Menu Icon
×

Archive for the ‘Elevare Agency Blog’ Category

How to Respond During the #Blacklivesmatter Movement

Wondering how you should best respond during this #blacklivesmatter movement affecting the whole country right now?

Social justice has never been a top priority of global brands or marketing teams. Largely due to many avoiding these topics in fear of controversy.

However, the death of George Floyd, a black man unnecessarily killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, has changed the game.

Not only are many brands speaking on this issue for the first time ever. But some are even facing backlash for their silence on the matter.

The current political climate has halted the release of many products. With the country in turmoil, some companies are speaking out. Expressing that they do not feel it is the right time for celebration.

Among these is Sony, who has postponed the release of their new gaming console the PlayStation 5. 

Although the Black Lives Matter movement is much bigger than marketing. The nation-wide protests and overall social unrest has put brands in an interesting position.

What is appropriate? Should I do more than post on social media? Do I have to postpone my product’s release?

Facebook’s Virtual Walkout 

Facebook Logo

After Facebook allowed some of President Trump’s posts – one in particular regarding violence against protestors – to not be reviewed, around 400 employees took a stand and refused to work on June 1st.

Some employees took to Twitter to share their frustrations. They’re claiming Facebook should change policies in order to evaluate all of Trump’s posts, especially ones regarding violence.

The specific post being referenced was shared by President Trump on both Twitter and Facebook, saying that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.

While Twitter took the post down for violating their guideline against glorifying violence, Facebook did not take any action.

CEO Mark Zuckerburg has not publicly spoken on this decision. As of now, he continues to face backlash on social media from both employees and users.

Nine former and current Facebook content moderators posted last week expressing their support for the protests. They’re claiming they would have joined the walkout “if Facebook would allow it”.

This statement referred to a complicated web of non-disclosure agreements, making their presence in the walkout impossible without risking their jobs.

“For Once, Don’t Do It.”

These are the words from Nike’s latest ad campaign. They’ve flipped their famous tagline “Just do it”, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Just five days after Floyd’s death, Nike released the 60-second video over all of their platforms. Sharing messages like “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America”. 

This is pretty on-brand for Nike. Plus, given they are one of the world’s most well-known brands, their actions push smaller brands to follow suit.

The company has a long history of using their platform to promote injustices. Most notably supporting former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in 2018 after he was fired for kneeling during the national anthem to raise awareness against police brutality. 

The advertisement gained immense public support, as the post now has over 200,000 likes on Twitter. 

Donations

Many companies have publicly shown their support for the #blacklivesmatter movement by posting receipts showing sizable donations.

Although it may sound cheesy for a company to show their generosity publicly, it’s a way they can show their customers – and the country – that they’re not all talk.

For example, Comcast Cable has committed $100 million toward the fight for equality, partnering with social justice businesses to create change.

These funds will be spent on educating employees on anti-racism, creating a diverse workplace, and specifically assisting small black-owned businesses.

8 minutes and 46 seconds

Entertainment brand ViacomCBS showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by pausing all their brands and platforms would be taking an 8 minute and 46 second moment of silence.

The exact amount of time George Floyd was held under the police officer’s knee before death.

Pride Month Marketing Takes a Backseat

For 20 years, June has been celebrated as LGBT Pride Month in support of the LGBTQ+ community and their societal acceptance.

Brands have historically created specific Pride Month ad campaigns to accompany the community’s large parades and celebrations.

However, Black Lives Matter protests have dominated news cycles and streets, causing many brands to alter their Pride Month campaigns. 

Verizon has postponed their planned Pride campaign. They have also donated $10 million to multiple social justice organizations in support of #BlackLivesMatter.

Similarly, PepsiCo, Jack Daniel’s, and Truly have also pushed back their Pride campaigns so as not to distract from the current human rights movement.  

LA Pride shared a post on Instagram explaining the annual June 14th Pride Parade will now become the All Black Lives Matter march. This will be a “solidarity protest” with “no corporate participation”. 

Reebok Crosses Crossfit off Their Partnership

Reebok Cross Fit Part Ways

After tweeting racist remarks in response to George Floyd’s death, CrossFit gym owner and CEO Greg Glassman has come under fire by the public. This has resulted in his resignation and Reebok’s discontinuation of their sponsorship.

The offending Tweets happened when the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tweeted “Racism is a public health issue” in support of #BlackLivesMatter. To which Glassman responded “It’s FLOYD-19” along with another frustrated remark regarding a solution to racism. 

Gym owner Mike Young also claims that on a Zoom call with the CEO, Glassman stated he does not mourn George Floyd’s death. Young shared the details of the call and his response in an article titled “Why I’m dumping CrossFit”, which has been shared throughout social media as former customers swear off the company. 

One day after his tweet, Glassman apologized on CrossFit’s Twitter account, but it was too late. After losing around 1,000 sponsorships and countless customers, Glassman announced his retirement just three days later. 

After 10 years of sponsoring CrossFit’s apparel line and large competition events like The CrossFit Games, Reebok has terminated its sponsorship agreement. While it is unclear how much money this will cost them, the company’s $4 billion evaluation is sure to suffer. 

What Action Is Appropriate for Your Business Regarding #blacklivesmatter?

In the era of Cancel Culture, many companies are scared to speak out on anything controversial.

Watching prominent figures like Colin Kaepernick, or even Greg Glassman lose their jobs over their beliefs can act as a cautionary tale. Some businesses are scared to speak out, and some feel like they can’t win either way.

We live in a world where sharing your opinions can cost you. Especially if they don’t fit with public opinion at the time.

But as this human rights movement expands, don’t be afraid to use your platform for good. You should share resources, spread awareness, and use your platform to support the fight for equality.

Let your clients know they can be proud to support a company that stands for justice.

Be on the right side of history. #BlackLivesMatter.

How Technology Changed Advertising

After realizing we all survived Y2K, the 2010s hosted many societal changes like the rise of social media, two royal weddings, and the Game of Thrones phenomenon. We started the decade with the release of Instagram and Snapchat, which have become essential aspects of daily life and career building.

Just ten years ago, these platforms did not exist.  Now companies hire teams of experts, spending millions of dollars, to craft their social media presence.

Submerged in Social Media

Before dog filters and viral memes, the marketing industry-focused their budgets on TV commercials, newspaper ads, and radio sponsors.

It is no secret that newspapers and magazines have been replaced with YouTube and Instagram, and advertisements follow the masses. Through the decade, the dramatic rise in social media site usage has altered the advertising industry’s role in society.

Elevare_Social_Media_facebook

In 2010, Morgan Stanley executive Mary Meeker gave a presentation on digital advertising opportunities. Meeker pointed out that companies spend 39% of their advertising budgets on television, while only 13% goes to internet advertisement.  She estimated that it was a missed opportunity evaluated at $50 billion.

In later years, a PwC report evaluated the 2017 U.S. advertising market size as $86.4 billion online, while TV came in lower at around $71 billion.

