LSM Wins ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ Award


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Thanks to our work with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, Local Search Masters won the ‘Marketing Effectiveness: Campaign – Content Marketing’ award at the 2018 Communicator Awards. We are excited that our Google advertising and user experience work was such a success!

Founded in 1995 as an international awards program, the Communicator Awards recognize businesses who exhibit excellence in marketing and communication. Sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, the Communicator Awards program receives over 6,000 entries from large and small agencies every year. Winners are determined based on their innovation and craft in the field.



LSMAward Trophy


LSM


“We appreciate our partnership with Brain Balance Achievement Centers, and I’m thrilled that our work with their brand is being recognized by such a prestigious panel of judges” says Local Search Masters’ CMO, Matt Job.”

By using content marketing and UX optimization, LSM was able to increase conversions for Brain Balance Achievement Centers by 437% and decrease cost per lead by 370%.

Congratulations to our fellow winners like IBM, Deloitte, and Toyota! We are honored to be recognized alongside such prestigious brands!


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Google Publishes Case Study About LSM’s Advertising


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Last August, we were named the winner of the ‘Growing Businesses Online Award’ in North America at the 2017 Google Premier Partner Awards! The award recognizes the top-performing Google Premier Partner in North America for their contributions to digital marketing, product innovation, and client growth.

A perk of winning the award is Google publishing a formal case study about the services performed and results provided. Check it out below and read how LSM increased Brain Balance Achievement Centers’ PPC conversion rate by 437 percent!




LSM




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Watch this video and learn how LSM’s work drove a 225 percent increase in website traffic and a 381 percent return on investment for Brain Balance Achievement Centers.




Contact us today and learn how we’ll provide your brand with exceptional results.






Do PPC Campaigns Affect Website Rankings?


Often times when speaking with folks about LSM’s services, I hear this question:

  • “Will running PPC (pay-per-click) ads help my organic search rankings, and vice versa, does SEO help my paid advertising efforts?”

The short answer to these questions is: directly, no. However, there are components of each of these scenarios that CAN affect the other indirectly. Let’s take a deeper look.


In a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the first listings you typically see are paid advertisements that are served through auction networks like Google AdWords or Bing Ads. These ads are what we refer to as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, meaning the advertiser only pays when a visitor clicks on the ad.

    Beneath these advertisements are the local map listings (otherwise known as the “Local Pack” section) and the organic search results. These results are populated based on the search engine’s own proprietary algorithm, and it’s impossible to directly “buy” any visibility or placement in this portion of the SERP (though Google recently tested running ads in the Local Pack section).

     This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. Agencies such as Local Search Masters perform SEO best practices to help inform search engines that your website has a better answer to the user’s search query than other sites on the web.


While there’s no direct relationship between paid traffic and improved search rankings, having any traffic to your site can help signal to Google’s algorithm that your site is trustworthy. Another positive side effect of running PPC campaigns is that you have much greater insight into which keywords generate revenue – this knowledge is a gold mine for optimizing those pages even further organically. Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at DigitasLBi says, “It is true to say that a combined PPC and SEO campaign can drive more traffic than two separate [PPC] campaigns.”


There’s a bit more tangible evidence that a well SEO’d website will perform better as a destination for a paid advertising campaign. We predominantly support two ad networks: Google Adwords and the Facebook Ads network. With Google Adwords, a large component that determines the cost of a click deals with “Quality Score,” a number between 1-10 that Adwords gives your ad based on numerous factors, such as expected click-through-rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience, the most pertinent factor here. If you have a well-optimized landing page, your quality score will improve, which can increase the number of ad impressions/clicks and reduce the amount of money it takes to garner those clicks, i.e. reduced CPC. Facebook also employs a rating factor called “Relevance Score” that acts similarly to Google’s Quality Score.


Remember, Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo strive to serve the most relevant search results they possibly can based on what a user is looking for and what content is available. Jim Yu from Search Engine Land says, “By intelligently integrating your paid and organic search activity, synergies provide greater results in SERP domination.” A unified SEO and PPC strategy can help both organic efforts and paid efforts simultaneously if it’s done correctly.

What is an Ad Extension and How Can It Help Your Business?


