What Digital Marketers Should Do To Better Manage Their Online Brand

Source: BeResponsive Media

Regardless of if it is wanted or or not, consumers will talk about your brand and express their opinions and experiences, whether it be positive or negative. Depending on the size of your company, the number of people talking may be far too large to monitor every single comment, story, or post. Positive word-of-mouth from these customers can be very beneficial for your brand, but negative content should be monitored closely, as it can have a damaging effect on your brand, company, and bottom line. Managing your online brand is no easy tasks, but there are tools and actions you can take to help ensure your online brand reputation is the best it can be.

Use Tools

There are several social media monitoring tools out there at your fingertips, such as Google Alerts, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite. Tools such as these monitor the web in search of anywhere your brand (or another word being monitored) is mentioned (Larson & Draper). Google Alerts, for example, has the ability to look through all publicly available online sources, such as news sites, blogs, video sites, and forums (Larson & Draper). By entering in words to monitor, such as your brands name or logo, you can effectively see what people are saying about your brand. This helps you learn what strategies are working, as well as any negative feedback that the firm needs to address and/or improve on.

Learn How to Respond to Negative Content

Negative content pertaining to your brand is nearly inevitable considering how many people may be talking about it. Negative content is often found in places such as online review sites, online forums, press articles, and blogs (Larson & Draper). The actions to be taken on the negative content depend on the severity of it. For example, if a customer leaves an angry or dissatisfied comment on one of your social media posts, actions could include responding in a polite manner asking for their contact information so that you can help solve their problem. This not only helps the dissatisfied customer, but also shows others that you are willing to fix mistakes and mishaps. However, there may be times that you need a strong emergency response if the negative publicity is severe enough. If a severe incident comes up, your company should have a plan on how to address it. There are three things that need to be considered when effectively handling an emergency: timeliness, transparency, and training (Larson & Draper). Responding quickly to mishaps is essential, as it shows the company is prioritizing taking action as soon as possible. Additionally, the firm should always be transparent and honest, as this may help regain trust and rebuild relationships with affected customers. Since employees may also receive backlash from customers, they should all be effectively trained on how to handle emergency situations as well. While it is not ideal for severe negative publicity to surface, your firm should have a plan in place so that if it does happen, you are ready to effectively tackle it and regain trust.


Larson & Draper. “Digital Marketing Essentials”. Stukent, Inc, 8 February 2017.

Personas in Email Marketing

Source: UserTesting

What is a Marketing Persona?

A marketing persona is a specific profile of someone who may fall under your target market. These personas can highlight specific information including demographic information (gender, age, ethnicity, education, income, location, marital status, etc.), personality characteristics, values, wants and needs, likes and dislikes, hobbies, and more. Ultimately, a marketing persona embodies the ideal target customer [1]. When your persona is created, you can use it to begin more effectively target customers most likely to be interested and purchase your offering.

Why Are Marketing Persona’s Important?

Marketing personas are important because they essentially “the foundation for building your marketing house” [2]. Understanding these personas is essential, as they affect nearly all marketing operations, including how to effectively reach these audiences, how to create content that is most interesting to them, the type of speech and working you use in your marketing content, and more.

Email personas are particularly important for email marketing, as you want to design your promotional emails in a way that is most enticing to your target market, increasing the likelihood that conversions will occur. In order to understand how to build your emails, you must know what elements and verbiage you need to include to make them as effective as possible. Email marketing is essential to building your brand and keeping strong connections with your customers, thus it is important to spend the time to build a strong persona. According to one source, personalized emails are essential to increasing the conversion rate, as “a personalized email message can increase your click-through rates by 14%, and it can increase your conversion rate by 10%” [3]. Having a solid buyer persona will allow for this level of personalization.

How to Create a Persona

There are four steps to creating these target personas, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, drafting the persona, socializing the persona [2].

Quantitative Analysis:

When starting the persona creation process, you should start by gathering quantitative information at both the company and individual level, such as the number of customers by industry [2]. By gathering information about all potential customers, you can start to understand what type of personas these potential customers embody.

Qualitative Analysis:

This is the next step of better understanding your target market. According to one guide, a good way to do this is by reaching out to these potential customers and conducting an interview [2]. After gathering important information, write up a summary that gathers all of the information you learned into one place, allowing you to identify crucial trends [2]. Another benefit of compiling all of the information into one place is that you can begin segmenting the information, allowing you to create different customer segments who will have different buyer personas [2].