It seems that the marketing industry took Meeker’s advice, and learned from their past mistakes. The past decade has tipped the scale in favor of the internet, increasing the opportunity for digital marketing.

Multimedia messaging app Snapchat has made just over $1 billion in revenue since its 2011 release. Advertising accounts for a whopping 99% of the 2018 revenue evaluation after introducing the ‘Discover’ feature, where users can view content from a variety of other media sources.

The app has also introduced sponsored filters such as Taco Bell’s Super Bowl filter which was viewed 224 million times. As more effort was focused on targeted ad placement for its younger audience, Snapchat’s U.S. ad revenue increased by 89% between 2016 and 2017.

At what cost?

The rise of the internet and digital marketing has also come at a price, as user privacy is under suspicion. Voice-activated assistants like Alexa or Siri listen for their programmed commands and record everything in earshot along the way.

Within the last decade, privacy concerns have evolved from a debatable skepticism to a confirmed fear. Google confirmed that it’s Google Assistant does record user interactions for employees to review.

Google claimed only 0.2% of all audio snippets fall under review.  The fact that Google employees are listening to any private conversations is a problem in itself.

Social media platforms can then take this information, along with search history and messages, and use it to personalize advertisements. If a user posts, messages, and searches about an upcoming trip to their favorite amusement park, odds are they will see amusement park advertisements pop up all over their social media feed.

In the past few years, Facebook has become the antagonist in this internet privacy story.  After all, they were accused of selling user’s personal data to advertisers. While the technological powerhouse has denied selling data, they have in fact sold advertisers access to their users.

Facebook may not collect all personal data to ship to the highest bidder, they do, however, sell access for companies to advertise.

Brand Clarity

Advancing into the digital age, consumers are now smarter than marketing professionals would like to admit. In 2010, the world had 1.99 billion internet users, a number that jumped to 4.54 billion users in just ten years.  Internet users now make up 59% of the global population. With so much access to the internet, it is easy to find any brand or product.  This has built the necessity for companies to be more transparent than ever.

In the past, if a television commercial claimed their product was organic or ethically made, the consumer had no reason not to believe it- but widespread internet accessibility challenges claim.

Old_Spice_Smell_Like_Man_Elevare

Rather than sell consumers with a fictional story like campaigns of the past, modern marketing revolves around the testimonies of trusted social media personalities.  Old Spice’s popular 2010 commercial “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” featured a satirical story, claiming Old Spice deodorant could make a man the ideal romantic partner. Now, up and coming hair-care brand Function of Beauty markets their product solely through social media influencers hired to post candid videos sharing their honest endorsement.

With transparency so accessible, honest endorsements are a great brand strategy.

What will the future hold?

As internet usage increased, digital platforms have spoken.  They have chosen the path of advertisement-based media. This choice continues to define the way users consume digital media throughout the decade.

After the past few years of weaving through a maze of pop-up ads just to read an article, I think I speak for everyone when I say monetizing digital consumption is getting old. Many users have taken to ad blocking sites, paying to remove advertisements from internet searches and social media feeds.

According to a PageFair report, 615 million devices were using ad blocking technology in 2017. These numbers are projected to only increase as more and more frustrated users would rather break the bank than watch another Candy Crush commercial.

While this may be a temporary solution, changing the advertisement-heavy online culture should start with the companies. If platforms can meet frustrated consumers halfway, both can establish a middle ground where companies profit and users are not bombarded with over-advertisement. Check out our blog on Making Money with Social Media to learn more about monetizing social media.

As the decade comes to a close, the door to online marketing has swung open. With growing accessibility and usage, online platforms are replacing traditional entertainment media and taking the advertisement industry along for the ride.

 

Fill out my online form.

Why You Need to Double Down on Marketing During Coronavirus

The difference between your business surviving Coronavirus and closing is your ability to pivot to a new style of communication with your customers and employees.  As a company it is imperative to be all in on digital communication and this includes your marketing.

During the last recession, more than 400,000 small businesses shut their doors or went bankrupt.  Analysts have projected that Coronavirus may have similar impacts for small businesses.

We know this can be a scary time, however, we also know that you need to develop a marketing strategy now before it is too late.  If you don’t double down on a marketing strategy now it may well mark the end of your business.

The History of marketing and economic downturn

We all know the age-old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This thought held true through the 2008-2009 recession and we expect it to hold true through Coronavirus as well.

The small businesses that survived, did so because they positioned themselves through effective targeted marketing campaigns. What is different with Coronavirus is we expect traditional marketing to be less effective.

We know there is a lot more that comes into play than just marketing with the success of your company and the Harvard Business Review put together a great article on how to prepare for an economic downturn.

We do know one thing, cutting your marketing budget is a sure way to put your company at risk.

How is behavior changing amidst Coronavirus?

With so many concerns around the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have had to take drastic measures to protect employees and customers.

Part of building your effective online marketing plan is understanding how behaviors are changing.  Let’s talk about a few of the critical industries

Socail Distancing

Restaurants, Bars, and Nightclubs

The restaurant, bar and nightclub industry is arguably one of the hardest-hit industries outside of the public attraction industry.  The challenge for them is the risk to employees and patrons in gathering within tight spaces. To adjust we have seen many restaurants go to carryout or delivery only.

Non-Essential Retail

Many local independent retailers have temporarily shut doors to encourage people to remain home and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  The biggest challenge they will have to contend with is not having income even though they still have expenses.

Essential Retail

Grocery, Pharmacy, and related stores that are critical for survival have seen a boom while people over purchase supplies due to concerns with isolation.  Products like Toilet paper and paper towel have become almost impossible to find unless you go first thing in the morning in many places.  With purchase limits and tightening up of return policies, these retailers are hoping to return to a normal buying cycle for consumers.

Home Service Industry

Fortunately, the service industry is a critical part of our infrastructure.  As a result, they most likely will not see as large of an impact as other industries.  Roof leaks, plumbing issues, Lawn cutting/ landscaping needs, and other home maintenance will not go away.  These are also things you cannot avoid taking care of when they come up either.

While there may be a cut back on new installations, maintenance will likely not be affected as much.  These companies will come out on top if they focus on repairs first.

Automotive repair and fuel

With people not leaving their houses as much Automotive repair and fuel spending is likely to go down.  While there is not a lot this industry can do to stay busy, they can find creative solutions to offering services such as mobile auto repair.

Cable and TV services

With more of the workforce utilizing work at home, the cable and TV service providers are expected to see gains in revenues for customers increasing services such as the internet to ensure they have the bandwidth they need to work from home.  We suspect this will level out over the next few months.

The Time to shift to digital is now

If you have not already put a focus on your digital marketing plan, there is no better time than now.  Online media consumption is at an all-time high right now.

Mark Zuckerberg has said that Facebook is facing “big surges” in usage since the outbreak started. No one truly knows the total impact across all social media channels, but it is expected to be big.

Not only is Social media consumption up but as work at home programs become the norm, internet traffic, in general, is surging by huge amounts.  Seattle has seen almost a 40% increase in internet traffic in March.

