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The Art + Strategy Behind an Effective Instagram Account (Webinar Recap)

Quinn Tempest, freelance graphic designer and digital marketing strategist, started out her webinar about Instagram with this simple quote. It’s a simple quote for a simple social media platform. While the platform is simple, your Instagram content strategy should be anything but. According to Quinn, there has to be a balance between the art of content creation and content strategy for your business Instagram account. Instagram for business isn’t just about pretty pictures. Quinn started with some stats about the current growth and success of the Instagram platform: At the end of 2017, Instagram was at 800 million active users. Growing at 100 million users per four months, Instagram has 500 million daily active users.  300 million of the daily active users are daily active Instagram story users. At the end of November 2017, 25 million businesses were on Instagram 200 million people actively visit a brand’s profile daily. If these numbers aren’t enough to convince you to get an Instagram account for your business and get serious about your strategy, I don’t know what will!   Quinn emphasized the…

Blog Post Ideas

I know some of my team members don’t love writing blog posts. Last week at our monthly meeting I suggested that there are other options besides writing. Later in the week I attended Word Camp KC 2018. I saw two slides that you may find useful. The first was posted by Nile Flores. It’s a list of post ideas. Later in the conference, I saw Angie Pedersen talking about editorial calendars. She did have a link to 100 blog post ideas by Chris Brogan. Here are some excerpts from that list: How What I Do Helps You Grow Your Business Get More From Your (Whatever Product/Service You Offer) How We Start an Engagement With You (onramping process) Build Your Own (Business or Project) With Our Help Meet Our Customer of the Week(Month) Learn How to ____ With ___ (customer you love) Stretch Your Budget By (something to do with your product) Industry Insights That Could Impact Your Business Need to Reach Us? Here are Many Great Ways to Connect Set Aside 20 Minutes Each Day to Do This What We…

Winning clients through empathy

I’m no salesman. To be honest, I’m not really sure why I chose Scott Schaper’s presentation at Word Camp KC 2018. I am very happy I chose that room. A lot of what Schaper said resonated with me. “The best clients,” Schaper said, “are not sensitive to price if you are empathetic to their needs.” Retailers all think our marketing services are too expensive. They don’t see why it costs so much for email or to set up a Facebook account. No list of feature will convince them. Instead, when a retailer says “That’s expensive” say “Yes. It is expensive. I know choosing how to spend limited resources is a big choice, but here is how I can help.” We need to frame everything in how we can help the retailers. We aren’t selling we are solving. We aren’t vendors we are partners. Vendors sell stuff. Partners solve problems. Vendors produce expenses. Partners produce value. In 2017 the average net profit for an independent grocery store was .09 percent. We know our retailers are working on razor thin margins causing…

Explainer Videos Explained

At Word Camp KC 2018 I attended a session by Shane Purnell on explainer videos. The name really says it all. Explainer videos can be used for training, marketing, or education. Sometimes they are animated. Sometimes they are just a recording of a computer screen. You can include narration or simply have text. A music bed sets the tone and provides interest. You don’t need to be an animation professional to create a quality product. There are many sites out there with templates that make the process fast and easy. I made the video above in about 15 minutes. I think with a little creativity we could use them to make some standout content for our social accounts. There is a downside. Since I used the free version the video includes a watermark. The plans are kind of expensive, the cheapest I found was $20/month and the price goes up quickly from there. I think we would be hard pressed to get value for that price. View all of Shane’s slides here and you can find lists of sites to…

Inblog

Advice from Retailers Who Have Launched an Online Shopping Platform

As AWG’s online shopping specialist, I’m frequently asked what other retailers are doing and thinking when it comes to launching an ecommerce platform. Those retailers at the 2018 AWG Innovation Showcase were in luck as three AWG retailers and industry expert Scott DeGraeve sat down for a panel discussion with AWG Marketing Manager Kate Favrow. The discussion topic? Launching an online shopping platform. DeGraeve started the conversation by noting that three percent of grocery business is currently conducted online. Research shows that number will be 20% by 2025, and could reach that number as early as 2023. That’s a hefty chunk of business you don’t want to lose to your competition that offers online shopping. While nobody wants to see 20% of their business go elsewhere, many retailers are waiting for the perfect circumstances before diving into the online shopping world. You can’t do that, says Jan Greer Endfinger, of Greer’s Markets in Mobile, Alabama and the surrounding areas. Her most important piece of advice to retailers considering online shopping is don’t wait! It’ll never be perfect at the start,…

