Pre Launch of my New Website

lineage_dynamic_content

I have decided to build a new website for my project which happens to be a clothing line catering to a specific niche. I noticed there is a need and not many businesses doing a great job in fulfilling the niche. As I get closer to re-launching my website with new products, new features, and better digital marketing I will regularly blog and post updates about my journey.

My first step was identifying a platform to utilize for my store front one that had a significant app marketplace so I could add powerful features to the website that would support my sales efforts and customer retention. I ultimately decided to use Shopify with their beautiful free and responsive website theme’s I figured it was a good choice. The next step was to conduct keyword research to build content around and begin writing content to publish on my site. Next I continued to get all my image files and finalize product mockups and descriptions.

Now I am in the process of publishing the website and running a highly targeted AdWords campaign on a budget to get short term traffic while I continually work on developing my organic traffic initiatives. I have been regularly posting on my social media platforms to drive traffic to my website when it is officially launched.

Moving forward, I will post regular updates about the test I will be running to optimize my store and turn a profit so stay tuned!

Why Display Ads Suck and How Marketers Destroy Everything.

Why Marketers Destroy Everything

 

This is probably a little odd considering I am a digital marketer myself but oh well. The problem I have with advertising is display ads and promotional ads that show up within apps, programs or websites. I know people have to eat and pay bills. I’m ok with that, but the problem comes when I am trying to watch Youtube and I am swarmed by a barrage of pop-up ads that are irrelevant and disrupt what I am doing.

Interruption marketing died a long time ago and it is not an effective means of promoting products. Speaking from personal experience online paid ads are generally very poorly targeted. For example, youtube ads are the worse. I would be curious to see the click through rate or ROI on these ads because I know from personal experience I get hit with a lot of irrelevant video ads that usually has nothing to do with my online searches. According to Smart Insights, the average click-through rate for display ads in April 2015 is .06% which is roughly 1 click per 1000 impressions. While this could potentially be attributed to poor copy writing, imagery and poor targeting but this is still a very low Click Through Rate.

I believe moving forward as marketers we need to have better-targeted ads and conduct better research. We need to learn more about our target audience such as their needs, wants and desires. We need research our markets better and understand their needs moving forward rather than running poorly targeted ads and risk tarnishing their brand.

How to Utilize Holidays for your Social Media Campaigns and Inspire Engagement!

How to Inspire Engagement on Social Media During Holiday’s and Special Events

The holidays can be a time to make an emotional connection with your audience and social following and inspire engagement on your platforms. This isn’t just limited to holiday’s though, it is important to stay up to date with current and ongoing trends within your niche or industry to capitalize on them. If there is breaking news in your industry be at the forefront and publicize it or use it for content creation in addition to any scheduled content your business intends to push this week. If there are social justice issues occurring around and it’s appropriate for your industry, use that as well to generate content to inspire greater engagement. Just make sure it is tactful and take into consideration of any backlash that may occur.

To put this tactic into action do  some research into your current followers and see what types of content they share. Spend some time researching their profiles and keep an eye out for trends. That doesn’t mean creep on your audience and stalk them be professional but dig deep. Do some secondary research as well utilize Google and see what sort of issues are currently trending within your niche or industry that your audience may be interested in.

Fortunately, there is an awesome tool for this called Klout. Klout will give you notifications into what is popular and trending within your industry so you can save time searching for content. If that isn’t enough buzz sumo also provides some pretty great insight into trending topics you can reshare as well throughout your social platforms. Let’s not forget another great content tool Google! That’s right Google is great for finding meme’s and hunting down other content to share throughout your niche as well. If you’re particularly handy with the adobe creative suite you can make some pretty neat visual content pieces as well.

So how did this work out in my case? Well, let’s take a look.

Sample PostI was at a bit of an advantage as I am a part of the niche group I am currently targeting. I am a Native American and as such I am aware of social issues surrounding headdresses being worn as a decorative pieces. I knew from current news, events and my own personal dislike for headdresses being used as a decorative piece that this post was highly likely to resonate within my social platforms. Of course performance does depend on the social platform you choose to post on as well. I know from previous experience and research that Tumblr is a hotbed for social issues so beginning on that platform was a no brainer.

Roughly after 30 minutes or so of posting my content piece was picked up and shared a number of times. So let’s take a look at how it performed.

Social Shares

The content piece had been picked up and reblogged an astonished 387 times in the course of under a day. This was impressive considering the small following I had. Before even posting the piece I only had roughly 70 or so followers. This is a good tactic to spread your reach and increase engagement across your platforms when used tactfully. It is important to understand your audience prior to utilizing this tactic and be able to anticipate any potential backlash.

“How do I know what my first goal/priority should be with a new start-up”

“Me and my friend are starting a bags and backpacks line. The idea is to make fashionable items for men that travel often. Businessmen, travelers, sportsmen. Of course we don’t have the money to hire a marketing agency and this is our first personal endeavour.

Personally I’ve read a lot about marketing and start ups. I really like it. Subreddits like this one are that pushed me to go beyond my 9-5. I’ve read a lot, like I said, so I know that a successful marketing strategy is based on a specific goal. But what should be my first goal or priority: brand awareness? generate leads? sales?

I guess awareness leads to leads, leads leads to sale; so starting from generating awareness is startingfrom the beginning?” 

 Original Reddit Post

This was a question that was asked on Reddit and I think this is a great time to talk about marketing strategies in terms of bootstrapping for a startup company. More often than not when starting a company the most important aspect is to make sales of course and create brand awareness. Generally the entrepreneur is on a budget and still trying to validate their business model here are some tactics I employed when I launched my own start up Native American clothing line with extremely little funding.

