## #mobilemarketing and wrap-up (sniff)

The other day we discussed how DigiMark is kind of the definition of a “survey course”. We call it “Digital Marketing” but it really should be “Introduction to Digital Marketing”. We go over a lot of stuff, but every topic has a lot more to it than we discuss. A good example of this is mobile marketing. We could and should have an entire quarter on mobile marketing. Instead, we’ll do it for a day. Sorry about that.

First, let’s look at a white paper from comScore entitled “U.S. Digital Future in Focus 2014″. Please review the whole thing, but the discussion for class will center around the first 14 pages. Next, check out this nifty interactive white paper on marketing in a multi-screen world.

Here’s another white paper from comScore this one about the US mobile app market. The whole thing is pretty interesting, but my favorite part is the second chart on page 7, which, while I wouldn’t go so far as to say contradicts everything else in the report, made me pause. Also, check out this white paper that our friend @randfish tweeted about recently.

Speaking of apps, if you are like me, you are pretty addicted to the Starbucks app. Read this article from the Washington Post about their app and consider how other businesses could use a similar mobile strategy. (But don’t forget, it certainly helps app usage that the main product Starbucks sells is literally physically addictive.)
Finally regarding mobile, consider how often you Google things on your phone. Mobile SEO is incredibly important and, as you probably would have expected by now, MOZ has some great tips. What are some important differences between mobile search and desktop search that marketers should understand and consider?

 

For Thursday, you will write your last blog of the quarter (sniff, again) and you should title it, “What I can do for you as your digital marketer.” (But the “I” will be you and the “you” will be a potential employer/client.)

At the end of your post, please report some data, specifically, how many words did you write in total across your blogs (I’d copy and paste everything into a Word doc.) and then using the very rudimentary WordPress analytics, let me know how much traffic you earned, if there were any topics that you noticed had more traffic than others.

“Look around, look around how lucky we are to be alive right now”.

Thanks for a great quarter. I hope you got as much out of it as I have.

Liz Lemong giphy

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## #adwords and #programmaticbuying and #nativeadvertising

Okay, on Tuesday we’re going to talk  about the AdWords certification exam that you are going to take during exam week. Here are the basics. To be Google AdWords certified you need to pass the “AdWords Fundamentals” examination and one more of the other four (“Search Advertising“, “Display Advertising“, “Video Advertising” and “Shopping Advertising“). For this class, however, you have to take the “Search Advertising” exam as your second exam, so work on that and “AdWords Fundamentals” for Tuesday.

As I mentioned, these exams will be your take-home finals. You will need to send me screenshots of your scores no later than noon PST on Friday, March 18th. If you are wanting some extra credit to raise your grade, each additional exam you pass will increase your final grade.

I know from prior experience that passing these Google and HootSuite certification exams help people get jobs. But does passing the Google AdWords exam make you an expert. Some people say “No“.

Here’s a practice test, I found for the AdWords Fundamentals exam and check out this interesting Twitter account @iPassExamPPC. One more thing, Taylor Phillips told us that one of her go-to resources for PPC was a site called PPC Hero. Last year, they posted a blog entitled, “Taking a Look at the New Adwords Fundamentals Exam“. Some good tips in there. For your blog on Tuesday, write about what you’ve learned in studying the three modules of the AdWords Fundamentals and how you would apply this knowledge for a client.

On Thursday, we’re going to talk more about paid advertising, but going away somewhat from the PPC/SEM stuff we talked about this week. Specifically, we’re going to talk about programmatic ad buying and native advertising. First off, what is programmatic ad buying? Did that make any sense? Would you rather have it explained to you as if you were 8? Or how about a dummy? And check it out comScore is involved! Why do people think this is such a revolutionary thing?

The other part of paid that I want to talk about is native advertising. It’s the theoretically seamless integration of advertising into editorial content. Traditional publishing used to call this “advertorials”, but it’s getting a lot of buzz now in digital marketing. It’s a tricky subject, that can sometimes confuse the reader and even embarass the advertiser. Check out this screenshot I took of a native advertising piece about friend of the class Aseem Badshah.

