posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 4 Steps to Developing an Effective Reputation Management Plan

reputation management plan

By Becket Thompson – Account Executive/Social Media Specialist

Reputation management. The two words that can potentially make or break your business. Maintaining a positive public image is a crucial factor that can affect the longevity of your business. Developing a strong reputation management plan that is in line with your company’s values can aid in building creditability and developing trust.

Step 1: Claiming your Business

When entering the world of reputation management, you want to make sure that all of your social media pages are claimed. This means Yelp, Google My Business, BBB, LinkedIn, Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Anywhere that a customer can leave a review you want to make sure that you have control of it to carry out the following steps.

Step 2: Red Flags for Customers

When shopping for products or services almost everyone will go online and read reviews about what they are looking for. If a potential customer sees that you have an overwhelming amount of negative reviews that have been ignored or reviews that are outdated (1 year or older) that raises a red flag for many customers. A lot of consumers can tell the difference between someone who will never be satisfied no matter what vs a customer who had a genuinely bad experience with a product or company. By responding to all reviews, especially negative ones, consumers are able to sift through the dirt to see that your company is genuinely dedicated to solving problems and serving customers.

Step 3: Review Solicitation

Most of the time, customers are not going to go out of their way to leave your business a review unless it is about a negative experience. This is where solicitation comes in. Many companies will have specific cards printed up with all of their social media on it including their Google and Yelp page so that customers can easily leave a review. This is definitely an effective and simple strategy to obtain more reviews. Another way is to solicit reviews through an online service. If your company has an email database, you are able to share that with companies like Listen360 to solicit reviews on your behalf. Since everything is digital it is even easier for people to click on the link to one of your social media pages and leave a review.

Step 4: Responding to Positive and Negative Reviews

You just received a positive review, great! Now, it is time to respond. You should aim to respond to ALL reviews within 24 hours if possible. When responding to a positive review, keep it simple. Thank the customer for their positive feedback, highlight something that they mentioned (great service, friendly office staff, awesome products, etc.), and let them know that if they need anything you are always there to help. Boom. Simple.

Negative reviews are obviously a little more complex to deal with. When you receive a negative review, it is important to tackle the problem right away. I recommend that someone in your office (Office Manager, General Manager, Sales Manager, etc.) looks for the customer in your system and then gives that customer a call or sends them an email addressing their review. More often than not, after a customer posts a negative review and the company addresses it in a timely and professional manner, that customer will either delete their review or update it with a better rating. If the customer is still insistent on being negative, then respond based on the feedback that you received when you made contact with that customer.

First apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused. Be sure to let the customer know that you do not take their comments lightly and that you are working to address the problem with your team. Finally let them know that they can contact you should they have another problem (be sure to leave your office number in the response). Taking these steps will show current and future customers that you worked to resolve the issue.

Having an effective reputation management plan boils down to making the customer feel as though their voice was heard whether it be positive or negative. When your particular product or service is great and customers publicly declare that, it only drives more business your way. When something didn’t go quite as planned and a customer is upset you now have the necessary tools to turn the situation around and make it a positive one in the end. BAM Advertising has a strong team of creative individuals to develop and implement the best reputational management plan for your business! Call us at (412)-854-1004 for a FREE consultation or email us at info@bamadv.com to learn more.

posted by | on , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Importance of Social Media

importance of social media

Mandie Dalzell – Digital Marketing Specialist

In this day and age, everyone (or almost everyone) has some form of a social media account. Whether that is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or just your average professional LinkedIn account, social media is growing more and more every day and it’s important for businesses to stay one step ahead of the game. I’ve listed out a few things that can really help a company strive with their social media presence and how to stay on top in their industry.

 

1) BRAND AWARENESS – Social media is a perfect way to develop brand awareness and if it’s done correctly, it’ll cost little to nothing at all to grow and maintain followers. By having social media for your business, you’re making it much easier for your customers to find you and contact you. These days, by connecting with your customers via social media platforms, you’re more likely to increase your customer’s attention and brand loyalty. 66% of 18-24 year-old Americans who have followed a company in social are more loyal to those companies.

