The value of writing your own blog.

Besides the obvious SEO value original content adds to your site, there are other huge benefits of writing your own blog.  You may hesitate because you’re worried that your writing skills are not ‘up to par’, or that you may lack the flair required to keep readers interested. Even if all that is true, a blog reveals your thought patterns and helps to paint an image with the reader based on your beliefs.

This image can be the difference between a website visitor that takes the next step down the sales funnel, or one that walks away. Regardless of their decision, your blog, written by you, shows a certain amount of initiative, and expertise that you are willing to stick your neck out on the line for.

My blogs often talk about being ‘tradigital’ and how leveraging traditional media to drive digital will not only be effective, it will make all of your efforts that much more successful. By sourcing information and giving credit to others who have posted data that supports my philosophy I gain credibility, and again become the trusted source on the topic.

If possible, using the scenario above, it is best to stick close to one or two main themes in your blog, and expound on them as much as possible. Being a jack of all trades and master of none can often be more damaging than good, and readers can see right through a writer who is not intimately familiar with the content they’re writing about.

So, keep in mind the next time you want to post another link, to another blog, written by another person…it may be time for you to post your own. Of course, sharing this article and my blog is the one of the main reasons I write it, and I often post links to other blogs as well. However, don’t let another writers blog keep you from ‘going there’. When there is consensus on a topic it only serves to drive the value and credibility of your own blog, and it grows from there.

Good luck, I look forward to reading your first post!

Are you Thankful for Black Thursday?

Not sure that when we gather around the table tomorrow, part of our list of blessings will include all of the great deals we can trample each other over to get.  There is no doubt that ‘Black Friday’ has become a strange American ritual at this point, that turns a nation of grateful pilgrims into a nation of greedy consumers, but nonetheless, a ritual that many retailers desperately count on to kick off their sales.

As a former Circuit City Sales Manager, and being on the receiving end of an out of control mob, running to grab the precious few laptops at $300 bucks, I can tell you that the deals are not worth the insanity. With the exception of a very few items, the average markdowns are not that much more than typical sale markdowns, yet large crowds of people continue to rush out in throngs to take part in this spectacle.

This year Walmart, the undisputed king of retail has decided to start black Friday, well, on Thursday. That’s right, you can skip the pumpkin pie and head right to the stores for the sweetest deals of all. As a small business owner, I’m all for capitalism and have no problem with Black Friday (or Black Thursday in this case). As for the employees who are upset, I’d be thankful for a job in these difficult times, not to mention that you work at a retailer and it’s the holiday season…did you not know what you were getting into?

I say all this, to say this; if you participate in the madness, have fun and I hope you get all of the deals you’re looking for! If you don’t, I’m sure you’ll get plenty of other chances before the big gift swapping event at the end of December, to do so. One thing is for sure, America is a nation of consumers and without all of us doing our part this ‘holiday’ season, retailers and our economy as a whole will continue to feel like it skipped the meal entirely!

As for me, cyber Monday is much more attractive and safer! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The Impending ‘Digital’ Cliff for Facebook

If you were to judge the time you are spending on Facebook, how would you describe it:
1. More than ever, it seems I’m always ‘on’.
2. About the same, check it periodically throughout the day.
3. Less than usual, getting a little stale and boring.
4. Hardly checking it at all, not finding much value in it.
5. I’m done with it.

The reason I ask is that Facebook’s business model (and need for cash!) is starting to hold it’s advertisers hostage, by severely limiting the number of Fans that get to see a particular post.  Huh?

Many marketers already know that not every post is seen by every fan. What consumers may not know is that same goes for friends…when you post something not everybody on your friends page see’s it. Have you ever visited one of your friends page, and noticed that their recent posts did not show up on your wall?

Facebook chalks it up to some kind of anti-spam tool – ANTI-SPAM…SMH! The whole basis of friends and Fans on Facebook is based on permission you receive either by sending a friend request, or by ‘Liking’ a page. Limiting posts to prevent spam makes no sense to me.

The worst part is, (getting back to advertisers), Facebook is now charging businesses to reach the very people that have “Liked’ their page and basically gave permission and asked to be included on posts.

This is a very slippery slope, with the likes of Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the hundreds of businesses he owns as he begins to move all his social media activity away from Facebook and over to Tumblr and even the new MySpace. A quote from Mr. Cuban: “The big negative for Facebook is that we will no longer push for likes or subscribers because we can’t reach them all

Do you agree Facebook is nearing a cliff, or will you continue to support their new business model?

Do you believe in Tradigital?

It seems to me that the difference between a company that embraces a marketing strategy that includes digital and one that does not, is simply how much that company believes in the value of the digital.

As an agency, when we first launched b digital, our business plan had us ‘leading with digital’. Meaning that we would approach our prospects with the intention of solving their digital problems by creating or improving their website, building landing pages, adding a mobile site, growing the social media pages, etc. As it turns out, most of the companies we work with, were not ready to have that conversation.

It’s a very compelling dynamic, that while everyone admits to using Google to search, or turning to a company’s website for more information before making a buying decision, that many companies continue to downplay the value of a well-rounded digital landscape.

I can see how the old adage…’if it ain’t broke, don’t’ fix it,’ dominates the decision makers, who are primarily 45+ (age) and grew up with a ‘traditional’ media experience. However, many times they are faced with the obvious facts that their traditional marketing and advertising campaigns are no longer delivering the results they once did, but remain reluctant to ‘pull the trigger’.

Case in point is the Yellow Pages. We had one particular account that was spending $500,000 per year in the plumbing category. Year after year, the account realized diminishing results, but between the old mind-set and threatening sales tactics, they continued to renew and increase their spend with the Yellow Pages.

Our media audit exposed this waste, and reduced their buy to $50,000 per year. The remaining $350,000 was put into a well-crafted advertising campaign that primarily used television and a landing page to convert leads. The result was an increase in business of over 300% and a company that now ‘believes’ not only in the value of digital but in what we call ‘tradigital’.

Using traditional media to drive digital is what we focus on with every campaign (tradigital). Whether or not your company feels that their digital assets are in order, an advertising campaign on traditional media of TV, Radio, etc., that drives the audience to landing page is a great way to test this strategy and start seeing results right away.

If you’re still not a believer, give us a call, and schedule a free consultation.