for an ITM degree also)
- ITM 382– Advanced Computer Applications (essentially an advanced Microsoft Excel class. Focuses on the more advanced features in Excel. Can be taken as credit for an ITM degree also)
Check out more about University of Michigan-Dearborn’s digital marketing program here.
The University of Michigan-Dearborn are one of the few universities in the United States to offer a digital marketing degree and the only university in Michigan to. The courses needed to complete the digital marketing program from the University of Michigan-Dearborn are the web-based and search engine optimization (SEO) marketing classes mixed with a handful of information technology management classes (ITM). To learn more about the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s digital marketing program, click here.