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Confluence Digital Partners with Hawaii’s Third Largest Ad Agency

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Seattle Digital Marketing Firm Confluence Digital Partners with The Harris Agency – Hawaii’s Third Largest Ad Agency  

SEATTLE, WA August  8, 2013 – Seattle-based digital marketing agency Confluence Digital, LLC has formed a partnership with The Harris Agency Inc., one of Hawaii’s largest advertising agencies. The partnership enables Harris Agency’s clients access to a full suite of digital services to integrate with their traditional marketing programs.  

The rapidly changing digital environment is driving businesses to build up their capabilities to connect with customers online. “Companies can no longer ignore lacking a digital strategy,” said Confluence Digital President Eric Layland. “Digital marketing activities such as optimized websites, social media and content creation need to be woven into the fabric of the brand strategy.”  

“It’s a long-term deal,” Harris Agency President Doug Harris stated. “They have a great combination of talent and expertise that is hard to find in Hawaii.” A key part of the agreement includes consulting with Harris Agency clients in person and collaborating to develop a vibrant digital scene in Hawaii.  

Services immediately available as a result of the partnership include digital strategy development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, conversion optimization, inbound marketing, content development, search engine marketing (SEM), digital display and website analytics.  

Founded in 2009, Confluence Digital LLC delivers core services including digital strategy, search engine optimization, social media marketing, paid search management, web site analytics, landing page / funnel conversion optimization and business intelligence services. Clients realize value delivered by Confluence Digital via managed service agreements, consulting or training and education.  

The Harris Agency was founded in May 2004. Recognized as Hawaii’s third largest advertising agency with $20.2 million in capitalized billings. Core service offerings include brand strategy, media planning and buying, market research, advertising, public relations and event management. Key clients include Burger King, Honolulu Cookie Company, KTA Superstores among others.    

Media Contact:
Eric Layland
Confluence Digital LLC
(866) 971-5464 x101
eric@confluencedigital.com
www.confluencedigital.com

Integrated Digital Marketing Program Workflow [Infographic]

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Depending on the size of your digital marketing program it can include many seemingly separate parts that can be hard to keep track of if you’re not familiar with the process and workflow of certain digital marketing tactics.  And so, we’ve put together this infographic to illustrate how the different aspects of digital marketing (web development, SEO, PPC, etc.) fit together to form a cohesive and comprehensive digital marketing program. 

From sales to maintenance this guide is a great way to visualize the steps your digital marketing team takes to setup and maintain your digital marketing program.  Understanding how web development, SEO, and PPC all integrate together to form a digital strategy can help you determine whether or not your digital marketing program is on the right path.  

integrated-digital-marketing-program-workflow-infographic

We hope this guide is useful and that you will use this infographic to help manage your digital marketing team, no matter the size of your digital marketing program.

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Digital Marketing: 3 Qualities of a Successful Digital Marketer

Digital Marketing: 3 Qualities of a Successful Digital Marketer

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digital-marketer-success-qualities (360x234)Whether you’re interested in becoming a digital marketer, or an agency hiring a digital marketing specialist to join your marketing team, or even if you’re a business owner hiring a digital marketing agency to take over marketing completely, there are a few commonalities I’ve noticed, and you should look for, amongst those who succeed in digital marketing.  

What are the 3 Must- Have Qualities of Successful Digital Marketers?  

1. Natural inquisitiveness. When faced with situations we’re unfamiliar with we need to be able to roll up our sleeves and explore. Read. Question. Contemplate. Develop a hypothesis and test it. Push the fear of failure to the side and embrace the result of your quest. Remember, it’s not that you failed, it’s that you have discovered that an approach does not work. That is how knowledge is accumulated. If you stop questioning you stop learning.  This is extremely important in the field of digital marketing as the landscape is constantly evolving.

2. Be comfortable with data and uncertainty. Digital marketing is an accountability channel. Meaning: data is created and needs to be mined for insights. The data generated will be used to assess the effort. The effort will be held accountable for the results. Be comfortable with uncertainty in the data. The insights gained from data will not prove anything. Trusted insights will reduce the amount of uncertainty.  It’s up to you to be comfortable with being accountable for the decision you’ll make.  

3. Be able to communicate in the language of who you are communicating with. This isn’t about English vs. Spanish vs. Chinese, etc. This is about being able to understand someone and communicate complex and often under-defined outcomes in a context which can be understood by your audience.  To succeed you must be able to communicate. Be able to tell stories that clearly and succinctly communicate a point. Don’t tell me how sausage is made. Tell how good it’s going to taste.  

Digital marketing is an amazing field. It’s a blend of the analytical, creative, innovation, and it is constantly evolving. The only constant is change. But in the end it is still marketing and the 4-P’s are still very relevant. It’s just that our tools have changed. 

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Business Blogging: A Case Study of a Small Digital Marketing Program

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One of the most important aspects of any digital marketing program is setting up qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure for success.  Any digital marketing agency you do business with should not only be able to help develop these metrics, but they should be able to point to specific case studies in which their digital marketing program was successful.  And that is why Confluence Digital has put together another digital marketing case study:

A local, small business accountant seeks growth with small digital marketing program in highly competitive online market.

