Consumers, especially millennials, like to support companies with a mission—those who are partnering in some way with nonprofits. This could include doing a promotion and matching the donations, underwriting an event, donating a percentages of a day’s earnings to a cause. There are endless ways to make this work.
one users: Get ready for one of their biggest updates ever. Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 14, will be released this fall. Depending on your comfort level, this is either a cause for celebration or deep mourning. I just read through an impressive list of enhancements, and while I suspect that the geekier among us can’t wait to get their hands on the new phone, this may not be so exciting for those with more modest needs–those who simply want to pick up their phones and make a call
One way to generate trust is through shared, authentic experiences. How to do this? By showing off our happy customers. Think case studies, showcasing successes. According to Nielsen Research, 92% of consumers trust earned media, like UGC, more than any other form of content.
Google My Business (GMB) is one of the most powerful ways to improve a business’ local search-engine rankings, optimization and online visibility. Yet many business owners never quite get around to creating a GMB page. But since Google pretty much owns the search space, you’re missing out on a free, fundamental part of an online presence. You can improve your search rankings with Google My Business.
Marketing is not an exact science. Despite all of our experience and great instincts, some things just don’t work. We need to be prepared to make adjustments and try something new. Fortunately, for one ecommerce client, we have Google Analytics data to help us make informed business decisions. Data is helping us drive a rebranding effort for his ecommerce site.
We optimized his website a year ago. We did keyword research, then updated every product description, caption and alt tag field using these keywords.
Google Analytics reports and competitor research helped us decide to rebrand
The data from Google Analytics (GA), the web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic, has helped us make an important business decision to rebrand. We’re moving away from our current sustainable, organic ethos and stepping up to a more dramatic, sophisticated approach to the way we present our entire product line.
Project plan includes updating website and entire photo inventory
Our project plan includes photo editing our entire inventory and updating our website with a new color palette. We’ll need to revise our social sites and our MailChimp template to showcase our new focus. We plan to be more aggressively using our social channels, tracking our efforts and learning from them. We will be creating personas–our ideal clients—what they look like and how they spend money. Our project plan includes Facebook advertising (PPC), which we’ll manage closely. We may ultimately reach a completely new audience, including commercial rather than just our current residential clients.
Google Analytics rolled out in 2005, and it keeps getting better
The information that GA delivers in real time is critical for companies that want to measure the effects of their marketing campaigns. Our report tells us our visitors are coming mostly from Google, how long they’re staying on each page and what paths they’re taking through the site.
The good news and the bad
- Our bounce rate is fairly good—under 50%, which means that our users are staying on the site for up to two minutes before “bouncing” off.
- Users are drilling down through several layers of pages on the site.
- Despite the growing use of mobile, the majority of our visitors are coming from desktop computers.
- Even with increased traffic, most of our users are new—not return visitors. Not good–we all want to be building a community around our products and services.
Courting returning online shoppers to create community
Shoppers know that we rarely buy on the first pass. We visit, then look around to see what the competitors are offering. We may/not return to purchase that original item. But if we like that site, we bookmark it and return. We want to court that shopper.
Google Analytics: A free tool to help track your digital marketing effectiveness
Think of your website as command central. Social posts, email blasts and other activity should drive users back to your site. Your website, then, measures the effectiveness of all of your digital campaigns that promote your products/services.
Sometimes we forget how effective case studies can be. Rather than just telling your audience what you do, this is an opportunity to actually demonstrate your ability to effect change, to showcase your expertise, to document how you’ve successfully helped your clients increase sales.
Let’s revisit a case study from more than a year ago
In the original article, we took a look at how one small Napa Valley business owner used two simple online tools to significantly increase his revenue. Now more than a year later, those same two online tools have actually doubled his revenue, month-over-month.
Bill Ryan has lived in St. Helena for more than 40 years. He retired years ago after a long, successful career in sales and marketing management positions at Beringer. Bill’s a busy guy. An avid fis herman, he writes a weekly fishing report for the Napa Valley Registerand a monthly column for the St. Helena Star. Bill also has a little mobile notary business. When we met, I wondered why a marketing guy’s only form of advertising was a pathetic bumper sticker that said “Notary”.