Mining Search Behavior

We all lie. Whether on surveys, in focus groups, or on social media platforms, there’s a story we’re all trying to present in a certain way. Tylor Hermanson, Manager of Search Solutions at Intouch Solutions, opened his recent KCDMA presentation on harnessing search behavior in all facets of marketing with that context. Hermanson referenced the book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. Hermanson went on to reveal, though, that search behavior may be a better indicator of how people feel and how you can influence them. Thus, keyword research is worth investing in, and harnessing, for the learnings it can provide in all different contexts. With the understanding that keyword research is something worth looking into, Hermanson helped explain some of the basics of it. Rule 1: Don’t start with keywords. Hermanson reminded the marketers in the room to draw from what they know about their industry, competition, brands, and insights already gathered. Use this information to inspire the keyword research rather than pulling keywords…

KCDMA 2018 Symposium Logo: Now & Later

Lessons for Now & Later

Earlier this year, I attended the KCDMA 2018 Direct Marketing Symposium. This full-day conference was an interactive event stacked with presentations from some of marketing’s best. The theme was Now & Later – Planning for the Future. Throughout the symposium, presenters shared current case studies (the now) and how to use these lessons for future campaigns (the later). After reflecting on the event and trying to gather all of the lessons I learned into one blog post, here are the top nuggets that I wanted to share with you. Ian Baer’s “Focusing on the One” presentation: Data unlocks everything – use data to find and address your customers’ pain points. Speed and ease or not enough anymore in the wake of Amazon. Discover what quality makes your store unique because Amazon has already perfected speed and easy. Vocab word: Webroom – researching prices online, then purchasing them in store (opposite of showrooming). This new trend is causing online brands like Amazon to fight back with brick & mortar stores.   Quinn Tempest’s “Content Marketing: To the Future and Beyond!” presentation:…

Associated Wholesale Podcast – Episode 6

 I was able to to sit down with many great people Tuesday, March 26 at the AWG Innovation Showcase for the latest episode of AWP. We covered a wide range of topics. See below for contact info for each guest. Eric Qualman (0:37) – Digital Leadership Polly Schau, Wells Enterprises (8:05) – Ice Cream Doug Baker, FMI (11:37) – Smart Label Chad Fowles, Unilever (16:44) – Frozen Novelty and Personal Care Pat Hughes, eGrowcery (23:33) – Online Shopping Jim Lukens, MSC (31:15) – Digital marketing with Media Solutions Larry Elias, Retail Profit Solutions (43:37) – Labor Management Mike Kienzlen, WheresMyShrink.com (49:41) – Shrink

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: April 2018 Edition

Did you hear about the new AWG Brands Digital Playbook? We launched it at the Innovation Showcase that took place March 26-28. You might be thinking “What’s a digital playbook?” The AWG Brands Digital Playbook is an online bank of content that retailers can use for free. To compliment in-store promotions, AWG member retailers should connect with their digitally savvy consumers seamlessly online. The Digital Playbook serves as that connection. It is full of recipes, social content and resources to support retailers’ own online program. We make it easy for stores to talk about AWG Brands. Check out the playbook, which can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/AWGBrandsPlaybook Best Choice Recipe of the Month  Each month, Best Choice publishes the Recipe of the Month online – this recipe can also be found in the 2018 Best Choice Calendar. April’s recipe is for Quick Red Beans & Rice: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/quick-red-beans-and-rice/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites. The native files which includes the word document and graphics of the recipe,…

No sliders using graphic symbol

Reconsidering Sliders

I’m reading this article, “Keeping Your Credibility While Changing Your Mind” article because I have changed my mind about sliders. I feel a little bad since I do believe a small group of people may consider my opinion when it comes to web design, which I am grateful for. Even though I am not a politician, I hope you might consider these five points on why I’m reconsidering the value of sliders on a website home page, especially if you are thinking about switching platforms, or starting a new site. “My thinking has evolved.” My last blog post signing the praises of sliders dates back to the fall season of 2015, three years ago. I don’t need to remind you how fast tech changes on the web. Back then; we finally had these new responsive templates to work with after talking about how important responsive layouts are going to be until we were blue in the face. These new templates had one ginormous image taking up 70% of the layout. In order to not scare retailers into deciding on one…

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