Fat Tuesday, Pączki, Pancake Day – Celebrate!

By InspirationNo Comments

Depending on your background, one of these may mean something to you:

  • Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday
  • Shrove Tuesday
  • Pancake Day
  • Sledziówka or Pączki Day
  • Vastenavond
  • Carnival

These are all various names for the Tuesday before the Christian Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent. This year that is Tuesday, March 5th. Why is this important for small business? It means a time of celebration before Lent.

Being of Polish decent it is Pączki Day for me. A delicious, wonderful, fruit filled Polish donut. Just like Pancake Day in the UK, where they also use flour, sugar, lard/butter, oil and such, ingredients during traditional Lent not used as often so it was a chance to use it and not waste it.

But what does it mean in more modern times? It is basically seen as a day to partake in things you wouldn’t normally on a Tuesday. We all have seen Mardi Gras. It doesn’t have to go to that extreme, but people dining out may go a little more extravagant in their meal, or might order the dessert. Many people give up sweets or chocolate for Lent, so get their last craving in. Others may give up spending money on clothes for themselves, so one last shopping spree.

It means many different things to people, but usually it is a day of indulging a little more. Whether you are decorating your store with beads, offering some extra sweets, have some fun and maybe reminisce with customers on their family traditions. I know I love talking with others about where they think the best Pączki is from.

College Basketball in March – What to Consider When Advertising

By InspirationNo Comments

Many people may not realize but the nickname of the men’s college basketball tournament in March is actually a trademarked name and cannot be used without written consent. Just like the big football game the NFL holds.

But don’t let that stop you from advertising sales, or other events or promos, just don’t use school or team names or the trademarked term for the tournament.

And be aware of the tournament schedule and how you schedule your events or sales. If your typical customers are huge basketball fans, do not plan your biggest event that coincides with the tournament schedule. Or, if you have the opposite, and your customers would appreciate a break from all the craziness, it may be an opportunity to schedule.

Other ideas include the opportunity to sell basketball related items. For example, if you are a bakery, sugar cookies decorated as basketballs might be a great for a tournament party. High end culinary store, find the best chip/dip combo to offer for your customer’s party. Pet store – I’m sure you have some basketball related toys for dogs to highlight! You may even have team gear for pets.

Be creative, have fun, just stay away from the trademarked terms!

Lever Interactive Presents Digital Marketing Trends for 2019

By Click Blooms News, Inspiration, Paid SearchNo 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 SearchNo 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 InspirationNo 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 InspirationNo 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, InspirationNo 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, SEONo 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

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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Do You have Your Valentine’s Digital Strategy Yet?

By Google, Inspiration, Paid SearchNo 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 SearchNo 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!