Google My Business Introduction

I realize it has been a while since my last post and so much has changed in the marketing world so I am hoping to get back to posting more regularly to make sure you are informed of the most important trends!

In my current job, I provide digital marketing consulting to local businesses throughout the country. It is extremely important for local businesses to have a Google My Business page. It’s no surprise that Google is the largest search engine site and having an optimized GMB page significantly increases the chances for consumers to discover the business on Google. One of the best features of the GMB pages is that they are free!

Google has developed an easy interface for business owners and marketing agencies to create and optimize GMB pages. The first step to determine if you need to create a GMB page is by doing a Google search for the specific business. For example, I did a search for this amazing custom Sushi restaurant near me and pointed out the area in the search results that displays a GMB page if it already exists.

If you notice a section like the one I pointed to with the arrow, then there is a page that already exists for the business. However, if you conducted a search and there is no GMB page, then you can go ahead and create one at The process for creating a page includes providing the business name, address, category and website URL. Once you have submitted this information, you will need to verify the business in order for the listing to be published on Google.

After the listing has been verified, you should add the business hours and photos of the business. It is also strongly recommended that you generate Google reviews for the business because this helps tremendously with improving the ranking position of your business information and increasing the chances the consumer will contact the business.

Google is always discovering new ways to improve the interface with the GMB pages and roll out additional functionality to provide their users with the best possible experience. It is definitely a fun challenge to stay on top of their algorithm changes to ensure my clients are getting the most visibility on Google.


Weather Based Marketing

Greetings fellow marketers! I am currently experiencing the wrath of snowstorm Jonas so I figured now is an appropriate time to post about weather based marketing. I recently came across a compelling article published by Morgan Jones on Jones explains that the definition of weather based marketing (or advertising) is the “Practice of targeting consumers by local weather [past, present or future]”. In the case of inclement weather (such as a blizzard), I believe it makes the most sense for businesses to focus on future weather. Inclement weather poses a problem for many consumers and companies that can present a solution with their product or service will prove most successful in the days prior to the harsh weather.


Ann Taylor: Weather Based Marketing

Retail stores and people who plow would benefit from early advertising to increase their sales leading up to an unpleasant snowstorm. I personally do not understand how businesses can utilize past weather based marketing unless the weather incident occurred very recently in the past. For example, some companies may offer a “we survived the storm discount” to entice consumers to purchase a product they may believe will help them after a storm or better prepare them for the next one.  The businesses that utilize a present weather based marketing strategy are typically those that are openly seeking customers during the severe weather. Consumers gain a greater appreciation for food establishments that remain available for delivery during wacky weather.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10_36_24 AM

DiGiorno Pizza & Weather Based Marketing

Marketers should consider ways to connect with their consumers on an emotional level, such as the tweet DiGiorno Pizza posted during the blizzard of 2015. Humanizing posts on social media is one of the most effective ways for a business to engage with followers and simultaneously appear different from their competitors. I recommend you click to read Jones’ complete article because it is filled with interesting tips on weather based marketing!

Psychology of Shapes

Happy new year readers! I hope that 2016 will be full of new & interesting insights into the wonderful world of marketing. With that goal in mind, I would like to share some information I recently learned from an article published by Shuttershock (one of my favorite websites). The article explores the connection between marketing and the psychology of shapes, specifically circles, triangles, rectangles and squares.

The shape(s) that organizations utilize should communicate consistent messages with their language, purpose and intentions. The shapes should also be visually appealing and resonate with the preferences of the target audience.  I find it fascinating that something that seems so simple can have such a vital role in the success of a group.

psychology emotions

Psychology Guide to Audience Emotions, Provided By Logodesignguru

Shuttershock’s article states that companies with circles in their branding strive to send messages pertaining to eternity, movement & sometimes femininity. Circles can be part of a marketing strategy to appear unique since they appear less often than rectangles and squares. Businesses that choose to use rectangles and squares are seeking to convey reliability, stability and/or formality. It therefore seems intuitive that banks and credit card companies adhere to such shapes.

In contrast to circles, squares & rectangles, triangles can send very different messages based on the position. When upright, a triangle can represent balance, superiority, and overcoming obstacles. If a triangle is inverted, an audience can interpret the message as tense and risky. Feel free to click here if you would like to read the article in its entirety.


Founder of BuzzFeed Speaks at Inbound 2015

I was particularly excited when I saw Jonah Peretti, founder of BuzzFeed was on the line-up for Inbound 2015’s keynote speakers. BuzzFeed is one of my favorite websites because of its ample personality quizzes, videos and humorous news pieces. Scrollable lists and quizzes were two of the famous types of content that BuzzFeed is notorious for producing.

