Intent Based Branding

For any small business, new leads and revenue is their life source. Google has trended so much towards branding and giving authority and trust to those who have that, that it’s a must in your digital marketing strategy. With intent based branding, you are able to reveal traffic of people who are already visiting your site, remarket to them via email, ads, or direct mail, and stay fresh in their mind when their buying window for your product or service is at its’ peak. To learn more about intent based branding and if your website is set up correctly to be more visible in Google, visit Freewebsitegrader.IO

Digital Marketing Boot Camp: Lessons Learned to Connect with Your Online Audience

By Nick Mattar

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s inaugural Digital Marketing Boot Camp, held on Feb. 15 at the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, brought together more than 200 attendees for a half-day of dialogue on improving the digital marketing footprint of their businesses.

Keynote speakers and panelists provided attendees with recommendations and to-dos that could be implemented immediately.

View key takeaways from the event below and check out the Chamber’s recap of the day.

The Evolving Social Media Landscape and What It Means for Your Business

  • Before embarking on a major social media campaign, consider the overarching “why” as much as the tactical “what” and “how.”
  • Don’t fall for “shiny object syndrome,” which is the desire to have the latest and greatest tech or social media capabilities (i.e. don’t rush your company onto Snapchat if you cannot answer the “why.”)
  • Your company’s website is its home – it must facilitate the campaign’s end goals, so it needs to be user-friendly and mobile responsive.
  • Instagram is the social media platform with the highest engagement rate, whereas Facebook reaches the lowest percentage of followers.
  • Email marketing is the digital marketing platform with the highest conversion rate, such as sales, event registrations or anything else that involves turning a lead into a customer.

Trends and Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Your company’s message should be adjusted to resonate with the audience that is being targeted.
  • When it comes to social publishing tools, do not “set and forget” but instead keep an eye on your posts at all times to monitor conversations and remain authentic.
  • Data and research are necessary to evaluate user behavior; your (the employee’s) experience is not the same as the user’s experience.
  • “Dark social” media is the social media conversation occurring without a hashtag or is otherwise difficult to find – more than 70 percent of your brand’s discussion could occur in this space.
  • If you are targeting millennials, you should probably be on Snapchat.
  • To combat Facebook’s decreasing engagement, set a budget for your Facebook page rather than depending solely on organic engagement.

Putting the Human Touch Back Into Your Online Presence

  • A brand’s online presence is a reflection of the brand’s story, thus it should not be solely focused on selling products and making money.
  • Successful online brands and names are rooted in the ability of viewers and customers to relate to the brand.
  • Your social media posts should not always focus on selling products, but rather writing materials that your audience wants to read.
  • Social media is the essence of speaking – use your voice and don’t try to “deliver” the information.

Looking for more facts and analytics to bolster your digital marketing strategy? Check out MLive’s Digital Marketing eBook, produced exclusively for the Digital Marketing Boot Camp.

Plus, learn more tips and read a full recap of the Chamber’s Digital Marketing Boot Camp here.

Nick Mattar is the director of marketing at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

5 SEO Strategies That Will Turbocharge Your Website

By Jason Wize
Managing Partner
MediaProNow

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Jason Wize photo black and white

Jason Wize is the managing partner at MediaProNow.

The world of SEO was relatively peaceful last year, but don’t blink.  Smart digital marketers understand that it’s critical to stay current on trends and also see what’s looming on the horizon.  The formula to move up in search engine results pages (SERP) is always changing but you can dramatically improve your ranking on Google in five simple steps.

1. Fix All Technical Issues

Correct Visibility Issues

In order for Google and the other search engines to properly index your website it must be visible.  That means you must ensure that none of your website pages are blocked by robots.txt.  This can prevent Google from seeing your website.  You should also eliminate any pages that load with a “page error.”  Google Search Console is a free tool you can install on your website to monitor exactly how it’s being viewed by Google.  Any pages with redirects should be 301 and always install antivirus software to eliminate any malware that could be hidden on pages.

Meta data is the first place Google looks for information about your website.  Each page of your website should contain a unique page title (55-60 characters in length) and page description (160 characters or less).  Duplicate page titles and descriptions can confuse Google so be sure they’re original and accurately describe the content for that page.

Another basic but essential tool for analyzing your website’s performance is Google Analytics.  This free tool measures all key website performance indicators and many other data points as well.

Speed Rules

Google rewards websites with fast loading times and speed has become an important factor in their algorithm.  Check out Google’s speed test analyzer to see exactly where you stand.  One simple strategy to increase your website’s speed is to compress image files whenever possible.

Link Issues

Inspect your website for any broken or toxic links.  Google and the other search engines may penalize your SERP if your site contains too many dead or bad links.  You can use a free tool like Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider to identify and fix any broken links.

