A Newcomer’s perspective: Digital Summit Detroit was an invigorating and empowering experience for me as a newcomer in the industry. The way the MILO team all banded together to learn more so that we can provide the best service as fellow marketers was moving. I have been to many conferences before, and none have kept me as engaged and charged throughout its entirety as Digital Summit. There were several different aspects of the summit that I enjoyed, but there are a few key takeaways I think will really help me better myself in this industry. After attending all the speaker sessions there are a few things as a digital professional that I want to apply to my everyday work!
“Sometimes you have to plan for the unplannable.” – Brandon Chesnutt Brandon Chesnutt from Identity taught us that working in social media means if a crisis does arise, we are at the frontline. Here are some questions we should ask ourselves before this occurs:
Do you have a process in place to address the crisis?
Do you have rules for engagement? If so, what is your approach?
Are your “non-specialist” trained to give basic responses during a crisis?
It is important to have a plan in place, test it and conduct a post-mortem so you can fix issues with your plan before a crisis occurs – though of course, we all hope that never happens. Too often brands don’t make crisis response a priority and are ill-prepared for when one happens.
“The play button is the most compelling action on the web.” – Jason Hsiao During this session with Jason Hsiao from Animoto, I learned businesses need to learn how to speak the language of video. As a social media manager video is not something new and groundbreaking to me, but it is definitely something that I do not use enough. I learned getting into video is as simple as this: start where your audience exists. There is no need to create a new platform for video. You can even use the same content, just translated in a video instead. Basically, your audience is more likely to engage with a video, than to click on a link to an article. A video can be a useful and more effective way to get your message across to your audience.
The world of humor and marketing are more similar than I thought. “Humor helps me connect with people, and helps me fit in. What else does that? Besides… Marketing.” – Scott Dikkers, Founder of The Onion. This statement really opened my eyes. Most people would think, “my client has nothing to do with humor so how is Scott Dikkers going to tell me anything worthwhile about marketing?” Well, they are wrong. The moral of Dikkers’ keynote was that you may have to put yourself out there to achieve your goals. This doesn’t necessarily mean being vulgar and humorous like The Onion. It can mean doing the most “out there” thing that appeals to your audience, or the audience of your client.
I wasn’t the only one to gain great insights from the Digital Summit. Alexus Bomar, one of MILO’s social media managers, gained valuable information to use for her clients as well.
“My favorite session out of both days was “Long Story Short: How Brands Can Create Quick Captivating Content Using Instagram Stories.” Even though I knew a majority of the information discussed, it was a great refresher and gave me some inspiration for things I can do for my clients. One thing I didn’t know was over 300 million people use IG Stories every day so it’s another great way to connect with the brand’s audience.” – Alexus Bomar, social media manager
As a whole, MILO gained a considerable amount of insight from the Digital Summit! The MILO team was excited to be a part of the event and look forward to putting the knowledge we gained into practice.
Are you interested in hopping on the video bandwagon? 87% of online marketers use video content, so if you’re not doing video, you’re doing something wrong. But don’t worry! MILO is here to help you make a splash with Live Video tips and tricks!
Did you know that one-third of online activity is spent watching video?
Livestream and New York Magazine reached out to 1,000 adults with a survey to learn how consumers think about and use live video. Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
So if you really want to increase your audience, live video is the way to go. Today, MILO is going to teach you how to excel at live video by creating closer customer connections and how to get over the fear of going live.
As platforms evolve, you must evolve with them. You can now go live on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Because this is such a new feature, many people may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with going live. In order to prevent poor performance and get over your nerves, you need proper planning.
Here’s a checklist of 10 tips when going live to make sure everything runs smoothly:
Tell your followers ahead of time when you plan to go live.
Figure out what your purpose is.
Make sure you have a strong wifi connection.
Switch off interruptions.
Remind viewers they can subscribe to Live notifications.
The best length for a love video is 15 minutes.
Say names from the comment section to engage your audience.
Keep showing up!
Even when you are prepared, going live can still be nerve-wracking if you are not used to it.
Whether you are in front of the camera or behind it, practicing with going live will help you become more comfortable and confident in this process.
Online marketing expert, Amy Porterfield, says that “there’s nothing more powerful than showing up live.” If you’re in front of the camera, Amy says you have to make it more about your audience and less about you. This way you will come across as someone that connects instantly.
Four secrets Amy has that she uses to thrive on camera are:
She eased into live by testing it in a private Facebook group
She’s rarely alone when doing Live video. Having someone from her team on the other end to let her know everything is working, eases her fears and makes her more comfortable on camera.
Use Instagram Stories as practice videos. They are great ways to become more comfortable showing your face and talking on camera without the live element. Try to do an IG story at least once a week.
Keep your equipment simple. Having to handle too many things all at once can make you more nervous about whether something will go wrong. A simple set up that you know how to use will help you remain relaxed while you’re live.
Going live in its simplest form requires a smartphone or tablet, and a good wifi connection. Confident Live Marketing coach, Ian Anderson Gray recommends using speedtest.net to check your internet speed before going live. The recommended minimum speed is 10 Mbps.
Live video can make you feel more connected with your audience. So don’t be afraid to try out live video for your business today! MILO is here to help.
Are you looking to beef up your Insta game but just don’t know where to start? Well, we’re here to help you become an Instagram Pro.
Instagram is a great platform for your brand to utilize because there is minimal production required and it encourages engagement with your audience.
Today you are going to learn how to be consistent in your branding, some different tools you can use to step up your processes, and how to generate content for a whole month in as little as a day.
Sue B. Zimmerman says, “It’s the REAL, RAW, AUTHENTICITY, that connects you to others.” Zimmerman is an expert on Instagram stories. She emphasizes that Instagram is not your sales platform. What you need to do is focus on building and nurturing relationships. You can do this through your Instagram story. Zimmerman says your story needs to be “edu-tainment.”
There are 300 million active daily users on Instagram stories. Focusing on this tool for Instagram can be a great way to connect with your audience. But how do you get your stories to stand out from all of the others? Try using interactive elements to connect with your audience such as polls, geotags and hashtag stickers.
Polls drive engagement and provide market research feedback to business profiles.
Geotags help people who aren’t following your profile discover you and help you get noticed by influencers.
Using hashtag stickers will show your content in search results.
Follow hashtags that are relevant to your brand, which allows you to connect with similar brands and business owners.
Highlights are another great way to showcase your best stories. Zimmerman says, “The best real estate on Instagram is the highlights.” Donna Moritz says Stories give you the ability to rebrand your storytelling. She suggests using www.easil.com for premade Story templates to give your brand and profile a more professional look.
Jasmine Star is big on saving time and getting the most out of your content. Your brand is the only thing that sets you apart from all the other businesses on Instagram competing for those likes and comments. Instagram has 800+ million active users. So, in order to make a splash in this big pool, you need to ask yourself, “Are you ‘on’ Instagram, or are you ‘using’ Instagram?”
If you are really utilizing Instagram you should be posting constantly, having one-to-one connections, and have a plan/strategy. Sometimes it can be really hard to find something to post every day, but Star has some tips on how to create a month’s worth of content in a day.
Determine how many posts you’ll create for the month.
List the types of photos you want to share.
Sort into categories, about 9-12, that relate to what you’re selling (literal.emotional) and what you’re trying to attract.
Books you’re reading (Self-development)
Food you’re eating (Lifestyle)
Your spouse or significant other (Family and connections)
These categories don’t necessarily have to relate to your brand, but they give your brand an extra layer of meaning.
Take the categories and select a specific number of photos until you have covered the entire month.
