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Follow Friday With Justin Romack

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It is definitely five o’clock somewhere! Another busy week has come to an end which means it is time for some fun in the sun! It also means that it is time for another wonderful edition of Fedora Outlier’s Follow Friday (#FF) interview series.

The art of public relations and marketing has definitely changed over the years. Businesses and organizations have gone digital when it comes to their marketing campaign. Social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have become important “instant” communication tools and the ability to produce high quality content for a particular brand is essential these days when it comes to using the internet as part of the marketing strategy.

Digital marketing can be quite overwhelming, especially to the blind entrepreneur. However, it is possible to create a successful marketing campaign if given the right tools and resources. That is exactly what happened When Justin Romack of Ontempo Ideas chose to help Fedora Outlier, LLC with its digital marketing and public relations campaign and why I chose him as this week’s Follow Friday (#FF) guest.

Editor’s Note: Justin Romack is the primary reason why Fedora Outlier hosts a weekly #AccessChat and #FF interview series. He believed that it would be an essential part of our digital marketing campaign; however, I did not know that I would be the one chosen to take charge of Fedora’s Twitter platform which caused me to step outside of my comfort zone and learn to think “outside of the box”.

BRIE Rumery: Why does online marketing matter?

Justin Romack: Whether you’re watching TV, strolling the mall or checking Twitter, companies are constantly marketing products and services to you. While traditional media (like newspapers, television commercials, billboards, etc. etc.) offer the ability to target certain demographics (such as men between the ages of 26-35, moms over the age of 40 or men and women living in a specific location), digital marketing offers much more precise targeting, based on activity around the web, purchase history, interaction patterns and much more.

Digital marketing is important to businesses because they can reach customers more effectively at a much cheaper price, but it’s also handy for consumers (like you and I) because it’s often easier to find products we’ll like and want.

BR: What is the difference between copywriting and content marketing?

JR: I spend most of my days ankle-deep in the written word, and copywriting and content marketing are two types of writing I pen as a marketer. While similar in appearance, each form has a very specific purpose in marketing, sales and advertising.

Copywriting is text explicitly written to advertise and market a product or service. A copywriter uses compelling headlines, clear features and benefits for the buyer, and a strong call to action to motivate prospects to buy something. Copy can be written for ads, brochures, websites, emails, press releases, newsletters and so much more.

Content marketing is similar to copywriting, but it is really designed to deliver value and take consumers on a journey. Content marketing can take shape in a variety of formats (blogs, newsletters, podcasts, videos, ebooks, etc. etc.), but its main focus is to give the consumer a big takeaway at the end. Maybe you walk away with new insight that you can apply right away. Or maybe you’ve learned a new skill as a result. Companies build trust and authority with content marketing, as readers then see the publisher of the content as the leading source for all things relevant to their respective industry.

BR: Is it really that important for today’s brands to be involved with digital marketing and if so, why?

JR: The fact is: For many businesses, their ideal customer is online constantly. We’re a hyper-mobile society, and we take our primary content consumption devices (cell phones, tablets and laptops) with us everywhere we go. So, it’s important for businesses to understand how their target customer consumes content these days, and then pick a platform that will most effectively reach them. Does that involve online marketing? For many businesses, the answer is yes.

BR: How can digital marketing help or hinder the blind entrepreneur?

JR: For me, digital platforms level the playing field. I’m able to build a social media marketing campaign, design a targeted pay-per-click advertisement, start a blog for a business, develop an email marketing list and countless other techniques and tactics to reach a consumer online—all with a screen reader. Yes, web accessibility presents challenges from time to time. But I feel like each and every one of us has valuable insight or a skill to share with the world—and I think, with the right amount of entrepreneurial spirit, all accessibility hurdles are worth jumping for the potential digital marketing has to offer.

BR: What are some basic Do’s and Don’ts’s that should be used in regards to online marketing?

JR: Be patient, be intentional, be helpful and be human. Don’t try to be everywhere at once. Start slow, develop a solid strategy, focus on delivering tons and tons of value to your readers, listeners and subscribers, and work diligently to build meaningful relationships with your community.

BR: How important is it for a brand to have a blog and why?

JR: Blogging is one of my favorite tools to share with businesses wanting to get started with digital marketing. It’s an easy opportunity to deliver value and takeaway for readers, and if your topic is interesting, you can easily build community around your content. My best piece of advice for blogging—be consistent. Plan a few months’ worth of content before you launch, and stick with it even if you don’t get comments or shares. It’s a marathon—not a race.

BR: What is Accessible Life all about and when will it launch?

JR: I’ve always been committed to serving the blindness community and those with disabilities, whether through No Eyes Needed, or my time with the Fedora Outlier team.
AccessibleLife is the destination for all things pertinent to living accessibly, including adaptive technology news and reviews, mainstream gadget accessibility and “life hacks” to help readers reach more, do more and be more. The site is set to launch this fall, and those interested in more information can subscribe to receive free e-lerts about the launch at AccessibleLife.org.

BR: Why did you feel the need to choose Twitter as one of your social networking platforms and who are some of the people you follow?

JR: Twitter is a phenomenal way to share information and connect with people online. It’s such a simple concept, and the 140-character limit tends to foster tons of creativity. I personally follow tech pundats, entrepreneurs and marketers, blindness-related organizations and businesses, major media outlets and (of course) a ton of sports outlets and writers. The AccessibleLife account also follows quite a few blindness-related accounts, but we try to build relationships and source more content from mainstream connections, too.

Thank you to Justin for allowing me to pick his brain in regards to digital marketing. For more information about Justin or you need digital marketing services then check out On tempo Ideas? You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Fedora Outlier, LLC uses some of the above mentioned resources to create and produce the monthly Delivering Access newsletter which contains informative content about the firm, computer and iOS tidbits and much, much more! Sign up to receive our newsletter each month and we will tip our fedora off to you!