Want to give your prospective customers more reasons to click on your ads? Ad extensions do just that.  These extra pieces of information – such as your business address, website or phone number – can be added to your pay-per-click ads to better serve your customers’ needs.

Google and other search engines will tend to rank ads with extensions higher than ads without. Why? Google values the quality of an advertisement when calculating its rankings. Since ad extensions provide more information to a customer, they are viewed as superior ads.

An Infographic on the importance of ad extensions


Ads in higher positions  have higher visibility and lead to higher click-through rates. Below are some of the types of ad extensions you can use to provide more value to both your customers and your advertisements.


Call extensions place a small button on the side of your ad that allows customers to directly call your business from mobile devices. A call extension would work great if your business requires customers to make phone calls to either purchase products or schedule services.

An example of an ad extension


Location extensions show the address of your business and help nearby customers find you. This type of extension works well if your  business has multiple locations and you want your customers to know when they’re in close proximity.


Review extensions show your business’s positive reviews from third-party sites directly in the advertisement. If your business has great reviews or provides a product or service that many consumers research before purchasing, this extension would be useful for you.


Callout extensions let you show additional descriptive text about what your business offers directly underneath your ad. If your business runs any special offers and wants to share them with your customers, callout extensions would be ideal for your ads.


Sitelink extensions provide links to different pages of your website. They give your customers quicker access to the content  they want to see as it pertains to your ad.


Google offers several other extensions that your business can use. Have a mobile app? The app extension links directly to the app store where customers can download it.  Want to show off the 5-star rating of your e-commerce site? A seller rating extension shows the overall rating of your online business. Have high quality survey results to share? A consumer rating extension highlights your survey results.  All of these extensions serve  specific purposes, so it’s important to identify what exactly your customers might want to see before adding an extension. By doing so, you stand to serve better ads that produce higher value.

For more information on ad extensions and how they can help your company receive more value from its advertisements, email us (bizdev@localsearchmasters.com) or call us at 615-387-9157. You can also visit our web page about online advertising to learn more about Google pay-per-click ads, or you can go straight to Google’s web page about ad extensions.

4 Things We Learned At The Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference

A few weeks ago, we traveled to Atlanta for the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference at the Intercontinental Hotel in Buckhead. Created by Franchise Update Media, the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference is a two day event focusing on all aspects of franchise marketing. Many of the industry’s top experts are brought together to discuss everything from how to utilize new technology to enhancing franchisee participation. LSM engaged in several interesting workshops addressing the changes and challenges facing franchise marketers today. LSM’s Chief Marketing Officer, Matthew Job, moderated the session voted best of the conference: ‘Local Marketing – Imperative For Location, Market and Brand Growth,’ which we thought was pretty cool! Needless to say we look forward to attending again in 2017!


Below are four key takeaways from the conference:

