I am an expert in digital marketing. An important skill for experts is to be able to take a lot of information and boil it down to the essential must know components for success.
We live in an age of information overload. Learning about digital marketing is but a Google search away. What I present here are the four areas that are foundational to a successful digital marketing strategy.
They are chronological and should be built out in order.
Your website is your most important digital asset. Everything you do should be built on driving traffic to your website. Your site should be built for conversion and turning visitors into customers. Content is key to creating a well converting website.
Email is the primary form of digital communication. Your website should be built to obtain email addresses so that you can continue to talk and market to your site’s visitors and customers. Automated campaigns, confirmations, onboarding, triggers, reminders, customer service and newsletters are all important components of your email strategy. Email should be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.
3rd Social Media
The best social media builds a community around your product or service. This requires interacting and building relationships. Social media should also be used to distribute content from your site, and drive people back to your website for conversion.
4th Paid Ads
If the first 3 areas are in place and you still have a budget and/or need to generate leads, you are ready for paid ads. Ads should drive traffic to specific areas of your website and/or landing pages that directly relate to the content of the ad.
Need help with your digital marketing strategy? Let me know.
It was a fun and wild month filled with travel, crazy weather and sports fantasies come true.
I was able to visit Missouri to see some clients, visit with family, and see my childhood team win the Stanley Cup Conference Final. All of this while evading a couple of tornadoes.
I had the privilege of visiting the Missouri State Capitol and spending some time with my client, the Missouri Republican Party.
I got the grand tour from former representative and current director of the Missouri GOP, Jean Evans. You can see a picture of her sitting at her desk below. While there, I was able to use the office next door to her.
A week later a tornado hit and tore the roof off.
Evans and her team have had to relocate for now and are working on getting the office rebuilt. If you would like to help please go here to make a donation. Any amount is appreciated.
Storming into the Playoffs
While in St. Louis I was able to attend 3 Stanley Cup Final playoff games, including the clinching game 6.
While heading to my seats for game 6 my phone starts buzzing and warning that I should take shelter. The arena staff directed us to go to our seats because that was the safest place.
So while another storm raged outside, the Blues won the Western Conference inside. A very St. Louis night.
Back to Reality
I'm back in town and still rooting for the Blues. They are one win away from winning the Stanley Cup for the first time. It will all end this weekend or in a Game 7 on Wednesday.
Whoever wins, I will be back to work presenting the lecture I gave at CSUF a few weeks ago to the La Habra Chamber of Commerce - HOW TO: Effectively Integrate Social Media into Your Marketing Strategy.
Social Media can be an effective part of your marketing, but there are some cautions to be aware of. A good strategy is key.
Thursday 6/13 - 9:30-10:30 AM
La Habra Chamber of Commerce - 321 E La Habra Blvd, La Habra, CA 90631
Please let me know if you would like to attend as my guest. You do not need to be a member of the chamber to participate.
I’ve been using Bank of Internet for the past 6 years and they recently rebranded to Axos Bank, updated their online banking and totally redesigned their app. Pretty ambitious.
While I have appreciated all of the improvements, it truly is a better experience, I could not get the app to work on my phone. Every time I launched the app it would show the splash screen and close. The peculiar thing is that my wife has the exact same phone as me and was able to use the app without an issue.
I left a poor review of the app in the Google Play store saying it did not work for me. Then I got a phone call from someone saying they were in charge of developing the new platform for the bank. He asked if he could meet me in Orange County to troubleshoot my issue?
Being skeptical I asked him to provide evidence that he worked for the bank. This was troublesome because he already had all of MY information. He could see every penny in my account, but how do I vet HIM? So I took a chance at met up with him at Agrusa’s.
His name is Hugh and he brought his developer Anton to try to find out what the issue was with my app. Their office is located in San Diego so they drove up to meet in person. Hugh said he was happy to find someone with the issue he could drive to.
For Hugh and his team it was unacceptable that people were not able to use the app, even if it was just a handful of individuals.
Anton hooked up my phone to his computer and proceeded to go through lines of code to try to replicate and isolate the issue.
