TMC INTERACTIVE’S DIGITAL MARKETING DIGEST Vol.

1

Compilation of Digital Marketing Articles Written By Greg Taylor

Intelligent Digital Marketing Solutions For Business Challenges

Digital Marketing Digest Vol. 1

ABOUT TMC INTERACTIVE
TMC Interactive, headquartered in Tempe, AZ provides digital marketing solutions for real world business challenges. Like you, our clients are always looking for MORE - more business, increased market reach, higher audience engagement, better search engine visibility, higher revenues and more from their digital marketing agency. These business challenges are not unique. Together with our clients, we face them every day.

 Why Digital Marketing?
Digital Marketing (often referred to as Integrated Marketing) gives your brand the exposure it needs in today's business world. Let's face it - no one used the Yellow Pages to find businesses anymore. Print advertising has dropped because of how people prefer to receive their content and news. Where is it? It's online - where you need to be. Your business needs to have a strong digital web presence for two primary reasons - it's where your customers are and where your competition lives.

 Why TMC Interactive? Because your business demands results.
TMC Interactive takes the time to learn about your business and pair intelligent digital marketing solutions with your business challenges. Our holistic approach matches your business's goals with quantifiable metrics of success or key performance indicators, so we are always on the same page. By deploying a digital marketing strategy that broadcasts great content marketing through strategic digital challenges with a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in mind - TMC Interactive yields results. Which is what you’re really after - right?

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About Greg Taylor
As an award-winning veteran Phoenix marketer, Interactive Marketing and Digital Content is Greg Taylor’s expertise. Taylor categorizes himself as a long time digital content creator, “You’re either a digital content creator or a content consumer, and I feel I’ve always been the former.” With Taylor’s content marketing experience with brands and non-profits, his unique approach to digital marketing strategy, WordPress development and social media marketing sets him apart as a thought leader in the digital marketing landscape. When not working for TMC Interactive with business partner Niall McSheffrey, Greg spends his time running, playing and watching basketball, shooting live music photos, skateboarding, seeing live music around Phoenix and Tempe and traveling with longtime girlfriend Kristina Landrum. A native of Warren, New Jersey, Greg Taylor has called Tempe, AZ his home since 1997. “Yes it’s hot here,” says Taylor, “but you don’t have to shovel sunshine.” If you would like to contact Greg Taylor about any of the content in Digital Marketing Digest Vol1, digital marketing, speaking engagements, consulting, basketball or music he can be reached at: e: taylor@tmcinteractive.com p: 480.252.8475 t: @grtaylor2

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©2010 Gregory R. Taylor II The copyright holder licenses this ebook under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To find out what that means and how this material can be used please visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ Please share TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol 1 with your friends, co-workers and anyone who is interested in digital marketing, social media, blogging and the like. This book may be posted on your blog, printed and/or emailed to whomever you choose – we encourage sharing and distribution. If someone gave you this ebook why not download another copy and pass it on to someone else…

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Table of Contents
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Five Ps of Digital Marketing Handling Negative Blog Comments Don’t Settle For Good Content Which Came First - Business or Community? Viral Marketing: Creating Contagious Content The Flipside of Content Creation: Content Consumption Tackling Blog Posts Helpful Wordpress Plugins People On Facebook Like You – Now What? Is Your Digital Marketing Just Rearranging Deck Chairs on The Titanic? Common Traits of Great Marketers 45 Second Social Media Strategy The King and Queen of Content Marketing The Power of The Idea Social Media 101 Three Principles of Getting More Business Why Your Company Needs A Blog Common Blog Misconceptions Goals of Digital Marketing The Importance of Blog Headlines Reasons Not To Market Like The Grateful Dead Get More Followers On Twitter Personal Branding In A Digital World Digital Marketing Lessons Learned From Jim Valvano

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About TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol.1
TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol.1 is a compilation of original articles and blog posts written by Greg Taylor. This ebook is intended to deliver the article content to our audience via channels that may be more convenient for them to receive the content. All articles contain information on the Digital Marketing and Social Media world. This compilation, published in ebook form, is meant to be a light-hearted reference guide intended to educate and get people thinking about marketing in a different way. Marketing is fun, marketing is creative and marketing is humorous. This is by no means a marketing textbook but rather a practical resource guide the marketing principles set before you in The Digital Marketing Digest can be implemented soon after reading. Written from the view point of Greg Taylor, an award-winning marketer from Tempe, AZ, TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol.1 is the first installment of a series to be published every six months. About the design of this book: This Ebook was designed to be lightweight. The purposeful design makes it easy to download and distribute. All images in TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest are web-ready jpegs. Please email me should you want a copy of this book with hi-res images for printing purposes. Please use this material to educate yourself, your employees and your clients. As per the copyright of this material please share at will, just don’t re-publish as your own. All articles were originally published at www.grt2studios.com/blog

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The Five Ps of Digital Marketing
If you are a veteran of the marketing world I'm sure the Four (4) Ps of Marketing (also known as Marketing Mix) are ingrained in your mind. If not, the Four (4) Ps of marketing have always been - Price, Product, Placement and Promotion. Of course we are not going "Full Tilt" and upset the apple cart by saying these no longer apply to Marketing 2.0 - because they still do. I want to introduce the concept of the Five (5) Ps. The five Ps, while not rocket science, apply to every aspect of success as well as Marketing 2.0. Utilize these principles in your company's marketing 2.0 strategy and start down the road to success. 1. Presence: Today more than ever every brand needs a strong web 2.0 presence. The days of people finding you through the Yellow Pages or some printed directory are long gone. (Like, really long gone.) Brands and companies need to have the proper mix of social media, blogging and web presence. People want to do business with others they know, like, trust and can solve their problems. Referrals and recommendations come from people who know each other as well as people who are loosely associated by social networks. This is no joke - step up your presence. 2. Persistence: How many times were you told about a product or service before you finally decided to try it out? Traditional marketing suggests nine (9) touch points but today I think that number has increased. The reason for needing to increase the touch points is due to all the noise on the Internet today. You may have success with nine touch points (or maybe even less) but I think the average of touches needs to be around fifteen (15). That's 15 times someone read a tweet on Twitter, read a post on a friend's Facebook page or any other mix of Web 2.0. (Here's link to a great article by Brian Solis explaining how Social Networks are touch points.) 3. Professionalism: This speaks directly to the credibility of the brand. No one wants to work with others who make him or her feel uncomfortable. When embarking on Web/Marketing 2.0 be professional. Speak to people on Twitter and Facebook etc. the same way you would speak to them if they were in your office - no matter how difficult it may be. Today we are all brands and have a brand image to maintain. This post will say a lot about my company, what do your posts say about your company? 4. Patience: I had a boss that would always say, "There are no magic bullets." That is so true. Just because you signed up for Twitter, followed all the best practices for a Facebook brand page and maybe have the greatest LinkedIn profile doesn't mean it's going to yield results overnight. The same goes true when you hire an Integrated Marketing Agency. Follow the best practice suggestions, let go and wait for the good stuff to happen. Social Media and Marketing 2.0 is best when the engaged champions of your brand take the wheel. The best way to engage clients, prospects or fans is to make great content available to them often. After that observe, listen and react accordingly to what is being said. There is a good chance the conversation won't start until at least 90 days into the strategy. Please don't jettison your efforts if nothing happens right away - Patience is golden. (Here's a link to a study that says Facebook Fan Pages can increase customer loyalty by 36%) Page 7

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5. Passion: A lot is said about passion. The truth is you can’t fake your passion. (It's also true for all of the above also.) Be passionate about your Marketing 2.0 journey. Hire professionals to get you started with a strategy. Yes, Social Media requires strategy. Once you decide to make the leap, go all out. How many times have you discovered your favorite brand's Facebook page only to notice that they haven't posted anything in the last 30 days? If I see a brand or company without a post in the last 5 days I seriously wonder if they're passionate about their Social Media strategy. Passion begets passion. If you're not passionate about your brand how can you expect others to be passionate about your brand? This is a relatively new spin on age-old marketing beliefs. Today more than ever digital marketers need to roll with the punches and navigate unchartered waters. Together, we’re creating the marketing rules for future generations of marketers to break. TMC Interactive uses the Five Ps of Digital Marketing to begin any client engagement. Get your client on the same page and you will eliminate any chance of a value perception issue later in the relationship.

