What Kaleb Ode can do for recreation based businesses as their digital marketer

Every industry can benefit from strengthening their approach to digital marketing. That being said, I want to help improve the recreation industry most of all. I’ve been working at summer camps for the last six years, will be returning for a seventh this summer, and completed the Recreation Program at Western Washington University back in Fall 2014.

Here is what I can do for you as your digital marketer:

  • Apply my personal passion for recreation to improving the online presence of your program
  • Explain digital marketing concepts to you and your co-workers
  • Manage your social media accounts with Hootsuite and individual account access
  • Analyze your current digital presence with Google Analytics
  • Create or improve upon your website that will help you standout from your competition
  • Create and compile content relevant to the recreation industry, your business, and your customers
  • Improve your website visibility with SEO and Google Adwords (specific to your budget)
  • Increase registrations by making your information more easy to find online
  • Improve your existing programming through personal experience in the field of recreation.

For my blog posts this quarter, aside from today’s post, I wrote 4,145 words. When comparing that to a classmate who wrote over 9,000 words it seems a bit underwhelming, but rest assured that this is not where my blogging ends. I have set time aside during the summer to rewrite all of my blog posts specific to the outdoor recreation industry. Keep your eye on https://campdigimark.wordpress.com/ to see how an industry specific focus ends up serving me and the industry I love.

Follow the Spiders – Getting Familiar with SEO and Link Building was by far my most popular Blog post with 12 views from 12 unique viewers. Since my personal brand is more dependent on CAMP DIGIMARK the number of views does not worry me for now. My other 14 posts received 4 views on a regular basis with some occasionally hitting 5 or 6. Hopefully it’s not my mom and dad following my blog. In order to increase the number of views it would behoove me to gather for Twitter followers. I don’t currently have any followers on Twitter. I’ve let it sit there because I haven’t liked to Tweet. Now that Hootsuite is a player in my life however I see that changing very soon. This is especially true as I will be helping Camp Lutherwood vamp up its social media marketing along with the rest of its digital marketing.

Mobile Marketing – How to Market for Screen Time on a Variety of Screens

In the United States alone 90% of American adults own a cell phone and 64% own a smartphone. Today we will be focusing in on how to reach this massive crowd as well as the tools necessary to reach future generations of mobile device users.

The Pew Resource Center has an excellent breakdown of what people are using their phones for. If you’re in the music industry you’re in luck and if you’re not consider advertising to listeners.

Cell phone activties

The leading users of this technology are Millennials, but with each new generation you have a greater and greater number of tech users. That being said be careful not to underestimate the reach of mobile devices. Other generations can still be reached this way, just not as easily as with Millennials and young people.

Some of the key factors to this rapid growth in mobile usage include:

  • Demand for information
  • Increased Access to Information
  • Ever-improving technology (Particularly with processing speeds)
  • The desire to make life easier

In an ever expanding digital landscape it is important to optimize your share of the real estate. Many users in the United States, (Approximately 56%) use multiple platforms (Mobile, Desktop, Tablet, TV) all of which have varying screen sizes and user interfaces. Mobile allow users to do more on the go; something that TVs and Desktops can’t really offer. This helps explain how mobile has overtaken desktops with 57% of internet usage being accounted for on mobile devices.Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 12.08.08 PM

One of the biggest challenges for successful marketing campaigns and integrated Marketing communications is reaching the right consumers at the right time. The beauty of Mobile is it allows you to meet your customer on their term and at their convenience. On average in 2013, mobile users spend 151 minutes (that is approx. 2.5 hours!!) interacting with their screens. This window is crucial in presenting your offering in the right context for maximum effectiveness that leads to app download, purchase, or increase brand awareness (i.e conversion). Remember this is a valuable opportunity, but consumers also have more control over the type of interactions they have with your company in these mediums than in other forms such as SEO or Print Advertising. This is were I believe App revolution has created an ideal portal to provide value to your consumers while presenting your offering in a less direct brash manner than push marketing strategies. Although, searching within a browser within a mobile device are still considered ‘mobile’ they are difficult to measure and often don’t provide optimal user experience. Want to read more about the value of User Experience, read my past blog.