For example: If you choose 10 categories for your brand, you just need to plan 3 photos for each category and you’ll be set for the month. This is a way to “publish with purpose,” and Ben Blakesley helps us understand how to stay on brand in order to be consistent and receive meaningful likes. Like Star, Blakesley says that it’s easy to be consistent when you have a plan in place. To be consistent, you need to give yourself guidelines because then the elements of your visual identity will display a clear brand. He suggests choosing three elements to be your bread and butter that you incorporate in each picture to display consistency and produce a recognizable brand.
Some examples he gives to consider are:
Tonality/warmth – blue tends to receive more engagement.
Saturation – social loves more saturated images.
Composition – rule of thirds, and colors that are consistent with your brand.
People want to see stories from humans. You can’t connect with your followers if you’re just a faceless brand without a purpose. Having a direction, a plan and clear branding will set you apart from the crowd.
So just a few reminders:
Visual identity matters
Create your guidelines
Still need help implementing these tips? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.
Did you know there are over 330 million active daily users on Twitter? If you’re looking to increase your customer base, interact with your audience more and improve your sales, Twitter is a great platform to use.
At this year’s Social Media Marketing World, top media experts discussed everything Twitter including tools to use, algorithm, analytics and how to turn conversations into customers.
Below are some key takeaways to connect with more of your customer base and increase sales.
The Value of a Tweet Small businesses have started turning to Twitter to target their audience and increase their customer base. With that, it’s important to take into consideration the value of a tweet and how it can benefit your business.
International Social Media Trainer Nicky Kriel stressed the value of a tweet is NOT the number of impressions, reach, engagement or if the post goes viral. The value is: The tweet drives traffic to your website, makes the right customers aware of the business, builds business relationships and generates revenue for your business.
To increase the value of your tweet, take a look at Twitter Analytics. This gives you the chance to dive deep into the data of the account and learn what works best. Here you can be aware of who your audience is, their locations and their interests.
Produce great content with Twitter’s timeline algorithm Creative Content Marketers duo Andrew and Pete shared their strategy for working with the Twitter algorithm with the acronym TUCEPM!
The Twitter algorithm ensures the most important tweets appear at the top of users’ timelines. Per Twitter, tweets that followers are more likely to care about will show up first based on accounts and tweets with which they interact.
Keeping the algorithm in mind, there are ways to achieve organic reach. Check out a few below:
Timeliness: Newer posts get shown more often than older ones, so it’s important to post in real-time and relevant times to your audience. Take advantage of relevant trending topics and post a few minutes before or after the hour as opposed to at the top of the hour.
User interests: Use Twitter analytics to find out what your audience cares about the most.
Credibility signals: Twitter’s algorithm favors accounts that are credible, meaning the profile is complete with a name, bio, location, website, profile picture and header image. Tweets shouldn’t have broken links, swearing, nudity, high bounce rates or aren’t mobile responsive.
Engagement: The more engaging a tweet is, the greater its relevance score, which means it will show up across more timelines as a top tweet. Twitter takes into account the amount of time spent reading a tweet, sharing via direct messaging or if someone clicked the profile as a result of the tweet.
Tweets that have high engagement often include one of the following: “RT if,” “Retweet if,” “RT and follow to enter,” a Twitter poll, asks questions, mention/tag someone or uses GIFs.
Past engagement: People see more tweets from accounts they have engaged with in the past so increase engagement now to benefit in the future.
Media: Users are shown more of the media type they prefer based on what they have engaged with in the past. Along with your standard tweets, add in a variety of videos, images, GIFs and polls to keep followers engaged
As Andrew and Pete said using this acronym can help your account get the organic reach it deserves even with the new algorithm.
Improve your Twitter account with these tools Throughout their workshops, four Twitter experts shared various tools that can help step up your Twitter game, work well with the Twitter algorithm and improve your content marketing. Below is a list of tools you can use can help grow your Twitter account.
Twitter Analytics Measure and boost your impact by analyzing your followers’ interests, locations and demographics. Twitter analytics provide a 28 day summary or a summary by month to see what is working best for your account.
ManageFlitter This tool allows you to manage multiple accounts, grow your business by finding relevant people to connect with and schedule tweets at optimal times.
Zest A Google Chrome Extension that provides you with smart marketing content that is hand curated. This extension is similar to Sprout Social’s “Find Content” feature.
Union Metrics Union Metrics provides social media analytics for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
Social Jukebox Allows users to automated and schedule content on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Tweriod Tweriod provides you with the best times to tweet by analyze your tweets and your followers’ tweets.
ClickToTweet This tool encourages people to Tweet something by giving them a link. People who use this tool can promote, share and track content on Twitter.
So you want to use Facebook to give your business a boost? You’re not alone!
According to Sprout Social, there are currently over 60 million businesses on Facebook. Those 60 million businesses are all competing for the attention of 2 billion monthly active users, over a billion of whom are active daily. Are you feeling like the odds are stacked against you? Don’t. With the right Facebook Ad knowledge, you too can enjoy a share of those billions of users!
Make your Facebook Ads Profitable Every Time We know, churning out profitable ads time and time again seems far-fetched, but if you ask Nicholas Kusmich, who sees some of the highest ROI on ads in the industry, it’s 100% possible.
Kusmich draws attention to the shift marketing has made. Gone are the days of mass marketing being king – it’s all about micro-marketing now and through Facebook, you’re able to pinpoint and target only those who need to be seeing your message.
Kusmich has come up with a predictable profit process, which begins with the ad, then the lead magnet, the thank you offer and retargeting. He also encourages keeping these three principles in mind
1. Content – how does your message stand out from the competition?
2. Distribution – what good is having a great message if no one or the wrong people see and hear it?
3. Conversion – what good is great content and distribution if nobody turns into clients?
Per Kusmich, you can’t just jump into the marketplace and ask people to buy your product and expect them to do it. No, you must give before asking. You have to earn the right to ask anything of your fans by providing value to them first.
Keep in mind, every step of your marketing process should be valuable in and of itself. The name of the game is value, and your content and ads must have it! Keep to SAGE (short, actionable, goal-oriented, easy) principles, and you’ll begin to see a return on those ads.
Small Business Tips As Andrea Vahl, co-author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies” points out, organic reach may be decreasing, but users are increasing and Facebook is still the cheapest form of advertising out there. When done right, Facebook Ads will be quite a boon for your small business. Emphasis on the ‘done right’ part!
According to Vahl, you want to take the customer journey into consideration:
1. Use Facebook to build an audience
2. Target your ideal customer
3. Enhance the relationship with good content
4. Retarget to convert.
Ultimately, Vahl stresses that your goal is to move them off Facebook as soon as possible, whether that is on to an email list or your website. Since Facebook ad costs are rising, you have to get smarter and have a system in place for testing those ads.
Why Ads don’t work and how to fix them Per Jon Loomer, an advanced Facebook marketing strategist, the ultimate reason why your Facebook ads are not working is because the wrong people are being targeted. So how do you fix this? It’s simple – adjust how you’re targeting the audience.
Loomer suggests breaking your audience into different groups, those who engage with your content generally (aka not based off of specific posts, videos or events) and those who engage with specific content.
Making Facebook Ads Work For You Azriel Ratz, CEO of Ratz Pack Media, shared some valuable knowledge on how to do just this at Social Media World 2018, and it involves four simple steps to optimize your Facebook Ads.