Jonah started his presentation by discussing how BuzzFeed became a company with 12,000 full time employees, a 4 acre studio in LA and 4 billion+ content views per month! I will not share all the details in hopes you will watch the video of his Inbound appearance (embedded below). I will say that one of his greatest accomplishments at BuzzFeed is getting President Barack Obama to use a selfie stick for the first time, talk about a monumental experience for the US! Another fact I found interesting is BuzzFeed originated before Facebook existed. In order to succeed in the market, BuzzFeed changed platforms multiple times and expanded to having their own application and even Snapchat channel.

The Founder of BuzzFeed at Inbound 2015 Conference in Boston, MA

The Founder of BuzzFeed at Inbound 2015 Conference in Boston, MA

The second portion of Jonah’s speech explained how his team at BuzzFeed creates compelling content. According to Peretti, popularity is a good and easy metric but it is not enough. A piece of content can be popular but forgettable or spread a message that is misinterpreted or unintended by the creator. BuzzFeed measures success by asking themselves a number of questions when determining the impact of their content:

  1. Did it spread internationally?
  2. Did it spread to other platforms?
  3. Did it improve people’s lives?
  4. Did it help change powerful institutions, companies or governments?
  5. Did it help make the world more open or more diverse?
  6. Did it help people connect with each other?

Don’t think that all of these questions need to be addressed in one piece of content. I would personally aim to accomplish at-least one and view any more than that as a major success! If you work in a large team setting, it is probably easier to brainstorm types of content that can cover multiple categories simultaneously.

Jonah also touched on the concept of repurposing content. If something works really well on one platform, BuzzFeed considers how to adapt, translate or tweak that piece to be distributed somewhere else. I highly recommend you watch his entire 43 minute long presentation, so I’ll just leave this here for you…

Content Marketing Top 5 Tips of INBOUND 2015

Hubspot's Inbound 2015 Marketing Conference

Hubspot’s Inbound 2015 Marketing Conference

I recently attended Hubspot’s Marketing Conference “INBOUND” and learned all about the recent trends in marketing! One of the aspects most commonly discussed was content marketing. This probably does not surprise you but hopefully some of the top tips will teach you something.

#5: When beginning to produce content, it’s important to ask yourself “What is in it for the customer?” This step seems intuitive but if overlooked, marketers can spend hours working on content that does not resonate with their prospects. Since there are many tasks for us marketers to accomplish in a short time frame, it is crucial to question our motives so we can stay focused on our overall goals.

#4: Content must be customized for each platform. When I first started to market for work, I did not understand why customization was necessary. The speakers at INBOUND educated attendees that customers utilize social media platforms for different purposes: Facebook is primarily for socializing, Twitter for real time talk, LinkedIn for learning about job & industry updates, etc. Therefore, marketers are more successful if and when we can compose content that is targeted to each specific social media handle.

#3: Content that performs well on social media includes: how to posts, lists, “what is __” posts, why or why not posts, videos and info-graphics. Social media users have become increasingly interested in visual content so marketers need to recognize this and create content that will attract viewers. Gaining the attention of a user is the first step in the content marketing strategy, (pictured below).


#2: You may now be wondering, how can I gain someone’s attention in a digital world where every company is competing & creating their own content? There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. Attention can be considered a function of one’s expectations. Try adding in a touch of suspense, discovery, uncertainty or alternatives to what viewers are currently thinking. Marketers that can cause users to experience a shift in emotions (especially dopamine or humor) will have a greater success rate with people noticing and engaging with the content.

#1: Dare to be different. Every individual, company or organization has an unique story so do not be afraid to share yours! Potential customers will be more inclined to learn more about you if you give them a “behind-the-scenes” sneak peek. Bonus points if you can make your story relevant and somehow link new content to what people already know about you.

I hope these tips will help you improve your content marketing strategy. I will continue to share insightful information I gathered from last week’s conference. Feel free to comment below with any questions or ideas!

What Customers Value

In order for a company to be successful, it is important to brainstorm who their target market of consumers will be and what they will value. According to the service quality model, there are five common values that almost all customers care about. First and foremost, customers want to ensure they have made their purchases from reliable businesses that follow through with their promises and advertisements. Successful companies are the ones that deliver a product or service consistently and dependably for their clients. Secondly, customers care about responsiveness and expect the business to provide prompt service. If a company is late to a scheduled event for a customer or they do not communicate when expected, the customer could perceive the business as unprofessional or untrustworthy.

