Online selling is increasingly aggressive, forcing merchants to selfish and shortsighted decisions. That is according to Corey Blake, CEO of MWI, a digital advertising agency.
“When we have a scarcity outlook with shortsightedness,” he told me,”We are scratching and clawing to keep it all because we are concerned about losing money. A much better approach is an abundance mentality, saying,’I am trying to offer value to the world, and so long as I am doing this, I’m likely to find clients.'”
Blake’s approach has worked for MWI. Founded in 1999, it now works on three continents, serving diverse customers with search engine optimization, advertising, content promotion, and much more.
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He and I recently talked about ecommerce advertising circa late 2020. What follows is our whole audio conversation and a transcript, edited for length and clarity.
Eric Bandholz: Give us an overview of your organization.
Corey Blake: MWI is a boutique digital advertising agency. We found in 1999. We have got a presence in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. We do everything from SEO, advertising, website design and development, public relations, and articles advertising.
We were exclusively an search engine optimization company until about 2014. We then got into web development, advertising, PR, and articles.
Bandholz: It feels like the ecommerce entrepreneurs I speak with no more highlight SEO. They focus on social networking, paid search, influencers, or affiliate marketing. It’s possible to acquire strong organic search positions even today, in 2020?
Blake: There is so much competition for organic search. I would never tell tiny operations,”Invest all your advertising budget into SEO.” That’s because it is going to have a good deal of time. Meanwhile, your opponents are probably getting immediate traffic from paying influencers and running advertisements on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
But, I see value in executing SEO strategies then initial startup phase, once you’re generating earnings and your promotion budget is presumably larger.
Search engine optimization is content advertising play. Beardbrand does an remarkable job at creating content that is consistent. It is SEO gold once you connect it back to your site.
Bandholz: You are the only company I know with a three-letter domainname: MWI. That had to be costly.
Blake: It was just time. My business partner, Josh Steimle, started the business when I was 13, back in 1999. It was known as Mind Wire Interactive. He reached out to the man that owned Mwi.com, who stated, more or less,”We do not use it. You can have it.” That is how it was.
Bandholz: Your agency experiences many businesses. How do ecommerce businesses fail at marketing?
Blake: More ecommerce people should read a book called”The Third Door.” It emphasizes alternative approaches to reach a target. If the first or next door is shut, try the next.
Since it applies to ecommerce, there is always a way to succeed that many individuals aren’t seeing. There is a door to boost sales, to increase opportunity, to increase brand awareness.
By way of instance, companies come to us and say,”We have made this 1 video, and we have shared it on Instagram and YouTube, but we are simply not seeing any traction.”
Our reply is,”Have you repurposed this movie? Instead of one 60-second movie, why not 10 6-second videos? Then post on a whole lot of different platforms. Create some PR about it. Cast a wider net.”
Ecommerce businesses will need to find that third door.
Bandholz: My number one hack on branding and link building is to reach out to platforms we use and provide our firm as a case study. Beardbrand has been a case study on Typeform, Storemapper, Gleam, and Yotpo, amongst others. Anyone who wants a case study, we are quick to raise our hands. ShipStation, the delivery applications, has featured us for several years. They are presently broadcasting it in a national TV commercial.
Blake: You are playing the game, which is smart. You will need those crucial short-term yields, too, naturally. If you can balance your marketing strategies with short term yields and a long-term digital footprint, like you are doing, it is invaluable. Those 2 items used together can make a brand unstoppable.
Bandholz: We achieved to Typeform and said,”Hey, we are doing something quite unique with your applications.” And they said,”That is cool. Nobody is doing that. Let’s do a case study on it.” You need that vision to be fine with the fact that not everything is going to have a measurable, immediate return.
A great deal of companies in our area visit Klaviyo.com. They’ll see Beardbrand there since we did a case study with Klaviyo. Plus, for us, it is good karma. If you help people out, good things seem to happen.
Blake: Cool. It is about building win-win partnerships and doing it with an abundance mentality. I am stealing both of these concepts from”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” the publication. The abundance mentality is the ability to examine a partnership and say,”There is enough good company to go around as long as we are trying our best.”
If we are doing our best and it is not working, then it is a bad idea, or our procedure isn’t right.
When we have a scarcity outlook with shortsightedness, we are scratching and clawing to keep it all because we are concerned about losing money. A much better approach is an abundance mentality, stating,”I am trying to offer value to the world, and so long as I am doing this, I’m likely to find clients.”
We have taken this approach with MWI, our service. We are not forcing it. It is who I am. It is who Josh is. It is exactly what our brand is. It is the people we employ.
When we do business like that, it has a tendency to eliminate stress and worry. That is what we’re trying to do.
Bandholz: How do people learn more about you and MWI?
Blake: The bureau, again, is a three-letter domain Mwi.com. You may also reach me on LinkedIn. Beyond marketing, we’ve got The Hope Strategy Podcast, where we concentrate on optimism and an abundance mentality.
So, MWI is for the company stuff. But if you’re looking for a few good conversations from smart folks, try out the podcast.
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