Here is my recommendation:

  1. Evaluate if your target market is using Mobile platforms. If they are use your digital analytics to determine their patterns of behavior, where your high C-T-R’s are, and how effective your goals are at being achieved within the buying funnel.
  2. Clearly articulate the value your mobile platform provides to your customer. Does it provide a way to communicate, research products, or read review? To be valuable you should of
    fer an engaging, responsive, and sticky interface for users that provide value to their lives in the form of increased productivity, entertainment or ease of communication. Remember– 35% of search tasks that begin on a TV or Desktop then continue onto a Mobile Device, which means your mobile device must be ready for these eager researchers. Not to mention with the advent of Native Advertising it is easier to convince your organization to invest in such mediums because of the unique access point for advertising. My most recent favorite Native Advertising is the Jack Daniels sponsored post in Instagram I have been seeing a LOT recently. Clearly, they realized I am of drinking age based on my digital behavior. Facebook, Twitter, and others are following this Native Advertising Train as part of their advertising strategy specifically on mobile devices,Forbes says. Native Advertising allows Markets to profit from their social media presence. Integrating promotion into social networks is the newest addition to improving the user experience with their device or app.

Decide whether to allocate additional resources to SEO, PPC, add Google Adwords Extensions, or develop an App to reach your customers on mobile device. Whatever you do will depend on who your customers are, what your are offerings, and value of your app to the customers. Starbucks App is a create example of a well designed, well executed, and valuable app that has been great rewards through increasing business. But, others are following in their footsteps and gaining notice for their Apps, like Taco Bell–read morehere. See Business Insiders list of 100 Best Apps for other examples. Apps that are focused around gaming, entertainment, communication and productivity are most popular amongst consumers are are most frequently downloaded. Unsurprisingly, Facebook is the #1 most used App, other top grossing Apps are Twitter and Pandora. Plus, advertising revenues from these apps via Native Advertising run between 75 and 50% of Overall Advertising revenues for these companies. Imagine what it could do for your business! And, the App revolution hasn’t reach maturity yet, hence Facebook’s 2014 acquisition of Whatup App (messaging App) that cost $19 Billion.  I’ll beat we will see more Mobile App acquisitions in the next few years.

Note: It is important to note that much of the Google (or, Bing/Yahoo) searches happening on Mobile devices are about directions, contact information, or shopping on the go. These are not happening in Apps but rather through a browser. Making sure your site is optimized for Mobile Viewing or using Google Adwords Extensions is key. Our friends at Moz have some great insights into this.

Few final points:

  • 1/3 of US Smartphone uses download at least 1 App per month.
  • If you create an App shoot to be in the Top 3 used Apps for your Target Market for maximum effectiveness.
  • Word-of-Mouth has a BIG impact on App downloads. Never underestimate WOM.
  • Most Users (3/4) expect Apps to be free, and the 1/4 will only pay on average $2.17 for any given App.
  • On Average App users have 36 apps installed on their smartphones. Only 1 in 4 of those are used on a daily basis. This just means your App needs to be good, and engaged users on a daily basis. Starbucks App is a great example of this.
  • User download Apps because they were recommend by others, Sounded fun, were familiar with the brand, or in order to get access to a discount or promotion.
  • Are you in the E-Commerce industry? Mobile Apps are increasingly valuable around the Holidays when purchases increase in frequency and amount, yet customers want to avoid lines and hectic shopping centers.
  • If you launch an App you can either select a Responsive site with Identical content to your website or a Separate Mobile Site. Whichever option you select will be based off of your business goals. Explore the options further here. Note: Creating a Seperate Mobile site may improve your SEO because it gives search engine bots different content to crawl.

Here is your next challenge; making certain that your Digital Presence is Mobile Ready whether that be in an App or on a Mobile Device Search. The number of Smartphone and Tablet users in the US alone presents an invaluable opportunity to reach your consumers at their fingertips.

