Time to go Mobile

In my final blog post, I will be summarizing what was said in Chapter’s 11 and 12. I’ll cover the main topics of these chapters and also add some of my own opinion.

Starting off with Chapter 11, which was very short in comparison to many of the other chapters we’ve read through. Chapter 11 was all about the Online Reputation Management (ORM). As the name suggests, the chapter summarized what a digital marketer should be doing to keep the best reputation possible for their brand.

Section 1 starts off with monitoring brands. Which is very simply just monitoring everything that everyone has to say about your brand. Just reading that I already felt overwhelmed. However, Google has created something that makes monitoring brands way easier. Google Alerts is a tool that anyone can use, but can be very helpful for a digital marketer. Users can enter as many search terms/keywords that they’d like and they’ll be notified when a new post featuring those is made.

There’s more than just searches to a companies brand, however. Companies should also monitor the search results that are related to terms that are also related to their brand. This gives companies a very good idea of what they’re reputation looks like.

In section 2, the textbook details how companies should respond to negative feedback and posts. There are a lot of different kinds of ways users can post about a company. In my opinion, the two worst places to have a negative review is through a review site and social media. Review sites are the place most people look to see how your company is doing, and if you have a really bad Yelp review, chances are they’re not going to get involved in your business. Social Media plays a big role as well. The textbook used a perfect example of negative social media feedback. A large company like Taco Bell can’t really control what their employees post on the internet and that image could ruin their reputation.

Figure 11.2.1 from the Stukent Textbook displaying the Taco Bell employee that brought a lot of negativity to Taco Bell

Instead of picking a fight or disagreeing with the reviewer or ignoring the post, companies should focus on bringing their good reputation back. Only responding once with a really well written and thought out post should help bring it back.

Chapter 12 focused on the mobile side of things. Personally, I found this chapter very easy to get through seeing as I’ve had a smartphone for a large majority of my life and I can understand some of the frustrations highlighted throughout the chapter.

Section 1 starts by comparing mobile and desktop. These are both very commonly used and I can tell why desktop is so much better than mobile at most things. Phone’s can be slow, smaller, and just a pain at some points. Whereas computers generally work pretty well at everything.

Each platform has their own pros and cons. For example, a phone user might look very briefly at a page while a desktop user could be on the page for a few minutes contemplating making a purchase.

Example of a Geo-Fencing notification

Section 2 covers mobile optimization. Going into it, I didn’t really know what exactly it meant. However, after reading into it, companies use Geo-fencing to create a boundary around a certain area (usually their store) to target ads to users who are in the store. Seems like it’d be really helpful, right? Not really. If every single store did this, users would be getting notifications every minute or so as they walk through a mall. Not only would that be annoying but it could also push customers away. That’s why the tactic isn’t used all that much.

Companies are also able to track a customers shopping habits and the weather. Which allows them to be even more precise when it comes to advertising.

Browser Bluetooth is something that I actually found very interesting and helpful. The idea of sending notifications to customers that tell them the location of the product they’re looking for is fantastic. Even though it may seem like it’s invading privacy, I think it’ll work great once it’s implemented properly.

Conclusion

Over the course of this blog post I’ve summarized the last two chapters of the Digital Marketing Essentials textbook. I really enjoyed learning everything I did over the course of these last three months. I can’t wait to apply my knowledge to the real world.

Your brand name is only as good as your reputation. – Richard Branson

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Time to go Mobile

Viral Videos: Easy vs. Hard

We’ve all seen at least a few viral videos in our lifetime and in this blog post, I’m going to summarize everything needed to make a video go viral.

Former NASA Scientist Mark Rober published a video on YouTube on December 17th, 2018. The video, titled “Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap”, exploded. The video has 57.6 million views today and within 24 hours after uploading it, the video was seen on national news.

The video, as shown above, details another one of his crazy inventions. While the original intent of the video could’ve just been a funny “prank” video, he unwittingly used many great tactics that made it into the viral video it is today.

Starting out with the content. Mark has said many times in the past that he only uploads 12 videos a year (1 video a month). This gives him time to work on the videos, think of ideas, create the product, film, and edit it all before uploading it. It’s clear that he spent a lot of time engineering the main product and that’s really what sold his video.

To start off, you need unique content. The idea of throwing glitter all over a package thief is great in and of itself. However, Mark did it in such a unique and fascinating way that made it even more interesting for your average social media user. Using his knowledge of engineering and teaching, he was able to create a semi-educational and very entertaining video that anyone could enjoy watching.