 

2) CONVERT LEADS – By continuously (but not annoyingly) engaging with your customers, you’re much more likely to convert your leads into sales. Show the customer that they are as important to you as you are to them and their needs. You build relationships with your customers that traditional advertising cannot achieve.

 

3) RETARGET – Social media insights have progressively developed into a wonderful tool to figure out who exactly is looking your content and if they are interested. With that being said, you are able to retarget your ads to the people who want to see it. As a business, you’ll want to be aware of the basics of your audience such as location, interests, demographic, likes, etc. You can narrow down yours ads all the way down to a customer’s email address.

 

4) BEAT THE COMPETITION –  Social media tools such as Social Report, Hootsuite, and others like it give you the ability to create search streams based on specific industry related keywords. With this, you’re able to see what your competition is up to and figure out ways to be better.

 

5) WEBSITE TRAFFIC – On all your social platforms, be sure to link out to your website. By linking out to your website, you’re giving the customers the ability to dig deeper into your products. The best part is, the more social shares you receive, the better organic ranking you will have on all search platforms. This is why people want you to “Retweet” or “Share” their content.

 

 

Social media has tons of advantages to grow and enhance your business. It’s important to be aware, be engaged, and be the best you can be when it comes to your business. This is exactly why BAM Advertising has an all-star team to create an outstanding social media presence for you and your company. Call us today for a free consultation! (412) 854-1004 or email us at info@bamadv.com

posted by | on , , , , | Comments Off on Three Rivers CJDR Commercial!

Check out the new Labor Day spot for Three Rivers CJDR!

posted by | Comments Off on Case Study: How the Culligan Man Sells While He Sleeps

Sleeping Culligan Man Making Money

BAM recognizes that many Culligan Men and Women are constantly looking for new, unique and proven ways to increase sales numbers at their dealerships. While BAM develops innovative programs that move the sales needle coast to coast, here’s one that dealers can do in their sleep – without a salesperson! Check out the chart to see real results and real revenue from selling online.Bottled Water Revenue Chart In this post, we wanted to provide you with a glimpse of a custom web solution that is generating a lot of success (even sales) for our Culligan dealers. As our Culligan friend Brian Kennedy likes to say, dealers “love to make money while they’re sleeping!” Here are just a few of the ways that BAM helps our dealer network do just that.

Bottled Water Plans and Bottle-Free® Plans

For all of the dealers in the BAM Network who are in the bottled water business, and utilize our custom-built websites, we offer the Order Bottled Water Online solution. Portrayed to the customer as committing via an e‑commerce “transaction,” the customized solution merely walks the new Culligan customer through an online submission form which captures all of their contact information. From there the customer is immediately notified of their order summary, including desired delivery date, and the “lead” is automatically streamed into the BAMLeadTracker. Simplicity with Power®

Various Bottled Water Purchase Plans

High-Value Equipment Combos

Some dealers have even taken the idea of making money while they sleep to the next level – by offering unique equipment plans offering the new customer a deal that combines a water softener and an RO.

Various Combinations of Water for Sale

Get started today with a website that generates both LEADS and REVENUE from BAM Advertising. Every site comes with a custom CMS that makes updates as easy as updating a Word document.

From custom web design and development to paid search campaigns and SEO, BAM Advertising is prepared to work with you to produce a winning web strategy. That’s how the Culligan Man is able to sell water online, without the help of a salesperson, while he sleeps. Fill out the form on this page to get more information on a custom web marketing strategy to fit your company’s needs.

posted by | Comments Off on Adaptability at BAM Advertising

Adaptable Chameleon
Here at BAM Advertising and Marketing, we understand that adaptability is crucial to stay relevant in today’s fast-paced landscape. As the saying goes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.” Two examples of BAM’s digital adaptability are the BAM Lead Tracker and BAM’s ever-shifting web strategies to stay on the cutting-edge of digital marketing.

Adaptability has been built into the BAM Lead Tracker from the very beginning. When we at BAM first had the idea of the lead tracker, we didn’t just start building something hoping that it would be good enough and end the development there. We involved our clients – our end users – to try to determine the features and functionality that were essential. We are also continuously developing and improving the BAM Lead Tracker and bringing exciting new features to our users. Some of the most recent enhancements include automated email marketing for our client’s customers and non-customers, as well as increased transparency on the reporting side allowing clients to calculate cost per lead and cost per appointment metrics like never before.

