Stone Road Media prides itself in being “The Outdoor Digital Marketing Agency” for hunting marketing, fishing marketing, shooting marketing, travel marketing, media marketing, and outdoor lifestyle marketing. Our team of marketers, programmers, project managers, and graphic artists live the outdoors, and know your target customers because we are your target customers!

Be Seen. Be Found. Be Different. Our motto, and also our milestones. We want your company and products/services to BE SEEN by the targeted masses, BE FOUND by your soon to be customers, and BE DIFFERENT from your competitors in order to tap into markets that leave them scratching their heads. Our milestones are your goals, but we won’t ever settle for “hitting a mark,” as we know there is always room for growth and increased success. Just ask our current clients!

Operate Smart │ Become Part of the Membership Economy

Membership Economy Based Revenue for Your Business

By Jeremy Flinn, CMO

Whether you sell a product or a service, the daily grind of sale to sale is not something we look forward to each day. The fact is, if you’re not selling, you’re not making money. For most this is simply the way it is. But for many, they just think this is the way it has to be. The fact is they may not be operating their business, and more specifically revenue stream, to its fullest. Instead of thinking about individual sales they should be focused on recurring revenue. Though many of these business owners may not think a “membership economy” based revenue stream is applicable to their business, the reality is it may be the only way to keep their business thriving!

I know what you’re thinking. “I sell product A, how can I sale a membership?” You’re right, that’s a hard one. Or is it? Take Sam’s Club as an example. They sell a lot of “Product A” and others yet they make a large chunk of revenue on their Sam’s Club membership. Sure $3 Billion in membership, compared to over $50 Billion in sales is a small piece of the pie, but consider the little to know overhead costs in memberships, whereas there is a cost to Sam’s Club to buy Product A and sell it to the consumer. How about you cellular phone company? Most of us are carrying around an AT&T or Verizon network supported smartphone. Sure it seems like we are making a purchase of Product A, but in reality we entered a membership economy revenue stream with them, some sort of contract in which we make a monthly payment for the duration of the term. The membership based revenue stream, does serval things that will make a business more stable and allow for growth opportunities.

Think about your business. If you are selling a product or service, each day is about selling more. There is likely a level of “repeat business” but it’s not implied. The daily grind of running a business like this is taxing. What if you have a bad week, or even a bad month? Let’s say you own a lawn mowing business. The summer is experiencing an epic drought, and grass is not growing. If you charged per cutting, and there is no grass to cut, you are probably sweating bullets, and not because of the sun’s heat. But what id instead of charging per cut, you offered your customers a monthly plan that included cutting, but also featured weed control, fertilizing, aeration, and irrigation? Now you would have the ability to not only irrigate and fertilize yards, but because you are doing so, you will likely have grass to cut…that means you are more needed! With the additional services, you can likely charge more per month, than if you were just cutting grass, and it allows your business to be more predictable and stable month to month.

The ability to infuse a membership economy based structure into your business, can create not only a profitable business, but one that can grow on a strong financial foundation. In a membership based revenue stream, the goal should be to retain your existing customers about 70% of the time, and grow the business with new members 30% of the time. You’re existing base is what covers expenses and pays you at the end of the day, but it also allows the financial clarity to grow the business. However, it’s extremely important to not neglect current customers and strictly focus on gaining new ones. This will result in loss of retained business, and you begin to fight gain/loss battle.

If you think your business is struggling and unpredictable, think about the ability to stabilize your business, KNOW what revenue will be next month, and focus more on retaining current business than where the next customer will come from. If you think differently than the norm, you may find a hidden revenue gem in your own business with a membership economy structure.

There’s More to Digital Marketing than Social Media

There’s More to Digital Marketing than Social Media

By Jeremy Flinn, Entrepreneur

You’ve heard the term more and more over the last 5 years. Digital marketing or internet advertising – at first it sounded like something that would never effect your business. Why would it? You had a steady stream of dedicated customers and seemed to have new customers engaging with your brand and products/services. It was likely that TV commercial or magazine ad you ran. You don’t know for sure, but it seems logical. But business started to plateau or even stumble a little, so you dove into the world of digital marketing head first and opened up not just one but TWO social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter. You now were engaging with customers who were active customers of your brand and products/services. But to your surprise, your business didn’t shoot off like you expected, in fact this digital marketing seemed to be a complete flop. Sound familiar? Well if opening a couple social media accounts and even doing some paid advertising on them was your way of digital marketing, you’re probably realizing you missed something.

Social media is absolutely a piece of digital marketing, and if used correctly can be a great catalyst of business growth. But even though you think it’s cool that a bunch of people “Like” your picture of cat sleeping on the cash register, that doesn’t do anything for your business unless you are a pet adoption center. Ok, maybe the cat thing was a little extreme. But think about some of the things you have posted recently on your social media platforms, and the differ engagements – Likes or Favorites, Comments, and Shares or Retweets – you received. Were they generating business for you? Likely not. In fact, recent studies show that nearly 70% of social media followers for most companies have never been to their website!

There’s a strategy with social media in order to make it an effective piece of digital marketing. If you aren’t driving or exposing social media followers to your business directly, you are likely failing. Sure it’s cool to have 50,000 Facebook fans. But if only 5% of them are actual customers, then why are you spending so much time trying to appease the rest of them? You know what’s better? 5,000 Facebook Fans in which 70% of them are highly engaged in your business, products, and/or services. Quality is much more important than quality. Why? In social media, time is your enemy. Before you know it half your day is spent trying to engage and direct social media followers to your brand and products/services.

But enough about social media. That’s only a piece of digital marketing. What about search engine optimization (SEO)? Sounds complicated, and to a point it is, but to really grasp what SEO is just Google it. No seriously, Google it. As soon as you type the phrase “What is SEO,” SEO is occurring! Google is reaching out to find the most authoritative site on the terms you are looking for and will rank them in the search engine result pages (SERPs). This complex algorithm from Google is revised and released a lot. It is often too much to comprehend for most business owners, thus the advice provided by digital marketing firms like Stone Road Media.

The term Pay-Per-Click or PPC is thrown around a lot, and often can be a quick way to drive traffic to your business. But if not managed correctly it can also be a quick way to drain the bank account. PPC, like Google AdWords, allows you to create a targeted ad for your business to “jump ahead” of the organic results on a SERP. This sounds great in theory and can be very effective, but lately, Google has found that over 80% of the clicks on the SERPs occur on the organic search results. Why? Basically the consumer has evolved and knows that the top and right columns are for “paid ads,” and tend to lean more towards the organic area as its ranked highly for a more definitive reason than “the highest bid.”

This is the tip of the iceberg for digital marketing as all of this revolves around content. Written, video, and pictures are the critical component to successful digital marketing. Not regurgitated content either; I’m talking truly original content that is relative to your brand and that your prospective customers will be legitimately interested in.

As you begin to think about incorporating digital marketing into your business, think about the total package of what this means, and avoid the trap of just social media. In the end it might be the reason your business continues to flat line or respond with positive growth.