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.

Use Popular Trends to Increase Sales

By | Inspiration | No Comments

It is January, the time of resolutions – is your business taking advantage of the “new me” attitude? Whether you made resolutions, or already broke them, many people do and spend money to help meet their goals.

And you do not have to be a weight loss, exercise, eat healthy type business to take advantage of the trend. In fact, if you are the opposite of a healthy business, say a donut shop, you can have some fun with your marketing and advertising. I would look twice at an advertising telling me to make a new eating resolution, new donut flavor every day for a month! Or, broke your resolution already, have a free donut on us!

In addition to new, usually positive resolutions, it is the season of organizing, de-cluttering or other home organization. Sticking with my donut shop example: “Come organize a box full of donuts, free box!” – there is so many opportunities to be unique and funny.

And, it may not make a sale every time, but you had your business name in front of someone. Perhaps it made them pause and laugh. And maybe they will remember you when they need a donut.

Too many times small business are shy of taking advantage of the current trends, assuming buyers are only focused on either sales or items they don’t sell that fit the trend, but instead have some fun with the trend if your product or service does not fit it. Or you can always offer a special promotion to incentive customers if you are not feeling too creative. Just do something! Action is the key when trends are happening. Do not over think it, and just do something.

If you have done something fun this January in marketing with a play on resolutions or home organization, please share in the comments below.

Facebook Ads for “Unknown” Products or Services

By | Facebook Ads, Inspiration | No Comments

Do you have a product or service that people need or want, but may not know it? It is unique or special, beyond the normal? Is it a nice visual that would stand out?

Sometimes a unique or special product or service just can’t compete in paid search on the major engines. While some people may search for “unique” X, a text ad may not be as compelling.

Case in point, I won a bet with my husband that my Pittsburgh Steelers would beat his Tampa Bay Buccaneers this year and my winnings was a new piece of jewelry (that I picked). I wanted to something different and didn’t want to go to any of the bigger brand jewelry stores. I mean yes, of course a little blue box is nice, but I wanted something different, something that said something different to me.

And there it was, on my Facebook feed, a sponsored ad for a unique jewelry brand, Bryan Anthonys. I had never heard of them, never had seen anything like what they offer, and yet it spoke to me: “What you wear matters,” “Wear jewelry that ignites a feeling,” etc. Obviously, they targeted me based on things I had been liking, clicking on and/or reading.

Many of their items spoke to me, but I settled on the Keep Dreaming choker, as moons hold a special place in mine and my husband’s hearts, and I am a dreamer.

If it was not for the Facebook ad, targeted for me, based on my history, I would not have known it exists. I had searched for things like “moon charm” and “moon necklace” but not found this website.

And remember, I did not actually buy it, my husband did. I sent him the link to purchase. A novice marketer may think that Facebook ads may not be working as Facebook received no credit for that transaction in the data, however, if it was not for Facebook I would not have found it and forwarded it on to be purchased.

The question is how do you know if it is working? You look for the lift, in both traffic and conversions in general. If you were making 100 sales a week, and suddenly you are making 125 when Facebook ads are running, even if it is from different sources, it is making an impact. If you have a negative Nelly on board, stop Facebook and while it may take a few weeks, you will go back to your 100 sales per week.

When you are a new company and/or unique, you must think outside of the box in advertising and analysis. Do not just look for 1:1 ad-to-sale to measure success, look at overall lift and more sales, regardless of where they are coming from.

2019 Marketing Ideas for Small Business to Embrace

By | Inspiration | No Comments

Happy New Year!  It is 2019, what are you going to do differently to market your business this year and make it a successful, happy and profitable year?  Here are a few ideas from Click Blooms:

  • Invest in SEO NOW– If you have not been investing, you are already behind.  Problem is the more you wait, the more you are behind, as the effects may not be seen for 3-6 months.  If you start today, you are 3-6 months away from more traffic.  If you wait another six months, you are 9-12 months away!
  • Video– YouTube is the second biggest search engine.  Visitors are searching for “how-to” to “product review” videos and much more.  Make them as professional as you can, but a standard smart phone (kept steady) can take great video.
  • Share your story – You probably started this business for a reason (besides making money and being your own boss). Share it!  Share why you started it, what the mission is, what you value, share it all.  Authentic sharing of your story will win the hearts of many customers.  Social media and your own website make great places to share.
  • Grow and automate emails – Whether this is automated abandoned cart emails, or promotions, grow your list and automate your email sends with software or a variety of plug-ins for the website.
  • Host an event – Sometimes getting people in the door is the hardest part of business, so host (or sponsor) an event.  You may be able to partner with other businesses to help as well.
  • Give back – Here is a win-win.  Give time, money or sponsorship to a charity in your area or something close to your heart. Not only is the charity receiving what they need, you are also showing your community that you care, which can never be bad for business.