An example of our constantly evolving digital strategy includes our reluctance to take other “web gurus” at their word. Rather, to constantly be improving our interactive services like search engine optimization and pay per click, we test out different strategies and approaches ourselves. There is no better way to learn than by doing. Doing allows us to bring results back to our web clients in a concise case study that is actually relevant to them and their industry, not just babble from another self-proclaimed web expert. Examples include Bing marketing campaigns and the effectiveness of retargeting.

At BAM we know that our traditional and digital marketing strategies must be forever changing as we adapt to the shifting marketing landscapes. BAM’s team of highly skilled employees continues to grow right along side of our valuable cliental. As we embark on our 9th year of existence, it is important to remind those of what got us where we are today: hard work and always thinking of ways to improve our products and services as well as our clients’.

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Yahoo Overtakes Google? The Importance of Other Paid Search Campaigns

Recently, it’s been in several headlines: “Magnifying GlassYahoo tops Google in U.S. web traffic in July.” If these numbers are correct like the media says they are, this is the first time in over two years that Yahoo has generated more traffic than Google during a month. This brings up an important consideration when it comes to your business’ online marketing strategy: Does your current search provider focus their efforts on other search engines outside of Google?

Here at BAM, we explore every major search engine as a possible solution, not just Google. In our experience, sometimes there isn’t the necessary search volume (or enough people looking for your product or industry) to justify a paid presence outside of Google.  We do however optimize your website to show up in the organic results for all the major search engines, regardless if we are bidding on keywords.  Not every ad firm or even internet marketing agency can say that.

In our dealings with Yahoo and Bing, there are several advantages of engaging in a paid search campaign.  For one, the average cost per click is a lot cheaper due to there being a lot less competition.  We have found that keywords can cost up to 50% less depending on the industry.  This means that your monthly paid search budget can last twice as long on Bing & Yahoo compared with Google.  With clicks costing less, the paid search conversions (web forms, phone calls, etc.) also are produced at about half the cost.

In addition to our web advertising strategy and best practices, BAM remains at the forefront of emerging media and traditional media strategy. From the offerings of the BAM Lead Tracker, our web based lead management and CRM tool, to the capabilities to meet and surpass your web marketing needs in Google and beyond, BAM can develop and execute a holistic advertising campaign specific to your industry or needs.

Interested in learning more?  Fill out the form to the right to get the ball rolling on your next project or campaign.

posted by | on , , , , | Comments Off on BAM Provides Culligan With Newer Look & Feel On The Web

BAM is pleased to announce the deployment of our latest website, built from scratch and customized for the Culligan Men & Women of Monterey and Salinas, California.

Web Design & DevelopmentMike and Jennifer Hebert are multi-generational Culligan Dealers who entrusted BAM to develop a new look and feel for their Monterey location.  On top of the new design, BAM has deployed a paid search campaign and a SEO strategy that is proven to generate new drinking water and water treatment customers.

Monterey’s new website comes complete with the ability for new customers to Order Bottled Water and Bottle-Free® Water Coolers online, as well as countless other lead generating tactics that have been tied in throughout the site.  A contact form on every page is accompanied by a custom Web Only Offer for multiple reasons but primarily to increase conversion rates. It is also there to enhance the overall customer experience by making it as easy as possible to get in contact with their local Culligan Man.

For Culligan dealers more focused on the Commercial & Industrial water treatment side, BAM’s custom web solutions now has the ability to tie in custom C & I photo galleries as well as water treatment content relevant to your region.

Unlike most web vendors, BAM believes that website content is not one size fits all for Culligan dealers.  A website’s content should be tailored by region and specific services offered by the dealer.  From unique content like Salt Free Water Softener Solutions to Nitrates & Arsenic water treatment, Monterey’s new website mirrors the problem water symptoms and services unique to their dealership.

