Local Marketing for Millennials: 7 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

When it comes to marketing to millennials, many brands struggle to find the right approach to engagement. Outdated models and an inability to tailor messaging to reach this audience continues to infringe upon building awareness for future customers.

Right now, there’s no generation more important to local marketing than millennials. That comes as no surprise when you take a look at the stats for this audience.

  • There are 80 million millennials in the U.S., roughly ¼ of the total population
  • American millennials spend more than $200 billion annually
  • Today, millennials offer the strongest lifetime value to brands of any generation

Despite the value offered by millennial consumers, many local businesses struggle to reach this generation. Strategies that worked for Gen-X and the Baby Boomers seem to fall flat with millennial consumers.

If you want to connect with millennials, you simply can’t afford to use outdated models. Instead, you’ll need to tailor your local marketing efforts to millennials’ habits, personalities, and preferences.

For local marketing via digital media, you’ll want to follow these do’s and don’ts when targeting millennials.

7 Local Marketing Do’s for Millennials

#1. DO Keep Things Short

Attention spans today aren’t what they used to be. This is particularly true among millennials who’ve grown up on digital technologies. Marketing to millennials requires short and to-the-point messaging. You’ve only got a few seconds to capture their attention, so make those seconds count. 

#2. DO Offer Convenience

The instant gratification of digital media has put a premium on convenience. For proof, look no further than the impact that free one-day shipping has had on Amazon, or the explosive growth of food delivery apps. Millennials want convenience, and they’ll reward brands that provide it.

#3. DO Focus on Mobile

Today, “mobile first” is a maxim of digital marketing, especially for local businesses. But it’s even more important for brands targeting millennials. In fact, they’re the only generation with smartphone ownership rates above 90%, and they spend far more time on mobile devices than desktop computers.

#4. DO Stay Socially Active

In addition to high rates of mobile usage, millennials use social media more than any other generation. Brands that want to engage with millennial consumers need to be active on social media, especially on major platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

#5. DO Promote Your Reviews

Millennial consumers trust online reviews almost as much as personal recommendations. In fact, many millennials put more stock in online reviews than the recommendations of friends. To reach millennials, local businesses should focus on generating and promoting positive reviews.

#6. DO Make Positive Change

More other age groups, millennials spend their money on socially conscious products and businesses. By advocating and fundraising for charitable causes — especially local causes within your community — you can build a stronger rapport with this generation.

#7. DO Be Authentic & Considerate

Millennials gravitate toward authenticity, and they’re quick to detect inauthentic messaging. So don’t try to make your business into something it’s not. Instead, focus on what makes you great. Showcase what makes you the best at what you do and make that the core of your local marketing strategy.

3 Local Marketing Don’ts for Millennials

#1. DON’T Misunderstand Who They Are

When brands talk about millennials, they talk about students and younger adults. But today, the oldest millennials are nearly 40 years old, and the youngest are already in their mid-20s. If you focus your marketing efforts on the just-out-of-college crowd, you’re missing the mark on millennials.

#2. DON’T Treat Them as a Monolith

Millennial consumers share a number of traits that can be useful for local marketing. But it’s a mistake to treat millennials as a monolith. Among millennials, there’s an almost limitless array of micro-markets. An effective local marketing strategy won’t simply target “millennials.” Instead, it will target niche markets within this generation.

#3. DON’T Ignore Their Input

One of the easiest and smartest ways to develop a local marketing strategy for millennials is to get input from, well, actual millennials. Yet many local businesses fail to make millennials a part of these efforts. Others seek input from millennial consumers and employees, but they don’t make millennials a part of the decision-making process. Their feedback is downplayed or minimized, and the resulting campaigns fail to connect.

Bridging the Gap between PPC and SEO

With digital marketing playing a larger role that ever, SEO and PPC must work closer together…yes we said together. In the past, old-fashioned tactics kept many digital marketers from truly integrating these two efforts.