What does all this mean for you?

Simply put, with more people than ever on the internet throughout the day and even into the night, your business needs to leverage the opportunity to be seen.

Small businesses need to double down on digital marketing while the internet is the place to be.  To stay relevant, you need to be in people’s homes through digital visibility. That is the difference between them using you or a competitor.

How can you maximize this opportunity?

Yes, we said it, Coronavirus is an opportunity.  While you may think we are crazy, we have seen data suggest that when you leverage challenges the right way you can see great growth.  There were many businesses that did exactly that.

Know your audience’s behavior

There is no doubt that our behavior as a society is changing.  As a result, your marketing needs to adjust to find creative ways to leverage that change in behavior.  Work with your marketing team to find out how to reach your audience based on their new behaviors.

Track Everything You’re Doing with Marketing

Having the data that shows how your audience is interacting with your marketing efforts will allow you to understand what is working and what is not.  It will also give you a measure of if your current methods are still working with your audience

Become an Expert at A/B Testing

You will likely need to make a lot of changes in your marketing through this pandemic.  We suggest that you spend a lot of time testing and tweaking your marketing campaigns. This is going to be critical as new information is released and behaviors change.

Double Down on existing customers

The fact is your existing customers already have a relationship with you.  Use this relationship to your advantage. According to Neil Patel, existing customers are 40% more likely to buy from you again than a new customer.  They are also 50% more likely to try a new product you offer and spend an average of 31% more with you.

What is the Best Digital Marketing Channel?

This is a question we get asked a lot.  The answer isn’t always a simple one and depends on your business and how it operates.  What we do know is there are some digital platforms that regardless of your business model that typically work.

Website/Search Engine Optimization SEO

Your website is still one of your most powerful assets in your marketing quiver.  While having a great website is important, how you update it is equally as important.  If you make now updates, it is likely that your website is showing up on the 3rd or 4th page of google search results.

When was the last time you searched through 3 or 4 pages to find something on google? We know that the average user will at most look at 2 pages of results on google search.  That means you need to be in the top 10 results for what they are searching to find you.

Remember many people access web pages from their mobile devices.  To make it easier for them to ensure your page is mobile responsive

Unless you are familiar with SEO tactics, it is not a simple task to get there.  Hiring a company like ours can give you a big jump forward.

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is a great way to communicate about your products or services with your existing customers.  With all of the advances in marketing automation, email marketing has become an effective low energy, high return marketing tactic.

Effectively using email can give you opportunities to put very targeted information in front of your customers.  We recommend using it to communicate new offerings to your existing customers.

Google My Business

Google My Business is your business listing in the Google directory. If you have not already claimed yours, do this now.  If you’re not sure how to do that, reach out to our team and we can help you.

Once you have claimed your listing it is time to start posting updates.  This will help you stay relevant in search results and google maps

Social Media

Social media is a rabbit hole you can go down as a business owner and spend hours upon hours of wasted time.  When leveraging the social networks there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Focus on the platforms where your customers are
  • Posts need to be Engaging and relevant to your audience
  • Sharing content from other sources or people does not get as many views as original content
  • Reply to all comments on your posts.  Show your audience you are engaged with them.
  • Limit your time spent on social media per day so you can focus on other important tasks in your business.

Remember Social media marketing is a great tool when used right and used often.  Our team can help you design social campaigns that are effective and relevant to your audience.

PPC (Pay Per Click) Advertising

There are 2 main forms of PPC advertising that are recognized: Google AdWords and Social Ads.  There are others out there, however these are the 2 most used and recognized in the marketing industry.

There are many different tactics with PPC advertising depending on the channel and desired outcome.  Knowing what tactics to use can be tricky to master and costly to your business. It is recommended that you leverage someone that is familiar with setting up effective campaigns to help you get the most return for your ad spend.

The great thing is that PPC campaigns can be deployed quickly and typically yield great results when set up correctly.

Let our Team help you build your digital marketing strategy

Our team is committed to helping business owners weather the storm of uncertainty with Coronavirus.  Let our experts show you how to up your digital marketing game so you can leverage the opportunity created by this crisis.

Fill out my online form.

8 Tips To Make Your Company Grow

You’re ready for that next step to grow your business and bring more revenue in. With only ⅔ of businesses making it through the first 2 years, ½ to 5 years and ⅓ to year 10, we want to congratulate you on making it to a point where you want to grow your business. We all know it’s hard work that requires both a substantial amount of invested time and money. During this next step, be prepared to wear many different hates and roll up your sleeves till everything is settled comfortably.

If it’s beginning to feel a tad overwhelming, we have a nice list for you to think about. You’ll need to take things step by step and delegate where you can. The benefit from successfully upgrading your company will be worth all of the time and energy you are pouring into it.

1. It’s definitely time to create a sales funnel.

The first thing you need to do is visualize and construct a clear sales funnel that everyone on your team can refer to. A sales funnel is a process that your company will employ to convert page and media visitors into customers.

Not everyone who enters this “tunnel” will end up becoming customers or clients, but it is your clear tactic to try and make it that way. Though your specific sales funnel may vary, the main purpose and structure will stay the same.

Your sales funnel will have a top, middle and bottom. The first stage of your sales funnel is “awareness.” This is where people become aware of your product or service. The middle of your tunnel is what will differ greatly depending on your service. The middle can look like a website lead, a phone call scheduled, a conversation had over the service on that call and you would ideally close the deal with an Email follow up or during the call.

It’s key to follow up with sales leads quickly and not forget about any future clients or customers or let them wait too long.

2. Just ask for referrals.

The first step to this task is, of course, to have a great product or service. Always bring your best to the table to keep people coming back. Though doing a stellar job may sound like enough reason to garner referrals, it’s not.

Coworkers solving a problem

You need to ask for referrals to prompt your loyal customers to do it. This is where deals for referring a friend can really help your business and get your customers started on word-of-mouth marketing. If you get a new customer and they tell you through a form that they were referred by one of your customers, you can give that customer 10% or so on your service.

Don’t be afraid to ask your customer or client if they know of anyone else who could benefit from your business. A real interpersonal conversation can go a long way to build your business.

3. Find your niche.

To grow your business you need to be able to tap into your niche market. Yelling at the general public about your product isn’t going to do so well to bring you to new clients. You need to find not only your target market but people whose specific interests can only be satisfied with your business.

Think about the needs of this niche market that are left unmet. This is a fairly easy way to build a loyal audience who will help grow and propel your company to the next level.

4. Loyalty program?

Though you do need to search for new clients to grow your business, you also need to keep customers coming back. It’s more cost efficient to tap into the client base you already have than try to solely find new clients. Don’t ignore your customers and clients after they’ve bought from you once, you want to make them a loyal customer to help your business growth. Don’t expect them to come back to you on their own even if your service is great.

Starbucks reward card

Try a loyalty program to keep customers going to your specific business. If you create a point system to keep people invested in your company, it will pay off. Even large companies like Starbucks have employed this tactic with loyalty point cards that give clients a free drink once they earn enough points through purchases. Not only will it help you keep the audience you have for longer, but it will also attract more people if they have something to look forward to after they purchase from you once.