Hey Culligan ManFinally, Culligan of Monterey’s new website attempts to connect with older Culligan generation by incorporating a nostalgic Culligan Lady TV player on every page.  Monterey’s new website is further proof that if a Culligan dealer can think it, BAM can build it!

On The Web: CulliganQWE.com or to get more information of BAM’s custom web solutions, please checkout our  Web Design & Development  page.

posted by | on , , , , , , , | Comments Off on BAM To Unveil Their Lead Tracker On Stage In Phoenix

CDANA Kansas CityLast year BAM’s Interactive Director, Justin Fritz and VP, Neil Catapano took the stage in front of a packed house in Kansas City to showcase the many benefits of mobile marketing. Justin shared his successful mobile search marketing strategy to Culligan dealers big and small. From less competition to lower cost per sale, Justin provided actual metrics from BAM’s nationwide Culligan paid search campaigns that spoke to the efficiencies of mobile search.

No sooner did they leave the stage, they received their next assignment. Their task?  To develop a web based lead management tool that would seamlessly tie in all lead sources and streamline a Culligan dealer’s operations.

Ten long months have passed and BAM has emerged from the lab with a built-from-scratch, web based lead tracking system known as The BAM LeadTracker. Guided by several Culligan sales managers, BAM refused to take a pre-existing piece of lead software and force it to fit the specific needs of Culligan.

Justin and Neil will once again take the stage, February 22nd at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Phoenix, Arizona at the 2013 Culligan Dealers Association of North America Convention and Product Fair. They will be sharing their best practices for tracking and managing all leads, from web, phone, or even walk-in inquiries.

BAM’s presentation will culminate with the public unveiling and live demonstration of The BAM LeadTracker. With its easy-to-use interface, it has the capability to empower all appointment driven businesses, not just Culligan. BAM’s latest creation puts the knowledge at the business owner’s fingertips, allowing them the ability to easily and automatically measure ROI and the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

Interested?

If you are like many and can’t be there in person, feel free to contact us to see how the BAM LeadTracker can streamline your business’ operations.

posted by | on , , , , | Comments Off on BAM’s Internet Marketing Strategy Helps Pittsburgh Business Owners

Pittsburgh internet marketing strategyPittsburgh winters are known for their frigidness and routine snowfall.  For a business owner, the winters can be even colder without a steady stream of leads and business opportunities coming their way.  Realizing that the phones had gone cold and silent, one company searched for an internet marketing agency and entrusted them to generate business inquiries.

Lucky for them, that internet marketing agency was BAM, with many years of providing clients solid marketing strategy responsible for making the phones ring.  The company was 20/20 Landscaping & Grounds Maintenance LLC., a Pittsburgh landscaper and tree removal service.

Realizing their immediate business needs, BAM constructed a targeted paid search campaign that would garner the immediate attention of Pittsburghers looking for tree trimming and removal services.  A paid search (or pay per click) campaign offers the opportunity for BAM to bid on select “tree removal” keywords for 20/20, allowing their website to show up instantly in Google’s search results.  Refining the list of “tree removal” keywords would ensure that their budget was not being wasted on keywords that didn’t generate leads.

Landscaping PittsburghSo they were setup for short term success via a pay per click campaign, but their long term search engine visibility issue had not been solved.  To get 20/20 Landscapers to show up in the search results without paying for clicks, BAM would first need to optimize their existing website.  In order to optimize effectively, keyword research for the most popular landscaping terms were uncovered and enacted in making their website as keyword rich as possible.  Once on-page optimization had been finalized, the slower process of building the website’s off-page ranking factors could begin.  This included, but was not limited to claiming all of their business listings on all the major search engines and directories, which is crucial for any type of local search success.

