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What is content?

Content. It’s a word thrown around a lot in the marketing world. And from the marketing point of view, I generally think of website content as the words and images on a website that describe that organization. I also think of content as images and words used on social media accounts. But while I was attending IGNITE: the ecommerce conference, I noticed everyone talking about content in a way I’d never considered: product data for ecommerce. It makes sense now, the data includes product images, tags, and descriptions in addition to product name and price. This kind of content matters just as much, probably even more than the rest of the content on an ecommerce website. It’s what helps customers decide what to purchase on a site. If an image is missing, or a product name includes a bunch of confusing abbreviations, does the customer know it’s the right product they want? Is everything organized in a way so that it’s easy for the customers to find what they’re looking for? For instance, take the example of Dove’s Beauty Bar.…

What Should (and Shouldn’t) be on a landing page.

I’m flipping through my notes from WordCamp last week, looking for a session that could directly benefit our AWG retail members. This guy, Mat Casner, really drew a big crowd considering his session was next to last at 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon. Mat first caught my attention by asking the audience, “How many of you work for someone who would like more customers?” I raised my hand. After that I was pretty much glued to his every word, which I put in italics below. Customer Acquisition is a Constant Cycle Get Attention: They must be aware of your existence Convert Attention: They must like something of value you are offering Keep Attention: They must be willing to trust you enough to risk a financial investment in exchange for value The key to any business relationship is trust. It is our responsibility to reduce as many barriers as possible that are keeping your customers from trusting you. Here, I’d like to insert further focus on “barriers”. Your customers today rely on multiple mediums to get information. Gone are the days…

What is Search Engine Marketing (SEM)?

88 percent of consumers research products online before purchasing online or in-store. Wonder how you can take advantage of these searches? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) has grown with the number of consumers researching and shopping for products online. It may sound intuitive, but according to Wikipedia, Search Engine Marketing is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through paid advertising. SEM may incorporate search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content and site architecture to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages to enhance pay-per-click (PPC) listings. As defined by Wikipedia, here are the definitions of some SEM activities and terms: Paid search advertising: When Ads are set up using an auction-based, PPC model which show digital ads on search engine results pages such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. How often your ads appear, the rankings, and how much you pay per click — are all determined from your bid and Quality Score. Quality Score: Once you create an ad and…

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How SEO can Strengthen your Digital Store Brand Identity

Have you ever searched for something on the Internet and found yourself looking at an entry on the 4th or 5th page? Me neither. Who has the time? There are several tasks a business can do to increase their website’s rankings. Some of these tasks are free to do yourself, while other tasks will cost you. The free tasks will take 3-6 months to see results, and depending on your technical comfort level, might end up getting farmed out anyway. If you choose the paid route, results will be more immediate. I like how Gilco Digital defined Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search,…

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Mastering your goals using KPIs

“Never believe that one number by itself can be meaningful.” -Unknown I recently attended a seminar hosted by emfluence called What Gets Measured Gets Done: How to Set Goals and KPIs for Your Campaigns. The speaker for the presentation was emfluence’s Customer Success Director, Joe Ramsey. Though the presentation was geared towards a marketing-minded audience, the lesson of measuring your goals is relatable to all. What is a KPI? Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) act as a map and a compass to determine your overview performance of a campaign or event. The purpose of a KPI is to alert you to potential problems and allows you to make the best decisions with data. What are you measuring? There are several things to measure when looking into KPIs. You could reflect on your audience or the impressions you have gained. You can focus on subscribers or engagement growth. Whatever you are measuring needs a why. Your “why” explains what is your reasoning behind seeking the information. It can also be considered as your goal. For example, if you are seeking to understand…

Show Them your Private…Labels

Over the past few years private labels sales have continued to trend upward. Many factors have contributed to this with one of the biggest drivers being that consumers are no longer staying loyal to established brands. Millennials have really shaken up the grocery industry by being more likely to purchase private label products over name brands. Also, the stigma that private label brands are lower quality or cheap is starting to disappear. Private label products have also started branching out from mainly focusing on commodity items. Now you can find superior products and even organic offerings.  Consumer acceptance of private label has is at an all-time high. According to Nielsen research 65% of shoppers find them as good as name brand products and 43% consider private label quality better. So, with all of this to consider it would be highly important to have a strategy to take advantage of the private label brands in your store. Kroger has taken on this challenge with their private label Treasure EmporiYum. Having put together a brand strategy that merges center store, shelf signage…

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…

Tis’ the season for Party Trays

If your store has a website and you sell Party Trays you have landed on the right page. Over the years, we have accumulated several options to lessen the task of ordering party trays for your customers. First, if you have online shopping on your website contact our Online Shopping Specialist –  Jimmy. Now, if you have a website but don’t have online shopping feel free to check out what we have to offer below. If you see something you like, scroll down to the bottom of this blog post to: “Party Tray Photo Order Form” and order a custom Party Tray Order Form for your website. Online Shopping I know I told you to call Jimmy if you have Online Shopping, but if you want to see what it will look like when it’s done take a look at the screenshots below. WUFOO Forms We have a subscription to Wufoo where we can iframe a form in using html. However, recently I figured out how to put in images with descriptions. With each selection in the drop down menu…

GDPR – What Retailers Need To Know Now

Have you noticed all the emails you’ve received recently with information about organizations updating their privacy policies? When you visit websites are you seeing the bar on the bottom informing  you about cookies and data collection policies? If so, you can thank the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) policies now in place in Europe. While the United States hasn’t adopted the legislation yet, that hasn’t stopped organizations based in the US from paying attention to what’s going on. That’s why the Kansas City Direct Marketing Association recently held a lunch with David Cacioppo of emfluence and Neil Watkins of Asureti to walk through some of the basics of GDPR. Below are some of the things you might want to at least be aware of as GDPR gains traction. Require Opt-In Now GDPR dictates that a company must obtain consent from a consumer to process and share their information. When it went into place in Europe, that meant consent had to be given for data that had already been collected. That means you might as well start making sure you have…