That was just one step to creating the soon to be viral video. After he created the video he then had to come up with a creative and catchy title. A title that would really draw viewers in. “Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb” worked perfectly. Not only is the title interesting but it also emphasizes a big issue all over the world.

After he had these two things done, all he had to was post it and wait to see what happened. However, that’s not all he did. Immediately after posting it he went to his Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to promote his own video. This not only helped it gain a lot of traffic but also gave viewers a very easy way to share the video themselves.

Mark’s Instagram post promoting the video.

Sadly, not all of the video was good. After the video came out Mark was informed that a few reactions of the video were staged by some friends of friends. Mark did the right thing and re-uploaded the video without those reactions and commented on the video explaining the situation. He also posted the same thing to Twitter. Thinking this would drastically hurt his reputation he worded it very nicely and took full blame. However, most people were completely okay with it simply because of the integrity he showed. If the community hadn’t been so understanding, this viral video could’ve quickly turned very bad for him.

Hank Green supporting Mark after he apologized about the staged reactions.

That is a great example of a video that was hard to get viral. However, some viral videos can actually be much easier than that.

Even though a short 2 minute clip of a dog getting very emotional about The Lion King can become viral, doesn’t mean it’s super easy. Something like that is hard to make go viral. It’s just a video that the dog owner posted because he thought it was funny and it happened to blow up. He didn’t do anything special to share it or promote it. He simply posted it on his Twitter and it went viral.

This is a good example of a great way to handle a viral video as well. After seeing the video take off like it did. The account owner replied to his tweet letting people know that other dogs need to be rescued from shelters. Not only did that advertise for his local shelters but it also helped him personally as a “brand.” It showed people that he cares about animals and wants to help them.

Both of those viral videos are great examples of what’s easy and what’s hard. Mark Rober’s video about over-engineering a glitter bomb took a lot of work and managed 57 million views and counting. And Dustin’s video of his dog managed 13 million views and all it took was watching a movie. Both of these videos were viral for different reasons but both are very effective at getting a point across and making many people laugh or cry along the way.

Is going viral good or bad? Depends on the video. As you can see by the two video’s I’ve shown above, going viral is very good for both of these people. Even with the fake reactions, Mark was able to create a video that was fun for him and the people watching while also sending a message to package thieves. Dustin was able to make viewers hearts melt while also encouraging them to help pets in shelters by adopting.

Conclusion

Going viral can be very hard or very easy depending on what you’re trying to achieve. Working for months on a video and even some more after the video is uploaded to make popular is very hard. But as shown by Dustin and his dog, it doesn’t necessarily have to be all that time-consuming. Overall, there’s no telling whether or not a video can go viral. Everything has to go right and if it goes right, you have to hope you didn’t mess up anywhere. Because once you mess up it can all go very wrong.

“Content Is King, Distribution is Queen”  – Andrea Febbraio

Viral Videos: Easy vs. Hard

What Not to Do

While scrolling through my email list I noticed one website, in particular, showing up multiple times. Cappex is a scholarship site that I unknowingly signed up for a few months ago in hopes of finding some neat scholarships.

Although I do not remember signing up for this email list, the reasoning is pretty clear. No one likes paying for college and considering the fact that I’m planning on going to a four-year school, I’m going to need all the help I can get. So, while submitting an application for one of the scholarships, I must’ve put in my email and now I get three emails from them daily notifying me of scholarships.

At first, I was very interested in the emails. Some of the subject lines were really promising for a High School senior looking to pay for a bachelors degree in a couple of years. If you were a poor high school student and you saw an email with the subject line “$68,000 in scholarships waiting for you!” what would you do? Anyway, I clicked on a couple of them before I realized that it was all the same information, just formatted in a different way.

After clicking on them I was brought to this very nicely formatted email with a few of the scholarships that would eventually lead to the aforementioned amount. Overall it looked enticing and very believable. Again, being the student I am, I clicked on the highest value scholarship that didn’t have any essay attached to it. Which, of course, was the first option.

After looking back at a couple of the emails I didn’t delete. It seems as though these emails are sent out in a group but to a specific list. When I first visited the site I remember filling out something that asked me about what I was planning to do with my four-year education and at the time, I was planning on going into Digital Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I’m assuming that’s the information I put in because the scholarship choice has to do with business.