The Future of Paid Advertising Will Be Determined by Google

Google is the most frequently used search engine. The top three result spots for any given search are perhaps the most desirable spaces in digital marketing. While social media sites will come and go, Google will persist. It should come as no surprise then that Google exercises a bit of power over those that would like to be found online.

If digital marketing is the current standard for marketing then I would argue that the future of Paid Advertising will be determined by Google.

Google does not, currently, control the advertisements placed on billboards, posted on the side of buildings, or shown before a movie. Hopefully Futurama was wrong when it guessed that advertisers of the future will be able to reach you in your dreams.

What stands in the way of that advertising? Regulations, laws, and Google.

While Google was not required to by any existing law, it chose to crack down on doorway pages and Black Hat advertising practices. This is only the latest power play by Google that demonstrates Google’s power over the web and the web’s dependence on Google.

5 Ways to Ensure That Your Money Is Well Spent – Google AdWords

Google isn’t hurting for money. With something close to 97% of their revenue coming from pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, a big reason for this comes from how costly Google AdWords can get. Below is an infographic from WordStream that breaks down the most expensive keywords in Google Adwords advertising.

Keep in mind that these keywords are expensive in part because the related industries are high-value and/or highly competitive. Not all keywords are as expensive as these.

Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, does an excellent job of breaking down how Google’s AdWords Auction works. Though he simplifies the process it’s easy enough to understand where the process might become a little more complicated or expensive.

So what does it take to have a successful AdWords Campaign? It is possible to have a very successful campaign without Apple’s budget. Take a look at these 5 steps you will want to utilize after you’ve made your free account.

  1. Set your goals. A Google AdWords campaign can only be subjectively successful without goals to measure against. Make these goals specific and reasonable. Just because you want to raise your website traffic by 100% doesn’t mean that will happen (Unless of course your viewership thus far includes one person).
  2. Use Google Display Network and/or Google Search Network to determine where you want to be seen.
  3. Assign a Paid Search budget, and decide on a bidding strategy that aligns with your overall budget, and enable you to meet conversion goals. You will need to discuss with a client what their needs, wants, and expectations are as part of step 1 and often this translates into to a budget ballpark. I encourage showing clients the numbers and past success stories to get them to buy into the Adwords ‘way’ and maybe earn yourself a higher budget.
    • 3 types of Bidding Strategies:
      • CPM: (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) implement this strategy when trying to increase brand awareness and build brand equity, and are less conversion focused.
      • CPC: (Cost-Per-Click) Client wanting to increase conversions via clicks? This bidding strategy might be for them because it is likely to drive the most traffic to their site or landing pages.
      • CPA: (Cost-Per-Action) With this strategy you can measure direct actions that lead to conversions.
  4. Select a Content Strategy, ad type, format, extensions, and additional features that will enable you to reach your buyer personas.
    • What is your Keyword Strategy? Broad, Phrase, or Exact Match? One of my favorite piece of advice from Google’s Study Guide is to optimize common misspellings and plural forms (called Keyword Variations) of your brand name or product to increase ‘clicks’. Visit this page for a refresher on keyword strategy options.
    • What types of ads are you going to display? Text, Image, Video, or Mobile App ads? Different Ad formats offer different conversion advantages, and therefore should be selected based on what your specific goals are for the campaign. This might range from from increasing brand awareness to driving qualified leads. Have you considered extensions? Think about site-link, app, call and review extensions (see infographic for an example, but their are many more types.) Also, click here for 5 great examples of effective ad extensions. Remember, Ad Quality is one of the determinants of the Ad Ranking, and therefore should be high quality. If they aren’t up to par you should inform the client, and offer potential remedies.
    • Where do you want your ad to be seen, and by whom? You can set your campaigns to only reach specific geographic areas, demographic profiles, language preferences, and select devices to push your ads to ensure the intended audience gets exposure through targeting efforts.
    • Will you engage in remarking? Remarking is a type of sub-campaign option that allows you to target visitors who have previously searched for your offerings but didn’t complete the macro conversion. Remarking aims to recapture the consumers attention, and convert them through exposing them to ads on the Display Network sites.
  5. Launch & monitor Performance in Real-Time to make necessary changes for maximum effectiveness.
    Where are your ‘clicks’ coming from? (Referral Source) Where are the ‘clicks’ going once they arrive on your site? (Destination URL). Awareness of these two connections will help you determine which Landing Pages to improve and understand visitor behavior while on site.

