Category Archives: digital marketing

Never Stop Online Growth

There’s a million and one ways to make yourself found online, local, mobile, social, organic, ppc and within each of these there are countless other methods to work on. Let’s start with the assumption that you’ve followed all of the best practices when it comes to building your website.

You’ve used CSS and XML to create a uniform and attractive look. Used even simple things such as a doctype to tell your browser what it is that it’s reading. Creative, compelling content with a strong call to action which drives your visitors to buy your product, sign up for your news letter or forum and continue visiting your pages. Your images are tagged, your categories are tagged, you’ve worked hard at being the best in your niche market and are steadily enjoying the growing fruits of your labor. And then you learn, there is more which you can do to increase your traffic flow, visibility and as a result, improve your bottom line.

There’s always more which can be done in marketing yourself online, more steps which you can take to become more visible. That step you’ve taken to tag all of your images on your website properly? Congratulations, by taking a very simple step you’ve helped increase your visibility in the image searchs in both Bing and Google. With properly tagged and titled images, it helps your customers reach your site when you have clear pictures for your product to be seen.

Another strong step is issuing news about your company consistently. Whether you’ve closed that massive new merger which will allow you to double production or support, or even if all you’ve done is decided to hold a spring cleaning sale. It’s important to remain active in the eyes of your customer. This is where a blog is an amazing tool for your business, both small and large. It’s an ideal space for all of the aforementioned releases, as well as a location for your clients and customers to reply to your posts and even suggest improvements if some are needed in their eyes.

If you’ve cornered your niche market, and created your very own brand image offline, it’s extremely important to continue that leverage online. As an example, it wouldn’t do Pepsi or Coca-Cola any good to have direct queries for their brand name, direct users to competitors websites. It’s lost revenue and a lost avenue for income.

And if you provide a product or a service which has many steps or intricacies, it only helps your case to develop your very own how to pages on your website. If you provide a specific style of door knocker as an example, providing clear and concise directions on your website on how to install and care for your product can help instantly transform a curious searcher, into a new customer.

Yellow Pages Getting Dragged into Digital

So the Yellow Pages are finally getting it, I spoke with these people when I first arrived in Canada in 2007 at their request and told them as much. 

But like most businesses here the truth hurts, YES you are behind a few years and playing catch up, but at least your starting to play now. The idea of a cocky little Brit telling them what they need to do with their business in a new digital world does not go down very well, they always know best.

So they have managed to get rid of the Auto Trader to the Brits to pay off mounting debts, losing $500k on what they paid for it, (bet they wished they listened now) but to be honest the British Autotader is a lot better, so may be something to look forward to in Canada.

Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst broadcast a new strategy for the directories arm of Telstra this week stateing

“The marketing and advertising environment confronting small businesses today is totally different to what it has been in the past. Gone are the days where a local business owner wanting to advertise their business would simply advertise in the Yellow Pages, paint contact details on their company car and print business cards,” he said. (No shit Sherlock)

“The explosion of technology and advertising channels, and the popularity of digital devices, has created a complex digital world that small businesses must be part of to ensure they are found by customers looking for their services.”

Well better late than never so they say, so when the Yellow Pages girls & boys come knocking for your advertising dollars, dont forget this is as new to them as it is to you, Remember experience counts, seek out the Orange in your area.

There is no SEO magic

There’s something to be said about the myths which surround SEO as an industry. In a way it adds a layer of ‘magic’ to the processes which can drive your website to the top of search. On the other hand, it allows the cheaters and snake oil salesmen to get in the door to respectable, naive business owners who only have half an idea.

Let’s face it, the world is going digital and online, the cloud is the next major leap forward as one of it’s goal is to eliminate the need for mass amounts of software on individual machines. Every major player in industry has recognized this fact, newspapers especially which have been hit substantially in the shift to online content generation and consumption. Radio and television have both added online content distribution to their industries, even going so far to use specialty content only available on their site to drive visitors. But they all know, the multi-million dollar advertising industries are slowly shifting their budgets to include online optimization in bigger and bigger steps.

Now if all of the big boys get it, that the world and it’s people are shifting online, what’s with all of the hesitation? Because unfortunately in the end business is ignorant and resistant to change. There’s short cut takers and cheaters in every industry, not just in the SEO/SEM world, and just like every other industry, when they’re caught, they’re thrust out into the light and are left to burn. The growing pains that the SEO industry is experiencing in Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg in particular, is one of naivete. Winnipeg is a small city on the global marketplace, but with it’s geo-location it should be a significatly larger player that it is. All we need now is for the old, naive, ignorant and resistant guard to change, and let the youth take over. I’ve heard it said a number of times that once you’ve lived in Winnipeg it’s hard to really want to plant roots anywhere else. My reason why (unfortunately) is because Winnipeg just doesn’t change; at least not fast enough to be a global player.