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Handling Negative Blog Comments Like The Pros
No matter how seasoned a blogger you are at some point you will have to handle negative comments. I don’t care who you are or how long you’ve been participating in the blogging game – this will happen sooner or later. There are two types of negative comments. The first kind of comment discusses another point of view and how you missed the point etc. The commenter may even call you a couple of choice words but the overall tone of the comment usually comes from a place of passion. They’re trying to get their point across and feel strongly about that point. The second type of negative comment is profane and abusive. I advise all of our clients to instantly delete these comments if a filter didn’t catch them. If someone cannot convey their comments without being abusive or profane they do not belong in the blog forum. Let’s spend our time talking about the first type of negative comments. After you publish your content (hopefully it’s great content) it’s out there for the masses. When publishing content it’s important to know your audience but that doesn’t mean everyone will agree with you. Blogging is a powerful tool when the audience is engaged. An engaged audience participates and one way to measure engagement is by comments. I think it’s fair to say that the reader who takes time to write a comment about something they disagree with is highly engaged. I try to treat these comments just like any other comment (as long as they are done respectfully.) We encourage our clients to respect and respond to each comment the same. Thank them for taking the time to leave a comment and address their points. Address the comments in a manner that continues dialog versus fuels the fire. We ask our clients to deploy a strategy of Respond (to the comment), Respect (the context of the comment) and Reestablish (dialogue). Many times the worst thing that can happen is you simply agree to disagree and what’s wrong with that?

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Don’t Settle For Good Content – Make It Great
Corporate America, yeah I’m talking to you… How many times have you heard someone say, “That’s good enough for what it is.” Mind you in my world, typically what it is some copy or a design for marketing material – digital or otherwise. What the hell does that mean. This is what it means to me – It’s good enough because I am lazy and I do not care about my audience. My audience will continue to use my services or products no matter what – so I’m “mailing this in” and heading out to meet my buddies at happy hour or at the golf course. I hope your round of golf is great and those laughs at the bar are really worth it because you’re steering a sinking ship. I struggle with integrated marketers and self-professed social media gurus when they talk about content. We need good copy, we need strong keyword latent copy, we need…we need…blah blah blah – the list goes on.

“Slow down, player – step up your game.” (Spoken like Floyd Mayweather)
If good content gets decent results and resonates with your market or audience, imagine what could happen when you publish great content. Great content gives you the opportunity to experience great results. (Good content only equals good results.) Writing marketing copy is a fickle science, why not put forward your best. Don’t your clients, brands, employees and everyone else deserve great? What defines great marketing content? My definition of great is something that is extraordinary, adds value to the intended audience and published with purpose. With all those things and a solid marketing strategy behind the article, blog post, photo, video, mp3, tweet, business Facebook post or the like. (NOTE: I mention only digital marketing platforms since this is TMC Interactive‘s concentration. The same rules apply even more to traditional media outlets.) Remember Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? Habit number TWO: Begin With The End In Mind. The same rule applies here. Publish content, great content – thinking about desired outcomes. Work backwards to make it something special, have a plan – make it great!

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Which Came First - Business or Community?
It’s the age-old question: Which came first the chicken or the egg? Let’s think about it a little differently – which came first Your Business or Community? Our company was started from a community. The community I’m involved in told us it was time - time for a marketing agency in Arizona to concentrate on Great Marketing Content. It was also time for me to go out on my own (for various reasons.) And by community I mean, I had support from people I know, like and trust. We believe in the ideology of the betterment of community. We participate in groups that we believe strongly in their mission. Along the same lines, we only do business with people who are of like principles. Our success hinges on these partnerships. How Can I Help You NOT How Can You Help Me? Our business is built on meeting our client’s needs. We strive to meet our client’s marketing objectives by creating great marketing content that yields results. Partnerships that are built on trust and results and later on trusting we achieve the desired results. TMC Interactive is in the business of solving problems by creating great marketing content. Without the community I’ve mentioned, there would be no TMC Interactive. Being a part of the Arizona business community is amazing. I have FREE co-working space in Chandler from Gangplank, I’ve sat down with people in the marketing, advertising and PR world that I hold in high regard (Len Gutman of Open Door Communications, Louie Moses – Moses Anshell, Jack Smith of Social Latte all of which could loosely be considered competitors but I choose to call them friends) and first hand I am provided examples of how businesses should be run by observing Integrum Tech, FORTY Agency and Page.ly all at Gangplank. If I set out to merely start a business and not be a part of a community this type of transparency wouldn’t come so easily for us (or maybe not at all.) Giving Back We walk the walk. How do we give back? We give back is by conducting business in the same manner as the companies we respect and supporting one another as situations arise. Another way is by looking for opportunities to help other companies or freelancers get off the ground. Call us out on it – if you are struggling in one of our areas of expertise, email me at taylor@tmcinteractive.com and let’s set up a time to talk – if I can’t help you I’ll point you in the direction of someone who can.

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Viral Marketing: Creating Contagious Content
Jenny The Assistant: Unless you’ve been living in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada you haven’t hear about Jenny The Assistant. Jenny is the woman who quit her job via whiteboard messages and email. This story broke on a site called The Chive. (Read Jenny’s story and see the photos.) Jenny’s story turned out to be a hoax. The hoax was masterminded by two brothers John and Leo Resig who run the guy centric website – The Chive. While this post is being written, the Jenny The Assistant story has been Re-Tweeted 2,135 times. That’s a lot of traffic coming to a site I’ve never heard of before today. Steven Slater : Jet Blue Flight Attendant On Sunday, August 9th another story broke, one about Steven Slater. Slater was a flight attendant for JetBlue Airlines. After a passenger brought Steven to the brink on a flight from Pittsburgh to New York’s JFK Airport, Slater yelled some obscenities over the loud speaker at the gentleman, grabbed a beer (or two) and exited the plane. Oh yeah, he exited the plane via the emergency chute he deployed. Needless to say Steven Slater was later arrested and facing seven years behind bars. (Article about Slater’s arrest) Who do these stories have in common? The Content is Contagious. Both of these stories are highly contagious (Viral) for a couple of reasons: Relatability: Who hasn’t wanted to leave a job and make a statement on the way out the door? Some call it burning bridges, some cathartic and maybe some stupid – be either way we’ve all thought about it. (If you say you haven’t you’re lying.) Most people will make a statement of some sort but not to the extent of the statements that the Jenny hoax or the real life Steven Slater incident made. Humor: There is an element of humor in both of these stories. When I read about Jenny this morning I couldn’t stop laughing. It was hilarious. Steve’s story, while also funny, was more of the shocking type of humor that evokes the “I can’t believe he did that…” laugh. But I laughed at both and probably will continue to for some time. Shocking: How many people saw this and said, “Oh My God!” I know I did. Memorable: It will be a long time before these stories are forgotten. Years from now someone will be searching online to read and see the media of the story of Steve the frustrated flight attendant or Jenny The Assistant. These stories are “sticky”.

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Creating Contagious Content There is no formula to make your content go Viral. What the above stories have in common are traits that almost every viral video or viral story contain. Think about it; think about your favorite video or series of photos someone sent you -what were some of the common characteristics? I bet there were at least two of the four traits listed above. The examples of Jenny The Assistant and Steven Slater are perfect ones. Jenny was brilliantly contrived and executed – a hoax that was planned to perfection. Steven on the other hand, is a real story about a real guy. Steve’s incident was probably contrived in some fashion also. I’m sure he played this situation out in his mind tons of times saying “If one more person on a flight…” Viral content is something that eludes 99% of all marketers in my opinion. Marketing people and advertising people (smarter than I) can sit all day in a “creative think tank” and try to make something go viral with clever storyboarding etc. and still fail. I would be willing to bet TMC Interactive has the same chance as some of the larger agencies in town to make something go viral and in the end we’ll probably both be beat by a clever father with a Flip Cam. You can create the greatest content with all the intentions in the world for it to go viral and spread like wildfire but in the end it’s out of your hands. It’s in the hands of the audience. That’s what everyone forgets. The audience decides what goes viral and what doesn’t. Only great content has a chance to go viral. Mediocre content goes nowhere – guaranteed. Create your marketing content with value in mind. The traits above are also traits of valuable content. Make the audience feel the story. Make them relate. Make the audience laugh. Make them do something – make them remember you. If they remember you, they’ll talk about you – and that’s the whole point of great content.