Loyal clients and customers go a long way for word-of-mouth marketing and future purchases. Don’t forget to listen to and take care of your customers first.

5. Learn what the up and coming tools are.

It’s time to start reading magazine articles and listening to podcasts on topics in your field. You don’t have to blindly try and figure out all the new trends on your own. Just like you searched and found this blog on company growth, you need to look for news on future trends that will affect your specific field.

Image of man learning tools to make his company grow.

This will take some time but will give a great payoff. Pay attention to any new technology or methods that you could use to benefit your business.

6. Make use of Email marketing.

Email marketing is a strong digital marketing strategy with an extremely high return on investment rate. Does 4400% ROI sound useful to you? If your digital marketing is lacking in rolling in new customers or bringing old customers back, it’s time to work on your Email marketing strategy.

7. Don’t be afraid to partner. Just do it well.

First, find the right company to work with. You want someone who is easy to work with, trustworthy and that will be as beneficial to you as you will be to them. Do your research and negotiate thoroughly before partnering yourself with anyone.

Two coworkers shaking hands

Secondly, have a clear strategy and goal to your partnership. Partnering can help both companies get their name out to new customers, but don’t wing it. Brainstorm with your team and theirs to maximize both of your potential in your marketing campaign and service.

8. Diversify what you’re offering.

If you are running dry on old customers because they already have your product, it’s time to think of another related item that you can create an offer. You’ll also be able to find new customers if it’s a truly useful item.

When someone likes one product you offer and it has served them well, they will be more likely to purchase another one from you. Bringing fresh ideas and products to the table is one way you can keep your business growing.

Try a brainstorming session with your team to find out what you can come up with. Some of your employees may have nice ideas but are unsure of whether to bring them up to you. Not only should you talk with your employees, but you should also look for ideas from your clients. What do they need that is related to your product?

Company growth doesn’t come easily.

We hope you employ these tips and tricks for growing your company. It won’t happen overnight, but with constant, smart, hard work from day to day you will start seeing the benefits. Take time to tap into your customer base and research new tools to push your company forward.

If you need help growing your business where you want it to be. Our team at Elevare can help you with any of your digital marketing needs. Fill out this form for a free 30-minute consultation!

Fill out my online form.

 

Top 5 SEO Trends You Need To Know For 2019

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a pretty hot topic in digital marketing. Having clear SEO campaigns can help your website succeed by showing people what you have to offer on the web. The problem is, with the internet being so wide-reaching, it can be hard to get your voice heard. You need to stay up with the latest SEO trends to keep your business thriving and ahead of the game. Your SEO strategies need to change from year to year to fit the current digital climate.

1. A fast website will take you far.

As we mentioned in our “Website Trends To Follow In 2019” blog, a fast loading website is key for a good SEO ranking. Desktop page speed has already been a factor, but now we are also looking at mobile page speed as an important aspect of your SEO campaign for 2019.

Your search engine spot now looks at your page optimization and speed for both desktop and mobile versions of your page. The new method of how your speed score is generated is what will really change in 2019. Your speed score is judged based on each individual user’s loading experience. It’s harder to know your true speed score now than it was before because you won’t be able to see each viewers loading experience.

For a maximum optimization score, you can develop or adjust your website the best you can for a fast page loading rate. This SEO trend may seem like old news, but it’s good to keep in mind that the mobile version of your site is what truly needs to load quickly in 2019.

2. The importance of mobile use.

Two coworkers looking on a phone

If you are designing your website with a desktop or laptop in mind, you need to think again. Google will be mobile-indexing first this year. This means that the functionality of your mobile site will be considered first in search engine rankings. To get your site to reach the most people, you need to design a website that is first mobile-friendly before anything else.

Don’t be mistaken, both versions of your website will still be available to the public in the same spot. Your viewers using a laptop are going to find your website in the same search engine spot that they saw when they were using their smartphone. Mobile-indexing just means that the mobile version of your website will be used for ranking.

This means that you need to check your mobile website’s loading pace. Cut down on extra video and graphics to keep the loading process as quick as you can. It’s a good idea to check your website often to make sure that it continues to be user-friendly and efficient.

3. Continue with on-page SEO friendly writing.

Having a page that answers frequently asked questions and easy navigation within your site is a great way to stay ahead of the game. Remember, you can’t just create a website and leave it alone for good on-page optimization. You need to keep your website fresh with important information and user-friendly as time changes.

Chatbots are becoming smarter and are an easy way to answer frequent questions. Whether or not you use a chatbot, you need to make sure your support team answers questions quickly. Providing great service and key information to your online visitors will help your SEO ranking. Blogs are another way you can keep traffic to your page while providing key information about your field or product. Follow design trends on how to best present the information on your page to keep it as user-friendly as possible.

4. More brand awareness.

Sports car with brand logos

Google pays attention to how many times your brand is mentioned on the web. It’s not just about links, your brands influence in your field is measured for search engine rankings. Similarly, Google also pays attention to how you handle complaints, advertising, trust, and reputation in your brand.

How you treat your customers and your brand matters for SEO. Focusing on good customer service will help you in more than one way. Do what you love and help your digital marketing all by doing your job well and keeping up with client concerns.

5. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, passed in the European Union in 2018. This means that European and international companies do not own data about user’s interactions online. Now, only the user owns the information on themselves instead of corporations. Individuals can now ask what personal information a company has on them and ask them to correct it or export it. If they do not adhere to the new regulations corporations can be hit with heavy fines.

GDPR will affect your SEO strategies in 2019 if you are an international company and will also affect the amount of user data we will have available. Google Analytics will delete all personal user data after 26 months. You can change this option manually. Once you change the number of months it takes to delete information you are now legally responsible for that information.

What You Need To Do For 2019

Coworkers analyzing data on a tablet

Mobile-indexing should push you to make your mobile version of your website as fast and user-friendly as the desktop version of your website. Continue to focus on your websites speed as it will help push your SEO ranking forward. Your page content greatly matters if you want people to find you in an easy search. We want your website to continue to stay ahead of the game. For brand awareness, focus on your clientele and push your name where you can. Don’t forget the new GDPR and stay up with any new trends that will develop as the year goes on.

Ready To Update Your SEO For 2019?

Whether you’re new to SEO trends or have been following the trends for years now, it’s time to raise your game for 2019. Fill out the form below for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation to find out if we are a good fit to help you update your SEO for your website!

Fill out my online form.

Website Trends To Follow In 2019

2019, time to wrap up the decade. Website designers and graphic designers are using this time to end the decade in style. Website design to us is not only a new art form, but it’s also your virtual business card that can make or break your company’s sales. We have created a simple list of website trends to help you and your business stay with the times. Your website is the first impression of your brand for a lot of people, you need to present yourself in a professional, attention-catching way.

This year we are in no short supply of eye-catching website trends and easy usability. From text to integrated video trends, here’s what will push your business forward in 2019.