Draft the Persona:

Once you have gathered enough information to deeply understand your target customers, you can begin drafting the persona. To do this, you want to compile information that will allow marketers to effectively build marketing content off of them, such as who they are, why they are a good customer to target (the benefits of convincing them to convert), what influences their purchasing behaviors, and how they typically go about purchasing offerings [2].

Socializing the Personas:

Once the buyer persona is made, it is essential that your company understands it. While buyer personas are particularly important for marketers, it is also useful for the entire firm to have an understanding of the people they may be serving. Socializing the persona can be done differently depending on the firm, but a popular way to do it is through a presentation [2]. Additionally, it can be useful for employees of your company to meet and talk with these employees to get an even better understanding [2].


[1] https://www.simplifie.com/marketing-blog/what-are-marketing-personas-and-how-will-they-help-you

[2] https://buffer.com/library/marketing-personas-beginners-guide/

[3] https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2020/01/how-to-create-buyer-personas-for-email-marketing/

The Hazards and Ethics of Online Advertising

Source: Vox

Is Current Online Advertising Dangerous?

When it comes to the current model of online advertising, perhaps the biggest hazard to consumers is the invasion of their privacy. Recently, there have been several instances surfacing where organizations are using questionable methods of gathering data from consumers. Even worse, for some occasions, several online marketers were aware that these questionable actions were occurring [1]. Online marketing is currently facing scrutiny, as many people are questioning the ethicality of online marketer’s action. While there are some legal regulations in place to protect consumers, unfortunately, illegal activity and unethical activity are two different things [3]. How far can online marketers go before they cross the line of invading consumers’ privacy? Having the ability to target advertising campaigns towards specific target groups is essential for the success of marketing efforts in general. With the online shopping industry growing rapidly, marketers must work to ensure potential consumers feel safe and comfortable in this environment. With all these privacy concerns related to data gathering arising, consumers’ trust has fallen.

As mentioned in the article “Online privacy vs. marketing: Which matters more?”, there is a line to be drawn between users voluntarily sharing personal data with companies in hopes of getting a more personal experience and data that is collected by interested parties without permission [2]. The same article claims that 86% of online users actively take precautions to protect their personal information online [2]. This shows that privacy is of concern of most online users, thus online marketers should only take part in ethical actions that do not compromise users’ safety.

On a scale of 1-5, I would rate the danger of the current model of online advertising as a 3. It is clear that not all marketers are being ethical. Thus, consumers are at risk of having their personal data shared unwillingly, such as in Cambridge Analytica scandal, where data was not only gathered from people who willingly opted in, but their Facebook friends as well. Privacy is not the only danger of online advertising; in 2014, a US Senate report claimed that some online ads can easily be disguised as viruses and malware, even when users don’t actively click on them [4]. This poses a threat for both consumers and online marketers, as this danger can make consumers even more weary of digital display ads.

Code of Ethics for Online Marketers

Ensuring that you are attracting consumers who have a high potential of conversion is highly important. Without tracking online behavior and gathering data, tailoring and placing ads correctly would be nearly impossible. On the flip side, several consumers enjoy having their advertising content personalized and tailored to them. There is motivation from both sides of the spectrum for data to be gathered. Companies are much better off being transparent about their data gathering efforts, as acting unethically can damage trust with consumers. Here is a code of ethics that online marketers should keep in mind when gathering and using consumer data:

  • Only gather data from users who have given explicit consent
  • Ensure advertisements are transparent and honest
  • Only gather data that is relevant to each specific ad campaign
  • Always support consumers’ right to privacy
  • Be transparent and communicate data-gathering procedures with consumers to build trust
  • Follow all laws and guidelines put forth by the FTC and other organizations
  • Create ethical guidelines in your own organization to ensure all employees are on the same page
  • Speak out against unethical online marketing practices

In order to regain trust and fix the negative view of online marketing, organizations must actively take action in implementing their own ethical guidelines, as well as speak out against those acting unethically. Gathering consumer data is essential to the success of online marketing, both in the view of the marketer and the consumer. Data should only be gathered from consumers who explicitly give consent, always supporting a consumer’s right to privacy. In addition, organizations should comply with all laws concerning online marketing and avoid finding loopholes around them. Lastly, to ensure the best consumer experience possible, marketers should be very transparent with consumers, making their data-collection intentions clear, as well as structuring their ads in an honest way.