The first scholarship listed in the email

The other options don’t fit those same criteria, however. The other four options have little to nothing to do with business and don’t have a price tag on them. Which not only makes them less interesting for me but also makes me less likely to click on them due to the fact that there was no apparent value associated with them. And, as their client, I want money.

After I clicked on the option that had the dollar amount attached to it, I was brought to a very blank webpage (as in the design). After looking into it though, it doesn’t even seem like they know what they’re doing. I clicked on the learn more button associated with a scholarship that’s meant to be for the Better Business Bureau. Instead of being brought to that application, I was brought to a completely unrelated page.

As seen above, there are three boxes. All of which, just by looking at the content, seems like sponsors or ads for another site or program (to their credit, the options do have something to do with colleges, but absolutely nothing to do with the scholarship I was hoping to fill out). As the customer, not only does this confuse me but knowing what I know now it makes me even more interested in what they were thinking. I have to scroll past all these ads, to get to a point where I can say “No thanks” and even that is hard to notice.

After clicking “No thanks” it takes me to another page on their website where I then have to click something again in order to be brought to the actual scholarship application.

If the objective of this email was to get me to click on a bunch of things, they did a very good job of accomplishing that. However, if it was to get me to apply to the scholarship, they didn’t get me to do that.

Between the constant emails daily about loads of money in scholarships that aren’t even shown to me, the advertisements that I have to go through to get to the page on their website, and then finally clicking another link and being taken to the actual scholarship, I would not consider this good email marketing. The number of emails was off-putting and the time it took to get to the application threw me off the idea entirely.

With these tactics, this company could very easily find themselves on the spam list of most of its users. It’s very clear that these emails are very information oriented and the marketers don’t seem to care about whether or not they’re keeping users involved. However, I am grateful that they at least let me unsubscribe.

Overall, the emails I received from this company were very uninteresting and unhelpful for someone looking to find scholarships. I hope you enjoyed reading this! I look forward to writing about whatever next week’s chapters are about!

“Creating good email marketing content requires combing creativity with good analysis”

– Stukent Textbook

What Not to Do

The Key to Ads

Throughout chapters five and six, the textbook focused on Off-Site Search Engine Optimization and Paid Search Marketing. Both of these topics are very interesting to me and I can’t wait to summarize what intrigued me most!

Chapter 5

Off-Site Search Engine Optimization is exactly what it sounds like. The chapter goes into detail on how digital marketers can influence their webpages search results on the search page itself.

Section one starts off explaining all the technical parts that can affect a webpage’s rank in a search result. “Natural Outbound Links” are in-text links that seem natural. Not only do search engines like these, but there are some added bonuses. The algorithm assumes that the site that is linked in those in-text links has valuable content.

Those links seem more natural, however, since this is an advertisement heavy area, there are paid links as well. Except, unlike the natural links, these paid links have to have the HTML attribute “nofollow.” Which, as the name suggests, tells the search engine to not follow the link.

Example of the “nofollow” attribute in an HTML link.

In section two, the textbook goes over a lot of things. However, the most interesting thing to me was the popularity metrics and how it affects the search engine results. There are a lot of things that can factor into this such as:

  • Total Number of Backlinks
  • Backlinks from related or relevant webpages
  • Anchor text (a keyword in the link is very good)
  • Link Neighborhood
  • The freshness of the backlinks
  • The diversity of the backlinks (visited different webpages)
  • Social Sharing of the page

All of those things have a very big impact on the rank of the webpage in a search results page.

Moving onto section three, the textbook starts talking about what makes a good webpage in terms of links. There are many different types of links that a webpage can get. The best type, from what I’ve read, is an Editorial link. Those types of links are given out by one webpage to the next. Someone has to like your content. Even though these are hard to get, I thought they would be particularly useful considering how much you have to work for them.

Then there are manual links, which are exactly what the name suggests, links you put in yourself. These links require direct effort. Things like trading links, linking the webpage on your Twitter post, guest blogging, creating business profiles, etc.

And finally, there are manufactured links. Which are links that the digital marketer can manufacture themselves. These types of earned links are low quality and sometimes considered a black-hat SEO technique. Blog comments, forum signatures (where people link their site), and free article directories (where anyone can write on it, Wikipedia is a good example). All of these are things that a digital marketer can use to try and get that higher rank. However, as stated earlier, it is a very low-quality way of achieving the links and it’s best to avoid these.