3 1/2 hours later they figured out the problem. It had something to do with me setting up fingerprint access on my phone, something my wife had not done.
I commend Hugh, Anton and Axos for taking the customer experience seriously. They didn’t sit behind their computers, but went straight to the front lines and helped out their customer directly.
And by the way, the app is pretty sweet. If you are looking for an online banking solution, check out Axos.
My friend Ben Yip has been working on a really cool product that supports charities, saves money for customers and helps promote local businesses. It’s a win/win/win.
Ben created Aidtree, a service that allows local businesses to offer coupons that drive new customers to try their products.
Customers are able to buy the coupons at a discount and Aidtree gives 75% off the purchase directly to the charity.
Here is an example of how I used the coupon for my business, with the funds going to support the CSUF Entrepreneurship Program:
I truly hope this becomes the market leader for fundraising so I can stop trying to get family and friends to buy cookie dough and wrapping paper. This is an elegant solution to a need in the market.
But wait, there’s more…
I am proud to support City Net, a team of nonprofit professionals who work to end street-level homelessness in a city or region through the coordination of community efforts and activities. I have been looking for a charity to support through my business and after hearing how City Net works with our homeless neighbors, and praying about it, I was convinced this was the best choice.
I will be donating 10% of gross profits from my marketing consulting business (Rent My CMO/The Marketing Guy) to support the efforts of City Net. But here is the cool thing, when you hire me you are also supporting an awesome cause, helping our homeless neighbors.
If you are like me, you struggle with seeing members of our community living on the street. As I was told by our friends at City Net, “No one wants to be homeless.” But what do we do? Do we give them money? Food? Old furniture? I’ve never been sure what to do.
City Net takes a holistic approach to homelessness. They give people a hand up, not just a hand out. They work with people to get them off the street, back into society and reunited with their family members. And they partner with churches, city governments and members of the community to make a difference.
So a big thank you to all of my clients. Thanks for helping to support a worthy charity doing great work in our cities.
or get back in line
I've been using the McDonald's App for about a year now. It is pretty slick and gives you some good discounts and acts as a punch card for items like coffee that give you a free drink. I usually open it on my way there to see what deals and coupons they have.
This week I opened it and saw a coupon for $3 off $10. Apparently, that deal was only good if you ordered ahead of time. So when I got to the window the lady said I needed to order ahead of time. I asked if I could order in the app since I was already in line. She said I would need to drive out and get back in line.
Hey, I get it, the idea of this deal is to get people to put in their payment info and use the app. What I recommend to McDonald's, however, is to let people like me who are regular customers and learning the new rules they are imposing to use the discount this time, and advise me to order ahead next time. Giving the cashier the ability to give me the discount would have made her job easier and me happier.
I did drive around again because I am a marketing geek and wanted to see how this whole thing would play out. I also knew I was going to write a blog post when I got home.
Is McDonald's going to read this and change their policy, probably not. I am writing this for you. When putting promotions into action, make sure you allow for some wiggle room and make sure your employees can make good decisions at the moment to help the customer.
The name of the game these days is customer experience, also known as CX. Those businesses that are good at it will have a huge advantage over their competition.
I have to brag. My 8 year old, third grade daughter, Isabella, won the school speling bee. She beat all of the third fourth and fifth graders at her school.
Tonight she will be competing against the other shools and junior highs in the district. She will even be competing against eigth graders.
How long has she been studying? She hasn't. We did not know about the speling bee until she came home and said she won.
If she should win tonight, which I think is a tall order against eighth graders, she will not move on because she is too young.
I'll post an update tomorrow to let you know what happens.
Isabella competed against 50 middle school kids and two fifth graders that won at the other elementary schools.
She made it to the final round and tied for fourth place.
Impressive, most impressive.
I'm in my 5th year of using Squarespace for my website hosting. I was attracted to the ease of use and the unique look I can create with their site building software, but something else has gained my attention as of late. Their hosting. My site never goes down.
