Category Archives: blogging

Blogging for eCommerce in 2017

To Blog or Not to Blog? Blogging for Ecommerce in 2017

By | blogging | No Comments

Stay relevant my friends

Over 409 million people view the 23.8 billion blog pages out there each month. Users create roughly 65.3 million pieces of new content each month. Now that’s a lot of content. The ironic part about these numbers is the fact that business owners and marketers alike are still asking themselves- do we really need to be blogging?

In short, that answer is yes, duh! Below I’ve outlined a few of the best reasons why blogging, specifically for ecommerce, is as important now than it’s ever been as we head into 2017.  

A couple of fun facts

First things first, 99% of people won’t buy anything on their first visit to your site. Plain and simple. There’s a popular marketing adage called “the rule of 7”. It goes a little something like this- many potential consumers won’t buy from you until they’ve seen your marketing message, social post, blog, retargeting ad, email, etc., at least seven times. It’s time to get writing.

Why you need to get blogging

 

1. Reach

So you say you’re just starting out and you’ve got a small audience, okay. Do you ever want that audience to grow? Time to start blogging. You’ve got to get out in front of new audiences and one of the best ways to do that is with a blog. It’s one of those mediums that can be cross promoted through multiple marketing platforms.

2. SEO

I bet you haven’t heard this one before. By default blogging creates new pages on your site and thus increases your SEO rankings. We’ve got news for you, in 2017, SEO will still be one of the main modes of getting people to your page.

This is where we emphasize how important it is to create posts people will want to share. When your post is shared via social or ends up on another website, rankings jump. Keep in mind, more pages mean more internal links pointing directly at your homepage. While internal links are pretty cool, links from other websites are even better and help in that credibility area.

3. Tell Your Story

In 2017, personalization is the name of the game. Consumers react more emotionally when there’s a story involved. Use your blog to tell your brand’s story, from conception to fruition. Let readers develop an emotional connection to the brand, when a brand can establish trust with their consumers it is then they establish loyalty. Ecommerce efforts become a little more fruitful when you’ve got loyal customers to work with.  

Loyalty will also allow you to slip those unsuspecting calls to action into blog posts without the fear of sounding too salesy or pitchy.

4. Customization

In that same vein, custom graphics and mini-themes across all of your branded channels are definitely on the list of potential trends we’ll see across the ecommerce space in 2017. Consistent branding across all channels helps new customers identify your brand anywhere and creates familiarity.    

What’s the return?

Apart from the probable increase in conversions, you’ll see quite a few things on the return spectrum. If you’re tapping into the right audience you should see a spike in organic and referral traffic. Your credibility will grow with thoughtful, industry related blog posts, and in that same vein, blogs help to establish your brand as an industry leader. Ultimately blogs can help you lift your overall lead gen efforts and increase sales.

Yes, blogging is something you’re going to have to budget for in 2017, but yes, it will be worth it. Final word of advice, don’t get your marketing strategy in a twist if you don’t see results right away. Blogs take time to build and generating a substantial following doesn’t happen overnight, unless you’re Beyonce. Stick with it, while a post may only get a few views within its first week of going live, it could get thousands over the course of its life. Happy blogging!

If you need help with any of your blogging, branding or strategy efforts please reach out. We love helping people, brands, grandmothers. You know, the usual.

Cheers!

karmaru

Roll, Carry and Lock – KarmaRu’s Portable Foam Roller

By | blogging, digital campaigns | No Comments

Active lifestyles can be taxing not only on the body, but time, money and equipment, so it’s essential to maximize performance while reducing the risk of injury. That’s why Digital Operative is happy to announce working with a start-up company that has learned how to balance the essentials of an active lifestyle.  Portable, lockable and waterproof – KarmaRu’s durable foam rollers set the standard as a reliable, healthy and convenient addition to your pre and post workout to relieve muscle tension.

With their Kickstarter page up and running, KarmaRu is setting its sights on providing athletes, from casual to professional, the following tenets:

Roll- As a major contributor to muscle wellness, the foam roller can stretch your muscles to keep them nimble and ready for anything. Though it may appear simple, its effects are present in everything an athlete does to actively stay in shape. KarmaRu’s foam roller also has the added benefit of an in-depth pattern that can provide firm or soft pressure for whatever the body needs.

