Inbound Marketing Blog

Corey Smith Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."

3 Elements of Marketing Authenticity

Posted by Corey Smith on Feb 19, 2015 10:32:23 AM

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Years ago, as a sales manager, I was asked to develop a brochure for my company. Aside from the fact that a sales manager should never be assigned to the task of creating an effective marketing piece, there were a number of key problems with the development of this brochure. The process I went through to develop this brochure is critical to the understanding of the problems with trying to ‘fake’ your way through the marketing process.

As I was asked to create this brochure, I went through a number of iterations of what I wanted it to say but just couldn’t come up with anything that made sense. I had a background in graphic design, so this should have been easy. Shoot, I had just come from a job as the Color Systems Specialist for the Western United States for Canon USA… I knew how to do this. But, alas, I couldn’t get it done for the life of me.

On the fourth or fifth iteration I took to the president he finally gave me the content that he wanted in the document. It included a number of philosophies that our company didn’t exhibit and services that we really didn’t offer.

My response was simple, “But we don’t do any of that.”

Adobe Flash Sucks!

Posted by Corey Smith on Feb 5, 2015 11:46:00 AM

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I can't believe that in 2015 this is a post that has to be written.

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a meeting of a local non-profit organization talking about their website. I was brought in as an outside consultant. Their web developer was in the room at the same time.

Now, I use the term web developer loosely. They are really a video group that programs in Flash. They develop websites in Flash along with presentations and other things that they do.

At one point during the conversation I realized how threatened they were by my presence when I asked about their mobile strategy.

“You mean about the Flash, right?” was the terse questioning.

Understand the Domain Name System (DNS)

Posted by Corey Smith on Feb 3, 2015 7:20:00 PM

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DNS stands for the Domain Name System. The DNS records tell the internet where to send your internet traffic. The most common (that I will discuss later) are address (A) records, CNAME records, name server (NS) records and mail exchange (MX) records.

Many web developers simply tell their clients to point the Name Server Record to the new host and you let the web developer manage that for you.

So, what does this mean for you? How do you know what you should do to maintain functionality of your site and your email? Bear in mind that my descriptions below are what I tell my my clients, but I think everyone should understand these details.

Creating and Innovating

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 14, 2015 2:58:00 PM

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Creativity is a learned skill. It is something that requires practice. If you would like to be creative you cannot expect that you will naturally be so. Although, children tend to exhibit it a bit more naturally because they are willing to fail a little more than us adults.

I think that the most important thing to understand about creativity is that it is more than simple art. Creativity is about doing things differently than conventional thinking would dictate. If you are always doing the same things that everybody else is doing you will never truly be creative.

I think there is an assumption that in order to be creative you have to let go of all semblance of format and structure. In reality, there needs to be a framework or a structure that will allow your creativity to make sense. In the past, I’ve talked about this as being rails.

The Tuesday Tip

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 27, 2014 5:18:00 PM

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Last spring I was thinking about a key problem with small companies trying to do email marketing. I realized that most of the email campaigns companies attempt fail miserably. 

It’s amazing how often I get added to a newsletter list from a company that I don’t care to hear more about. Maybe it’s someone I know or maybe it’s someone I just met at one time. I know that the only reason the majority of the lists I get added to is because they found my email address or got my card at some point. (By the way, that’s illegal… just sayin’).

I unsubscribe from emails more often in a week than I can count. I find that so few emails I receive have any value to me at all.

So, last spring, as I was contemplating this, I had a hair brained idea. I thought, what if those emails were 100% educational? In fact, what if those emails were so selfless that there wasn’t even a “contact me” line or any sort of advertisement? What would happen?

What is Drip Marketing?

Posted by Corey Smith on Sep 3, 2013 11:10:00 AM

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Drip marketing campaigns (sometimes known as autoresponders) are not your traditional e-mail marketing campaign. Traditional e-mail marketing campaigns are built one message at a time and are sent to an ever-growing list of your business contacts. E-mail marketing is a great way to spread news and updates about your business to those interested in an easily distributed format. You don’t accrue costs the same way that you would with traditional mailers and have full control over how the end user will interact with your message.

How to Use Your Website as a Branding Tool

Posted by Corey Smith on Jul 17, 2013 11:54:00 AM

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Having a strong brand to back up your business is an essential tool in becoming recognizable, differentiated, and consistent as a company. Put simply, your company’s brand is the image and feelings you convey to your customers. It’s a way to tell potential customers all about your company, your culture, and how you go about accomplishing your goals. Some brands are highly recognizable and visible throughout the globe while other brands are more obscure and aren’t as well received by the community. Whatever the case is for your company, there are many different ways to communicate your brand to the world.

Social Media and the Speed of Communication

Posted by Corey Smith on Nov 6, 2012 7:51:00 PM

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In the spirit of the election, I felt that it might be appropriate to speak to the nature of communication and how it has evolved over the course of humanity (for those of you who are living under a rock and didn’t realize that the election is coming, consider yourself lucky having been saved from the onslaught of political rants and opinions blowing up your Facebook and Twitter feeds). By communication, I’m not referring to the evolution of interaction in the linguistic sense, but rather how the spread of communication via media and news has evolved over the years.