    • What device are the ‘clicks’ using? (Allows for Ad optimization for specific device platforms)
      Look for Time of Day/Hour for ‘click’ patterns. This may help you to optimize your bidding budget for times when you are most likely to have the greatest reach leading to increased conversions. Check out this PPCHero Article about understanding these effects.Adwords is fairly intuitive to reaching the right audience, at the right time, but you will need to specify that Adwords can do this.
    • Monitor your Search Terms Report for frequently used keywords that you should optimize or to discontinue using certain keywords if they are proving ineffective in converting traffic. This report might also offer insight into which negative keywords to add to your campaign to funnel out unqualified leads.

When Should You Invest in Paid Search? – Advice for Search Engine Marketing

Not everyone wants to pay to market their product and perhaps not everyone should. It’s a big market out there though, so why wouldn’t you want to get your chunk of it?

  • In just the United States alone Google Display Network, the websites that display Google Adwords Advertisements, reaches around 80% of internet users.
  • Google Adwords, Google’s Digital Advertising Program, allows you to set a budget, see analytics on Adwords performance, and select where/when/how your content is displayed giving you control of your Paid Search.
  • Paid Search offers you the opportunity to learn about users, the way they are search for your, and related, offerings in real time, as well as improve your SEO, Content, and Inbound Marketing Strategy. Don’t just take my word for it, experts agree, too.

Before starting your Google Adwords campaign there are some terms you’re going to want to be familiar with.

Keywords: Words or phrases that your Buyer Personas are likely to search when looking for your product or service. Awareness of frequently used, or under optimized, terms allows Google to display your Ad to users with a matching or close query on a SERP or other site. Find a few hints about the most profitable keywords from this Entrepreneur article.

Placements: This is the ‘where’ of Advertising. Google Allows you to select a preference for the locations your advertisement is displayed. You can select automatic or managed Display options to tailor your preference. For Example: you can designate an ad to display in a specific place on a particular site, prevent the ad from being placed on a particular URL, or allow Google to place the Ad anywhere they deem relevant based on keywords or phrases. Learn how to management these targeted placements here.

Ad Rank: making sure your Ad is displayed in a prominent position (ideally top 3) you will need to know your rank, and therefore how to improve it if it isn’t optimal. Your Ad rank is a combination of your bid ($) and your Quality Score (See below).

Quality Score: A metric calculated by Google Adwords that determines the quality of your ad, selections of keywords, and your actual site.

Campaign: This is what we will be discussing shortly. Your campaign is the strategtic lan that outlines your SEO and Paid Search plan.

Impressions: The number of times your ad is displayed on any platform (website, mobile app). This number helps you understand how many times its being seen and clicked.

Landing Pages: Check out my Blog post “UI/UX Cheat Sheet” for a review.

These 7 terms will be essential in understanding how to design, implement, and measure your Paid Search (Google Adwords Campaign). Now that you have decided, you’ve got to decide your budget, a keyword match strategy, and implement accountability for Google Adwords.