1. Set business goals
2. Find your best potential audience
3. Engage with the most effective ads
4. Optimize your ad performance
Are you only running 1 to 3 ads in every ad set? That is probably not your best-laid plan. As Ratz pointed out, the chances of making anything really good when only doing 1 to 3 is very rare. You should be mixing things up, testing copy, testing images, testing everything possible with the ads. He also points out that to optimize your ads you need to be monitoring cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM), cost per click (CPC), time on site and the conversion rate. Our digital experts at MILO are skilled at all things testing, in fact, they live for it! If you’re unsure of how to correctly test the effectiveness of those ads, we’re here to help!
If all ad sets have high CPM, you’re targeting the right audience, but with the wrong messaging. On the flip side, some high CPM and some low CPM may mean you have the right messaging, but wrong audience. Do you see high CPC? Try switching out the copy for more compelling language. The time on site numbers can be impacted by low-quality placements, a disconnect between your ads and the landing page, or a landing page optimization issue. Finally, if you’re conversion rate is low consider this: They just might not be interested in the offer or your form needs fixing.
You don’t have to dive into the world of Facebook Ad Manager alone, MILO’s team of digital experts are here to come up with a strategy that is just right for your business. Contact us today!
It’s my MILO-versary! I have been working at this company for a year now and today I’d like to take a look back at how far I’ve come since my first day here.
A lot has changed in my life, but MILO has always been a constant that I can rely on. When I started at MILO, we were a group of seven working on the first floor of Junction440. Today we are a team of 11 in our own (super cool) office on the third floor of TechTown. Not only have I grown this past year, but MILO has grown as well. We all are learning by trial and error. The mistakes have made us stronger and we came out better people through some pretty tough situations. Along the way, we lost friends and coworkers, dealt with crises, and became more productive than ever.
MILO was my big shot to prove I could start my career in the digital marketing world. I found my calling and the amazing people at MILO were there to guide me along the way. This industry is so exciting to me because it’s always changing.
There’s an opportunity to be continuously learning. Over the past year, I’ve gained many new skills such as working on day-to-day tasks, to interacting with the client, to engaging with our audiences. I learned how to be a successful Social Media Manager. From knowing basically nothing about professional social media management, I now understand the time and dedication it takes to build a brand online. So when I tell people I manage social media all day, they assume they could just as easily do my job. However, I learned from the best. You have to understand the client’s needs while also showing the consumer we are there to support them.
Now if you know me, you know I love to brag about MILO because we do so many cool and exciting things, it’s hard not to! These bragging rights include the TEDxDetroit event I attended as part of the official social media coverage for the evening. After this night, I knew MILO was going to open doors for me.
I felt as though everything was falling into place. I also like to brag about the people at MILO. They are incredible. This group welcomed me with open arms, and as soon as they asked what Hogwarts house I was in, I knew I was home.
I’ve made many mistakes and fallen down many times, but these people helped me right back up. MILO CEO, Billy Strawter Jr. is the best boss I’ve ever had. He has always been so understanding yet also knows when to push me to think outside the box. He understands his people and relates to them, while also leading them toward success. Billy puts us first, his company second, and himself third. I have learned many life lessons from him on how to be strong while also staying dedicated to what you love. Thank you for your continuous support through my journey here. Although, I wouldn’t be the worker I am today without the constant guidance from Head Digital Strategist, Dmitri. He has also pushed me to be creative and has helped me focus on my strengths.
He saw a potential in me and I cannot thank him enough for that.
He has taught me that failing is a part of learning. I have so much respect for him and the work he does.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to:
Alexus – My seat buddy, I’m so glad you’re here and that we can enjoy each other’s introvert company together. I know we’re kindred spirits. P.S. thanks for plugging in my computer every day.
Cassie – You are incredible, funny, and so talented. I’m honored to be able to work with you and take in all your witty remarks. Don’t ever be afraid to let your personality shine, because it’s dazzling.
Sara – Thank you for always being there to geek out about Harry Potter with me. Also, you’re an amazing designer and I can’t wait to see what you create next. You’re going to do big things.
Saralyn – I applaud you for being the only non-introvert at MILO, that must be rough but you bring out the best in us quiet people.
Jessie – You always take on so much but you handle it all so well. You make your job look easy, which I know it isn’t. Keep on killing the game.
Felicia – What would we do without you? I don’t know how you do it but you have helped MILO run so smoothly I can’t imagine us without you. You are so sweet and down to earth, I’m glad you’re here with us. You always have your positive pants on.
Colleen – I know you’ve only been here for a little while, but I can tell you have got the MILO mood that we’re looking for. I look forward to getting to know you better!
Finally, I just want to say that I am so thankful for MILO. I love it here. The people, the city, the opportunities…it’s more than I could have ever asked for.
I feel like the luckiest person alive because I have a group of people that not only support me but also give me the ability to perfect my skills. I still have a lot to learn, but MILO will be there to encourage me. Thank you for following me on my journey. Much love from MILO and me.
Today I want to tell you about Dmitri, a.k.a the (almost) black belt digital ninja. Dmitri has been a Digital Strategist for about eight years now. However, his journey to MILO was far from simple.
The first time that I met Dmitri I knew he was dedicated, a natural born leader and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I haven’t known him for very long, but I do know Dmitri is someone you can count on.
Today I want to give you another glance behind the MILO Digital scenes and show you the people making MILO the strong, team-oriented environment that it is. Here is what I learned about Dmitri.
Q: Can you describe your job and what you do here at MILO?
A: My official title is Digital Strategist. I take a look at the client and I come up with the best possible strategy to achieve their marketing goals on the Internet. Whether it’s sales, improving their social media, generating leads, or raising awareness, I put together strategies on how to make it happen using the latest digital tools.
I also put out fires on a daily basis.
Q: How did you get into the Digital Marketing world?
A: I wanted to be a psychologist/philosopher in college and then the economy crashed, so I switched to marketing. After graduating I did some copywriting and got into social media community management. My first account was PHI (PHI Air Medical) right when I got out of college and it’s still with me today. At my busiest, I managed up to 10-12 clients a day. Then I got into social media ads and Google AdWords, which helped me understand how everything in the digital world worked together and contributes to the bottom line.
Q: What is your favorite part about working for MILO?
A: My favorite part is coming up with the solutions for the clients. Each client is a different puzzle and each solution is custom fit for that puzzle. Sometimes you don’t really know what the solution is right away and you have to go and research.
Bringing the insights back to the client and seeing their eyes light up when you get it just right…that’s my favorite part.
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned in your career?
A trait that I learned over the years is just embracing uncertainty and change.
It used to really bother me because I would want to plan everything out and execute on how I planned it out, but life does not work that way. Working at MILO has made me comfortable with being uncomfortable; no matter what changes, I always feel prepared to do my best and welcome the challenge.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you would give to those just starting in this industry?
A: If you’re starting out in social [media management] I would say that you have to look to the leaders in social media like Gary V or whoever the top dog is in your particular field. The first step is always imitation, learning the rules. Once you internalize the rules and have the guidelines for social media then you can start innovating and going outside of those rules.
The second piece of advice is to just start, just go.
A lot of people read hundreds of blogs about social and always put off actually doing. I say just do it, you’ll learn way more than just reading about it.
Q: Did you have any major setbacks in your career?
A: At my first big job I actually got let go two weeks before Christmas. I only managed three accounts there. Then I went from managing three accounts up to 12 and learning how to run digital ads, write strategy, communicate with clients and show reporting that matters. I was the guy that standardized reporting in our organization and got us the Google Adwords certification.
It really gave me a lot of confidence, and that setback didn’t really matter that much anymore.
Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I’m a big fan of Jocko Willink, he’s a navy seal and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt turned author, turned podcaster/motivational speaker. He preaches something called extreme ownership where you own everything in your world. For example, if somebody on your team is underperforming, it’s your job to go and figure out why they’re underperforming, or spend time with them and get them up to speed.