Carry- Having a roller that you can take wherever you go ensures that you’re active routine is never far behind. Thanks to its stretch strap attachment and its light frame, the KarmaRu can be carried anywhere.  Any athlete with an on-the-go mentality will enjoy the easy convenience of putting this over their shoulders and heading out the door.

Lock- Like you’ve never seen before. Put your belongings in the foam roller and know that they will be secure. Anything from phones, wallets, and keys can be locked in one.  And don’t short sell it. This foam roller is waterproof, so feel confident knowing your valuables are not just safe but protected from the elements.

The message behind KarmaRu’s innovation is that many muscle injuries are preventable. But sometimes it’s a little too easy to gloss over in respect to everything else that goes on in an active lifestyle. Dustin Townsend, the founder of KaramRu, knows from years of experience in athletic training that the convenience of his product will change your lifestyle for the better, as he “saw the value first hand in using them pre and post workout.” Check out KarmaRu on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up with the success of the  campaign and if you feel a life well balanced is a life well lived, check out KarmaRu on Kickstarter and pledge today!

If you would like our help starting your own Kickstarter campaign, get to know us here and what we can do to turn your idea into a brand.

Learn How to Blog

By | blogging | 2 Comments

I am not a great teacher like Muzzy (No, those kids aren’t French), but in the past couple of months I have learned enough about blogging to teach some lessons. I received this new found knowledge because we set goals here at Digital Operative, and mine was to post one blog a week. My hope was to rekindle my love of writing and pick up enough skills to be the writer that I knew I could be. There have been some major challenges, and some pleasant surprises in the experience.  However, I think most of what I learned can be distilled into one sentence: just do it. When I spent too much time thinking about what the topic would be, who would not like my topics and which jokes were and were not funny; I freaked myself out and didn’t publish it.  In the world of content marketing –  not publishing is the complete wrong thing to do. When I started writing and getting into the groove of blogging it got easier with every post. In addition to the main lesson I learned (just do it), here are three more lessons that I am happy to share about how to blog like a pro.

1. Make the Blog Relatable

In my blog post, “Your SEO Plan is Kim Kardashian (Low Quality and all Over the Place) I began experimenting with mixing digital marketing tips with popular culture. This was a far step from earlier posts where I was basically just giving a how-to’s that were boring and no one cared about.  Choosing a relatable topic gives non-technical people insight into the technical world and makes dry topics more palatable.

2. Never Be Boring

To become a better blog writer, I performed research and read many (MANY) different blogs. Some writers were interesting, informative, and opinionated like a good Adam Corrolla podcast. While others lacked any passion at all for the topic. What I did notice is that good or bad, if the author took a view and wrote with passion I would finish the article. Passion creates interest and it shows in the way the blog reads.

3. Have a Great Team

There is no way I could do this without the help of my team.  Sometimes it felt like I was writing in a vacuum, so having a team helped to check myself. I have a great editor who tells me when I make no sense, when no one will get my references (I stand by MC Skat Kat!), and when my spelling is atrocious.  Additionally, I have fantastic support from upper management, who do not restrict me on topics I choose to write about while pursuing this interest.

Overall, if you want to learn more about blogging – just do it! Some posts will be great and some won’t, but with each post you will know more about what it takes to makes a good blog post … and knowing is half the battle.

Adam Lundquist graduated from Blog University.

Connect with Adam on Google+.

Adding an Infographic into Your Content Mix

By | blogging | One Comment

I’m sure by now everyone knows what an infographic is. These forms of mass communication are really trending in the web space right now and if you want to capitalize on them, you better make sure they not only look incredible but include great content as well. Studies have shown that more than 60% of the population are “visual learners” and that 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual You can literally make an infographic about anything, from Baseball…

…to education

…even Google uses it.

Infographics are not only fun but help break down big bits of information into fun size pieces.

Because data on the internet continues to increase, so does noise level for the masses. As marketers it is common issues to continue finding new ways to package and promote that data to rise above the noise. Infographics are one of the leading ways to do so. What’s more, as a result of the increase in data there should be no shortage of information available for your infographic. Government statistics, Nielsen reports and trade associations all produce reliable data.