In the beginning I relied heavily on social media to generate brand awareness. Primarily instagram I found it extremely useful for what I was trying to accomplish since in my opinon facebook is too saturated with companies already. At first I would hashtag what I thought were relevant keywords and then incorporated the free instagram analytics program Iconosquare. This program gave me insight into my instagram marketing campaign and let me know which specific hashtags were performing well along with my top followers, best times to post, which types of media were performing the best.

Secondly, once my instagram hit roughly 300 followers I started doing research on how various growth hacking techniques and stumbled upon followliker. This program used bots to crawl through social media profiles based on a set criteria of keywords. This allowed me to grow my instagram from 300 followers to over 1800 people fairly quick. I know this is not a huge amount but it got me a page in a magazine and I was able to funnel traffic to my ecommerce website.

Lastly, I used bigcartel which has several pricing options including a free website as well. This allowed me to sell products for free without a substantial investment in the beginning. I also incorporated google analytics to get greater insight into where my traffic was coming from so I could better tailor my social media campaigns as well.

All in all brand awareness = leads which = sales. You can not get leads without brand awareness at first and social media is a great resource to begin with. I managed to launch a clothing line with a small investment of $300 or so and a lot of hardwork. Anything is possible.

( I would highly recommend checking out Iconosquare and followliker) 

 

Update: Graphic Design work

Disclaimer: I did not go to school to be a Graphic designer nor do I have any formal training or education. I am passionate about design and have been studying it for some time now.

Here is a recent flyer I did for an organization at UNC Greensboro.

American Indian week flyer

Recent flyer I did to promote an event for my clothing line.

free shirt giveaway

lake scene

Social Media Marketing : Instagram vs. Facebook

As of late I have been trying to determine the best platform to market my start up company. I think Facebook is becoming obsolete for marketing a company on. It is hard for potential consumers to search based on hashtags and allow me to segment my target market clearly.

Fortunately Instagram allows me to add hashtags and it lets my products be easily searchable. This is great for building a quicker following and redefining my focus instead of solely relying on Facebook or Twitter. I think Facebook is great but as of right now it has not gotten me a rapid following like Instagram has right now. Hopefully my following will continue to grow and I can run my kickstarter soon.

 

Lineage logo

In Anticipation of the Launch of my Company.

I have been developing a business concept I had roughly a year ago. I want to launch a company centered around bringing a fresh perspective and approach to designing clothing apparell with Native American Designs. This is a niche that I believe has a lot of potential and has not been done successfully yet.

“I hope to educate generations on our proud Native American culture and Rich history. We want to inspire people to look into their own lineage as well. Our company firmly believe’s it is important to better understand our past so we can strengthen our own future.”

Educate Inspire Achieve

Permission Marketing

I have been reading a lot lately and I came across a famous marketer whom most people probably already know of “Seth Godin”. He has a book called “Permission Marketing”. He explains that marketers need to think of marketing in terms of one on one interactions as opposed to mass marketing techniques or interruption marketing as he coins it. A good exerpt from the book is ”

The camp uses permission marketing to accomplish this. The first step is to advertise at camp fairs and in magazines that feature groups of ads from summer camps. But unlike virtually all of her competitors, Joanne isn’t trying to sell her camp. She knows that no one chooses a summer camp for their children on the basis of a two-inch square black and white advertisement.

Instead, her only goal in the ad, and at the trade show, is to get permission to send a video and a brochure. The ad sells the brochure, not the camp. Call the camp’s number and her staff will immediately qualify your interest and then send a video (perhaps the best produced camp video in the market) and the brochure (also extremely well- done.)

The only goal of the video is to get permission to have a personal meeting. It doesn’t sell the camp. It sells the meeting.

Now, fully qualified, and having seen the testimonials, the photographs, the facilities and the happy campers, the family is ready to be sold on the camp. And that’s done in person.

Once a camper attends for a summer, odds are that he or she will stay for more summers and bring a brother or sister as well. Which makes the sale worth nearly $20,000. By using Permission Marketing, Arowhon is able to make these significant step-by-step sales, with a very high efficiency.

At each step, the only goal of the next step is to expand permission. She interrupts to get permission to send a video using a small print ad, she uses the video to get permission to visit, she uses the visit to get permission to sell one summer and she uses the summer to sell six more. By focusing media on getting permission instead of making the ultimate sale, marketers are able to get far more out of their expenditures. The response rate to a free sample or an affinity program or a birthday club might be five or ten times the response rate of an ad asking for a sale.”

 

This illustrates a new revolutionary way of thinking. Hopefully we will see more companies using these techniques instead of interrupting our precious time.

Design work update!!

So I have been working and improving a lot of my design work and here is an update of some of it.

 

Jordan Lowry Business card set2

 

Custom Business card
Custom Business card

 

Custom caption
Custom caption

 

RHS dalia llama meme

The perfect fit banner

benjamin franklin meme

Content Marketing

Most recently I have noticed a huge shift in the way some companies have began to market their services and ideas. Content marketing is now king. No longer is traditional advertising an effective means to market their products or services. We are constantly bombarded with commercials and marketing messages all the time.

Fortunately there are some companies who understand this and have differentiated themselves from the competition. Two companies who really stand out when I think about content marketing are Copyblogger.com & Marketo.com . They offer free e-books and How to- books that their specific target market may find useful. While reading the book they carefully insert ways their company can assist in accomplishing these tasks. Towards the end of their books and articles they always have a call to action as well.

I decided to modify this approach and offer free logo and graphic designs to companies. I make connections and generate “leads” and take the chance to offer digital marketing services or further design services. Thank you so much copyblogger.com

 

marketo logo

copyblogger