  1. Your brand promise is one of the most important components of your business to communicate to your consumers. It’s vital to the long-term health of your business, and it’s an element that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your brand promise extends to every part of your organization – from sales to customer service. Your brand positioning can drive innovation and even change the course of R&D based on customer feedback. Terri Snyder, CMO/EVP of the Checkers/Rally’s restaurant franchise system, described her experience of identifying the brand promise after she started with the organization, and encouraged us to go back to the foundation of the brand for inspiration.
  2. Local marketing is imperative for location, market and brand growth. This was a terrific presentation by Nancy Bigley, CEO at Bottles & Bottega, Ali Rauch, Director of Marketing at Chicken Salad Chick and Angela Paules, VP of Marketing at Mosquito Joe. In a nutshell, having an effective local marketing strategy is paramount to the success of many franchise brands. The first step is laying the foundation, which includes finding passionate franchisees who aren’t afraid to be true brand ambassadors, and helping them understand the importance of local marketing prior to them even becoming franchisees. Next is providing franchisees with turn-key marketing resources that make it easy for them to participate and understand the results of their spend: customizable marketing materials, checklists, lead tracking and online reporting dashboards for example. Working with vendor partners that specialize in different aspects of local marketing can be a great resource for brands that don’t have the internal resources to complete all the work needed to create and maintain an excellent local marketing strategy. Showing franchisees examples of successful marketing plans or initiatives will improve their likelihood of participation moving forward; testimonials from their peers can sometimes mean more than recommendations from HQ. They emphasized the importance of collaborating with others on a regular basis to unearth fresh ideas and solutions.A photo of LSM at FCMC
  3. Meet your customers where they are. Allow your advocates to interact with your brand where they are online. This is especially true with respect to reviews and reputation management. Get your dissenters offline immediately, and work with them to resolve issues as quickly as possible. Most importantly, make your responses geared towards the general public, not just towards the customer who left a negative review. Dave Randall, Sr Manager of Marketing Strategy at Great Clips, said it brilliantly: “Never get in a pissing match with a skunk – you’ll both end up stinking.” A potential customer’s opinion of your business is largely based on what people say about your business online; when responding to reviews, write with this potential customer in mind.
  4. Programmatic advertising is no longer “the future” – it’s now. Programmatic advertising is a way to purchase highly-targeted impression inventory (like banner ads and sponsored content) on the websites of your choosing. The goal is to serve the right ad to the right visitor at the right time. On programmatic advertising networks, you can target website visitors based on things like cookies and device ID’s (especially critical to mobile implementations) as well as contextual topics. Location targeting on these networks, in many cases, is also much more robust, factoring in GPS data of mobile website visitors. Darryl Singer, National Director at Centro, explained that the value exchange between privacy and relevancy is becoming more equal; if ads are inevitable, we probably want to be served ads we actually care about, and this is made possible by the advanced targeting options in programmatic technology.


These are only a handful of takeaways from the sessions that we were fortunate enough to attend. We’re positive that several more nuggets of valuable information were discussed during the conference.

For more information about the Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, you can click here.

It was a terrific event and Local Search Masters looks forward to attending in 2017 and beyond!

3 Ways to Ensure Franchise Portals Don’t Intercept Your Franchise Leads



Optimize Your Management of Franchise Portals

The Web Reigns Supreme for Franchise Sales

The Internet remains the king of franchise sales. According to the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report, which analyzed 139 franchisors and a little over 36,000 units, the Internet is the leading source of franchise sales for the second year in a row.  The report showed that 42 percent of all franchise sales come from online sources. All hail the king!

The ways in which franchise leads are generated through the Internet shifted between 2013 and 2014:

When a franchise executive reads this data, they may very well assume that it makes sense to spend more advertising dollars on franchise-related portal websites. Upon further investigation, however, one may find that the leads provided by these portals are not as cost-effective as you think.

Why? Because certain portals set themselves up to capture your online leads before they arrive at your franchise development/recruitment website.

How? By running pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google and Bing’s search engines that show up at the top of clients’ branded search queries (also known as keywords).

For example, let’s say that someone is keen on purchasing an Elements Massage franchise, and would like to contact them about setting up a time to chat. To find the proper contact information, they go to a search engine and search for the phrase “Elements Massage franchise.” Here’s what they’re likely to see in the search results:

These ads push the organic search result for Elements’ franchise development website, likely the best answer for a search related to Elements Massage’s franchise opportunity, further down the search results. This gives the portals, and not the franchise recruitment site, first dibs on this lead. These portals’ ads are highly relevant to what the user needs. In this case, the contact information of someone who can explain Elements’ franchise opportunity in more depth. This gives the ads more legitimacy in the eyes of the searcher and a greater chance of being clicked on first.

Takeaway: you might be paying portals for franchise leads that you would have received for free organically if the portals weren’t buying ad space above your franchise recruitment site on your brand related search queries (keywords).

Mobile = More Challenging

This strategy is even more effective for searches performed on mobile devices, where people must scroll further down the page to see the organic search results.

Mobile devices are used extensively in the franchise lead generation process. The percentage of prospects making contact using their mobile devices nearly doubled between August 2013 and August 2014 (going from 23 percent to 42 percent).  What’s the takeaway? It’s easy for portals to obtain and take credit for franchise leads and franchise sales that would likely have come straight to the franchisor’s recruitment site for free in the first place.

