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Original articles from Dominique Ellis.
How Not To Tweet With Your Customers
We’ve all heard the horror stories of businesses handling complaints and bad feedback on social media poorly. Social media is all about transparency and opening up new lines of communicating with customers. Some business owners, however, can feel sucker-punched when they receive negative comments.

Emails Can Generate Leads. Who Knew?
Email. Yep, it’s still around. Email blasts have long been used in digital marketing and they're not going anywhere. With easy-to-use email list management systems like MailChimp and ConstantContact, it’s easier than ever to have your own customer database. Whether you're using a purchased list or a customer database built from scratch, lists are a valuable tool in a marketer’s arsenal. However many businesses are asking, "What’s the real value of incorporating email into a marketing campaign?"

How to Build Your Brand Online and Survive the Holidays
With the passing of Thanksgiving, the holiday season is fully upon us. With nagging in-laws and diet-breaking temptations everywhere you turn, surviving the season can be tricky. Building a strong brand presence through social media is no different. How much is too much? When is the best time to share that big news? Luckily, the same rules can be applied to increasing your brand’s recognition.

Buying Facebook Fans and Other Sad Realities of Social Media Marketing
If you buy a friend, is that person really a friend? Common logic and about a dozen movies and TV shows tell us that no, you can’t buy friendship. But what about in social media? How much is a Facebook friend worth? I’m the administrator of roughly 10+ Facebook pages, so I get unsolicited emails from companies claiming they can get me 1,000 new Facebook fans.

Get Naked and Just Have Fun With It
Let’s face it: for most of us, the workday sucks. Overloaded email inboxes, filing, calls to customers, angry bosses; it’s enough to give anyone a case of the Mondays. So like any good modern office worker, we take to the social networks to relieve some of that office space stress throughout the day. Cashing in on these two items — the need for some good old-fashioned entertainment and the always-connected habits of the social networking generation, smart companies are learning that when it comes to branding online, content equals marketing gold. Ask yourself one simple question. Is your brand fun? Are your tweets, photos, and Facebook posts engaging and smart enough to keep a customer glued to your profile for more than 30 seconds? Would you follow you? One prime example of fun done right is Naked Pizza.

3 Reasons You Need A Microsite
Feeling let down by your marketing? Bamboozled? Left out in the cold with no viable data to speak of? Fear not, brave marketer. There’s a solution to all your marketing problems. I give you: the microsite. There are plenty of good reasons to integrate microsites into your marketing. Here are three great ones. 1. You have no customer database. Building a solid database of engaged and loyal customers is at the cornerstone of any solid marketing plan.

Take a Cue From Aaron Rodgers: Sell Experiences To Build Your Brand
Your brand is not your product. I repeat, your brand is not your product. Yep. Let that sink in for a minute. It’s a hard concept to grasp but to build a brand you need to sell experiences rather than just your features. Think about it. A brand should be an experience. Your product and services get people in the door. Your brand is what makes them lifelong customers. In the digital age, it’s easier for companies to build brand loyalty. The trick is to be open and find what resonates with your clientele. One brand that’s getting this right is the NFL. Let’s all take a minute to contemplate the awesomeness of Aaron Rodgers’ touchdown celebratory dance.

What Horror Movies Can Teach You About Digital Marketing
It’s that time of year. All Hallows’ Eve is upon us and the television networks have their lineups filled to the brim with monster flicks, Jason marathons, and the ever-popular It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown! So in honor of those great horror films, let’s lay the scene, shall we? It’s a dark and stormy night in October and some young pretty thing is alone in her house. What’s that she hears? An unexplainable noise outside the window? Silly girl, it’s just the tree branches scratching against the glass. All is well. Or is it? Was that a bump in the hallway?

Getting the Most out of Cross Channel Marketing – A Lesson in New Lead Generation
Cross channel marketing. We all know we’re supposed to be doing it. Facebook pages promotions and ads, sponsored Tweets, pay per click ads, email campaigns, direct mail, billboards, QR codes — any combination of these marketing channels can be leveraged together to build a greater awareness of a brand.

Apple and the Power of Listening
Finding your niche is the goal of any brand. With the death of Steve Jobs (may his greatness be always remembered) there is a plethora of articles and blogs out on Apple’s branding tactics over the years and how those efforts helped to grow one of the most successful and well-recognized companies throughout the world.

Help Me Help You: A Digital Marketer's Plea
It's not uncommon for marketers, especially those working in digital marketing, to find themselves in a similar situation. A client wants something up: a Facebook Page, a website, that promotion they’re launching on Twitter, etc. NOW. "I need this like yesterday," they say to you. And being the speedy workaholic that you are, you clear your schedule to make it happen.

The #1 Way to Ruin Your Brand
It’s a fact; branding is always changing. With the consistent innovation of technology and new ways to reach a target audience, the rules are constantly evolving. Your brand is about more than fancy logos and slogans. It’s about the personality of your company. When it comes to using branding to close a new client, however, some things, like what NOT to do, remain steadfast. The fundamentals of making a name for yourself and standing apart from the competition are basic common sense.

U.S. Adults Don't Want To Hear Your Random Marketing
A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that nearly one third of U.S. adults prefer to be contacted via text message rather than by voice calls on their mobile phones. Social commentators may have you believe that this trend means more and more adults are using technology to shy away from direct contact. The smart marketer will tell you, however, that it hardly goes that deep.

Bolster Your Brand With Gratitude
"Thank you." It’s a simple enough term of endearment and one that companies have long sought to incorporate into their branding strategies. Thanking customers for their patronage is nothing new, but as more companies include social media into their business plans, they’re looking for smart ways to leverage the medium to keep customers happy and coming back for more. Happy customers may be the hallmark of a well-executed brand, but reaching this goal isn’t done with just a fancy-schmancy logo or that oh so witty slogan. Branding takes work. These days everyone is buzzing about building a community online of loyal, engaged customers. In the new age of cross-channel marketing strategies and word-of-mouse campaigning (you read that right) it’s essential for companies to identify their brand evangelists.

Finding Your Way Through the Analytics Mire
QR codes, PURLs, direct mail, print ads, PPC ads, banner ads, Facebook shares, tweets; the ever-growing list of innovative ways to reach new customers is enough to make any marketer scream. Cross-channel marketing is quickly becoming the norm.

The Rules of Branding
Branding. It’s what smart businesses do when taking their marketing to the next level is the order of the day. Whether developed in-house or through an agency, crafting a public image and personality for a company is a vital step on the road to a business’s success. But there’s more to branding than getting your message broadcasted the right way. It’s not enough to put a message out there. When crafting your brand you have to abide by the same rules instilled in us from grade school. It’s time for some class rules. First, branding is a two-way communication. As my father likes to say: "When in doubt, shut up and listen."


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