 

Some have viewed SEO as a threat to revenue generated by PPC. Some have even chosen to divide these efforts. However, this tends to lead to miscommunication or worse yet mixed messages being disseminated to consumers.

 

We recommend integrating PPC and SEO efforts to strengthen results and improve brand awareness and sales. How? Let’s start by looking at the basics. What’s the difference between SEO and PPC?

 

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the process of optimizing your site, so it can be ranked higher on search engine results pages (SERP). This is done by targeting specific keywords or phrases. Keywords or phrases should be determined based on those that may be entered most often in the search by a specific audience. A consistent and long-term SEO strategy will build your website’s value.

 

PPC, Pay Per Click, drives website traffic in the form of ads. The fees are based on how competitive the keyword you want to rank for is. Since they are paid ads, PPC ads appear above the organic SEO listings on SERP. PPC can be pricey if your marketing is misguided (or the product is new or testing has not been done) and the learning curve requires the analysis of website variables to determine ROI.

 

Working Together for the Greater Good

So, what are the advantages of running SEO and PPC together? SEO and PPC work best when integrated and strategically aligned. With both avenues having strengths and weaknesses, working together often drives response towards more favorable results. Studies have found having a paid ad visible in conjunction with an organic listing improves the brand’s influence.

 

Let’s talk a little about some of the “greater good” we found by putting SEO and PPC in the same room:

 

  • Keyword and conversion data from Pay per Click campaigns can utilized to improve organic search.
  • By targeting clicks with PPC and focusing on high-performing keywords in SEO, you can impact the total volume of site traffic.
  • Expensive keywords, high-volume keywords, and essential keywords that tend to be low for conversions can be moved from PPC to organic search. Be sure to always place your keywords in the title and headline tags, meta descriptions, content, and don’t forget the ever-important image descriptions!
  • Your PPC traffic data can be used to boost your SEO and find your best performing landing pages. Use A/B ad copy testing and landing pages to update and feed your organic listings and landing pages.
  • After an initial consumer touch via organic search, it’s essential to stay top of mind through remarketing or retargeting. You want to be present in as many online entry points as possible, so don’t discount the value of using SEO to boost PPC.
  • Testing your keyword strategy in PPC before investing in a long-term SEO strategy can help you to target users at different stages of the purchasing journey.

 

Sharing a Room Can Work!

 

In the end, we know that when it comes to increasing traffic, whether it’s SEO or PPC everyone has their favorite, but they can (and do) co-exist.  Brands still need to have data for any new product or product line, service, or consumer campaign, so using SEO and PPC data in conjunction with one other along with aligned marketing initiatives and strategies is well worth the effort.

 

 

The New Rules of Customer Touchpoints

Some may remember the, ‘Rule of 7’. In the past, businesses relied on roughly 7 touchpoints to drive customers and prospects down the sales funnel. In today’s marketing landscape, it takes anywhere from 13 to 20 touchpoints to convert those prospects and customers, depending on your business/industry.

 

When interacting with your customer they become the recipient of an experience involving a moment of truth. This moment of truth is filled with touchpoints and other factors involving their decision whether to return, to recommend your business to a friend or colleague, or to turn their back on your business, product, and/or website. Improving the customer experience and value of touchpoints can help your business grow.

 

The new rules of customer touchpoints are not your products or services, but how you create an experience for customers and prospects as they interact with your brand. Think about how you attract your customers through ANY interaction, such as your website, social media, newspaper ad, blog, etc. No matter how small, add it to a list.

 

Identify your business goals and cross-reference the parallels your touchpoints have with the customer’s lifecycle. Keep in mind all of the earned and paid opportunities you have. Content is King and if you have that in your back pocket, it will be easy to identify how best to engage with customers and prospects and on what platforms.

 

What many forget about the customer journey is how important it is to have a strong online presence. If you’re not integrating with things like Local Listings, Pay Per Click, SEO, etc., odds are your competitors are and you’ll be missing out on valuable touchpoints that have the potential to push your customers to their front door instead of yours.