Ultimately everything is in your court.
Q: Considering you had a long journey to get here, can you describe it?
A: I’m originally from Ukraine, which used to be a part of the Soviet Union. I was born around the time when the Soviet Union broke up and we got separated from Communism. It racked our economy to a point where it’s only now recovering. It was pretty rough. Then my dad won a green card in a lottery drawing to come to the United States. He came to the US and my mom and I followed after a year. We came here with no English and $100 in our (collective) pockets.
Throughout all of this, my family has been extremely supportive over the years and I owe them everything.
My mom for showing me the value of grit and resilience. My dad for always pushing me to do my best and not letting me settle. And my grandparents, Natasha and Nikolai, who showed me the value of hard work and planning ahead.
Q: What is it like being so close to your boss?
A: It’s a balance. There’s definitely a lot of trust involved. You have to balance being bros and doing the right things because sometimes what your “bro boss” wants to do is not what your “boss” needs to do.
The biggest thing I’ve learned is when to push back and when to drive home things that are important.
Ultimately, during work hours work must come first. After all is said and done, we can get a drink.
Q: Could you explain the company culture at MILO?
MILO is very creative and innovative, and it reflects in our culture.
It’s very fun and friendly, always trying to make each other laugh. When it’s time to bunker down, the tone changes and we sit down and crank out what needs to be done. There’s a collective understanding of what we’re trying to build and the quality of work we strive for.
Q: What are the benefits of working at a small business as opposed to a bigger corporation?
A: You can make a lot of change very quickly. Whatever idea you have, if you get enough people behind you, you can execute it. Working in MILO, we’re very nimble. If there’s something that we want to do, we can turn it around pretty quick. In a big organization, you have to deal with bureaucracy, going through all the layers of managers and their managers. In contrast, at MILO, idea becomes reality very quickly.
Q: What is it like working in Detroit?
A: It’s very cool especially because I draw a parallel of the rebirth of Detroit with the rebirth of my professional career. As Detroit got bigger, and as people started to rebuild and the small businesses started to grow, so did MILO throughout the years.
Having worked very closely with Detroit-based businesses, I feel like I’m growing with them.
I’m learning and getting all the benefits that Detroit is getting. I feel very close to Detroit because of that.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about your job?
A: The people. Just being able to be creative and see the impact of your decisions.
Dmitri has taught me a lot since my start at MILO Digital. From day one, he has been there to push me out of my comfort zone, which I’m terrified to do. In my first month at MILO, Dmitri told me that, “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” I have never been in such a safe learning environment as I have at MILO, and it’s all thanks to the people.
Without Dmitri, there is no MILO. Like he said, the people are the best part of working here. We all make up the heart and soul of MILO and we each play a key role in making sure this company thrives. I am so thankful for Dmitri’s constant leadership and dedication to making sure MILO is producing the best possible outcomes.
So, lately, I’ve been thinking about the amazing opportunities I’ve had because of MILO Digital. Over the past few months, I have been able to attend the Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center, visit the Google Ann Arbor office, work on the live social media coverage for TEDxDetroit, and do what I love – write for all of you. I would have never been able to have these experiences if it wasn’t for MILO.
Attending the 2017 Digital Summit conference at Cobo Center in September was very thought-provoking. Digital Summit says that it “is not only a place for keeping up with the trends, but also for being an active player in their creation.” Over the course of two days, I heard from many interesting people such as Jonah Peretti, the CEO/Co-Founder of Buzzfeed, and Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker and producer of “Super Size Me”. I learned a lot but also realized how much I had already learned at MILO, as I was already familiar with the ideas and topics presented by many of the speakers. I had come a long way in four short months.
Another amazing experience I had through my internship at MILO was touring the Google office in Ann Arbor. However, on the day of the tour, Billy [MILO Digital CEO] and Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] had to stay back at the office and “put out fires”, so they were unable to join us. Although I was disappointed that I could not share this experience with my entire team, I learned a lot about leadership that day. Sometimes you have to sacrifice the things you want, step up, and take on the challenges facing you – even if that means missing out on opportunities like a private tour of Google. I really enjoyed the tour of the Google office and I hope you enjoy this selfie we took with our tour guide Aashka.
Then later in October, MILO Digital ran the live social media coverage of the TEDxDetroit conference at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. This coverage included Facebook posts, live Tweets, Instagram pictures and creating a Snapchat story, along with engagement across all these channels. I love TED Talks, so being able to attend the event alone would have been incredible, but I also got to help tell TEDxDetroit’s story for the evening. I was in charge of Snapchat and for those of you who know me know, I am a die-hard Snapchat fanatic. The whole evening was so inspiring, listening to local Detroiters speak about their biggest accomplishments, while at that very moment, I was living out my own.
That night TEDxDetroit presenter Alana M. Glass, a sports entrepreneur, said, “sometimes you find your purpose when you’re not even looking,” and I think this encompasses my whole experience with MILO!
Before I started working here, I hit a very low point in my life. I had just been let go from my previous job, where I was told I wasn’t “up to their standards”. In spite of this setback, that same day that I was let go, I went home in tears, composed an entirely revamped resume and applied to the internship I was introduced to through a guest speaker at school.
When Billy Strawter visited my Organizational Communications class a year ago, I had to write a response to his discussion with us about his company, MILO Digital. The only person that has read this essay was my professor, but I want to share an excerpt with you.
“Strawter’s description of the company he founded was very interesting to me because this is the industry I would like to go into someday. It was very exciting getting to listen to someone who started their own company and how it all works. Hearing the processes at MILO made me feel very hopeful for the future, pushing me toward my ultimate goal of working at a company such as this one.”
Now here I am, almost eleven months later, and I could not thank MILO enough for giving me a space to find myself. I have grown so much over these past few months and feel as though I found my purpose. Not many people can say this, but I love my job! I am truly lucky to be here, writing these words for you. I hope they were worth reading.
If you’re between the ages of 18-29, you’ve probably heard through the grapevine that millennials such as yourself are no longer using Facebook. Is this news to you? It sure should be, because according to Pew Research Center, 81% of millennials are still using Facebook!
With other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat capturing the attention of most millennials, Pew reports that Facebook is still utilized the most out of the four major social sites. Wondering how millennials are using other social platforms? Pew reports that Snapchat falls second behind Facebook with 68% millennial usage, followed by Instagram 64% and only a surprising 40% of millennials use Twitter.
Why do Millennials still use Facebook?
According to theAmerican Press Institute, many millennials turn to Facebook to see what their friends are up to, find entertaining and interesting articles, share content and find more information on what’s trending.
So how is Facebook managing to keep the attention of millennials in the ever-changing and growing world of social media? By constantly making updates and adding new features! Facebook is constantly upgrading and updating its platform, with advancements such as Facebook Live, Marketplace, Virtual Reality (VR) apps and Stories keeping it in the limelight.
Similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories allow users to share what they are currently doing via videos or photos. Along with filters and lenses, users can interact with their friends by sending short stories.
With social media platforms implementing video and live video streams on their platforms, millennials are now attracted to this new way of sharing their personal lives. Facebook Live allows viewers to interact with the live post through comments and Facebook Reactions.
At the end of the day, millennials are just looking for technology that is simple and easy to use. With Facebook, users have access to all of the different features found on other social media platforms within one site.
Why should organizations/businesses use Facebook?
Social media allows businesses to target a specific audience, target those based on their interaction with your website or target those similar to your existing customer base. Utilizing social media allows organizations to continue reaching their current customers along with interacting with a new audience.