What Your Franchise Can Do

Here are a few things your franchise can do to make sure you optimize your management of portals:

1. Make sure that the portals you work with are not spending as much of your budget buying ad-space on branded keywords. For example, if I’m recruiting new franchisees for my make-believe Italian restaurant/bar franchise “Bocce & Beer,” I wouldn’t want portals buying ad space on brand-related keywords that I know my franchise recruitment site, boccebeerfranchise.co, will likely rank number one for organically by default. Examples of these keywords include the following:

  • “Bocce & Beer franchise”
  • “Bocce & Beer franchise opportunity”
  • “Bocce & Beer franchise cost”
  • “Buy a Bocce & Beer franchise”

Instead, consider purchasing ad space on non-branded keywords that you think your target audience may use when searching for their dream franchise opportunity. In our make-believe case,  my keywords selections might initially include the following:

  • “Bocce business concepts”
  • “Franchises for young entrepreneurs”
  • “Unique bar franchise concepts”
  • “restaurant with lawn games franchise”
  • “Outdoor bar franchises”

2. Ask your portals to show you more information about the origins of their leads. Figure out if their leads come from an ad that they ran on one of your branded keywords. Google and Bing both have outstanding tracking capabilities, so it should be very easy for a business to show you the results of PPC campaigns performed on these search engines.

3. Buy the ad space yourself!! Purchase space on your branded keywords to effectively reduce the number of portals that show up at the top of the search results. Plus, because your franchise recruitment site is the best answer to users’ search queries, the quality score of your ad will be higher, and search engines will be willing to position your ad at the top of the results for a cheaper price than everyone else.

Conclusion

Online portals can be an excellent source of new, quality leads for your franchise if they are properly managed. Improper management can transform these portals into under-producing investments that take credit for quality leads that your franchise earned on its own accord.

4 Reasons Why Remarketing is Important for Franchise Sales

Remarketing is quickly becoming the tool of choice for businesses looking to increase online conversions. An estimated 43 percent of companies are using some kind of remarketing tactic to bring back former website visitors. Applying these ideas to franchise recruitment marketing allows you to target prospective franchisees as they go through the research and decision-making process.

What is Remarketing?

If you’ve ever searched for something on a website and were served ads for the same product or service somewhere else later on, you’ve seen remarketing in action. A remarketing campaign displays ads for your brand across the web. Ads may appear in search results, on other websites, and on social media networks. The goal is to bring people back to your website until they “convert,” which typically comes in the form of a phone call, form submission, shopping cart purchase, or newsletter subscription.

 

How remarketing campaigns work in relation to recruiting and selling new franchisees on your concept and message

 

The Google Display Network (GDN) has one of the widest reaches for remarketing. Its display ads appear on 90 percent of all websites. Popular social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube also offer remarketing tools. The takeaway? A properly managed remarketing campaign ensures your brand is in front of prospective customers no matter where they are online.

Benefits of Remarketing for Franchise Recruitment

Here are some reasons why franchises should strongly consider implementing ad remarketing campaigns for their franchise recruitment efforts.

Keep Top of Mind When it Matters Most

Determining which small business or franchise concept to purchase is a major decision, not to mention expensive. The decision-making process often involves extensive, in-depth research.

 

graphic that shows how someone who is interested in purchasing a franchise unit should do their preliminary research before making a purchasing decision

 

The sales process doesn’t always end when the prospect makes contact with the brand; almost half of qualified leads are not ready to buy just yet. They need more time to evaluate all options, attend open-houses, revisit their finances and life-goals. With an effective ad remarketing campaign, you can ensure that your brand and your message keep top of mind with all potential prospects during the entire decision-making process.

 

Remarketing = Non-Pushy Sales Rep

Most people don’t like having their days interrupted by sales reps that are contacting them about purchasing a product or service; we have enough on our plates already. Sometimes sales reps do more harm than good by constantly reaching back out to the prospect for an update on their decision. With remarketing your ads act as a gentle reminder about the benefits of choosing your brand, allowing prospects to easily reconnect with you on their own time.

 

Prospect Knowledge

The GDN and other remarketing platforms help you acquire valuable data about your ideal franchisee prospect, including demographics, hobbies, interests, locations, and device usage. Brands can use this data to enhance their overall marketing campaigns. For example, if your remarketing campaign shows you that a majority of your leads visit cycling related websites, then you may consider buying ad space in a particular cycling magazine or sponsoring a cycling-specific event.

