Brian Barna is a well-rounded executive with an MBA and over twenty years of professional experience. His career focus is on SEO, digital marketing strategy, and helping his team and others grow. His goal is to be a positive, empowering force for anyone with whom he interacts and does business with.
Brian defines digital marketing and what digital marketing strategy entails.
Listen to Brian as he discusses who should be taking his course to become certified in digital marketing and what people would expect to get out of it. What inspired him to create this course?
Brian gives advice to those who are just starting and those who are already established. He shares what he feels is the most important factor for somebody wanting to grow their business.
Episode Action Items:
CLICK HERE To find more information about Brian's course Learn Digital Marketing: Strategy, Tactics and Planning and earn a Beginner Certificate in Digital Marketing.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Brian Barna 0:00
Welcome to the Make Each Click Count podcast. This is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guests to discuss today's topic which is becoming certified in digital marketing. Today's guest is a well rounded executive with an MBA and over 20 years of professional experience. His career focuses on SEO digital marketing strategy, and helping his team and others grow. His goal is to be a positive empowering force to anyone with whom he interacts or does business with. A big welcome to Brian Barna. Hi, Brian.
Hello. Thank you, Andy. I'm really glad to be here today and look forward to talking about digital marketing.
Yeah, you know, it's one of my favorite subjects. So we're exciting. Now, let's, let's start with digital marketing. It's one of those terms, it's thrown thrown around quite a bit, but it seems like no one ever takes the time to define what digital marketing is. So I asked you, how do you define digital marketing?
Yeah, that's a great question, Andy. So digital marketing refers to any marketing methods conducted electronically to users on desktop, or mobile devices, usually through the internet, businesses, leverage websites, search engines, blogs, social media, video, email, and similar channels to reach customers through digital marketing efforts. And many of your listeners probably have a basic understanding of digital marketing. But just in case, from a 3000 foot view, think of the ads for Macy's and other reset tailors. You see why you scroll through your Facebook feed, or when you do a Google search, and you'll see the results that say Add next to them above the organic search results. Or even when you turn on YouTube video and have to watch at least the beginning of a paid video ad before you can move on to your video. Those are all examples of paid digital marketing. And now digital marketing isn't just paid advertising now, for example, managing your business Facebook page, and posting weekly organic content on Facebook is considered social media management, which is different than social media advertising. And that's something that takes a lot of work. But you don't pay for, you know, at least from an you know, it's not an advertising effort. It's something you may pay somebody to manage, but not directly to put the ads on there. So another example is SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, where you can make sure your site is crawlable by search engines from a technical standpoint, and your site content provides value for users and is optimized for both users and search engines. So that's, you know, an oversimplification, but just an overview of how non paid advertising areas of digital marketing as well.
So thanks for defining it. Now. The the next term, the always fair, besides digital marketing is digital marketing strategy. And, you know, I know that's one of your areas of focus, but what does digital marketing strategy entail?
Yes, absolutely. That is a big focus of of my course. And, you know, really, since digital marketing costs money, you want to make sure you use your marketing dollars effectively. And that is the main purpose of my course, to help business owners and marketers with a framework with creating their digital marketing strategy. So digital marketing strategy entails using online resources to reach the target customer. So identifying the where the why and the how a company makes a profit is one of the building blocks of a digital marketing strategy. It helps formulate a marketing plan that aligns with the business goals and customer requirements. So my course talks about first identifying your target customer personas, or, you know demographic aspects and examples of who your customers are, then you identify your goals and what actions you want your target audience to take when they land on your site. So from a high level, most companies have a mixed, you know, I would say scale of between driving awareness as being their goal of them as a business and their products. And that's more of the higher funnel, think mass media strategy. And the other goal is, you know, driving conversions driving customers to your store, or just driving user actions on the website, which is considered, you know, lower funnel. So, you know, and it depends on the type of business, you want to use the strategy to best reach your goals. So for example, a personal injury lawyer would likely focus more their efforts on a say digital video ads and more mass media, because the nature of their business is that they want you to think of them first when you get into an accident. On the flip side, if you're more of a product focused business, you'd still want to get your brand name out there, but more of your focus would likely be on you know, Google Shopping ads Amazon SEO strategy, maybe paid search and optimizing your site for conversions with SEO and local SEO, you know, Google My Business optimizations if you have physical locations.
Right, right. Now you had mentioned your course. And of course, we've just added your course, which is learn digital marketing strategies, tactics and planning. And it's listed as a beginner certification for digital marketing. So let's, let's talk about that. If somebody takes your course, what would they expect to get out of it?
