Everything You Need to Know About Google Project Beacon

What Are Beacons?

The term beacon has been a buzzword for a few years now. Beacons are used by large retail companies to help push information and notifications to users while they are shopping. Have you ever been out shopping, check your phone and notice an ad or notification pop up about an item sold in the store? If yes, then you know that the store has implemented a beacon to enhance its reach to customers like you.

What’s New With Google’s Project Beacon?

Within the past few months, Google has improved the beacon technology and made it more compact. New beacons are being distributed to companies that advertise using Google Ads and location extensions. If you would like a beacon, visit this page to request one. The Google Beacons are part of an initiative called Project Beacon and are vastly different than general beacons. Project Beacon technology’s main difference is its focus on gathering data, rather than using it to target customers. Project Beacon is integrated with Google Ads and Google My Business to help display more accurate information to customers and curious searchers. Using these beacons can help improve the accuracy of information that users see when they search your business such as improved location verification and busiest times of the day.

How to Set Up Project Beacon:

  1. Before opening the package, take note of the “Activation Code” in the top right corner of the tracking sticker. This will be crucial for the setup process.
  2. Open the package and remove the beacon from the box. Place your beacon in a centrally located position within your store or office. Be sure to keep it hidden. For example, hide it behind something on a shelf or attach it to the ceiling in a corner.
  3. To complete the online portion of the setup process, visit this page. On the next screen, you will be asked if you have the activation code. Choose Yes, and then Next.
  4. Enter your activation code and choose Yes to the second question. If you would like to complete a three-question survey, you can select Sure to the last question.
  5. Once you have completed all the steps you are good to go! Sit back and enjoy the results

If you are interested in learning how to get started with Project Beacon, give us a call at 301-725-8000.

Google My Business: Insights Tab Update

It’s no secret that Google My Business has become crucial to a business’s online presence. When you verify your business with Google My Business you have a great deal of power over your digital footprint. You are able to control specific information about your business including hours of operations, location, and products or services. You can also interact with customers on reviews they post.

Continue Reading »

7 Reasons Why Calendars Are the Perfect Promotional Product

We live in a digital world cluttered with apps, widgets, browser extensions, and more that exist to help us stay organized and on task. With all the technological choices available, what are the benefits of giving your clients or employees a traditional calendar? Here are seven reasons:  

Continue Reading »

Please Join Us for a Special Lunch & Learn on Digital Marketing

Enjoy a delicious lunch and an afternoon of learning with our Digital Marketing Manager and Director of Clients. Our team will lead a discussion on the growing importance of Google My Business and Local SEO as related to managing your business’s growth and online reputation. We will also provide insights on how to maximize your social media marketing using organic and paid methods, as well as ways to help with the time management of it.

When: Tuesday, July 17, 2018, from 11:30am – 2:00pm
Where:  Millennium Marketing Solutions ( Get Directions )
RSVP: events@mm4solutions.com

How powerful is paper in a digital world?

Rock, paper…digital? Paper covers rock, but how does it measure up to digital when it comes to lead generation and brand recognition? Statistics show there is no need to choose one over the other. In fact, using them together is the best strategy!

On average, there is a 28% increase in conversion rate when direct mail and digital ads are used together.1

The average person receives nearly 3,000 online messages per day. Our inboxes, social media feeds, phones, and the websites we visit are inundated with messages to “buy” this, “visit” here, “donate” there, and “apply now”. These messages are targeted and will create leads, but they can get lost in a busy digital landscape. Supporting your digital ads with direct mail can improve click-through and conversion rates.

Marketing campaigns that used direct mail and one or more digital media mediums experienced a 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail only.1

Your customers are on multiple platforms. Are you? As more companies have shifted their marketing budgets away from print, the advantages of direct mail have grown. Less mail means there are more opportunities for your message to stand out in the mailbox.  

64% of Millennials would rather scan for useful information in mail rather than email.2

Direct mail is great at driving people to visit a webpage, encouraging customers to buy online, and collecting information about your prospects. Information that you can better use to target them with a digital campaign. It allows you to start a conversation and build a relationship with your customers. Also, the more that you can engage and learn about your clients by using direct mail, the more cost-effective your digital campaigns will be.  

The average household receives only two pieces of direct mail a day, compared to 157 e-mails.1

Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the customer. It has the highest rate of success in new customer acquisition compared to other marketing channels, according to Target Marketing.

Create a successful direct mail campaign.

  1. Develop a strategy. Who are you going to send it to? Why are you sending it to them and what are your goals? How can you make it personalized? Simply adding color and a person’s name to your postcard can increase responses by 135%.1
  2. Make sure you have good data. If you use a house list, remove bad addresses and filter the data based on your goals. For example, if you are a non-profit, you could sort the data by the donation amount that people have given in the past. This would allow you to create campaigns and messaging for each group based on past giving history. If you are buying a list, make sure that you are purchasing it from a reliable source and that you buy it based on your audience’s demographics, location, and interests.
  3. Create a professionally designed direct mail piece that provides a clear message and call to action. Tell your customers a story and add personalized messages, offers, and/or graphics. Oversized postcards will stick out in the mail and provide enough space for colorful graphics and text to give your prospect the information to make them want to buy, respond, and learn more.
  4. Measure your responses and know your results. No matter if your goal is to have people fill out a survey, buy something online, or call for more information, make sure you are gathering the information. As a highly trackable medium, mail lets you monitor the impact and ROI of every initiative. It also allows you to better analyze and learn about your customers.