Do you have a creative 2019 marketing idea?  Leave a comment to what you plan to do this year and inspire others!

Dynamic Campaign Builder: We Automate Your Business

By | Click Blooms News, Franchisee/Dealer PPC, Paid Search | No Comments

A frequent question of retailers with large number of products and fluctuating inventory, including car dealerships, or franchisors with many locations, or even a brick and mortar business with multiple locations, how do we scale campaigns to cover all these dynamic components.

No problem, we say!

That is because Click Blooms has the latest technology to deal with these dynamic aspects of business. We utilize Dynamic Campaign Builder that can utilize a feed-based file from our clients to create campaigns and ads.  In addition, it can pause or reactivate campaigns based on available inventory.

Once a templated feed is set-up and we define the parameters, ads can start running. This can take less than a couple of days, depending on the complexity.

Ad copy can be customized to highlight various aspects from the feed, including model numbers, current price, color, current inventory and much more.  Not only does this help click-through rate, this improved quality score, as the ad and the landing page connection should be highly relevant with the data in the ad.

Feeds can be sent up to hourly, and the system will scan for new items and inventory, and where items have depleted their inventory and make the adjustments.  Combine this with our dynamic Machine Learning bid and budget system, Click Blooms can generate some of the most dynamically working campaigns.  Our bid/budget system can make changes up to every half hour.

With these dynamic capabilities, our team can focus on more important things, including new strategies and scaling and growing your campaigns, which in turn blooms business.

Contact us today to learn how Dynamic Campaign Builder can help bloom your business!

New Resource for Small Business from Google

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

Google recently announced at their livesteam event we hosted last week on Driving a Holiday Rush to Your Store about a new resource for small business.  You can get free posters, social posts and more for your business built by Google.

Google Poster Small Business - BlueGoogle Poster Small Business - ColorfulGoogle Poster Small Business - Chalkboard

This is a great resource for retail outlets with a physical location where you can display brightly colored posters using your actual reviews to highlight your business. Or other displays to encourage your customers in filling out a review. For physical stores your kit includes:

  • Custom poster
  • Stickers
  • Window decal
  • Table tent

And for both physical located stores and online stores, you can customize images to use in social posts as well.

Social Media Post - MobileSocial Media Post

One kit per business. If a business has more than one location, each location is eligible for a kit.  You must have a verified Google My Business listing to be eligible.

No reviews, no problem!  The kit will generate posters and such with a call to action to write reviews, send photos, include your business hours etc.  You have a couple of designs and colors to choose from, here are just three samples:

Google Poster & Social - Yellow DesignGoogle Poster & Social - Solid ColorDesignGoogle Poster & Social - Chalkboard Design

If you need or want more then one kit, you can also get a download version, and take it to your local print shop to be printed.

To get started, visit Small Thanks with Google.

And stay tuned for more resources like this from Click Blooms as part of the Small Business initiatives with Google and our Premier Google Partnership.

Making Sense of Franchisee Digital Marketing

By | Franchisee/Dealer PPC, Paid Search | No Comments

The franchisor/franchisee relationship is a crucial business relationship.  Franchisee digital marketing and advertising is a core component for both entities to flourish.  The brand needs to be displayed and messaged that encompasses the corporate vision, but have the personalization needed for the franchisee to be successful as well.

This sounds simple, but when you have hundreds or thousands of franchisees, it gets complicated and messy fast! Custom ad message, geo-targeting, phone tracking, budgets, reports, and more, it can turn into a full-time job for several people.  Sure, you could ignore all these factors and run generic campaigns hoping it drives traffic to your franchisees, but generic and hope is not a strategy.