Pay special attention to how your website URLs are created.  It’s necessary to have descriptive URLs that are functional and navigation that is logically organized with a consistent URL structure.  For example, a URL such as http://www.your-website.com/services/search-engine-optimization will be viewed more favorably than http://www.your-website.com/categories/page02/index.html.


MORE: Check out the essential steps to improving your website’s SEO at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15


SEO 22. Identify Profitable Keywords

Keyword research is critical to any successful SEO campaign.  Remember that keywords can come in many varieties so it’s important to look for primary and related keywords.  Check out Google’s Keyword Planner to identify keywords, monthly traffic and much more.

3. Mobile Ready and Friendly

In 2015, Google announced that non-mobile ready websites could see negative results in SERP.  That change, which has been dubbed Mobilegeddon, was an algorithm update that gives mobile friendly websites preference in SERPs.  Use Google’s free Mobile Ready tool to analyze your website’s responsiveness.

4. Content Is King

Amazing content is still the best way to make your website stand out above your competition.  However, some caveats should be considered.  Word count is not a key factor anymore, rather quality content is.  The downfall for most websites is duplicate content.  Google really dislikes any duplicate content.  Use Copyscape or another filtering tool to check your website for any duplicate content.

5. Take a NAP

Not literally, however your website and business must have a consistent Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) across the internet.  If your street address is on an avenue it’s important that you be consistent if you use the abbreviation or if you spell it out.  Same is true with your brand name.  If your company is an “Inc.,” be sure to refer to the business in exactly the same manner anywhere a digital footprint is created.

SEO success does not have to be overly complicated.  There are many factors to consider but it’s important to start with the basics.  Use these five strategies to make sure your website is ready for Google and the other search engines to take notice and great results will follow.

Jason Wize is the managing partner at MediaProNow, a leading provider of digital marketing solutions for businesses, organizations and individuals.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Welcome to the Age of Ephemeral Marketing

By Eric Hultgren
Director of Marketing
MLive Media Group

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

As marketers we have spent years, and in some cases careers, crafting campaigns that stick in the mind of the consumer. These campaigns could have been commercials with catchy jingles, logos that burn into the zeitgeist of an entire country, and products that define a decade or if you were lucky, a generation.

In 2006 the marketing industry was introduced to the idea of media that was social and in the past decade has adapted to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram. But four years ago an app appeared on the scene that once again turned the marketing world on its ear, Snapchat.

Comscore ranked Snapchat as one of the fastest growing apps in its 2015 mobile report along with Uber, Tinder, and Fitbit. The largest demographic on the platform are millennials and with $200 billion in annual buying power marketers are working hard to connect with them. The idea behind Snapchat is simple at first and perhaps why it has been so easily dismissed by brands and marketers alike as the “thing” that teens would use to send provocative photos to one another. But the idea of ephemeral marketing, or messages that disappear after 10 seconds, not only opens a new lane of content creation, but it more closely mirrors the way in which human beings interact with one another when a device is not a part of the equation.

If two people meet at a coffee shop and begin a conversation, when that conversation ends it is not recorded for all eternity as a series of 0’s and 1’s, instead it disappears as a fleeting moment between two people in which they begin to build more moments together that evolve from a singular meeting into a full fledged relationship.

Isn’t that the goal of your marketing? Turn people into customers, customers into advocates, and advocates into magnets to bring their friends to your brand through word of mouth (WOM)?

A study done for the International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences found that “most marketing firms do not see social media as a vehicle for cultivating and winning customer loyalty” (Nadeem, 2015) This statement is not reflective of how a brand should act in the marketing space in 2016 or certainly 2017. In a post-Snowden era, customers want a footprint in the social media landscape that isn’t overtly tracked and re-messaged the way it might on Facebook or Instagram. Thus, it should not surprise marketing practitioners that Snapchat should be, if not part of the marketing mix in 2017, at least be something with which the marketing team experiments.

Before a strategy can be crafted it is important to understand where the app came from in order to predict the trajectory of its next 12 to 16 months. In the summer of 2011 Evan Speigl, Bob Murphy, and Reggie Brown launched an early version of the app at Stanford University. In its earliest iteration it was called Pictaboo and by the fall of 2011 they only had 127 users. A disagreement among the three founders led to Reggie Brown being removed from the company. At that point, Speigl and Murphy changed the name to Snapchat.

Toward the end of 2011 the team noticed that use of the app spiked between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., which was when high school students were in school and flocking to the app that made their photos “disappear.” Those photos were called snaps. Snapchat crested past 100,000 users in the beginning of 2012 and they received funding from Lightspeed Ventures to build a server system to address the growing user base.

