A Refresher Course: Digital Marketing Basics

strategyAfter reading an article by Mashable “Does Your Business Need a Full-Time Social Media Team?”, I was once again reminded how complex and time consuming creating a digital marketing strategy can be. After all, there is an entire industry dedicated to the social media marketing of businesses and corporations. And as part of a digital marketing team, I thought it would be a good idea to reiterate the basics of developing a successful digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing strategies rely on incorporating traditional public relations principles with current social media trends. But to be successful, it’s important to find the right strategy. Specifically, this means researching your audience, choosing the appropriate social media, and creating measurable goals all in an effort to engage and build with your audience.

So when developing a digital marketing strategy for a class project, internship, or at a job, here are some key things to keep in mind:

Know your audience.

It’s simple, the more you know about your target audience, the better your strategy will be. However, knowing your audience means you must do a significant amount of research to fully understand your audience and their expectations.

Identify where your audience goes on the web for information, paying special attention to “pain points.” Pain points are problems or weaknesses apparent in the current marketing strategy. These pain points aren’t currently adequately (or perhaps not even at all) the audience’s needs and expectations. Think like your audience. Pain points can help you identify opportunities that allow you to better connect with the audience. Understanding how your audience currently interacts with the product or company will help you market to them more effectively.

Choose social media platforms based on audience and audience research.

It’s easy to become over zealous when adding social media into your strategy. At first, you might feel pressured to incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Vine, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and every other social media platforms into your strategy, but take a step back and really look at your research and audience. Ask yourself, “Is my audience active on Twitter?” “Do they really use Instagram?” Questions like these will help you focus on where your audience is actively participating on the web. From there, you can peruse and take notes on the types of content your audience most frequently interacts with.

The key to successfully using social media as part of your strategy is not to stretch your brand. It is always better to be sincerely engaged with your audience on one or two platforms than just to have a presence on seven or eight platforms. Successful social media management requires a fresh supply of relevant content and daily maintenance. Actively participate in your chosen social media outlets and don’t worry about the rest.

Set realistic, measurable goals.

It’s easy to become overly ambitious when setting your marketing strategy goals. It is extremely important to set goals that are attainable and measurable. So, how do you do that?

Firstly, understand that marketing strategies take time. Strategies do not work overnight, and receiving substantial feedback on your strategy often takes weeks and months. Develop an overarching goal to your strategy, but make sure to create smaller goals throughout your timeline in order to track your progress. Smaller, more refined goals will allow you to make adjustments to your strategy along the way.

Secondly, a marketing goal should be measurable. Measuring your strategy means being able to compare metrics according to a set timeframe.

Not an analyst? Don’t worry. There are hundreds of free online analytics tools available on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Facebook even has their own analytics tool, called Facebook Insights, and they’re getting better all the time. Facebook’s Insight tool now helps you benchmark your marketing strategy, see when your audience is online, and better visualize Page Likes growth through new graphs.

Like every company, every strategy is different. At the most basic level, digital marketing strategies strive for research-rich audience data, relevant and appropriate use of social media, and measurable and attainable goals to be successful.

Hope this is a helpful resource for your digital marketing endeavors!

Join the Party. Be an Eco-Friendly Intern.

The summer 2013 Eco-Friendly Internship Crew. Join their ranks!

The summer 2013 Eco-Friendly Internship crew.

We’re looking for a few good interns – Eco-Friendly Interns, to be precise. Want to get real-world digital marketing job experience while learning from some of the best in the business? Apply now!

There’re five tracks to choose from, all of which come with their own unique fun:

  1. Project Management – Get an inside look into leading initiatives and projects for clients!
  2. Web Development – Design websites! Make cool things online!
  3. Graphic Design – Make pretty things that work for clients!
  4. Content / Social – Write everything! Work with photos and videos! Tell digital stories!
  5. Analyst / SEO – Get your math and research on!

The internship starts September 9, so polish up your resume and head over to the digital marketing internship page, where you can get all the details about each internship track and fill out the internship questionnaire. Then, send your cover letter and resume to jobs@ingenexdigital.com.

We want you on our team – get your applications in today.

Eco-Friendly Ideas to Recycle Old Electronics

Photo By David Morris

Photo By David Morris

Most of us have a bunch of unused gadgets laying around, whether they no longer work or are simply out-of-date. Much of the time, we don’t properly dispose of old phones or other electronic devices every time we upgrade. Maybe it’s the fear of not having a backup, but let’s face it, we’re probably not going to use that old flip phone from 2008 anymore. According to DoSomething.org, between 80-85% of electronic devices were discarded in landfills or incinerators, which can release toxins into the air. Instead of throwing away used electronics, there are several eco-friendly alternatives to consider.