When remarketing through Facebook, use their “Lookalike Audience” feature to reach out to a wider audience by displaying ads to people with characteristics similar to those of your targeted audience.

 

Cost-Effective

With traditional advertising, you pay for every ad even if people don’t act on it or even see it in the first place. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, however, allow you to only be charged if someone actually clicks on your ad. If they see your ad and don’t click on it, then the end result is a free branded impression. Furthermore, thanks to Google’s recent updates to AdWords, impression based ad campaigns will only charge you for ads that are viewable. This means that your budget will only be spent where it can have an impact.  

Without a good remarketing campaign, you may lose most of your prospective franchisees when they navigate away from your website. Understanding how to take advantage of remarketing’s perks can put you a step ahead of the competition.

 

Tips for Running an Effective Remarketing Campaign

Successful remarketing relies on a number of factors working together to bring your brand to the right audience:

  • Diversity in ad types and channels to meet people where they are. Use a combination of the GDN, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube based on the data you gather about your target audience.
  • Categorize ads by dividing visitors into specific lists. Show different sets of ads to people based on how they engage with your franchise recruitment website. For example, consider setting up one set of ads to those who only view the homepage, and another set for people who submit a request to learn more information about your franchise opportunity.
  • Monitor your campaigns and make changes to your ad copy and your targeted audience on regular basis. Allocate more advertising funds into the channels and ad types that create the most quality leads and less on ads that are not generating new conversions.

Conclusion

Remarketing sets your franchise brand up for growth by keeping you in contact with potential franchisees. A strong campaign creates a consistent brand image and a positive reputation. Together, these draw visitors back to your website and prompt them to get in touch with you. Local Search Masters gives you the tools you need to create, deploy, monitor and manage a successful remarketing campaign for franchise sales. Contact us today at bizdev@localsearchmasters.com to get started.

Don’t Get Blocked: 6 Tips to Stay in Front of Consumers

According to a May 2015 report from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations, nearly 3.2 billion people use the Internet worldwide; up from 738 million in 2000.

How does one go about introducing all of these potential consumers to their brand? Through effective digital ad campaigns of course! Google’s Display Network already reaches 90% of global Internet users. Mix that with ads on Google’s Search Network, Facebook, and YouTube and you’re in front of almost every viable customer in the world.

Effective ad campaigns can do wonderful things for a business. Among other things they can:

Benefits of online advertising

Pretty powerful stuff!

 

Businesses Flew Too Close to The Sun

Remember Uncle Ben in Spider-Man? He said, “with great power comes great responsibility.” The same message applies to digital advertising and, unfortunately, we’ve seen too many companies abuse this great power. These bozos:

  • Put the wrong message in front of the wrong person at the wrong time.
  • Send people to poorly designed landing pages that have little to do with the originally advertised message.
  • Direct people off web browsers and into mobile app stores. Everybody loves that one, right?

People need something to combat these maddening ads ruining their digital experiences; a “digital advertising Spider-Man” if you will. Our hero doesn’t come in the form of a guy web-slinging around town, unfortunately. It comes in the form of ad blocking softwares and new privacy features that block brands from showing up on the Internet’s most popular sites.

 

Witness to The Blocking Revolution

Over the last few years we’ve witnessed the rising availability of softwares and new personal privacy preferences that modify who and what gets to track your “online persona” and place their ads in front of you:

  • According to a September 2014 report completed by PageFair and Adobe, nearly 150 million people have downloaded ad-blocking software.
  • Overall add blocking software downloads are increasing by 43% each year.
  • Popular search engines and social networks such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn give users the ability to close ads immediately, effectively blocking that brand from ever showing up in front of them on that site again.
  • The new Apple iOS 9 software allows ad-blocking software to be distributed in the App Store, and they’re dominating the Apple download charts.

The takeaway: ad-blocking technology is here and growing in popularity. Between ad blocking software and website privacy features, businesses that continue running poorly managed digital advertising campaigns will end up wasting money and hindering their brand’s ability to flourish.

