Daehn's Hierarchy of Digital Marketing

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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.

1st Website

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.

2nd Email

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.

Here's Why My Website Never Goes Down: Squarespace

Midnight Bucket Brigade

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?

Yep!

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.

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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 DBetaBeatComputerworldFast Company,TechCrunchThe New York TimesPando 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.

Thank you.

Anthony 

Beer Hobby Website Launches to Build Community and the US Economy

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
Growing Up In An AB Town I grew up in the beer capital of the world, Saint Louis, MO. Home of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch. I started drinking beer when I was in High School (don’t do it kids). When we had money, we bought the good stuff like Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Dry. [...]

 

Take a look and let me know what you think - especially if you like beer.