the full report
Greg Olson (00:02):
Hello, everybody. Welcome to grow connects. I’m excited to have our guests joining us today. And I’m exciting to have people that are viewing us on Facebook or live on a webinar, or if you’re going to watch this later on a recording and we’re this girl connects event, we used to do these live and we’ll have live connects events in the future. And we’ll put out an email about that. This is really about community, conversations, and connections. So we do these twice a month and we’ll bring different experts and leaders that we have men across the country talking about all kinds of topics. And today we’re going to be talking about really digital marketing trends. We’ve had a lot of people reach out to me saying Hey, what can we be doing? What should we be doing the rest of the year? What can we do to restart our company? Do you have the top two, three, four or five tips? So I thought today we would have a discussion with a couple of marketing experts and really come up with some tips that maybe people could walk away and you know, take them start tomorrow, or if they want to reach out and get more information about what we’re going to be talking about, what kind of ebb and flow between things that are kind of technical to maybe some things that are a little more basic, but they’ll give you ideas of things that you can explore, but let’s introduce our guests. And I’ll just first and I’ll let you both introduce yourselves. My name is Greg Olson. I’m the founder of GROWL agency. We’ve been around for probably a little over 10 years. We have Jim Kreinbrink from HyperDog Media, and then we have GROWL’s principal and head of strategy Libby Olson, and unfortunately Greg Ahern who Ometrics and Ochatbot couldn’t join us due to a family emergency. But we will have them on a future show probably coming up in July. And which will be really exciting to talk more about talk with him. Jim, why don’t you give us a quick insight of who the heck is Jim?
Jim Kreinbrink (02:07):
All right. Well, I’ve been doing SEO for more than 20 years now, and I started HyperDog Media about 15 years ago, primarily to do web development and SEO. And over the years we decided we’re just going to do SEO. It is a world unto itself, and of course pay-per-click ads are something that we’ve also developed quite a specialty in. I’ve been using those since the start and they both have quite unique insights. Now that we’re in this unique time.
Greg Olson (02:39):
Well, thank you, Jim. I, I really hard to believe it’s been 20 years, you know, Google has been around, I mean, was it, who was the first search engine?
Jim Kreinbrink (02:47):
It used to be Excite, HotBot, Yahoo used to be a free directory. And it just really has all changed.
Greg Olson (02:57):
Yeah, HotBot. I remember that. So Excite, yeah, really has changed. Maybe we’ll have like what the history of this looks like on another call. Libby, why don’t you give a quick introduction of who the heck is Libby and your kind of your quick background.
Libby Olson (03:13):
Absolutely Libby Olson, principal of GROWL Agency. I came to GROWL about three years ago, full time from 20 years of corporate marketing. So I have worked with companies from startup stage all the way to multi-billion dollar global organizations and kind of running and managing marketing there. You know, similar to Jim started out where websites were brand new when I started marketing. And now, you know, where we are today with very little is not somehow connected to a digital experience.
Greg Olson (03:45):
I agree with you and thank you for being on and we’ll get into some things. I look forward to the conversation here also for the people watching live. If you have any questions please go into chat and ask and we’ll try to grab those as we go through. So, you know, why don’t we get into, like I talked about these companies are trying to stay afloat or they just want a new way, or they’re trying to restart, you know, we know a lot of companies that have that stopped marketing altogether. And so now they’re starting to figure out like, what things should I start doing to, you know, get through this year, maybe try to hit some of my goals. So Jim, let’s start with you. I have a couple of things I consider that when I’m having conversations and you know, what conversations are you having or what kind of tips and trends are you seeing?
Jim Kreinbrink (04:32):
Well, I don’t need to tell you this, but everything is currently a mess. And that certainly goes into marketing as well. You know, people are searching for different keywords. I mean, whenever was toilet paper near me, a top keyword, except in the last month or two, you know? Yeah. It’s crazy now.
