Google Allows Business to Add Booking Buttons to Local Search Results

Google Allows Business to Add Booking Buttons to Local Search Results

Earlier this year, Google introduced booking buttons to local search results for a small set of advertisers. Google has now opened the feature up to more businesses within the Google My Business dashboard. However, the feature is not global and only accessible for businesses that have an account with one of Google’s supported scheduling partners.

If you’re one of the fortunate businesses that have access to this brand new feature, here’s how you can get set up quickly:

  • Step 1: Login to your Google My Business dashboard and look for the “Sign up for Bookings” button.
  • Step 2: Choose your booking provider. Some of the booking partners include SetMore, Genbook, and Shore.
  • Step 3: Track your bookings. The Google My Business dashboard will provide a detailed summary of all booking data.

And that’s it! The integration is rather simple and can help businesses further digitize their marketing efforts when it comes to generating new leads and clients. Unfortunately, access is not global and the booking feature is currently restricted to a set of businesses within the United States. Of course, it shouldn’t take Google too long to roll this out across the globe, especially if the booking button leads to more revenue generation for local businesses.

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Google Posts Rolling out for All Google My Business Users

Google Posts Rolling out for All Google My Business Users

Google Posts, a content publishing feature teased by Google earlier this year, is currently being rolled out to all Google My Business users. While Google+ was widely unpopular and faded away not too long ago, Google Posts has a lot of potential for local businesses when it comes to engaging users and generating leads.

Continue reading “Google Posts Rolling out for All Google My Business Users”

Instagram Stories Hits 250 Million Daily Active Users

The Snapchat clone, Instagram Stories, has hit a brand new benchmark, reaching a total of 250 million daily active users.  The Facebook-owned mobile app is quickly surpassing Snapchat as the leader in hosting evanescent content, as more users are ditching the other content sharing app for Instagram. What makes this new benchmark even more impressive is that Instagram Stories only hit the 200 million daily active user mark in April, representing a 25% increase in only two months. With Snapchat’s daily active user base struggling to grow, this is a clear victory for both Instagram and Facebook.

Continue reading “Instagram Stories Hits 250 Million Daily Active Users”

Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Collections: Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

Bringing various types of multimedia to the forefront, Facebook has launched a new ad format back in March that incorporates videos, images, and spruced-up elements within a single post. The new format is called: Collections. 

Collections Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers

As shown in the example above, the new ad format is rich with media and resembles a Canvas creative, which provides a similar experience to that of a landing page hosted within Facebook’s infrastructure. Developed for retailers with product catalogs hosted on Facebook, the objective of this ad format is to showcase collections, using an image or video as the crux of the creative. Advertisers will have the option to embed either a video or an image as the first element of the creative; however, with videos eliciting more engagement than posts using only images, it would be in the best interest of advertisers to use a video as the focal point of the creative. In fact, video content has proven to be highly effective for advertisers of all types: according to Facebook, an impressive 75% of users have stated that watching videos via social media platforms can influence their purchasing decisions.  Continue reading “Collections: Facebooks New Ad Format for Retailers”

A Collection of the Best Alternate Jerseys in NHL History

A Collection of the Best Alternate Jerseys in NHL History

Alternate jerseys are awesome. There’s no disputing that. It’s one of the reasons the Oregon Ducks have a litany of jerseys in their repertoire.

Unfortunately, it looks like the 2017-18 will bring about the end of the most recent iteration of third jerseys, as the manufacturing of hockey sweaters will be moving from Reebok to Adidas next season. In order to make the transition as seamless as possible, the NHL has decided that teams will only have home and away jerseys, with the possibility of alternates coming back in subsequent years. The NHL has done this before, most recently in the 2007-08 when Reebok took control of manufacturing the league’s jerseys.

In the spirit of honoring some of the best designs, this post is dedicated to the best alternate jerseys of all-time. For those of you that are interested in my thoughts on the worst NHL alternate jerseys of all-time, you can check our my post here.

*Author’s note: realizing that my post from three years ago is still getting a lot of organic traffic, especially for the term *mooterus*, gave me the impetus to prepare this post.

