How Entrepreneur Dave Hill Is Driving Brand Awareness And Digital Ad Networks

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Written by Lauren DeLisa Coleman

With little more than an idea and a proximity to a Kinkos copy shop, Dave Hill had a vision.

Family members in New Jersey who wanted to become recording artists sought to get their story out and be interviewed. Problem was, no one wanted to interview unknown artists.

“So I had someone interview them, write articles about them, and I printed it out as TRUE Magazine, copied a few at Kinkos and gave them out around the neighborhood for free,” Hill said in a Moguldom interview.

Before long, Hill’s publication featured cover stories on such giants as Jay-Z and Rihanna.

Hill is now celebrating his company’s 20th year. He’s the CEO of DMH Empire Corp. and co-owner of Viral Music Media. His content asset management and advertising network specializes in business management and strategic planning for its clients. He’s a great example of someone who knows how to drive brand awareness.

Today he has multiple digital and print magazines, websites, an advertising agency, a publishing and sync licensing division, the company’s own fashion brands, and he produces concerts. His publications have included Alpha XY Magazine, FGM Magazine, RnB Magazine, and TRUE Magazine.

Companies such as Absolute, Red Bull, Ford and many others hire Hill to reach the influential millennial market via various digital and content-marketing strategies. His outlook and insights keep Hill at the top of his game.

Hill spoke to Moguldom about his business model, how to use to use digital advertising more successfully, and the future of the industry.

Lauren deLisa Coleman:  How did you start your business and why?

Dave Hill: I started in the business looking to market a hip-hop group that I was affiliated with in ’97. Once I found out the prices to advertise, I made a choice to create my own marketing outlet just to push the group. After it got created, multiple artists started to ask how to get in, and can I do the same with them. That’s when I decided to create the ad network.

Dave Hill
Dave Hill. Photo provided

Lauren deLisa Coleman:  What is the exact model you use for your advertising network business and what is the value prop for clients?

Dave Hill: Our business model is to No. 1 have a platform that is consistent with producing content people want to see. No. 2: have those platforms known where it’s natural for them to look for content there through marketing our own content. No. 3 is all about partnering up or providing space for artists/companies to use to promote or brand their products/services. And we use our data gained from people who view our content to give artists/companies a targeted direction to get the most out of there marketing dollars.

Lauren deLisa Coleman:  What are some of the names with whom you’ve worked?

Dave Hill: We have worked with some big named companies in music such as Def Jam, Interscope, Atlantic Records. (We’ve also worked with) Red Bull, 42 Below Vodka, Hypnotic and Nuvo to fashion brands such as Ed Hardy, True Religion, Villans, and Rocawear. One thing about us is we have a system that allows us to work with smaller companies that want to only target certain states, etc.

Lauren deLisa Coleman: What are your suggestions for those who want to use digital advertising more successfully?

Dave Hill: Two important things are: 1. Understand your data. You don’t need to be known in all 50 states or the world to be successful. All you need to do is get your core buyers and keep them buying. If your brand has 1,000 buyers in three states and you sell a product for $30, you will have $90,000 a month. 2. Don’t be afraid to spend on your marketing. I heard that Amazon spent around 40 percent of every $1 made on marketing to build it to where it is now. (That) is 10 percent over the average and now Amazon owns and has everything.

Lauren deLisa Coleman:  What is your forecast for this part of the industry?

Dave Hill: I believe that everything is going to video ads that are interactive, that have a simple message, but ask you to do something. Get those ads played on as many video players that fit your niche. Revenue in digital video ads is up more than ever, as well as curated sponsored content — but that’s another conversation.