digital marketing

  • Video and Social Media Marketing: Which Platform Will Boost Your Brand?

    I’m sure you’ve noticed it yourself. Given the choice between watching a quick video online, or reading a long swath of content, which would you choose? If you’re like 59% of the senior executives interviewed by Forbes Insight on the subject, you’d prefer the video. It’s no wonder, then, that video marketing is growing by leap and bounds. They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and it’s true, as the right image online draws exponentially more eyes than a simple headline ever could, no matter how carefully crafted. But according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. 1.8 million! That’s a pretty bold assertion, but the stats bear it out – using video in online marketing delivers a powerful ROI. Especially in the realm of social media marketing, where videos help posts rank higher in the algorithms determining who sees what in their newsfeed, as well as drawing more interest and engagement from audience members, combining the natural appeal of video with the power of social media. Online shoppers who view a video about a product are 64% more likely to buy that product from that business – and 90% of those…

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  • Dark Social: What It Is and How To Deal With It

    The Dark Ages, the dark side of the moon, fear of the dark… What do all of these references to the dark have in common? Ignorance, or the unknown. And that’s exactly what dark social is all about. Dark social refers to the ubiquitous practice of sharing content privately; that is, not sharing something openly via social media, where shares can be tracked by companies, but instead, cutting and pasting links or even whole blog posts into emails to send them to friends. This creates a dark spot for businesses and marketers trying to keep tabs on where their web traffic is coming from, and which content is encouraging engagement. And this dark spot is significant. According to a June 2016 report from RadiumOne, 82 percent of content shared on mobile is shared through dark social – via messaging apps, email, or text. That’s up from less than 50 percent in 2014. And although we’re all very familiar with Facebook’s “share” button, it turns out we don’t use it as often as we might think. Just 13 percent of content on mobile is shared via Facebook, and 10 percent on all other social networks. Worst of all, sometimes, in all…

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  • The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing for Product-Based Businesses

    In the olden days of marketing – like, 20 years ago – designing a marketing plan for your product-based business was pretty straightforward. Mostly, you had to show how much better your product was than its competitors. That could mean running a taste test with random consumers and then telling people about it. It could mean paying a celebrity to wear your product to a major event. It could even mean just spending tons of money on commercials in which an actor looked really happy eating/using/looking at your amazing product. That is somewhat of a simplification, sure, but in general, that was the idea behind product-based marketing before the digital age. Today, things are different. Consumers are way more savvy. They can price-shop for products just like yours across the entire internet, which basically means the entire planet. They’re wary of the hard sell, and want to feel in control of the purchasing process. On the marketer’s side, the channels through which you can reach consumers have exploded. It’s not just TV, radio, and print anymore. You have mobile ads, browser ads, mobile apps, email, social media, live chat, text alerts…you get the idea. When you add in the fact…

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  • 5 Awesome Digital Marketing Strategies for Niche Businesses

    While the internet has changed marketing for businesses of every shape and size, perhaps one of the most transformed over the past couple of decades has been the niche business. Pre-internet, niche businesses had to have products or services that would appeal to enough people to support the cost of advertising – which meant that many potential niche products never saw the light of day. Today, the situation is different. Niche products still have to make enough money to support their advertising costs, like any other business, but those costs have gotten so much lower, and ad reach so much wider, that the niche product and service market has boomed. Just think about some of the niche products or services you’ve come across in the past few years. Print-on-demand T-shirts. Super-exclusive (and expensive) matchmaking services. Every subscription box service out there, from Blue Apron (meals and recipes) to Birchbox (beauty products). The reality now is that if you want to create a line of handmade journals targeting 28-35 year old mothers of gifted kids in Laguna Beach, California, you can do it – and with the right digital marketing strategy, you can probably even become profitable. If this sounds like…

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  • 6 Critical Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency

    A strong business relationship, like a strong marriage, requires a lot of give and take. Your agency needs to have the knowledge, expertise, and moxie to give you the strong digital presence that businesses need to succeed. They have to stay on top of the latest developments in digital marketing, and be ready to try new strategies when the old ones don’t work. As a client, you need to communicate your needs openly and clearly. You need to be responsive with feedback. You have to trust your agency enough to let them seek out opportunities to build your brand, and when they do, be able to let them know what you think. Of course, just as in marriage, there’s also an undefinable element that can make a business relationship not just good, but great. It’s a sense of fit, of “clicking” – of knowing that you and your agency won’t have trouble staying on the same page. This isn’t something you can find out from an agency website. When you’re thinking of hiring a digital marketing agency, you’ve got to start by asking them the right questions. In addition to asking about things like their client base, history of success,…

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  • Winning the Hashtag Wars: How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Reach and Strengthen Your Brand

    Hashtags can have a huge effect on your content and, therefore, your brand. How can you use them strategically to strengthen that brand and increase..

  • Our Top 5 Favorite Influencer Marketing Campaigns

    Influencer marketing: do it right, and it can help your brand reach new audiences, increase demand, and gain a devoted following. Do it wrong, and you risk looking like an unlikeable trust fund kid who pays people to be his friends. Influencer marketing can be a bit of a tricky business (that’s why we offer influencer outreach as one of our many digital marketing services). While some brands still struggle with the idea, there are others that are doing great, innovative influencer marketing campaigns that have helped them move the needle for their sales, their cause, and other goals. Here are five of our favorite influencer marketing campaigns from the past few years. Honest Tea’s #RefreshinglyHonest campaign For  five years now, Honest Tea has been engaged in an informal social experiment to find out how honest Americans are across the country. The company sets up unmanned, pop-up stands that offer Honest beverages for $1 – on the honor system. After the pop-up event is completed, company personnel tally up the number of people who actually gave $1. This tally is included in their National Honesty Index, which rates cities and towns throughout America. (In case you were wondering, in 2015…

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  • How Do You Find the Right Influencer for Your Brand?