20/20 Landscape Design is currently ranking for such terms as “commercial snow removal Pittsburgh“, “Pittsburgh tree removal services“, and “Pittsburgh landscaping.”  With their search engine visibility woes behind them, they can now utilize one of BAM’s many traditional media strategies.  Laying a solid digital foundation and building in layers of traditional media is BAM’s recipe for integrated marketing success.  What’s your business’ plan for success?

posted by | on , , , , , , | Comments Off on Track Your Leads From Search To Sale With BAM LeadTracker

Track your leads from search to sale with BAM Lead Tracker!Do you have a system in place in your business that automatically logs and assigns leads whether they come to your business via your local or national website, a phone call, or even a walk-in customer? Or do you have a system in place that allows you to instantaneously determine ROI on leads run that day, week or month? Do you have a system at your fingertips that shows you where your leads came from last week, last month of for the last year? Better yet, is that system available to you at home, work, or even in the car?  If not, it’s time to introduce you and your business to the BAM LeadTracker. The BAM LeadTracker is all of that and plenty more. It’s ideal for service calls too! It can be customized for your industry whether it’s HVAC, Plumbing, Media, Home Improvement, and the list goes on and on.

“We started with an idea from one of our clients who desperately needed to streamline sales and service operations. We then pulled together a number of clients from that same industry to weigh their needs and wants as well. Then it was off to a white board and idea began to take on a life of its own,” stated Neil Catapano VP at BAM. “Six months later, it was built and out of beta testing and the client roster continues to grow.” Too often, corporations and small businesses rely on some pre-packaged software to try and adapt it for their needs. “With today’s technologies and the strategies employed by BAM, there’s no need to try and reverse-engineer products to specific needs, ” added Bill Berry, President. “We’re at the crossroads of media and entertainment being personalized for individuals. So why not apply those same principles to businesses large and small?”

BAM Lead Tracker Dashboard Led by Justin Fritz, BAM’s Director of Interactive & IT Services, BAM has focused on customizing technologies to businesses and integrating them with a scope of services not traditionally included in the process. Features can include CRM applications integrated in a simplistic and intuitive interface that leaves the programming and coding on the back end. Tying in analytics for maximum efficiency on search campaigns is on the horizon. More simplistic tasks like e-commerce are easily accommodated within the tool. “It’s more than a lead tracking and lead management system. It can literally empower businesses to run lead tracking, ROI, CRM and online payments AND analyze it’s own effectiveness at doing so,” offered Fritz. “Hey, just contact us and you can take it for a drive!”

The BAM LeadTracker is a product of BAM Advertising based in Upper St. Clair, PA. While BAM’s core business began as a full service advertising and marketing agency, its technologies have opened up gateways of new opportunities. “The success of what we do is based on the solid foundation of how we develop strategies based on needs. Who better to develop products than people who market them,” asked Berry.  BAM Advertising can be found at 2535 Washington Rd in Pittsburgh or on the web at www.BAMadv.biz.

On the Web: BAM LeadTracker

posted by | on , , , , , , | Comments Off on BAM Mines Integrated Creative Campaign & Website for Ironsyte Monitors

BAM recently launched an integrated campaign for its client IronSyte Monitoring to coincide with their showing at the 2012 MINExpo International. IronSyte is the premier provider of real-time monitoring systems for earthmoving equipment. IronSyte monitors allow a user to track their entire fleet from their computer or smartphone. The implementation of an IronSyte monitor can save thousands of dollars in production costs. By collecting real-time data foreman are able to best utilize their earthmoving equipment by eliminating inefficiencies as well as saving on costly maintenance.

IronSyte needed a memorable and creative presentation for their showing at the 2012 MINExpo International. MINExpo is the largest mining trade show in the world and an unprecedented opportunity for IronSyte to expand its business. To capitalize on the quadrennial event, IronSyte turned its sights to BAM. BAM partnered with IronSyte to develop a targeted and creative strategy to maximize the brand’s awareness and to recruit potential customers.

BAM’s first step was to address IronSyte’s website, and give it a complete overhaul. Increasing search engine visibility, incorporating the new look and feel, and helping new visitors understand how valuable an IronSyte monitor could be to their business were on the top of BAM’s to-do list.

Behind the scenes on-page and off-page search engine optimization tactics were employed to boost the website’s keyword rankings for earth moving monitoring equipment. With the addition of keyword rich content, came fun and informative functionality like a front-page slider and roll over diagrams.