Challenge: a local, small business accountant in a highly competitive industry, with an extremely limited marketing budget and no time to devote to marketing, wants to increase revenue and grow as a business.

Action: we conducted a thorough audit of the site’s content and her current resources.  We assessed the business cycle and analyzed monthly keyword query volumes. From this systematic approach we developed a content calendar that is synchronized with how people search. We also began running a strategically focused paid search campaign, leveraging Google’s advanced targeting capabilities.

Result: 86% business growth in 2011 from 2010, and a 73% growth in 2012 from 2011.  Gained 13 current clients directly from the website and 2 from social media participation.  She’s also now hired 3 additional employees to help serve her current client base.

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Fun Fact: One of her current clients became a client after asking questions about a blog post she’d written and promoted on Twitter.

“I believe that whatever voodoo that you [do]… it is working.  I am getting calls from bookkeepers in other states that want me to talk to them about my posts, my tweets, etc.  I was asked by Intuit to be a speaker in July for a seminar.  I am getting a steady amount of calls coming in from the website and CPA referrals.  I will be adding two new positions to my team by the end of the summer.  I have hired an “in-house” admin assistant.  I have purchased my own telephone switchboard system.  I will also be hiring a higher level bookkeeper to start helping me…”

– Kristina Markovcic
   Kristina’s Abacus

Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency: 4 Things to Know First

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hire-digital-marketing-agency (360x288)
There are several different reasons why people decide to hire a digital marketing agency, including everything from increasing brand awareness to increasing overall business revenue.  For most business owners, hiring a digital marketing agency isn’t a decision that happens overnight, however as more and more people are beginning to accept the permanence of the Internet, it’s becoming nearly impossible not to see that online marketing is necessary to compete in today’s market.  Today, if customers can’t find you online, you are losing business, that’s practically a guarantee.  

One of the primary reasons business owners are beginning to hire digital marketing agencies is because unlike other forms of traditional marketing, the digital medium can be extremely confusing.  With so many acronyms (SEOPPC, UX, etc.) and with the online marketing landscape changing every day, many business owners and traditional marketing agencies alike, consider online marketing too confusing a marketing channel to manage.   

To cut down on the confusion, we’ve put somewhat of a list of homework assignments for anyone looking to hire a digital marketing agency.  You don’t have to have concrete answers to these questions, knowing what these questions are will help you and the digital marketing agency you hire accomplish your overall marketing objectives.  

1. How will the digital marketing agency fit in with your current marketing efforts?

Many businesses are already doing other forms of traditional marketing like newspaper ads, billboards, bus covers, etc.  If your business is already marketing to potential customers in other mediums, you need to make sure that the digital marketing agency you hire is able to seamlessly fit in with your other marketing efforts and that they’re willing to.  Basically, find a digital marketing agency that is willing to be a team player. 

2. Who are you trying to reach?  Who are your target customers?

This should be one of the first questions any marketing agency asks you.  If a digital marketing agency doesn’t ask you this question, get out of there!  How are they supposed to figure out where to find your target customers online if they don’t even know who your target customers are? 

3. What digital marketing tactics are you looking for? How will those tactics benefit your business specifically?

Do your homework.  Figure out what the digital marketing tactics are that you think would best benefit your specific business.  Start by figuring out what you want to accomplish via digital marketing.  Do you want to increase brand recognition?  Do you want to increase your online presence to encourage social sharing?  Do you want to improve your search engine rankings for relevant keywords?  No matter what your goal is in digital marketing there is a tactic that is perfect for you.  Don’t let a digital marketing agency throw everything and the kitchen sink at you and tell you need it.  Know what you need before you come to the table. 

4. How much are you willing to invest?

Digital marketing is one of the most inexpensive forms or marketing today.  The potential for high return on investment is synonymous with digital marketing.  However, figuring out what exactly you’re paying for can sometimes be confusing.  Figure out how much money you are willing to invest in digital marketing by figuring out what you want to accomplish from it, what return do you expect to see on your investment?  Note: don’t think of digital marketing spend simply as just another one of your “costs”, but instead as an investment. You are investing in your online presence; obvious returns may not be immediate, depending on how much you spend, but even the smaller returns have higher ROI than many traditional forms of marketing.

If you don’t already know the answers to these questions, most digital marketing agencies can help you figure them out in the very beginning of your engagement.  So, consider it a red flag if a digital marketing agency isn’t able to assist you in finding answers to these questions.  If these aren’t questions your digital marketing agency is asking you and if they can’t help you determine the answers to these questions, then they most likely don’t have enough comprehensive experience to be effective in digital marketing.

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Confluence Digital Hosts the Fremont Digital Marketing Geek Meet-Up!

Confluence Digital Hosts the Fremont Digital Marketing Geek Meet-Up!

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Confluence Digital was proud to host the March Geek Meet-Up for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce last Thursday!  The theme was data driven digital marketing so there weren’t very many costumes.. but we had quite the turn out! This Geek Meet-Up was for anyone and everyone in digital marketing in some way, from web development, to social media marketing to various tech departments all from businesses in and around Fremont!

