All Posts By

Jennifer Davis

Lever Interactive Presents Digital Marketing Trends for 2019

By | Click Blooms News, Inspiration, Paid Search | No Comments

Click Blooms is very proud in sharing our premier, enterprise level, agency’s video and blog post on Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 they recently put out.

The video highlights the discussion around data in 2018 and how some of that has shifted due to increase privacy issues. Brian Yaro, Director, Strategy highlights the importance of content, video and voice in 2019.

Kristin Kaplan, Director, Client Services, discusses the important of automation, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and they many changes and exciting capabilities they bring to digital marketing

Next, Emily Czachowski, Director, Media Operations, tackles attribution. A topic that has been discussed for many years, but with so many changes and under delivery of tools in 2018, lots of work to still be addressed.

And of course, rounded up by Lever Interactive’s President, Chris Gilmartin.

Head on over and watch the video and read the blog post. And don’t forget to use the comments to share your thoughts on 2019!

Text Ads on YouTube – New to Google Ads

By | Google, Paid Search | No Comments

Recently announced at SMX West, Google is now including YouTube into its Search Partner Network – a group of search engines and websites where your ads can run if opted into the network in your Google Ads account.

YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google. It has over 3 billion searches per month (and growing). It has more volume than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com combined.

With YouTube’s inclusion in the Search Partner Network, it will allow text ads to be served to YouTube users. This will enhance the reach for advertisers. Currently, they will only serve text ads to mobile users.

As Google’s style is to run significant testing before they make changes to their system, they indicted that YouTube search ads performed similarly to Google search ads in terms of a cost-per-acquisition.

This is exciting news and only gives advertisers more opportunity to expand. Remember, you must be opted into the Google Search Partner network.

To change your campaigns network selection, from the Campaigns section, go to settings and expand the Networks section. Make sure the box is checked under Search Network to include the Google Search Partners.

What Customers Want – New Customer Experience (or an Evolving One)

By | Inspiration | No Comments

Yesterday, I had a new adventure. I took the day off and ventured downtown Chicago. I needed something new, to try something I had never tried before.

But, first, lunch! I enjoyed a great lunch at the South Branch Tavern Grille. This is actually a block away from our Chicago office. Great place no matter what time of the year, but even better in the summer months when you can sit outside.

After an incredible lunch, it was time for my new experience – Opera! Yes, born and raised in Chicago, and have never experienced the opera. I saw Elektra at the Lyric Opera – and I LOVED it! While dark, it was a great intro to opera for me. Short, an hour and 40 minutes, one-act and based on Greek mythology. And just like that, I am hooked.

And on my train ride home from the city, I realized, that is what so many of us look for, something new. A new experience, or at least a different, and hopefully better experience. And I related that to agency life and realized we hear from a lot of our sales prospects that they are looking for something new, something different from their agency. And as an agency, we have to be continuing to evolve to satisfy our current clients as well as engage new ones.

Plus, we all know it takes more money and effort to gain new customers than to retain existing ones. But you have to actively retain those customers. You have to be evolving, continually offering something new to the experience. Here are some ideas:

  • Exclusive sales for current customers
  • Freebies with subsequent sales/visits
  • Referral or reward programs
  • Exclusive events
  • Take feedback and put action to the ideas you can
  • Ask for information like a birthday and send an email or card to your customer
  • Tips, how-tos or other helpful information

Keep evolving. Keep getting better. And remember, WOW your customers with a new experience!

Think Spring – Spring Marketing Plan

By | Inspiration | No Comments

What a week. We are out of the 2019 polar vortex! In fact, we are at a 70+ degree difference today over the coldest last week, crazy! The Super Bowl is over, and another football season is done. And Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring – YEAH!

As I took my daily one mile walk today, while there is still some snow on the ground (dirty and brown snow at that), there is a smell of spring while we settle into 50 degrees today. That tells me it is time to start thinking about your Spring Marketing Plan.

Spring is generally a time of the five Rs: rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Basically it is a time for all of us to get out our houses more and enjoy reasonable temperatures. And even for some of us to escape to more tropical temperatures.

For those with an upcoming spring break trip, swimsuits, shorts, tanks, and all the summer fixings are needed. For those staying in town, light jackets or other light outdoor clothing. Maybe some new grill tools to break out, plus other outdoor items from flowers to furniture. For food, looking for lighter dishes and even cold dishes. For activities we want to be outdoors but with some ability to go indoors and warm up if temperatures don’t cooperate.

Start advertising your upcoming sales and events. People look forward to getting out. Mix in sales and free offers at events. If you are a clothing store offering a sale, have a stylist on site to help customers for a period of time for free. If you are a tea shop an unveiling your spring flavors, have a tasting hour.

