Are You Using Google My Business?

Chances are you have already “googled” at least one thing today, right? People are using online search engines, especially Google, as a way to discover products and services in their town. They are relying more and more on Google to find answers to all of their questions. The location, hours and phone number of a business can instantly be found at their fingertips. This is why all businesses should be using Google’s tool, Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free and super easy-to-use tool that allows business owners to setup a brief profile that displays their business name, location, phone number, business hours and more. It allows business owners to take charge of their presence across Google, including Search and Map. Businesses can make posts, including photos and replies to customer reviews.

How to Create a Google My Business Listing

Creating a listing on Google My Business is so easy and can be done in less than five minutes.

  1. Make sure you have a Google account for your business. If you don’t, create one for free here.
  2. Log in with your Google account. Go to com/business. Click “Manage Now.”
  3. Fill out some simple information: Business name, address, phone number, website and business category.
  4. Choose a method to verify your Google My Business listing. You don’t have to verify your listing, but doing so will give you access to several things, which will increase your rankings on the Google results page. Verifying your listing will allow you to:
    1. Update descriptions, hours and other information
    2. Create posts, including events, special offers, announcements, photos, etc.
    3. Add virtual tours
    4. Let customers message you
    5. Manage reviews
    6. Create ads
    7. View analytics and insights

Adding this information and consistently updating it will leave you with the best SEO results.

Where Will Your Google My Business Listing Show Up?

You Google My Business listing will actually show up in a few different places.

1. Google’s “Knowledge Panel”

This is the first place it will appear when you search your business’s name.

2. Local Search

This section of Google’s results page shows the three businesses that are nearest the geographical location used in your search or your current location.

3.  Google Maps

So, What’s the Point?

Considering how little time and money (FREE) it takes, it’s definitely worth the effort! Having a verified, optimized listing can increase your search ranking and increase business. By having easily accessible information in Google Search and Maps, people will immediately notice your business and likely check you out.

With Google My Business, you can keep all of your information up-to-date and accurate. It will give your business ultimate web visibility. And you’re able to interact with your customers. All business owners know that customer reviews are a very important component to a business’s SEO strategy. With Google My Business, you can turn reviews into a two-way conversation. Whether it is making up for a bad situation or just saying thank you to a loyal customer, creating a conversation with your customers will increase your SEO and your overall likability.

It’s free. It’s simple. It’s accessible. It’s effective.

Your business definitely needs to take advantage of Google My Business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of 3 in 2019

Ten Reasons to Attend Red Letter Day

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Red Letter Day 2017

What is Red Letter Day and why do I need to attend? Red Letter Day is the only marketing-to-women conference in the South that brings together some of the smartest marketing minds in the industry to provide inspiration, creative ideas and practical takeaways. It’s one afternoon, Friday, August 17, in the heart of Nashville and the theme is Stories Matter.

Oh, and did we mention why we do this? Women are responsible for 85% of all consumer purchases including auto, healthcare, pets, fashion, food and more.

So here’s our top ten reasons to attend.

1. Great new marketing ideas and stories from happening brands like Asurion, Nissan, Pedigree, Tennessee Tourism, Twice Daily and Goo Goo Clusters. All of these brands are marketing to women in new and interesting ways. One example is how the role of entertainment and marketing is becoming more blended as exemplified Nissan’s promotion with the movie “A Wrinkle in Time”.

2. A current range of topics spot on for today’s marketing to women. Subjects include recruitment marketing for women in the tech world, strategic partnerships to boost brands, branded partnerships that are mutually beneficial, cause marketing that appeals to women, the 101 on influencer marketing, how to deal with shifting target audiences and social media insights. These are real case studies. From real brands. Doing real work.

3. Stories that matter like the story of the Song Suffragettes who recognized that country music is woefully underrepresented with women. They sought to change that and will tell their inspiring story and perform for us! And what better venue than City Winery for their performance!

4. Our sponsors have exciting activities for us like Google Bulletin teaching us about their new tool that allows you to capture stories right from your smartphone. Asurion will be treating us to a screenprinting experience that you have to see! And Phy.net giving us a demo of their new product Linkpost. And we will have Door Prizes from our sponsors.

5. A chance to network with other marketers and have a little fun. We are hosting a wine reception upstairs in the City Winery lounge with their great wines, amazing food and balcony views of the downtown Nashville skyline.

6. New propriety research on Gender in Marketing will be shared with our Red Letter Day friends. The new study focuses on how gender equality is represented in marketing. Really interesting new facts that show that gender is still an issue in the workplace and in marketing.

7. Practical takeaways and why-didn’t-I-think-of-that ideas that you will be able to use the next week. We want everyone to leave with tips and ideas that can be employed for their brands, whether large or small.

8. So much great information in only one afternoon. You don’t have to travel, devote several days to a conference, or spend thousands of dollars to get this type of marketing know how. It’s just one Friday afternoon that ends in wine. It’s like six of those business lunches all rolled into one, and at a great price. Your boss will like that.

9. Swag Bags you will really want. Okay, we don’t go to conferences for swag bags but when you get a really great one, you are impressed. We have some cool stuff like our favorite Red Letter Day notebooks.