 

Every customer interaction is important, but some are more critical than others. The goal here is to identify those touchpoints that are most important to both customer and the company. Once you’ve identified the weak spots in your customer experience, you’ll have a better grasp on what needs to be done to create a more positive user experience which should in turn impact customer retention, referrals, and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Search Algorithms Work

search algorithm picturePop to the top, it’s what we all want for our websites. We know what we want, but do we understand it and know how to get there? Let’s start with what a search algorithm is, then how it works.

 

What is a Search Algorithm?
A search algorithm is not a formula, it is a combination and series of multiple processes and sets of rules used to solve [search] for specific information. These processes and rules are based on step-by-step procedures used to find the desired data among the plethora of the internet data collections.

 

When diving into the seemingly bottomless pools of internet data the rate at which the requested information is processed and ultimately received depends upon the depth and complexity of the algorithm parameters. Multiple algorithms can co-exist and affect each other.

 

How Do They Do It?
With so many ways to search the web for information, we will discuss how Google uses search algorithms to find what you’re looking for!

 

First, as a search engine Google provides users with relevant information based on their search. The search engine ranking or SERP is made up of a combination of algorithms. These algorithms analyze what the searcher’s intent was and to return results to fulfill that objective. Google is constantly refining and adjusting their algorithms to assess searches and the results in finer detail. The goal is to make the SERP more accurate so it works better for you.

 

How it works has no quick, easy answer. To better understand how search algorithms work we have broken in down into 5 parts.

 

Part 1: Analysis
Analyzing what you want, through the use of words, a search engine deciphers what you want, including misspellings, and this is done through indexing. Factors that contribute to faster or slower return may include domain and page authority (relevance to your search), content schedule (frequency of content publishing), and the popularity of the website.

 

Part 2: Search Matching
Next is webpage matching. Similar to Part 1: Analysis, search matching analyzes how often your search criteria appears on the web page, in content, or in other relevant places like images..

 

Part 3: Page Ranking
When you begin a search, have you ever thought about quantity of web pages with the potential relevant information you want? Thousands? Millions? No? Me either – you want the right information, quick, and now, right?

 

Google uses Googlebot with the support of crawling and indexing for a more robust search. Googlebot, a search software, collects and adds information to its seemingly endless index through the crawlers that continually move from website to website to feed it’s appetite for information.

 

Part 4: Context
Your information matters. Search algorithms count on your personal information such as previous search history, settings, and even location. This information is used to deliver relevant content to you for your specific area or location.

 

Think about the search term “football.” If your location is in London, you are more likely to retrieve soccer related content. As compared to the same search performed in Atlanta, which would most surely show NFL related content in general and Atlanta Falcons related content specifically..

 

Part 5: Results
This is where the rubber meets the road. Before you see your results, the information is calculated and sorted by relevance. Now is when a website’s SEO comes into play. Simply put, when the keywords entered your search engine match the keywords on a website, it’s a hit!

 

Algorithms work with a specific purpose in mind. In the case of a search engine, it is to produce the results the user wants. For example, the Panda algorithm was designed to examine content. While the Penguin algorithm evaluates links. While each algorithm is separate, they work together to influence rankings.

 

Remember, algorithms count on content, URLs, external and internal links, and images just to name a few factors. Take time to review your online presence and reach more users by optimizing your website through your content with keywords, meta tags, etc.

 

What You Need to Know About Klout Scores

Klout ScoresHave you ever considered your influence, or “clout” online? Since 2008, a company called Klout has been using proprietary algorithms to measure online influence on a scale of 1 to 100.

A score of one questions whether you have heard of Instagram, and a score in the 90’s puts you in the company of Barack Obama, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga.

 

How Klout Scores Work
Klout uses data from a large number of sites, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Blogger, YouTube, last.fm, and WordPress. Additional sites are regularly being added to the list referenced to build your Klout score. Although the algorithms are kept secret, we do know that Klout uses this data to look at online likes, shares, number of followers, and other variables to create your “Klout Score”.