Note that the following list is in alphabetical order. 19 may seem like an odd number, but after digging through team archives, there was a lot of consternation when it came to adding some potential jerseys to round the list out to 20, so you’re going to have to deal the odd number. Some teams were not featured due to a lack of an alternate that lasted more than a couple of games (Detroit, New Jersey, Montreal – despite the myriad of Centennial jerseys), or the third jerseys were simply too awful (sorry not sorry, Tampa Bay and Carolina).

Enjoy!

1. Anaheim Ducks Orange Alternate Jersey: 2015 to Present

Anaheim Ducks Alternate Jersey - 2015
Source:  Hockey by Design

Continue reading “A Collection of the Best Alternate Jerseys in NHL History”

Google Loses Advertisers & Revenue Due to Ads Appearing Next to Extremist Content

Google Loses Advertisers & Revenue Due to Ads Appearing Next to Extremist Content

While display advertising and remarketing campaigns can prove to be an effective method of driving cheap traffic back to your website, there are certain drawbacks to investing in these type of campaigns. Typically, those concerns are related to low click-through rates and lack of covnersions, but in a recent development, it seems like appearing next to offensive and extremist content has become the biggest concern for certain brands. According to USA Today, a number of companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Johnson & Johnson, have stopped campaigns within Google AdWords and YouTube to prevent their ads from being shown next to offensive content.

In order to alleviate the fears of advertisers, Google has stated that it will be extra diligent in preventing ads from showing next to controversial content, but that has yet to restore the faith of major advertisers, which has resulted in the following brands taking action:

  • AT&T has cut all digital advertising with Google except for search ads, which allows it to control where ads are placed.
  • Verizon has ceased advertising on all platform within the Google network.
  • Johnson & Johnson has paused all video advertising on YouTube.

Unfortunately for Google, these major brands pulling ads represents a rather significant loss in revenue, which is estimated to be upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars. Of course, halting spend on advertising is equally as bad for the brands listed above, as their competitors now have an opportunity to dominate the ad space available within Google’s display network and YouTube. This is why an expedient and swift resolution is in the best interest of both Google and these advertisers.

For smaller business, cutting budgets entirely from Google AdWords may not be a practical, especially if advertise fuels the traffic needed to be profitable online. However, there is solution to prevent your ads from being shown next to extremist and/or offensive content. In order to maintain momentum for your campaigns, here is what can be done to control where your content is shown:

  • Develop a shortlist of sites, apps, and YouTube channels you want to exclude from your campaigns and add them as negative placements. For example, you can add Breitbart, a conteoversial online news publication, to your list of sites to exclude.
  • If your using keywords and/or topics for targeting, be sure to exclude anything that may be incorporated with offensive content.
  • Actively review your placements on the display network and/or YouTube to ensure that your ads are associated with the right type of content.

The last point is a rather essential element when it comes to remarketing campaigns. There’s no telling who is visiting your website and where they will venture to next, so it’s important to continuously review your placements and exclude any sites that may not be appropriate (it’s also essential for optimizing your campaigns in general, so please don’t ignore the display network data).

It remains to be seen how long these advertisers will keep their campaigns paused, but for Google’s sake, it better not be too long. 

Six Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Six Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly! With chestnuts roasting on an open fire and good ol’ Saint-Nick getting ready to deliver presents around the globe, a lot can be forgotten during the holiday season. Of course, while people are currently running amok over the next couple of days (either at shopping malls or during office parties), marketing professionals simply cannot put their campaigns on the backburner. This is especially true for ecommerce business, where processing transactions on a daily basis can become more time consuming and physically demanding.

With that in mind, I have prepared some handy tips for marketing during the holiday season. While these are more geared towards B2C businesses and ecommerce stores, the salient points can be applied to the B2B realm (replace “discounts” and “coupons” with “free booze trials”).

1. Keep your SEO campaigns hot with fresh content

Holiday Marketing Tip #1
You better believe Frost is going to be writing a lot of content this winter.

It’s common for companies to think that this is the time of year to be more relaxed when it comes to investing into search engine optimization. However, that’s a myopic approach to take, especially if your goal is to maintain momentum or increase rankings within the next couple of months. SEO is a long-term play and should never be put on “pause”; otherwise, you’re giving the competition an opportunity to vault ahead of you on the first page of search results.