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Doors were open 6-8 pm.

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Our small space filled up pretty quickly (We promise Eric had more fun than this photo illustrates).

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Food and drinks were provided by the Fremont Chamber of Commerce.

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Good times provided by all!

As a small, local to Seattle and Fremont digital marketing agency we highly encourage other digital marketing agencies and businesses to host similar events.  Not only are these events great places to network, give referrals, and share knowledge, but they’re fun, and super easy to participate in. 

Thanks again to the Fremont Chamber of Commerce for allowing us to be a part of this fun night!

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Google Reader is Shutting Down – Top Questions Answered

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Since Google announced that it will be shutting down Google Reader on July 1, 2013; people are google-readerlooking to understand why Google has taken this decision and find some alternatives. After looking around the web to find some answers and save you some time, below is a recap of the top questions and answers regarding this event. 

Why is Google Killing Google Reader?

Google said that is shutting down the service because over the years usage is declining despite the loyal following. 

However Shih, a Google Reader former product manager, said on Quora that the recent move is probably more due to re-allocating talent to Google+. 

Read Quote of Brian Shih’s answer to Google Reader Shut Down (March 2013): Why is Google killing Google Reader? on Quora

Google is trying to bring all its services closer together, which is why they may be planning to incorporate some of Readers features into Google+. Not sure what that will look like, but is the same type of thing they did by moving Google Places into Google+ as Google+ local.

What’s the Best Google Reader Alternative?

If you’re a Google Reader power user and looking for alternatives, LifeHacker.com run a poll with over 7,000 posts were 64% voted for Feedly as the best Google Reader alternative. 

best-google-reader-alternative-poll-by-lifehacker

What does Google Reader do that Feedly doesn’t do?

One of the biggest things Google Reader users have brought up is that Feedly doesn’t have an API to sync with third party clients like Google Reader does. However Feedly has been  already working on a Feedly clone of the Google Reader API which will soon address this feature on demand.

In the meantime, Feedly already has its own clients for almost most devices which you can download in the links below:

How to transition from Google Reader to Feedly

Migrating your feeds from Google Reader to Feedly is super easy, all you have to do is login to Feedly using your Google account. Feedly will automatically sync your Google Reader account with Feedlly. For more information about transitioning from Google Reader to Feedly, here are some great tips Feedly has put together to address some of the differences in design between the two platforms. 

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Confluence Digital Welcomes Paulina! We’re Glad to Meet You!

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Summer 2012 was unlike any other in my 20 years in Seattle. With the exception of a 14 minute Confluence-Digital-Welcomes-Paulinasummer shower, we would have had something in the neighborhood of 70+ days in a row without precipitation. It was on one of those brilliant sunny days in August that I went for a lunch time stroll in Confluence’s Fremont neighborhood. I expected to get lunch. I didn’t expect to get a child.

On the corner of 35th and Fremont Avenue I was approached by a young woman who began asking me a series of questions of which I don’t remember except the last, “would you be interested in saving a child’s life today?” Even though I’m a non-breeder by choice and sometimes a little snarky that was a question was going to be difficult to brush off.  So I didn’t.

Saturday February 3rd was Paulina’s 8th birthday. She lives in a village outside Legaspi, Philippines with her family that includes father Orlando, mother Rena, sister Olyn and brother John Laurenz. As a company we’re sponsoring Paulina and her family through Children International. She won’t see this message but I hope someday we’ll connect. Most likely be via a social media channel although her village doesn’t currently have electricity. Paulina reminds of what we have and how sharing returns more than it takes.

I encourage other small companies like ours and teams within larger organizations to help others. I haven’t personally been the most charitable minded person in the past and want to change. Confluence Digital is just getting started in building our company culture and giving back will be a fundamental element. For those interested, Charity Navigator can help you find organizations that align with your interest and which are more effective at helping those they claim to. 

So please welcome Paulina to the Confluence Digital team.

Confluence Digital Represented at 2013 Cyclocross World Championships

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Confluence Digital would like to congratulate Team Double Check Cycling on a successful 2012 season. Confluence Digital Cosmic Miller (196x300)As title sponsor we’re thrilled to hear the team will be represented in the UCI Cyclocross World Championships held in Louisville, KY February 2-3, 2013. Kudos goes to the entire team with special mention of Ian Searle and Buff Hooper who’ll represent on-bike in Louisville and their traveling support circus of Cosmic Miller, John Roberts, Roland Goeckel, Bruce Roberts and Scott Moore.

Our analysts have crunched the numbers and determined that our sponsorship of Team Double Check has had a significant impact on our record growth. We’d like to give special recognition to the Brian and David Volkert and the cast of thousands who supported the team. We appreciate the effort and dedication to flying the Confluence Digital colors rain or shine come race weekend.

From the corporate campus in downtown Fremont, Center of the Known Universe, many thanks from Confluence Digital for representing us so well!

We look forward to continued success in 2013 and best of luck in Louisville!