Customer Values

Thirdly, customers that receive assurance from companies are more likely to engage in future business. Assurance involves an organization’s ability to convey trust as well as maintaining knowledgable and courteous employees. The fourth common value shared amongst customers is empathy. Businesses that have employees who display empathy and demonstrate they care about their customers will end up with a higher customer retention rate. Lastly, customers value the use of tangibles presented by a company. Tangibles can include physical evidence of a service, such as tools and equipment used for the customer. I recommend keeping these five common values in mind when communicating with customers and brainstorming marketing activities.

The Importance of Video Marketing

Videos are argued to be even more powerful than pictures for acquiring and retaining customer sales. This may come as a surprise since web users need to devote more time to an advertisement when it is presented in video format. However, videos are tools that companies can use to provide more information about their product/service. Consumers who prefer to make educated purchases will feel more confident and comfortable buying from a company that has created an informative video. Some businesses create narratives in their videos in hopes to appeal to consumer emotions. Since videos involve consumers’ sight and hearing, they have a greater chance of being remembered. Syndacast compiled the following infographic that highlights why video marketing is necessary for reaching and persuading customers in 2015.

Syndacast provided this excellent infographic describing the Video Marketing Trends of 2015

Syndacast provided this excellent infographic describing the Video Marketing Trends of 2015

Valentine’s Day Marketing

Happy Almost Valentine's Day!

Happy Almost Valentine’s Day!

Happy almost Valentine’s Day! These past couple of weeks companies from all industries have been capitalizing on this gift-giving time of year. Couples of all ages who celebrate Valentine’s Day traditionally purchase various presents for their loved ones, so businesses view the end of January/beginning of February as an excellent time to launch new promotions. Since social media has become a growing trend for organizations, there have been numerous invitations for consumers to engage in sharing their Valentine’s experiences on social media sites. I recently discovered an article published by Nation’s Restaurant News that highlights some of the social media promotions that restaurants have launched this past month in hopes to boost their sales. My personal favorite is Qdoba’s offer to give away a second smothered burrito for free to any couple that kisses in the restaurant.  Click here to learn more about some of the most noteworthy and successful Valentine’s promotions. 

Successful Superbowl Advertisements

Selecting some the most successful Superbowl advertisements is not an easy or objective task. After careful consideration, I have chosen to highlight a couple of my personal favorites and explain why I believe they demonstrate successful marketing.

In this advertisement, children of different ages and ethnicities are presented interacting with their fathers. Dove displays various real-life scenarios which capture a wide audience of potential consumers. Their message that “Showing that he cares makes a man stronger” invites fathers to consider purchasing Dove Men + Care products because it implies that they will in turn become stronger. The overall images of happy children engaging with their fathers represents Dove in a favorable light and promotes a supportive view of masculinity. Since “Women make or influence 85% of the purchasing decisions in families and purchase over 50% of traditional male products,” it is very possible they will buy Dove Men + Care in hopes their spouse will display similar positive masculine behaviors with their children.

Budweiser has been utilizing animals, specifically Clydesdale horses, in their advertisements for a number of years. The company displayed consistency in their advertisements by continuing to include horses in their most recent campaign during the Superbowl. This marketing tactic appeals to animal lovers and increases brand continuity. The unique friendship displayed between the puppy and the horse is memorable and appeals to human emotions. The choice to include a female and male in their commercial indicates that Budweiser products can be consumed by either gender. Viewers who love beer and puppies will most likely consider purchasing Budweiser because they will remember this advertisement and believe the company maintains similar values to their own.

3 Core Components Behind Successful Online Marketing Strategies

Due to the fact that almost all businesses are entering the world of online marketing, it is important to learn how to carry out a successful marketing strategy. Business 2 Community has found that there are three main areas that companies should consider when launching online marketing efforts; Business, Technology and Community. As pictured below, these concepts often overlap. In order for a business to rapidly grow, it requires strong retention or loyalty from its original consumers. Since more organizations are developing technologically, only the most efficient businesses will survive to be successful. Interactivity serves as the link between the technology and community because companies need to communicate with their current and potential buyers in order to increase their sales.

This venn diagram abut online marketing strategies was discovered in a article published by Nandini Sen on the Business 2 Community website

This venn diagram abut online marketing strategies was discovered in a article published by Nandini Sen on the Business 2 Community website

Although this article was published in 2011, the ideas are still widely applicable to the recent business and marketing trends. Visit: to access Sen’s published post.