Custom Ad Messaging

Mention the franchisee business name and/or location in the ad.  This appears to the visitor personalized and meant for them, particularly if this is a business they can visit.  Google makes this very easy utilizing ad customizer data.  Ads can be similar, with small adjustments like the name and/or location.  You utilize a placeholder that flips out to the customized message when the ad is served:

Google Ad Customizer Placeholder

Google Ad Customizer with Replaced Text

Geo-Targeting

Knowing customers and how far they will travel is key to the location you target. It may just be a couple of miles, or it could be an entire DMA that needs to be targeted. This is key to better quality prospective customers and usually on less spend. Plus, if franchisees are closely located, this will help distribute to every location.

Geo-targeting

Phone tracking

Again, may depend on your business, but there is still a heavy reliance on phone calls as part of the customer journey.  Tracking calls that were generated from paid campaigns is made easy with Google’s call conversion tracking. Track calls directly from the ad, calls to a phone number on your website, and/or clicks on a number on your mobile website.   It does require the use of Google forwarding numbers.

Google Phone Call Conversion Tracking

Budgets

Not every franchisee is equal, and some may require more or less marketing dollars than others.  Having a full system that monitors and optimizes budgets of thousands of campaigns is essential.  While the engines can have limits, they can still spend 20% higher than your budget.  Investing in a tool (or an agency with a tool) that uses an algorithm to update budgets and bids throughout the day based on thousands of signals, so you do not overspend but, more importantly, gain better traffic.

Monitoring budgets and other KPIs

Reports

Generating hundreds or thousands of reports for each individual franchisee can take a lot of effort.  And that is just to pull the report, not to mention customizing and providing insight.  Again, another tool to invest in, or an agency that can provide the reports.  Reports are important, but spending all the time on generating reports, means time is not spent on optimizing the campaigns, which in turns means poor performance.

Dashboards

Weekly/Monthly Performance Reports

Tapping into an agency that has scale and tools to make this easy might be the right approach for you and your franchisees.  Click Blooms as an agency works with franchisors on their franchisee digital marketing with different models, including either franchisors or franchisee’s paying for all the media, with contribution from both, and in some cases contribution from distributors as well.  We do all the customizing mentioned above, and more, and can provide a single franchisor report, or individual franchisee reports. Contact us today to see how we can help your franchisor/franchisee marketing.

 

Small Business Advertising Why it Should Include Digital

By | Paid Search | No Comments

Small business advertistingSmall business advertising should include digital advertising, but many small businesses do not believe in digital advertising, opting for more traditional methods, or perhaps limited or no advertising.  There are many reasons why even small, local business should advertise digitally.   Here is why.

People are planners

Today, people plan and prepare for everything. They need to “know before they go,” even for small experiences like grabbing coffee at a local café, to big experiences like a vacation.  Generally, they have a low tolerance for surprises.

What they need to know?  

Google indicates a 55% growth in mobile searches for “menu” over the past two years. Other increases include “things to do” or “review” so they can get more information or even spark interest or excitement.

120% growth in mobile searches for "wait times"

120% growth in mobile searches for “wait times”

They also want to build confidence before going to a new destination.  Mobile searches for “wait times” have grown 120% over the past two years.  They want to know business hours, what you can or cannot bring, etc.

Budgeting is important. Mobile searches for “do you tip in XX” have grown over 70%.  In addition to the menu, they want prices, specials, promos, how to save money, etc.

500% Growth in "near me" mobile searches

500% Growth in “near me” mobile searches

And most immortally, what is “near me” right now.  Mobile search phrases including “near me” and a variant of “can I buy” or “to buy” has grown 500%.  “Near me” is no longer just about finding a specific place. It’s now about finding a specific thing, in a specific area, and in a specific period of time.  This means retailers have a huge opportunity to use physical stores to deliver on the heightened expectations of today’s impatient shoppers.

Growth in "near me now" searches

Growth in “near me now” searches

When shoppers within 5 miles of a store click on a search ad, their store visit is 1.7X more likely to be incremental than shoppers who are beyond 5 miles.

We are not just talking about major purchases either.  For example, growth in “best” mobile searches for:

  • Face lotion and moisturizers (115%)
  • Water bottle (165%)
  • Salt (375%)

Finally, take Generation Z: Mobile Natives.  Teens mostly use their smartphones to make purchases, with over 50% of all ethnicities of Generation Zs making purchases on their mobile device, compared to 30%- 43% of those 18-35 year olds.

Contact us today so we can help you with your digital advertising and bloom your business.