BY JILL NAGY
When it comes to using e-marketing to promote
a business, the landscape keeps growing
and “there are more choices, more options, more
room for errors,” said Julia Ingersoll of Allegory
Studios in Saratoga Springs, a marketing firm
that helps businesses develop digital marketing
In deciding what to do, a business owner
should begin by defining the culture and brand
of the business and design its advertising to
reflect that, Ingersoll said. In addition, the business
owner should look at the business’s ideal
customer and ask where that person is located.
Before joining a network, she advised, find out
who else is on it.
Beth Moeller of Interactive Media Consulting,
also in Saratoga Springs, agrees. Begin by
deciding who you are trying to reach, she said.
The variety of media available can seem overwhelming
but, she noted, different media suit
For example, a business trying to reach
consumers might try an email newsletter. Restaurants,
hotels and the like may do best with
a FaceBook page. Someone trying to convey a
message from business to business, could benefit
from a LinkedIn account, she said.
Sara Mannix, founder and CEO of Mannix
Marketing in Glens Falls, suggested that, for
most businesses “the first stop is your website,
the foundation of any digital marketing plan.”
She said, “a properly-built website is like a instore
in the middle of a busy mall. People happen
upon it naturally, browse and buy.”
To test whether a website is functioning
properly, she said, “you should be able to Google
your keywords and find your business on the
For a small business, in particular, digital
media can offer a cost-effective way to get out
the company’s message.
“Every business has to make every dollar
count,” Ingersoll said. “Usually paying for advertising
is not in the budget of a small business.”
Electronic media are far less expensive to
use, in both money and time, than traditional
Ingersoll provided two examples: Someone
producing children’s lunch boxes may want to
reach “fashion forward moms.” One approach
would be to team up with a local parenting
blogger to provide a series of blogs about healthy
lunch options. A company that cleans commercial
kitchens could reach potential clients with
a program explaining OSHA safety standards.
All three of the companies offer advice and
assistance to businesses venturing into the world
of electronic media. Mannix, for example, offers a
free digital marketing review to help companies
see what is working and what is not. They also
Mannix finds that most small businesses “dive
into social media and love it.” However, she recommended
professional training. “Social media is easy to do. Social media marketing requires
expertise to do it right.”
Interactive Media Consulting calls its introductory
program Social Media Jumpstart. They
will walk people through the process of, for example,
getting a FaceBook page up and running.
For an email campaign, they will help set up a
template that reflects the company’s branding.
They provide training and documentation to
help a business’s employees run the program.
Allegory Studios has spent 15 years as a brand
development company and they build on that
experience. They begin with a culture survey to
help define a company’s culture and personality
and then help the company use that information
as guidance for blogs, advertising, and other
“It’s frequently better to define yourself,”
Ingersoll said. “You may turn off some people
but you probably don’t want them on a longterm
All three experts said electronic media can provide
effective and cost-effective means of promoting
a small business if it is used correctly.