Infographics are meant to pull in a reader by capturing their eye visually and then having them follow the narrative around with the information you provide. Each information point needs to flow into the next, much like a story would. Many treat their infographic like a story, and the story you tell needs to be of interests to your audience. Is your infographic answering a question your target audience would ask? If the answer is no, you may need to keep searching for a more relevant topic.

There is no certain sweet spot for lengths of infographics. Just don’t go overboard filling it up with data, keep it to a reasonable length. If you wouldn’t bother to read the whole thing, then your audience surely wouldn’t. Also keep your words to the bare minimum. Most people just look at the graphic and refer to the text for a little more context. Short statements rule over full length sentences here.

The best thing about infographics is their sharabilitiy. They are more likely to be shared than an email blast or a regular blog post. People love to pass a long a great graphic with great information. They love it even better when they look like the educated one who found your great piece and the kudos goes to them for passing along the information. While the reader shares your infographic your link is getting passed around and increases backlinks to your site.

The most important tip to remember is to brand the graphic with your logo and try to tie it in with a Call-to-action. Whats the point of investing in an infographic – time or money – if there is no return? A simple trick is utilizing your last data point as a way to lead into your products or service. That way it brings the attention back to your company and if your infographic did its job they will want to visit your site and find out more information.

What we see coming in the future of infographics are interactive infographics. With the help of HTML5 and CSS3, clickable interactive infographics will be able to provide more information while making the content more engaging. Here’s an example from onlineschools.org about “The State of the Internet 2011”. Research shows that 45% of web users will click on a link if it features an infographic. If you aren’t sure you or your team is capable of designing a captivating infographic or interactive infographic there are many design companies that will assist in that process.

One Jackson Launches Social Commerce Website for Indie-Design Kids Clothes

By | blogging, digital commerce, ecommerce, social commerce, startup | 2 Comments

Social Commerce company launches

What do you get when you bring together “crowdsourced design,” “customer voting,” and of course “cute kids clothing?” You get One Jackson, a startup based out of Silicon Valley headed by former execs from eBay, Gymboree and PayPal, and initial funding is by of a number of high-profile VCs, including four of the top female investors working together for the first time: Theresia Ranzetta, Accel; Patricia Nackache, Trinity; Ann Miura-Ko, Floodgate and Aileen Lee, formerly with Kleiner Perkins who is investing with her new seed fund.

One Jackson, the new kids clothing company, claims to be the first to use this business model in the kid’s space, giving independent and edgy designers relatively easy access to capital and a viable platform to get their designs to market. With One Jackson, the biggest winners, of course are the kids, who will be turned out in adorable, high-end duds that are unique and affordable. Prices range from $16-$42.

Social Commerce Website Startup

I had a chance to sign up with the site using my Facebook account, browse the current products and “Love” some of my favorites. There were a couple very unique Red Tricycle designs I would definitely purchase on a whim. As a Dad with three little ones at home, I could see this website being browsed by mom on the iPad at night. So with full support, I shared one of the designs to my Facebook page. From a functional standpoint, it’s very straight-forward and easy for parents. I look forward to seeing more designs in the future. Maybe even penciling my own together.

Since we’re talking Social Commerce, I thought it was important to get the perspective from one of the team members of One Jackson. Luckily I was able to get in touch with Anne Raimondi, a co-founder. I asked Anne, “What is Social Commerce and how is it changing the way people shop online?”

Social Commerce is discovering, buying, sharing, and even creating products based on information from people who matter most to you. Influencers, friends, and in the case of One Jackson, the original designers of the product. Consumers can now directly impact what gets made and designers can get feedback from customers every step of the way. Ultimately, the interactive nature of social commerce makes shopping more meaningful–we can have a direct say in what gets created, we waste less in making things no one wants, and we are connected to the individual creating what we consume.

You can’t argue with that. Having a say in what gets manufactured? Seems like a great combination of the customer being heard and indie designers having a marketplace for their hardwork. Love the model. Shop One Jackson.

