What Digital Marketers Should Do To Better Manage Their Online Brand

We all know, that reputation is everything, but with the internet years of reputation building can be ruined in just a few clicks– by virtually anyone. The free and transparent nature of the internet fosters an environment that is favorable to the consumer but not so much to businesses and corporations which are often targets of internet trolling. This begs the question: How can brands manage reputation in the digital space?

Social Listening Is Key

Social listening is a proactive way for marketers to view what people are saying about their brand online. It presents an opportunity for brands to measure performance while simultaneously managing their reputation online. There are software applications, like Google Alerts, that allow a brand to be notified when they are mentioned online to track internet conversation in a timely, direct and strategic way.


Knowing When/How To Respond

Responding to negative feedback online can be tricky, but the motto “the customer is always right” is a good way attitude to embody in your response. You should address customer concerns and make them feel that they are important and their concerns are valid. The way you respond to negative feedback can influence the future of a relationship with the customer in question and others who view the response. Taking responsibility and being transparent are always going to be viewed more highly than being defensive or trying to remove negative feedback all together. It is also ideal to move these conversations to more private outlets than social media by prompting other communication outlets such as: email, phone call and direct message.


Positive Content Is Your Friend

Content that is positive in nature can be used to prevent negative, or potentially harmful search results from appearing at the top of a SERP. For instance, corporate blogs can be used to create an additional (positive) SERP result, thus pushing less optimized results lower on SERP results. Positive content is most likely to rank above negative content if it holds extensive links to reputable sites that also use brand keywords.


Emergency Responses

In times of a crisis brands will need to move forward with an emergency response to the situation. For large companies this usually involves a press release addressing the situation and providing solutions to remedy the problem, helping to rectify the brand’s reputation. In any case, emergency responses should revolve around timeliness, transparency and future training. Nonetheless, situations meriting emergency response can often be avoided by championing quality products and engaging in proactive customer service practices.


While negative content is never what we hope for, there are ways to largely prevent it. One way is to consider having a social media account or handle (often Twitter is used for this) dedicated to providing timely support to customers in need. This allows you to filter negative responses to one channel and respond to them quickly, hopefully nullifying the situation before it spirals into a larger public relations disaster. In addition, response to negative feedback can actually foster a stronger relationship between the brand and the customer than they had before the complaint was filed. Lastly, other current and potential customers often see interactions between support accounts and users filing complaints, so responding to them in the appropriate manner is crucial.





Hubspot Social Media Certification Program: Is it worth it?

All About Hubspot’s Social Media Certification Program


I recently completed the Social Media Certification through Hubspot and I am here to share my review of the process with you. I found the certification to be relatively easy, the videos while cumbersome, were informative and reinforced a lot of what I have learned already in other digital marketing courses. Someone could easily finish the certification in a day, I had originally planned to complete it piece by piece but I actually forgot about it and ended up doing it over two evenings.


The Pros and Cons

I liked that the videos allowed me to choose the speed for playing time because they were a little slow for me to follow without increasing the speed. In addition, I liked how in Hubspot’s video lessons they integrated both lecture style and powerpoint images with definitions, key facts and important information to write down. I did not like how some of their “quiz yourself” questions were phrased because I got some of the questions wrong, despite understanding the material, due to discrepancies in verbiage. Further, in their video lessons Hubspot relied on examples that were internal in nature and thus harder to understand than, perhaps, broader examples that would be more easily identifiable within the audience. Lastly, I found Hubspot’s video lessons to be highly repetitive (throughout the certification process), which could be unattractive to some.


What I Learned

Most of what I learned was in terms of application rather than theory, I felt that I was already familiar with most of the marketing theories and concepts discussed, but I liked hearing about real-world application and how that can vary from theory. For instance, I learned that for Facebook the best posting time is between 1-4pm on weekdays and 12-1pm on weekends. Whereas on Instagram, posts do the best on Mondays and Thursdays anytime except 3-4pm. One term that Hubspot’s lesson coined was “social listening,” which they defined as observing conversations relevant to or about the brand. Data gained from social listening is used to gauge consumer perceptions, as well as provide an understanding on brand reputation and how to move forward with next steps. In addition I liked how Hubspot defined Google advertisements as “intent” based, whereas Facebook advertisements as grounded in consumer “interests.” Finally, I learned the term “life time value” which is measured by average yearly revenue x average lifespan of customer subtract the cost.


To Recommend or Not Recommend?

In conclusion, I believe that this certification would be most useful for entry-level marketers who do not already have a lot of education within the discipline. Nonetheless, on a scale of 1-5 I would by at a level 5 in my likeliness to recommend this program to others. Despite my frustrations, the program is completely free which makes it very accessible for pretty much anyone and a valuable resource for those who do not have access to formal higher education or training.


Loyalty Clubs, Personas and Email Marketing Tactics: How Nordstrom uses these elements together to create ideal customer oriented content.