Brand Integrity

Recently, Google and Microsoft have both launched their own app development platforms for mobile phones. Apple, has been under some fairly heavy fire with the technical issues surrounding the iPhone 4, and not too surprisingly they’ve been given just another kick in the butt.

Shares of Apple stock fell sharply on Tuesday afternoon — down to $246.43 before a modest recovery — and as of Wednesday morning were down about 8 percent overall from where they were on the iPhone 4’s June 24 release date.

In just a short window of 3 weeks Apple has seen a fairly significant drop in their companies worth. There are always the fans of course, which will undoubtedly ensure the companies success, but it’s a good reminder for all businesses to be sure to listen to your customers. The technical issues and limitations of the iPhone were known about prior to launch and acceptable solutions weren’t attained. So instead of having a techological breakthrough (again), Apple instead is dealing with a problematic piece of hardware. The most recent buzz surrounding the iPhone and it’s issues, are the smatterings here and there of a mass recall in order to address consumer concerns; which would only further the impact. Analysts within the industry have suggested the technical issues surrounding the phone aren’t necessarily the problem, it’s more the way Apple is dealing with it. Apple maintains however, that despite a programming bug, the iPhone 4 is a fine product with solid reception.
Within the midst of all the iPhone buzz, Apple is moving forward with the purchase of a Canadian company, Poly9, which creates browser-based 3D software. Seeing as how Apple has shunned Flash from their phones, the acquisition of Poly9 may be another way forward for the company.

And the Internet takes the lead

At just under 3 hours per day online, Canadians are now spending more time on the web than they are watching TV. The previous trend of television being the dominant source of entertainment has been replaced by the always on, always recent digital world.

With the possibilities ranging from finding news literally as it happens via a service like Twitter, to finding archived and stored information from publications back decades, the Internet is bringing more of the world, to more Canadians every day. The continual climb of Canadians spending their time online is no real surprise, as print publications are slowly coming around to the idea that more of their readers are coming online, than through their subscription services. Television networks as well, with offering some primetime programming on their websites has helped to attract visitors to their websites.

Surveys from Neilsen and comScore, have shown that online video-viewing and time spent Web browsing have increased over the years. And previous research has shown that there is an emergence of multitasking: watching TV while also using a laptop. A commercial or a news story which once caught your attention, can now be examined more closely with the ease of use of wireless networking and high speed internet in almost all Canadian homes.

This doesn’t mean that the “death” is nigh for old media such as newspapers, television or radio. But the data is there, the numbers have been added up. Canadians are moving online more and more each day, the longer you dwell on the past information distribution and marketing schemes, the faster you’ll fall behind.

In with the New

Being alive in the 21st century is an amazing feeling. Of course, there’s always the negative side of things if you want to see them. The opportunities available to people to expand themselves is growing each and every day.

The opportunities which exist for a business owner, whether new or long term industry leader, are nearly immeasurable. The ability to have your product or service, available to be purchased 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is unprecedented, and still relatively unfamiliar territory.

Wide spread use of the web is still rather new (at only around 15 years), and yet it reaches a wider audience, 10 times faster than each other advertising medium. The web is crowded, loud, chock full of dead ends, loopholes, and obstacles. But it is also instant, powerful, and it can be your most powerful advertising tool if you wish it to be; you just need to find the experts to lead you.

Winnipeg is a great town, Canada is a great country. Both still “young” if such a term could ever be used in such ways. But the business advertising model is greatly outdated in Winnipeg, with a lot of stock still being put into traditional means of advertising with newspapers, radio and tv ads. In 2008 in Canada, 70% of households had a broadband internet connection, always on high speed access to the web. Instead of going on more and more, I’ll use the graphic below to illustrate my point:

When a person turns on their browser, they’ve the ability to search 1 billion plus web pages for anything and everything. Being found in all of that is like a needle in a haystack right? What if I told you, you don’t need to play that game. That you could be the farmer to that haystack, move it all out of the way so you have a clear path to work?

Strange metaphores aside, to put it extremely plainly, old media advertising is slowly dieing. The generation of today, doesn’t subscribe to the newspaper, they read it online. They don’t listen to the radio for the latest news, they check Twitter, or Facebook to see what their friends and family are doing and what they’ve noticed. People don’t go looking for the news, the news finds them now. As a business, it’s time to adjust or be lost in the pack. Online advertising, and working in a mobile business model is going to be key to market success going forward.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll let this last one speak for me. The team at Fresh Traffic, can help you bring your company to where it should be online. Let us put you back out front of the rat race, and propel your business to the success it deserves.