Native advertising problem screen shot

As they should, Geekwire identified the piece has having been sponsored by Comcast. But check out the headlines on the left hand side of the page. Kinda weird, right? Makes everyone look bad, imho.

Podcasts are an interesting vehicle for native advertising and this article from the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review talks about it’s use in a new podcast called Startup. I’m a big fan of this podcast, it’s excellent. I recommend you listen to it from the beginning. But, for class on Thursday, please listen to Episode #9 – “We Made a Mistake”. It really illustrates one of the major potential pitfalls for native advertising.

So for your blog on Thursday, write about where you think paid advertising is going. The thing I find most interesting about this is programmatic and native advertising seem completely opposite. As more and more “premium” advertisers migrate their ad dollars to digital, what would you recommend they do?

Whew, that’s a lot, but have fun this weekend and don’t work “non-stop“.

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## #coding and #sql c/o @codecademy

A couple of years ago, I saw this blog from Wade Foster about what it takes to be a “Full Stack Marketer”. This might be one of the most influential things I’ve ever read for the class. Some things have changed, but I think most of it is still relevant. Scroll down to #17 and Wade writes:

A marketer who can get their hands dirty will be much more effective than one that always has to lean on a developer. Being able to edit the copy directly via HTML {or} reposition an element on the page via CSS will let a marketer iterate quicker without distracting the development team.

I’m still not entirely sure what “iterate” means there, but whatever, it sounds classy.

Coding is becoming a big deal and coding instruction is becoming a big business. Read this article from Bloomberg Businessweek that was published earlier this month about the rise of coding boot camps. The tuition price might seem extraordinarily high to you. Think about why it might actually be a pretty good deal for the students.

Now, I think that you guys have experience with some programming in your MIS classes. What I would like for you to do for Tuesday is try out two platforms that help people learn to code. First, go to Codecademy, sign up and register FOR FREE. When you get to the learn page scroll down below the fold and find the section entitled “Language Skills” and click on “HTML & CSS”. It looks like this:Codecademy HTML and CSS

When you start, take a screen shot that shows the time. (If you don’t know how to do this … figure it out.) After two hours stop, then take another screen shot of the time so we can see how far you progressed.

The second thing I want you to do is go to Squarespace (should be familiar to you thanks to all of their native advertising), sign up FOR A FREE account and spend half an hour creating an e-commerce page. For inspiration check out the website of Christina Fagan, Chief Knitting Officer of Shit That I Knit whom we spoke to earlier this quarter, she built the page on Squarespace. In your blog, include the screenshots from your Codecademy session, the link to your Squarespace page and write answers to the following questions:

  1. Why do you think coding is a good skill for a beginning digital marketer?
  2. What was the experience like using Codecademy?
  3. What are some of the positives and negatives you found using Squarespace?

In the second half of class, we’re going to discuss coding with DigiMark alumna Lizzi Jackson. Some of you met her on Friday at the comScore XMC Case Competition. That website that you just clicked on which she uses in her role as Miss Washington 2016 is her old DigiMark blog, which she has continued using. (Here is her last blog post from her quarter.) She’s really interested in promoting STEM education and knows how important coding skills are and how easy they are to obtain.

We have an extra couple of days this quarter so I decided to try something new and do a lesson around SQL.  “What’s SQL?”, you ask. Well, according to this website I just learned about called Wikipedia  “SQL  is a special-purpose programming language designed for managing data held in a relational database management system(RDBMS).”

Great, well why should you care about it? Data is incredibly important for marketing generally and digital marketing specifically and very few beginning marketers understand “how the sausage gets made“.

Recently, I discovered this blog post from the former CMO of MOZ, Jamie Steven (@jamies) entitled “Every Marketer Should Be Technical”. You’ll notice a lot of things, we’ve talked about this quarter and some other things we have not yet, but one of the things you will notice is the first skill listed in this graphic is “databases and sql”.

