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

November 2011

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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How to set up goal conversion tracking in Google Analytics

How do you tie return on investment to your website? Well, you can start here. This six-minute video by Joe Sullivan of digital marketing firm Gorilla 76 walks you through the process of setting up goal conversion tracking in Google Analytics. This tutorial was one of a few instructional videos shown at the November 10, 2011 Get Digital seminar in St. Louis. Stay posted for upcoming seminar dates.

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Via AdSaint – “Digital Digital Get Down – Get Digital 2”

Thanks to Lindsey Herzog of Osborn & Barr for the great recap of our recent Get Digital marketing event. You can read the article in its entirety here. Overall, we considered the event to be a tremendous success. We’ve already started a thorough internal recap, investigating what worked and what needs to be tweaked. You can expect to hear news of our next event in the next several weeks. And please, if you have any feedback on the past event, please drop us a note. Honest opinions only please!

Thank you to all of you for the support. We were fortunate to have such a great, lively and inquisitive audience. Not to mention, such an impressive listing of attendees. There were some real power players in the audience.

And of course, to everyone that helped out, and to our amazing panel of guest speakers and moderator – we owe much of the success to you all. Thanks for all that you did.

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Get Digital: Search and SEO

After a quick break, Derek Mabie reclaimed the stage to discuss the world of Search Engine Optimization.


What does optimization truly mean? It really comes down to making things better, making things available, and connecting each other. Derek spoke about two kinds of SEO: black hat and white hat. “Black hat” SEO is what we avoid; paying for sneaky tactics to get you ranked will only results in your site being discredited by the search engines.


The more “white hat” you make your SEO efforts, the longer the benefits will last. Derek compared proper SEO to being a gentleman: Doing something on your industry or consumer’s behalf. This includes publishing valuable content, such as whitepapers and informational posts.

Why SEO? Simply: return on investment. It’s the most efficient pathway to success online. Content is recyclable. If you’re creating content with purpose, you can reuse it in different ways. Knowledge of your competition is incredibly useful because learning what they are doing online is relevant to what they’re doing in the real world. Having knowledge of your customers is also important. Through SEO, you can understand exactly what customers are searching for online.


How does it work? SEO works through time and money. Implementing “white hat” techniques is neither easy nor free. Without great content, you simply won’t thrive online. Building out impressive, authoritative blog posts requires a long-term commitment to quality. Another component of SEO is link building. Derek compared this to the connectivity of airports. They all lead to each other. The larger airports have more activity, longer lines, and greater awareness. Websites are gauged similarly through the quality and quantity of inbound and outbound links.


Derek then answered the question: How can you even know where to begin? Data, once collected, should drive your decisions. Start with keywords. These power tools will connect you with the consumer and ultimately tell a story. Using tools like Webmaster Tools will provide you, as a brand owner or manager, with a clear vision of what Google perceives your site to be about. Derek mentioned that keywords are the most actionable form of data on the web. Using the information collected from sources like Google Analytics and Google AdWords (preferably combined), allows you to discover exactly which pages of your site are ranked for specific terms. Unreal information. That liberating insight will allow you to optimize your site’s content to rank even more for those terms.


Derek concluded by listing the ways Evolve is trying to bounce back from selling its previous site domain, Part of his strategized comeback included limiting the kinds of services that Evolve offers.  It also involved implementing a killer social media strategy and developing content at a much higher standard.


No one ever said SEO is easy. Especially “white hat” techniques. It’s worth the time and effort, however, if you want your brand to truly achieve awareness and success in the digital domain.

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Interested in learning more about GetDigital?

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