[1] https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/25/17161726/facebook-cambridge-analytica-data-online-marketers

[2] https://www.smartinsights.com/customer-relationship-management/customer-privacy/online-privacy-vs-marketing-which-matters-more/

[3] http://digitalmarketingmagazine.co.uk/digital-marketing-features/what-have-ethics-got-to-do-with-digital-marketing/4031

[4] https://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/blog/techflash/2014/05/why-annoying-online-ads-are-more-dangerous-than.html

What To Do When Your Webpage Doesn’t Rank

Source: Oberlo

You’ve officially launched your website for your company, but notice that you are not receiving the amount of traffic that you had hoped. Maybe you have several large competitors that already dominate the market, and therefore the search. There are several off-site and on-site SEO measures that may be contributing to your low ranking in a search engine. However, there are several things you can do to increase the likelihood that the search algorithm will eventually allow your site to rank higher.

The Imporance of Key Words

One of the most important things in helping your webpage rank high is ensuring you get solid keywords. To do this, the first thing you need to do is identify your goals for your webpage; different goals will require different keywords in order to be successful. For example, your keywords for someone researching your product (i.e., what is a DSLR camera) as opposed to someone wanting to purchase your product (i.e., buy DSLR camera) will differ (Stukent, Inc.). It is important that these goals are clear so that your key word research can be as relevant to those goals as possible. 

The first characteristic of your keywords should be that they are relevant to the product you are selling. Your keywords should very clearly point towards what product you are trying to sell. Second, you want to be sure to choose keywords that have high search demand. In other words, your keywords should be ones that are searched often by customers looking to buy similar products. The higher the search traffic that a keyword has, the more likely you are to have your webpage show up.

While high-traffic search words are important, another aspect that must be considered is competition. Other companies selling similar products are trying to optimize their search potential as well, thus there are some keywords that are already being used frequently by other companies. If your goal is to have your webpage rank on the first page of Google, but there are 10+ other larger companies with higher SEO using the same keywords, it will be nearly impossible for you to rank. If you are selling cameras, the keyword “camera” will most definitely be a high-traffic, but highly competitive keyword. If you are a smaller company, it is highly recommended that you use long-tail keywords (i.e., “2020 Sony DSLR camera”) as opposed to short-tail keywords (i.e., “camera” or “DSLR camera”). While these keywords may have lower search traffic, they have the potential of increasing your relevancy, thus making it easier to rank (Larson & Draper).

In summary, finding keywords that are relevant to your offering, frequently searched, but have lower competition are essential to making the ranks.

Design Your Website with Keywords In Mind

First, your predetermined keywords should be present in the webpage’s URL (Larson & Draper). For example, if your website is http://www.annascameras.com, and there is a keyword for Sony cameras specifically, the URL for the webpage displaying Sony cameras should be http://www.annascameras.com/Sony-Cameras.html. In addition to the URL, title tags and header tags for a webpage also experiences heavy weighting in calculating relevance, thus keywords should be featured in these locations as well (Larson & Draper). This should not be done blindly, however, as the specific placement of keywords within title tags can matter. If the keyword is closer to the beginning of the title, it will hold more weight with relevance (Biswas). Lastly, the keywords should be used in the webpage’s main content. However, this should be done reasonably, as overuse (known as “keyword stuffing”) can lead the search engine to negatively view your site (Larson & Draper).

Create High-Quality Webpages

While keywords are important in making your webpage show up when searches are made, having a high-quality website can be just as crucial. The search engine is less likely to display your website at high ranks if it is not user-friendly or if users seem to be unhappy with the website in any way. Simple formatting, such as font size, colors, and content placement can all affect how a viewer feels about your webpage (Bigby). Displeasing formatting may lead to a high bounce rate, meaning a user clicks on the webpage but quickly clicks out of it. For example, if the aesthetics of the webpage look untrustworthy, a user will most likely not spend much time on the page.

Additionally, providing a strong meta description of your webpage can help entice users to click on your webpage. This description can also allow users to know what to expect when clicking on your page, thus making them less likely to be disappointed and increase the bounce rate. Another very important webpage quality factor is load time. The shorter the load time the better. Since users often have a short attention span, they will not wait around for a page that takes a long time to load, increasing the bounce rate. Lastly, your webpage should contain original content. The search engine will penalize web pages that have content that is displayed on other web pages as well (Larson & Draper).