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The Flipside of Content Creation: Content Consumption
We spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of great marketing content. It’s important we don’t ignore the brother (or sister) of content creation, content consumption. A couple of weeks ago I broke down and fed “The Steve” (Steve Jobs) and bought an iPad. I wasn’t going to do it until Apple and Adobe mended their fences over Flash but the Hatfields and McCoys are still feuding, so… (Here’s an article outlining the Apple vs. Adobe fight.) Right now, the iPad is my favorite way to consume digital content. I love reading the Ebooks, reading blog posts, watching videos, exploring photography plus monitoring my social networks. Tonight, the content consumption game has changed for me. I came across a tweet by fellow AZ resident @Hackerhaus saying, “If you have an iPad, but aren’t using Flipboard, you’re missing out on something very cool.” This immediately got my attention. I’m new to the iPad tablet platform and I’m always looking for new ways to use the device. After downloading Flipboard and using it for a couple of day – I am hooked. This iPad app takes your social media streams and compiles the posts and links into magazine format. (See above photo for TMC Interactive’ twitter stream) The posted links from Facebook and Twitter are so much easier to read in magazine format. I even set up a stream for TMC Interactive’ content to monitor our content. I think every blogger; myself included, and have aspirations to turn their blogging content into a book. Flipboard helps you visualize what that may look like somewhere down the line. Very Cool. Now, granted this may not be the best way to consume all digital content but right now it’s better than anything else I’ve used – and all for the price of FREE. Like @hackerhaus said you’re missing out something cool if you’re not using Flipboard for the iPad. Digital Marketing Content Consumption This post leads me to ask the question – How is your audience consuming your digital content? This question is as important as any question asked about content creation. Everyday more and more people are consuming their content on mobile devices. Is your marketing content mobile friendly? Have you taken precautions to make sure that your blog posts look great on mobile devices including the iPad? What’s your preferred way of receiving digital content and information? Smartphone, iPad, email or desktop?

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Tackling Blog Posts
Sometimes, the hardest part of any process is getting started. Blogging is no different. I saw Ward Andrews of Draw Backwards speak in July at Commpose’s Writeshop in Chandler, AZ, about dealing with the “blank page”. Ward’s presentation was amazing and has had me thinking about my process as a writer and how I tackle blog posts. I hope that by sharing my process you will begin to develop a process that works for you to get you to start writing on topics that you are passionate about. Tackling Blog Posts 1. Use an editorial calendar: My editorial calendar is a strategic tool I rely on to keep me on task. For TMC Interactive, blogging is an integral part of our business mix and one of our key deliverables, so a calendar is a must. I schedule writing as a business activity. I am being compensated to produce content of value, so why wouldn’t it be scheduled like every other business task performed. If you run a personal blog, I still encourage you to use a calendar. Let’s face it sometimes life gets in the way of what we really want to do. If a task is unscheduled and left undone for an unspecified period of time it becomes daunting. Using a calendar reduces the dread of sitting down and writing. 2. Keep a running list of topics or subject matter: I like to use Evernote as my running notebook for ideas, thoughts and useful information I need to remember. (Please see TMC Interactive’ post about Evernote) The more ideas and subjects you have in your pocket the easier it is to write. Not all ideas have developed content when they rear their heads, so keeping track of ideas is important. 3. Research topics: Great content and posts of value are informative, educational and thought provoking. In order to be informative, educational and thought provoking you have to be well versed on your topic or subject. Know what you’re talking about and make it all make sense. A little research goes a long way. Also, don’t hesitate to cite other experts in your article. Calling on someone else for help on a topic often leads to professional relationships and strategic partnerships. 4. Have a strategy: What information are you trying to convey to your audience. Ward said it perfectly, “Have a topic, a thesis and write for a desired outcome.” I can’t articulate that any better. If you begin with the end and the desired outcome in mind it’s easier to structure the information and content around it. Focused articles are usually valuable articles. Page 15

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5. Compelling images: If you’ve read this blog before you know I like to use images that are a little to the left. Maybe it’s a guy riding a chicken, maybe a picture of burning man or maybe just some zany character but they are all memorable images that illustrate a point. Don’t underestimate how imagery can grab the reader’s attention and get them to read your post. I use Flickr’s creative commons for my images – it’s a great resource and it’s FREE. 6. Know your keywords: The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) benefits of having a blog may be the reason why you started to write in the first place. You wanted your company to be found by the all mighty search engines. If you know your brand or company’s keywords and develop content around the keywords, that’s a great, first step towards getting noticed by organic search. (TMC Interactive employs the practice of writing primarily for an audience and for readers – Search Engines and bots are just a huge added benefit of great keyword latent content.) 7. Just do it, review & refine: These steps are critical to one another and the success of your post. Sit down and write, knock out some great content – marketing content, personal content, inane content – you spent the time scrutinizing over the previous steps, now make the content great. After your content and imagery is on screen, step away and take a break. Give your work some time and then review it. Make sure everything reads as you intended it to and then refine what needs to be fixed. Re-structure sentences, fix typos etc. – this is final touch to making your content great. Don’t underestimate this step in haste. 8. Have a broadcast strategy: Maybe you have an audience; maybe you don’t but give your article a chance to be read. Make sure your blog has an RSS feed that’s simple to use. Have a strategy to promote your article – a little self-promotion is ok, just don’t go overboard. I like to use Twitter and Facebook to promote my articles. Also, engaging and conversing in forums and chats is another great way to get your content read. 9. Enjoy yourself: Blogging shouldn’t be torturous. Have some fun with writing and you’ll want to do it. Believe me, there are worse business tasks to perform. I hope these insights help you on your way to creating great marketing content for your audience! [NOTE: I used this blog post as the guideline for a blogging seminar I did for HearHer.org. The full presentation can be downloaded from Scribd by clicking this link.]

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Helpful Wordpress Plugins
I love Wordpress. Hands down, I think WordPress.org is the best content management system available. One of the reasons why TMC Interactive is such Wordpress honks is because of the flexibility of plugins. [Plugins are a set of software components that extend a specific functionality to a larger software application. (Full Wikipedia definition) For the purpose of this article we speaking specifically about Wordpress plugins.] Wordpress plugins can make your site do almost anything imaginable with ease. Install the plugin, dial in the settings and get out of the way. It’s really that easy to install TweetMeme, a Facebook Like Button, Spam Detection, SEO Packages, Video Uploaders and so on and so on… Favorite Wordpress Plugins My two favorite plugins that for every content management system needs are Akismet and All in One SEO. Akismet saves my sites from unwanted comments. Spam. The more popular your site is the more likely it is that spammy link builders will try to attach comments to your posts. These comments typically sound like, “Thank you for your post. The precious info you provided do help my research for our corporation, thanks.” Bad grammar, off topic, irrelevant comments that are usually used in conjunction with an email address like: blitzkrieg@fake-watches-gold.com. My clients would be disappointed if I couldn’t protect their blog or site from these annoyances. Akismet catches about 99% of all garbage comments and holds them is a spam queue. All that’s left me to do is confirm that they are not valid comments and delete them from the admin control panel. It’s easy, it’s free and it’s guaranteed to save you tons of headaches. All in One SEO is the other can't miss plugin. If you are not an SEO expert but are smart enough to know your site need its content optimized – All in One SEO is for you. The settings on the admin side are very straightforward and easy to understand. The biggest thing you’ll need to get used to is a couple of added steps after you have finished writing your content. Simply, fill out three additional fields with titles, descriptions and keywords that are relevant to your content. After that, All in One SEO will give you a fighting chance of getting organically seen by search engines. Wordpress, powered by Page.ly is TMC Interactive’s content platform of choice. It should be noted that plugins are only available when using WordPress.org (the premium solution) and not the free WordPress.com. If you are serious about your companies content you should already be using .org – if your company is still trying to make it with the free .com solution, it’s time for a self-hosting Wordpress solution.