 

Donate to Nonprofits/Charities

Cross off your good deed for the day and get those unused electronics off your hands. Donating to charities or nonprofits is a great way to know your old gadgets are being put to good use. You can drop off old tvs, computers and other electronics at Donation Centers for stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. There are tons of good charities to donate those old cell phones to as well. Cell Phones for Soldiers, which provides soldiers a cost-free way to call home from wherever they may be stationed, and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which uses the proceeds from the sale of refurbished phones to support programs to end domestic violence, are just two great organizations to choose from.

Sell or Trade-In

If you want to take the for-profit route, you can always sell or trade-in your old electronic devices. Most electronic companies offer trade-in programs for rebates on newer products or gift cards to the store. For example, Amazon has a trade-in program that offers you Amazon gift cards in exchange for your eligible electronics. Other companies offer cash for your used electronics. Glyde in a marketplace for selling used phones, tablets, games and more, and it compares what you will get on their site with other competitors such as Gazelle, Amazon and Apple. They will even sell the broken phones you no longer have a use for

Repurposing for DIY Projects

Why not give those unused gadgets new life by using them differently than what they were made for. There a lot of cool DIY ideas for repurposing old electronics into useful products for the home. Sites like Pinterest have more ideas than you’ll know what to do with.  These ideas from Mashable may be just what you need to get you started with a new project.

Next time you upgrade your electronic devices, take this eco-friendly advice to heart and remember to recycle or repurpose them instead of throwing them away!

 

Interview with an Intern

Our summer intern program is coming to an end next week. For three months our team of five interns had the opportunity to gain more experience in the field of digital marketing. Today, one of our interns, Jessica Morrow will gave a snap interview about her experience.

Photo by: Chelsea Hensbergen

Photo by: Chelsea Hensbergen

1) What motivated you to have an internship at Ingenex Digital Marketing?

Derek Mehraban taught my New Media Drivers License class. The class was very interesting and helpful in making the most out of my social media pages. I was excited to learn how to apply what I learned from that class to real-life client situations.

2) What did you learn during your three months internship?

I learned about the importance of blog posts and SEO and how to write them in a way that is appealing to read. The use of links and pictures not only keep the readers’ attentions, but it adds credibility and searchability to your posts.

3) What was your favorite experience?

I liked the fact that people with all different forms of education and majors could come together and work for one company. Some of the employees were self-taught, some have computer science degrees, advertising degrees, journalism degrees, and more. But these different forms of knowledge were able to mold together and make Ingenex successful.

4) Do you think this internship will help you find a full time job?

This internship has helped me gain the writing skills and writing samples that could be appealing to a potential boss during a job interview.

5) Could you give some recommendations for anyone that would like to be an intern at Ingenex in the future?

Be ready to write. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when writing posts. Most importantly, don’t be shy and talk to the other interns!

If you have any other questions for Jessica or other interns just click here!

By: Joao Mattos and Jessica Morrow

Facebook and Skype Editing Tricks

Today, I am going to share with you some editing “secrets” that you might not know about on Facebook and Skype. These editing tips not only allows you to fix typos, but also customize the right message you want your users to read.

Facebook Post Editing

If you are adding a link to your status update you have the ability to change the thumbnail image as well as the title and description that appears, once Facebook pulls up the original information.

Once you add the link into the blank status field, you will be able to edit any of the areas pointed by the arrows. The green arrows shows where you can click and see other options of thumbnails images. If you don’t like any of the thumbnails suggestions follow the purple arrow. By clicking on “Upload Image” you will be able to pick an image from your drive.

The yellow arrow is showing the title of the blog in bold letters. Once you click on it you will be write any calling to action message. The red arrow enables you to edit the description of the title. You can change it completely or just make any adjustments.

Once you are done, feel free to remove the URL you pasted and write your status post! These changes are very helpful when you are developing the right copy and when you are trying share the right message. Remember, you do not want to include everything on the status messages because they are suppose to be brief and concise.

Skype Message Editing

Skype users might not know, but you can actually edit the messages you send on a chat. It’s very common for people to make more mistakes writing on a chat window compared to an e-mail because your primary intention is to just keep the conversation going in a faster pace.

If you hover your mouse next to the time, you will see a drop down arrow. Once you click on it a the drop down will allow you to copy, quote, edit, remove and jump back in the history of the conversation you had with the other user.

