Signal Multimedia launches digital agency

Signal Multimedia, SCVBJ’s parent company, has launched a new full-service digital marketing agency dedicated to helping local merchants and businesses thrive in the age of social media.

Signal Digital Solutions provides customized marketing plans incorporating web design, search engine optimization, social media strategies, targeted display and reputation-management tactics with time-tested multimedia solutions.

“With over 98 years of experience helping local businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley, The Signal is continuing to offer solutions to local business owners with Signal Digital Solutions,” said Michael Madigan, the account executive who is spearheading the new endeavor.

Last month, a launch event featured a presentation by Daryl Hively, founder and CEO of Guarantee Digital in Hartland, Wisc., which is partnering with Signal Multimedia. Hively has held senior roles at Knight Ridder, Scripps, Advance Internet, Digital First and Journal Communications, where he launched his first digital agency in 2010. He founded Guarantee Digital in 2011.

Hively keyed in on the importance of mobile search and the growing power of video as drivers of customers’ buying choices.

“Is your site mobile-friendly, and are you ready for the mobile consumer,” he asked, “because half of all searches are on mobile devices, and that percentage is growing.” Hively pointed out that three out of four times when people search for a product or service on their mobile device, they make a purchase.

As for for video, he cited one market study that predicts that within a few years, 70 percent of Internet traffic will be streamed video.

Google dominates the search business with an 88 percent market share on mobile devices, and owns YouTube, on which more than 4.1 million videos are viewed every minute. That makes knowing the details of how Google decides how to rank and present search results critical for business owners.

A presence on Facebook, which has the equivalent of a Super Bowl audience using its site every day, is also crucial, Hively said.

Tom Smith, a Santa Clarita business owner who attended the seminar, noted the power that Google and Facebook wield.

“It is mind boggling to realize how Google and Facebook are increasingly able to identify and categorize users based on their choices to create profiles that advertisers can buy and use,” Smith said.

He has worked in film, TV, and commercial production for more than 35 years, primarily as an assistant director, and as owner an online film resource listing service matching owners with filmmakers looking for locations and picture vehicles.

“I have a degree in business administration with a major in marketing, so I get the goal of targeting consumers to turn them into customers,” Smith said. “As a small business owner, I found all the social media choices to be somewhat overwhelming. I worked to identify those I thought could best help me reach potential customers. Like many others, I think I have failed to make the most effective use of what’s out there, but I keep learning every day.”

Hively stressed the importance of making a strong accurate first impression online. “Make sure that information about your business is accurate, including directories and maps. Have a welcoming website that looks great on all screens. The words on your site have to be written both for the customers who will read them and with an awareness of what works to improve your results on Google.”

Signal Digital Solutions is offering local businesses a free digital snapshot report. “Our goal is to help local businesses improve their online visibility so that customers can find them,” Madigan said.

“A quality content marketing strategy helps businesses use social media and more traditional online tools such as blogs and email to drive repeat business and referrals,” he said. “Our digital target marketing programs helps merchants identify and reach their best potential customers.”

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