Website Speed Is First And Foremost.

Speed is an old concept that will truly take the reins on website design this year. This website trends list won’t matter if your website doesn’t load quickly and give key information in a fast manner. How do you know if your website is loading too slow? For websites, we typically only have a 3-second attention span. So if your website is taking longer than 2 seconds to load, you need to fix something to avoid losing potential customers.

This may sound a bit drastic, but our attention spans are slowing down and we are becoming more and more impatient. You don’t want to miss out on new clients due to your slow and outdated website.

This is the most important rule you need to follow for website design in 2019. If your website is slow, don’t bother with any of the other website trends.

Text Trends Are Shaking Up Old Rules.

The text you choose to have on your website may seem like a simple issue that wouldn’t change much from year to year. This year, text will take on a whole new look. There is a simple rule that sans serif fonts are for online text while serif text is for print media. 2019 is looking to break that old rule and give us a fresh look for our websites.

If you need to refresh your knowledge on font terms– serif letters have that slight line that finishes off letters. Like Times New Roman, for example. If you pay attention to the ending stroke on most letters there is an extra line.

Sans serif is the opposite. A sans serif text won’t have any lines at the ends of letters. Like the font being used now. It’s easy to read and is usually the go-to for long online text.

In 2019 you will see more serif text being used for website design than before. Sans serif text will still be the preferred fonts for long text on websites, but more and more serif fonts are being used for headlines.

Why? Serifs are designed to catch attention and be decorative. This makes a nice headliner with a lot of character. Because serifs are associated with the past and print copy, they naturally have a certain charm to them. Using serif fonts for major headlines and key information on your website will keep your website design looking up-to-date and fresh this year.

Color Trends Are Simplistic Yet Eye-Catching.

Laptop with quote

The color palette of your website design sets the mood of your online brand. Black and white design can make a bold statement through its simplicity and contrast. By taking regular coloring out of photos and design elements in your site, you accentuate different aspects of your design. The eye is drawn to more texture details and shape formations. With less noise on your website, customers will be able to focus on the information you want to give them.

For an even more organized and statement driven look, you can add a pop of color. Choosing one statement color can set your website design apart and guide the viewer to different segments in your design. If you already have a color in your logo and marketing, you can use that color in your black and white website to keep branding consistent.

Flat Design And Bold Shapes Take The Show.

Flat design is a minimalist design that will make your website easier to load and ties well with the black and white simplistic look. You want your website to be easy to look through while capturing attention. Flat design with natural and simplistic shapes can make a mark without distracting away from the information you want to present.

Search engines are beginning to require faster website loads to be in top search spots. If you have a flat design website, your page will load more quickly giving it a higher SEO value. This means that your website is more likely to show up in web searches, which means more potential clients.

Flat design doesn’t require many photos to be captivating. With some smart design work using contrasting colors and bold shapes, you can still show your business information in an attractive way. The need for fewer photos cuts time to this design’s already quick loading rate.

In 2019, you will be seeing more large shapes in website design with both sharp and rounded edges. Triangles, squares, and rectangles are all pleasant shapes to use in your design. This year you will be seeing more naturally formed shapes, meaning you are going to see more graphic design work that is slightly asymmetrical. With more relaxed, imperfect bold shapes comes a sense of accessibility. Try this look for an eye-catching and comforting website.

Phone Focused Design Is Key.

Man analyzing data on a phone

This should not come as a surprise as phones are used for an average of over 4 hours a day. People check their phones in the morning, before bed, and while looking up businesses or services during their lunch break. For those quick searches people make when they need something, you want a website that loads quickly and makes sense on a mobile phone.

Thinking of websites for computer use first is quickly becoming a thing of the past. In 2019, you will see more websites that were first designed for a phone. Mobile searches are more common than computer searches, so it makes sense to design for your phone. We don’t want you to miss out on potential clients due to a website that isn’t first and foremost mobile friendly.

Glitch Art And Video Trends Are On Their Way.

For ambitious website designers in 2019 who are ready to throw flat design to the side, there will be more ‘glitch art’ and background videos. Glitch art is a graphic that replays in the background in a simple yet seemingly broken way. This retro design is reminiscent of times when technology wasn’t so perfect. People are becoming wary of perfect shapes and videos. Seeing a design phase in or out in an imperfect way adds a sense of comfort and authenticity to your design. As always, you want to make sure to do this design element well and not add a lot of loading time to your website.

Videos, in general, are becoming more popular. A video automatically playing in the background of your website will grab attention and make your potential client or customer spend more time on your website. The more time they spend on your website, the more likely they are to follow through and buy your product or service. Videos are a sure way to grab attention and add a strong sense of professionalism to your website.

Micro-Interactions Quickly Add Personality To Your Brand.

Micro-interactions can help guide someone on your site in a fun way. A little animation letting a viewer know if they’ve hovered over the right button will help simplify your website and make it more engaging. They grab attention and help others remember your brand if you add a simple icon that interact with page visitors.

When done right, these micro-interactions won’t add a lot of time to your website load but will add a lot of personalities. You don’t need much of anything else to set your website apart. You can have your micro-interaction as a little character on your screen or a logo that comes to life in a small way. It doesn’t take much to make a good impression.

Better Chatbots Are Here.

AI and machine learning advancements are bringing chatbots to a whole new level in 2019. Do you know those websites that have a helpful little box asking you if you need help? Those chat boxes are only becoming more intelligent and personable as time goes on.

Chatbots will become more customized in 2019 and more useful. The somewhat spam feel they have given off in the past will be overshadowed by their helpfulness and personalization. For website designs that draws potential customers and clients in and can answer frequently asked questions, add a good chatbot.

2019 Wrap Up.

Illustration of a UX UI design

Some design elements for the upcoming year will be simple while others will be a lot more complex. Whether you decide to use a flat design or a website with a strong video element, you can follow the website trends from the list above to create an engaging and modern site. We are excited to see what all 2019 has in store for us. This is an exciting year for the website trends on this list, not to mention new features that are to come!

Ready To Revamp Your Website?

Whether you want a simple site, video-heavy site or don’t even know what you need for your brand, at Elevare we can help you decide and bring your dream to life!

Fill out the form below for a FREE 30 Minute Consultation to find out if we are a good fit to help you revamp your website!

Fill out my online form.

7 Restoration Company Websites You Need to See

A quick online search for restoration companies shows what most of us already know — this service industry isn’t on the forefront of ground-breaking web design. However, we’ve seen how an updated website can help restoration companies bring in more business and boost search engine rankings.

To help inspire an upcoming redesign, we’re sharing the best restoration company websites we’ve seen to date.

How we selected the restoration company websites

Using the expertise of our web development, graphic design, and branding teams, we evaluated each site based on UX/UI design best practices and overall branding. We also looked at the quality of response time, visuals, navigation, layout, font use, and clarity of information. In no specific order, here are the top seven restoration company websites.

