Archive for January, 2011

Is Brand and Messaging Important? You Bet It Is!

Monday, January 24th, 2011

One of the challenges of being a new startup trying to do something different is the fact that you are different. This makes it difficult for business owners to identify with what you do and how it relates to things they already know. When we talk to prospective clients about what we do, they often come back with the response, “So you build websites?” Although this is a service we offer, it is not the core of what we do. So naturally, the next step was to work on our messaging so potential customers could more easily grasp what we do and at the same time highlight how we are more than just another web design company.

At first we brainstormed with the team to identify what makes us different. We quickly realized it was time to get some professional help from someone that does this for a living, and that’s where Todd Ramsey came into the picture. Todd has a strong background in helping businesses identify their brand and messaging. He left Greteman Group late last year to start his own company and later helped co-found The Labor Party, which is where we office. The net result is our new descriptor and messaging:

Descriptor: Online Marketing Strategists

Message: We provide online marketing strategies to help local business find new clients by making every aspect of their online presence measureable, targeted and, most importantly, effective.

Although this message is still more marketing-driven, it has helped our clients better identify with what we do.  In general, now their response has changed to, “Oh, so you do search engine optimization (SEO)?” —  which is much closer to our real focus.  The next step is for us to begin incorporating our new brand and messaging into our website and other marketing materials over the next few months.

Local Advertising with Google Boost (Review)

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

Part of being an online marketing strategist is staying up to date on the latest advances in online marketing for local businesses and Google Boost is one of them. Amazingly enough, Wichita is one of the lucky cities included in the pilot program, so I recently took a look at using Google Boost for our website and here’s the skinny:

Google Boost is a broad brush approach to using search advertising for local businesses. The idea is to Boost the visibility of a local business by promoting their Google Places listing. The benefit to the local business owner, is that it is a hands off approach to Adwords. What this means is that a local business sets a monthly budget and then Boost takes over by creating ads and a list of keyword based on the information in their places listing.  It seemd like a nice approach to hands free search advertising, so I decided to give ti a try. I setup my campaign and let it run for a few weeks.  After that I logged into the Google Places dashboard to see how things were going and noticed I had no impressions.  So naturally that caused me to dig deeper and here some details from the Boost Adwords campaign:

  • It set a daily budget to $5.48 based on the $170 (25 – 40 clicks per month) monthly budget we set
  • It created a keyword list of 1245 keywords
  • It set the bid of each keyword to $2.00 based on the daily budget and the number of clicks we want to get per month

The net result is that the market I need to advertise for is far more competitive then this and this is why I was getting no impressions.  The other thing I noticed, was that out of the 1245 keywords there were only a few that my website is optimized for, and some are services I don’t provide all together.  So In my case Boost was not adding any value at all to Boosting the views to my Google Places listing.

In summary, what I found was that even though boost is managing the Adwords campaign, it does not give you any special treatment. Boost ads are still competing against every other Adwords advertiser, and there are several factors that go into how well an ad will do that Boost does not seem to be taking into account.  Basically, the value that Boost provides, is to let local businesses advertise on Google search, on a small budget with no headaches.  However, based on my review it appears that it will only render good results for certain markets, and it may end up costing a local business owner more in the long run.  Primarily due to the fact that they will pay more per click, for keywords their listing or website is not optimized for.  In most cases I believe it would be far better to have an online marketing specialist help them with managing their Google search advertising instead of using Google Boost.

Have an experience or other insight about Google Boost, leave a comment.