It may be February, but start thinking spring, as it will be here before you know it!

Update Google My Business Hours for the Sub-Zero Temps

By | Click Blooms News, Google My Business, Inspiration | No Comments

Apparently when I said last week winter was coming, I really had no idea what was coming! The Chicagoland area is in for the coldest temperatures in 25 years. Ironically, I’m also old enough to remember 25 years ago, and it was COLD!

Two days below zero, with Wednesday set to tie or possibly be the coldest temperature recorded in the Chicagoland area.

There is a good chance many businesses in the area may be closed and employees working from home if possible. If this is the case, I highly suggest updating your Google My Business page using the “Add special hours” option.

You will find the “Add special hours” under the “Info” section in the main navigation of the Google My Business page.

Add special hours under Info in the main navigation.
You can enter in different hours of opening or closing, or mark the whole day as closed.

Now that you have updated your hours, sit back, drink hot chocolate and stay warm! Please stay safe in this deep freeze!

Give Your Website a Refresh – Create a Search Friendly Site

By | Click Blooms News, SEO | No Comments

Click Blooms is excited to be able to offer the first Google Get Your Business Online livestream event on Wednesday, March 6 at 11:00 a.m. With spring just around the corner (although it may not feel like it), it is time to “Give Your Website a Refresh.”

In this one hour livestream, you will learn about search engine optimization and the best practices for creating search-friendly sites directly from the Google team! Plus we will have team members available for any additional questions.

We are hosting this event at our office shared with Lever Interactive:

Wednesday, March 6
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
701 Warrenville Road
Suite 200
Lisle, IL 60532
630-403-6833

Tickets are free, but limited. We do require you to RSVP which you can do below! Or use the Contact Us form to ask any questions.

We look forward to seeing you!

First Name (required)

Last Name (required)

Company (required)

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Phone



Do You have Your Valentine’s Digital Strategy Yet?

By | Google, Inspiration, Paid Search | No Comments

As of today, Monday, January 21st, Valentine’s Day is about 3 1/2 weeks away. Do you have a strategy for your digital marketing? No worries, Click Blooms has got you. Here are a couple of ideas:

Review what you did last year – if you did any marketing or specials for the holiday, look back and what worked and what did to help decide your approach this year.

Physical stores update your business hours on Google My Business – make sure if you are extending your hours in around the holiday to update the information in your Google My Business page.

Google Shopping – if you are utilizing Google Shopping for advertising, tag those special items that make great Valentine’s gifts and run utilize the tag for a new campaign with high priority so you have a dedicated budget and higher bid for these items. Do the same with any bundles created for the holiday.

Promotions – utilize the promotion extensions in Google Ads, Google Shopping and Google My Business.

Update your ad copy with a countdown or Valentine’s Day messaging – Use dynamic insertions to create a countdown in your text ads (helpful within a week of the holiday) and update any info on gifts like “Gifts starting at $10.”

Create a devoted Valentine’s landing page – do not let customers search for themselves on their own, direct them to a page that is holiday specific and has your Valentine’s products listed.

Capture last minute shoppers with call and location extensions – shoppers are notoriously behind schedule and even Amazon Prime might not be able to get them out of trouble. Make sure you have call and location extensions on for B&M retailers as Valentine’s shoppers are more likely to purchase items in-store.

Don’t forget to remarket after the holidays – you will most likely get a new set of visitors, whether they purchase or not, they have heard of you and may purchase in the future. Stay in front of them with remarketing.

Have another idea, post it in the comments and share with other businesses!


Winter is Here – Where are our Winter Retailers in PPC?

By | Google, Inspiration, Paid Search | No Comments

Here in the Midwest, we have had a relatively mild winter tonight. O.k., we did have our first snow of the year called a blizzard, but we made it out pretty well. And really until a couple of days ago, no real significant snow falls. Plus, we even had a 50-degree day around the holidays.

But, as it always does, old man winter is coming:

Winter is coming to the Midwest!

Not only some frosty temperatures, but also snow! The winter enthusiasts around here are finally going to be happy. Well, that is if they kind find their neighborhood winter sport shop!

With automation like bidding based on weather patterns, I was disappointed to not find a local ad for a search like “cross country skis and boots” (which by the way I would never do again, as I gave myself a concussion last time, but a story for another day!):

While I see some big box retailers (and somebody should tell one of them to use some negatives) I do not see any of the local retailers with ads! I was disappointed, as every business could benefit from some advertising, even in the busy season. Maybe I just moved to the area and I need new skies or other equipment and I do not know where to go.

