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Nicole Skuba is the founder and CEO of Blue Tree Digital, a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in creative marketing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. She learned HTML in 1995 and has been involved with the digital world ever since. Her marketing strategies have helped companies increase their pay-per-click conversion rates and increase leads using SEO.

This social media course from course platform Canvas Network has ended but you can still sign up and get access to all the course activities, assignments and videos to study at your own self-directed pace.

The quote above comes from the article and podcast, Brands Not Using Social Media Create Communication Language Barriers with Customers. Moore says that the mission of online and digital marketers is to find out where your target marketing is spending time and “speak to them, communicate with them and most importantly serve them where, when and how they choose.” Not using social media means not serving your target market online, and it sends the message that your brand doesn’t have enough time for their customers to meet them where they are.

Adobe Experience Manager – Companies can create, manage, and optimize digital customer experiences. Works across a number of channels including web, mobile apps and sites, as well as social communities.

This is a handy little tool, courtesy of Google, that tells you when your brand is mentioned online.  You can even have it alert you when your competitors are mentioned.  Pretty helpful for knowing who’s talking about you on the Web.

Another good advocacy tool that may have missed this list is SocioAdvocacy (http://www.socioadvocacy.com/). It is suitable for small and big businesses, educational institutes and also the hotels and restaurants. You can check some of the use cases here: http://www.socioadvocacy.com/use-cases/

Hiring a PR agency who knows the right journalists in your market is advantageous to you because they’ll get your story covered in the media more often. Since most media outlets have websites, they’ll publish your news online too! Often it’s a good idea to hire a talented PR Company AND an online marketer who knows the Internet and is skilled in getting your articles, news and press releases published online on Google News, Yahoo! News and your industry’s news websites and online discussion lists. This is a powerful online / offline “1-2 punch” that will boost your visibility, website traffic and sales!

Traditional media — such as billboards, banners, newspapers, magazines, television, radio and telephone directories — involve marketing tools such as paid print advertisements, commercials and news releases. This approach focuses on a one-way sales push and relies on reaching high numbers of people to ensure success. Advertising is a costly marketing tool; however, traditional media outlets remain the most trusted sources of information, according to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer survey.

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Among the more direct promotional tools are salespeople and influencers. Salespeople are employees who contact or engage customers using assertive selling techniques. This often includes asking questions, listening to customer needs and using persuasive efforts to sell product or service benefits. Peer or professional influencers are prominent people in the public who favor your product. Companies often ask consumers or professionals to share company news, information and experiences with others.

Infographics are another form of content that have grown in popularity in recent years. They are a marketing powerhouse, because they allow you to compile and present complex topics in an engaging, visual way.

DS106: Digital Storytelling and Social Media. Get involved in the massively popular online course/social experiment that will help you gain a better understanding of digital storytelling and how it influences social media.

Marketing creates an avenue of exchange between a business and a customer, note Alvin J. Silk, author of “What Is Marketing?” Businesses use various marketing tools to communicate information, stimulate customer interest and motivate action. An integrated marketing approach applies several tactics to engage customers and build business.

Content marketing is not a new concept. In fact, John Deere started the trend in 1895 when they released The Furrow, an agricultural magazine. Other companies like Jell-O and Michelin followed suit with recipe books and automotive tips. Content marketing is important because it helps build your brand and inspire confidence in your company. In fact, six out of ten consumers say that after reading a custom publication, they feel better about the company.

Hey there, @oyebilan:disqus! Awesome to hear you’ve done some of these already 🙂 I’ve heard that this Digital Marketing Specialization is up there with the best: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/digital-marketing

Analytics software exists to tell you how users find your site and what they do once they get there. By combing through the data, you can figure out which content resonates most with your users. Focusing on what really works can save time – but it means ensuring that marketing pros get weekly analytics updates and reports that help them turn insights into action.

4. Make sure your existing marketing materials promote your online presence. Make sure that all of your print advertising; business cards, letterhead, etc. display your web address. In addition, you should mention your website address on your phone message, in the signature of the emails of everyone in your company, and in any radio or television advertising. This simple step can drive a good deal of highly qualified prospects to your site for relatively little cost, but many companies are still using the same marketing materials that they used before they had a website (and missing out on a great opportunity to build traffic).