Yeah, I'm really glad you asked me this. So this course, cuts through the digital advertising hype and buzzwords, you know, because that's what if you're an executive or a small business owner, and looking to get into marketing, it's, it's a little intense, and it there's a lot to understand. So really, the most important aspects of digital marketing are covered in this course, to give you a complete understanding of the different types of digital ads and tactics, how they're bought, how much different advertising mediums cost, you know, the targeting available to reach your target audience, and how to go about creating your own digital marketing strategies and plans based on specific goals aligned with your business objectives. So whether you're a business owner, in or if you're an advertising sales, if you want to break into marketing, or just someone who wants a more holistic understanding of digital advertising, then this is the course for you.
Now, within the course, yeah, you have a ton of different subjects includes email marketing, social media, advertising, paid search, advertising, SEO, how much detail does the course go into on each of these subjects?
Yes, so the goal of this course, you know, gives you gives the taker of the course a broad understanding of each of the areas of digital marketing, and really points you in the right direction, if you're a marketer. And, you know, say, if you're looking for an area you want to focus on, or you just want to understand digital marketing better. So it gives you I'd say, an intermediate level of understanding in each of those areas, where you could you understand what the main aspects of the each of the mediums are, you know, what areas of the marketing funnel each of them best, or for, you know, how that would relate to your business. So, you know, really, if you're, and also, if you're a business owner, we're getting with marketing teams and want to get a better understanding of the different areas of digital marketing, along with marketing tactics, you may not have thought of that may work with your business. So it's really to give you a general understanding of all the different areas of modern digital marketing.
So you're not going to be of course, an expert on on these areas, but it'll give you a really good understanding of what's going on as far as marketing and where you may want to invest more time.
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree with that. Because, you know, each of those areas could, could be a totally different course, you could have a, you know, a totally different course, just as long if not longer on paid search, and other one on social media management and other one on social media advertising, another one on SEO. So it's just yet to get a really good understanding of the main strategies for each of those channels and what they're for and what they what each of them do.
And I know we touched on it briefly, but who should be taking this course to become certified in digital marketing business owners you had mentioned? Marketing professionals? I mean, where who's it for?
Yeah, definitely. So you know, it's for a broad audience, I would say, you know, even if you are, you know, really well versed in, say, one area of marketing, like paid search, even the course would be good for you as well, because you'd learn each of the different areas from a high level. So I've worked with many CEO or CMOS of large companies, and it's even surprising there that maybe they have knowledge in one area, but not another. And this is really to connect those dots. So even if you're really highly specialized in paid search. This will help get you the basics of SEO, which works really closely with paid search with social media marketing, just to give people the skills to be a broad knowledge of marketing.
Now, let's switch to kind of what's going on in digital marketing where, where do you see that Tthe landscape headed both for E commerce and digital marketing is a whole the next 12 to 18 months
in the next 1218 months are going to be really exciting and really interesting to see how it evolves, I think we'll continue to see the impact of artificial intelligence, especially when it comes to content with more and more people integrating chat GPT and other AI software into their marketing efforts. Microsoft Bing search engine is actually integrating a chat GPT chat bot into Bing search in the spring. So there is a chance this could create some buzz and even possibly more people, maybe using Bing than they do now. Because as you likely know, the vast majority of searches are still through Google. But that's a big, big update there more and more people integrating AI, even on the design side. You know, there's a lot of different in addition to chat GPT, there's other AI integrated design and other types of software, and other big growth area, you know, with more people cutting the cord from cable, and using streaming services more and more OTT video, YouTube ads, and digital video, in general, will be another growth area. Amazon advertising is another area that seems to have a good outlooks. And so a large portion of all online shopping, I saw recently starts with an Amazon search. And with that being said, I've seen more and more ads for you know, Google Shopping, and I know that's a focus area for the m. So they may, we may see some competition there where they ramp up efforts to compete in the E commerce space as well.
Now, most of my listeners are e commerce and and given your expertise in digital marketing and digital marketing strategy, what type of advice would you give to an E commerce owner just starting, and to an E commerce owner who's established, let's say doing 2 million, 2 million plus a year?
I'd say you know, there are aspects that would be different depending on the business. So for example, if you sell, you know, commoditized type products that are at least a portion of your businesses that you're looking into eBay and Amazon and selling through there, and even, you know, optimizing your Amazon feed optimizations, you could you could do some things like that, because those business platforms have a big base of people who are already used to shopping through there and other area would be, you know, I've actually done a little bit of dropshipping in my past as well. And, you know, standing up a Shopify site is, is a fairly easy route to go for big E commerce is another one, if you're really just getting into it. If you're doing over 2 million a year, there's, say if there's areas you want to expand, I would definitely look at some different digital marketing options if you haven't before, I know. Depending on the product, especially if you have a really niche area, you could really target your you know, paid search efforts to that I didn't know we had a client before that sold security software. And there's, you know, especially if you want to focus on certain areas, there's no unlimited number of inventory there. So if we were able to really target like those specific keywords that you know, like lead to more sales and then you continually look at what what keywords drive more sales and then it depends to say if you have a business and econ business that also has physical locations, I'd suggest you know looking at Google My Business and making sure you're optimize there if it's all online you know, looking at the different even like social media advertising is big in some areas.
