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“If you are a small business, you have more and more options for creating content, managing local listings, staying on top of you business’ online reputation, and managing lead flow.”

Adam Japko led the development and roll out of DesignSherpa; the first turnkey social media, content, and internet marketing management system for the local Home Design industry. Now as President of DigitalSherpa, he collaborates with his management team on ways to make internet marketing simpler, more powerful, and easier to execute for small businesses.

DigitalSherpa delivers content marketing solutions for small-to-medium sized businesses. The DigitalSherpa solution is designed to provide and market affordable custom content that connects businesses with prospects and customers in a highly organic fashion. Each of the DigitalSherpa service levels is built to solve three critical challenges business operators encounter marketing online: time, expertise and money.


BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that you help your clients create and nurture leads?

Adam: At the center of all of our programs is discoverable web content. Whether it is blog posts, local listings, social media updates, whitepapers or ebooks, the foundation of all DigitalSherpa programs is to create high conversion traffic through long tail search results. Our system includes lead creating Calls To Actions (CTAs) that allow clients to capture email and other information about prospects. The client dashboard interface allows clients to manage those leads for nurturing and ultimate sales conversion while making it easy to participate in social networks and monitor online reputations. Driving lots of traffic provides benefits of authority and branding, and our clients monetize the traffic we drive through lead conversion in order to feel the real power and ROI of our content marketing programs.

BusinessInterviews.com: Why do you think that blogging can be the way forward when it comes to increasing both traffic and conversion rates?

Adam: First, blogging is nothing more than updating a web site frequently. Fresh content is something that SMB websites suffer from. Having regular content that addresses the curiosities that their unique prospects search the web for creates significant long tail search discovery. That style of web traffic and prospect converts best. Secondly, blogging allows the business to participate in the local community of businesses and active web publishers, creating linking opportunities and local good will. This helps the web discovery process.

BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you to give to a company contemplating their first social media campaign? Additionally, what are some things that they should and shouldn’t expect from the experience?

Adam: Just start. Figure out where your prospects hang out on line. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Invest your time where your markets invest theirs. Share content from your home base on the web, preferably a blog or website. But do more. Show interest and remain authentic with your network. Don’t sell; offer help and acknowledgement. Social networkers that put their sense of artistry (whatever you are good at) and generosity on display have the most success. Be steady. Tend the garden. Keep creating content.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some ways that the social media landscape has changed since you launched DigitalSherpa back in 2009?

Adam: Actually, what hasn’t changed? Back then the first thing you needed to get beyond was that Social Networks were only for kids. The 35+ year old market was just getting familiar with social network participation. Adults have now fully opted in and use these platforms in different ways than their kids. Secondly, we have mostly moved beyond the question of ROI. The social web is now a kindred spirit to the Google web. There is great content, people, advertising, and search to be had. So mining the Social Web for business leads is just as powerful today as working the Google web.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some trends in your industry that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?

Adam: The thing that gets me excited is the element that confounds so many. If you are a small business, you have more and more options for creating content, managing local listings, staying on top of you business’ online reputation, and managing lead flow. With all the options comes anxiety about choosing the right path. Logically, sophisticated tools to track and measure which platforms, content and strategies work best for you, and where to invest time and money are proliferating. These analytic and measurement tools are guides, or as we like to call them “Sherpas”, in knowing how your marketing investment is trending. Social media and content marketing has put its big boy pants on. Simultaneously, small business operators are seeing this kind of marketing now as mainstream. So the sophistication of measurement and analytics that guide spending optimization is the thing I am most excited about.

BusinessInterviews.com: How can a company with a long run of negative reviews start to rebuild their reputation?

Adam: There are two basic strategies for this. First, if the comments are on consumer review sites, address the comments head on. Be authentic, acknowledge when you made a mistake, and talk about the positive things you are doing. Bring in happy clients and customers to the conversation. Secondly, think blogging. Creating tons of authentic content every day or week on the web will develop enough authority over time to replace and push the negative reviews that come up in Google search deeper into the SERPs. Fresh, authentic, and relevant content will win the day.

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