Greg Olson (04:55):
So then yeah, the search trends, that’s the hard part because how are we giving people so that are selling, you know, whether it’s B to B products or B-to-C products or things like that. I mean, this is, you know, cause people are home more or they’re on their devices. Cause there’s really nothing else to do. They’re like multitasking, I think more than ever as they’re watching, you know, the 600 episode on Netflix or something. So now that toilet paper, people are stocked up on that paper. And now we’re getting back into the world of marketing and sales and people are starting to go back to work or into their offices or, they’re starting to see like, what am I going to do with the rest of this year? What do you have for us?
Jim Kreinbrink (05:36):
Well, everybody’s got new keywords on the B2B side. You know, we’re seeing keywords like virtual and you know, remote online are all super important, but also just even the search times, if you’re running ads or email campaigns realize that people are looking at different times than they did now, they’re waiting for the kids to go to sleep. Instead of waiting for the, the morning meetings to complete before checking their email, you know, using search. And so the traditional B2B times of day and just everything is a complete mess. So I would I would approach that by opening your campaigns back up, I mean, in the past, maybe campaigns were started. You realize conversion is happening at a certain time searches happening at a certain time and you can strain to get those best prospects. Well, now you need to open up a little bit and look for prospects at other times of day and really experiment.
Greg Olson (06:37):
Hmm. So, you’re saying that if I was searching for a, a B2B side, like medical equipment or drilling bits or our warehouse fans, I’m going to start to open that up past five o’clock right. Because that might be extending, we’re going to test, right. It’s my testing. This means we’re having to keep an eye on it probably a lot more than we have before.
Jim Kreinbrink (07:05):
Yeah. That’s true. Some things that we’ve all taken for granted, we have to go back and say, has this been affected? And chances are it has, you know, in, conversion right now is one of those things that people have a lot of anxiety still, they’re waiting to make big purchases. And so, approaching your leads with that point of view of maybe they’re not going to convert, give them some more options. You know,, if you have a landing page that previously was let’s capture contact info I would do some testing of that and see if offering a newsletter sign up on that same page. Maybe you get a little bit cooler lead, but at least you’re getting them into the funnel somewhere instead of a commit or, nothing approach.
Greg Olson (07:52):
Yeah. That is an interesting trend. And I think we’re starting to see that with some of our clients as well. I don’t know, Libby, if you had anything to add to that from some of the items that we’re writing consistently with all these new search terms, right. Keyword analysis and putting it into blog posts and updating websites and really trying to get prepared for things. So, people find you right in this new, adapting to the new economy, which I’ve been talking about for the past couple of months.
Libby Olson (08:19):
Yeah. I think I would just echo that and we’re seeing it, you know, across email and social as well. And it’s really about taking a fresh look as you’re talking about Jim, to all of your digital campaigns, because people also are taking these, you know, larger blocks of time where they’re digitally detoxing during the day, because in a normal day, prior to all of this happening, we would be in a meeting with people and then we’d be on our computers and then we’d be in a meeting or running to lunch or running to a meeting. And we had a lot of back and forth where now we’re for eight solid hours or more we’re sitting in front of a screen, we’re talking to people in front of a screen, just like we are right now. We’re an, all of the meetings are happening that way. And so there’s this kind of, by the end of the day, you know, this, I can’t do zoom. I can’t do screens for a little while. So you know, people are taking these large blocks of time where they might be checking their email more regularly throughout the day. We used to see emails opened a lot, you know, super early like 6:00 AM when people wake up or get out of bed. And then also more, again, like you’re talking about in the evening, which that’s starting to change a little bit for different clients. And so taking a fresh look at all of your digital campaigns and see how people are engaging with those and testing some different times because the best in class is out the window nowadays, we just have it, it’s all over the board. And so testing and seeing what works best for
Greg Olson (09:44):
Yeah, we are seeing a lot of that. You know, I’m going to add a tip in here. I get to add a one or two you know; I want to talk about video and audio and podcasts. I think as a tip and as in search and Jim, you and I have had lots of discussions around this and Libby too, like, we have the connects channel. We started doing this two or three months ago and actually I’m amazed and blown away at the response. I mean of like inbound traffic and that’s happening with it. Right? And so, we’re stripping out and putting audio on different stations and how we’re working with you know, the different algorithms and things like that. So, I really think that’s a strong trend that has to continue because I’m finding and I’m living, hearing from people and what I’m seeing on different online conferences I have is people are actually listening to these conferences. They might not want to watch a video on zoom, which I agree with Libby a hundred percent, but they will listen to the audio in the background, right. As they’re sitting doing something else, you know, because they want to hear it. And I also believe that shorter is better. We were going on an hour, but we were talking about payroll protection. We’re talking about these heavy topics. It just needed to be that long. And so then they’re looking at segmented chapters and things like that. So I just want to see, what do you both think? I’ll start with Jim on this about, you know, it’s kind of the second tip, I guess if we were to go a numbers here, but how video and audio is really changing the place and something people really should turn up for the rest of this year.
