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The New Medium is Still the Message!

February 26, 2013
Don't be intimidated by internet jargon, embrace it.
Last week, we talked how those in non-profit marketing can make social/digital media work harder for them. We stressed that you should indeed "get in the game" — but have reasonable expectations. It's not the "be-all, end-all" — but a new element that should be included in your marketing mix.
We thought it would make sense to round out the discussion this week by covering a couple of BASIC principals you need to consider when thinking about the digital marketing and your organization. Many non-profits find themselves in one of two scenarios when establishing an online presence:
  1. You don't have a website and will be launching one sometime in the near future (yes Virginia, there are still people out there who aren't represented on the internet!!)
  2. You do have a website that has been up for a while but isn't attracting more "eyeballs.”
These two situations came to mind for us recently when a non-profit client was curious about how they could get more "hits" or "eyeballs" to their website. Should they be sending out more press releases about their site? (which obviously you can do). Should they link their site to other relevant sites? (which you also can do). But online marketers can do more.
Start with these two questions: What have you done to maximize site potential i.e. steps to ensure "SEO"? What are you doing in "Key Word Optimization?"
Our client looked at us like we were from Mars!
When we explained what SEO meant — "Search Engine Optimization" — they immediately "got it.” SEO is the method of ensuring that search engines — Google, Bing and the like — list your organization and/or website when someone types in a relevant non-profit category and/or locale and hits "search." SEO makes certain that your entity is on the "pop up" list. WHERE on the list will depend on whether you pay the search engine for a specific placement i.e. you want to be #1 or among the top three etc.
By working with a top search engine-utilizing SEO, our non-profit friend dramatically increased the number of visitors to his site.
It was a similar experience in our discussion regarding "Key Word Optimization." Our non-profit collegues didn't know that certain words or phrases, based on their relevance to a category or high volume use on search engines, can trigger visits to your website. You can contact the Googles and Bings of this world and work with them on finding the most pertinent words and phrases to help maximize these potential website hits. The cost varies from search engine to search engine.
Now that you are more educated about digital, social, blogs, internet, websites, SEO and Key Word Optimization, feel free to explore the web at will!

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How Non-Profits Can Profit from all the Tools in the Marketing Tool Box

February 20, 2013
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the blogosphere — the list of social and digital platforms grows every day. And with this growth comes the belief among marketers that each will be the future savior of the brand, company, and product or in our case, the non-profit. Conventional wisdom — demonstrated by the tremendous numbers of eyeballs and viewers these vehicles attract — is that each entity can navigate the new landscape and leverage some or all of what is available.

We've taken the plunge at Mitch-Stuart, Inc. and believe we're laying the foundation for our future in this arena.

No doubt you should get involved in the social-digital media "space" — but there is a caveat. We were speaking with a friend recently who is the Director of New Media for a large, well-known multi-national ad agency. His specialty is social-digital experiences.

With everyone looking to him and his "bag of new tricks" as the proverbial silver bullet for a renewed and revitalized success for their brand or product, his honest response was:

"I'm just a ‘new tool in the tool box.’ We still need to be doing traditional marketing activities with traditional media IN CONCERT WITH a social-digital media effort. We are not a stand-alone function who will save the day. We can add new dimension, new ways of reaching our target audiences — but we work best when we all work together."

At Mitch-Stuart, Inc. — we're successfully doing traditional marketing — with the added power of social and digital efforts — and here are some of the benefits we are seeing.

Facebook — In mere months we've designed a page that serves as a sounding board for ideas such as contests and photo displays and we now have a presence in this "must-have" medium. We also use Facebook to link to our newly created blog and highlight news of the company.

Twitter — In 140 characters or less, every day we tweet out news of interest to potential customers and clients. We have seen our followers grow, re-tweet, favorite our comments and we reciprocate to other like-minded "tweeters" in the travel/non-profit space. We're not only generating buzz about our company, but of industry news and trends.

YouTube — Here is a situation where we are exploring to find the best way to use the platform. We recommend strategizing the best way to use each of the tools to reach your audience and tell your story.

Blog — The Mitch-Stuart blog you are reading provides a place for us to demonstrate our expertise as well as give "shout-outs" to great clients with great stories to tell. We see our posts linked to other companies and do the same for theirs. Our blog also helps to provide us with ideas for direct mail, publicity and our upcoming newsletter. It also gives us the opportunity to comment on timely topics and start conversations with readers.

Stay tuned, there's a lot more to come!

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