Loyalty clubs, often in the form of: email lists, SMS “text message” notification opt-ins or even mailing lists are becoming more and more so ‘the norm’ for all big retailers. Personas can be a useful way for companies to visualize their typical customer and in response, attempt to reflect similar tones in marketing and promotional materials. 


The Nordy Club: An Example of Successful Persona Marketing

A great example of marketing by persona would be Nordstrom’s recently launched loyalty club which they coined “the Nordy Club.” The Nordy Club uses minimalist black and white designs with a simple cursive font (reflecting the elite nature of their infamously wealthy clientele accurately).

A typical Nordstrom customer and thus persona would be Carrie; Carrie is a wealthy, white, suburban stay-at-home mom, who values fashion and luxury. Carrie is married to a corporate lawyer who she has three children with. Carrie doesn’t mind paying MSRP and in fact prefers to spend more for designer items than the cheaper off-brand alternative.

People who shop at Nordstrom do so for the luxurious and elite nature of the store not value price; Nordstrom rarely offers promotions or sales and seldom marks items as clearance. In fact, Nordstrom has an entirely separate ‘off the rack’ (a term commonly used in a derogatory manner towards clothes from the previous season) store where they ship clearance items, Nordstrom Rack, which has an entirely different and separate customer base. Nordstrom has also been widely referred to as “Nordys” by cult followers of the exclusive retail department store, so by naming their loyalty program based on that group’s own denomination, they automatically appeal to that groups selfproclaimed identity. 


If you watch their promotional video for this club you will know exactly what I am talking about: https://shop.nordstrom.com/content/nordy-club.


This is what popped up on the SERP when I did a quick Google search for ‘Nordy Club’: 


Quick Tips: How To Use Your Buyer Persona to Tailor Your Email Ad Campaign

The Subject Line Is Everything

The subject line of an email is what will make or break a person’s inclination to open said email. It is essentially a hook to draw your customer in further. The subject line ultimately will determine the open rate of any given promotional/marketing email. Subject lines should reflect values/goals/interests of the persona to entice them to actually open the email instead of immediately marking it as read and deleting it.

Identification Words In Messaging

Brand voice or tone, which refers to the vernacular used in marketing communications, should be understandable and identifiable by the target audience persona. Many brands are using more casual language to appeal to their TA, whereas others may require more sophisticated language if that is reflective of the TA (i.e., products marketed towards business professionals rather than the everyday consumer). Following the example in the Nordy Club’s promotional video, Nordstrom used the phrases “exclusive services” and “our rewards program designed for you,” which directly reflects the values of their customers: exclusivity, elitism, luxury, quality. More broadly identification words also include words like “you”, “us”, “we” and various other pronouns that place the individual within the ad.

Selection of Visual Semantics

Personas can also be used to guide aspects of visual rhetoric in marketing, particularly in email marketing. Does your persona value minimalist design or bright colors? Nordstrom knew that their clientele would not attracted to bright colors so instead in their promotional video they used all black and white with gold detailing; this design oozes style, luxury and class– just like their customers. Whereas in contrast, Kim Kardashian’s beauty line KKW Beauty, uses fonts and designs within a palette of various shades of nude/taupe which is likely to appeal to her young, feminine, makeup-loving audience.

Creating Attractive Content

In addition, personas can be used to drive content creation. Consider the question: what kind of content is my ideal client profile going to value? For example, Nordstrom often sends out emails with a subject line saying “we think you’ll like this” when you click on the email you will find it full of linked products, this is like a virtual personal shopper of sorts (which is one of the services Nordstrom boasts). If Nordstrom’s ICP values the personal shopping service offered in-store this is a way for them to spin email promotion of new products tailored towards that customer segment. Whereas, a more utilitarian company like REI may focus email tactics on promoting popular hiking sites, the companies’ humanitarian efforts, etc., to provide content that is attractive to its progressive, outdoor-oriented audience.






Why Current Online Advertising Tactics Are Dangerous

How Private Information Has Become Publicized:

The nature of the internet makes everything that individuals do online essentially part of a public record. Everything that we do is tracked and stored into an informational database (usually through cookies). This is dangerous, because individuals have become prone targets to corporate online marketing efforts, where these efforts usually involve using stored ‘consumer’ data to best appeal to individual consumers.

For instance, consider a scenario where I click on an ad on Instagram, now I have become a ‘lead’ and the company that put out the ad will most certainly target me further (through ads) now that they know I have an interest in their product.

Or, perhaps I clicked on a site and their landing page requests personal information like an email address or a phone number, now that site has my information. This is dangerous because some sites have been known to even sell this information.

Online advertisers primary goal is to create customers through conversions and customers need to feel safe in order to engage with a site.

This begs the question: How can online advertisers maintain a level of ethics in their targeted marketing tactics?

A (basic) Moral Code For Online Marketers: 

  1. Do not sell your customers personal information– ever.

  2. For sites like Facebook, if you are tracking customers information, tell them what you are doing in your terms and conditions agreement and not in the fine print section.

  3. Instill heavy measures of protection to safeguard any consumer information your site may hold to avoid it falling into the wrong hands (i. e., hackers and criminals).

