Tag

Small Business Tips, Trends and Topics Blog Archive | Click Blooms

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!

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!

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.