Figure 5.4.2 from the Stukent Textbook

Finally, section four, which was about content marketing. This is something that I found very interesting, as a graphic designer. We make advertisements but there can actually be logic behind them. Linking something like a comic book with action figures is very smart and will boost sales. However, you do need to be careful about overselling things. This is where graphic design comes in. Keeping things simple is always very important, for me at least, and this screams simple. Ad placement and creativity is what makes content marking work and work well.

Chapter 6

This chapter had a lot of content. And rather than going through all of it, I’m just going to point out the things that stood out to me as the most interesting.

The part that seemed the most interesting to me was Keyword Research. Choosing the right keyword for your webpage has been something that’s been mentioned in this textbook before. However, this section goes into even more detail for finding the perfect one.

You could search what a customer would search. When doing this, Google Auto-Suggests is very helpful in determining what keyword to use. As the digital marketer, you can also research other webpage’s that pop up when you search that keyword. Along with that, Google offers a Keyword Planner that will list the keyword by relevance and the average number of monthly searches.

Along with that, the information found in section four also caught my eye; Quality Scores. As Google defines it, a quality score is “a measurement of how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing page are to a person seeing your ad.” This was interesting because it includes a little bit of everything. The relevance of your ad, keywords, and most interestingly (to me at least) the landing page. The landing page is something that a graphic designer can actually control. And to see it have an effect on the ranking of a site is great news to me.

Conclusion

Through this post, I have summarized what I learned in chapter five and pointed out the things I found particularly interesting in chapter six. These chapters were both filled with a lot of new and enlightening information. I can’t wait to read through next week’s chapters! I hope you enjoyed reading!

“SEO is an investment just like a tree that needs effort, patience and time to grow before you can see the result.” 
― Dr. Chris Dayagdag

The Key to Ads

Keywords and Numbers

Chapters three and four in the textbook mainly focused on the numerical part of running a website. In this post I’m gonna talk about parts of these two chapters that stood out to me while I was reading them.

Chapter 3

Reading the introduction to chapter three I was slightly concerned with how well I was going to comprehend the topic. Generally, unless it’s explained to me in an equation, numbers confuse me. However, after reading the Learning Objectives I understood what the whole chapter was going to be about, and that made me a little less worried.

Going into section one, it talked about how analytics work and what they tell you. Looking into it, it seems pretty self-explanatory but there were certain aspects of it that caught me off guard. It takes everything you give it and keeps it for future use. It takes your name, address, I.P address, browser, even how you got to that point. Which at first seems a little odd to me, but after reading further on into section three, I saw how useful this information could be to someone wanting to run a very successful website.

Example of Basic Metrics given by Google Analytics from the textbook.

Section two was the one I was a little worried about going into it. Numbers don’t usually scare me, but these did. However, once I read a little more into it I noticed that these numbers actually help a lot. There are basic metrics, which are pretty basic like the name suggests. These metrics include page views, time on the page, and the first and last page view of each user. These numbers can then be used to create calculated metrics which help immensely in telling the web designer where they need to improve.

Then there are manual metrics, which kinda bring everything together. These are all the specifics. Things like where the user went on the website, how long they were on that specific page, if they clicked on an ad, how many times they played a video, and most importantly, the conversion rate of each session. All of the aspects listed in section two get the numbers which help make what’s spoken about in section three, way easier.

As hinted at many times above, section three is all about what metrics and analytics mean for performance. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are different for whatever type of webpage you’re going for. For example, one of the KPI’s for a retail website would be the average order value. But for a lead generations webpage, the close rate is a big KPI. Section three talks about what each metric means for each of the different, most common, types of websites and business run online. And each of them all have very different indicators.

Tying into what was mentioned in section one, there are ways a web designer/digital marketer can use statistics to better their website. Section four explains all of the different ways different aspects of an advertisement can affect certain types of websites.

Moving onto section five, the textbook talks about attribution. Which, in simple terms, is just a nice way of seeing what ads are working and what ones aren’t. However, as explained in the textbook, there isn’t really a concrete way to know this. But, the best way to do it is to have a controlled experiment where you give certain ads to a target group of users and withhold those ads from a different group of people and examine the results.

Attribution, combined with KPI’s, statistics, and metrics, all work together to help the marketer figure out the correct path for their website.

Chapter 4

After looking through the introduction, the chapter seemed pretty interesting to me. As someone who uses Google search quite a bit, how it all works kind of intrigued me.