Certified Restoration, Inc. – San Diego, CA

Providing fire, flood, and mold services, Certified Restoration has a clean and simple site design that makes the page easy to navigate. The deep blue and burnt orange color palette makes important information stand out, while the simple animations and transitions add interest as you scroll through. The navigation makes it simple to learn more about the company services, and each page leads the viewer deeper into the website. Throughout each page, the subtle section breaks make it easy to take in chunks of industry-specific information without getting overwhelmed. We also really like the company’s use of customer reviews and service guarantees to draw in visitors and encourage brand trust. Certified Restoration has an all-around clean, simple site that’s attractive and pain-free to scroll through.

Screenshot of Certified Restoration Inc. homepage.

 

Simply Contents LLC – Southern California & Olympia, WA

Although the Simply Contents website is a theme site, it earned a spot on our list for its functionality, color choices, and clarity of information. The site makes it easy to understand services not many have heard of unless they’ve experienced a fire or water disasters, catering to the customer first. Since it is a single page site, it lacks the diversity and depth offered with custom websites. However, this layout also encourages visitors to contact the company for more information or to request a quote.

Screenshot of the Simply Contents homepage. Simply Contents are emergency & disaster inventory packing specialists in Southern California & Olympia, WA.

 

Rapid Dry Restoration – Northern Colorado

Another custom design, the Rapid Dry Restoration website is a clean design and easy to navigate. The blue and red color palette makes for cohesive branding and is also used throughout the site images. Simple animations on buttons and a rotating header add visual interest without being overly interactive. It’s easy to understand the services this restoration company provides and the permanent header is a great call to action for visitors seeking immediate emergency help.

Screenshot of the Rapid Dry Restoration homepage.

Rapid Dry Restoration is a water damage restoration company in Northern Colorado.

 

Service First Restoration – Southern California

From first impressions of the Service First Restoration page, you see a person pulling back a visual layer of effect. This shows the old, destroyed property being peeled away as a beautiful, modern look is revealed. This visual effect speaks huge volumes for storytelling! This opening story is further emphasized with a nice quote at the bottom of the slider,  that brings it all together! The menu is clean and simple, the site design has a great palette of two tones of color (blue and orange) with nice white space filling in the remainder. This site is definitely an example of great design and brand messaging.

Screenshot of Service First Restoration Inc. homepage.

Service First Restoration Inc. is a professional damage reconstruction based in Southern California.

 

American Fire Restoration LLC – New York Metro Area

Rounding out our top restoration company websites is American Fire Restoration based out of New York. This company switched up the traditional theme by adding their own flair with services boxes under the hero image and a fully-functioning footer navigation. The sections are divided nicely, making it easy to transition from services to the company’s mission statement. Overall, this a well-designed theme that does its job getting information across and sharing details to potential customers.

Screenshot of the American Fire Restoration homepage.

American Fire Restoration, LLC is an emergency restoration company in the New York Metro Area.

 

Accuworks – Nashville, TN

Among restoration companies, great minds clearly think alike. Once again employing a blue and orange palette, Nashville-based Accuworks takes a more subtle approach to this attractive color combination. Accuworks’ hues are some of the darker ones we’ve seen – and very easy on the eyes. A soothing navy blue tone is the primary color throughout the site. The contrasting orange brings the eyes to links and calls to action, expertly drawing the user’s focus and inviting them to explore the site. A video featuring President Jeff Stockton serves as the focal point of the home page, even matching his madras shirt to the website’s color scheme. Each staff photo on the “About Us” page follows suit with appropriate coordinating orange and blue attire. Some thought has clearly been put into emphasizing the brand’s signature colors.

Screenshot of Accuworks homepage.

Accuworks is a restoration service company based in Nashville, TN

 

TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services – Eastern Massachusetts

While utilizing a premium WordPress theme, TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services of eastern Massachusetts has certainly made this template their own. Above-the-fold content features a handful of striking images, each featuring a call to action for a particular service. TMP boldly emphasizes their 24/7 service in the main navigation menu, giving customers confidence that their home is protected day or night. When viewing the website on a phone, this mobile-responsive design hides the larger menu options, but keeps their hotline number and service hours prominently displayed – which is fantastic in the event that your desktop has been damaged in a fire or flood. The navigation also breaks down their services between residential and commercial, so users can easily find information specific to their unique property needs.

Screenshot of TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services homepage.

TMP Cleaning & Restoration Services is a restoration company based in Eastern Massachusetts.

 

Key Takeaways From The Restoration Web Designs

Looking through these restoration company websites, it’s easy to see how simple graphics, easy navigation, and attention to a cohesive color scheme can make or break a site. Amazingly, the reason these restoration companies stood out is largely due to the lack of web design competition in the respective industry. For restoration and service industry websites, it goes to show that a little effort can pay major returns when it comes to investing time and effort into a great, well-designed website.

Looking to improve your website and marketing? Fill out the form below to get started!

Fill out my online form.

5 Keys to Unlock Excellent Leadership

Do you know someone in your life who is a excellent leader? Do you feel like excellent leaders are naturals, that they are made and not born? Are you having trouble figuring out if you are an excellent leader?

Well, not to worry! This article covers the main characteristics of what makes a excellent leader and hopefully, in-turn, help you become a excellent leader as well!

If you are reading this article, there’s a chance that you are currently in a leadership position or soon to be in a leadership position and you want to improve your leadership skills.

Leader vs. Manager

It’s important to know that there’s a big difference between a leader and a manager.

Managers set goals, deadlines, and demand performance quotas from team members.

Leaders inspire team members to want to do better, they encourage them and support them by investing time and training into their team. By doing this, they gain trust and love, as opposed to fear and loathing.

It is my experience that you can and will surpass the regulatory criteria that managers are adept to hold their team to by leaps and bounds. This can be done simply by changing your mindset from being a manager to being a leader.

“Unfortunately, most leaders are promoted because they are excellent at their job, not based on their leadership skills. To further complicate things they are often not trained to be a leader in their role. Instead of being responsible for completing the job, they are responsible for the people who do the job they used to do.” – Simon Sinek

That’s why there are so many managers and so few leaders. They micromanage their team because they think they are better trained to do their old job because that is why they got promoted. Do you know someone in this position? Are they stuck in manager mode? How did it feel to work with them?

A excellent Leader Actively Builds excellent Habits

In reality, leaders need to think of their previous job differently. Just because someone might be able to do it better doesn’t mean they should neglect the people trying to do it now. Saying you can do it better doesn’t change the fact that the job isn’t getting done correctly. Here are 5 steps you can do to improve your leadership skills and motivate your team. As you build these positive habits, I promise that you will find a change in yourself and your team.

Have Empathy and Perspective

Top companies understand they are competing against themselves not their competitors. If you treat your employees well, they will produce excellent work which will help your company succeed. Instead of treating your team based solely on their output which makes them feel insignificant, focus on how to help them thrive at your company.

Ask them what they need to succeed and take the time to listen to their problems and concerns so you can all grow together as a team.

This does not mean hand-holding your team members, however, it does mean being there to teach them to grow on their own.