Once you click “Edit Message” a screen will pop up and you can make the changes right there and then. See image below:

After you click “Save” you are all set! The other user will know however that you edit the message by the indication of the little pencil next to the time.

This handy feature is great especially if you don’t want any misinterpretation in a conversation, and Skype has been used more and more often by digital marketing agencies to communicate with its clients.

I hope you find these tips useful!

 

Ingenex Welcomes New Web Developer

Ingenex Digital Marketing has recently welcomed John Wright as their new Web Developer, where he designs, redesigns and maintains websites for Ingenex and their clients. Purely self-taught, Wright has an extensive CSS, HTML, WordPress, and Web Developing background. Wright’s career began when he created interactive MySpace profiles that impressed a wide-spread of MySpace users. When discovering how popular his designs were, Wright learned how to use CSS, HTML, and PHP to create a dynamic website for customers to purchase these profile designs from.

Wright found out about the job opening from his aunt who attended a LA2M Marketing Education event, and he applied shortly after. Impressed with Wright’s profile and learning about his independent web developing background, Ingenex warmly welcomed Wright to the team.

Interested in a career with Ingenex? To find out about current job openings, please visit:

http://ingenexdigital.com/content-producer and

http://ingenexdigital.com/digital-marketing-analyst

 

Gmail introduces tabs!

Keeping your e-mail organized is challenge for many people. Recently Gmail has create tabs that allows us to separate the emails in five different categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

The new navigation layout makes your inbox more functional based on the relevance of the content of your incoming message. This is how Gmail divided up its five tabs to make it easier for users to view and organized their emails using categories.

Meet the Five Tabs!

  1. Primary: In this tab you will receive messages from your family and friends, work and other  message that would not fit into the categories below.

  2. Social: This categories it is focused on the messages and notifications you might receive from other social platforms and networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  3. Promotions: This tab is designed for you to receive offers, deals and other promotional materials that you have signed up for.

  4. Updates: In this tab you will get notifications such as bank statements and receipts.

  5. Forums: This tab is designed specifically for messages from discussion boards, online groups and mailing lists you have subscribed to. Since categories might not be relevant to every person, Gmail allows users to customize which tabs shows up on their dashboard by clicking on the “+” sign.

Directing E-mails

If you receive an update that might going to your Primary tab, don’t worry! It is possible to move emails from specific senders into the exactly tabs you want. To do this, you should right-click on an email located under the incorrect tab heading. Then you chose the “Move to tab” option, then pick the tab of your preference. A shortcut to this tip is to simply drag and drop the messages you want.

Gmail_Move

Not ready for the change?

If for some reason you don’t like the layout and design, or you simply just want to use the old format, it is possible to revert back. All you need to do is click again the “+” icon to the right of the tab and uncheck every box (except the “Primary”) and you are done! If you want the tabs again, just click on “Settings” (gear icon) and select “Configure inbox”, it’s that simple!

Gmail_PlusSign
I still wish we could rename or create our own tabs, but I can’t deny that this new layout will make people’s lives much easier. So check out your current gmail account or create a gmail www.gmail.com. I hope you find these tips helpful and now you can make your e-mail a lot more organized and tailored to your needs.

Happy Birthday #Ingenex7!

Yesterday, Ingenex Digital Marketing celebrated seven years of successful hard work by throwing a birthday bash. This special moment couldn’t have been celebrated in without the family and friends that are so supportive and motivational for us to continue to do our job.

Ingenex's Friends

The band Corndaddy brought the great sound of country rock to the party. Inspired by Willie Nelson, Buck Owens, the Byrds and other classic groups, the refreshing music chilled out our guests from the hot weather.

Corndaddy

The parents brought their babies and children making the event very family oriented. Parents didn’t have to worry about their children as they took over the conference room and watched Disney movies and ate delicious food from Katherine’s Catering services. With great drinks we were able to toast with the Ingenex family in the new office.

Watching the Incredbiles

This celebration is shows that entrepreneurship and dedication goes a long way with the dedication of a team that roll up the sleeves every single day to meet the needs of their clients. With this spirit and mentality, I am certain we’ll see many more celebrations in the future!

