Tag Archives: Web

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!

Blog Talk Radio Interview | Digital Marketing

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the Room 3026 crew on Blog Talk Radio about Digital Marketing.  I’ve known Damond for a few years now and was excited to be a guest on his show.  My interview starts around the 24 minute mark.  Thanks again for Damond Nollan for inviting me to be a guest.

Click here to listen to the episode.

Stack up Your Delicious Links

Last year Twitter was all abuzz about Yahoo! possibly shutting down Delicious the social bookmarking site. Myself along with several other quickly voiced our frustration with Yahoo! Within 15 minutes we were tweeting instructions on how to download your bookmarks and debating what site to migrate to. Eventually Yahoo! did sell Delicious to AVOS systems in April of this year.

About a month ago I logged into Delicious and noticed that the front page had changed. Gone was the clean and simple interface of links that I was accustomed to. Now the front page looked like every other media and news aggregator on the web. I know that people love pictures and I do as well, but I was not digging the change. Frustrated, I pondered once again about migrating my links to one of the other bookmarking sites.

I’m glad that I did not give up on Delicious. Upon further investigation I found that the new design offered some interesting new features to make my links come off the page more. Also the new stacking feature allows you to group links and display them in different layouts. Previously grouping links was done through what Delicious called link bundles. The bundles allowed you to group links but I found it unnecessary and just more work. Unless I was sharing link bundles there was not much benefit in grouping links that I could aggregate via the individual tags.

With stacking you are grouping links in a stack (i.e. bundle) but the big difference is now you can choose from and I’ll explain and provide a sample of each in this post.  The example I’ll be using is the stack I created for the recent Internet Summit held in Raleigh.

List View

Delicious Link View
List view is the traditional view of links, with description and tags that the legacy version of Delicious displayed.  This is bookmarking at it’s most basic, text, links and tags.  Nothing fancy here but good view if you’re a text scanner like me.

Grid View

Delicious Grid View

Grid view is the view that many news and aggregator sites use these days.  The grid view snags a photo or image from the page and creates a large thumbnail.  Some links will create a thumbnail of the whole page. Delicious should take a hint from LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook where you can scroll through possible images to use.  Grid view is good view if you want to create a more visually appealling stack.

Full View

Delicious Full View

Full view uses the same thumbnail as grid view in the left column and then displays the title, link URL and any description text in the main column.  If you take the time to enter descriptions into your links or if the site uses excerpts this is a good option to list view.

Media View

Delicious Media View Scroll Bar

Media view is good to use if most of your links are videos, presentations or photo libraries.  This view will not include all links like blog posts or basic web pages unless they have rich media embedded on the page.  Media view uses a left/right scroll bar for the thumbnails with the selected link media played below.

Some other observations from creating Delicious stacks:

  • You can create a header for the stack that includes either text or images.  At this time you cannot upload images, you must select images from one of your linked pages.  Test different images as Delicious will stretch and center the images and sometimes you get a grainy, messy result.

Delicious Stack Header

  • There is a comment box that you can enter text in below the header image with some basic formatting options.
  • I have not been able to determine what view is he default for the stack.  It appears that the full view is used but I was able to set the media view but could not replicate it.
  • Once you create a stack you can then share the stack via email with the share link on the main stack page.  I’m surprised there’s not more social sharing options/buttons.  Let’s hope to see them in future releases.
Delicious also has a nice video (who doesn’t these days, right?) that demonstrates how to create stacks.
So what are you waiting for, go create your Delicious stack and share it with me in the comments along with any tips, tricks, likes and fails you discover.