Tag Archives: Raleigh Social Media

8 Daily Digital Marketing Challenges

It’s not as difficult as being President of the United States, but digital marketing is hard work. Most people think we just play on social media all day and create a few web pages. I wish that was true. Digital marketing is a fun career choice but can be very challenging due to several factors.

  1. Digital marketing is in a state of constant change. Search engine result pages (SERPs) change more than 75% on a daily basis.  New social networks and tools pop up every few days.  Just when you think you’ve figured it out Facebook announces privacy changes or Instagram changes its terms of service.  Whatever the state of flux what works today, may not work tomorrow.
  2. Educating others as to what’s important. For those that don’t live, eat and breath digital, there’s a large knowledge gap. A big part of my day can be spent educating others as to why certain aspects of digital marketing are unique and important.
  3. You have to play the long and short game. Even B2C ecommerce sites that can show quick conversions from email, paid search and social. But they still have to consider where there brand will be positioned a year from now, 5 years from now, etc. B2B with longer sales cycles know this well enough but again you have to educate your co-workers that
  4. It’s hard to find quality relevant data. Yes there are tons of stats on Mashable, Techcrunch and other news blogs on conversion rates, open rates, etc. But many times they are aggregated across millions and billions of sessions, users stats, log files, etc. Finding relative comparative benchmarking data is challenging and can be expensive.
  5. You have to be a part time geek.  Not just someone that loves technology but you have to understand how the web and other digital platforms work at certain levels.  Digital marketing works when the underlying infrastructure and technology support the goals and objectives of the campaign.  Without a robust framework and platform the best campaigns can quickly fail.  Understanding how the pieces work together is critical for success.
  6. You have to test on many browsers, operating systems and mobile devices. Sure your website, app, email looks great on your computer but what about the person in the cube next to you on an older browser. Or your CEO that is on his iPad. Or your customer that still uses a Blackberry.  At some point you have to cut bait and fish but the testing and revisions are important and time consuming.
  7. Traditional marketing is still important. The old rules may not always apply but lessons learned from past campaigns can provide insight into how people may respond to your campaign.  Marketing is not about selling, it’s about creating interest, awareness and demand for your product. The selling comes afterwards.
  8. There are many digital channels and associated strategies. Do I create a mobile website or mobile app? Are microsites the best strategy for a campaign. How much organic and paid search do I need to reach my goals?  Add in video, social, email, content marketing, and whatever is around the corner. Not every digital channel is applicable for each campaign, but each must be considered and reviewed.
So what do you think? Is digital marketing hard work in your opinion?Enhanced by Zemanta

11 Things You Should Know About Raleigh | Ignite Raleigh 3

Last time I did Ignite Raleigh I have to admit I was more nervous than I was this time around.  There is no doubt that practice makes perfect and it helps your confidence when you have 20 slides and 5 minutes in front of 500+ to speak your peace!

I want to thank Ignite Raleigh crew (@therab, @timarthur, @damondnollan, @lisasullivan) for selecting me to speak on this topic that I had a lot of fun with.  I really had a great time on stage and enjoyed doing Ignite Raleigh again.  I highly recommend this to anyone that is passionate or just plain excited about their interests and culture.  I met so many people for the first time that night as well as connected with some of the best people Raleigh has to offer and good friends!

If only State had held on to beat Duke that night!

Trends from Randi Zuckerberg, Former Director of Marketing at Facebook

Randi Zuckerberg, former Marketing Director at FacebookLast month I had the opportunity to meet and hear Randi Zuckerberg speak at Meredith College. Randi was visiting the campus to receive the President’s Award and deliver the 2012 Woman of Achievement Lecture. Prior to the event I was able to attend the VIP reception thanks to my wife (@mcdezigns) who won the Meredith Facebook contest.

Randi Zuckerberg is the former head of marketing at Facebook and brother to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and the next american billionaire. She left her advertising agency job to work with Mark when he was at Harvard to help him launch Facebook and was with the company until last fall. During her tenure she was able to see the development of Facebook and help with the launch of several of the platforms features.

