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The Meteoric Rise of Voice Search & Why Brands Should Care.

“Siri, turn my phone on airplane mode.” “Alexa, set up a meeting for me at 10 a.m. and invite Tim.” “Google Home, where’s the nearest grocery store with the best deal on avocados?” These are all commands that people are giving their smart devices via voice search. It’s predicted that by 2020, up to 50% of search queries will be made by voice instead of typing them into phones or computers. Earlier this month, I attended a KCDMA luncheon where Heather Physioc, Director of Organic Search at VML, presented the current state and predicted future of voice search. She noted that there are 50 billion (that’s with a “B”) voice search queries each month. This number is rising because voice search capabilities are in our devices by default, but also people are becoming more comfortable talking to these devices. Below are some important points from Physioc’s presentation for marketers and grocers to keep in mind as voice search progresses. For the Google loyalists out there, it’s important not to ignore Bing – that other search engine that no one uses,…

Spin Dip Stuffed Garlic Bread

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: October Edition

Each month AWG Brands supplies its member retailers with free digital content to share on their social media pages and websites. Here’s what’s on tap for October: Best Choice Cold Prevention Kit Giveaway What: Best Choice Cold Prevention Kit Giveaway: Customers can enter online to win a prize pack full of Best Choice products perfect for cold season.  Who can enter: Any customer of Best Choice When: October 9-19, 2017. Winner announced October 20. How to Enter: Customers simply fill in their contact information on this entry form, which will go live October 9: http://woobox.com/wpc6e6. The form will be promoted on social media and www.bestchoicebrand.com.     New Recipe Video: Dirt Worm Dessert Each month, Best Choice produces a new recipe video that retailers can share on their social media pages and websites to promote store brand products. October’s video features a seasonal dessert. Retailers can share this video from: The Best Choice Website: www.bestchoicebrand.com YouTube: https://youtu.be/YkHEJ6u3T3U Natively: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7sPTz3wyZJFaWViXy1uXzN3Q00?usp=sharing If retailers have a loyalty program, digital coupons for ingredients in this recipe (and a few others) already have been uploaded to their platforms. If they don’t have a loyalty program, but are interested in learning more,…

Header photo reads: Prepare Engage React

Amplifying Event Marketing through PR & Social Media – PRSA Recap

Whether you’re having a small product demo in your store or attending a full-fledged community event, utilizing social media and other public relations tactics can amplify your event and help you reach more people. At a recent PRSA luncheon, Carrie Bratcher of Hallmark explained how she uses social media for event marketing to reach millions of fans and influencers. Bratcher has worked on several large-scale events for Hallmark and used two examples for her presentation: CMA (Country Music Association) Music Festival in Nashville and the San Diego Comic Con. She first shared this important slide with the audience:  Bratcher then explained in-depth how to take the ideas on this slide and put them into action to amplify your audience reach at an event: PReCon = ReCon Assemble your tribe: send out news releases and social media alerts to notify the media, influencers and others about your event. Build lists of influencers that you want to engage with during the event on Twitter and other social channels. Call your friends who participated last year or might be interested this year. Know…

Pistachio Peppercorn Feta Crostini - Best Choice Recipe finished product

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: September Edition

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Each month AWG Brands supplies its member retailers with free digital content to share on their social media pages and websites. Here’s what’s new this September: Family Meals Month September is National Family Meals Month! This nation-wide movement, created by FMI, inspires families to eat at home more often and highlights the importance of sharing meals together with family. FMI has provided a free toolkit for retailers to use to promote this event: https://www.fmi.org/family-meals/toolkits/retailer-toolkit Best Choice, Clearly Organic, Superior Selections and Always Save are teaming up to host the Family Meals Month Photo Fun Giveaway. Here are the details:  What: Family Meals Month Photo Fun Giveaway Who can enter: Any customer of AWG Brands When: September 5-27. Winner announced September 28 How to Enter: To enter is simple: when customers are enjoying a family meal this month, they can snap a photo. Then upload it to our giveaway form here: http://woobox.com/4utirv. That’s it!   New Recipe Video: Baked Ham & Swiss Rolls Each month, Best Choice produces a new recipe video that retailers…

Graphic for Event "How to Integrate Paid Media into Your Existing Campaigns – Tips from Emfluence"
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How to Integrate Paid Media into Your Existing Campaigns – Tips from Emfluence

You’ve established social media channels, communicate regularly with your followers and produce new content routinely that you think they will like. How do you take your digital marketing campaigns a step further to see better results? Paid digital media could be your answer – but only if you approach it strategically. Alan Schieber shared some tips at the recent Emfluence Conference I attended. He explained how to integrate paid media into your existing digital campaigns in a smart way. First, he needed to debunk a few general assumptions about paid media. Many think paid media costs too much, isn’t effective, or they want it good, cheap, and fast, among other issues. To clear this up, Schieber noted that paid media is effective for an affordable price, but only if you address it in a strategic way. Marketers and retailers may want it good, cheap and fast, but achieving all three strategically isn’t possible. Instead, pick two. Now that we’re on board with paid media, define your goals. This must be done before you choose the paid media channel. Have your…

