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Controlling Your Online Presence: Why Your Business Needs a Website

Before I begin, let me answer the question I know some of you already have. No, having a Facebook page for your business is not the same thing as having a website. This is the mistake some of our members make when deciding on a digital marketing strategy. They assume a Facebook page will work just the same as a website and, even better, Facebook is free! I’m here to tell you, it’s not the same. While some might argue that they can’t afford to pay for a website, my response to that is you can’t afford to NOT have a business website in 2018. And yes, you may recognize me from previous blog posts highlighting the importance of social media, especially Facebook. So you know that I’m by no means against Facebook business pages. However, I think it should be one of many instruments in your digital toolbox. I worked with our web design team and reviewed customer feedback on Facebook from some of our stores’ pages to develop a case study comparing websites versus Facebook business pages. I…

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Introducing: Sendible for AWG Members

The AWG digital marketing team is excited to announce a new social media option for our members! Sendible is a social media content management and reporting tool. We have expanded our offerings beyond managing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles for retailers. Sendible is for AWG members who want to have access to a curated content library and vendor-sponsored promotional content. With Sendible, we supply the content, but you can choose what to post and when. While retailers can work directly with Sendible to sign up for the platform, we offer it to our retailers at a group discount, plus full access to our digital marketing content library. An AWG Sendible login provides you with: A library of engaging social content created by AWG Sales Services. This also includes AWG Brands content. Access to vendor promotion content. This includes SEP NOW content that highlights specific digital coupon deals. The ability to create reports for your digital channels and customize the data to fit your goals. Monitoring tools showing what customers say about you online other than what’s on your social media…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: September 2018 Edition

September is National Family Meals Month! For the fourth year in a row, AWG Brands will support this initiative created by FMI. This nationwide movement highlights the importance of sharing meals together at home with family. Throughout the month, AWG Brands will post recipes, educational content, and other content surrounding Family Meals Month. It all kicks off with a photo campaign by Best Choice called the Food Adventure Calendar. You can learn more and promote it to your customers here. Encourage them to join the fun! You can also share Family Meals Month posts from Clearly Organic, Superior Selections and Always Save. For more resources on Family Meals Month, click here. Best Choice Recipe of the Month The September Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is for Nebraska Bierocks. The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. The native files can be found here. Best Choice Recipe Video The September recipe video is for Cookies & Cream Milkshakes. You can share…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: August 2018 Edition

August is the sweet spot of wrapping up summer activities and preparing for back-to-school. Although AWG Brands is not hosting a major digital promotion this month (we’re preparing for Family Meals Month in September!), there are plenty of new recipes, digital coupons and other content for our member retailers to share on their websites, social media pages, email clubs and more. Best Choice Recipe of the Month The August Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is this Green Onion Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/green-onion-feta-stuffed-chicken-breast The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. The native files can be found here. Best Choice Recipe Video The August recipe video is for Tuscan Shrimp Linguine. Starting August 1, you can share this short video from the Best Choice website, YouTube, or using the native files found here. Digital Coupons New digital coupons for the following products are available through September 30, 2018. Consumers can access these coupons through a store’s…

Finding Success on Facebook for Your Small Business with a Team of One (Recap)

All AWG retailers are independently owned and many are smaller, one-store operations. They often don’t have the resources to manage large-scale social media strategies with expensive agencies so they come to us for help. Or they hire a marketing professional to work for them in-house. Either way, many of our stores work on small budget with small teams, sometimes even a team of one. I recently attended a Social Media Club of Kansas City professional development breakfast with guest speaker Travis Pflanz, owner of WebWorks of KC. His presentation, titled “Finding Success on Facebook with a Team of One,” highlighted strategies and tools small businesses can use to maximize their Facebook marketing with small teams and small budgets. Travis drove home one point throughout the presentation. All businesses should focus on their website and any other non-social digital properties they own before even considering Facebook or social media in general. He reminded the audience that your business doesn’t own Facebook, but you do own your website. Make sure you have a strong content strategy on your website first. You can…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: July 2018 Edition