10. You become part of the Red Letter Day network. With new friends, new business associates and new ideas that promote a better marketing to women. Now that’s inspirational.

Want to be part of all this specialness? Save your spot here.

Internet Time to Surpass Television in 2019

In 2019, we’ll spend more time using the internet than watching TV. People will spend an average of 170.6 minutes a day, or nearly three hours, using the internet for things like shopping, browsing social media, chatting with friends, and streaming music and video in 2019, a recent report by media agency Zenith estimated. That’s a tad more than the 170.3 minutes they’re expected to spend watching TV.  And, by no surprise, in 2016, digital ad spending surpassed TV ad sales for the first time ever.

What are we doing online?

  • In 2010, the average buyer checked five sources before making a purchase. By 2013, that number had grown to 12.
  • Today’s consumers spend over 23 hours a week using apps, viewing video, streaming audio and social networking on their smartphones.
  • Over 83% of adults use a smartphone to access the internet.
  • Almost 59% of households with a TV also own at least one Internet-enabled device such as an Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, smartphone, computer, laptop or tablet.

But is traditional media dead?  Not really. It’s how we prefer getting our programming. We are getting much of our traditional media online today.  Your radio stations are streamed or you may use Pandora or Spotify.  Your favorite TV is available online from a variety of sources including the television networks. You browse your favorite newspapers online.

Marketers still find value in traditional channels when it comes to brand building, awareness, ad recall and favorability. However, less than one-third of respondents from Nielsen’s new CMO Report 2018 plan to increase their traditional media budgets over the next 12 months.

TV was ranked the most important traditional channel by 51%, and 30% said TV was “extremely important” to their strategy. Like digital, measuring ROI on traditional media is also a struggle, with just 23% saying they were “highly confident” in their ability to track effectiveness.

So understanding our consumers, segmenting them and understanding their media habits has become more important than ever.  We need to better understand how they are using the media to deliver the right message at the right time in the right place.

Brands with Purpose Grow Faster

Kantar research shows that brands with an actualized purpose have experienced twice the growth of competitors.  It’s understandable since younger adults want to use brands that have a point of view and stand for something.

It’s not enough to have a singular brand identity.  Brands must have values that mirror those of their consumers.  And that’s not so easy to do.  Some 76% of marketers think their organization has a defined purpose, but only one in 10 have a corporate purpose statement that’s backed by a meaningful activation plan.

About 60% of consumers think brands should post about their opinions on social media, according to a Sprout Social study. Thirty-nine percent of consumers think brands should donate to social causes, and 37% think they should encourage their followers to do the same.

But standing for your brand purpose can be harder than you think.  Take for example the McDonald’s stunt to flip their iconic “M” to “W” during International Women’s Day.  Their female friendly action stirred up negative sentiments about lack of pay equality and sexual harassment with the company.

Kantar advises brands they must articulate their purpose, infuse their organization both internally and externally with their purpose and then amplify their purpose.  That’s still a tall order for many brands.

Influencer Marketing 101

Everybody is talking about influencer marketing.  What is it? Who are influencers? How can your brand participate?  Influencer marketing has been around for a long time but today, because of social media and content marketing, it has taken on a whole new importance. According to a Linqia study, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% found it effective.

Influencer marketing focuses on using key bloggers, influencers, celebrities, and thought leaders to drive your brand’s message by leveraging their influence to a larger market.   Brand trust is at an all time low.  Nielsen reports 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals—even if they don’t know them—over brands.  The result is that consumers will trust influencers over brands themselves.

Here’s some important tips on getting started:

  1. Matchmaking. It is important you choose an influencer who shares the same target audience as your brand. You need to segment your brand based on likes, interests, and hobbies.  Then find influencers that appeal to your brand personas.  There are a couple of ways to find influencers – either do the homework yourself or hire an agency to do it for you.
  2. Size of Influencer Audiences. The audience size can determine effectiveness.  Engagement may be stronger with micro influencers than macro influencers. Micro influencers have an audience size of 1,000 – 1 million. Macro influencers have more than a million followers.  Research has shown as the number of followers increase, engagement decreases.  You are over ten times more likely to get a like or a comment when using micro influencers.  However, if your goal is awareness, a macro influencer might be your best choice because of their overall reach.
  3. Know Your Platform. Different social platforms deliver varying audiences, such as age, gender, or special interests. The type of content is important to your brand such as photography, text, or video. Instagram has become dominant in influencer marketing.  According to the Linqui study, 92% of marketers say that Instagram is the most important to their influencer marketing strategy in 2018, followed by Facebook, blogs and YouTube.
  4. Success Metrics. Be sure you set goals for your campaign. Marketers cite engagement (90%), clicks (59%), conversions (54%), reach (50%) and product sales (46%) as top performance indicators.
  5. Budgets. This is tricky. Influencer costs can range from a couple of hundred dollars to millions, because of factors such as platform, exclusivity, engagement rate, following size and usage rights. Some influencers might even accept product as payment.  One thing to note, the more expensive your product, the more your campaign will cost.  The average cost of a post, with someone who has less than 100,000 followers, is estimated at $250-300.  Some marketers estimate the cost of an Instagram influencer based on $1,000 per 100,000 followers.  FYI: Kim Kardashian reportedly charges over $250,000 for an Instagram photo. In 2018, 30% of marketers report that they will spend between $25K – $50K per program and 25% report that they will spend between $50K – $100K per program.
  6. Influencer-produced content. Some of the decisions about a campaign include the number of posts, who creates the content, and cross-posting to the influencer’s other social media sites. It is important to know that you have to be comfortable with the influencer’s content style.