Bigby, Garenne. “How to Build a Website for Search Engine Optimization.” Dynomapper, 13 May 2018, https://dynomapper.com/blog/21-sitemaps-and-seo/484-how-to-build-a-website-with-seo

Biswas, Rintu. “How to Rank Your Brand New Website on Google: 23 Easy Tactics to Know.” Unamo Blog, 26 January 2019, https://unamo.com/blog/seo/rank-your-brand-new-website-on-google

Larson & Draper. “Digital Marketing Essentials”. Stukent, Inc, 8 February 2017.

Stukent, Inc.. “Keyword Research 101 – Part 1 – George Do.” YouTube, 21 December 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymbJmtAI7NI&ab_channel=Stukent%2CInc.

5 Ways to Increase Landing Page Conversions

Source: Venngage

A landing page may be the first thing a potential customer sees belonging to your company, thus it is crucial that it is designed strategically to drive consumers to complete the primary call-to-action. If you want a customer to purchase a particular product, subscribe to a service, or call a phone number, the landing page should facilitate ease and persuasion in doing so. While aesthetic aspects of your landing page can be helpful and pleasing to a customer, it is more important than the functionality of the landing page effectively leads the consumer to conversion. Here are five ways a landing page can be designed to increase consumer conversions:


These acronyms stand for “Never Build A Landing Page Without A Campaign Goal” and “Never Start A Marketing Campaign Without A Dedicated Landing Page” (Gardner). These two principles stand as the foundation to ensuring a marketing campaign and its landing page are consistent and thus successful. First, determine the purpose of your marketing campaign. Next, design your landing page in a way that helps achieve this purpose. These two principles go hand and hand and a successful marketing campaign must have both components solidified.

Understand User Behavior

Nothing truly puts a landing page to the test until it is actually tested out. In order to improve your landing page, you must be able to identify any issues affecting conversions or deviations from the marketing goal. To do this, insight tools may be used to get a better understanding of how customers are interacting with your landing page, allowing you to analyze whether the call-to-action is being achieved (Dopson). If it is not and conversions are low, reevaluate the landing page and make changes that will make the call-to-action clearer and more enticing to consumers.

Lower the Attention Ratio

According to landing page expert Oli Gardner, the lower the attention ratio, the higher the conversion rates (Gardner). When visiting your landing page, consumers should be able to clearly identify what they want to do. If there are inappropriate distractions for your particular landing page type, consumers will be more easily distracted and have to think harder about what they need to do, sometimes resulting in no conversion. For example, if your goal is to sell a particular product on your landing page, including a list of other products they may like may distract them from this call-to-action. The attention ratio should be as close to 1:1 as possible to increase the conversion rate.

Include Trust Symbols

You have successfully enticed a consumer enough to land on your landing page, great! Now, how are you going to persuade them to complete the primary call-to-action? For several types of landing pages, trust symbols can be very beneficial. These can include any product or company awards, customer reviews, testimonials, instructional videos, and anything else that puts your product in a positive light. As said by Jonathan Aufray, co-founder and CEO of Growth Hackers, “customers trust other customers. Users trust other users. People trust other people” (Dopson). If customers have a reason to trust your company and the product, they will be more likely to undergo conversion.

Design the Landing Page With the Target Market in Mind

Finally, your landing page should be appealing to the people that matter most in the campaign: the target market. This will look different depending on the type of product and type of landing page. Regardless, the landing page should be consistent with the initial ad, as well as segmented properly based on the target audience (Scherer). The landing page needs to communicate to the potential customer why they are there and why they should complete a particular action. Different consumers will respond to different persuasion tactics, thus it is important that the landing page is designed in a way that appeals to the intended ad audience (Wilson).


Dopson, Elise. “23 Ways to Improve Your Landing Page Conversion Rates.” Databox. Accessed 8 April 2021, https://databox.com/improve-your-landing-page-conversion-rate#11

Gardner, Oli. “Seven Principles of Conversion-Centered Design.” YouTube. Uploaded by Stukent, Inc., 20 May 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w87hTii1Dao&t=716s&ab_channel=Stukent%2CInc.

Scherer, James. “How to Design a Landing Page Based on Your Ad Audience.” Wishpond. Accessed 8 April 2021, https://blog.wishpond.com/post/115675436264/how-to-design-a-landing-page-based-on-your-ad-audience

Wilson, Lee. “10 Landing Page Tweaks That Will Increase Conversion.” Search Engine Journal. Accessed 8 April 2021, https://www.searchenginejournal.com/increase-landing-page-conversion-rate/274815/#everypag