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People On Facebook Like You – Now What?
Nice work! You drove lots and lots of people to your Facebook page and they like you, now what? Around the offices of TMC or when I’m working at Gangplank there are three certainties: I’m always available to talk about Integrated Marketing (Digital Marketing), Music or Sports. So, with that in mind I thought we could compare two MLB team’s Fan Pages (I still call them that “Like Pages” just doesn’t roll off my tongue that easily) and their year to date average attendance. Facebook Fans / Likes vs. Game Attendance Study #1: Florida Marlins, with the record of 65-64, sit in third place in the National League East. Good team, good young talent and in my opinion some exciting baseball. The Marlins have 103,967 fans on their official Facebook page. (http://www.facebook.com/Marlins) From a quick look, the average Facebook post contains games recaps or player news. Most of the posts are re-purposed articles from their official website’s news forum. The Florida Marlins draw an average of 17,978 fans per home game, which ranks them 28 of 30. (Source: ESPN 2010 MLB Attendance) It needs to be mentioned that Sun Life Stadium holds a maximum capacity of 36,331, so on any given night, depending on the opponent Sun Life Stadium is at 50% capacity. Florida’s Facebook Fan Page to Real Life Fan Attendance ratio is 17.29% Study #2: Texas Rangers are an exciting team that has runaway with the American League West Division. Texas has 218,828 fans on their Facebook page. Not unlike the Marlins, the Rangers posts contain similar information and with the exception of a couple of extraordinary posts they receive the same comment support from their Facebook community. (http://www.facebook.com/Rangers) Texas draws an average of 29,886 fans per game at The Ballpark at Arlington, ranking them number 15 on the list of 30 (Source: ESPN 2010 MLB Attendance). The Texas Rangers’ Fan Page to Real Life Fan Attendance ratio is 13.65% Facebook Quantity or Quality: Why not both? Whenever a client asks me to help them get more fans on Facebook, I immediately ask “Why?” If my why is answered with something that makes sense, I follow up with “What do you want to do once you get people to “Like” your brand?” These two questions are imperative to your Facebook marketing efforts. In any given situation I choose the quality Facebook Fan over pure quantity of fans. Quality to me is determined by engagement, which can be measured easily by comments and post likes. (Facebook does have Page 18

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other analytics available but I choose to keep in real simple and measure through engagement.) It’s fair to say that someone who takes the time to post a comment on Facebook is probably the same person who is attending your events, games, shopping at your store, buying your merchandise – your customer. The above studies of baseball attendance demonstrates why quantity important. It’s simple – people need to like your page in order for you to speak to them. Great content will not work if no one is on the receiving end of the content. Between 13-17% of Rangers and Marlins fans were engaged enough to go a game, I think any brand would welcome those numbers respectively. Also, when you have a higher quantity of fans there is more of a chance of conversations among them starting. They begin to engage one another, which improves the overall quality of the fan. Quick Facebook Page Strategy Get Them There Give Them Content (Articles, Video, Contests) Measure Engagement Through Comments & Likes Measure Facebook Analytics Review, Refine, Repeat There is no particular strategy that works for everyone but the above formula TMC Interactive uses is a great start. Every brand is different and every vertical market has its own nuances. It’s now up to you as a digital marketing professional or brand manager to find what works for your clients. (Sometimes, the answer may be – Facebook is not a great fit for your brand.) [When this article was originally written we had no idea the Texas Rangers would make it to the 2010 World Series. Maybe next year we should include the Arizona Diamondbacks and give them a little extra needed karma.]

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Is Your Digital Marketing Plan Just Rearranging Deck Chairs on The Titanic?
“…Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. It doesn’t matter what I do, she’s gonna keep on sinking.”
Is your marketing mindset stuck in Titanic mode? Do you continue to rely on traditional methods of marketing and get the same lackluster results? It’s time you reach for a life vest. Welcome to the new era of marketing and communications. This is an era where you can actively listen to your audience through various interactive channels. When you listen, you can then address the market’s needs and fill in the gaps. Your audience (aka your customers) no longer wants to be spoken to with corporate mandated marketing speak. It’s time to drop the clever taglines and words that no one really understands. They want to know you care about them and know what’s important to them. TMC Interactive has always believed people want to do business with people they know, like, trust and can solve their problems – this is no different. Four Tips To Get Your Brand Off The Marketing Titanic 1. Start Listening: Monitor your brand through various interactive marketing channels. What is being said about your company? Digital marketing is a two-way conversation – It’s closer to two friends discussing business vs. the 5:00 news broadcast. 2. Develop a Game Plan: Now that you know what they are saying it’s time to go into action. Develop a plan that envelopes what your brand is about. Strategy is strength. Without a strategy you are no wiser. 3. Get Involved: Interact with clients through digital marketing and interactive channels. Engage them on Facebook or Twitter – wherever they interactively reside. (Since we are placing a high premium on listening you need to go to them before they will come to you.) 4. Reward Loyalty: Know who your brand activists are. Who speaks highly of you? Who doesn’t? Reinforce the positive while authentically trying to change the negative perceptions. Engaged clients will be loyal to your brand – show them you recognize that and you appreciate it. Traditional marketing and PR can’t accomplish the above four ideals. How can you listen to your audience when you’re shouting over them to make your point? Stop shouting, start listening and begin conversing. Get off this sinking ship by doing something differently.

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Common Traits of Great Marketers and Leaders
There is no irony how the same principles of great leaders can also be applied to principles of great content marketing. It’s funny how many parallels can be drawn and applied back to the marketing and advertising world. Leaders lead, marketers market and advertisers advertise but without these common traits there is no success. Here are six necessary traits of great digital marketing. Honesty Great marketing always needs to be honest. (Really a bummer I needed to say that.) A house of cards will always fall. If you begin a business relationship based on untruths, no success can ever come out of it. (TMC Interactive believes a business relationship is formed from the very instant your audience or prospect knows your name.) Starting with anything less than the truth will only lead to disappointment or worse. Dependability / Accountability My Grandfather used to say, “Half of life is showing up and the other half is showing up where and when you said you would.” If you are working with a client you are 100% accountable for all marketing deliverables. If you agree on metrics of success it is your responsibility to achieve those metrics. If for some reason you fall short – own it. No one sets out to fail but failures do happen – address them, do something different next time and be there for the client. To some clients digital marketing is mysterious – so if something falls short, it’s no time for you to disappear. Doing that hurts all of us. Confidence Devise a marketing strategy and be confident in it. Success breeds confidence. Once one or successes have been attained – build on those successes. No one wants to work with anyone who is “wishy-washy” and is not confident in the plan they devised. Not only is a lack of confidence unattractive, it’s unprofessional. Commitment to Excellence I borrowed a saying from the Notre Dame football locker room and have it written on the white board in my office: “Play Like A Champion Today.” Every time you meet with a client or step foot in your office – it’s game time. Be there, be 100% and be committed to achieving the best results possible. When it comes to content marketing and writing articles or blog posts nothing short great should be published. Great content achieves great results in marketing – don’t allow yourself to do anything less than great. Allow your marketing an opportunity for greatness. Page 21

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Humility There is great power in being humble. TMC Interactive is a collaborative company. We’ve been known to share clients and collaborate with other agencies on projects. We are strong and successful because of what we do together, not by what do alone. Be humble and recognize that your firm or marketing agency is not solely responsible for all successes. (And be confident enough in your business to be able to say that.) Patience No success worth having happened overnight, contrary to popular belief. Digital marketing success is based on consistency and traction – both of which come through time. Devise the best strategy, develop great content for your clients and then give it some time to work. Digital marketing is not a magic bullet nor is it voodoo – it needs time. A little bit of patience goes a long way. These are the six characteristics I look for in clients and collaborative partners. If you can find someone to work with who has all six qualities there is no reason your successes can’t be abundant. Stray away from these traits and you are sure to encounter rough seas ahead. Now knowing what you know – just go for it…