Managing your Social Media Footprint in the Digital Age

In an ever competitive job market, your online presence is becoming an important part of the interviewing process. Employers aren’t necessarily trying to “dig up dirt” on you as much as they are trying to make sure you’re the right fit for the company. Dan Schawbel, author of “Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success,” told MSN News, “Over 90 percent of recruiters use social networks to review candidates’ backgrounds.”  It goes to show just how important your online reputation is. Follow these easy steps to make sure you’re marketing yourself correctly:

Photo by: Search Engine People Blog

Photo by: Search Engine People Blog

Google Yourself
Start out looking at what employers would see if they searched you. Google, Bing, Facebook, etc. search your name. It will give you a good feel for what kind of digital footprint you’re leaving behind, whether it be positive or negative. If you can’t find you, then chances are recruiters are going to have a tough time too. However, that’s not necessarily a good thing; you want to be found in search results, for positive reasons of course. Searching yourself will give you a look at how much work you have ahead of you to clean up your image and make yourself more searchable for all the right reasons.

Clean It Up
Delete inactive social media profiles. There’s probably no reason to keep that Myspace from middle school, completely stocked full with embarrassing pictures. Once you determine what profiles you want to keep, and you realize they aren’t as professional as you’d like them to be, you might have your hands full. One useful (and free) tool students can use is SimpleWash. This application looks through your Facebook and Twitter and shows you everything from photos, to things you’ve liked or tweeted that have questionable content. You can also search specific words for the app to scan through. After it finds everything, you can sift through and delete things you don’t want employers to see.

Facebook Privacy Settings
They may be a pain, but they are important to keep up-to-date on so what you don’t want people to see, stays private. Facebook’s Privacy Settings are often changing, so you need to keep up with it. There are a lot of handy features to manage your profile. One of my favorites, Timeline Review, allows you to approve or hide tagged photos or posts before they are seen on your timeline. Gone are the days where you have to worry about quickly untagging yourself from an unprofessional (or just flat out unattractive) photo your friend posted from a night out. If there is anything questionable, you have have the ability to decide what can be seen.

Twitter
There are a lot of ways you can use Twitter, however some of them are better than others when it comes to getting a job. It might seem funny to tweet from the bar, but it won’t seem that funny when you can’t find a job after graduation. If you lack the self-control that so many college kids do, consider protecting your tweets. People will request to follow you, giving you the control over who sees your tweets. If you have your tweets public, remember who your audience is. Have an objective and make sure your tweeting relevant information.

Be Smart and Think Before You Post
Once it’s on the internet, it’s out there for good. Don’t post something if you are unsure of how it may be received by the public. Try to stay away from anything controversial. You don’t know the beliefs and values of recruiters who may be looking at your profile, so don’t say anything that could potentially offend them. Refrain from posting about politics, religion or anything illegal. “Posting while emotional” is another trap some fall into. We all say things we regret when angry or upset, but don’t share it with your entire online community.

Manage Your Friends and Followers
We’ve all heard it before, but don’t accept friend or follower requests from people you don’t know. Know who you are connected to and what you’re sharing with them. You can classify your friends into groups and share content that is specifically for them. As you get older, you might want to go through and manage your friends and followers to make sure they’re still relevant connections.

It’s important to keep yourself professional, but that doesn’t mean you need to sound like a robot in the process. Be yourself! Employers want to see your personality and the positive accomplishments you’ve had. Sprucing up your social media profiles may seem like a daunting task, and it may take you a few days to look through all those pictures from your college years, but it will be well worth it when your profiles are recruiter ready.

The Digital Bus: A unique experience

My three month internship at Ingenex Digital Marketing is flying by! Right now, I am approaching the end of my second month, and the company has recently launched its Digital Bus Summer Tour of 2013.

Ingenex Team

Ingenex Team

The goal of the Digital Bus is to promote our services and brand awareness via digital social outreach as we engage in activities and events on our summer schedule. During the summer tour we hope to connect with  people through the use of hashtags in order to create conversation and establish new relationships.

The Digital Bus visits awesome places beyond Michigan’s borders. Our 1972 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper also travels to Illinois and New York. We encourage people that see us on the road or in person to take a photo and tweet us using the hashtag #DigitalBus so we can interact with them!

For each summer tour, our team wears personalized t-shirts to help us brand and promote the bus as well as our company. This experience allows us to combine the digital experience with the real world and connect with our community.

Joao and Erin at Nickel's Arcade

Joao and Erin at Nickel’s Arcade

I’ll try not to be biased, but the 1972 Volkswagen we have is extremely cool! The Digital Bus provides a charming and exclusive identity to our company. Promoting the digital services we provide via our vintage van is very ironic, but in my opinion that’s why Ingenex is such a unique agency to work for. Though we are digitally immersed in our daily work, all team members are extremely social, outgoing and this opportunity allows us to combine our skills and personalities.

This is also an opportunity for us as a team to get to know each other better in different environments. The Digital Bus is an experience that not many agencies can provide, and I am very happy for the opportunity to be part of this experience.