Are you ready to gain more business, quality leads, and improve your response rate? We will help you with each step of the process including the strategy, buying a list, printing, and mailing.

1 https://compu-mail.com/blog/2017/07/14/30-direct-mail-statistics-for-2017/
2 Vinnedge, Phil. USPS Mail Moments: 2016 Review. USPS, 2016.

Google Updates Review-Gating Guidelines: What You Need to Know

Recently, Google published a revision to its content policy indicating that one should not “discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers”.

What does the policy update mean?

The policy update means that a business should not pre-filter unfavorable reviews from appearing online. This process is referred to as review-gating. One way in which businesses actively review-gate is when utilizing a review-soliciting software that emails customers asking them about their experience. If a customer indicates they had a poor experience they are then directed to provide feedback that will only be seen internally, while a customer who indicates a positive experience will be prompted to provide a 5-star review on a public platform, such as Google Reviews. Google’s policy update is aimed at providing its users with the most relevant, informative, and robust information possible which includes both positive and negative business reviews.

How does the update affect my business?

Business owners should take steps to ensure that any software used to communicate with customers have the gating feature deactivated. If your business manages reviews internally, it is best practice not to individually select only happy customers to email asking for great reviews.

What are the consequences of continuing to review-gate?

If someone notices that you are review-gating and reports you to Google, there is the possibility that Google may remove any reviews received since the policy update announcement. As previously mentioned, if you use a third-party service to filter customer reviews, contact the service and make sure your settings are appropriately adjusted.

Need help managing your online reputation the right way? Contact us!

 

Recent Google Partner Event was a Success!

As a Google Partner, Millennium Marketing Solutions hosts Google-specific educational events throughout the year. On May 2, 2018, in honor of Small Business Week, we hosted a “Google Bites” luncheon for a group of local business owners and marketing professionals. Google’s live webinar covered a range of topics including the power of Google My Business, local citations/listings, and tips on how to connect with today’s consumers.

In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways we learned:

  • Today’s consumers are curious – 87% of smartphone owners turn to search first in a moment of need and there has been 80% growth in mobile searches for “best” in the past 2 years.
  • Today’s consumers are demanding – More than 85% growth in mobile searches for “where to buy (product)”.
  • Today’s consumers are impatient – there has been a 3x increase in “open now” searches.

Stay ahead of the game, use Google My Business

This is a powerful, FREE tool from Google that allows you to claim and maintain your digital footprint. Once you claim your listing through a postcard or phone verification you have complete ownership of your citation.

Ownership of a citation requires that you constantly monitor it because Google is always rolling out updates, consumers can leave reviews (which you should always acknowledge whether they are positive or not), and anyone can request changes to it.

When you have a complete Google My Business listing, studies show that the end user is 2.7x more likely to consider your business reputable. Your business is 70% more likely to attract a location visit and 50% more likely to lead to a purchase.

Some of the amazing tools of Google My Business include:

  • Google Posts – Google allows you to create a post that lives on your citation for up to 7 days. These posts help keep your information fresh and can provide business or product updates to the consumer. Millennium utilizes this tool for our clients to post offers, open houses, specials, and more.
  • Videos – Google recently released the ability to share videos on your citation. When sharing videos, it’s important to think about the story you’re trying to tell. Considering front-loading your script and have a plan for your message.
  • Reviews – Nothing is more important on Google My Business than reviews. Reviews give users the ability to share their experience. You can read and reply to these reviews as well as provide useful feedback. By doing this, you create loyal followers.

There is so much more that you can do with your Google My Business listing. If you are ready to claim your listing, let us help you. Our team of digital marketing experts are ready to help. Thank you to those who attended the event, if you couldn’t make it, sign up for our newsletter and stay up-to-date on upcoming events!

You’re Invited — Find Out How Local SEO & Google Can Grow Your Business

Google searches for “near me” have seen a huge increase in the last four years. Which means when someone near your business searches for the products and services you offer, it is essential that your business’s information comes up in the results.

Join us for an exclusive event co-hosted with Google discussing digital marketing and local search, where you will learn:
  • Tips on targeting your local audience
  • How to create a business listing
  • How to get the most from Google My Business
When: Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 11:30am – 1pm
Where: Millennium Marketing Solutions (Get Directions)
Seating is limited. RSVP to events@mm4solutions.com!

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Changes that Google Has Announced for the New Chrome 68 July Release

Google announced earlier this month that starting in July 2018, users and SEO experts will notice several changes as part of the Chrome 68 release. Starting in July, when browsing the internet using Google search and Chrome, not only will page speed affect mobile search rankings, but more importantly, non-secure (http://) websites will now be labeled as “not secure.” This matters!
Continue Reading »

Marketing to the 360th Degree: Trade Show Marketing in the Digital Age

Are you looking for a new approach to marketing? Millennium Marketing Solution’s team of experts believe that a multi-faceted marketing plan will help you achieve your 2018 business goals. For 30 years, we have helped our clients successfully grow their business with new ideas and proven marketing methods. We want to share with you what we have seen work. Follow along this year as we provide you with our multi-installment marketing series: Marketing to the 360th Degree. We will touch on industry topics that include digital marketing, strategy, design, printing, promotional products, trade shows, social media, and branding. We are kicking off our first installment by focusing on trade show marketing.Continue Reading »