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45 Second Social Media Strategy
Social media is free – true. All it takes to launch your company’s social media initiative is access to the most popular social networks and a keyboard to develop your marketing content – that’s also true. So since the two above statements are true, here’s a social media marketing plan perfect for your brand, company or even if you want to be elected homecoming queen: Be Useful, Add Value, Solve a Problem. Got it? No…what do you mean? It’s simple, it’s free and anyone can do it – so here are your social media strategy tips – Be Useful, Add Value, Solve a Problem. Wait, but before you go ahead and light the Internet on fire with your messages and tweets you may want to consider the cost of what a poorly written tweet or Facebook post will cost you. Your brand is on the line with everything you do in digital marketing. Here’s another social media strategy tip: the Internet doesn’t forget your published mistakes. Remember that Italian restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ that wrote a scathing reply to a customer’s review on Yelp! Yeah, I admit I forgot the name of the place also but Google just reminded me. (Amy’s Baking Company Yelp Meltdown) What does it mean to Be Useful, Add Value, and Solve a Problem? Strive to be useful by helping others without them asking by giving away your knowledge for free. If you can help someone else, you are adding value to your relationship with that person and also to the social network community as a whole. But when you can solve a problem someone else has – you become a resource. Do this more than once and you will be a trusted resource. Over time, you may even wear the crown of subject matter expert. A lot goes into developing a digital marketing plan that uses social media as a conversation channel. You have three choices in this arena: push out marketing content in a “willy-nilly” manner and hope you experience no permanent brand damage, do your due diligence and develop a plan for your marketing content or hire a professional to guide your company through the ever changing social media marketing waters. Choose the one that will yield the highest return on investment.

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The King and Queen of Content Marketing
So much is said about content marketing and how content marketing is the now. As long as content management systems and the blogosphere continues to grow, we don’t see this trend shifting any time soon. Let’s put a definition to the term Content Marketing: TMC Interactive defines Content Marketing as anything that is digitally created, published or syndicated with the purpose of furthering one’s marketing efforts. Content can be described as blog posts, white papers, photographs, video, social media posts and press releases. If you’ve worked with us, you know we stand by the principle of Great Content is King. It’s fact; great content gives you a chance of achieving your desired results. Publishing anything less than great does everyone an injustice. Last night while participating in #blogchat on Twitter, Rose DesRochers (@bloggertalk) made a great point – (Great) Content is a king who definitely needs his queen- Keywords. (Here’s a link to her article on Using Keyword Phrases) (Great) Content is king who definitely needs his queen- Keywords That statement was said so eloquently and phrased in a way I’ve never heard before. Every King needs a Queen to complete the kingdom and Great Content and Great Keywords are no different – they work hand in hand. Great content positions companies and individuals as industry thought leaders and subject matter experts. Great keyword allow you to be found and helps all SEO efforts – so your message can have further reach. Together they work hand in hand and are partners. Content Marketing Strategy When we set out to create content for our clients (or for our agency) we’ve already done the homework and the keyword strategy is in place. We know what words and phrases are relevant to the business and where we want to show up in the search engines. Content is then developed around those words. With that being said TMC Interactive firmly believes in writing for an audience not for search engines. It’s a bit of a balancing act but it’s important. As long as our end client is an audience we plan on sticking to this manner of content development. On the other hand, if it’s a new client or new subject matter we’ll do extensive keyword research to make sure we don’t miss the mark. Before launching a full scale content campaign we then test messages and test keywords to make sure we are on track. Page 24

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Moving forward if you think of these two as partners in crime (or in kingdom) you’ll have a better chance of increasing your audience and obtaining your content strategy goals. Content marketing is ultimately about increasing audience share and delivering qualified leads to teammates. Remember, Great Content may be king but the Queen needs to be satisfied in the relationship also. How are you using the partnership between content and keywords? Drop us a line and let us know.

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The Power of The Idea
“If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” – Albert Einstein Ideas, yeah we all have them. Sometimes when an idea comes into my mind I can’t wait to tell everyone about it. Some are great, some are good – some are not so good, but they’re shared with others. Recently, I posed the question to Twitter, (crowd sourced if you will) what’s more important: The power of the idea or the balls to run with it? The answer came back 50/50. In light of being enlightened – I thought I’d write about my take on both. The Power of The Idea Ideas are electric. Ideas spark something in people that nothing else can compare to. Some ideas provide hope, while others change the game for everyone. I think ideas are best when captured, documented and discussed. How many business owners reading this remember when they had the ‘a-ha’ moment for their brand, products or companies? TMC Interactive believes in discussing ideas. If the idea passes the first couple of litmus tests around our company, we then discuss the idea’s possibilities to a point of exhaustion. What if we did this, what if we do that – just little refining tweaks that brings the idea to the point of collaboration. The Wright Brothers had the idea that man could fly. Alexander Graham Bell had an idea about how people could communicate with one another over some wires. Al Gore had the idea of the Internet – didn’t he? You get my point. Everything starts somewhere. Some of the most brilliant advertising and marketing campaigns all started with a single idea or thought of inspiration. What if these people kept their ideas to themselves? Where would we be? I am a believer in the power of the idea. GRT2 Studios was an idea I had in 2002, which later turned into TMC Interactive. The model at the time looked very different and the working title at the time was Blind Eye Marketing but the basics of the company remained the same. The point being, it started as an idea that got nurtured over time and matured into what it is today by discussions and collaborating with some really smart people. If you ignore your ideas – your doing people everywhere an injustice… Confidence in Your Ideas Page 26

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“…I’m far from a Harvard student, I just had the balls to do it.” Jay Z Confidence (or balls) is what it really takes to take things to the next level. Until you’re willing to go ‘All in’ your ideas will stay stagnant. You’ve heard all the clichés – “Never up, never in”, “No risk, no reward”, ad nausea. For every idea that’s ever been put into action, someone’s confidence is behind it. The idea that lies under developed or undiscovered is probably one that no one put any confidence behind. (TIP: If people keep telling you your ideas are crazy etc. surround yourself with new people.) What happens when you have the balls to run with an idea? You put yourself in jeopardy of success. How bad is that? I am so lucky to be a part of the Phoenix (AZ) creative, marketing, advertising and tech community. Where people have balls. Balls to put their ideas on the line and deal with potential accolades or other results. I know that this is the real world and I recognize that many ideas do not work. My answer to that – who cares? If your idea doesn’t pan out the way you thought it would or they way it was planned, it’s unfortunate but did you learn anything? Was it a bad idea or bad timing? Evaluate the results for yourself. The world wasn’t ready for some successful businesses and/or marketing campaigns the first time around – that’s a fact. It didn’t stop them from a re-launch, don’t let it stop you. Don’t be selfish, share your ideas and get the right people around you to help you nurture the ideas, so you’ll have the confidence to bring it to the public. Where are your balls?

