Edinboro Alumna Speaks Digital Marketing

Category:  News
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 at 6:01 PM

With her self-admitted fear of computers, one would never guess that Linda Jo Thornberg had a secret power — the power of merging her clients’ success stories with a new outlook through the digital realm of online marketing and advertising.

Graduating from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2002, the only thing stopping Thornberg from accomplishing her business goals was herself — and that was the least of her worries.

“I want to teach our customers that they need to be a champion of their business,” stated Thornberg during a homecoming talk she gave on campus the morning of Oct. 13.

During her talk, Thornberg took students through her story of becoming a leader in the competitive field of digital marketing. 

As vice president of corporate communications and public relations, Thornberg works for Higher Images, a Pittsburgh-based digital marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization, web design, graphic design and public relations services.

Prior to graduating with her college degree, Thornberg and her husband, Bryan, had the idea of becoming self-employed in the industry by establishing Higher Images in 2001 as a source for advertising needs in their local area. 

Thornberg said she is both a resource and partner with her clients, ensuring their digital marketing initiatives are met whether they be a small, medium, or large organization.

 “What I had learned way back in my undergraduate communication classes allowed me to transfer those skills into the digital marketing world,” said Thornberg. “In digital marketing, it is all about the content you are creating, whether that is social media, search engine optimization, or various others.”

Spending $2 million per year on online advertising, Thornberg credited Google for Higher Images’ effort in earning clients’ respect and confidence.

Being that much of her discussion revolved around Google being the center for digital marketing, Thornberg wanted students to question what exactly is Google, how it should be used, and what can come from utilizing it in one’s own marketing strategy.

The next discovery only added to Thornberg’s credibility.

Using the term “Pittsburgh Business Show,” in Google’s search engine, it was shown that Thornberg not only had a role in Higher Images, but also owned this new company named above.

“Beginning the Pittsburgh Business Show eight months ago, I needed to do everything I told my clients to do in order to become successful in Google searches,” she stated. 

Wanting to connect businesses together, especially in a like-minded industry, Thornberg took to Google and social media where she could reach maximum audiences when marketing both her company, as well as her clients.

“Just like everyone thought the internet was not going to take off, the same happened when social media arrived,” Thornberg said. “If Higher Images was going to stay relevant with our clients, we were going to have to change.” 

Coining the term “The Perfect STORM,” Thornberg wanted students to realize digital marketing is not only about search engine optimization, but should take into account social, tactical, organic, reputational and marketing content. Doing so will gain a high return on investments, which, at the end of the day, is what Higher Images is hired for.

Worrying how older clients would feel about moving from print advertising to digital is a concern that continues to stick with her.

“At the end of the day, we have to figure out not only how to reach the older generation, but how to reach the millennials that have never not known to search something on their phones,” mentioned Thornberg. 

Dealing primarily with digital services, Thornberg wishes all her clients become an online authority in their industry. Being that public relations is becoming more digital, helping clients recognize that online marketing is trackable for every advertisement is a major responsibility in her job, she said.

Using a metaphor to explain Google, Thornberg compared the search engine to a house. Within this house, you have many rooms to enter. These rooms serve as your advertisements which include testimonials, pictures, comments and customer reviews. 

With every good review, there are bad reviews. Or, as Thornberg likes to put it, “It’s like the wild, wild west — very unpredictable.”

Wanting her clients to be honest and forthright as Higher Images is, Thornberg emphasizes the need to clients to address negative reviews as a proper public relations tactic in regaining audience’s trust. 

In an effort to relieve negative acts online, Thornberg makes one last stop in her digital marketing career.

Thornberg is a part of Fifty Shades of Silence, an organization looking to raise awareness of acts of violence online. Filming a documentary regarding the issue, Thornberg wants to show individuals how negative reputations can affect a person or organization’s image.


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