 

How to Avoid Being Blocked

All is not lost! On many sites people still need to manually remove your ads from ever showing up again, and many people are still too busy or too lazy to take that extra step. Even when someone purchases ad blocking software, they can modify their personal settings and allow certain ads to show up on certain sites. Your responsibility as a business is to get the right message, in the right format, on the right sites, at the right times.

Here are 6 tips that can help your ads stand out and decrease your chances of being manually blocked:

 

1: Be a Good Business!

This one isn’t rocket science. If people loathe your business they’ll most likely block your online ads, even if you’re running a terrific campaign and offering a product they desperately want. So remember to provide an excellent product or service along with excellent customer service on the back end!

 

2: Follow The “3 C’s” Principle

The ‘3 C’s’ principle states that a strong digital advertisement will be compelling, concise, and clear:

  • Compelling: include clear pictures, video elements, animation and/or interactive elements in your ads. It requires more time and effort, but can result in an increase in traffic compared to standard banner ads.
  • Concise: convey key points about your solution and use language that’s easy to read and understand, ideally involving words and phrases used by your customers.
  • Clear: communicate one strong message about one particular solution that will resonate with the consumer.

 

3: Make Sure You Have a Quality Landing Page

Make sure that the web page(s) you direct your visitors to reflect everything that initially interested them about the ad. It should be engaging, simple to navigate, informative and easy for visitors to convert into new leads. Use conversion optimization softwares like Optimizely and VWO to help you improve the effectiveness of your landing pages.

 

4: Show Up In The Right Spots

Research where your target audience spends their time online, and then set up advertising campaigns that gets your brand onto those sites. Before advertising on the Google Search Network, do some keyword research to see which keywords make the most sense for you to buy ad space on. If you’re doing Display Ads, make sure that your ads are showing up on sites likely visited by your target audience. Don’t spend money or energy buying ad space on sites that your audience never visits.

 

5: Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes

Continually running poorly performing ads isn’t helping your cause. Track the results of your ads, analyze the findings on a regular basis and then spend more money on what’s working and less on what’s not. Rinse and repeat.

 

6: Don’t Overload Your Customers

Pushing the same message in the same place for too long can overwhelm consumers and make them lose interest in your brand. Changing the format and placement of your ads keeps them from becoming stale, and gives an entirely new group of people the opportunity to learn about your brand.

 

Summary

The increasing popularity of ad blocking software and online privacy preferences will make it more difficult for brands to position themselves in front of the online population. The best way to minimize your brand’s chances of getting blocked is to create compelling ads that show up to the right people, with the right message, at the right time.

7 Things We Learned From Google All-Stars Summit

What LSM Learned at Google All-Stars Summit

We went, we saw, we Googled. This past week, Local Search Masters was invited to the Google Partners All Stars summit at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. Aside from ensuring that we made the pilgrimage to In-N-Out Burger and visiting the Google campus gift shop to stock up on Christmas gifts, we were treated to a tour of the beautiful campus and a full day of keynote presentations by Google’s elite. Topics spanned from the more advanced Adwords dynamic remarketing discussions to developing cultures of innovation, so needless to say, there was a lot to learn!

LSM at Googleplex 1LSM at Google HQ to learn about Google AdWords

 

Here are just 7 of our main take-aways from the trip:

 

1. It’s Time To Innovate

Innovation isn’t just for CEOs, Chief Innovation Officers, and Innovation teams anymore. Everyone is called to innovate. Yes, that means you. Yes, you. If your business is not innovating, you’re missing out on opportunity. Every major industry is reinventing itself  with technology. Google driverless cars are real, and in a few, very short years, they will become a practical part of the mass marketplace, all because of Google’s culture of innovation. Even with highly-regulated industries like public transportation, ride-sharing companies (like Uber and Lyft) are not just offering a new service, but disrupting an ecosystem that’s been stable for decades. This is what we should all be doing – taking the risk to disrupt the environment in which we have become complacent. The innovators will win, and those who do not innovate will die. Google encourages its employees to think 10x. Meaning, when they think of an idea for a product or service, it’s not to improve a process by 10%, 25%, or even 50% – that’s incremental. 10x shifts the paradigm of thinking into accomplishing a previously impossible feat.