Facebook is one social media platform that provides organizations the opportunity to build a community for viewers to voice their opinions, share their thoughts and provide valuable feedback. It opens up a dialogue where a business and its customers can talk in a more casual setting and in a timely manner. The more an organization interacts with its customers, the more those customers will be interested and want to stay connected.
Millennials have been using social media for quite some time to share their personal lives but as of now, they mostly use social to share their experiences with brands. With this generation being open and honest about things, their comments can be the key to your brand’s growth and social presence.
Need more guidance on using Facebook to your organization’s advantage? MILO’s team of experts are here to help! Contact us.
Today I want to talk to you about my boss. His name is Billy Strawter, Jr. a.k.a. Boss Bill, the founder of MILO Digital. I know I’ve mentioned him before, but I don’t think I’ve given him the credit he deserves. Introducing Billy in this blog was daunting to me because his larger than life personality and passion for the industry cannot be accurately expressed in such few words. But I’ll try…
I’ve never had a boss like Billy. He’s not just a boss, but a leader. He cares about seeing his employees grow and learn new skills within his company. Even though I am not around as often as my other coworkers, being that I’m also a full-time student, I still feel like an important part of the team. Former president and CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, said that you should, “work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they’ll invest in you.” I can truly say that Billy has invested in me and my future in the Digital Marketing world at a time when I felt like no one else would.
To give you a glimpse into the man behind the MILO Digital scenes and how he came to run his own business, I sat down with him and asked the “real” questions.
Q:What made you want to be an entrepreneur? How long did you know you wanted to be one?
A: I think the first story that I remember about me being an entrepreneur was we were at a place called Ponderosa … I remember sitting there as a kid, and I said to my parents, “I wanna eat steak every day when I grow up.” They said, “You know if you want to have steak every day you need to be a lawyer or a doctor or own your own business.”
It was really all about the idea that I asked a lot of questions and I was told frequently that it wasn’t my job. I wanted to figure out how to make it my job. I spent my life trying to find the right business to be in.
Being an entrepreneur comes with failure and trying lots of different things, but I feel like with MILO and advertising, I found my home.
Q:What have been some major struggles in creating MILO?
A: I guess the answer is I never wanted to own an agency. I just wanted to do cool stuff. MILO was born out of Social COOP – I wouldn’t have been able to do MILO without what I’ve learned with Social COOP. The hardest part was I went to school for marketing, but I never worked in an agency. What I loved was figuring out how to take traditional things and translate them into digital. Then the people – saying goodbye to people, managing people, and all the different personalities. And sometimes being misunderstood, I think that’s the hardest part.
Q:How would you describe your leadership style?
A: I try to give people freedom; to make decisions, to fail, but allow them to have a safe place to fail.
The only thing that I ask is that they learn from it and that they own it. That’s so important – not making excuses for why you failed, but finding what that reason is and trying to avoid it the next time around.
Q:Who is your biggest role model/inspiration?
A: My dad. In the face of adversity, he decided to start something, to build something. He stuck with it and is still doing it. He’s been firm with me but he’s also been very fair, very loving. My leadership style is servant leadership, and that’s me emulating my dad.
That’s the thing I took away from my dad, it needs to be bigger than me and that we lead by serving.
Q:Who or what do you look to for support?
A: Obviously there’s my family, and then there’s my Leadership Detroit crew. They’ve been really helpful for bouncing ideas. It’s just been an incredible experience working with them. And of course, Jen’s [Billy’s wife] probably heard me complain about more things than anyone. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now had she not gone back to work when I decided to start doing advertising.
There’s that sacrifice, living with the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur.
I couldn’t even have done it without Savannah [Billy’s daughter]. She’s made a sacrifice of not having her dad around as much as someone that works a 9-5 would be.
And then Dmitri [MILO Digital Strategist] is my right hand.
Q: Okay. You have your idea, now what? Is there a specific starting point, or is it different for every business?
A: Just do it. There are all sorts of reasons you can talk yourself out of starting a business, but it would be a shame to silence whatever little voice that told you “you should” and “you could,” because clearly there’s a reason that you’re considering starting something.
Q:What is something that many entrepreneurs may not be prepared for?
A: For me, I had to be prepared to lose everything.
You can certainly plan to mitigate some of the risks, but you also have to be prepared for that – It’s a real possibility.
Q:If you don’t have a lot of personal funding to start, what do you recommend?
A: Get creative. You may have to work lots of hours, you may have to wear lots of hats. I learned how to do what I could do, and anything I couldn’t do, I’d find someone in my similar position that could assist.
Q:Have you ever had a rough patch or feeling of doubt? If so, what did you do to keep going and be successful?
A: I just have to quote Yoda, “There is no try, only do.” There’s no other option. When I wake up in the morning, there’s no one telling me I need to get up at 5:30 in the morning. There’s no one saying I need to be here until 8 or 9 p.m. or 1 a.m., it comes from inside. It’s just a drive that I’ve always had and wished that I could give that to people, but you have to find that drive internally.
Q:Where do you see yourself and MILO in 10 years?
A: Ideally I’d love to see MILO in the hands of the people who helped build it and doing big things. I see it being bigger than me and it no longer being about Billy, but being about MILO and the family that we’ve built, just on a bigger scale.
Q:What’s the biggest reward from being an entrepreneur?
A: Getting to do something that I believe in every day and watching people grow.
Seeing people start somewhere and taking them from being shy or not quite confident in what they do, to watching them blossom into their own person is really incredible. Watching them turn from someone that is maybe an intern, to a leader. And working with the clients because they’re just good people.
I’ve only known Billy for a short while, but he has made a huge impact on my life. He’s taught me so much but one thing Billy has said that stuck with me the most is,
“we never fail, we learn.”
This is how he looks at life. It’s fearless.
Here is something we should all think about today: have you ever backed away from a challenge in fear of failure? Billy had a long winding journey on his road to success, but it never stopped him from waking up the next day and working harder than ever. He is an inspiration to all those who know him, yet the most humble man I’ve ever met.
It’s Valentine’s Day and you know what that means – it’s all about love today! Throughout the country, brands are making sure their customers are feeling loved in the digital world, but what about all the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day? Are you making sure customers are feeling the love year-round on social media?
If you are unsure how to best show customers love on social media all year long, have no fear – MILO’s Digital Ninjas are here to help with 5 easy ways for your brand to connect!
1. Engage with them. Yes, it’s really that simple! Be there for your customers and brand-faithful. Answer their questions, acknowledge their comments and most importantly, do so in a timely manner. There are many tools available to help monitor your social channels, so no comments, questions or issues go unnoticed.
2. Ramp up your Facebook Live game. Everyone can do FB Live, but not all are producing quality content. This is where you can ramp things upand continue showing customers all the love! When going live, be sure the subject matter is relevant to your audience and that you’re providing value in the session. Watch for questions and answer them as they come in and enjoy showcasing your new products/services!
3. Roll out special social media sales. Again, this boils down to making the customer feel special and rewarded for interacting with you on social media. Drive sales and website traffic by offering a social media only deal; e.g “Mention that you saw this on Instagram and receive 25% off your order.” Increase your reach easily by boosting the post to ensure that it will be served to your followers.
4. Give your customers shout outs.This should be a no-brainer for your brand! The customers show you love by posting photos, leaving reviews or tagging themselves at your location, so why shouldn’t you return the favor? If you see a photo you like that a customer has shared, by all means, give them a shout out or feature them in an upcoming social media post!