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Social Media 101
Some people understand digital marketing and social media and some people don’t. Today something on Twitter caught my eye. My favorite author, Malcolm Gladwell made the statement that Facebook and Twitter don’t have the power to change the world. (Link to Gladwell article on ReadWriteWeb.com) I tend to agree with most things Gladwell writes and his book The Tipping Point is one of my annual reads – but here I couldn’t disagree more. If I didn’t believe in the power of social media and how it can be used for good (not just business results) TMC Interactive wouldn’t invest so much time developing and executing social media strategies for a roster of clients. TMC Interactive has found that while change may come at a slower rate, it is completely possible if you are willing to engage your market and audience, Cultivate and Build Relationships. If you are unwilling to do these three (3) things then yes, Gladwell is right – you have no chance. Social Media 101: Engage Your Audience TMC Interactive spends a lot of time and research finding out about target audiences and where they virtually reside. Once they’re found, you can talk to them by posting content of value (great content) or help solve someone’s problem. Through social media platforms ask questions, crowd source ideas and respond to issues that affects your market and your audience. This is the beginning. Engaging your audience is where you start to develop ties to your audience. In the Tipping Point, Gladwell discussed at length about mastering the weak tie. Every relationship starts somewhere – here is where yours and your audience’s relationship begins. Social Media 101: Cultivate Your Market Once engaged with your target audience now you can take things to another level. Cultivate the relationship by being considered a valuable source of information. Post content that directly speaks to the challenges that are being had in your industry or by your clients. Here’s the real key to becoming a trusted source of information – freely give your knowledge away. If you can freely help someone through one of the many social networks, people will begin to spread your knowledge through the use of links and re-tweets – guaranteed. Social Media 101: Build Relationships Social media by its definition is meant to be social. Relationships of value that begin through the use of social media are often taken off-line. Have coffee with someone you think is interesting. Discuss business off-line with Page 28

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people. Send someone an email or God forbid, call him or her to discuss working together. The strongest business relationships I have here in Arizona have mostly been started through a social media introduction. Relationships are built on trust. Relationships are built when you offer to help someone else. Relationships are built over time. Allow this to happen naturally and you will have a champion of your cause or your brand. How Do We Change The World So, how do we change the world? The world is changed through social media like anything else – little by little. By engaging and building relationships with other like-minded people we are smarter and better for it. We learn about causes that we never knew about before – and sometimes we are prompted to act. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of two great causes that have had a large social media presence. The Music Matters Project, which benefits Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and HearHer.org. Both projects have a large blog, Facebook and Twitter presence. In fact, the only way these projects have gained any traction were from strategic social media efforts. How do you like those apples? Don’t be a Social Media Magoo – we have the power to distribute information and knowledge like never before. Dig deep into your social media or virtual network and see how you can make something happen.

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Three Principles of Getting More Business
You want to earn more business - right? That’s why you’re reading this article – No matter how we choose to communicate with our audience, through digital marketing, social media or otherwise, the oldest principle will always remain the same. People want to do business with other people they know, like and trust. It’s been ingrained in every businessperson’s mind since they got out of school introduce yourself, get them to like you, build rapport and the business will soon be rolling in – Right? – Wrong. I agree the know, like and trust elements are important but I think a key element is missing. If I’m looking for someone to join my weekly poker game or play golf with sure just those qualities work – but not for my business. Can anyone answer what key element is missing? How about – Solve their problem. Businesses turn outward for services, especially digital marketing, social media marketing and relationship marketing because they have a specific problem that needs to be solved. Said problem is causing them so much pain, they are willing to allocate a portion of their marketing budget to hire an outside marketing expert to help remove the problem. Know, Like, Trust – Plus Solve Their Problem Maybe business was easy a long time ago, in a land far far far away. So easy, that all you had to do was get a seat at the table. Get a seat at the table and people were ready to sign up to work with your marketing agency or buy your widgets but those times are gone and have been for years. Today’s business environment is either filled with DIY’s or companies that choose to go without. (Let’s agree the aforementioned are not ideal clients.) That leaves a smaller portion of the market that both you and your competition identify as prospects. How are you going to make yourself different from the next company, agency or freelancer? Solve their problems better than anyone else! Use all of your given resources to solve someone’s problem better than anyone else can in your space. TMC Interactive believes that – know, like and trust – just gets you a seat at the table. After that, it’s up to you to find out where’s their pain and solve their problem. Solve your client’s problems and you’ll become a trusted advisor. We all want to position our firms as advisors, not vendors.

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Why Your Company Needs A Blog
Blogs are one of the most important components of a digital marketing strategy. For years and years companies have looked for ways to broadcast their marketing messages. Today, blogs are the most common form of corporate communication. If done correctly, you can increase your brand awareness and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Reasons To Have A Company Blog Blogs position companies as industry thought leaders. When people are looking for pertinent information on a subject they want to go directly to the source. By writing articles on key relevant industry matters and offering solutions to industry challenges you are positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Being an industry leader directly influences sales and revenue. Blogs give your brand a voice There are some company’s I couldn’t tell you anything about. I think I kind of know what they do or sell but I don’t know anything about their company or corporate values. If you can find the right voice for your brand, which is done through audience segmentation and research, you can strike a chord with them. When we say audience, we mean people who may eventually buy from you or are existing customers. Blogs stimulate conversation A good blog post that offers valuable insight into relevant topics often gets plenty of comments. Comments are a great way to keep the conversation going. In some instances by reading comments on an article, you gain a lot more insight into the topic. Many times comments are left by people who are passionate about your subject matter and who are champions of your brand. This level of engagement doesn’t get any better. Blogs have a tremendous amount of SEO power Google and other search engines love blogs because of their recency and relevance. If the content is done correctly, blogs are incredibly key word latent. Using the right combination of keywords that are relevant to both your blog post and your industry will increase your overall SEO score. As your SEO score rises, so does your Search Engine Page Rank. Blogs increase your audience reach Since blogs are so SEO friendly, the potential amount of people your article will reach is larger than using traditional forms of content broadcast. When you tie your blog into other social networks like Facebook and Twitter your reach expands even further. Now let’s explore the major misconceptions about blogging and maintaining a blog. Page 31

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Common Blog Misconceptions
The last article discussed why blogs are important to your business and how they can help position your brand as thought leaders in your market. (If you missed it, here’s a link to the article - Why Your Company Needs a Blog) Equally as important and not to lead anyone down the wrong road, we thought it’s important to discuss some of the popular misconceptions of blogging. Misconceptions About Blogging Blogging is Free There are some platforms that are no cost blog solutions. WordPress.com and Blogger are usually the first two solutions that come to people’s minds. Yes a blog can be launched on a free platform but you get what you pay for and there are certain limitations. The benefits of a self-hosted blog, where you pay a monthly fee, far outweigh the cost. The three biggest reasons to move to a self-hosted platform are: aesthetics, functionality customization and SEO. If you want a blog to resemble your site a self-hosted pay solution is the only way to go. TMC Interactive uses Page.ly, a WordPress.org self-hosted premium service, for most of our blog integration. We have found that Page.ly gives our company everything we need to launch a successful site for our clients without any headaches. (Check them out.) A well-organized blog that achieves your desired business goals should always be designed with a marketing strategy in mind. The graphics or theme selection, hosting, user experience and content strategy are best left to professionals who handle such items every day. Blogging is Easy, Anyone Can Write a Blog Post It’s funny in each of these common blog misconceptions lies a bit of truth. Technically, yes – anyone can blog. Anyone can blog like anyone can tune up a car – it’s just how effective of an outcome do you want. Blog posts, or articles as I prefer to call them, have to be on point to help your site achieve maximum effectiveness. It’s not for the faint of heart. Ok, well not exactly – but it’s not as easy as you think (especially when you think you’re out of topics to write about.) If You Launch It They Will Come You will definitely experience some frustration when it comes to launching your new blog or site. The biggest one is always the lack of traffic it will receive at first. I am telling you this from first hand experience. Just Page 32

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because you have a great looking site, great content and a great keyword strategy does not mean you will instantly attract an audience. Be patient. Here’s where the new principles of marketing come into effect. Stay with it even when you post an article you think is the greatest content ever and no one visits your site. Blogs that have heavy traffic typically have a broadcast strategy. Know where your market lives online and push out information about your blog posts there. Developing a great blog takes time. If you’re not willing to put in the time to develop relevant content for your market or audience, refine keyword strategy, curate ideas, promote your site through social networks and in person and to post on a regular basis – don’t start the process. Starting a blog and realizing how much work it really is and then giving up does a lot of brand damage – so please consider yourself forewarned. I know it’s a lot to take in and I hope you feel more enlightened about the pitfalls of blogging. We are sticking to our guns when we say launching a blog is one of the greatest marketing tools available for your brand – just know what you’re getting into and get someone to help execute the blog integration properly.