I listen to a lot of the podcasts on Leo Laporte's TWIT Network. It's great fun for tech geeks like me. They have quite a following. So large that every time they mention a website that website is inundated with traffic. And it goes down. Unless it's a Squarespace site.
Squarespace has their act together. When a site gets more traffic than usual, they are able to relieve the stress by balancing the load on their servers. Cool stuff.
But wait, there's more...
I got an email from team Squarespace last week explaining that their servers are located in lower Manhattan and that fuel to their last generator was running out. Hurricane Sandy had taken it's toll. I had a few hours until my site, and all the Squarespace sites lost power.
I kept checking my site, but it never went down. So what happened? Did they hand carry fuel up 17 flights of stairs in total darkness to keep MichaelDaehn.com from going down?
I got the email below telling the story.
Way to go team Squarespace. You have increased my respect and admiration for your fine company. Keep up the good work.
Hurricane Sandy Update
A little over a week ago, I sent out one of the most difficult emails that Squarespace has ever delivered to our customers.
Peer1, our data center in downtown Manhattan, was so severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy that it suffered a total loss of power despite multiple levels of redundant systems. At the time, there was no resolution in sight. Our backup fuel reserves and building infrastructure had been destroyed by Sandy's storm surge, which flooded many buildings downtown. As you may be aware, this was a historic and unprecedented storm for the entire tri-state region, bringing about the largest storm-related power outage ever in Con Edison's history.
I am proud to announce that throughout this event, Squarespace customers experienced absolutely no downtime related to the power outage. This is an amazing outcome considering the extraordinary circumstances we faced last week. What remains is an incredible story.
For those of you that haven't been following our updates, employees from Squarespace, Fog Creek, and Peer1 manually carried fuel up 17 flights of stairs for three days to save our generator while an interim fuel supply and pump could be installed. These efforts to provide uninterrupted service for our customers were chronicled by numerous publications including All Things D, BetaBeat, Computerworld, Fast Company,TechCrunch, The New York Times, Pando Daily, and The Verge.
We now have a working pump system delivering fuel to the roof generator, more than enough fuel on site, and a redundant street-level generator connected and tested as of last night. These systems will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Our building has still not been able to connect to Manhattan's power grid, as the building's two sub-basements were submerged in 30 feet of water that took four days to pump out. We will continue to post updates on status.squarespace.comas we resume normal operations.
Of course, such heroics should not be necessary to keep operations running smoothly. We initiated a plan to build a geographically redundant operation this past summer and expect to have it online in early 2013. This gives us the ability to route around areas affected by natural disasters much more effectively.
We take the responsibility of running the hundreds of thousands of sites on Squarespace very seriously . Our homepage states that our scalable, reliable cloud infrastructure eliminates downtime, and our customers all over the world count on us to keep their websites online no matter what. Wanting to keep that promise is what propelled us forward and helped us persevere during this most challenging of times. Thank you all for being Squarespace customers - it is with your continued support that we can continue to fight for great design, amazing products, and exceptional service.
We know that there are many in our area that were impacted far beyond what we experienced - if you can, please take a moment and contributeto hurricane relief efforts. A little goes a long way.
If you could also share this link or story we would all appreciate it. Do it for the kids.
I had a wonderful time at the TEDxOrangeCoast event this week at Soka University. I must say I was surprised by how beautiful this campus is. I have been to larger universities, but Soka is most impressive.
The event consisted of 4 hours of footage from the TEDGlobal2012 event in Edinburgh, Scottland. TEDxOrangeCoast aired the best of the presentations. I learned about everything from human genomes to the hacker collective Anonymous. And there was even a magician/mind reader.
This was just a taste of the awesomeness that is TED.
If your appetite is whetted, I recommend you check out the LIVE TEDxOrangeCoast event coming up this October. It should be a blast. See you there.
I launched a new website with my buddy Damian Raffele. I enjoy craft beers and decided to mix business with pleasure. Here's the story as told on the Beer Hobby site:
Beer Hobby was started by Damian Raffele and Michael Daehn. Raffele and Daehn met in college and hit it off right away talking about hard core Christian bands like Mortal, Deitiphobia and The Prayer Chain. When they weren’t moshing they worked on some interesting projects together.