Technical Mktg Blog Post_026

The importance of SQL was brought up to me again by other digital marketers I’ve spoken to over the last year. Many of them told me that the ability to do their own SQL queries would definitely get an entry level candidate noticed.

Don’t believe me? Read this:

Why Learning SQL Will Change Your Life

And this:

Why Every Startup Marketer Needs to Know SQL

 

What’s really exciting is our friends at Codecademy recently added a section on SQL right here. For Thursday, complete the three hour lesson then blog about companies that you have discovered that use SQL in their marketing and why you think it would be a beneficial skill to master. Have a great weekend.

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## #searchenginemarketing and @hubspot certification

Sorry about the delay in posting. I was really tired after teaching the MBAs last night. After we get back from the long weekend (I won’t be having office hours on Monday by the way) on Tuesday, we’re going to talk about Paid Search, also known as PPC, also known as Search Engine Marketing. I know most of you take the attitude, “Pfft. Like I would EVER click on a sponsored search result!” But a lot of people DO click on those links and it’s a pretty big business. (“I will not equivocate on my opinion.”) In fact the it’s the whole reason why Google is a multi-billion dollar business. Here’s the Google Adwords exam study guide, you should familiarize yourself with the topics as your last certification over the exam week will be the two Adwords examinations. (While most people have some choices as to what they can take, for this class you must take the Adwords Fundamentals Exam and the Search Advertising Exam.) Here is the entire Google Adwords Fundamentals binder. Read the first fifteen or so pages, and then skim the remaining 350. (Quickly). Looking for other things to read, I found this eBook from, you guessed it, HubSpot. Additionally, you should read this blog from Search Engine Watch, one of the blogs that Nick Marvik told us this week you should check regularly.

During the second half of class, we’re going to chat with Taylor Phillips, WWU and DigiMark alumna SEM Specialist at Adpearance in PDX, where she is a member of their #nerdherd. (That’s what they call themselves and it looks like they are hiring for entry level search engine marketers!) She is passionate about Search Engine Marketing and an all around excellent person. Prepare some questions about the life of an Search Engine Marketer.

On Thursday, you’ll take your third certification, this one the HubSpot Inbound Certification. You should have gone over all of the classes by now. Make sure that you have and bring your laptops to take the test on Thursday. (No blog for Thursday!)

Enjoy President’s Day, and consider this tweet from Washington native Guardian of the Galaxy of Jurassic World’s Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt. Really makes you think.

 

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## #emailmarketing #inboundsales and #seo

On Tuesday, we’re going to talk about email marketing and inbound sales. I’ve always had a lesson on email, but I became a lot more interested in it after listening to season one of Serial in the fall of 2014. (Season two is going on now and it’s really interesting.) If you didn’t listen to it (but you totally should now), you didn’t hear the ad for MailChimp, which in a weird way, made this email software provider a cultural phenomenon. (My sister-in-law back in Boston does marketing for MailChimp’s biggest competitor, Constant Contact and is super pissed about how big the Serial sponsorship was for MailChimp.)

But back to email. Isn’t email dead? No!  Check out these tips on connecting with “email-fatigued” prospects. Read this ebook on email marketing essentials from Constant Contact and view Class 8 from Hubspot How to Send the Right Email to the Right Person.

On Tuesday, we’ll also discuss  “inbound sales” A lot of companies are preaching about improving alignment between inbound marketing with a more traditional salesforce. (Some people, like HubSpot call this “Smarketing”.) Here’s an excellent eBook from an inbound marketing shop in Vermont called New Breed Marketing (@NewBreedMktg). Their slogan is #getshitdone.

Back to HubSpot. Since we are not doing the Inbound Certification Exam in class, we don’t need to go over all of the lessons, but do check out Lesson # 9 on “Smarketing” and Lesson #10 on Inbound sales.

Finally, on Tuesday we will do a Hangout with recent WWU and DigiMark alumna, Hannah Ricker, who does digital marketing for a very interesting company called Avinode. She will be talking to us about how she uses email marketing in her job.