5. Create a Facebook Group. Loyalty is always worth rewarding and by creating a Facebook group for your customers, you’ll be doing just that. Those in your group can get sneak peeks of new products or a first chance to buy them. You can also provide them with special sales and discounts periodically. The main purpose of this group is to keep the conversation going all while showing love to your loyalists
Happy Valentine’s Day from the team at MILO Digital and, of course, the Digital Ninjas!
We hope that you’re able to easily incorporate these 5 suggestions into your brand’s social media strategy! If you’re struggling to implement them or perhaps need some guidance on a solid digital strategy, we’re ready to get down to business for you. Let’s chat!
This week I thought I’d go over what my “normal” day at MILO Digital looks like – if there is such a thing!
Social Media Manager
Our company currently resides in the TechTown building in Detroit’s New Center, where all the MILO social, digital and creative magic happens. I’m a part of the social team, with my official title at MILO being “Social Media Manager/CEO/Creative Director/HR Manager.”
This may seem like a lot of responsibility for someone who’s only worked here for a few months, but I actually got these titles through my team joking around and putting me in positions that forced me to push myself as a worker and as a person.
For example, we have creative briefs where a few people look over content that the creative team made. In order to get my opinion on the content first, they started calling me the “Creative Director”. From there the title evolved to include “HR Manager” and then to “CEO”. As you can see, I wear many hats here!
I manage some of our client’s social media accounts and co-manage the MILO page accounts. The social platforms that I handle for these clients include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I am responsible for daily postings, which means as soon as I get into the office each morning, my day is already in full motion.
When to Post
By using an online program, a majority of the posts that I create are scheduled out ahead of time to be published at different points during the day. Now, there is a certain “science” to picking which time you would like something to be posted. A general rule of thumb is to not post anything from 5 – 7 p.m. This is due to that fact that people are, for example, leaving work, running errands and figuring out dinner plans. There is not a lot of online traffic during this time so it’s best to post earlier or later in the day.
The explanation of when to post leads me to the discussion of what to post. Now this varies from client to client, however, the things I post range from original creative content to third-party content. Original content includes graphics, events, blogs, and articles that relate directly to the client, are made by the client or are created by MILO for the client. For example, our creative team made this original quote graphic for one of our clients. I would share this on all their social media platforms and vary the copy to tailor to each platform. This would involve using hashtags on the Twitter copy but NOT on Facebook.
Another example of original content is when our client is hosting an event. I would be responsible for promoting this event on their social media, and when necessary, boosting (putting ad money behind) the posts related to it. Or, if our client writes articles or a blog on their website, I would make sure those go out into the social media world to receive some recognition. This is original content.
Conversely, third-party content includes articles and posts from other people/sources. I would either share or retweet these on the pages I manage. For example, if a local news organization posted an article about the QLINE, my audiences for the accounts I manage would most likely be interested in that content. So, I would share the article to my channels and give the news organization credit.
Another very important part of my job is interacting with my audience on social. How I engage with our clients’ followers sets the tone for the account. I must weed out the negative comments (“trolls”) and respond to the positive feedback.
This must also be done in a timely manner because if there is a negative/hurtful comment on a post that I created for more than a day, other followers will see that and it reflects poorly upon our client. This also gives the impression that we don’t interact with the audience as an agency. We want to make sure each of our clients receives the attention they need to have a caring and attentive voice online.
Now that’s just a taste of what I customarily do here at MILO. Join me next time to read more about MILO behind the scenes.
Next to Facebook and Instagram, Twitter is another social media platform that brands and organizations can use to connect with their audience across the world.
According to a reportby Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are currently 3.196 billion active social media users around the world. As of January 2018, their report lists Twitter at No. 3 behind Facebook and Instagram for the number of active users on the social media platform.
While there are more users on Facebook and Instagram, there are some key benefits to Twitter including increased brand awareness, ability to promote content, boost website SEO, drive website traffic and monitor brand reputation.
Twitter allows brands to connect with their audience on a different social media platform without being subjected to the weird algorithm that Facebook and Instagram are. Thealgorithm limits the amount of posts from businesses, brands and media but allows users to see more meaningful content.
According toTwitter Marketing, people share positive experiences about the organizations they follow on Twitter with their own network of followers, spread the word about your organization through retweets and are also more likely to buy or interact with you in the future.
Followers play a huge role in how successful a Twitter account can be. One big thing to keep in mind is that you should interact with your followers, as this is the key to a successful Twitter account. It can lead to higher engagement numbers, more followers and increased exposure.
So if you are running a Twitter account for a business or organization, you are probably wondering how you can increase engagement and followers. Here are some tips to take your Twitter account to the next level in 2018:
1. Use Promoted Videos, In-Stream Video Ads, Branded Emojis, GIFs & Photos
According toTwitter Marketing, all of these ways plus a few more are a great way to interact with your audience in a completely different way. It also allows you to showcase your brands personality and makes it relatable.
2. Twitter polls
It’s different from other ways to engage with your audience, but it’s a great way to interact with your audience and see what they are thinking.
Tip:Try asking lifestyle questions that relate to your business or ask followers what content they like the most from you.
3. Take advantage of hashtags
If you are struggling to find the perfect hashtag to use, try using tools like Twitter “Trending Now” section orTrendsmap.In need of the perfect hashtag?Sprout Socialhas a full list of tools to help you find the best one.
Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement; stick to one to two relevant hashtags when posting (Buffer)
Both Twitter Business and Twitter Marketing provide content for creating a brand presence on Twitter, develop creative marketing campaigns that engage your audience and improve customer experience.
5. Use Twitter Analytics
UsingTwitter Analyticswill give you the opportunity to know who your target audience is, what they are interested in, engagement rates, and the best times to post.
Twitter Accounts for Inspiration:
Moon Pie & WingStop: Both accounts bring fun, entertaining content with marketing and selling their product
Bleacher Report: Features a wide-variety of content with photos, videos & gifs
Shea Moisture: Uses quote graphics, short videos and hashtags like #WednesdayWisdom and #FeelGoodFriday to engage with their followers
Adidas: Simple and straight to the point copy with videos or photos & hashtags
With these tips and recommendations, you can take your Twitter account to the next level and stand out among the rest.
In the end, Twitter is all about communication. Don’t forget that engaging with your followers and posting interesting content featuring photos, videos or gifs can help increase exposure and follower growth.
Need help taking your social media to the next level? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work with your business to come up with a strategy that will make your digital presence truly shine.Let’s talk!
With the current political and socioeconomic climate of the United States, taking a stand is something that every father, mother, brother, sister, etc. is doing. Be it through the stickers on their vehicles or what they post and share on social media, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has not taken a stand on at least one issue lately. While it may seem like a controversial move, it is also important for brands to take a stand.
No, not just important – expected.
According to a recent consumer survey from Sprout Social, “66 percent of respondents said they want brands to take a stance on difficult issues, and 58 percent are glad to see it happen on social media.” Of those consumers who participated in the survey, it was discovered that “liberals are more likely than conservatives to expect brands to take a stand,” at 78 percent to 52 percent. Sprout Social also found that 44 percent of consumers are “more likely to purchase from a brand with a clear opinion,” with 52 percent saying it would case greater brand loyalty.
Brands leading the way
Brands taking a stand is clearly not unheard of and has become a common practice in the advertising and marketing arenas. While some of these attempts at taking a stand have fallen flat, here’s looking at you Pepsi, other companies such as Airbnb, Chipotle, Oreo and Patagonia have executed successful campaigns.
This past December, Patagonia’s website took a shift away from online shopping, choosing to instead share “The President Stole Your Land” in large white letters on a black background on its landing page. This was the company’s reaction to the president’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah by a combined 2 million acres. Fellow outdoor retailers REI and North Face joined Patagonia in taking a stand on the issue.