And it has probably not been the greatest start of the year for these local retailers with our lack of snow. They have this wonderful opportunity to bid up/down at a time when it will soon snow, or while snowing when a person may ponder picking up a snow board!

Perhaps the local business does not about this capability, but as a true partner to your business, Click Blooms knows all opportunities and can use them to bloom your business!

Attention Manufacturers: New Interactions on Google Manufacturer Center!

By | Google, Inspiration | No Comments

Attention manufacturers, Google announced changes to interactions at the Google Manufacturer Center. The center is there to help you provide the most relevant and current information on your products to help inform and educate customers.

Google, to kick off the new year, is introducing ways to make interactions with potential customers even better. This includes new ways to show content and robust analytics so you can see how consumers are interacting with your products.

New Place to Inspire

A recent Google study of ~1,600 people, they found that 56% of smartphone users have purchased from an unexpected brand when they considered the brand to be helpful. In order to help show you as helpful to consumers, they are launching a new section on Shopping product details pages to feature content directly from you, the manufacturer.

You’ll be able to:

  • Populate your product pages on the Google Shopping property with inspirational and high quality content.
  • Highlight the product features and capabilities that you know your shoppers care about the most.
  • Build brand equity directly with shoppers on Google

Google will be using Webcollage as their first launch partner. In the next few months, all manufacturers who upload content into the Manufacturer Center will also be able to provide more visual experiences to assist consumers.

Robust Analytics

In order to make more informed and better business decisions, Google has launched a robust analytics system in the Manufacturer Center. This will provide a better understanding of how ads for products are performing on Google. You will be able to review:

  • Trends like top performing products
  • Insight into top search terms, average price trends
  • Group stats including which competitor’s brand and products show mostly with yours

There are eligibility requirements to have access to the new analytics.

We would love to hear from manufacturers as they begin to use these new features. Respond below in the comments. For manufacturers not in the Center, contact us today for assistance.

Changes to Google Ad Grants & What it Means for Nonprofits

By | Google, Paid Search | No Comments

The Google Ad Grants program can provide free Google Ads advertising for up to $10,000 USD per month on Google search results pages to eligible nonprofit organizations. The program is a great resource for nonprofits and was designed to help nonprofits connect with people to make a bigger impact in and on the world. To find out if your nonprofit is eligible, review the criteria.

They have recently announced some changes that have an impact on the program. As a nonprofit, you can only display text ads on the Google Search Network, which means display advertising is not an option. You are limited to $10,000 per month, or a $329 daily spending limit. In addition, there is a $2.00 per click maximum bid, unless you set up conversion tracking and utilize Google’s Smart Bidding. You are expected to manage your own account or work with an agency like Click Blooms that specializes in $10,000 and under monthly budgets.

In addition to the eligibility criteria to be considered, there is also criteria for maintenance of the account to continue your eligibility. This includes:

  • Check-ins: You must manage your account at least once a month and Google has the right to pause ads if you do not
  • Approved URL: Only the URL of your nonprofit (you provide during the setup phase) can be utilized to drive traffic to.
  • No financial products can be offered: This includes things like loans or mortgages or other large incentives in exchange for donations.
  • Mission focused: Ad messaging must reflect the mission/purpose of your nonprofits.

Changes in 2018

The largest change in 2018 is the lifting of the $2 bid cap on keywords through the use of Google Smart Bidding. Furthermore, the following changes have also been put in place:

  • No single-word keywords permitted – other than brand keywords as well as approved medical condition keywords (and possibly others Google deems an exception for you), Google Ad Grants can no longer use single-word keywords in their account.
  • No overly generic keywords – Examples Google provided “free videos,” or “today’s news.” These types of keywords do not indicate the intent of the person searching and need to be removed from your account.
  • Low quality score keywords are not permitted – If you have keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2, you need to improve your score through ad copy changes and landing page changes, or they need to be paused or removed.
  • 5% Click-Through Rate Each Month – Each month your click-through rate (CTR) needs to be a cumulative (across the account) at 5% or above. If it falls below that for two consecutive months, it can result in temporary account deactivation.

So, what does this all mean. And how are you going to maintain a 5% CTR each month. First, don not worry too much. By following their first three new rules, single-word keywords, overly generic keywords and low-quality score, you must likely will raise your click-through rate to a better percentage.

From there, things like tweaking your ad messaging can also help increase CTR. In addition, utilizing exact match and very niche keywords in addition to your brand name has a huge lift overall on CTR. And finally, you may need to pause keywords that have too low of a CTR to keep you above the 5%.

Basically, some cleanup of keywords, updating your messaging and checking in on your account more regularly should keep your eligibility for this outstanding program for nonprofits.

If you still need help, please do not hesitate to contact us.