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CMG Social Media: The Marathon of Staying Ahead

Every issue, you are greeted with articles stressing the importance of social media and your online presence to both your personal brand as well as the success of your business. A maelstrom of contradictory and time-consuming tasks are added to your to-do list and consistently shuffled back as your business takes precedence – as it should. Today, we turn our conversation over to some local professionals who offer nationwide services that allow their clients to focus on their customers and earning repeat business while these two build their online presence to keep new customers coming in.

In the fall of 2015, Shawn Campbell, a social media guru, founded Campbell Marketing Group, known commonly as CMG Social Media. He was joined by Robert Callesen, a web designer and SEO expert, in the summer of 2017. Together, the two partners bring their complementary services to a growing roster of customers.

“I had been a social media analyst for some time when I saw an opportunity in the industry to open my own business,” says Shawn Campbell. “A lot of the smaller businesses in my own backyard – Tucson – were completely overlooking the value of online marketing. With my marketing experience, I knew I could get in on the ground floor and begin using social media to grow their businesses.”

Thus began CMG Social Media.

Campbell quickly expanded out of his backyard to work with small and mid-sized businesses as well as professionals across the country. With the addition of Callesen, the company now operates almost completely coast-to-coast.

Ten years ago, Callesen was working as an international business consultant with a marketing degree and years of hands-on experience under his belt. When he saw the industry begin to shift to digital, he began planning. Within four years, he had founded EForce Marketing – a web design and SEO company.

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“I met Shawn through a mutual client,” Callesen says. “We came to realize that together our services were the full package. Now, we are in the process of building something spectacular.”

As established business owners, the partners believe they bring a unique point of view to the digital marketing industry. “We’re not fresh out of college,” Callesen says. “We have decades of marketing and business experience that complement our knowledge of high tech digital trends. We see both sides of the coins, and I think our clients appreciate that history.”

“We check our egos at the door,” Campbell says. “We – while I hate to use the term – go above and beyond for our clients. I think that focus on them and their needs is what keeps customers referring business to us. We are business owners, so we understand the time constraints on our clients. We fit into their schedule, not the other way around.

“In fact,” Campbell adds. “Sunday is probably my busiest day. It’s when our customers can turn their attention from their business and clients to our project.”

While their dedication to customer service and communication keeps their clients happy with their work, their success would not be complete without an effective marketing strategy that produces results.

“This isn’t a race,” Callesen says. “Online marketing is a marathon. It takes time to create an online footprint and to develop an audience.”

The partners offer a full array of services to help make that marathon move at a quick pace. Callesen works with customers to improve or create their website and ensure it is completely optimized. He also goes through the 100 main online directories to ensure the company is listed with an accurate and optimized posting. Campbell circles in with his focus on social media.

“These are the three critical keys to be found online,” Callesen says. “The three legs of the digital marketing stool.”

When they sit down with customers to review their marketing plan, Campbell is quick to preface any conversation with a warning about the fluidity of Google algorithms and social media trends. “In the next three months, six months, a year, our plan will evolve to accommodate changes in both. A year ago, we were entirely focused on organic posts. A year ago, we didn’t have live video. A year ago, Instagram was a small-time focus. Social media platforms and their popularity change rapidly, we have to as well to keep pace.”

“We’re always self-educating,” Callesen says.

“Staying ahead of the new trends is something that really keeps my job interesting,” Campbell says. “It’s not always easy to be the first on the ‘next big thing.’ The sense of accomplishment when we’re able to get in ahead of the pack is really validating – for us and our customers. That’s why we work together to investigate and move quickly to execute our plans.”

And their strategy seems to be working. With a roster of happy clients and a growing influx of new ones referred to them, CMG Social Media is on the rise.

“We’re doing the right thing by our customers,” Callesen says. “We not only love what we’re doing, but our clients love what we’re doing for them.”

“One of our clients out of New York has been with us for only four months,” Callesen adds. “Since we started, he has called us at least six times after viewing the jump in his analytics. He’s been in his industry for 40 years and never seen anything like what we’ve produced in the short time we’ve worked with him.”

And the partners are excited to share their knowledge. The two are consistently out in the community keynoting seminars for business owners – educating them on SEO and social media marketing.

“We hand them the information they need to make informed decisions when it comes to online marketing – whether they’re self-marketing or hiring out,” Callesen says.

Campbell shares that this desire to share knowledge and motivate business owners will become a more integral part of their business model in 2018.

“I don’t know exactly where we’ll be in a year,” Campbell says, “but I know we’ll continue to grow and improve.”

CMG Social Media’s Five Top Tips

No. 1: The website is the anchor of your online image. It sets the tone for everything else. It needs to be attractive and functional. Be concise in messaging, and include calls-to-action to ensure your website converts.

No. 2: Mobile is king. Well over 50% of users use mobile devices to find information online. If your website isn’t mobile-responsive, you’ll be left in the dust.

No. 3: The U.S. public is on their phones five hours a day. On average, half of that time (2.5 hours) is spent on social media. Shouldn’t your business share that arena?

No. 4: By not updating your social media accounts, your business looks unresponsive. Position yourself as a leader in your industry by posting relevant, engaging, and valuable posts. This helps build your brand and your business.

No. 5: To get found online, use the “Three legs of the digital marketing stool” approach: (1) Optimized & responsive website; (2) Engaging Social Media; and (3) Local Web Presence Optimization (WPO).

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