  4. Do not exaggerate product claims in an attempt to stand out online, usually it is pretty obvious and overall unattractive to the customer.

  5. Maintain a moral high ground and lead by example, your customers will be more trusting of your site if they feel safe using it.

How Dangerous Really Are Online Marketing Tactics?

Online advertising has created a dangerous environment for the consumer, from a scale of 1-10 I would say this danger is at a 10 because of our heavy reliance on technology, privatized information has become part of the public ‘technical’ sphere. What used to be done in person or over the phone has now all become integrated online which calls for a change in ethical practices. This is due to the ability to trace and track every action on a computer or site. In order to foster a positive and professional online consumer environment we must adapt and make changes in our ethical framework that underlies online marketing efforts.

Why Online Marketers Need To Change:

This is important for marketers to consider because consumers are becoming more savvy, especially in younger markets (which many online marketers are trying to tap into). Often, buyers are aware of aggressive advertising efforts and are turned off by them. If you want to appeal to the consumer base you need to be their friend not foe. Marketers create relationships with consumers, whether it be through email campaigns, loyalty clubs or even reviews put out by customers. Maintaining these relationships is critical in maintaining clientele and customers so you should seriously consider: are we ethical to our customers in our online marketing efforts? If not, consider implementing my suggested moral code for marketers as a starting step to creating a better business model.






What To Do When Your Webpage Doesn’t Rank

Greetings Blogosphere,

Is your webpage awesome design and content wise but still not ranking well with Google search optimization? Ranking is everything on Google because let’s be honest here, no one goes past the first page of Google anymore.

Don’t worry, there are easy ways to improve your site’s ranking based on targeted search words. Below I have provided multiple manageable ways to improve your sites Google search ranking.

  1. Avoid search words that withstand heavy competition:

One of the most sure fire ways to improve your target search ranking is to avoid using search words that are out of reach competition wise for you. Using words that are niche and uniquely relevant to your site (especially if these words are also used in your marketing campaign efforts), will result in a higher ranking than if you were to use vague and broadly applicable words.

  1. Maximize on-page optimization:

Google ranks based on relevance, which is based on the topic of your page and approval which is evaluated by user popularity. Improving your page through indicators like page titles, title tags, image tags and meta descriptions can increase your ‘relevance factor’ for your page in relation to your targeted search words. If you use one of your targeted search words in your title tags, description tags and H1, H2 and H3 tags you are bound to rank higher based on the relevance of your page to your targeted search word.

  1. Provide quality content:

This seems like a basic but if you improve the quality of your site’s content, Google will boost your approval rating. It is simple really, if your site provides great content users will naturally share your site link with others. You can improve site content by making posts more lengthy or detailed and using powerful subheadings to organize your site.

  1. Use more links:

The more links (especially inbound links), and the greater the provided links are that your website gives users, the more relevant Google will find your site. For me, one way to understand the importance of links is in the sense of any typical academic works cited you would accompany a paper with; it shows that you have done your research and are informed. If you have multiple related sites, this is a great and subtle way to self-promote and direct site traffic through the use of relevant links.

  1. Identify any possible ‘red flags’ from Google:

Sometimes Google will flag a page under the search traffic and manual actions tabs in the Google Search Console. This is usually due to association with paid spam links or hacked links and yes Google does keep track of what they deem ‘bad’ links. If all else fails and your website is still ranking poorly, you should consider checking your manual actions tab in your Google Search Console in order to make sure that there are not any other underlying reasons why Google may have deemed your site poor in regards to your targeted search words.


Referenced Articles:



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5 Ways To Increase Landing Page Effectiveness

Landing pages are essential to inbound marketing efforts; these destination pages are how any e-commerce platform can convert site visitors into purchasing customers. This begs the question, if you have a landing page and it is not working successfully, how can you improve your page? A large part of landing pages are concerned with obtaining email addresses. Often when you “land” a pop up will request an address, this allows the seller to customize marketing tactics and deliver them to each customer directly. According to Whittemore, this allows the marketer to “lead nurture,” which converts an interested and qualified lead into a customer. Whittemore argues that successful landing pages have an offer presented to potential buyers which entices them to provide their email address for an email list. Lowery advocates that there are two essential types of landing pages, “click-through” landing pages and “lead generation” landing pages. Lowery claims that click-through pages ultimately send the customer to the product page, whereas lead generation  pages function to support email marketing campaigns. In addition, Lowery pushes for landing pages with powerful text use to optimize effectiveness. I agree with these proposed ideas because the landing page is the first thing a customer sees when the encounter a site, therefore it is going to leave a lasting impression with the customer and serve a great purpose within the marketing funnel as we studied last week. 

Articles mentioned:

Whittemore https://www.simplemarketingnow.com/content-talks-business-blog/bid/158884/what-is-a-landing-page-and-how-does-it-work?hs_amp=true

Lowery https://www.google.com/amp/s/blog.bufferapp.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-creating-effective-landing-pages/amp