Right. Now let's let's find out you. How did you gain your expertise in digital marketing?
Yeah, that's a great question. So what was interesting for me was I started my career actually in print marketing, I had started at a small startup where we would put print advertising in in the center of these holes in the driving ranges where you know, like you have those high net worth people looking at the the ads, and yeah, that was kind of a fun startup type thing. And so that got me interested in like the entrepreneurial spirit and You know, from there, I did some advertising sales for both print and digital. And then what really helped me learn, and if, if some of your listeners want to break into digital marketing, a great way to do it is in the agency world. You know, I kind of pivoted, and around 10 years or so ago, you know, totally pivoted my career from, I mean, it's in the similar realm, you know, with selling more print focused, but also some digital to moving into SEO for an agency and an introductory role. So, you know, say if some of your audience wants to, you know, pivot and get into digital marketing, I found that to be a great way, because one thing with agencies, they really, you know, have a lot in place to help you learn, and, you know, schools only teach so much. So that's, that's part of what my course aimed to do, you know, kind of fill in those gaps, or what you may, you know, people wanting a career pivot, or if they're a business owner, they want to know a little more about marketing and
and what, what inspired you to create this course.
So, you know, I feel like digital marketing can be really segmented, especially in the ad agency world, but even in house sometimes. So you have, for example, paid search teams that just do paid search social media teams, and SEO teams. And I focus strictly on SEO for a while at other agencies. But when I moved into a digital strategy role that worked between a few different marketing channels, I had to really teach myself a lot of what these other channels Did you know, how to create marketing plans for clients and things like that. And it's like this really important area, that with a lot of areas being, you know, a lot of places being more segmented, you know, tying everything together. And looking at that bigger picture was what I wanted to help other marketers do. You know, I wanted to create this course to help other people learn about all the different areas of digital marketing and how they work together, along with how to create marketing plans for either their business or their clients.
Well, now, besides creating this great course, what what are you working on today, what what occupies your time?
Well, I have two kids, so one, that's nine and one that's going to turn seven soon. So they play a lot of sports and do activities like school band and stuff. So that's, that's a big focus of my time outside of work. I also like, I also really enjoy writing. I recently wrote a motivational book called How to Overpower Fear that is actually on Amazon for sale now. And I just started, I'm just started on that early phases of writing a fictional crime novel, that I'm guessing will probably take a year or two to write, but just something fun on the side, you know.
Now, back to business, what do you feel is the most important factor for somebody wanting to grow their business?
Yeah, that's a great question. And, you know, just being on the marketing side for a long time, as well, as you know, as I mentioned earlier, being in that kind of startup business early in my career, I found that listening to your customers, and being able to really walk in your customers shoes and think like they do when you design your products or services and create your marketing plans is vitally important. You know, in other areas, building the right team, that you have to execute on, on your plans and for your business. You know, a good team that respects each other and works on common goals. And, you know, really working on not just, you know, kind of like the perfunctory mission statements and things like that, but to actually have that type of mission and instill it in your people. And it really build that good culture of trust, and that we're all working together. And, you know, given people the autonomy to really work on on being a big part of the business, I think, is really helpful for building a business.
Yeah, that's some great advice. Now, how can an interested listener find out more about you?
Well, I'm fairly active on LinkedIn. So I would suggest checking me out they're also checking out my book on Amazon, How to Overpower Fear. And also going through my course on Make Each Click Count University. You know, definitely hope you you dive into the course and you know, learn more about marketing through it. Well, this
has been great. Is there anything else you would like to add before we wrap it up today, Brian?
I Andy just said, I really appreciate you having me on the show today. And, you know, please to all the listeners out there. Check out the digital marketing course. I'll make each click count university to get a better understanding of each of the different areas of modern digital marketing.
Great. Well, thanks for thanks again, Brian.
Thank you, Andy. For listeners. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcast and leave us an honest review and if you're looking for more information regarding connecting with Brian, you will find the links in the show notes below. If you're interested in becoming a certified and digital marketing through his course learn digital marketing. You can find information on that course and all other courses at www.makeeachclickcountuniversity.com. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our podcasts Resource Center available at podcast dot make each click count.com. We have compiled all of our different past guests by show topic and included each of their contact information. In case you would like more information any of the services I have discussed during previous episodes. Well that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.