Jim Kreinbrink (11:19):
Well, the second tip I would say is messaging because anybody that goes to a physical business is going to want to Google them first and say, what protections you know, do you have in place and what are your hours now? And are you even open now? And we still see businesses in Google My Business that haven’t addressed anything about the current pandemic or COVID. And I know there’s some burnout around that, but, but still just saying, here’s how we’re keeping you safe is great messaging to have right now. And specifically, on Google My Business, I say, make the last photo that you uploaded something that says we’re keeping you safe, or, you know, just use every feature of GMB including the posts the images in the que and the open times, the description, all those things. And Google loves it when you’re always updating those and adding keywords in those. But you know, use those to communicate as well as on your website. If you have people stopping by, and if you’re one of those B2B businesses that doesn’t have people stopping by that’s great. You know, right now you do have some interesting options appearing like greatly has a new touch list, visitor management system. And so, people are aware even in, you know, I’m going to visit your business kinds of settings that safety and health are going to be a priority. But even if you’re a B2B, people want to know what hours are you open? You know, what are you doing to stay safe? And is it going to affect the service levels? There’s disruption, you know, in everyone’s supply chain now. So people are wondering, you know, how is this affecting you? And we’re tired of getting the emails about how it’s affecting you, but you can put a little blurb on your website, you know, but we’ve all gotten so many emails. I mean, there’s a guy I met at a trade show like eight years ago, that’s emailing me, you know, what his company is doing about the current pandemic and how they’re handling. I’m like, I did not even wonder that
Greg Olson (13:30):
We don’t even want to hear about it. I think I listened to Google my business, people were putting their safety tips or how they’re handling this on Google. I saw a little screenshot or, you know, so right away when you a dentist, right. Or restaurant or something they’re trying to put that safety into plan. I one hundred percent agree that I think a lot of people now, even if they’re not open, they’re still working remote. How do people get ahold of you? Right? I mean, how are people if they do want to meet or have a conversation, what are those, what are those kinds of rules and regulations? I think people are hungry to have an elbow handshake, I guess, is a new thing or a foot handshake or something, but they do want, we’re starting to see people wanting to have some type of face-to-face social, distancing conversation, right. So, I think that’s something we’ll continue to look at, but I absolutely Google My Business in there. Libby comments on that?
Libby Olson (14:23):
I’m sorry, what was the question again?
Greg Olson (14:26)
Google my business and just keeping things updated and, you know, anything that you’re seeing out there for like safety and communicating and, you know, keeping things updated. I have even seeing it on social where our clients are asking us to make sure things are updated on social, because a lot of people, even though they’re not going to company’s websites, they are spending a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn.