2. There’s Still Opportunity To Reach Untapped Markets

51% of businesses still don’t use the Internet to market their business. This means that the mom & pop shop down the street from you is not reaching its full audience, whether it be via pay-per-click Google Adwords search advertising, or maybe even creating a Facebook page. A good portion of your locale is yours for the taking!

3. We Are All Brand Builders

As the gig-economy takes off more and more, a company’s story takes front and center. The great, multinational conglomerates of our parent’s time are dwindling. It’s stories like the way Steve Jobs created Apple Computer in a garage that resonate with people and cultivate that positive brand perception, and the word of mouth engagement is what will drive sales. Jeff Rozic (Brand Product Strategist, Google Brand Labs) explains it like this… “Reach/impressions are easy to get; engagement is valuable, and the currency is ‘time spent.’’ Long gone are the days of purchasing 50,000 Twitter followers just for public perception – anyone can see through that now. The only thing that matters is that your true fans and brand ambassadors are talking about you and sharing their positive associations within their personal spheres of influence.

4. Create Micro-Moments

Google All-Stars Conference Room at HQYour day is filled with micro-moments, or small decisions that we make without too much thought. Google categorizes three types of micro-moments:

“I Want to Know” (115% increase year over year in shopping searches)

“I Want To Go” (34x increases in “near me” searches since 2011)

“I Want To Buy” (Google’s litmus test is a 90-second checkout experience, EVEN on mobile)

At the crux of all three types of moments, people want information, and they want that information fast. With this in mind, user experience needs to be a main focus for businesses. Optimize your website, provide reliable information about your product/service, and make it so easy to check-out and purchase that your grandma could do it. Pablo Slough framed it like this: 1) Identify your audience’s micro-moments; 2) Deliver on your audience’s needs in the moment; and 3) Measure/quantify every moment that matters.

5. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

The time for mobile is now. It’s not the future; it’s here. And, the majority of the time, the micro-moments mentioned above happen on a mobile device. Why? Mobile is intensely more personal than desktop;  our phones are an extension of our person these days. It’s the source of our knowledge, and we think twice before surrendering that source. It’s personal, and as marketers, we need to remember this as we develop marketing campaigns tailored specifically towards mobile users.

6. Buzzword Of The Year: Programmatic

Long story short here: while programmatic is very important to think about, don’t give in to the hype of what programmatic could be. At its core, programmatic is the notion that a marketer can use audience data to automate the buying and selling of ads, reaching the right person at the right time. Data is getting smarter, so use it to your advantage and make your marketing easier.

7. Digital First

Marketers who lead on the internet surpass those who do not, especially from an advertising standpoint. Look at successful startup companies like Dollar Shave Club, AirBNB, and Warby Parker. You know their team made a dedicated and conscious decision to focus on digital first, and then scale up using more traditional mediums like radio and TV. The perfect 30-second TV spot is not the answer anymore – shorter, snackable content that captures attention is the key to success now. There doesn’t need to be a grand voice-over or a perfectly-lit set; Jeff Rozic explained that the keys to success and your job as marketers are to educate, entertain, and inspire.

 

LSM Named a 2015 Google Partners All Star

Local Search Masters a Google Partner All-Star

For the second time in three years, Local Search Masters, has been named a Google Partners All-StarGoogle Partners All Stars Competition

As part of the awards package for being an All-Star, LSM has received an all-expenses-paid invitation to Google’s All-Stars Summit at Google HQ in Mountain View, California. The summit will include a tour of the “Googleplex”, one-on-one consultations with a few of Google’s online marketing experts, advanced training and, hopefully, lots of free Google merchandise!

Google HQ“We’re very excited and proud about the opportunity to get back out to Mountain View and spend time with our Google Agency Partners and other Google personnel” says CEO Trevor Emerson.

LSM is a member of the Google Partners network, a membership earned by passing Google advertising exams, adhering to paid search marketing best practices, and delivering quality results for our clients. Beyond providing us with the opportunity to receive all-expenses-paid travel to fun locations, our partnership with Google provides us access to additional personnel, tools, trainings and special events.

Upon our return from Google HQ, LSM will revisit this post and include additional information about certain things we learned and how they can help businesses generate more business from their web presence.

Local Search Masters
631 2nd Ave South #LL-D
Nashville, TN 37210
615-346-5551
localsearchmasters.com