2. Jazz up your social media marketing with awesome content.

Holiday Marketing Tip #2
Although don’t make your promotions too appetizing – you don’t want people to eat their smartphones…

This is the time of year where you can throw all types of promotions at users via social media platforms to achieve great success. The advertising options available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give you the opportunity to extend the reach of your content beyond the confines of your own audience. Of course, remarketing to your existing customers and followers can prove to be fruitful, especially if you roll out fresh promotions and advertise special discounts.

3. There’s no advertising like product advertising.

Holiday Marketing Tip #3
The easier you make it for people to find your products, the easier it is to take their money.

Dominate the space on search engines by pushing your product ads in front of targeted users. With the removal of right-hand side ads earlier this year, Google has made it easier for ecommerce websites to showcase products on both mobile & desktop by increasing the amount of space for product ads. Also, don’t forget Bing when you’re optimizing shopping feeds if you want to reach a larger audience.

4. Incentivize existing customers to purchase more via strategic email remarketing.

Holiday Marketing Tip #4
Stocking stuffers don’t have to be boring…

There’s no better audience to target with limited-time promotions and discounts than your existing customer base. While inboxes tend to receive a plethora of spam during the holiday season, remarketing to your existing customers and subscribers can prove to be quite fruitful once the weather gets colder. Shoppers tend to become more price sensitive and on the lookout for deals, so give them what they seek via targeted campaigns.

3. Create social media gold with interactive contests.

Holiday Marketing Tip #5
Everyone and their grandmothers love contests.

The holiday season is the time for giving, which makes it the best season for contests. As stated previously, shoppers and social media enthusiasts alike are looking for the best deals during the month of December. This is also the time of year when you have the undivided attention of your followers. Make living through frigid temperatures more bearable for your fans by surprising them with engaging contests and wonderful prizes.

6. Always be diligent with money at stake for media buying campaigns.

Holiday Marketing Tip #6
Don’t be a naughty media buyer!

I cannot stress this enough: always double check your ad schedules and budgets for all campaigns, whether it’s on Facebook or Google AdWords. You don’t want to come back from the holiday break to find out that you spent money when your company and/or clients were out of office. On that flip side, you don’t want to under-spend if you’re an ecommerce business when people are actively looking to make purchases online. December is a special month…treat it like one.

Social Media Explained With Whiskey

Want to better understand the social media landscape in 2016? This handy infographic uses whiskey to break down the type of content you’ll see on each platform. Originally posted on the official Rank Media Agency blog here: Social Media Explained with Whiskey.

Social Media - Whiskey Infographic

The Social Media Holiday Season Guide [INFOGRAPHIC]

Utilizing social media marketing for you business during the holiday season? Well, you’re in luck. I’ve provided an infographic below that I prepared over at Rank Media Agency exhibiting which social media platforms can help you generate a positive ROI this season. Additionally, I provide some tips & advice for B2B marketers with regards to LinkedIn, which can prove to be quite a valuable resource for lead generation campaigns.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Season Guide to Social Media Marketing Infographic

 

Black Friday Marketing Fail – “Blackest Deals Are Here!”

It’s been a while since I have contributed to this blog, so I thought this would be the best way to break the ice.

Understandably, companies get excited this time of year because consumers with disposable income (and those without, unoftuantely) splurge like crazy both online and in retail stores. In fact, what used to be just a day-long event has now transformed into a week-long spending craze, starting the Monday before Thanksgiving and ending on Cyber Monday the following week. The image below is a screenshot from an email a friend of mine received this morning. As you can see, Iberostar shows their excitement about the upcoming shopping craze by advertising what they call the “Blackest” deals……wait, what??

Black-Friday-Blackest-Deals
Special thanks to @JustinJJFoster for this screenshot

That’s right, folks. The “BLACKEST” deals are here – and they even call it the “BLACK SALE”. Either something was lost in translation, or their marketing team really thought this was a good idea.

Stay tuned for more Black Friday marketing mishaps as this week progresses.

Cheers,