Whats your budget? Google Adwords doesn’t impose a minimum, or maximum, but you should select a budget that matches your intended reach, and ideal outcomes.
Pick a keyword strategy for Google Adwords to display your ad. You have 3 choices: Exact Match, Phrase Match (display ad if search contains the same order of words, and maybe extras), and Broad Match (ad is displayed if search contains ANY of the keywords). These are pretty self explanatory in term of the narrowness of the keyword match, but I suggest a hybrid strategy for maximum effectiveness. Although it may seem obvious to select Broad Match for maximum exposure, this strategy won’t necessary lead to more qualified leads. Some testing might be helpful for determining which strategy to use based on your buyer personas.
Measure your Adword Effectiveness:
Click-Through-Rate (CTR): 1% is a good rule of thumb
Quality Score of Ads: Aim for 5 or higher
Referral and Destination URL: This will show you which landing pages users are directed to once they click on your ad, and where their clicks are coming from.
Track brand Awareness & Equity: Via Impressions (Cost-Per-Click or CPC) (best practices for improving impressions found here, and longer explanation of impression types found here. It is also wise to look at customer Engagement on Social Media Platforms, and geographic reach of display ads.
A Paid Search Campaign is an important aspect of your Inbound Marketing strategy, and equally as valuable as organic search. Remember that QUALITY CONTENT is the meat of both Organic and Paid Search. The best Inbound Marketing strategy will fail without good content to back it up.

If you walk away with anything be sure that you can intelligently talk about PPC, CPC, SERP, SEO, and CTR. Acronyms are the bread and butter of business, so know them or be prepared to look a bit foolish.

Follow the Spiders – Getting Familiar with SEO and Link Building

When someone uses Google or some other search engine to search for themselves the results compiled may not be what they expected. Searches for common names often result in pages related to most famous, or most recently relevant, person of that name popping up first.

John Smith

Why does this happen? For a little explanation we turn to Matt Cutts.

So how does one take advantage of the way that spiders work? If you’re going to do it yourself then you’ll want to start with Search Engine Optimization and Link Building.

Definitions:

  • SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to several different approaches to helping a website rank more highly in search engines.
  • Link building refers to the steps taken to establish inbound links to your website. These links help improve your website’s placement in a search engine’s results for any given keyword or keywords.
  • Spider: Also known as a web crawler, ant, or automatic indexer, a spider is a program that automatically fetches web pages.

To turn yourself into a true master of SEO and Link Building I recommend starting with The Beginner’s Guide to SEO and Beginner’s Guide to Link Building from Moz, but for some insight into the basics this is a good place to start.

Getting Started:

When someone searches a term, keyword, or phrase your website may or may not be a top result. Whether or not your pages earn a top spot is highly dependent on factors such as the relevance and usefulness of the content on that page and popularity of the content.

Search Engines utilize algorithms to select and display results based on previous run searches and their outcomes. Click-through-rates (CTR) and the number of pages an individual visits while on a site helps the search engine determine a page’s relevance. Most users trust that Google will provide the most useful results and won’t look past the first page. As such making sure your page is part of the top results, if not the top result, is paramount.

Here are some of the basis steps to take to increase your chances of being found by a search engine.

  • Ensure your site has high-quality information
  • Check to ensure you are indexed
  • Encourage others to link to you (whether you ask politely or publish content they want to share)
  • Identify keywords that you would like to be found for
  • Identify keywords users are likely to search for
  • Place keywords in meaningful locations. (Headlines and section titles, link text, page text, and page URL are good places to start)
  • Keep your website up-to-date

Now that you have a basic idea of SEO lets delve into Link Building.

Links contribute to how the quality of the content on your website is perceived. More links tend to signal to users that you have a higher-quality of content than other sites. Your links also help search engines determine if you’re worth showing in the top results of a given search. Remember that your goal for Link Building is to create inbound links. Your site must be worth being linked to or provide some value to the potential link-sharer.

Remember that Moz has a Beginner’s Guide to Link Building if you want to learn how.

Do not forget to measure the results of your SEO and Link Building efforts. Implementing these strategies is great, but you want to ensure that they are working. Here are a few measurements you might use to determine if your SEO practices are helping your organization.

  • Number of new visitors since implementing SEO.
  • Where your visitors are coming from. (Direct, Referral, Search)
  • If referral, which Search Engines are referring visitors? (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
  • Keywords, terms, or phrases visitors used to find your site?
  • Conversion rate (specifically by search query term)

I’ve mentioned Moz in a couple different places throughout this blog. In order to get an idea of what Moz actually does, and what they have done in the past, take a look at this 10 Year Anniversary video or this interview with Ran Fishkin from 2014.