Libby Olson (14:52):
Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that I have anything else to add with keeping things updated and communicating. I think communicating is the key and across platforms because you, I think to your point, Greg social is increasing right now. But I think the other thing to think about is really who you’re talking to depending on, you know, your, your business may have, it’s definitely pivoted in some way. During this time it may have pivoted slightly or pivoted greatly. And so revisiting a lot of how you’re communicating with people who are you communicating, have your customers change. If you’re a company who’s done persona development, are those still the same? Have they changed slightly? And also even if they haven’t changed necessarily what they need from you likely has changed. And so, think about what, you know, go back and revisit your personas and what are their pain points? What are, what do they need from you from an organization? What do they need in general? And how could you support that conversation? And making sure you’re talking to them in that way. I think personalization, I mean, we’ve talked personalization and marketing for, for years now, but I think more now than ever is that’s, that’s really important. To your point, Jim, that someone you met eight years ago is now messaging you. And you’re like, I don’t care. I don’t come to you on a regular basis. How are we communicating? Making sure we’re communicating with the people that want to hear from us, because there is a little bit of communication overload. And so, it’s that delicate balance between you need to communicate with your clients and customers and tell them what what’s going on with you and how you can be there to support whatever it is that they need in relation to your business, but also not going too far so that you just become noise and, and really get unsubscribed or unfriended.
Greg Olson (16:35):
No, in personalization I go in there with the relevancy also on that, and I think humor is important through all this. I mean, there are certain topics that we can have humor in, but I think on people are looking for some humor and I see some humor in the fact that even in B2B and people doing email subject lines, right. You know what you need to hold that toilet paper X, you know, or something, you know, it’s like, you know, so they’re trying to get in front of, or break through the clutter of the inbox. And that’s been a constant topic or discussion point with many people is like, how do we break through that even more? And that’s where I think social having that kind of conversation and relevancy. And I think it goes back to consistency also is that you know that consistency that happens in social media needed because people are on it now more than ever. So, you need to have a more consistent conversation with your viewers, you know, so, and that goes back to, again, the conversions, I think Jim, something you’ve been going to talk about is like, you know, how can we convert people from our social media channels? Or like I was talking about before, if we’re doing a webinars or podcasts or how those we’re always looking at conversions, you know, what does that, what are we asking them to do? We ask them to download a graphic. They listen and Hey, great for that. But we got no visitors or we had no traffic. So from social media, I think what we’re looking for. And I think maybe Libby, what you see on a strategy standpoint will is about conversions, right? It’s like leading people into that funnel. So I don’t know, Jim, like, that’s probably you have that incoming on an upcoming like tip and trend, but I don’t know what your thoughts are on that.
Jim Kreinbrink (18:14):
Well, I think it is interesting just to see, I mean, we may have people coming to the website when you’re not open and they might have a question. And so, I you know, it would be great to have, Ometrics on here, Greg Ahern from Ometrics has Ochatbot and we use it. We’ll get them on a next, we’ll get them next Monday. So, yeah, it’s a great option just to warm people up, answer basic questions and even capture contact information. You know, it’s a place in the funnel if you’re having conversations with the chat bot. And I think, you know, even though maybe we need to reduce our expectations for how much, how much people are going to convert, it might be in, you know, in certain segments that it’s just a different time of day, or you might see people ready to convert a little faster and get rid of just all the meetings and cruft that’s in the way you know, toward purchasing software services.
Greg Olson (19:11):
Yeah. I think expectation is a strong right now. So maybe that’s a sub tip, right. Is a reset your expectation. And then look at your marketing strategy, what we had at the beginning of the year for like your marketing sales strategy. It changes right, because of our personas and what the expectations are and what those conversions. So I think it goes back to testing, right? Having different offers, newsletters, what are people signing up for? Honestly, I think it’s, I’ve seen it to be a big struggle that people even want to sign up for another newsletter or an offer. Right. I mean, I think if you are a B to C company, there’s absolutely opportunities to offer combined things together to make it interesting or really kind of that emotional connection. But like Libby said, we’re going back to the personas of it to really make sure we’re delivering the right message and consistency. But I think we have to stay in front of, in front of people because they are out searching consistently. And also understand what is your comp competitors doing? Are they, are they out messaging more? Are they doing different things? I mean, we’re seeing companies put ads out real paper ads, are people looking at magazines? We’re seeing more of that? Cause I think some of those costs have come down. I think you probably have seen that to Jim ad costs and digital ad costs are starting to drop. So I do have a question that came in and maybe I thought maybe Olivia and I might be able to answer this. And Jim, you can jump in is we said, Hey, GROWL from South America, any tips on virtual conferences considering attention span? You know, this is really interesting. We have, I’ve been on a few different conferences. And a lot of them are done pretty well, but there’s a bunch of new technology that’s kind of jumped in. I mean, zoom Libby, we’ve seen with webinars and breakout rooms and things like that. So you really have to kind of dive in and learn about this and what people are looking for. We’ve been asked questions about sponsors and how do you have meeting rooms? So there’s a couple of new ones. The one that comes to mind is Hopin and maybe let you we sat in a couple of really great tool for if you’re going to have a conference. And there’s also another one. Let me, do you want to add, do you have any input on that?
