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Blogging For Your Business

Blogging isn’t just a hobby for parents sharing meal prep ideas or dedicated fans giving their insights on the latest YA fantasy novel. Some people have turned blogging into a lucrative business. Additionally, already-established businesses can use blogging as another digital marketing platform to share their story and connect with customers. Even small businesses can use this platform and see the benefits of it if they put the work into creating and maintaining it. Getting Started Decide on a platform Talk to your website developer or designer about how to integrate a blog platform onto your store’s website. Find your voice Your blog voice will tie into the overall brand voice you have for your store. It’s the same voice you use in other forms of digital marketing like social media, website and email. Ultimately people like doing business with other people so find a voice that captures your business and shows the personality of your brand. Set a schedule Decide how often you’re going to publish blog posts. Do your best to stick to that schedule so your readers…

Online Shopping Digital Marketing

How to Promote Your Online Shopping…Online

Does your store offer online shopping? Do your customers know about the program? …are you sure that they do? Online shopping is part of the future of grocery retail. In 2016, one in five shoppers had an online purchase and that will likely increase to one in three this year. Yet in a survey of 500 consumers, 41% of shoppers didn’t know if their stores offered online shopping (2017 Online Shopping Forecast). As Kate mentioned in a recent blog post, online shopping isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” program. When launching an online shopping program, your marketing and advertising campaigns need to inform your customers about the program and teach them how to use it. Kate also noted that digital marketing is key to these campaigns. While in-store promotion is necessary, digital marketing will point customers directly to the online shopping platform and that gives them a chance to see it and hopefully try it! Here are some examples of AWG retailers who are using digital marketing to promote their online shopping programs: Website Do more than…

Wendy's Logo

“How Wendy’s Squashes Beef in Social” – AAF-KC Recap

Even if you aren’t on social media or don’t use it very often, you’ve probably heard about the unique brand voice of Wendy’s. The brand has been getting a lot of media attention over the past year for their marketing campaigns and digital presence, particularly their Twitter account. Recently I attended a presentation from the two people responsible for that unique voice and attention-grabbing social presence: VML social strategist, Christina Miller and VML community manager, Matt Keck. They shared their approach to social engagement at a professional development breakfast hosted by the Kansas City chapter of the American Advertising Federation. Miller and Keck discussed the strategy behind the viral sensations surrounding Wendy’s marketing campaigns, while also providing high-level ideas and tips that other marketers could take back to their organizations. When Wendy’s became a VML client, the team noticed that the company already had a dedicated following of brand advocates who grew up with Wendy’s, loved the restaurant and regularly showed that love on social media. Miller and Keck talked about how the team started with a campaign built around…

Smart Photography on a Smartphone graphic.

Smart Photography on a Smartphone

Sharing pictures on social media is one of the best ways to tell your story. But what kind of story are you telling with those pictures? You want the photos on your business page to grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, but you want it to be for the right reasons. As a small business owner, you might not have access to professional photographers or expensive cameras and equipment. But that shouldn’t stop you from taking quality pictures on your smartphone that you can share on your business profiles. Here are a few helpful tips to taking better pictures on your smartphone: Get close and fill the viewfinder Depending on what you’re photographing, you will want to get close to it when taking a picture so that you not only get all the detail of your subject but also block out anything distracting in the background. A grocery store is usually filled with backgrounds that could be considered distracting, such as shelves filled with products, food displays, people, etc. Smartphones give you the option to crop…

Local Pages illustration

How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Shop Local

Digital Storefront: Keeping it Local on Social

You’ve probably heard the term “shop local.” It encourages consumers to support local businesses in their area rather than larger national chains. This is an idea that AWG independent grocers embrace and it extends to their social media platforms. I regularly tell the retailers I work with to look at their social media platforms as a “digital storefront.” While it’s a good idea for a grocery store to include product/pricing on their digital platforms, social media is also the perfect place to tell your story. It’s a great place to show support for your community and even show off that support every now and then. Just don’t “show off” too blatantly or too often. It will start to come off as insincere and end up having the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve with this type of content. In a Progressive Grocer article, Randy Hofbauer cited a recent study that found “nearly nine in 10 supermarket shoppers regularly following one or more social media sites” but of that group “only one in four…claims to be friends with or connected to…

Connect via Hootsuite

Recap: Connect via Hootsuite – Online Social Media Conference

Last week I walked into work, turned on my computer, popped in my earbuds and attended a free, online international social media conference, the annual Connect via Hootsuite conference. It was a first for me and definitely the most unique conference I’ve attended in my career. As I listened to multiple industry leaders present on the latest social media trends and strategies, I noticed two topics that came up regularly throughout the day: metrics and advocacy. Social Media Metrics If you aren’t already using your social media metrics to guide your overall strategy, you should be. The top social media platforms provide detailed metrics for company/brand pages. These metrics can provide you with high-level demographic data of your fans/followers, which posts they’re engaging with, and even what time of day they are online so you can post your content at the optimal time for them to see it. While these metrics can be extremely useful to businesses, it’s important to use the metrics wisely. Vik Kambli, Western Canada Region Head at Facebook, asserted that clicks on social media posts (likes/reactions)…

Smartphone with Social Icons

Recap: Social Media is Changing (Greater KC PRSA Luncheon)

Social media changes so quickly that sometimes it’s difficult for consumers and businesses to keep up. However, the trends in social media often change gradually over time so we don’t always notice them. At  a recent professional development lunch for Greater Kansas City PRSA, Justin Goldsborough of Fleishman-Hillard discussed the five changing trends he’s currently seeing in social media. Media Consumption is Changing Goldsborough cited that 75% of a person’s waking day is spent consuming media. A large part of that time is spent on digital media. The rise in popularity of the smartphone has created over one million hours of potential reach for businesses each day in the U.S. It’s not just a passing fad and it’s no longer a “nice to have” option that only some companies use. Facebook Organic Reach is Dying “Just because you post it doesn’t mean I see it.” This one simple sentence perfectly sums up Facebook marketing in 2017. You don’t have to pay for every Facebook post to be boosted for higher engagement. But it’s no longer an option to include Facebook…

Google My Business logo.

Claiming Your Google Places Listing

How often do you Google a local business in your area? Your customers are doing the same thing with your grocery store on a regular basis, so it’s important for you to be able to control what they see when they Google your store. But how do you do that? How do you manage the information that comes up on the most popular online search engine? The answer is: Google Places. Google Places allows you to list the exact location and address of your store on a map in Google, with all relevant store information to help your customers find you when they are not only looking specifically for your store but also when they are looking for specific services your business provides. According to Google, “simply being listed gives you a boost in rankings for your main website and therefore leads to more traffic.” Google gives you the option to include as much or as little about your business as you want on your Google Places listing. This includes coupons, special offers, videos, images, opening hours and preferred payment…

Angry stick figure glaring at computer

Customer Complaints on Social are Good for Business

When I speak to retailers about social media, it’s almost inevitable that they will ask me about how we deal with negative comments posted on our retailers’ social media profiles. In some cases, the possibility of negative feedback is such a major concern for a retailer that they don’t even want to bother with social media because of it. However, as I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, negative feedback on your business’ social media page is an opportunity to change the story with an unhappy customer. Mike Blumenthal of Get Five Stars, a company offering a platform to automate the customer feedback process, wrote a blog post about why an unhappy customer can actually be good for your business. Four out of the five points he made in that post can be directly applied to negative feedback on social media. Most unhappy customers don’t complain, they just don’t come back. Ever. Even in the digital age, most customers aren’t going to take the time to go to your social media profiles and write out a complaint. Many of them will…