Snapchat’s next evolution was the video snap in which Facebook responded with the “poke” that emulated Snapchat down to the “ephemerality” of the poke disappearing. The poke did not stick but helped raise the awareness for Snapchat who experienced its second growth spurt and by February of 2013 was seeing over 60 million snaps a day. By the summer of 2013 users sent 150 million snaps a day and Taco Bell became the first brand to join the platform.

Taco Bell was one of the first brands to launch a Snapchat account and announced it on its Twitter account, just another step toward this moment of ephemeral marketing.

In the fall of 2013 Snapchat stories appear which is when Snapchat allows users to string together 10-second snaps that stay in narrative form for 24 hours. Snapchat stories were the app’s answer to a timeline. In November of that year Facebook reportedly offered to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion dollars. Evan Spiegl turned the offer down as Snapchat had yet to monetize the platform.

A year later, Snapchat introduced “our story” which was Snapchat’s first attempt at curating snaps around live events like the Super Bowl, The Grammys, elections, or holidays. In January of 2015, Snapchat would launch “Discover” which would be a curated list of publishers who create an always-on daily refreshed channel guide with media partners like Vice, ESPN, The Food Network, CNN, VOX, and MTV.


MORE: Learn about Snapchat and other upcoming social media innovations at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


Next, Snapchat introduced geofilters so users could continue to customize their snaps with stamps that would help to add context to the images the users’ friends would see. McDonald’s was the first brand to launch geofliters at all of their locations, a move that Taco Bell would emulate –  they recently created a Quesalupa filter for all the stores for the launch of their new food item.

Snapchat also understood that the platform could be daunting and confusing at times, so they launched a “safety center” in conjunction with three non-profits in order to create a place where teachers and parents could learn about the platform and how they could better understand how their children might use Snapchat and the pitfalls to avoid.

That brings us to the modern era of marketing where brands have access to more information about their customer than ever before. Yet, few brands seem to execute social strategy with any sort of depth and even fewer understand the potential that a platform like Snapchat can provide those who adopt early. In fact, 95% of businesses have social media accounts but fewer than 50% of them use them with any regularity. When you speak specifically about Snapchat, that number drops as many brands just don’t understand how to execute on the platform.

Earlier this year, Buzzfeed did a piece where author Ben Rosen enlisted the help of his 13-year-old sister and her friend in order to understand the platform better. In the course of the experiment Rosen asked his sister’s friend what her parents thought: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment. Capturing that with your friends or with your expression.”

Snapchat is the idea of being in the moment that most brands struggle with and why after this tweet was sent out in the Super Bowl of 2012, many brands rushed to create war rooms for this sort of ephemeral marketing:

Oreo tweet screenshot from the Super Bowl and how it relates to Snapchat as the new age of ephemeral marketing

So what makes Snapchat so different? Aside from the ephemeral nature, the platform actually works in the opposite direction of every other social medium out there. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest scroll from the top of the screen or device towards the bottom as new content arrives like a waterfall into the various “newsfeeds” of those platforms. Snapchat swipes right to left and up to down giving a depth to the platform that becomes both more immersive and harder to pick up intuitively.

So why should you pay attention?

First, because 78% of the population is using social media in the United States and second, because the 150 million users (60% of them under the age of 30) on Snapchat are highly engaged with the app. These users send snaps to their friends and are looking for fun and entertaining content that they spend time on the app with. In fact, two-thirds of users on Snapchat create content daily (10 billion streams of video a day) and upwards of 12,000 photos are shared every second on the platform.

To put that in perspective, it would take you 10 years to watch the snaps that will be created in the next hour and when it comes to sharing photos Facebook and Instagram cannot even compete with that volume even though Facebook has a user base that is ten times the size. In a recent study from Edison Research, it found that Snapchat is currently the most powerful social medium in the United States with the ages of 12-24 and is the second most used social media application in the United States overall. There is even research from the University of Michigan that shows using Snapchat makes the users happier.

What should your brand do on Snapchat?

We spoke with Jill Thomas, vice president of global marketing at Cinnabon who said, “we are very, very clear about who the brand is – the voice and message. We have one brand voice. So what that means is you have to trust those with a role in our social voice to do the right thing.”

Once you understand your voice, what should you create?

There are two ways you can go here. You can create a new story every day like Cinnabon and Taco Bell might do, but for some brands that might be a bit daunting. The other option is to storyboard a bit and put out content on a consistent basis, just not every day. Cyrene Q is a Snapchatter who creates really elaborate snap stories 2-3 times a week taking the time to hand-draw her content:

Many people are familiar with Snapchatter Cyrene Q, who creates elaborate snap stories by taking the time to hand-draw her content.

