Get Digital
Digital marketing seminars by Gorilla 76 and Evolve Digital Labs

Get Digital Video: Derek on PPC

We’ve spent some time  revisiting last year’s Get Digital seminar, focusing on the individual presentations. Derek concluded the day with a solid overview of PPC – that’s pay-per-click for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term.

The process by which Google sorts through the different web pages to find solutions to queries is complicated. We don’t even exactly know how it works – but we’re familiar enough with it to understand that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach PPC. In order to not get ripped off and completely frustrated, you’ll have to understand how AdWords works. Google is a business, and businesses want your money. If you want to use Google AdWords successfully, you have to actually know what you’re getting into. Business owners who start up a campaign in AdWords typically move forward with Google’s pre-defined settings. But is that necessarily what’s best for them? For example, Derek mentioned that Google might suggest you allow your ads to be shown on mobile devices. Sounds great, right? More spread, larger audience. But what do you think the chance is of someone converting if you don’t even have a mobile-version of your site?

Non-believers of PPC haven’t succeeded in the search engine marketing realm. If you can grasp what it takes to harness the available resources and develop a holistic plan, then you will increase your ROI. Paid search grants brands the unique opportunity to reach users that are already interested – and even actively seeking a solution.

See Derek in action below.

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Get Digital Video: Derek on SEO

Earlier we published a video summary of Derek’s “Making the Plan” presentation at Get Digital. This post is a continuation of that recap. Following a Q&A session, Derek started his Search segment by explaining the difference between “black hat” and “white hat” SEO techniques. It’s pretty simple: “black hat” SEO is quick, easy, and short-lived. “White hat” tactics, however, take more time and effort – but they naturally result in lingering success. The former is the easier way out, which is why many SEO “experts” convince their clients to participate in the act of purchasing links, rather than making an effort to rank organically over time. But does that method actually work?

Optimization is about connectivity. A surefire way to reap benefits that will actually last is to do something on your consumers’ behalf, such as creating stellar content. What kind of benefits are we talking about? ROI. Huge ROI. By creating content and building activity, your site and brand will grow in awareness, drawing in a greater portion of potential customers. Derek compared how Google views websites to an airplane terminal map. The larger terminals are the ones that have the most activity because they have the most connectivity. Websites are measured exactly the same. When you create awesome content, people will naturally link to your site, revealing to Google your level of influence.

Where can you start when creating awesome content? Start with keywords, which are essentially the power tools of your website. They connect you with your consumer. Even if you’re not ranking well for every keyword on your list, you can still focus on the few that you are ranking for and aim to refine your success.  However, be sure to remember that content should be created solely for the consumer. They’re the ones who will be digesting it, after all.

Below is a video recap of Derek’s Search Engine Optimization presentation.

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Get Digital Video: Derek Mabie on Making the Plan

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been four months since Get Digital 2 in November. As you’ll recall, Evolve Digital Labs and Gorilla 76 teamed up to produce the second ever Get Digital seminar in St. Louis, MO. Derek, the first presenter, emphasized how crucial it is to designate a manageable starting point. It’s not difficult to get overwhelmed by the number of digital mediums available. The standards – Twitter, Facebook, and the company blog – are not always easy to control. Not all at once. Additionally, it seems that more and more social media sites, applications, and tools are becoming relevant – such as Google+, foursquare, and Pinterest. How is a brand supposed to handle this much work? It’s time consuming and exhausting.

Derek made it clear in his presentation that you should start with what you can manage. What is the goal of your digital engagement? To increase sales in a particular service or product? To get more traffic to your website? Start with one channel that you are comfortable controlling. If it’s a blog, focus on generating consistent posts. If your strength is Twitter, condense all social activity to that one platform. Continue with this strategy until you are comfortable with the routine and capable of reaching the set goals.

Additionally, if creating content online isn’t easy or natural for you, find the members of your brand who excel at it. Derek mentioned that nearly 50% of young adults between the ages of 18-24 are actively producing content online already. If there are members of your team who fit into this demographic and possess this valuable skill, why not utilize their experience for your brand? Content, after all, is absolutely essential. If you don’t have any, you’re not engaging anyone.

In order to make sure the social involvement is not just a hit-or-miss time suck, but a wise investment, you must first create a tactical plan. Using the same “one-channel” mindset, start with simple weekly content plans that focus on one area. Otherwise; there are too many social platforms competing for attention and success will not happen. It sounds cliché, but it’s the truth: brands should opt for baby steps before diving headfirst into social engagement.