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Goals of Digital Marketing
My favorite subject as of late is Marketing Content Audits & measurement of Marketing Content effectiveness. TMC Interactive has developed plenty of integrated marketing strategies together over the time we’ve collaborated. Along with everything we measure, it’s really important to understand the effectiveness of our client’s and our client’s competition’s marketing content. Marketing Content can be measured by reach and you can get an idea of engagement – but how do you know if your content is truly effective? The first question that needs to be answered is -what is the goal for the content? Marketing Content Goals Goals look very different from client to client and marketing channel to channel. It’s the old adage begin with the end in mind and everything has a purpose. Common content goals are brand positioning, audience education, positioning the author or company as thought leaders and conversation stimulation. Each goal’s set of metrics is different. (When it comes to figuring out the goals of the competition’s content me make a certain number of assumptions. 9 times out of 10, the titles, the messaging and the marketing channel used will provide a good idea of the overall goal of the content.) If you don’t have goals for your content then it’s impossible to assign appropriate metrics of success For example, if TMC Interactive writes a blog post for a client entitled, “Skatepark Warranties” – audience education would most likely be the primary goal and positioning the client, as a subject matter expert would be secondary. Our primary purpose of this blog post is to address the issue of Skatepark Warranties in the skatepark design build industry. After that there is no reason to believe that this client, in this instance Pillar Design Studios, wouldn’t be positioned as an industry subject matter expert. This is just one example how marketing goals we achieve through content distribution. I won’t expand on other examples for fear of the main point being missed. But here’s something to think about… If you are interested in being a digital marketing leader or a thought leader within your company – the next time someone asks you to launch a Facebook page, a new blog or blog post, broadcast content via Twitter, post a company YouTube video or some social media initiative – ask them – What’s the overall goal? If they can’t articulate the goal, help them figure it out. Create the content accordingly, so if will be effective. Parting Shot: Articulate the goal, define the metrics of success, develop a content broadcast strategy – and then measure the effectiveness Page 34

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The Importance of Blog Headlines
This one is simple, blog headlines are important if you want people to read your blog post. Think about it, how often do you read a blog post that has a headline that is boring or mundane? For me, NEVER. If the headline doesn’t leave me wanting more information or peaks my curiosity, I won’t read it. (Period – end of story.) Think about it, no one really reads The National Enquirer, but we all glance and laugh a little at the titles of their stories when we’re on line in the grocery store. Right? Come on – “Marie Osmond Marries A Monster” or “My Wild Night With (Insert the blank).” Like it or not these titles grab your attention and get you thinking. How To Write A Blog Headline Like with anything there are many ways to skin a cat. (TMC Interactive doesn’t believe in abusing animals and no cats were injured while writing this post.) Resources on this topic are plentiful and there’s a good list of ‘How to write a blog headline post’ at the end of this article but one tool (I recently found) stands out from some of the others. LinkBaitGenerator. Link bait generator had me laughing the other day with some of its suggested blog headlines. Here’s how it works. You type in a subject title and it automatically suggests headlines. Mind you, some headlines are useless and you would never consider using them, some are hysterical and some with a little tweaking actually work really well. Give it a shot if for no other reason than it’s funny. Another more traditional way to craft catchy blog headlines is by reading other blogs. Sites like The Onion and Huffington Post have great headlines. See how they wordsmith their titles and figure out what works for your blog. Remember the goal is to get someone to notice your post and read the article. I am a big proponent of humor. How can you take a topic that otherwise may be a little boring and make it fun. Irony and satire work well with blog headlines. One of TMC Interactive’s most popular blog posts used the headline “Twitter vs. Burning Man.” Obviously, one has nothing to do with the other but when the two are compared to each other people start to get interested. Writing great headlines that work takes some practice, be patient and keep working on it and see what works for you. Headline Writing Resources ProBlogger: How to Craft Post Titles that Draw Readers Into Your Blog CopyBlogger: How to Write Magnetic Headlines Our Little Books: Secrets to Writing Good Headlines Blogussion: Headline Writing Techniques That Just Work Page 35

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The Number One DON’T in Creating Headlines The biggest mistake you can make when creating creative headlines is misleading your audience. It’s ok to have fun and stretch the limits of creativity but do not lie to the audience. The headline needs to relate to the post in some way. Don’t use a title that’s so clever, funny and interesting but has no relevance to the article. This will cost you your audience if repeated enough. Think you’re armed with enough information and ready to give it a try? Go for it!

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Reasons Not To Market Like The Grateful Dead
In the digital marketing world there has been a lot of buzz about marketing your business like The Grateful Dead. An author whom I have a lot of respect for, David Meerman Scott recently published a book on the subject – Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead. (Marketing Lessons From The Grateful Dead) [Before we get off track, there is something I want everyone to know about me – I actually really like The Grateful Dead. I spent the better part of my high school and college years traveling show to show and city to city with friends, seeing as many Grateful Dead shows as possible. So, let’s take the “He’s a Grateful Dead Hater” out of the equation – because that has nothing to do with this article.] David Meerman Scott draws some interesting parallels to success in the marketing world and things the Grateful Dead did in their long career. Conversely, there are three things that surrounded the Grateful Dead’s career that I wanted to point out that if implemented will ruin your digital marketing efforts. Reasons To Not Market Like The Grateful Dead They never had a plan. The Grateful Dead when on stage never had a plan. Although, there were structures to the songs and lyrics almost all of the rest was improvised. Digital Marketing Strategists can’t successfully execute a cohesive strategy through improvisation. As far as a business model, The Grateful Dead never meant to make all their money by touring and playing shows. It was by accident. They had to do something because their studio records were terrible in comparison to the band’s live performances. Digital Marketing that yields results is meticulous. Planning, implementing, analyzing and execution are just the start. I don’t want to run any digital marketing campaign or engagement by ‘winging it.‘ The Grateful Dead Were Complacent. Jerry Garcia, the patriarch of The Grateful Dead, admitted in numerous interviews that ‘the band ran on inertia.’ I totally agree. Although, the Dead never played the same set twice, there were many times things were close to identical. You can substitute the word complacent with lazy sometimes. Complacency kills good digital marketing companies. It kills your drive, willingness to learn, and willingness to innovate and kills your client roster. Everyone can tell when you are just going through the motions – So Don’t.

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If you try to execute the same strategy over and over for every client, no matter who the client is or what vertical segment they represent – you will not produce results. Not every client needs the same content marketing strategy. Not every client needs a Facebook, Twitter or whatever the next greatest social networks everyone flocks to for their interactive presence. The Grateful Dead Were On Drugs. I don’t think that will be a news flash to anyone. Their world was based in counter-culture drug induced non-reality. I can’t imagine all their revolutionary marketing tactics were developed through clear-minded thoughts and conversations. (NOTE: we may find the dialogue between one another pretty funny though.) For a digital marketing strategy to work is has to be based in reality. What are the realistic goals and the real metrics to measure campaign results. I agree that reality is a bitch sometimes – but it’s better than the alternative. As long as plans are based in reality you have a chance at success. Three Keys to Digital Marketing Success Have a plan and develop goals Work the plan to its fullest – don’t slack on any part of the plan Base your marketing strategy in reality Did we leave anything out? I could probably go on and on about this topic since I am pretty passionate about both marketing and music – but I won’t.

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Get More Followers On Twitter
Ah yes, more talk about Twitter, everyone’s favorite fun 140 character social network that no one understands at first. I’ve said it before – If you start your journey on Twitter and have no clue what the hell is going on or how to use it, you’re normal. It’s an acquired skill set that keeps evolving. (Twitter vs. Burning Man Post – Why No One Understands Either.) Twitter has a lot of digital marketing value for a company, brand or an individual to broadcast content. Without followers there is no one there to receive your message, which defeats the purpose of broadcasting your content. After someone new to Twitter gets the lay of the land, the most commonly asked question is – How Do I Get People To Follow Me? Let’s jump in and discuss a couple of the right ways to increase Twitter followers. Using Twitter Hashtags A Twitter hashtag is a keyword set that is preceded by # (the number or pound sign). The hashtag is used to draw attention to on topic Tweets or a conversation by people to others who are searching for topics or subjects. For example: #digitalmarketing is a tweet or ongoing conversation about digital marketing, just as #RCPM is a tweet or conversation about (the band) Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. If you were looking to learn about RCPM on Twitter search for the #rcpm hashtag and the search results will populate your screen. Now you’re listening. Why are Twitter hashtags important? The hashtag is an opportunity for you to find other people who have similar interests or discussing topics you enjoy. Now, you can listen to what people are saying. Use this tool and see if you have an interest in listening to what the users have to say. Also, if you post links to articles or websites that are relevant or of value and include a hashtag, users may want to hear more from you. If other users think they want to hear more from you, they’ll give you a follow. (TechCrunch Article on Gaining Twitter Followers.)