On Thursday, we’ll do our big day on SEO. I know we’ve been dancing around the topics of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing for most of the quarter. In many ways they are the most important tools in a digital marketer’s toolbox, since we all spend so much time on Google (and Bing. Don’t forget Bing!). And now that we’ve gone over the inbound lessons, it seems like now is the time to really do a deep dive.

Thankfully, there are two excellent resources available from Moz that you should review for class on Monday. Their “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” is literally a classic. I’ve met many people over the years that were introduced to the concept of SEO from this eBook as undergraduates and then went on to work in the field of SEO after college. As a follow up, last year they published the “Beginner’s Guide to Link Building”. After you read both you will be well on your way to understanding the importance of and the technology behind Search Engine Optimization.

But what is Moz, besides one of the best companies to work for in Seattle. (Seriously, they’ll send you flowers and pizza when you are home sick. Who does that?) They aren’t an SEO company. In fact, they used to be called SEOMoz and then a few years ago just went with MOZ. For your blog on Tuesday, write about basic principles of SEO and Link Building and then also what does Moz do.

On Monday, we will be talking with WWU alumnus Nick Marvik. Who used to work for one of the world’s leading SEO companies, Distilled, now works as the commerce marketing manager for Evo, which ties in nicely with his love of snow sports which he has also turned into his own custom clothing company nwt3k . (I keep thinking Nick and Christina Fagan should join forces.) You should prepare some questions about SEO for Nick prior to our chat.

And while this seems like a lot of stuff, please enjoy the Super Bowl and don’t write ev’ry second you’re alive / Ev’ry second you’re alive / Ev’ry second you’re alive.

 

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## HootSuite Certification and #landingpages, #UI, #UX

Turning the page, next week is packed with all sorts of DigiMark goodness. On Tuesday, you are going to take the HootSuite examination in class. (In other words, we’ll all be “in the room where it happens”.) Then on Thursday we’re going to discuss UX (“User eXperience”), UI (“User Interface”) and Landing Pages. Read this article from Fast Company (the magazine for hipster businesspeople who love Amy Schumer) on what is the difference between UI, UX, graphic designers and motion designers. And this article from a Spring 2015 issue of UX Magazine on “4 techniques of successful UX executives”.

But webpages can’t just be “elegant”, they must also be effective and lead to conversions. This leads us to a discussion of landing pages, the first pages that our traffic hits as a result of our digital marketing efforts.  Mashable published a quick, nitty-gritty post with a few tips on creating an effective “initial point of contact”. Our friends at Copyblogger wrote a more detailed guide to creating landing pages. Also check out HubSpot Academy’s Class 6 The Anatomy of a Landing Page and Class 7 Guiding the Next Step with Thank You Pages. For your blog, what are the most important things to know about UI/UX design generally and landing page design specifically? And what are some examples of elegant and effective landing pages? See you Tuesday!

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## #contentmarketing and #socialmediastrategy

We had a great couple of classes this week. I’m very impressed with your level of preparation and discussion. Next week, we are going to continue our discussion of inbound marketing with a day on content marketing and a day on on social media strategy. So what is content marketing? First, check out these two lessons from HubSpot Academy. This one is about “Creating Content With a Purpose” while the second one should be a review on “The Fundamentals of Blogging”. This link does a nice job describing the 5 pillars of successful content marketing. So what is a good example of content marketing? Read this report prepared by Simply Measured and discuss it in your blog in terms of the rules of content marketing that you have studied.

Then, you will be ahead of the game when we discuss social media strategy on Thursday, since the Simply Measured report is about social media strategy. Additionally, read the Beginner’s Guide to Social Media from Moz. For your blog, compare and contrast corporate social media use versus what you and your friends do.

Finally, on Thursday, we’ll talk to my friend Christina Fagan, founder and “Chief Knitting Officer” of Sh*t That I Knit. She’s a former student of mine who quit her job in digital marketing to start her own company which has grown significantly in large part due to her adept use of social media. This article by Forbes identifies her Instagram page.

To quote Eliza Hamilton from the musical, “That would be enough.”

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