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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…

SEO and SEM graphic

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,…

Best Buy employee assisting a customer

Adobe Summit Recap – How Best Buy is Competing with Amazon

I recently watched a keynote session from this year’s Adobe Summit. Shantanu Narayen, the CEO of Adobe, sat down to chat with Hubert Joly, the CEO of Best Buy. Joly shared some innovative ideas that may encourage any retailer who feels their business has been disrupted by the digital world. Seven years ago, Best Buy knew they needed to do something so they didn’t “die” to Amazon. They had to find a way to reach customers other than by selling them a product. They discovered customers were coming into their store to shop for products and then leaving the store to buy those products from Amazon. To discourage that, Best Buy started price matching Amazon. This was part of their Renew Blue, a marketing campaign about rebuilding the company and fixing what was broken. They also invested resources into their website and online shopping capabilities. They now ship as fast as Amazon does, for FREE. And they’ve invested in their employees to improve the customer’s in-store experience. Then came the marketing campaign, Building The New Blue, which is about reinventing…

How to Tell Your Story with Facebook & Instagram Stories

In my last blog post I mentioned the growing popularity of Facebook and Instagram stories. If you aren’t familiar with how to create them, it might seem a little daunting. In this post I’m going to give you some step-by-step instructions on how to create everything from simple picture stories to more elaborate types of stories. How to Create a Story Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, the process of creating a story is similar across both platforms. Instagram has an option at the top left corner of the screen when you first open the app. It’s your profile picture with a plus sign on it. The text below it reads “Your Story.” Just click on the icon and it will take you to a camera setting where you can create your story. To create a Facebook story, the options will vary based on the app you are using. If you are using the regular Facebook app, go to your business page and scroll down until you see the “Your Story” heading. You will see your cover photo with a…

Retail Innovation Conferece Recap

There’s one thing that’s for sure about retail today: it’s changing. There’s a debate to be had about how and to what capacity this change is happening and it certainly impacts different industries differently but what’s not debatable is that brands and retailers are frantically trying to keep up. This past week, I attended the Retail Innovations Conference to see what brands in all industries are doing to try and keep up with the evolution. Two days of content are hard to distill down to a short recap but here were the themes I saw emerge.   Not Your Old Loyalty ProgramsIn the age of data, loyalty programs are not only still alive and kicking, they’re going strong and evolving to fit the needs of retailers striving for meaningful connections with consumers. Shinola talked about how they reconsidered their program with their brand promise in mind. Macy’s Style Crew re-envisioned a program inclusive of consumer viewpoint and a new reward attainment structure. Personalization for Born shoes is driven by consistent acquisition of consumer online activity behavior data. Hershey’s hasn’t ever collected…

Communicating in a Smart and Connected City

Communicating in a Smart & Connected City – PRSA recap

Chris Hernandez, chief spokesperson for the City of Kansas City, Missouri and director of the City Communications Office, spoke at a recent PRSA luncheon. Chris’ office handles media relations, social media, the city’s website and community engagement. He shared with us some progress Kansas City has made with technology and why he sees it as a smart city. What is a Smart City? It is a city that uses creative engagement and technology to reach residents, improve sustainability and enhance the quality and performance of its services such as energy, utilities and transportation. Chris says, “It’s not about technology. It’s about delivering better services for our city.” Kansas City, Missouri is a leader when it comes to having services for our residents, compared to other cities in the metro.  Why is Kansas City considered a Smart City? Google Fiber Street car Smart street lights Bird electric scooters and bike sharing Use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) For those who have been affected by recent flooding, they might be relieved to hear the city is currently in the process…

The Future is the Shelf Edge

The digital world is infiltrating all aspects of grocery stores and supermarkets. Whether that be blockchain allowing consumers to track food from farm to store or gathering customer data through a loyalty program to offer tailored promotions. It has now even taken over one of the oldest parts of a store, the shelf but more specifically its edge. Paper and vinyl tags will soon become a thing of the past. The days of printing shelf tags and replacing them anytime a price changes or a sale is implemented will soon be a distant memory. Not only will these digital shelf edges allow you to change prices instantly it will also allow customers to look at online reviews or ratings of any product at the shelf while shopping. How’s that for point of purchase marketing? There hasn’t been much implementation of digital or electronic shelf edges in the United States yet but the UK has shown much success with utilizing this technology and all the advantages it offers. There are two separate types of digital shelf technologies. One uses the whole…

AWG Brand Digital Promotions: May Edition

Summer is almost here! Which means it just about time to fire up the grill. Below is the digital content created to share with your customers on your website, social media platforms, emails and more to promote AWG Private Brands. Best Choice Recipe Video The May recipe video is called Four Ways to a Better Burger. It features four different burgers using Best Choice Beef Burger. The four recipes are Pesto Patty, Hawaiian Style Burger, Saucy Burger, and Cowboy Burger. You can share this short video from the Best Choice website, YouTube, or using the native files found here. Best Choice Recipe of the Month The May Recipe of the Month from the Best Choice Calendar is for Chicken Enchilada Soup. 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. Dietitian Content AWG Brands Dietitian, Rebecca Mueller, is getting into the grilling season with her recipe about a hamburger patty and her lifestyle blog about unique ways to use a grill. Recipes will be posted on the second and…

Episode 15

This month is all about the Compete magazine. The latest issue dives into digital marketing. Sean sits down with three authors. First up is Lisa Nelson to talk about websites (4:43). Then Morgane Freeman gives a snap shot of Instagram (11:43). Finally, Kurt Kloeblen talks about the issue as a whole and gives five things retailers can do in the digital space (19:59).

Possibility in Perishables

While online grocery shopping continues to gain steam, a mysterious and myth-riddled sector of the store often gets talked around. Perishables is the most under-penetrated category in online grocery shopping. So how do retailers help customers feel comfortable shopping this important category online? Recently, at the Home Delivery World Conference in Philadelphia, I hosted a panel of industry experts in this area. The panel consisted of Duane Snyder of Seasonal Roots, Ben Chesler of Imperfect Produce, & Mike Demko of locai solutions. We talked through how to attract customers to the perishable category, how to deliver what customers are expecting, and how to gain confidence and repeat purchases. Tempt TrialSome customers are hesitant to try online shopping for their entire grocery basket. While online grocery continues to grow, customers sometimes need a little nudge to try the service. A popular statistic in the space says that customers don’t become an “online customer” until they have tried the service three times. That means you need to get them to try it. Some will based just on word of mouth. Some need…