Last month, the Knoxville Chamber hosted four workshops as part of its annual Digital Marketing Series, presented by BGT Recruiting & Consulting and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center.

The month-long series offered relevant programming for local business professionals to learn the latest in digital marketing from industry experts. Nearly 200 people attended the 2018 events, where they heard ways to help improve their digital marketing strategies and grow their businesses.

Here are some practical takeaways from the 2018 Digital Marketing Series you can begin implementing in your marketing strategy today:

Workshop 1: Grow Your Business Online with Google

Presented by: Demming Bass, certified StoryBrand guide and copywriter and award-winning brand strategist

This session taught attendees how customers find businesses online and how to promote their online presence with search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising. Bass highlighted tools to help attendees run their business online, including Google Analytics, G-Suite, Google Trends and more.

Takeaways from the presenter:

  • Connect with customers when they search Google. Google My Business doesn’t replace a business website, but it can help your listing stand out in the search results and on the Map, and send potential customers to your site.
  • Get your business on Google for free. To qualify for a business listing, a business must meet with customers face-to-face, at a store or within a specified local service area.
  • An important feature available for verified listings is Insights reports. Insights show you how people found your business listing on the web.
  • Once your Google My Business listing is verified, you have the option to read and respond to reviews about your business published on Google. The timeliness and professionalism of responses demonstrates the business listens to customer feedback, and can positively influence potential customers.


Workshop 2: Don’t Just Post, Promote: Effective Facebook Advertising

Presented by: Slamdot 

This workshop detailed how to invest a relatively small amount of money into advertising on the world’s largest and most successful social network to date, effectively reaching new people and having a direct impact on growing a customer base, increasing revenue and improving profit in the process.

Takeaways from the presenter:

  • Before you start building your campaign, develop a strategy. Determine your objectives, who you want to reach, what you want to say and what you want people to see. Don’t go into the building process blindly as you will most likely end up losing money.
  • Allocate half of your budget to CPM (cost-per-thousand impression) and the other half to CPC (cost-per-click) to see which pricing model gets you more bang for your buck.
  • On Facebook Ad manager, remember to “Narrow” and “Exclude” relevant audience categories when selecting your target audience.
  • Set up a separate campaign if you plan to also target Instagram.
  • A/B test your ads. Create ads with multiple variations to see what people like — different copy, different images, different tone of voice and writing styles.


Workshop 3: Social Media & Employment Law: From Friending to Firing

Presented by: Chris McCarty, Lewis Thomason

Facebook claims over 1 billion active users and many of them work for you. This workshop provided practical advice for handling situations involving social media in the workplace.

Takeaways from the presenter:

  • Be careful who you friend or follow on social media.
  • Be aware that proper workplace boundaries apply offline and online.
  • Be cognizant of employees’ rights to express themselves online, especially about working conditions.
  • Be clear about who can (and cannot) speak for your company online.


Workshop 4: Image is Everything: Creating Power Visual Content

Presented by: Courtney Jernigan, creative director and owner at Knoxville Graphic House

This session served as a “how-to” on creating eye-catching visual content for social media channels, even if the company’s equipment is limited to last year’s mobile device.

Takeaways from the presenter:

  • Make a plan and strategize. Begin with a marketing plan. Everyone’s marketing plan is different, because every company is different. Outline your goals & objectives;  figure out your mission and the vision of your company.
  • Tell your story. Social Media is a competitive place that is cluttered with content: the good the bad and the ugly. So how do you deliver your content without competing? Invest in a quality camera because imagery is the most important tactic in social media. Consider using videos as a quick attention-grabber, and have fun but get to the point with your text.
  • Cultivate. Be human – like, share, comment, thank your followers – and be a person not a machine. Customers spend 20-40 percent more money on companies who engage with them on social media.

See Courtney’s entire presentation on the Knoxville Graphic House blog by clicking here.