A simple website to dramatically increase Bill’s visibility
A simple website would be easy and inexpensive to develop. It would dramatically increase his visibility for prospective new clients—especially visitors to Napa Valley who might need to notarize documents while they’re here. I eventually wore Bill down. We collaborated on content, scheduled a photoshoot, identified and uploaded images, purchased and set up a domain and launched St. Helena Notary on the Go within just a few weeks.
Next up: Leveraging the power of Yelp
When I asked Bill why he wasn’t on Yelp, he didn’t really have an answer. His is the kind of business for which Yelp can be effective, so we created a Yelp page and uploaded a few images. Yelp won’t work without reviews, so Bill began asking his clients for reviews. For some, he follows up with an email, thanking them for their business — this is Relationship Building 101, and it’s been extremely successful for Bill.
The results: Bill’s business has doubled month/month as he’s increased his visibility
Bill’s client list includes a fair number of regular corporate clients, lots of old friends and neighbors. Increasingly, however, he’s getting calls from people around the country–New York, Washington DC, Portland, Dallas and LA. They’re either on their way to Napa Valley or already here and need to have documents notarized. They find him through Google or Yelp and love his 5-star reviews.
A simple website and a Yelp page are doing their jobs
These very fundamental online assets are responsible for Bill’s dramatic month/month revenue growth at an extremely modest cost.
Including an actual client in a case study provides validity, but if there are privacy issues, don’t. But do provide details. Show how you helped a client solve problems, increase revenue, streamline operations, open up new marketing channels. Questions about incorporating case studies into your marketing plan? Give me a call!
It’s the holidays, with brands working overtime to leverage the most wonderful time of the year. I’m on the hunt for the best holiday ads of 2018. I look for messages that are simple and compelling, that leave us deeply touched with the spirit of giving and the importance of spending the holidays with people we love. In the meantime, a couple of my all-time favorites.
Apple, as always, rocks the best ads, and we can learn a lot from their campaigns
Apple ads are sleek, smart and creative, often using stark black and white images to tell their stories. The overarching message, of course, is that these beautiful products are elite. If we buy them and spend the next few years sucking up to Apple’s Genius Bar, we’ll become part of this elite community. Last year’s ad, featuring two dancers in a winter snowfall, was simply breathtaking. This ad is called Sway; its tagline: Move someone this holiday. The dancers are actually husband and wife dancers who met in a New York dance audition!
A Polish ad may be the best Christmas ad ever
This ad belongs in my pantheon. It begins with a nice older man as he orders a book online and receives the delivery of “English for Beginners”. He practices his English aloud as he goes about his daily routine—on the bus, during breakfast, in the bathtub. He stares at a rubber duck and carefully enunciates, “I love you. You are perfect”.
He labels his dog, his knife and fork and his toothpaste with post-it notes. He continues an imaginary dialog as he eats his dinner. Watching TV can be a great learning tool, and he picks up phrases from American action films. “Go ahead, make my day.”
The arrival of a suitcase explains his language lessons
One day a suitcase arrives, and we begin to understand why he’s learning a new language. We watch as he carefully packs, and we follow him to the airport, across the sea and into the warm embrace of his son at the front door of his London home. When his little granddaughter emerges from her bedroom, he kneels down and gently says, “I am your grandpa.”
This wonderful ad is by Allegro, the most popular online marketplace in Poland. According to their spokespeople, “For years, we’ve strived to make Allegro the largest e-commerce platform in the CEE (Central and Eastern European) region, and to our customers, bring joy, touch the heart and cause a smile.”
I’ve watched this ad more times than I’ll admit, and I’m not alone. It went totally viral and has been viewed more than 15 million times. Allegro clearly touched a lot of hearts with this wonderful ad.
Looking back, it seems that we’ve endured a year of endless crisis; lies and chicanery; fires, floods and shootouts. Too many people have lost more than they can bear. Yet the new year brings a promise of optimism and hope. I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and new year.