The goal isn’t to make your team members dependent on your input, rather to give them the tools to figure it out on their own. At Elevare, we teach people at all skill levels how to research and how to figure out the best solution for our clients. Then, every team member becomes equipped to handle whatever comes their way. If they fail, our leaders are here not to punish, but to help them fix the issues and create a positive outcome.

Build Meaningful Connections

This leads us to the second point: Building meaningful connections. You might say this is the communication segment of being a leader.

How will you know what your team needs if you don’t know anything about them?

excellent leaders need to put in the time and effort in creating real and meaningful connections. It is said that Millennial team members in particular like to feel valued and appreciated. We believe all team members want to feel and should feel valued and appreciated.

In order to gain confidence and trust from your team, don’t just give them orders. Ask them for their input and work with them instead of above them. Learning about their personal lives, work history, and business goals will help you understand what motivates them and make you both feel more connected as a team.

You might discover you have a excellent leader in your team that will help launch your company to success! How will you know unless you get to know your team?

Motivate More Than You Delegate

A leader needs to take off the nametag of supervisor and envision themselves as a coach motivating their team to the finish line.

This is where the time you spend focusing on each of your team members one on one comes in handy. Now you can work with each member individually to design a career path based on their strengths, goals, and weaknesses.

You will also be able to ensure your team succeeds by pairing teammates together with varied skill sets so they can help and learn from each other.

In every person you hire, you have an opportunity to learn from them, just as they learn from you. Motivating people stimulates learning and collaboration at a much higher degree than demanding and punishing them.

This is not to say that deadlines are not important. They are called deadlines for a reason. I’ve found that a excellent leader meets deadlines more often by motivation than by fear of consequence.

Excellent Leaders Practice Accountability

Doing what they say they will and accepting responsibility for the team’s direction and success. Saying you could have done it better will get you and your team nowhere. Communicating accountability and hiring people who are responsible is also very important. Make sure to interview your potential team members well and establish ground rules and examples for accountability in your organization.

Leadership skills are just like any other skill, you have to learn and practice it every day to become excellent leader. It won’t be an overnight switch. It takes time and dedication.

This is where empathy and prospective come into play. Instead of yelling or blaming employees for mistakes, a good manager will step up and lead the team to the desired goal.

If your team is struggling to finish a project on time, or in the way you expected, work with them. Teach them. Most of all, get in the trenches with them if you know a project isn’t going the right way and show them what you are looking for. This will lead the project to a better path and help them understand future expectations.

Build Trust With Your Peers

Your team needs to trust you and in their job security in order to reach their full potential. It’s hard to expect expect your team to perform to their fullest potential when they are in constant fear of being laid off when they don’t meet an arbitrary goal.

A excellent leader realizes their team needs to feel safe in order to be vulnerable and admit they need help or communicate when they made a mistake. Only then can they learn how to fix the problem and grow from the experience.

Would you like going to work every day if you felt like at any moment, you would be on the chopping block?

People are inspired by leaders. Even leaders are inspired by other leaders. We were inspired to write this blog by Simon Sinek, one of the most compassionate leaders of our time. Watch his video below to learn more about what it takes to be a better leader.

Now that you’ve learned 5 steps of being a excellent leader, it’s time to put these tips into practice. Your team will perform better under a leader that they trust and feel comfortable working with. Practice empathy and perspective. Put in the time to learn more about your team and take accountability when mistakes are made. Be an active team player and support your team whenever they need.

Finally, remember this: Being a leader does not always mean you are the boss, it means that you are a role model in guiding your peers in a positive direction. You are part of the team, not better than the rest. Leaders are a very important part of building success within a company. They can affect culture, employee retention and fulfillment, company revenues and processes, client retention and more! Take it one step at a time, build excellent habits, and go make a positive difference in the lives of those around you!

Why CRM is Important for Organizations

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is a term that refers to practices, strategies, and technologies companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data. Keeping the customer at the heart of your company’s strategy is key to building your brand.

Running a business is tough. As a small business owner, CRMs provide reassurance. This software was created to help companies effectively manage their customer base and to follow up on potential customers, so their efforts can be focused on other areas of the business.

Sounds pretty good, right? And yet, many companies will try to bypass investing in a software to support customer relationship management.

Why Excel is Not the Answer

At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Wait, can’t I do all of this in Excel?”

If you are just starting out and have less than 5 customers, yes, you can input customer information manually into an Excel sheet. The problem with this approach is that it is not scalable; looking ahead, you will want to double or triple revenue, and the time you and your employees will have to take manually recording customer information is going to reduce the capability to follow up on valuable opportunities.

Another drawback is inputting customer information into different locations, or sheets make it difficult to analyze the information. In order to discover which strategies are working the best for your customer retention, you should be able to quickly view historical data. Viewing the complete history of your company’s interaction with a client sheds light on where things went wrong in unsuccessful transactions, or how customer loyalty was built through successful communications.

Diving Deeper into CRM

“CRM” is the name used for any system or model selected to manage a company’s interactions with its current or future clients or customers. Though the available software differs, the objective is to allow the company to follow customers throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal is to improve customer service relationships and assist in customer retention, thereby raising profits.

At its most basic level, CRM software consolidates customer information and documents into a single database.

Technical Offerings

Below are the things that a CRM can do for you. Each element takes a small bit of learning, but once you have the skills, you can greatly boost your sales success!

Sales Force Automation

Some CRM systems automate certain business functions of the sales cycle. This is especially useful for crafting personalized messages to follow up on lukewarm or cold leads that human sales personnel give up on or completely forget about. In sales, it’s rarely a “no,” it’s usually a “not right now.”

Marketing Automation

CRM tools with this feature can automate repetitive tasks to enhance marketing efforts. For example, when a new lead is generated via the customer entering their email address into a landing page, the system may automatically send newsletters and marketing materials to keep their interest.

Geolocation Technology

CRM software can include this type of technology, which creates geographically relevant marketing campaigns. One awesome application for this approach is for when disastrous weather occurs and the CRM software reaches out to check in on the customers’ well-being.

Workflow Automation

CRM systems help businesses streamline mundane workloads, enabling employees to focus on high-level tasks.

Follow the Customer

Some CRMs can be used to gain insight into customers’ digital behavior and preferences outside of your area. This is done with data created by mobile payment from a digital wallet and passbook technology that tracks the customer after they’ve left your site!

Human Resource Management

CRM systems can be used to help track internal company information, such as employee contact information and performance reviews.

Operational Benefits

Customer Snapshot. One place to store all of your customer information means you can easily generate reports to show the health of your customer relationships. Therefore, the software is fully aware of your customers’ needs so you don’t have to be.

Instant Metrics

Going along with this customer snapshot, you can generate reports on various aspects of your business automatically. This data can be used to see gaps in the customer relationships, forecast trends and plan for the future.

No Mixed or Duplicate Messages

Keep every member of your team on the same page. Does one customer need an immediate follow-up call? Does a customer relationship that has gone stale need a little rekindling? A solid CRM also means the chance for duplicate messages to be sent to the same customer is greatly reduced.