Section one jumps right into maximizing the relevance of your website on a search engine results page. Search engines don’t look for things in the logical sentence you typed it in. They look for keywords. And these keywords can be found in certain parts of your section on the results page. A few important aspects are the URL, title tag, header tags, and the main content. All of these work together to make your webpage stand out from the rest.

Throughout section two, the textbook explained how to create the best keyword for your website. Which Google actually helps you with by offering a Keyword Planner, that tells you the statistics for a certain keyword. The textbook tells us how the relevance of the keyword, the amount of traffic that specific keyword gets, the competition of the keyword, and the current ranking of the webpage, all affect the outcome of a search. Out of all of those, the thing I found most interesting was the ranking system.

Example of Google’s Keyword Planner from the textbook.

Section three goes into detail about how search engines rank webpages. Everything from how many clicks you get, to the amount of time it takes to load, has an effect on the ranking of your webpage. Earning a high rank is something that digital marketers and website designers are always trying to achieve. There are a lot of factors when it comes to this and as the person in charge, you should always be trying to get your webpage as the top search result for the most common searched keyword.

Conclusion

Overall I felt like I learned quite a bit from these two chapters and I hope that, while reading this, you learned a little bit more too!

“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” –Wendy Piersall

Keywords and Numbers

A bit about me

Hello, I’m Hannah Gillen. I am currently a senior at Shiocton High School. Although, I have not lived in Shiocton my entire life. I grew up in Appleton, WI until I was 14 years old. I did the normal kid things until I was old enough to use the family computer. Once I got ahold of that I was immediately hooked on everything you could do on it. I spent most of my days after school messing around on Microsoft Paint. I’ve had a love for design from the day I could use a computer.

Even though I thought the change of schools would be bad for me, I have since been proven very wrong. Through Shiocton High School, I am part of the Yearbook and have been for the last two years. The yearbook is perfect for me due to the flexible design and group work. I feel that I can add my own input and modify the designs how I want, with everyone’s permission. Not only that, but I can explore ideas and actually see people’s response to them. Which is very important for making a quality design but also furthering my knowledge and experience as a designer. Designing things has always been a hobby of mine and I am very thankful that my school offers a class that allows me to do that.

I feel that the Digital Marketing class will help me further my knowledge of design and design principles even though it is about Digital Marketing. Both Graphic Design and Digital Marketing ideas can blend together and I feel that knowing the basics of digital marketing will definitely help me when it comes to designing things for digital use.

After I graduate high school in spring I am planning on going to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay majoring in Design Arts, with an emphasis on Graphic Design. Through that course, I hope to learn a lot about everything to do with all types of design and this class is a great start.

https://blog.uwgb.edu/

Stukent Textbook

Chapter 1 mainly focused on the basics of computer and server interaction. Section 1 focused on the technical terms of how a website works. It defined the term URL and explained how information gets back to the screen we’re looking at. I actually found this very interesting.

Section 2 focused on how web designers and digital marketers keep the customers involved. They are always working hard to keep their websites running smooth and making efficient use of three core elements for website success: traffic, conversion, and revenue per conversion.

Chapter 2, which was a little more advanced than chapter 1, focused mainly on Web Design. There are a lot of design elements and principles to follow when it comes to designing a good website. Section 1 explains the basic principles of a good website and it shows that, to a digital marketer, the overall look of a website isn’t everything. Designing for the customer’s usability and with conversions in mind is the best way to create a high performing website. Especially if the website is continually updated to fit the needs of its users

Section 2 was all about page elements. This is the basics of color choice and the placement of certain design elements. It covered where you should place a button and where an image is useful and where it’s not. The textbook also had a section on navigation, which was about how some websites don’t need a navigation bar and how others do. It also covered how websites should have trust symbols visible to the users, such as awards and positive publicity. Along with that it also explains how videos are very helpful due to the fact that they’re not something that the user needs to read. Overall, the section just explained why certain aspects of a page element are important and how you can make your website stand out from the others.

Section 3 elaborates on landing pages and the elements that factor into a great one. There is no ‘right’ way to create a landing page. It all depends on the type of conversion the website is going for. Tests and feedback are very important for landing pages. Sometimes a simple landing page works better than a complicated one.

Conclusion

Through this post, I hope you’ve learned a little bit about me and my career path. I’ve also summarized what I felt was more interesting throughout the first two chapters of the textbook. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

“Make it simple, but significant.” –Don Draper

A bit about me