Canada needs a digital plan

The chairman of the National Film Board says Canada risks being left in the dust by other countries on the information highway if it doesn’t put serious thought into dealing with the digital age.

Hurray for Mr Tom Perlmutter, Please call me, we have something in common.

He says “It affects all sectors, it affects government, it affects education, it affects health sectors, it affects politics. You only have to look at the presidency of Obama. I cannot imagine that he would have been elected president without the power of the Internet.”

Obama used the Internet to reach out to supporters and raise millions in funds for his campaign, that’s true and we know better than most.

Read full story

If you require expert advice or help on the digital age Call us 204.942.4200

Investors calling Time on AOL

Struggling internet company AOL is pleading for patience from investors, insisting that online advertising revenues will pick up in the next two years.

Time Warner laboured over the decision to untangle themselves from the lead weight of AOL, but finally decided to jettison the company in February. Nine years ago, the two companies made the “deal of the century” with a merger that saw AOL takeover Time Warner for $160 billion.

It didn’t take long for the deal to go sour. The “transformed landscape” of digital media quickly turned into a quagmire, with AOL failing to move with the changing trends, crucially missing out on the broadband explosion and early movers who made the most out of the emerging internet advertising movement.

As subscribers dropped by two thirds, AOL shrivelled into virtual insignificance. The company changed its business model to focus on digital marketing but by then they had lost the edge of being on the frontier, and were playing catch up with the likes of Google and Yahoo. In the last three quarters, AOL’s revenue took a 20 per cent nose dive, hastening Time Warner’s decision to ditch its partner.

AOL’s chief executive Tim Armstrong told investors that AOL will make a comeback in the advertising market as the industry bounces back from the recession. “Advertisers are going to be driving to Internet Road and AOL is a major property on Internet Road,” Mr Armstrong told Reuters. The new look AOL will be pure display advertising, but with the frontier moving again to SEO, AOL could once again be caught one step behind its competitors.

Digital Marketing and the New Push / Pull Dynamic

From Company Push to Consumer Pull
What is push and pull marketing? Push is the 30-second TV / radio spot. Push is the billboard and web banner. Push is the full-page magazine / newspaper spread. Push is becoming evermore difficult to push. The converse of push, is pull. Pull marketing is engaging; interactive; a two-way line of communication. To illustrate the push / pull marketing dynamic 15 years ago, if you were in the market to buy a TV, what resources would you have at your disposal? TV, radio, billboard, direct mail advertisements might have influenced your decision. Those messages are finely crafted to be persuasive. In essence: they’re bias. For a more objective view, you might turn to your friend that knows something about TVs. Or, you can go to Best Buy and they might be able to educate and inform your decision. In short, advertisements and a handful of “experts” were your resources. That was the push / pull dynamic then.

In the digital era, we can better manage and prioritize the influence of each resource. With the ubiquity of the internet, resources are seemingly endless; therefore you can choose which are more important as you refine our decision. Where in the past your decision was constrained to a limited number of resources, in the digital age, there are countless information hubs to help you choose one product over another. With the extensive consumer conversation on social media sites and product pages, what weight does the mass message—pushed from TV, billboard, radio, etc—carry when you’re making your decision? Though consumers will still soak up push marketing—and factor those impressions into their spending decisions—the internet and its vast networking reach typically bypasses traditional push media. In the past, the number of resources was limited—therefore each opinion meant more and consumers were just consumers. In today’s age, consumers are researchers, advocates, creators, promoters and marketers.

Reallocation of Marketing Efforts
In response to this consumer empowerment, companies are developing new strategies to adapt and grow in this different marketing world. Consider the marketing landscape only 15 years ago. If a company wanted to launch a product, they would allocate X amount of dollars to cast a wide net of impressions to influence a buying decision.

In a world influenced by the digital consumer network, even the word “consumer” is limiting in its simplicity. In the most innovative marketing efforts, consumers are the creators, advocates, promoters, marketers and buyers. To have a presence in the new consumer world, marketers are facilitating the conversation and activities through valuable tools and concepts online. The most engaging marketing tools can be implemented in the digital world. With a multi-sensorial experience and a multitude of engagement opportunities, brands can enhance their consumer experience beyond the conventional marketing tactics.

Pull marketing combines viral, blogging, social media, SEO, internet marketing, RSS etc. into a methodology where consumers engage and build something with the brand. No longer is advertising an interruption between news, or a distraction in nature’s landscape. Marketing is more about choice and engagement, less than it is a distraction. If you are relying too much on heavily push media today, now is the time to embrace the paradigm shift towards consumer-powered marketing