Randi stated that she changes her presentation based on current trends and that it can change on a monthly basis. The top trends she discussed were:

  • The sharing economy: social media has created a more caring community that shares resources instead of hoarding them.
  • People as platforms: the ability for individuals to generate a fan followiong rapidly.
  • Gamification of health and fitness: apps like Gym-Pact reward healthy behavior.
  • Crowdsourcing: Kickstart is funding more projects than the NEA. Logos and corporate identity are being generated by sites like 99 Designs.
  • Cover photos are making statements: people and brands are having fun with photos and creating a billboard type impression on Facebook. Examples include Girl Scout Cookies and Obama’s campaign pages.
  • Mobile first: new technology is being designed only for use as a mobile app without a formal website. These new apps are building one use case really well versus a whole site.
  • Curation is creating experts from individuals that never write, paint or create unique content. Sites like Pinterest allow users to create a strong following based off their taste not their own content.
  • Creating social moments: what if you could recreate the Home Shopping Network within Facebook with real time stats on friends purchases?
  • The opportunity to create more social moments via live blogging (which I wish I had known that there was WiFi at the event, I would have live blogged this post!).
  • Philanthropy is offering brands the opportunity to dip their toes into social media by matching contributions or having contests. Target asked its fans to pick which charity they would give their annual donation to by voting on Facebook.

Overall I was very impressed with Randi both on a personal and professional level. She was very approachable when I had the opportunity to meet her before the event and I enjoyed discussing strategy with her. After seeing her speak to the crowd you could tell that she was a savvy marketing professional that understood that technology is cool but you need to provide value. Technology for wow factor fades fast.

I would like to thank Meredith College for bringing Randi to the Triangle as the event was free to the public.

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How Social Is Your TV?

At the February Triangle Social Media Club event I had my eyes opened to the world of “social TV.”  The speakers were Gregory Ng (@gregoryng), Tim Arthur (@timarthur), Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the MC was Ryan Boyles (@therab).  The panel showed what their entertainment centers consisted of, their top 5 shows and one guilty pleasure as well as shared insights, wants and desires of social TV.

Social TV integrates social networks and television, movie and music habitsThe rise of digital enabled devices has allowed for greater integration of social networks and websites with our TVs.  All four on the panel had a gaming device such as Wii or Xbox to stream video but the setups were different in other areas.  For instance Damond’s strategy was to reduce his monthly entertainment expense while allowing everyone in his household to have their own streaming device.  While Greg preferred to subscribe to Direct TV for sports as well as the ability to watch live events as they happen.

The presentation embedded at the end of this post gives a great view into the different setups.  The panel also listed their favorite shows and guilty pleasures.  All four panelists picked “The Walking Dead” as one of their top 5 shows.  While I’m not a fan of Zombie genre, I was interested to learn why they were enthusiastic.  The show had a big following and even the largest cable debut of the season.  Combined with fan chats, celebrity after show appearances; The Walking Dead created a community of fans and a forum.

That’s where social TV has real potential.  It’s one thing to check in to a show and share that on Twitter and Facebook.  This can lead to shared interests among your social circle.  But where it takes off is creating a true fan community that works similar to bulletin board forums of the early 90s.  Ryan explained how super fans create private blogs on Tumblr with their own language and rely heavily on aliases.  Most best practices posts will tell you to be authentic, but in the world of social TV DISQUS did research that showed that alias communities had greater interaction and participation.

What does all of this mean to marketing and advertising folk like me? It represents a new opportunity to build relationships with fans in a new way.  While Ryan recanted GaryVee’s mantra of “marketing ruins everything” it does not have to.  The panel discussed how media companies can build respect and report with users versus just selling to them.  For instance, what if a social TV app could provide live channel notifications and share that among friends?  The idea that sharing old school living room experience allows for more intimate content and engagement with a global audience is truly unique.

Tonight the Oscars is being broadcast and I’ve already seen hype around the fact that this will be the most social and interactive award show to date.  That’s an easy claim if the majority of last year’s activity was Twitter and Facebook chatter.  But as social TV develops there is opportunity to engage fans and talent in real time.

I want to thank Ryan for hosting the panel and sharing the presentation on his SlideShare space as well as the other panelists for sharing their frank and honest views on the tools, technology and changing landscape of social TV!  Plus Greg’s guilty pleasure of “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” was classic!  Also I was finally able to meet Tim Arthur in person after several months of chatting on Twitter and blogs and found out that we have many similar interests including Breaking Bad and Californication, two of my favorite shows!  Also thanks to WNCN NBC 17 for hosting the event and studio tour from Kim Green @producingk.