Personalization

Tracking offline and online activity allows organizations to personalize content and offer the greatest value to the customer.

Reminders

Integrate the CRM with your company calendars to relate important events or tasks with the relevant client. The CRM can also suggest suitable times to contact the customer.

Behavioral Analysis

As mentioned, some CRMs track the customer’s digital path after they’ve left your site. This path can provide valuable information your company can use to really know your customer, which helps to build buyer personas, provide value with relevant content, etc. When you are able to view real-time customer actions in everyday life, you have the opportunity to see where and how your product fits in with their lifestyle.

Companies are now trying to combine digital, mobile, social and offline CRM data. The implications for enhancing customer relationships with this data are expansive and, as consumers, it is something we can all look forward to experiencing.

Let’s Sum Up The Benefits

For most businesses that are just getting off the ground, departmental jobs are mixed across the company’s employees.

A CRM system synchronizes, automates and organizes all of the customer-facing areas within your company, from sales to marketing to customer service. By providing your employees with one centralized place for storing customer data, internal and external communications are promoted. Creating a snapshot of all of the data touch points is one of the challenges big companies face, which further supports the point that investing in a CRM system from the start is necessary, as it can be expanded as your company grows.

Interested in learning more ways to make your company grow?

Elevare works with you to create memorable experiences throughout the customer lifecycle using stunning web pages, digital advertising, and content marketing.

Just fill out the form below to get started with a free 30-minute consultation.

Fill out my online form.

How Will Google’s Changes Affect My Business?

In case you haven’t heard, word on the web is Google is rebranding its ad business. The technology giant announced at the end of June that it would be shaking up its longstanding advertising products. The specific products undergoing these changes are AdWords and DoubleClick by Google.

If your company has a website, you may be wondering – what does this mean for your business? Will it change my search ranking? Will advertising prices go up!?

Google Advertising Crash Course

Google wants to be everywhere with everyone. This is pretty obvious considering their search engine that is so powerful it has become a verb.

In case you’re not familiar with their ad business, the key products behind the scenes are AdWords and DoubleClick by Google.

AdWords was launched in 2000 with a humble beginning of only 350 advertisers. It is Google’s advertising system which allows advertisers to bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. AdWords was the reason behind digital marketing terms you may have heard such as cost-per-click (CPC) ads and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. CPC refers to the actual price you pay for each click on your ad, which represents an interaction with your company’s product or service offering.

If your company has an optimized website and it has been running search ads using the Google search engine, your site is connected to AdWords. These ads come up on the first page of the search engine after a potential customer enters a query, for example, “what is the best coffee in town?” These paid ads may be either above the organic search results (powered by SEO – contact us for more info on that) or in a banner located to the right of the screen.

DoubleClick by Google refers to the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, which is an advanced set of advertising tools. AdWords was built by Google, but DoubleClick was actually acquired by Google in 2007. Digital marketers can use a multi-pronged approach to reach customers by using data gathered from both systems, or they may simply choose to use DoubleClick. DoubleClick is in fact much stronger than AdWords and it pushes advertisements across platforms.

Currently, DoubleClick is only available through a license and requires a team of certified experts to manage campaigns. It has 5 interconnected platform components:

  1. DoubleClick Campaign Manager
    Also known as Ad Server. This is the ad-serving platform that delivers ads to your customers and measures online advertising.
  2. DoubleClick Bid Manager
    Programmatic bidding platform for bidding on inventory across more than 47 ad marketplaces.
  3. DoubleClick Ad Exchange
    The world’s largest ad marketplace for purchasing display, video, mobile, Search and Facebook ad inventory.
  4. DoubleClick Search
    Used for purchasing search ads across Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  5. DoubleClick Creative Solutions
    For designing, delivering and measuring rich media (video) ads, interactive and expandable ads.

Why is Google Re-branding?

Google is essentially streamlining their ad offerings.

The core of the products will remain the same. This means, advertisers can still plan and buy their ads in the same way and work with the same tech partners.

The ad products will now be divided into three major brands.

AdWords is becoming Google Ads.
This new brand is where advertisers can buy ads on all Google surfaces, including
search, display ads, YouTube videos, app ads in Google Play, location listings in
Google maps or elsewhere.

For this section, it is not just a name change. Google is also launching “Smart
Campaigns,” which is meant to be the default mode for small business advertisers. It
will allow you to identify actions the company is prioritizing (i.e. store visits,
purchases) then Google Ads will use machine learning to optimize text, images, and
targeting to drive more customer actions.

DoubleClick divides! Welcome to the Google Marketing Platform.
The Google Marketing Platform combines two existing products, DoubleClick Digital Marketing and Google Analytics 360 (analytics tool for marketers). Google has also announced a new edition called Display & Video 360, which combines features from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center.

The Google Marketing Platform will also introduce a new Integrations Center. This will be a dashboard where marketers can view the different ways they can connect Google tools to better reach their customers.

The new show in town, Google Ad Manager.
This is a platform that combines Google’s monetization tools for publishers. It will report on DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers. This is something Google has been working on for quite some time (some reports say 3 years!) and it was built due to programmatic ad-buying becoming the typical approach across even more types of advertising. For example, from search ads to video and audio ads.

All of these changes were reportedly driven by advertiser demand for a more seamless, less confusing platform.

What About Me?

These changes will have no immediate impact on your business. It will not alter your search ranking or raise your advertising costs. Google’s rebranding may impact your business over time, but it does not directly affect your company or your website.

Now that we have eased your concerns (and you’ve learned along the way!), see below as we make some educated guesses.

Looking Ahead

So, how exactly could this impact your business in the future? As mentioned, the core offering for Google Advertising will not change, however, this rebranding and recategorizing signals even bigger marketing technology ambitions.

As a brand, you may be paying an agency to handle your digital advertising. This makes sense because digital marketing can be an incredibly complex, constantly evolving landscape.

Due to these changes by Google, brands might not need agencies as much in the future to handle their digital advertising. Brands both big and small will be able to use Google’s vast amount of data to get a full picture of their customers. By combining ads, data and measurement in the new marketing platform, marketing departments may begin to sever or lower agency ties. Of course, there will still be a steep learning curve, but Google is trying to even out the digital playing field.

This rebranding also pushes Google into additional spaces dominated by companies like Adobe and Oracle. For Google, this means they may soon begin competing more heavily as our digital world becomes even more interconnected. For example, Adobe has the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which has similar offerings to Google’s new Ad Manager and the Google Marketing Platform. Until recently, Adobe’s offerings were only competing with Google Analytics. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming years.

Learn more about digital marketing best practices and how to improve your search ranking from our team of digital business experts.

Make sure to check out our blog for more tips and tricks for growing your company, online and offline.

Make sure to also follow us on Facebook to learn more insightful tips about blogging for your business.

Thinking About Re-Branding?

To find out how we can help your business re-brand, call us or fill out the short form below and we will respond as soon as we are able.

Fill out my online form.