Influential puppet explains ContestCore

By | blogging, digital campaigns, digital marketing, Digital Operative, geekery, interactive marketing, video | No Comments

It was a Thursday when BJ and Adam took me aside to their room and informed me that they had a very important assignment for me to complete. The serious looks on their faces informed me that this  was the kind of assignment that separates the wheat from the part of the plant that is not wheat. This assignment would move me up to the big leagues. Opening my notebook, and moving past the pages filled with doodles of hearts and Justin Bieber I began to furiously write down the monumental task that lay ahead of me. My assignment, nay my calling –  was to find a way to find a way to get a puppet to promote ContestCore our new online contest software. It was a difficult assignment – but I knew it was one I must complete. I hit the streets trying all the tricks I knew and was turned down by many famous and semi-famous puppets alike. However just when I was about to give up and my darkest hour was upon me –  I saw him:  Professor Hans Von Puppet. He was  giving a lecture at a local college and knew he was the one. His  professorial jacket, his almost German accent, the way I could pay him to say what I wanted all told me to pursue this puppet. This was it! So ladies and gentleman I present to you Professor Hans Von Puppet giving his thoughts on ContestCore

Web designed served, and it was delicious

By | agency life, awards, blogging, design, digital marketing, ecommerce, geekery, magento | No Comments

Website features DO

Stussy‘s website redesign, crafted by Digital Operative is a featured project on the site Web Design Served. WDS (as we imagine they like to be called)  looks for outstanding websites from members of the Behance network, and we are pleased that they decided to feature our work. Their editorial team features  a small number of projects daily, and look for one’s that promote new thinking in the industry. Certainly, new thinking played a part in Stussy’s website redesign which combines eye pleasing design that the DO team is known for, with integration of  the  Magento e-commerce platform to create a site that is well, featurable. So congratulations to the team at DO for once again producing a quality product and thank you to Web Design Served for noticing. If you’re looking for feedback on your current web design, let us know.

Social Media Scores a Touchdown with the NFL

By | blogging, digital marketing, facebook, social media, twitter | No Comments
The NFL is a large organization with hundreds of players and hundreds of people working behind the scenes to make it work, but along with them you have to include the millions of fans. Each team has millions of fans, and even some players have millions of fans of their own. So how do they keep all these fans informed and interested when its not game day? Social Media.

Social Media has taken the NFL by storm. Everyone has a twitter account, every team has a Facebook page, Players are making youtube videos, teams are participating in blogs – all of this to be able to communicate more freely with not only the fans but with other players, agents, and journalists. Twitter allows for players to have their own voice, fans are able to communicate directly with them and see who they really are. Former defensive tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans John Thornton said “ Social media has taken the place of autographs [...] now you want players to reply to you on Twitter”. Commentators are even able to give their commentary out of the press box, allowing for continuous conversation of the game.

There are multiple social media strategies teams can implement. For example if the team account were to be used as just a news base, other players and personality accounts related would fill in for the gap of human connection. This may or may not be good, if those other accounts are not good representations of the team. A human voice needs to be there especially in the event of negative press, to smooth things over.

Another factor to take into account is how easy it is for the public to take a comment and turn it negative. The public cannot hear the sarcasm or humor in a tweet, so being cautious is always a necessity. As a result in 2010, the NFL announced its social media policy – one of the first sports industries to place regulations on usage. The policy included restrictions for players using social media sites 90 minutes before a game, all the way through post game interviews. (The NBA implemented a similar policy banning social media 45 minutes before a game.)

Social Media, but Twitter in particular, became increasingly important during the NFL Lockout debate. Players often tweeted their experience and reaction following meetings, allowing for fans to build support or share their opinions. For the most part fans stood by the players, and opposed Commissioner Roger Goodell. At the end of the lockout players used social media as a place to thank fans for sticking by them. Players created Youtube videos to personally express their gratitude, others submitted statements to blogs.

Other important events for the NFL such as The Draft and the Superbowl have utilized social media as one of their main forms of communication. Sending out teasers and small snippets of information prior to the event, build hype and start the conversation early. In addition new web pages, blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts are created specifically for these special events.

