Why Every Smart Startup and Business Should Act More Like a Digital Media Empire [In the Making]

Citizen Kane 1941 by Orson Welles

Sometimes I feel as though I sound like a broken record.

But I’m on a mission, so forgive me if you’ve heard this all before, but it’s worth repeating.

According to a recent study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, blogging is on the decline as social media tools [like Facebook] are on the rise among Inc. 500 companies.

[Read more…]

Content 2020: Dynamic Storytelling and the Future of Content Marketing [VIDEO]

Coke's Content 2020 manifesto

I’m not crazy.

In fact, my instincts have been right all along.

Let me explain. A few months back, Coca Cola announced they were no longer going to rely on the “30-second TV spot” or even traditional ad agencies to build their business moving forward. According to Jonathan Mildenhall, VP Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence, Coke is going to put their efforts (and money) into content marketing.

[Read more…]

Why Traffic Is Not That Important

What some companies do on a monthly basis with their online advertising budget.

Despite the fact this headline will likely infuriate some industry folk, it must be said.

When people think about online marketing, some still see traffic as the all important success metric. In fact, some still call it “hits.” (As in they want to get more hits to their site, which is not the same as unique visits or traffic).  The logic seemed simple – as long as we get plenty of traffic, we’ll get business.

Yes, traffic is great, but more importantly, your website must have an effective mechanism (or strategy) for capturing and tracking leads and/or sales.  Otherwise, traffic is useless.

For example…

[Read more…]

5 Key Things About Google Plus Pages for Your Business

Google+ for Business Google+ Page

This week Google announced that they’re opening up their Google Plus social network to let businesses join the party, through something they’re calling “Pages for Business”.

Businesses need to think carefully about results before they commit to a new social networking platform. If you’re a business owner or marketer, here are the things you should consider before deciding to set up your Page or to give it a pass.

Read the rest on Technorati.com

3 Reasons to Relax About Your New Klout Score

Angry Twitter post about new Klout scoring algorithm

Klout, the online tool that tracks your social media activity and claims to rank your influence there, retooled the way they calculate those rankings last week. The change resulted in a reported thousands of Klout users seeing major drops in their Klout scores. And that has many of the site’s users freaking out.

The concern is misplaced, though. Here’s why.

Read the rest at Technorati.com

Web site opt-in: generate converts; not just conversions

Loyalty Fades

The music industry is well known, now, for riding the short bus to the digital future. But where the major labels have been failing, some independent artists have been excelling at online marketing, and often even seasoned digital marketers can learn a thing or two from them.

[Read more…]

How Google+ changes (almost) everything for businesses (part 2)

Last week I wrote about how Google+, Google’s new social networking platform, has the strong potential to be a game-changer when it comes to how businesses do search engine optimization for their sites.

This week, I want to talk about how Google+ could change the landscape of the online advertising world.

[Read more…]

Is The Web Helping Your Business Grow?

I recently met with a colleague for coffee.  Among other things, we discussed the importance of educating clients on the “big picture” when it comes to using the web to build their business.

We also shared stories about the challenges of being in the web development and online marketing business. For the most part, I actually don’t see myself in a technology-based business at all.  For me, I see myself in the business of helping other businesses become successful.  I just happen to use web 2.0 and marketing technologies to solve business problems and/or achieve business objectives.

When clients first come to Fruition, they’re very cost sensitive and focused on tactics.   This is understandable. However, as they work with us, many of our clients actually end up increasing their investment in online marketing initiatives as they begin to focus more on the big picture.

Why? Is it because we’re really nice? Maybe, but I think it’s mostly because they actually see a return on their investment. They realize their website and their online marketing initiatives are actually helping build their business.

So what’s my point?

Stop thinking about your website and online marketing as an after-thought. If you’re building a house, would you go to a plumber first and ask him or her to build your a bathroom? Of course not, you’d probably first go to an architect. Someone who’ll bring your ideas to life as well as organize all the resources required to see the project through to a successful conclusion.

When it comes to marketing online, most business owners “hire the plumber” first thinking it will save them money and time. As a result, they end up with a website and a slew of half done projects that are not integrated or in-line with their business objectives.

So if you’re not happy with the results you’re seeing from your online marketing efforts ask yourself: “Did I hire the plumber to build my website and run my online initiatives or did I hire someone who will help me intelligently use the web to build my business over the long-term?”

photo credit: Pink Sherbet

Paid Advertising: How It Helps Generate Earned Media

A few months ago, I wrote about the basics of PPC advertising (Pay-Per-Click).  Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about how “paid” media can help generate “earned” media (advertising that is shared among friends and beyond).

To clarify, when I refer to PPC advertising, I’m simply referring to any platform that allows you to advertise on a pay-per-click or cost-per-click basis (example: Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and LinkedIn Ads).

Why Do It?

Ultimately, our clients want to generate leads, inquires, and sales from the PPC campaigns we run on their behalf.  However, there are also other valid reasons to do PPC advertising, which may not achieve an immediate ‘hot lead’ or ‘sale’, but may do so down the road.

For example, if it makes sense for your business to have a Facebook Page you might want to consider using Facebook Ads to generate initial awareness and demand by driving people to your Facebook Page.

Running a Facebook Ad campaign, might help you get the first 1,000 people to “like” your Page.  From that point, you still have to keep them engaged, but in time, you may earn their trust and convert them into advocates, clients, or buyers.

In addition, a relatively small investment in Facebook Ads could generate a huge ROI considering the very same people who first “liked” your Page from clicking your ad also create an organic viral effect.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words:

photo credit: Facebook

Overtime, once you’ve “earned” their trust, the same people who originally came to you via your paid Facebook Ad campaign (and who referred others) might eventually turn into a lead, inquiry, or sale.

About the Author

Mitch Fanning is VP of Fruition Interactive. He’s spent 11 plus years working with businesses of all sizes, from global brands to some of Canada’s fastest growing web start-ups ranked in the PROFIT 100.