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!

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!

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.

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!