Libby Olson (21:19):
Yeah, I think and you know, kind of the second part of that question is really considering attention span. And I think you know, virtual conferences have been around for a long time and I think we need to think a little bit differently about how we do them and how we present during them. You know, it’s when you’re doing a virtual conference, you’re competing with everything else that’s happening in that person’s office or home or wherever they are at that at that moment in time, which is different from when we go to a conference, you know, when we’re at a physical conference, we have the opportunity to, as long as we set our phones down, we can kind of focus on whatever the topic is or whatever the presentation is about when we’re here in the office or at your home, you have different things coming in, you’re already on your computer. So, you’ve got your email notifications coming in. So I think that definitely is a challenge in thinking about how can we kind of go above and beyond to engage people during that time and utilizing a lot of the technology that most of these platforms have Q and a poll surveys being interactive during that time doing workshops and things like that. So you can have some, some, two way interaction with your audience is really important. Otherwise, you know, it’s, it is really hard to capture, capture that audience. And you know, as Greg, you mentioned, there are platforms like, like Coppin and there’s others that give you that opportunity to also, you know, have sponsorship areas and almost virtual booths and trade show areas. And I, you know, I think ON24 has something like that as well. So, there are some of these really great platforms that are out there to create this really strong this as close to an in-person experience as you have with others and opportunities to network, and they do, you know, five-minute networking sessions, almost like, speed networking, virtually where you can, you know, you’re chatting or typing or something with random people. So, you get that same experience to connect with others. So we, I think we just need to take these experiences and, and go a little bit above and beyond just presentations and how can we make it a good experience so that people do stay engaged during the time and don’t get distracted.
Greg Olson (23:32):
Yeah, I think what we’re seeing with the attention span one, and we’ll move on. I think Jim getting ready to come to you for the next trend tip. The is that they’re starting to see things like we’re pretty little into it where we’re like, Hey, if you listen to us, talk for 15 minutes, we’re going to have a little poll. We’re going to give away something on like some kind of gift card, something. So it gets people engaged to be like, Oh, I should pay attention because there’s something and there’s something at the end of this that I want to be involved in. So again, I think shorter panel discussions are much better and if you can incorporate networking into it, that’s what we’re going to see for. Or we could probably have a whole topic on how to run a virtual conference effectively, but you’re going to have to have that networking aspect where people can connect one-on-one via zoom, where you get five minutes, introduce yourself what you do kind of learn about each other and then have the option to connect further outside of that virtual experience. So, great question. Thank you. All right, Jim, we’re getting close to time as we go through, I mean, I don’t have to put it on rapid fire. We’ve talked a lot about different things, but I love having these conversations with you and I’d like to keep it short here. You and I could talk for two hours about this, but everybody else will probably fall asleep or leave the room. But, what’s next? What kind of things do you want our viewers and listeners to think about?