Goodbye Silos graphic
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The Age of Integrated Digital Marketing – KCDMA Recap 3

I’m back with another KCDMA Boot Camp recap. One of the sessions was hosted by Corey Morris, VP of Marketing for digital marketing agency Voltage. The lines between paid, owned and earned media, along with who owns each of these areas continues to blur. Instead of trying to keep roles and job duties in silos, Morris presented on how to integrate digital marketing initiatives in order to unify your workforce and more seamlessly meet your goals. Luckily, Morris summed up his entire discussion in a blog post for us! Check it out here: http://bit.ly/KCDMA2017

Clearly Organic Back to School Giveaway Artwork

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: August Edition

Each month AWG Brands supplies its member retailers with free digital content to share on their social media pages and websites. Here’s what’s new this August: New Recipe Video: Key Lime Pie Bars We’re still savoring the sweet tastes of summer with our latest recipe video for Key Lime Pie Bars. You can share this video from: The Best Choice Website: http://www.bestchoicebrand.com (goes live August 1) YouTube: https://youtu.be/ol9yJBSMOF0 Natively: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B7sPTz3wyZJFZGh1aW9YVUJ5OU0 If you have a loyalty program, digital coupons for ingredients in this recipe have already been uploaded to your platform. If you don’t have a loyalty program, but are interested in learning more, please contact Chris Higgs. August Recipe of the Month: Breakfast Muffins These breakfast muffins are perfect to batch make on a Sunday night and then reheat each morning for an easy breakfast all week long! Just the recipe your customers need for back-to-school time. Share this recipe using this link: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/breakfast-muffins/ Clearly Organic Back 2 School Giveaway From August 14-30, encourage your customers to enter the Back 2 School Giveaway from Clearly Organic. One lucky customer will…

SEO is everything illustration from DEG
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SEO is Everything & Always Evolving – KCDMA Boot Camp Recap 2

SEO is everything according Quinn Sheek, the KCDMA Boot Camp’s second speaker and Director of Demand Generation at DEG Digital. Okay, maybe not everything… She admitted that, but also explained why SEO is now a group effort that involves many different people across disciplines. It’s no longer a one-man show designated to just an SEO expert. SEO affects professionals in IT, PR, branding, user experience, and more. Sheek shared information from SEMrush, which listed the most important factors affecting SEO ranking in 2017. These included: direct website visits, time on the site, pages per session, bounce rate, referring domains, content length, website security (https), keywords and more. With so many different components influencing SEO, where does one even start? Here are Sheek’s suggestions for being more effective at SEO in 5 simple steps: Be curious – Why were there downward trends in your Google Analytics? How do we test and fix that? In order to be successful at SEO, you have to want to understand what is affecting web traffic. Be adaptable – Google changes its search algorithm around 500-600…

Graphic from KCDMA Marketing Boot Camp 2017
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Innovation Acceleration – KCDMA Boot Camp Recap 1

Last week, I attended the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association Boot Camp. This full-day conference was stacked with speakers sharing their knowledge about innovation, SEO, email marketing, networking techniques, integrated digital marketing, Google Analytics and mental toughness – all subjects that make a professional marketer successful today. Throughout the coming weeks, I’ll share highlights from what I learned. First up: innovation. José Pires started the day off with an interactive presentation on accelerating innovation at any business. This is important for the grocery industry right now due to the growth of omni-channel retailing, especially after the announcement of Amazon’s intention to purchase Whole Foods Market. Innovation is a must. Traditional grocery store owners need to pay attention. Think you’re not an innovative person? Think again. Let’s start by defining innovation. Innovation is the implementation of new ideas that create value. Innovation is not about ideas or methods. It’s about people! People transform businesses; they drive innovations. In order to innovate, people need to have or develop these three characteristics: Passion Discipline Resilience The right people have these characteristics. Find these…

Charlie Hustle Facebook Cover Photo.

Cause Marketing Tips from Charlie Hustle – SMCKC Recap

*Image above is a cover photo from the Charlie Hustle Facebook page.  Charlie Hustle is a vintage apparel company based in Kansas City. Since its founding in 2011, the company has gained a huge following of fans who not only buy its products, but also connect with the brand on social media and support the causes the company promotes. A significant part of the Charlie Hustle brand is its cause marketing efforts. Charlie Hustle helps non-profit organizations fundraise through sales of specialty t-shirts designed specifically for each cause. In fact in the last 12 months, the company has helped raise funds for more than 20 organizations! Why do organizations like Charlie Hustle spend significant marketing efforts on supporting others? By becoming a community partner, brands connect personally with their customers. The goal here is not simply to increase sales (although that is a nice side effect of cause marketing), but instead to develop a relationship with customers, and together do some good. Study after study shows that the millennial generation wants to build relationships and loyalty behind brands that are…