    You know how you have that one friend who always gives you amazing movie recommendations? If he says you should see this new movie, you probably trust him implicitly – you just know he’s got great taste. But maybe this friend isn’t such a good source when it comes to, say, restaurants. Maybe, in fact, his taste in restaurants frankly sucks. Because of that, you don’t put much weight on any food recommendations he passes along your way. While you might not think of him this way, from a marketing perspective your friend with impeccable taste in film is an influencer. He’s someone whose opinion you trust, and a recommendation from him is probably more likely to encourage you to see a particular film than the best trailer that a production company can dream up. If you were to stick him online, he’d be the equivalent of a really talented, popular blogger whose movie-related posts get retweeted and shared like crazy – and, most importantly, get people to buy movie tickets. If you’ve been working in digital marketing long, you know how important influencers like him have become. In fact, they’ve become just as important as the other components of…

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  • The 12 Days of Christmas Day 3: The Importance of Email Marketing

    It’s day three of the Shama TV 12 Days of Christmas contest! Have you subscribed to the Shama TV channel yet? If you haven’t, make sure to subscribe today – you’ve still got nine chances to win a $25 Amazon giftcard, plus a chance to win an Amazon Fire HD tablet. To learn more about the giveaway, read our post announcing the contest.  Today’s trend is the importance of email marketing – despite what you may have heard, it’s not dead! Watch the video below, and scroll down for a transcript.  Transcript: Hey Zen Nation, Shama here! It’s day 3 of our 12 day holiday gift-giving campaign, where every single day I share a future trend with you for 2016 and you get the chance to win some fabulous prizes by simply subscribing to the Shama TV channel on YouTube. That’s it, it can’t get simpler than that. Trend number three for 2016 is: the importance of email marketing. Email marketing is not dead! Every year, we hear it heralded – email marketing is dead, and something else is taking its place. Email marketing is still the number one way to connect with your audience, to get them to take action….

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  • The 5 Best Digital Marketing Campaigns of All Time

    It’s hard work, nowadays, for a digital marketing campaign to be considered truly iconic. In the early days of the internet, a successful digital marketing campaign meant putting out some cool videos, along with some well-placed ads; today, that same campaign would have to not only have videos (and lots of videos, preferably), but also a strong social media component, carefully considered SEO strategy, strategic content, and mentions in media outlets and on popular blogs. It sounds a little overwhelming when you break it down like that, which is why, of course, agencies like us exist. We love putting together great marketing campaigns, from content to PR to social media. And just like we love putting together great campaigns, we also love seeing great campaigns. We love it so much, in fact, that we put together our list of the top digital marketing campaigns of all time … well, at least of the past several years. Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like If you’re like us, you remember where you were when you first saw this video. This campaign, which launched with this priceless gem and continues to this day, is still the reigning king of hilariously…

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  • MZ announces the 12 Days of Christmas Contest!

    Happy December, everyone! At MZ, we’re excited about the upcoming holidays, and we want to share some of our holiday spirit with you. So starting today, we’re launching the Shama TV 12 Days of Christmas contest! Each day from Dec. 1-12, Shama will release a short video on her YouTube channel predicting a marketing trend for 2016. To enter the contest, all you have to do is subscribe on youtube.com/shamatv. Each day, one lucky subscriber will win a $25 Amazon giftcard, and on the last day of the contest someone will win the grand prize: an Amazon Fire HD tablet.  Take a look at the first video below, all about the importance of the customer journey. And be sure to subscribe on youtube.com/shamatv for your chance to win! Transcript: Hey Zen Nation, Shama here! I have a special treat for you – we are doing Twelve Days of Christmas. I will be sharing a future trend for 2016 for you to look for every single day and we will choose winners. Every single day, we’ll be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky subscriber and at the end of it someone will win an Amazon Fire HD Tablet….

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  • Why Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing is a No-Brainer

    The digital age has given us so many things: better ways to stay in touch with loved ones, new ways to market and advertise, a social connectivity that reaches across the world. Another thing the digital age has been quite generous with? Hyperbole. “Traditional advertising is dead!” “Print is dead!” “Cable TV is dead!” “God is dead!” Oh, wait. That was Nietzche. Anyway, you get the picture. Once SEO, social media, and influencer marketing came on the scene, lots of people in the position to make loud and definitive proclamations like this did so, and we ended up with a bunch of doomsday-esque predictions that turned out to be a bit exaggerated. I still read books made of paper, and lots of people I know do too. Advertising firms are still alive and thriving. Cable TV shows no sign of fading away, although it has, certainly, adapted. The point is that no matter how game-changing the digital revolution has been, it’s not the end-all be-all. That’s as true in marketing as it is in any other industry—salespeople, for instance, still make phone calls and face-to-face visits, and retailers still invest in brick-and-mortar stores despite the popularity of online shopping. The…

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