Despite all these advances in communication for the NFL, football is a television based program so incorporating social media into television programming is key. Bringing fans from the Internet to the tv, and from the tv to join the conversations online. Their goal to not over power one another, but to combine efforts and compliment each other. Many post-game and pre-game shows have done a nice job including player’s tweets and fan’s comments to their shows adding to the story and offering another perspective to the discussion.

Future of social media for the NFL: location-based services like Foursquare i.e., checking-in at games, stadiums, etc. More research needs to be done on how to capture these users and provide benefits for doing so.

What I Really Learned in College (about Social Media)

By | blogging, digital marketing, education, facebook, interactive marketing, social media, twitter | No Comments

Everyone is using social media to get their message across; people use it, businesses use it, celebrities use it, and now even universities are using it. The use of social media by higher education institutions is an obvious choice – the main users of social media are young adults, specifically college aged students. These institutions have so much potential to connect with students and really speak to them in an environment where they spend a good portion of their time. The opportunity to attract new students is the most appealing aspect of social media usage by universities. In a study put together by cappex.com, 77% of questioned universities said if they were to have a Facebook account it would be targeted toward prospective students. This account would provide a place to ask questions, get an informal feel for the school, and communicate with the school staff as well as current and alumni students. Twitter is also used in the same manner. Like businesses, colleges want to create leads and meet potential “customers” in real time. On Twitter, institutions can promote their school and track what people are saying about them. Through social media, colleges can create a buzz about events, send out important information, post photos, videos and articles directly to where students are spending most of their time online.

More recently as colleges are discovering the importance and power of utilizing social media, different departments at these institutions are creating their own Facebook and Twitter pages. Thus becoming more specific to reach an exact audience within the student community. For example at San Diego State University many different offices and organizations have their own Twitter accounts such as: the Admissions Office @SDSUAdmissions, the Athletic Department @GoAztecs, general campus news @SDSU_NewsTeam, the Bookstore @SDSUBookstore, the Library @sdsulibrary , the dinning services @SDSUDiningServ, the student governing body @as_sdsu, campus events @AztecNights, etc. With each account having their own audience, the buzz around San Diego State University grows. More information can be distributed and students have the option to connect with exactly who they want to talk to. Social media platforms are quick and easy ways to get the word out.

Social Media 101:

1. Don’t jump in blind. Make sure you research and explore what people are already saying about your school and where you stand in the online world.
2. Combine marketing efforts. Be sure to include urls and information to find your Facebook and Twitter on printed material. A consistent message is important. Make sure everyone is on the same page.
3. Remember to be social. There is a person behind every user, if you don’t interact like one you will be considered spam. This is not a hard sell, but a way to give information about the school in a non formal setting. Be genuine.

Movember is back! Join TeamSAN in Digital Challenge

By | agency life, blogging, Corporate Social Responsibility, digital campaigns, digital marketing, Digital Operative, nonprofit | 2 Comments

TeamSAN Getting Ready for Movember 2010

#MOVEMBER IS BACK!!!

Last year the team at DO manned and womened up to support this great cause to fight cancer. You can see our moustache historical glory here.

This year we got a special invite to participate in the Movember Digital Challenge featuring some of the brightest marketing minds around the country. From New York City to Austin to Boston to Los Angeles; we have some stiff competition. So if we pull out the favor card, it’s for a great cause.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Movember is …

Movember (the month formerly known as November) is an annual moustache growing charity event held every November which raises funds and awareness for cancers that affect men.

At the start of Movember guys register with a clean shaven face. The Movember participants, known as Mo Bros, have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their Mo, raising money along the way to benefit men’s health.

So if you’re a San Diegan, friend, family member, former love interest or just love moustaches; here’s how you can chip in:

  • Join TeamSAN here – To join team go to http://us.movember.com/register/76582 and follow the steps.
  • Follow TeamSAN updates on Twitter via #TeamSAN
  • Spread the love via Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Orkut, Email, SMS, phonecalls, carry pigeons, messenger bike; whatever you can do to support TeamSAN.
  • Come to the MO Warmup TeamSAN event at DO HQ – event details coming soon.

At the end of the day this is for a great charity and we are all TeamSAN. Without any of you participating this can’t be possible. Also keep your eyes posted for possible iPhone App and Microsite. If you want to help out let us know.

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