Today Beer Hobby is a website devoted to sharing stories about beer and getting people together to learn how to make their own. Stay tuned as we continue to ferment this idea and create some killer batches of fun stuff to do with brewing.
One day they decided to start something new. While talking over beers they developed the idea of Beer Hobby. Beer Hobby is a place to share their love of beer and get together with friends. Maybe even make a business out of it. At worst, they would have fun a few good beers in the process.
I have written several posts over there, including:
|I Drank a Pilsner and I liked it
Since I’m a big IPA guy you probably think I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking a measly Pilsner. Well that’s what I thought anyway. Last Spring I was talking to the very cool beer guy at Whole Foods in Town & Country, MO. We chatted often and I would always ask him what to try. [...]
|American Craft Beer Week 2012 – Get the Memo?
I admit I am knew to the craft beer universe, at least beyond drinking. I found out yesterday that this is American Craft Beer Week, there’s even a website. Sounds like something I would be interested in, right? I was oblivious. Either they need to do a better job of marketing or I am lame. [...]
|Bottles or Cans? Just Clap Your Hands
The more I learn about beer the more I think canned beer is a good idea: It protects the beer from light and air It’s easier to transport You need to pour your beer into a glass, even if it comes in a bottle, to open up carbonation and flavors Cans are cheaper Cans are [...]
|San Diego Brewery Trip April 2012: Stone, Lost Abbey, Port Brewing and Pizza Port
I got to take a nice trip down to San Diego to visit some of my favorite breweries. Speaking of San Diego, my friend Diego was a saint and did the driving – what a guy! View Larger Map First stop was Stone Brewery. Stone is the nicest brewery I’ve ever seen. The environment [...]
|Calling All Beer Lovers: Write for the Beer Hobby Blog
I would like to invite you to add something to the Beer Hobby blog. It could be: Pictures Reviews How to shop for beer How to make beer A brewery tour How you became a beer snob Anything fun and beer related You can send your ideas to michael(at)beerhobby.com or damian(at)beerhobby.com. Here’s to brew!
|Bottling Our First Beer
Damian and I were able to bottle our first batch of beer this week. Much to my surprise, it didn’t taste terrible. I know it takes some time to get good at brewing, and there are a lot of things that can go wrong and spoil your brew, but it tasted good. It’s the Mr. [...]
|Beer Hobby Logo Ideas
OK, these are rough and I made them myself. I’m not a full fledged designer. What do you think of what we have so far? Any recommendations?
How I Went From Beer Slob to Beer Snob
Take a look and let me know what you think - especially if you like beer.
- Integrating your social and email programs Day 1 - 11 AM
- Accelerating results with Facebook Pages Day 1 - 4:30 PM
I am honored to be one of the speakers at Word Camp Saint Louis on August 6th at Maryville University. Get all the details and sign up early. Tickets are going fast.
This event is for both beginners and advanced users of the WordPress blogging platform. The title of my presentation is Blogging for Brands : How to Make Blogs a Core Part of Your Marketing Strategy.
Get updates by following @wordcampstl on Twitter and be sure to share the love by using the hashtag #WCSTL.
Hope to see you there!
What is social media? That can be a tough question to answer. Lately I have been using the metaphor of email to describe it.
Not all email is the same. Some examples:
- Messages from friends
In each context the tone, subject and your willingness to read and interact depend on the type of email it is.
The same is true for social media:
- Tweets about lunch
- Check-in by your friend at the bar you are sitting in
- Invitations to Farmville
- @reply from a spammer
- Killer cat blog post
Social media is a communication tool. As in email, think about your audience and the best way to communicate with them.
If you are not sure what to do, then sign up and listen for a while. When you feel comfortable start talking.
Be sincere. Care about your audience. Be passionate about what you are sharing.
When email started it was hard to explain. Now it is so common that I use it to explain other technologies. One day social media will be as common as email.
But then you will need to explain the purpose of augmented reality toasters.