How your brand can take a stand
When successfully executed, a brand’s ‘take a stand’ campaign can help their content have more views and higher engagement rates, such as what Yoplait saw in its “Mom On” campaign that tackled the topic of mom shaming. The campaign performed exceptionally well across all five brand lift metrics and produced a 1,461 percent lift in brand interest.
Sprout Social’s recent survey put up the data to prove that brands simply cannot ‘ride two horses with one ass’ anymore. Your customers want to know where you stand and want to see that you’re in touch with the issues they are facing daily.
Not sure where to start on your brand’s stand? MILO’s digital marketing team is ready to answer any questions you may have and work alongside your business to craft a campaign strategy that will ensure your stance on a hot topic truly shines. Let’s get the conversation started today!
Welcome back! I’m glad you want to hear more about these “nutty” people at MILO Digital. Although, if I’m going to talk about them, I have to explain how they all operate. MILO Digital is a team composed of very hardworking individuals. We work together in order to function as a well-oiled machine. Although, I’d rather use the metaphor of a family. We bicker about day to day problems, but we also support one another. This work dynamic here is what every company should strive towards. I know this probably sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, so I’ll explain exactly what puts MILO ahead of the curve.
The communication within our organization is very open and honest. My very first day at MILO, I experienced this through our standing meeting. Our team stood around in a circle for 10 minutes taking turns talking, informing everyone of what was on our plates and how we were struggling. This is done every day here. Never have I worked at a company that has taken the time to do this. The benefits of a standing meeting are immeasurable. When “they” say communication is key, they weren’t wrong. The meetings are also a way to ask for help. One important thing I’ve learned here is that it’s okay to ask for help. It’s encouraged. You need to work hard, but you also need to be able to rely on your team.
What I found so refreshing at MILO is the honesty. Our boss Billy treats us as equals. Instead of running the company from behind closed doors, he is very open about what is going on in the business. He feels that we have the right to know about any changes or issues that arise because we are a team. Instead of just managing us, his leadership style allows us to grow within the company. My first week at MILO I talked with Billy multiple times about how my experience was thus far and what I hoped to get out of my internship. He wants me to learn as much as I possibly can. Before I started here, I assumed I would be doing simple intern tasks. However, after less than a month of working at MILO, I was already responsible for social media posting on two accounts. This brings me to my next topic: trial by fire.
Since my start at MILO, there have been several instances where I have learned by experience. Trial by fire (aka, the MILO way) has been a recurring instance with my experience here. One example of this is when I was asked by Billy if I wanted to run a new client meeting. I obviously assumed he was joking and so I said, “Ummmmm no,” to which Billy replied, “Okay you can run it.” Being that the meeting was the next day, I had a mini freak out. My co-workers helped me prepare as much as they could to lead me on the road to success. Finally when the day came, I found out that the potential new client was Billy. So it was just his way of giving me a taste of what running a meeting would be like with the buffer of it being my boss I was pitching to. He gave my team and me feedback as we ran the meeting, which was a very useful learning tool.
Another great piece of advice I received from my coworker Dmitri the other day is that “it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you’re trying your best.” This came from me voicing my concern about a post I was writing copy for. I was asking him his opinion and I told him that I just didn’t want to mess anything up. This advice really hit home for me because I’ve been very cautious with the things I do in my life. Living with this fear of making a mistake has prevented me from taking risks that could have ultimately paid off. However, all that matters, in the end, is that you gave a hundred percent in everything that you’ve done. That is something you can be proud of when all else fails.
Welcome to the very first installment of MILO and Me! My name is Ashley. Here you can follow me on my journey as I step into the digital marketing world for the very first time as a Social Media Manager. This is what I have experienced and learned at MILO Digital.
It all started in May of 2017. Being a poor, recently unemployed college student, I set out to find a job. My previous employers included retail chains and miscellaneous occupations here and there that I dragged my feet going to each day. I was done with investing my time into a path I no longer wanted to follow. I was ready to begin the road toward my future.
I am currently studying Media Arts at Wayne State University while minoring in Public Relations. I started off majoring in Journalism, but after I made the switch to Media Arts, I knew this is what I was meant to do with my life. The day that Billy Strawter, the founder of MILO Digital, walked into my Organizational Communications class speaking of an internship opportunity for the summer at his Digital Marketing company, I could not believe that this was the shot I had been waiting for.
After applying for the position and going through the interviewing process, I was brought on board at MILO Digital as a Social Media Intern for the summer. I was so nervous I wasn’t going to get the job because I had no previous experience in this field professionally, but the wonderful people at MILO saw potential in me that I could not see in myself. After meeting the MILO team for the first time, I could tell they were different. They were kind but tough. I needed that. Working for this company is so distinct from any other job I have had because these people are a little nutty, but that’s what makes them so fun to be around. The MILO dynamic has definitely seeped into my everyday life, and it’s taught me how to work hard, but not take myself so seriously.
The stipulations of this internship included a trial month period, after which the prospect of extending it to the rest of the summer would be discussed. My future, however, was decided by Billy after a week.
Now here I am, eight months later, and I have learned more than I thought I ever would about Media Arts, Social Media Management, Digital Marketing, and just being a part of a team oriented environment. The people here have no idea how much they’ve helped me grow into a professional, confident, and creative person. I will be forever indebted to them. Join me every other week to read what I have learned at MILO to receive some insight into our fun yet hard working dynamic. I will discuss the challenges I’ve faced, the lessons I’ve learned, and how I am growing in my career.
Rolling with the Punches: How staying agile will make you a better digital marketer The following is a cautionary tale for when digital marketing is separated or siloed from other pieces, like the ability to modify the website. This is based on my experience working on a digital campaign when a client refused to give access to their landing page and website. My hope is that the lessons that I learned will help you too. All the players were on the field: our search ads were driving relevant traffic, social media was tuned in for customer service and our display ads were ready for retargeting, but when the time came to score, we couldn’t convert. It was devastating. The sign-up process on the client website was messy and made the customer jump through too many hoops. It was like driving the ball towards the goal and passing it back and forth between players without actually scoring. The unforgiving truth about the success of digital campaigns is that all of the parts need to work together or whole the campaign may fail. Your website, landing page, email, digital ads and social media must play as a team to guide the customer to the desired goal. Key Takeaways: Identify your final goal and understand how all of the digital elements fit together to achieve it.
At the end of each round, listen to your analytics
The first round was shaky, but the fight wasn’t over. We got back on our feet by reviewing the data and gathering insights of the campaign so far. We initially divided our budget between social, digital and display, but the data clearly pointed in the direction of Facebook ads. We shifted the budget to Facebook ads and saw a spike in positive conversions. Unlike TV and Radio, digital ads allow for instant feedback on the campaign performance and the ability to shift the budget to the segments that are performing better. Key Takeaway: Listen to your analytics – they will show you where the opportunities are.
When in doubt get back to basics
Everything goes back to simplicity: you must make the customer journey easy. The easier it is the more likely they’ll make it to the end. Every clickthrough, bad landing page and extra fields they need to fill out works against you. As more data came in, we could easily see where the target traffic came from, what they clicked on, and where we lost them. All the traffic and attention we bought to the website was met with an obstacle: the client-ran website. It was full of annoying pop-ups, long registration forms and no onboarding process for new clients. It was like putting in the hard work and having your opponent on the ropes only to step away without finishing the fight. Key Takeaways: If the conversion process is broken no amount of ad traffic, Facebook likes or blog posts will fix that. Your website and landing page needs to be designed with the customer in mind.