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The Best of Get Digital (in Tweets)

Social media is useful for a myriad of reasons. One of my favorite features of Twitter, specifically, is the ability to follow conversations around a particular subject through the use of a hashtag. At Get Digital, we encouraged all of the attendees to follow and contribute to the #GetDigital conversation. As the audience shuffled into the theater, we began to see an exciting stream of communication, whether it involved sharing newfound insight with the rest of the world, networking with those present, or simply sharing feedback. That day was absolute chaos, but now that life has started to simmer, we’ve finally had a chance to browse the vast #GetDigital tweets and choose our favorites. Thank you to all who participated — and please continue to use this hashtag and if you haven’t already, give us a follow @getdigitalnow. It’s a great way to stay connected. Long live #GetDigital!


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Recap in our own words

We want to whole-heartedly thank everyone who supported us, attended the event, contributed to the digital conversation on Twitter, and supplied us with rich feedback. Without you, this event would not have been possible. It certainly wouldn’t have been a success. We are happy to have formed many new relationships and strengthened existing ones. Hopefully you were able to meet some new faces as well.


What made Get Digital victorious is more than the valuable content that was shared from the stage. In my opinion, the reason Get Digital’s attendees left with the know-how that they did is mainly due to the copious amount of passion that seeped out of the speakers. The presenters were practically glowing with excitement, and not just because they were standing in a spotlight. It was clear to everyone how prevalent and electrifying this industry is. When the speakers are that eager to share about an industry that they respect and admire, the audience feeds off that passion and actually learns a few things.


The seminar kicked of with Derek Mabie of Evolve Digital Labs, who spoke of what it really means to Get Digital and how the different strategies, when implemented together, can fortify your overall success in the digital realm. He elaborated on paid search, since this approach is often misunderstood. Derek showed us how it can be possible to create a successful Pay-Per-Click campaign; it requires testing on a small scale, spreading your budget to search engines beyond just Google, and carefully monitoring successes or failures along the way.


Jon Franko of Gorilla 76 followed Derek with a presentation that everyone needed to hear. He explained to the audience that the quality and consistency of content on your site, blog, and social media accounts is extremely crucial for accumulating and maintaining brand loyalists. Jon provided a great deal of information regarding the different methods to go about creating good content and how to share it. Content is king, after all, and according to the #GetDigital stream on Twitter, the audience completely agreed.


After a tasty lunch, we congregated again in the theater to hear Jenn Cloud speak of her experience as the Young and Free representative in St. Louis. This brand, which is an affiliate of Vantage Credit Union, has awarded Jenn the responsibility of reaching out to the 25-and-under crowd of the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Jenn is challenged to utilize nearly every social media outlet, create and upload videos, and share freebies with the people she meets while cruising in her boldly-branded Nissan Cube. Jenn discussed what it takes to successfully reach an audience. As graduates of her How to Have a Conversation: 101 class, the Get Digital audience is prepared to face our targeted demographics with a new confidence and a few integrated marketing strategies in mind.


After a quick Q & A session, it was time for Chris Reimer to replace Jenn on stage. Mr. Reimer is very well known around St. Louis and specifically on the Twittersphere, where he has acquired a following of more than 55,000 for his handle, @RizzoTees. Chris shared with us a case study of the power of social media. Through very close monitoring, constant availability on more than 17 channels of communication, and immediate engagement, Chris and his team were able to prevent a historical St. Louis bakery from closing its doors forever. All it really took was a commitment to a cause. The rest of the work just fell into place.


Brad Hogenmiller spoke of the importance of influence. He showed a useful tool, STL Index, which uses a secret algorithm to define and monitor who in St. Louis is considered to be the most influential. Through use of tools like these, you can discover what’s being said and who is doing the talking.


To give us a break from social media, Derek once again took the stage to talk about Search Engine Optimization. He discussed both white and black hat methods, strongly encouraging everyone to avoid the unethical (and ineffective) black hat methods of SEO, such as link buying. Derek wrapped up by discussing the challenges he has faced during the launch of his company’s new site.


To complete the circle, Joe Sullivan of Gorilla 76 presented some radical solutions to monitoring your success online. Through useful tools, many of them free, you can follow the success of your website, social media and paid search campaigns along the way. There are even ways to set specific goals for yourself and observe the progress. Arguably the most beneficial factor of “getting digital” is having the ability to monitor activity and see instantaneous feedback.


We hope you enjoy the materials uploaded to your snazzy Get Digital zip drives. They will help you retain the information that you willingly (and wisely) immersed yourself in last week. We would appreciate any and all feedback of your Get Digital experience. Thank you for coming and stay in touch!

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Email or call Ashley Hamilton at (314) 260-7455 with any questions you might have. We’re here to help.