Jim Kreinbrink (24:53):
Well, I think you know, one key takeaway is to just go out there and kind of take a new look at what your competitors are doing. Many people did pull back their marketing. And so that means there’s cheap clicks available. If you’re doing pay-per-click advertising, they’re great content opportunities, you might have your competitors stopped producing any kind of content or doing any sort of, you know, out outreach for link building or, you know even scale back their email campaigns. So we’re seeing things like that. In fact, one of our clients had a competitor that just sort of disappeared from Amazon. And we said, wow, I guess, you know, they just, they don’t want to sell during the pandemic. Well, we found out later they were banned from Amazon for some kind of shady practice. And it was a great competitive advantage that we noticed they went away. You know, because our bids went down, we were able to you know, bid on things that they dominated previously, you know, searches for their brand, even we were able to get in there and advertise. And so I would say take a fresh look and continue taking a fresh look because there are developments every day there’s opportunities every day. And you don’t want to miss out
Greg Olson (26:04):
There is. And I think that’s a great one that now is more important than ever to look at your competitors. And I know Libby from head of strategy for our clients, you’re seeing that with, you know, our clients are asking, like we’re keeping an eye on a lot of our client’s competitors, and we’re finding a lot of new opportunity like gaps and things like that, that we’re messaging to our areas. And again, I guess that’s probably something for the next six months and on is like these there’s little golden nuggets in there that if you watch what’s happening because they may not have the same marketing team or sales team that they used to have. So even though you might think of them as a number one or two spot as a competitor, that is, we’re seeing a drastically changing. So, because maybe they relied on all handshakes at trade shows and now, they don’t have that anymore. You know, they’re not very well good on social or you know, direct mail. I mean, that’s still coming back. Like people are looking at their mail more than ever. Maybe that’s tip number five. I kind of lost track. We have so many great tips, but because people are actually looking at their mail now because they’re home and more, you know, they’re not at the office. So we had to use different services that can reach out to people by email and say Hey, we have something we want to send you, right. Because we’re from XYZ company. And do you have your home address? So there’s been like really engaging ways to connect to people by direct mail that then is that sends them to an online conversion. So, these are items that they’re getting ahead of their competitors on is maybe being smart and going back to what Libby and you were saying, being very personalized, right. And relevant. So less is more sometimes on this. So we’re picking that kind of like account based marketing approach, where you have a smaller list, but you’re actually going after getting those connections and people are really, really to have a discussion Libby final thoughts on that.
Libby Olson (27:55):
I would just say, I think it is always is a great time to explore technology, but even more so now. I think there are things that maybe have been scary for smaller businesses and smaller companies like marketing automation and AI technologies, because they sound really expensive, but there’s a lot of opportunity in both of those areas, even for small business to really explore and, and try to drive that. And same with marketing automation, you know, it’s traditionally been a business to business conversation because it’s a longer conversation, but I think there’s a lot that you can do in the consumer side of the world. And same with AI, just a second. What Jim was talking about in the chat bots, that’s, that’s a huge thing is we find ourselves a little more resource constrained for various reasons across organizations utilizing some of these automated technologies can help expand your capabilities and what you have to offer people and, and connect with people when you’re not necessarily live in the world.
Greg Olson (28:56):
Yeah. Thanks for that tip. So we’re about out of time. Jim, I wanted to give you like a, just a recap of the things you want, our listeners, if they’ve stretched all the way to the end of the time, then, you know, to say, like, what was it? I just started watching. I’m just listening now. So final, like, just recap on the items you talked about that you want people to look at.
Jim Kreinbrink (29:17):
Oh yeah. Well, first of all, disruption is everywhere. So check your keywords, check your competitors you know, look at when, when your ads are running. Is it still the best time? You know, when you’re sending emails is the open rate and, you know, time of opening the same also, you know, are your competitors pulling back or not what, what they’re doing? And another thing is just updating your messaging. You know, Libby mentioned social media. People are on there like crazy. Now they’re buying office chairs and, and just at home on online so much more. But also you know, your Google My Business listing, putting your safety protocols everywhere there. And then also of course your website, you know, even if people aren’t visiting you, they might wonder, well, are you open? You know, what’s your supply chain look like? You know, what’s business with you going to look like during this unprecedented time.
Greg Olson (30:16):
Hmm. Well, I thank you very much. Both of you for your time today on another growl connects episode, we have these every other week you can follow look on. I think we have the slide coming up here to close this out. We have McGraw con grill agency.com backslash connects. We also have a sign. You can follow us on our different social channels. If you have any questions I can reach out to us. We’ll have a contact information up for everybody that was on today with that. I wish everybody a wonderful rest of your day. Thank you everybody. If that we’re watching and listening on Facebook live as well. And all of your questions, we’ll talk to you everybody soon.