Reviewing the Tape
In sports, reviewing the tape refers to watching video of your past performance to look for opportunities to improve. Looking back at this campaign I wish we would have started with a smaller project to gain more trust with the client so we could work better as a team. Key Takeaway: Never walk away without learning something new from the project.
Facebook Likes. We want ’em. We need ’em. We pay for ’em.
I noticed a recent feature on Facebook asking page admins if they would like to get more likes. If you admin a page you’ll find it on the left hand side. It replaces the section that showed the most recent person to like your page. [UPDATE] Promoting your Page from the admin panel is only available to Pages with locations and a profile picture. [/UPDATE]
Similar to promoted posts, it’s Facebook’s way of making the advertising process easier to start. Page admins don’t have to fuss with the Facebook Advertising Dashboard or the hassle of creating an actual campaign.
Let’s take a look at how it works.
Facebook gives you the option of setting a daily budget between $5 – $100 per day (image right). To the right of the price is an estimate of how many likes the page should get. As you can see a $100 per day should net you between 43-391 likes per day. Your mileage may vary depending on your page and it’s existing fan base.
Where do the Ads Show?
Your ads will start showing in the new feed or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your page. They ads may appear on mobile or desktop and run until you end the promotion.
What Type of Ads?
People will start seeing ads in their news feeds or on the right side of Facebook with a link that encourages them to like your Page. These ads may appear on mobile or desktop and will run until you stop your promotion.
Who Sees my Ad?
Your pages ad can be targeted to people located near your business. You can choose from your business’s city, state or country.
I’m thinking this will prompt me to write a post about targeting ads on Facebook. I’ll also post some results as we’re testing the feature now (see bottom photo)
Have you noticed this new advertising option on Facebook? What do you think is it worth it?
Good news for non-profits. Google Apps, the cloud based productivity suite (think Microsoft Office) from Google. What can you do with Google Apps? The list is long:
Email: Get custom email address using your domain
Calendar: Schedule meetings, share calendars, meeting reminders
Drive: Store documents online, share them, access from anywhere
Docs: Create and share documents in real-time
Sheets: Spreadsheets with real-time editing and charts
Slides: Presentations with the ability to embed videos and real-time sharing
Profit Vs. Nonprofit
For a traditional business you would be looking at $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. If you have a large non-profit organization, getting this for free could save you hundreds per year. Plus, you no longer need to update software year after year. Google Apps are automatically updated at no charge to your non-profit.
Cut the tether
An issue with many non-profits is the ability to pivot on the fly. Google Apps allows you to do this by cutting the tether to your desk. With mobile, iPhone and Android apps, you now have the ability to work from anywhere. Changes you make on your home computer will look exactly the same when you log-in at your work computer.
Work in real-time with your staff. Does this sound familiar? You create a Word document. You email it your boss. Your boss makes corrections then emails it back. You make the changes. Email…you get the point. With Google Docs you can edit in real-time with multiple people having the document open at the same time. In fact you can do this with spreadsheets and presentations as well.
Regardless of where you are, you can do this in real-time. Including different countries.
A change of heart
Google at one point only offered the free version of Google Apps for Nonprofits to those nonprofits with less than 3,000 users. Now, regardless of size you are eligible.
Description from Google: Google Apps is a cloud-based productivity suite that helps you and your team connect and get work done from anywhere on any device. It’s simple to setup, use and manage, allowing you to work smarter and focus on what really matters.
The internet is a big, wonderful place with content to consume at every turn. Some days it can be overwhelming trying to wrap your head around the information thrown at us. We thought it would be cool to share just how much happens in the span of a minute on the internet. Below you’ll find a nifty infographic from Go-Globe. These numbers are from early 2012 so I’m certain they’re are adjustments here and there, but you get the point.
You have a fabulous idea for an online business. You’ve done your due diligence by researching the need, target market, and even had the “talk”. You know, the “if only 10 people buy per day, that’s like and extra $2 grand a month” talk.
If only it were that easy.
Build It and They Will Come
Unless blessed already large, built in customer base, launching a website will generally get you crickets (nada). Simply putting up a website these days is not enough. If you want to increase your exposure, you’ve got some work to do.
Search Engine Marketing
Different than Search Engine Optimization (SEO), search engine marketing is the process of buying digital advertising for the sole purpose of driving traffic. Works wonders when you’re just starting out. You can serve relevant targeted ads based on location. For example I could target someone searching for “SEO Services” within 20 miles of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This would show my ad to anyone typing that search into Google, Yahoo, or Bing (if that’s where I advertise). Just be sure to set a budget. SEM can get extremely expensive if you dont’ watch it carefully.
Search Engine Optimization
If you’re going to do Search Engine Marketing, it’s important to know that SEO (search engine optimization) plays a role in the cost of advertising. The more optimized your landing page (the place people land when they click you ad) the lower your overall
cost per click will be. An example: A page on your site sells manly man soap. You decide to serve up ads for anyone searching your competitor. Nothing illegal about it, although this will cost your more on average than if you targeted individuals searching “manly man soap”.
Also make sure that the pages of your website are optimized. Does every page have a title? Keywords? Description? You can check by right clicking the mouse and selecting “view source” (See image below. It’s missing keywords and description)
Social Media Marketing
Social media has come a long way since the early days. Companies now understand that less is more. You already know your target market, now figure out where they spend their time online. This could be forums, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, all of the above or or a combination of a few.
It’s really easy to get lazy here. Don’t just follow random people. Be intentional. Follow people in your area. In your target market. While it takes time in the beginning. You WILL reap the benefit in the long haul.
I’m pretty sure the fact that I use forums may date me. But they are a useful tool when it comes to business.
I like to think as forums as on of the original social networks. You could come together with like-minded individuals for some pretty in-depth conversations.
forums plural of fo∙rum (none) 1. A meeting or medium where ideas and view on a particular issue can be exchanged. 2. An internet message board
1. Forums are Niche
Sure there are forums that are wide reaching, but the majority of forums are specific to an industry, topic (photography, motherhood, business), group. Which leads us to:
2. Get backlinks from relevant websites
Getting back links is good for Search Engine Optimization. One advantage to being a forum member is the ability to create a signature that links back to your website. There may also be a minimum requirement of posts before you can add a signature. Each forum is different. Some have a no-follow rule (tells Google not to follow the link), you’ll need to check the forums terms of service to see how they handle back-links.
3. Pick a Good Username
Try to avoid names like PinkyStar8047. Especially if it’s a business forum. Consider using your business or your real name. And be sure to add an avatar. Other users are more likely to interact with you vs. a logo. That being said, a logo is still fine just make sure you take the time to re-size it and that it identifies with your brand.
4. Introduce Yourself
Most forums have a thread that allows you to introduce yourself to the other members. Take advantage of this as the more active members will generally take the time to welcome you. Let them know what that your goal is to contribute to the community. Don’t try to sell anything here. It will get you banned.
5. Observe the Natives
Don’t be “that guy”, the one who jumps in to a conversation simply to get several posts so you can add your signature. See how the other members interact with one another to better understand the community you joined. It will help you figure out who the influential members are and allow you to fit in faster.
6. Give to get
Don’t just be a lurker. The more involved you are the better the community is as a whole. You get to build relationships all while promoting your business. Win/Win.
When you’re ready to make the leap look for forums that are active or overrun with spam. Of note: Try to avoid one hosted by a competitor. Even if you decide not to do the whole forum marketing thing, forums are worth considering for market research. You can find a wealth of information ranging from customer satisfaction to areas in the marketplace that need to be filled.