 

How to Boost Your Klout Score
According to Klout, the average score is 40 and anyone with a score of 63 is in the top 5% of all users. So how do you get a Klout score, and how do you improve it?

First off, if you have a Twitter account, you already have a Klout score unless you opted out when you created the account. One caveat; your Twitter account must be completely public for it to contribute to your Klout score. To check your score, link social media accounts, or just get started, visit Klout’s home page.

While Klout’s algorithms remain a mystery, there are a number of things you can do to increase your score:

 

  1. Value Engagement Over Volume: Klout is trying to rate influence, so it puts emphasis on engagement rather than sheer numbers. A smaller number of followers that engage with your content is viewed more favorably than a large number of followers that never do anything.
  2. Build Online Relationships: Instead of only broadcasting content, try to engage with your audience. Interact with their content, ask questions, and get discussions going. When they reciprocate, you’ll be building an online relationship.
  3. Make Friends with Influencers: Befriending people online with high Klout scores will help your numbers, so find out who the influencers are in your field, and start interacting with them. Just be sure that you do it in a way that doesn’t look like you have ulterior motives.
  4. Tailor Your Content to Your Audience: Content that is very specific to your audience is better for your Klout score than content with broader appeal. Remember, a small but vocal group of followers is more important than a large but silent following.
  5. Monitor Your Account: Check on your Klout score anytime via their website. Add or remove social media accounts and see if any changes make a noticeable difference.

 

Does Your Klout Score Matter?
This is a point of debate in the online world. While many people are still unaware of Klout scores, some companies are starting to look at them to assess job candidates and potential joint ventures. High scores could even lead to exclusive access to discounts and deals. Bottom line? The importance of your online presence is only increasing, so it’s a smart move to monitor your Klout score and improve it if you can.

 

Nielsen Research Declares Millennials the Most Trusting Advertising Audience

millennials advertising

A new Nielsen survey discovered that millennials (age 21-34) easily have the greatest levels of trust in advertising regardless of the format. Millennials are also the age group most likely to trust online and mobile advertising. Nielsen notes that this is a logical finding, as this generation “came of age with the Internet.”

Millennials trust well above the averages reported by Nielsen in varying formats beyond just online and mobile advertising. Nielsen states that, “they show the highest levels of trust in 18 of 19 advertising formats/channels.” They went on to report that this includes magazines, TV, newspapers, and other advertising channels.

The Nielsen report went on to declare that “millennials consume media differently that their older counterparts”, noting their ability and understanding of how to govern what they read and watch, as well as in what format. President of Nielsen Expanded Verticals, Randall Beard, went on to state, “But even if they rely less heavily on traditional channels, their trust and willingness to act on these formats remains high.”

This study reinforces the notion that a multi-channel marketing approach is the best way to reach audiences. Qiigo can help you integrate online and mobile advertising into your current media plans.

Understanding Retargeting

Retargeting is one of the most effective ways to convert your website’s lost traffic into sales. We’ve all experienced retargeting as we surf the web, and while sometimes it feels a little big brother-esque, it is quite effective as a way to increase sales.

What is retargeting?

retargetinga

Retargeting happens when you shop online for products. For example, you visit a site looking for dance shoes for your daughter. Then you hop over to Facebook to kill a few minutes and see an ad for the dance shoes you were just looking at. That’s retargeting.

How does it work?

Remarketing uses cookies to track your online experience. Unlike traditional online display advertising which contains a static message and image, retargeting utilizes a tracking code to store data and then uses that data to display ads that mimic the user’s online activity. Retargeting is useful as a tool to covert lost customers. With more than 90% of website visitors failing to take action, retargeting ads can provide the extra push some consumers need to make a purchase.

How to use retargeting

For retargeting ads to be effective, they must have a strong call to action. Use a large, prominent button to draw viewer’s attention. Ads should look and feel like your website. Don’t stray from your traditional branding. Consumers may view this as suspicious. Ad creatives should look and feel consistent across multiple ad sizes. Not all sites run the same size ads so be sure your creative is flexible enough to display on any site. Consider creating some ads with animation and other versions that are still. Having multiple ad types increases exposure across the web.