British Vogue Makes History

British Vogue is making history by featuring a hijab-wearing model on its cover for the first time in its 102-year history. Vogue says “it is a moment for Vogue to do what it has always done best: to offer a bold vision of what the future can – and should – look like.”  Fashion is finally embracing more than just size of women but also the diversity of women of all cultures. This is such a refreshing view of women today. Vogue says the nine models selected to be featured are the future of models.

A Broad Abroad Talks Traveling Solo

Paula Froelich, our favorite travel pro, came to Nashville to speak at our Red Letter Day and we couldn’t be more happy. Because she is the real thing – an adventure traveler, a storyteller, a speaker and an expert in travel marketing to women. In fact, she created a whole new travel category for women who travel solo – and enjoy it.

Overall, solo travelers comprise about 23% of all leisure travelers, according to the U.S. Travel Association and other research says nearly 40% of travelers say they would take a vacation by themselves if given the opportunity. Some 65% of women are taking vacations without a partner.

American women top the list in solo travel. Nine million American women traveled overseas alone last year. Reasons for solo leisure trips are different than business. The solo trips allow women to escape from everyday life, experience new cultures, travel at their own pace, and be free to make decisions and be themselves.

Couples like to take separate trips, especially when it comes to passions like adventure trips, interest-specific trips and taking up new activities.

Some might think that solo travel is for the 18-30 age group, but research suggests that the average solo traveler is 54.

Women often encounter special challenges in traveling solo such as getting the best rates when they travel solo. Dining solo or single rooms can still offer less than desirable options in some resorts. Travel companies are beginning to use less “romantic language” when marketing to solo travelers, understanding that not all solo travelers are single or looking to hook up.

Paula can help us navigate the travel space with ease. She was named one of Folio’s Top Women in Media in 2015 and is now Editor-at-Large at Yahoo. She spends her time traveling, writing, building partnerships and expanding her blog and video series “A Broad Abroad”across multiple platforms. In four short months as Editor in Chief of Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Travel became the largest travel content portal in the world, winning awards and consistently ranked #1 in the travel category under her leadership. Paula also launched several shows, including “A Broad Abroad,” the first female-hosted, travel adventure series of its kind.

Her adventures have taken her from Mexico to Egypt, from the ski slopes of Afghanistan to swimming with giant manta rays in Hawaii.

Do You Watch Brand Videos with the Sound Off? Most People Do.

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Okay, I admit some of my favorite videos on Facebook are things like dogs smiling, recipe videos, Dr. Jane Goodall releasing a gorilla back to nature, and a salsa dancing golden retriever.

And guess what? I watch all of them with the sound off. To marketers, that is autoplay video with sound. As much as 85% of video views on Facebook happen with the sound off, according to multiple publishers. Most of us have news feeds full of short videos that feature text or captions narrating what is being seen on screen. The videos usually have narration, music and sound effects, but marketers make sure the videos can be understand without sound.

The new rules seem to be that you have to catch someone’s attention in three seconds and without sound. According to MEC North America, their branded videos average 85-9o% silent video views. Silent doesn’t mean consumers are less engaged. Internal studies conducted by the agency showed that KPIs like brand lift and intent to purchase were not affected by whether the viewer watched the video with the sound on or off.

So here’s the new rules for Facebook video, make sure your content can be understood without sound by adding readable captions, easy-to-understand visuals and an engaging start to capture their attention.

Considering a Text Campaign? Know the Facts.

photo-1434123700504-d8cfba6a12c8Texting is the number one activity on our smartphones and is one of the most efficient marketing vehicles.  Brands invest in SMS campaigns because 90% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes of receipt and almost 100% of all phone devices are SMS enabled.

Americans are addicted to texting on their smartphones. Pew Research discovered that text messaging (97%) is the most popular feature, followed by voice/video calls (92%), internet (89%) and email (88%).  Two-thirds of Millennials text more than 5 times a day.

But what do consumers think about text message marketing?  In a recent Direct Marketing Association survey, 70% of the sample revealed that they had responded to a marketing text message. To put this in perspective, the DMA adds that only 30% of those surveyed responded to a marketing email.

Another survey by SAP found the following:

64% of consumers think that businesses should converse with customers more often using SMS.

76% report that they are more likely to read a message sooner if it is an SMS/text message than if it is an email

70% feel using an SMS/text message is a good way for an organization to get their attention

64% think that organizations should use SMS/text messages more than they currently do

Texting is here to stay and brands need to find how it fits into their marketing.