We’re in the thick of summer, which means National Ice Cream Month is here! National Ice Cream Month is a national campaign created by the NFRA. AWG Brands will participate throughout July by: Publishing key messages and recipes on social media and the brands’ websites. Promoting the Ice Cream Giveaway sweepstakes. Sharing content from NFRA and Easy Home Meals. We encourage all AWG Member Retailers to participate also. It’s easy: either share the content you see on AWG Brands’ websites and social media profiles (Best Choice, Clearly Organic, Superior Selections and Always Save), or use the NFRA resources to create and post your own messages. Last year, AWG Brands won a Golden Penguin Award for our participation in this campaign and we hope to do the same in 2018!   Best Choice Recipe of the Month The July Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is this Summer Harvest Pasta Salad: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/summer-harvest-salad/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or…

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Facebook Advertising 101

I regularly write blog posts about what our retailers can do to increase organic reach on Facebook. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of paid Facebook advertising, which includes Facebook ads and boosted posts. Paying for additional exposure on Facebook is becoming more important as you try to stand out among all the clutter your customers see in their Facebook timeline. Since this is my first post about how to use Facebook advertising, I’m going to keep it pretty high-level and focus on the most common questions I get from retailers who don’t have much experience with this digital marketing strategy. Why Should I Use Facebook Advertising? Despite the ongoing rumors that “Facebook is dead,” and even the recent controversies surrounding the social media platform, two billion people still actively use it every month. And while it isn’t as popular with people in their late teens and twenties, you can focus on that demographic with Instagram. Here are a few tips from one of my recent blog posts about Instagram strategy. You can use paid advertising on Instagram…

AWG Brands Digital Promotions: June 2018 Edition

AWG Brands are welcoming summer with fresh new content, coupons and promotions! Here’s what you can expect on the brands’ digital channels this month: Best Choice Recipe of the Month We turned June’s Recipe of the Month from the 2018 Best Choice Calendar into a new recipe video. You can find it here starting June 1: https://bestchoicebrand.com/news/recipe-video-rocky-road-cream-cheese-pie/ The recipe can be shared from the Best Choice website using the link above or from the Best Choice social media sites, like Facebook or YouTube. The native files which include the word document, original video and graphics of the recipe, can be found in the recipes folder. If you are on the AWG Insignia Program, signs with this recipe will also be delivered to your store during June. This creates a bridge from in-store to online, ensuring a consistent message on both. Digital Coupons New digital coupons are available June 1 – July 31, 2018. Consumers can access these coupons through a store’s loyalty program. If a store does not have a loyalty program, but is interested in setting one up, please…

Social Media Marketing

What Makes Social Content Great?

In the 4 ½ years I’ve worked for AWG, it’s been surprisingly difficult to get content consistently from the retailers I work with on digital marketing. Whether I’m working with a store owner or director, a department manager, or an up-and-coming associate, I often hear, “I’m not sure what to send you for social media content.” And you’d think it would be a no-brainer. Take pictures of food, of course! Food pictures are all over social media, right? But that’s part of the problem. Even when I do receive content from stores, sometimes it’s just a little too generic. You may have a beautiful produce display that makes for a great picture, but what differentiates it from any other produce display at a grocery store? The more popular social media has become, the more “noise” there is on every channel. You have to make your content stand out so that customers can find it through all that noise. Using these different types of evergreen content can change things up and help you stand out on social. Timely Content Like I…

Producing & Protecting A Digital STAMP

The words technology and digital can be scary. It isn’t so much that they have to do with change but sometimes that they have to do with the unknown. Yet, as Erik Qualman assured retailers during his presentation at the AWG Innovation Showcase in March, connecting with customers today isn’t really about technology, it’s about relationships, and independent grocery retailers already know relationships. In his presentation, Qualman reminded retailers that all of them have a digital stamp composed of their digital footprint (what is uploaded to the internet by them) and their digital shadow (what everyone else says online). Digital leadership then comes down to producing and protecting the best digital stamp possible. Qualiman outlined five habits that stand the test of time when it comes to digital leadership because according to him, digital leaders are made, not born and digital tools are in place when time and distance are an issue in reaching customers. S – Simple Digital leaders make “not-to-do” lists. This helps them streamline by taking things away versus making a to-do list which just consists of…

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