As with any ad creatives, it’s important to test to see what works best. Create two different ads and compare results to see which is more compelling. Test different frequencies and durations to find the combination that yields the best results. Pay attention to the performance metrics to see what patterns are developing.

Not sure how to use retargeting to reach your customer? Consider these strategies:

  • Upsell. If a customer has bought a new TV, offer incentives for cables, wall mounts and other accessories that complement the purchase.
  • Seasonality. Many businesses have products that are seasonal in nature. Runs ads that target consumers who are interested in your seasonal products.
  • Incentives. Retargeting is a great way to convert customers who abandoned their shopping carts. Offer incentives to close the deal.
  • Email Marketing. HTML email newsletters sent with embedded Google Analytics code can be used to create target marketing lists.

If you are interested in learning about how you can use retargeting in your online marketing campaigns, call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

Amazon Rolls Out Flow Feature – Minimal Impact to Local Stores

flow by amazon

In February, Amazon released the ‘Flow’ feature to its main iOS app. Flow enables shoppers to scan an item while in store and add have the item added to their Amazon shopping list. It’s an interesting concept that has triggered worries about increased showrooming. Showrooming is the practice of looking in store for items, then price shopping and purchasing online.

According to data recently released by ShopAdvisor, the new Flow feature isn’t impacting shopping habits as much as people had feared. Let’s take a look at how the purchase of various items has been impacted:

    Big Ticket Electronics
    While big ticket electronics accounted for just 5% of the items scanned, they accounted for 30% of the overall value of items purchased via Flow. With an average price of $356 each, you’d expect deep discounts from Amazon to have an impact on this category.

    Health and Beauty
    Health and Beauty products made up 15% of all items scanned. The average price of these items was $29. As a brand driven item, health and beauty products offer Amazon the opportunity to offer deep discounts.

    Toys
    Fourteen percent of items scanned fell into the toy category and with an average cost of $26 each. Toys are another category where Amazon’s deep discounts play to their benefit.

    Books, Music, Movies, and Video Games
    While many worry that Amazon will drive local book sellers out of business, books accounted for just 10% of items scanned. As a whole, music, movies and video games made up just 4% of scans.

Overall, items scanned by the Flow feature had an average cost between $20 and $50.

The message here is simple. Consumers who identify more with a brand than a store are more likely to jump to Amazon for discounts.

In response to fears about showrooming, we point to data recently released revealing 69% of Americans did at least half their shopping in store during the 2013 holiday season. Based on a study conducted by Gallup in November of 2013, only 6% of Americans had showroomed in the past month.

If you are interested in learning more about online shopping, capturing consumer attention via online marketing, or your brand’s online marketing reputation, call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

Gain Insight with Multi Channel Funnels From Google Analytics

Conversion tracking tells you when visitors to your site buy your product, complete a form, schedule an appointment, or do something that you want them to do. Setting up conversion codes is the basis of a successful online marketing campaign because it allows you to track how your website is doing and how your customers are interacting with you.


Currently, all the credit for closing the sale goes to the last ad, search or referral your customer clicks on before the conversion. Wouldn’t it be great to know what other marketing channels are playing an integral role in getting your customers to that final click? Now you can!


Multi Channel Funnels from Google Analytics is designed to help you track the role website referrals, searches, and ads play in a conversion. These new sets of reports will also tell you how much time has passed between a visitor’s initial interest and his or her purchase. With Multi Channel Funnels you will be able to:

  • Gain insight into which channels customers interact with during the 30 days prior to conversion
  • See which channels initiate, assist, and complete conversions.
  • View interactions with virtually all digital channels, including paid and organic searches, affiliates, social networks, and display ads.

For more information about how Multi Channel Funnels can benefit your marketing campaign, call Qiigo today.