Not your average digital marketing gal! With 30+ years of business experience, a Masters in Organizational Leadership, and a Bachelor's in Business, I know from both learning and experience that digital marketing is more than just status updates and #hashtags. Read the full interview with Michele Levandusky below!
You are a true Digital Marketing Expert and the founder of My Cup of Media. Can you tell the readers more about how it all started and what work you do at My Cup of Media?
Funny when I think back, but I have always really enjoyed the thought of helping people to build a business and helping them come up with ways to bring in more customers, even way back to when I was a kid. My parents owned a small business in rural Michigan. I remember they had the 7 am radio spot every morning and, at some point around the age of 8 or 9, I remember I wrote something (probably lame now looking back on it, lol) and, my Dad took it to the radio station and they used it as part of his advertising, I felt so cool! As life went on and dreams changed, I tried my hand at Corporate America after getting my Masters Degree at the age of 40-ish :) and soon, proudly, became a Corporate America Dropout. It just was not for me. So I decided to rediscover my passion and found digital marketing, and here I am!
At My Cup of Media, we are far more than status updates and #hastags. We help businesses build a customer base that comes in, spends money, and helps to keep them coming back over and over. We build relationships. We help build databases, manage online reputation, and nurture customers so that they come to Know, Like & Trust our clients and want to do business with them.
You often highlight the importance of building a database. Why is that so important?
Building a database is so important. Think of it this way, what if tomorrow Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube went away? How would you communicate with your customers? How would you find new ones? With a database of customer names, email, and phone numbers, you now have so many options to reconnect with them. Also, social media platforms have become a pay-to-play game, and it is taking more and more dollars invested to track a return on investment. By building a database, a business owner can market to people who already Know, Like & Trust them at a fraction of the cost. Another critical part of a database is reputation management. Our program helps businesses who have a database to increase their online reviews and continue to build those reviews so that they stay current, which keeps them high ranking on the search engines. If anyone reading this has a database but not using it - they are sitting on Gold!
There are a lot of things you know that you can teach people about when it comes to Digital Marketing, but what would you say are the things your clients mostly asking for help with?
I find that everyone has different needs, as they are in varying stages of the game. Some have no idea how to begin navigating the online platforms. Some have done a pretty good job but simply require a little boost. One thing I find often is not understanding platform terms of service and, many businesses violate those terms that could lead to a whole lot of trouble and even cost them a lot of money. You know things change so often and so fast that unless you are someone like me who is working in it every day, it is hard to keep up - heck, I struggle at times! But you don't know what you don't know, and that is where I can help.
Ads is something many companies try to master but sometimes are struggling with. What are some keys to run successful ads, in your opinion?
First and foremost is to know your audience. Many times business owners think they know who their customer is, but haven't done the research and online testing to find out. We speak differently to men vs. women. We speak differently to millennials than we do to Gen X'ers. Using the tools that are provided by the social media platforms and doing some testing and understanding the insights can make all the difference in the success or failure of an ad. Back when Facebook first opened up Business Pages, if someone liked a page, chances were pretty good followers would see whatever had been posted on the page at any time of day. Now with all the paid advertising, even those who 'Like' a page, the chances of them seeing a post are pretty slim to none because there much more paid advertising is pushing it down the newsfeeds. Again it is all about understanding your audience and then using the tools to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
If you could give 5 great tips on Digital Marketing from your experience, what would that be?
Build a solid online presence across multiple platforms.
Understand your audience - who it is, not who you think it is.
Video Video Video! People will watch a video 1500x more often than reading something.
Be Entertaining! Don't be boring! - it is our human nature to be entertained. Think of some ads that stick with you, and it is probably because they are funny - or pulled at your heartstrings.
Don't try to master it yourself. Find someone you trust to help you navigate that part of your business. You do what you do best and leave the rest to someone who understands the ins and outs of digital marketing.
Finally, what do you have in front of you and what's your next big goal or project?
Gosh, we always have new programs rolling out as the needs of our clients change, but mostly we are hyper-focused on Reputation Management, Database Building, and Customer Loyalty Programs. We are focused on helping small businesses make their mark and keep them in business! It has always been a passion of mine to help small businesses and, now more than ever businesses need people like myself to help them stand out against the competition - after all, it is small businesses that make this world go around.