The Internet can bring new visitors, residents, workers and entrepreneurs to town. It can give new life to existing businesses by expanding markets. It can put your community on the map and create new connections in and among communities.
When business, government, non profits and community residents take advantage of the possibilities the Internet offers, a town can compete or collaborate with anyone, anywhere. Residents can work together to unlock local opportunities, build new skills and markets, and create a more vibrant local economy.
That's why Extension's Center for Community Vitality fosters e-marketing education as part of its community economics programs. By exploring the potential of the Internet, communities make things happen.
Available eMarketing Workshops
University of Minnesota Extension offers a variety of eMarketing workshops and seminars to teach managers, owners, and staff of small businesses and organizations about using online tools strategically and enhance their online presence. The following topics are available to be delivered in your community both in an a one hour seminar format, and a longer 2-3 hour hands on workshop format. Please contact your educator for more information.
- Managing online reviews
Managing an online presence is now an essential business practice. This includes monitoring and responding to reviews posted on social media sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor. Please refer to the fact sheets on this topic found on the eMarketing: Practical and Useful Research page to learn about the impact of online reviews on consumers and businesses, and watch the recorded session to learn about how to manage reviews of your business to enhance customer loyalty and attract new customers. (Recorded 11/6/2013)
- The art of responding to online reviews
- Online reviews - the new word of mouth
- "Scrubbed" in NY Mag
- How Small Businesses Can Manage Negative Online Reviews
- 12 Places Businesses Should Be Collecting Online Reviews
- A Legal Guide to the Use of Social Media in the Workplace - MN DEED
- Getting value from your customers - short video by Erik Qualman
- Online reviews are less reliable than we think - University of Michigan
- Yelp's guidelines for businesses
- Google's guidelines for businesses
- The art of responding to online reviews
- Mobile eMarketing
Mobile devices like iPhones and Androids generate the bulk of internet traffic now. Having a mobile version of a business website and being accessible through multiple mobile search engines is considered essential by many businesses. This recorded session (11/20/2013) covers:
- Data on mobile internet usage
- What makes a website friendly to mobiles
- Considerations concerning building mobile apps versus mobile websites
- How to use QR codes to engage audiences
- Leverage location based services to get found
- How to conduct credit card transactions on mobile devices
- Using digital coupons to drive traffic to your business
- Nielsen's statistics on global mobile usage
- Basic Guide to responsive design
- Mashable - an online magazine always has a number of interesting articles about mobile marketing.
- Informative info graphic on the impact of mobile marketing
- Mobile marketing watch - is central news hub of what's going on in the mobile world.
- Techcrunch covers apps, platforms and businesses redefining how we use computers.
- How mobile is transforming the shopping experience in stores
- Location based services
From Google Maps to Yelp, people now rely on location based services to find goods and services. This recorded session (12/18/2013) covers:
- Prevalence in the use of maps for commerce
- The importance of having your business or organization list properly on online maps
- How to asses your business presence on online maps
- How to fix problems with your maps listings
- How to add a new listing to maps
- How to add community points of interest
- Cool new stuff (at least of time of posting) - GeoFences and iBeacons
- Location-Based Marketing, Resources and Tools
- 9 Killer Tips for Location-Based Marketing
- 7 Steps to a Successful Location-Based Social Media Campaign
- How to fix issues with your Google Map listing
- 10 tips for using YouTube for SEO
- What is a Geo Fence and what are iBeacons
- 6 Geofencing tools for small businesses
- Social media for business
Many who have Facebook business pages or a Twitter account struggle to make good use of them. This recorded session explores strategies and tactics small businesses are using to engage with customers using social media. We examine real small businesses who are quite successfully using social media to engage with the customers and improving their bottom line. (Recorded 1/29/2014)
- Social media monitoring tools
- Great articles on Mashable on Social Media
- Why engagement rate is more important than Likes on your Facebook page
- Creating a social media strategy for your event
- Three timely social media lessons from an old business
- Three scientific studies with real insight into social media
- Nine small business social media success stories
- Social media monitoring tools
- Getting high on Google (Basics of SEO)
Getting to the top of Google's search results is a marketing priority of many businesses. Making sure that your website represents all that your business has to offer is the primary way to get the top search rankings. Making sure your site content matches with what searchers are looking for is the bread and butter of SEO. This recorded session covers the basics of Search Engine Optimization - SEO to help your organization get to one the first page. This recorded session (3/26/14) covers:
- Incorporating appropriate Keywords and Content for your site
- How the popularity of your website influences your rankings
- Why stagnant sites hurt ratings
- How working and networking with other businesses and organizations can improve your ranking
- Official Google Search blog
- Webmaster tools to run your site
- Excellent resource on SEO
- Google AdWords keyword planner tool
- News and information about search engines
- An excellent blog for information on analytics
- Using analytics to inform business decisions
Analytics is the recorded data of how many visitors come to your website, what pages they went to, and what content they engaged with. Most business websites have analytic data available for the website but do not have a clear idea of how to use it to make decisions. This recorded session (4/9/2014) covers:
- How to set up analytics for your website if you don't already have it
- What can be measured and how data is generated
- Case studies how organizations can use analytic data to improve their website and business
- What are some other web analytic tools and what is the difference between them?
- An excellent blog for information and analytics:
- University of Minnesota - eMarketing: Practical and Useful Research
- Official blog for Google Analytics
- Source for various customized dashboards
What others have to say about our webinars:
"Wonderful series. Educational and extremely affordable. I really like the additional resources to help learn things more in-depth. The recordings and handouts made great references."
"Great content...learned something new with each session!"
"Well planned, concise and yet very informative presentations, making them an excellent use of my often stretched-too-thin time."
"These classes were very useful and Adeel Ahmed is one of the best instructors I have had in many years. His online teaching skills are excellent -- he not only develops great support materials, but has an engaging way of presenting that builds a strong personal rapport with the adult learners he is teaching."
About the Instructor
Adeel Ahmed has been teaching, writing, and researching about effective internet use for small business since beginning his career in Extension in 2006. Prior to that he was helping large businesses make effective use of the internet in a number of highly technical positions at Northwest Airlines, Koch Industries, and Emerson Process Management. His specialty is in crowd sourcing, and in location based services (e.g. getting found on Google Maps and Mapquest). You can find his work on
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