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Follow Others on Twitter Once you identify potential members of your Twitter audience or at least someone who has similar interests you can start by following them. Many times when you follow someone they will be courteous and follow you back, especially if they are also new to Twitter. (Don’t expect or be surprised if celebrities or national subject matter experts to follow you back – that’s just part of the deal on Twitter.) Get Involved in Twitter Conversations If you follow someone and they send a tweet that you like, disagree with or just understand – let them know by talking to them. Conversations start easily on Twitter by @replying to others. (Key in @theirusername and it will show up in their Twitter feed as a mention.) If you talk to someone and engage in useful, valuable and friendly conversation with people you will start to gain followers. Retweets (where you RT or re-post someone else’s tweet) are a great way to get involved and show someone you enjoy their content. This is another way to gain followers because you are helping them by re-broadcasting their content or message. Be a Valuable Resource I admit, as much as I am Twitter fan, I have a low-threshold for the inane. Try to add value to the Twitter social network with every character or link you post. Don’t waste other people’s time or suck up their energy. The bottom line is simple: Be useful, be valuable and try to help someone else. If you can accomplish one of those three things through your tweets – you’re on a good path. Here’s the deal – it will take all four of these suggestions plus a little more before you gain a Twitter follower base. The more you use this form of social media, the more likely you are to have success. It takes patience and a little persistence.

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Digital Marketing Digest Vol. 1

Personal Branding In A Digital World
Personal branding is a topic we spend a lot of time thinking about. Today personal branding is one of the most important things you can do to differentiate yourself and your company from the competition. In our digital marketing and social media world where things happen in real-time, one false move and your (personal) brand could be on a downward slide. TMC Interactive’s definition of personal brand is simple. Anything you do, say or publish that affects someone’s perception of you, which consequently affects that person’s perception of your work. Being a digital marketing professional I’m past the point of no return with published items on the web. What does that mean? Simply stated, it means my thoughts, ideas and commentary is live on the Internet – good, bad or indifferent. I don’t want to say that I walk the line of self-censorship, but there are times when I let my better judgment overrule my emotions. Personal Branding Tips From a Digital Marketer 1. Think before you post something on Twitter or Facebook. If something of question comes up ask yourself, how does this affect how others view me? Are you being controversial for the sake of being controversial? If the answer is yes, then over time you may be considered someone who likes to ‘stir the pot’. Are your tweets often cynical and negative? If so, there’s a good chance you will be considered a negative person or a downer (Insert Debbie Downer soundbite here.) Are you someone who offers solutions to other people’s challenges? If you do, that’s a great position for your personal brand. (Do I really need to say that you should probably be sober when posting things to social networks unless you want to be known otherwise.) 2. Think about your Avatar. Admittedly, I have a lot of trouble with this one. I’ve been told after meeting people for the first time in person that my avatar tells a different story about who I am, than whom I really am. This comes from me not being comfortable in front of cameras. I had to get more selective with the photos I publish or have published of me. In a digital world, people can only judge you by what they read and see make sure these two things are congruent with how you really are. This is a real simple and important point – take this one seriously. Remember, when dealing with your personal brand you are conveying information about yourself with people who you may only know from various social networks or your website’s audience – typically not the people you see in person regularly. 3. Use geolocation technology to enhance your Personal Brand. I’m a fan of geolocation social networks like FourSquare, Gowalla and Facebook Places (plus new entertainment centric social network Get Glue.) The Page 41

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gaming aspect of geolocation marketing has never interested me but letting people into my world and the places I visit does. My followers know I go to the gym almost daily, I like to frequent brewpubs over coffee shops and I am a regular at Gangplank. With every check-in I hope people feel like they know me a little better. Remember, when dealing with your (digital) personal brand you are mostly conveying information with people whom you only know from various social networks or your website’s audience – not the people you see in person regularly. 4. Produce and publish quality content. Anytime you publish something on the web make sure it’s of high quality. Put out the best you are capable of doing at that time in your life or career. I sometimes hear new bloggers say, “It doesn’t matter only a small number of people read my stuff anyway.” Do yourself a favor; if that’s your attitude stop publishing content right away. What happens when your site turns the corner and you gain a share of an audience? Your old content will still be out there to consume, make sure it doesn’t embarrass you. 5. Stand for something. Jim Rome always says to his callers, “Have a take and don’t suck.” It’s like that here. Have a take on things and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Just do it in a way that keeps you in a positive light. (Some of these principles go back to principle #1 Think before you post something on Twitter or Facebook.) It’s ok to agree to disagree just like it’s ok to pick and choose your battles. There are many people ready to jump into battle about something meaningless or inane. Let their personal brand fall on the sword for you. (In fact, that could be a part of their brand.) There are lots of ways to enhance your personal brand; we just started the ball rolling with these five. What have you done to enhance your personal brand online?

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Digital Marketing Lessons Learned From Jim Valvano
Digital Marketing Lessons of Life Lessons learned from one of the greats – Jim Valvano. You may know Jimmy V. You may remember his team winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in 1983 on a buzzer beating put-back basket by Lorenzo Charles in one of the most memorable college basketball games ever. Or, you know Jim Valvano as a humanitarian and before losing his battle to cancer, setting up the V Foundation for Cancer Research. However you know him, Jimmy V delivered a legendary speech on March 3, 1993, (YouTube video of Jim Valvano’s speech) when receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. I’ve watched the speech numerous time and I’m moved every time I see it. Today, after spending my day at PodCampAZ – I watched the video again. I wanted to see how Jim Valvano’s words globally translated into digital marketing, social media execution, professionalism and all-things life related. Here are a couple of takeaways I came up with from him comments and quips on March 3rd, 1993. Digital Marketing & Life Lessons Learned From Jimmy V Time is precious. Make of the most of the messages you broadcast. Add value and seize the moment. Be passionate. Passion is contagious – infect others with your passion. Laugh, Think & Display Emotion Daily. This was Jim Valvano’s guide to a great day. Have a commitment to excellence. Whatever marketing strategy you choose to deploy for clients, do it with a commitment to excellence. Make your efforts count for the big picture and your client’s goals. Have a vision. Know where you are and where you want to be. Have and use today’s reality as your baseline. Enjoy every minute. Have fun doing what you’re doing. If it’s not fun, don’t do it. Keep your dreams alive in spite of challenges. Don’t get derailed by minor setbacks. It’s simple: Keep on keeping on and persevere. Help someone else. Jim Valvano asked for people to help fund The V Foundation Cancer Research mission. Go out and lend a hand to someone who is struggling or to someone who asks for your help. Don’t Give Up, Don’t Ever Give Up. Keep these principles in mind and use them as guidelines to executing digital marketing strategy, social media execution, blogging, running a business or every day life. Life is too short to produce mediocre work.

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Thank You
I hope everyone enjoyed TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol. 1. Please let us know if you have any questions about any of the content in this book. We are always available to speak about digital marketing and social media marketing. Seriously, take us up on it. It’s been an amazing six-months; since I decided to leave the marketing firm I worked for. Running your own marketing firm is a blessing and a curse but mostly a blessing. There are so many people who I owe thanks to for pushing me into the entrepreneurial world and supporting me with the firm I’ve always dreamed of. Here are a few individuals I wanted to mention who gave me an extra shove into the big bad world… Kristina Landrum Louie Moses James Archer Ted Raymond Everyone at Gangplank Kevin Eberle Timothy Eberle Evo Terra #phxhoops crew Brad Siedlecki The Jersey Missles Johnny Dudley Len Gutman Josh Strebel Jack Smith Niall McSheffrey Gabe Velez Robin Adams-Telle

TMC Interactive’s Digital Marketing Digest Vol. 2 will be available for download in July 2011.

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