Search engine optimization cannot be underestimated in the world of constant Googling. Pick up a book or head over to an online how-to-guide on SEO and make sure your site is primed for performance on search engines.

In this day and age, a limited budget is no reason to tamper your marketing aspirations. There are plenty of options available and the two online marketing strategies discussed here are virtually guaranteed wins if you can give them the focus they deserve.

This introductory class is perfect for marketers, brands, small business, freelancers, and everyone looking to harness the potential of paid social advertising. By the end, you’ll be ready to run your first social media ad campaign — and connect with customers, convert views into action, and drive impact for long-term business success! Brian Peters (Digital Marketing Strategist at Buffer) walks through his process for custom social media advertising strategies.

Aimed primarily at an audience of beginners, the program does a good job of introducing novice digital marketers to the world of online marketing. But the course’s open availability, lack of mentored guidance and access to expert instructors make completing the specialization challenging for self-learners. Unlike some of the other courses on this list, Coursera’s offering does not include on-demand support for premium customers.

Digital marketing methods such as search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, influencer marketing, content automation, campaign marketing, data-driven marketing,[6] e-commerce marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, e-mail direct marketing, display advertising, e–books, and optical disks and games are becoming more common in our advancing technology. In fact, digital marketing now extends to non-Internet channels that provide digital media, such as mobile phones (SMS and MMS), callback, and on-hold mobile ring tones.[7]

Providing free content, resources and interactive tools on our website to attract your target market is a great strategy for increasing your sales and leads. The more interactive your website is, the more likely your visitors will experience satisfaction with it and use it as a resource. For example, Andy King at WebsiteOptimization.com offers the free “Web Page Analyzer” tool which analyzes the performance of web pages and give recommendations for improvement. This free tool is truly helpful to webmasters and gets more than 2.4 times as much traffic as the home page. This free tool generates more leads than any other page on Andy King’s website!

Get the most bang for your buck (though technically it’s free, so not exactly!) with this course/challenge from Google. You’ll cover everything from the basics of digital marketing, fundamentals of SEO, search and display advertising, social media, basic analytics, video, and more. It’s one of the most comprehensive trainings out there, perfect if you’re looking for something all-encompassing on a single easy-to-use platform.

Clean page URLs – The URL structure for your pages shouldn’t be gibberish (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/blog/content123xyz-asdfkla). They should be simple and easy to read (i.e. http://yourdomain.com/blog/how-to-do-seo).

3. Litmus: Of course, all your lovingly crafted emails need some testing. There are just too many different combinations of browser, email client and device to leave it up to chance. Litmus makes testing how your emails will display on those different clients and browsers really easy.

The easiest way to start is to simply enter your keyphrase into Google and see what comes up. For example, when KlientBoost contacted me about putting together content around the keyphrase “landing page examples”, the first thing we did was look at the SERPs to see what was ranking.

Having a strong online presence is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, no matter what size your business is or what industry it belongs to. And while building your online presence can be time consuming and frustrating, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

I would like to see a reply from the guys at SumoMe… Jennifer just raised an issue that shows that, while nothing is for free, secretly harnessing “Google status points” on paying customers isn’t really ethical. I understand getting something back from free customers, but not from paying customers that specifically pay to have the service not “sucking blood” on their Google “status”.

More than 88% of all Internet users look for websites, products and services by using search engines and online directories. Approximately 90% of the clicks on the search engine results pages (SERPs) are on the top 3 ranked websites (not the paid listings). Plus the top sites are considered “more trustworthy” and there are no pay-per-click fees involved which means lots of low-cost high-quality visitors for you. In other words, if your site isn’t listed at or near the top, it may as well not exist!

Annie, I can see why local online search results would be a major area of importance for online marketing. It seems like such an excellent way to increase awareness in your local area. I’d assume that this would work better for smaller businesses.

It all starts with having your own website and from there you can have a platform to build an audience while learning vital skills that will massively increase your social reach and income like SEO, growth hacking, conversion optimization, copywriting and email marketing.

Designed for beginners to digital marketing, these introductory courses are not as comprehensive as some of the other offerings on our list. Professionals interested in the AMA’s Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) credential will benefit the most from these modules.

5. Be a Social Networker. Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Add Instagram in there too if your business is image-oriented. Also check out this list of easy Facebook marketing ideas for any type of business.

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