The lesson is to be intentional with the content. According to Thomas, “the team is so highly committed and engaged because we all have a shared passion for the brand. For me, that comes from the responsibility of managing a brand that is beloved by the consumer… we all feel a responsibility to our brand fans to do our very best.”

Of course, you are still going to get the questions about return on investment, and again Jill Thomas sums it up nicely. “Anybody who is trying to do the math – doesn’t really get the beauty of it. (But yes, we do math and understand what we can about the interaction.) When you are early into something you don’t want to get bogged down with that. Also, I don’t need those numbers to tell me that Snapchat is the right place to be. Ask any 16-30 year old and they’ll tell you. Maybe other brands aren’t asking the right questions?”

Eric Hultgren will moderate a panel discussion at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp

Princeton Enterprises Acquires Park Terrance Apartments

Bloomfield Hills, Mich., October 10, 2013 —Princeton Enterprises, a privately held real estate investment company based in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. is pleased to announce the purchase of Park Terrace Apartments in Toledo, Ohio.

Princeton purchased the 208 unit garden-style apartment community on September 17, 2013 from Tritex Park Terrace of Atlanta. Tony Plath, from the Toledo offices of Reichle Klein Group, handled the sale on behalf of the sellers.

Park Terrace Apartments provides its residents with superior accommodations that include a clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, and laundry facilities. Individual apartment homes feature one or two bedrooms, unique floorplans with island kitchens, oversized closets, and private entries.

Located in south Toledo, Park Terrace is situated along the Tarta bus line and within minutes of Interstates I-80/90, I-475, I-23, numerous country clubs, local shopping, dining, and entertainment venues. Park Terrace is just a short drive to the Swan Creek Preserve Metropark, the Maumee River and the Audubine Islands Nature Preserve, the University of Toledo Medical Center and the University of Toledo Health Campus, the Glass Bowl Stadium, and Fallen Timbers Battlefield.

“We are pleased to add Park Terrace Apartments to our growing Toledo portfolio. The community is very well located and simply put … a pleasant place to live,” commented Matt Lester, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Princeton Enterprises. “The Toledo apartment market has rebounded nicely through 2013 and all indicators suggest the market will continue to grow, strengthen, and improve throughout the year.”

For additional information on this announcement or Princeton Enterprises, please contact Michele Dreer at (248) 683-2500 or m.dreer@prinmgmt.com.

Princeton Enterprises, L.L.C., located in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., is a premier real estate acquisition, development, and property management company that enjoys one of the finest reputations for successfully acquiring, repositioning and operating a diverse portfolio of real estate assets. Founded in 1994 by Matthew B. Lester, the company has grown to more than 500 employees, overseeing nearly 10 properties and 18,000 individual apartment units in ten states, including Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina and South Carolina.

BuyMichLocal.com Partners with LocalVox.com to Optimize Online Presence for Michigan Businesses

Royal Oak, Mich. – BuyMichLocal.com, a Michigan directory that promotes local businesses through its website, email blasts and social media, has now partnered with LocalVox.com to improve online reputations for Michigan businesses. Social reputation changes how consumers see a business and impacts return rates and retention for customers. This partnership makes BuyMichLocal.com a dynamic expert in local searches for small to medium sized businesses to generate results and increase customers by ranking companies higher on over 100+ directories including search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.

There are over 100 million local online searches every day. Eighty seven percent of people who search for a local business call or go to that business within 24 hours of their search. Online reputations on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Foursquare and more determine if consumers choose your business or head elsewhere. Having a positive online reputation has never been more important.

Online reputations are essential for the success of a business. Even for companies foreign to the social media world, BuyMichLocal.com and LocalVox.com have provided a solution to manage the complex online marketing realm.

LocalVox (http://localvox.com) is the leading online marketing solution for local businesses and publishers. LocalVox’s mission is to make local online marketing simple, effective and affordable to enable all businesses to market like big brands. The company is headquartered in New York City and was named one of the six fast growing tech companies by Forbes and ten hottest NYC startups in 2012 by Business Insider.

BuyMichLocal.com is a great new resource for consumers who prefer to patronize Michigan-based stores, products and services, rather than large corporate entities headquartered in faraway places. It’s a quick way to find special features, background information, reviews and special deals from businesses in the Detroit Metro Area, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Traverse City, with the rest of the state to follow! Whether seeking a local hardware expert rather than a big box retailer, a Bed and Breakfast or family inn, as opposed to national hotel chain, or a delicious meal cooked from scratch in a hometown restaurant, BuyMichLocal wants to help all enjoy an authentic Michigan experience every day.

BuyMichLocal.com is headquarter out of Royal Oak, Michigan servicing the entire state with their local marketing efforts, online search ranking and state loyalty programs.