In addition to the website, IronSyte needed an eye-catching display for their booth at MINExpo to create a buzz about their revolutionary product. BAM designed a 10 ft. by 10 ft. display and accompanying podium that would drive potential customers to the booth. To supplement the display a brochure was designed to highlight the advantages of an IronSyte Monitor, and to serve as a takeaway for expo attendees.

BAM’s creative and professional campaign resulted in a strong showing at the 2012 MINExpo for IronSyte Monitors. To learn more about IronSyte or to check out the new website visit ironsyte.com.

posted by | on , , , , , | Comments Off on Does your business need SEO or Paid Search?

Excluding computer illiterate business owners, a continuing increase of emphasis has been placed on the letters SEO. The average business owner may not understand the power of Search Engine Optimization in its entirety, but similar to any business investment; they are willing to invest in it if it brings a return on that investment.

Search Engine Optimization (if done by the right people) is the best return on investment as far as Internet marketing goes.  SEO is the process of improving your website’s visibility by getting it to rank higher in search engine results for certain keyword phrases.  Higher ranking in search engine results guarantees more traffic and likely more sales for your business.  So like any business investment, spending money to make money is the name of the game.

SEO done by the right people can be the difference between seeing results and simply throwing money down the drain.  Like any industry, there are shysters, phonies, and scam artists that need to be avoided.  The right people will be very transparent in their explanation of all the necessary steps involved in getting your website to rank higher.  At the same time, the right people will be realistic when it comes to telling your business the keywords they have the opportunity to rank for.

A Paid Search Campaign should be implemented by your web marketing company to fill in the gaps for search keywords that you don’t have the opportunity to rank for organically.  What do I mean by keywords you don’t have the opportunity to rank for?  Depending on your business, you may have unrealistic goals of showing up #1 for popular search terms.

Okay, so let’s say your local business sells vacuum cleaners.  You feel as though your site deserves the right to show up when you google “Vacuum Cleaner.”  Unless you are William Hoover, you are not going to see your company on the first page of Google and most likely not the next 20 pages of results either.  Why is life so unfair you ask?  It’s not.  At least when it comes to Google’s organic search results.  First page rankings are reserved for national brand and ecommerce websites and information sites like Wikipedia.  Your local business website is more suited to show up when a geo-modified term is inserted.

A geo-modified term alters a given search by including a location keyword like a city or state.  For instance, the search results you get when searching for “vacuum cleaner los angeles” and “vacuum cleaner ohio” will be dramatically different.  If you live in Ohio, or even Cleveland to be more specific, your goal should be to show up organically on the first page for terms like “vacuum cleaner ohio” and “vacuum cleaner cleveland.”

The right SEO service should have your website showing up on the first page for these terms in no time. As far as keywords that you don’t show up for organically, paid search should supplement your inability to rank.  It makes sense for most businesses to utilize paid search to cover the unbranded keywords and even competitor terms to drive more traffic and leads through their site.

So does your business need SEO or Paid Search?  The quick answer is both.  For a more in depth analysis and consultation for your business, please feel free to contact us.

Goin’ Mobile

May
2012
29

posted by | on , , , , | Comments Off on Goin’ Mobile

When The Who’s Pete Townshend wrote “Goin’ Mobile”, the concept of a Smartphone wasn’t even fathomable… not even to the psychedelic generation. But when you read (or better, listen to) his lyrics and think of your Smartphone of choice, the words ring true:

Out in the woods
or in the city
It’s all the same to me
When I’m driving free, the world’s my
home,
When I’m mobile
Goin’ mobile
Keep me movin’…

So no matter where you go or how you get there, chances are the power of mobile technology is at your fingertips allowing you to find what you need and help keep your life moving. So as marketing people, it’s our job to help our clients harness and channel that technology to better serve their customers and clients.

Neil Catapano and Justin Fritz recently addressed hundreds of Culligan dealers in Kansas City, MO about the specific benefits of mobile as it applies to paid search campaigns, the desktop and mobile websites that we build as well as its cost effectiveness and consumer interaction. Andy Coleman, Justin and I presented those same concepts to TGI Friday’s and how mobile can enhance their brand. Needless to say, BAM Culligan dealers and TGI Friday’s are now outfitted with mobile technologies to strengthen and support their overall marketing and advertising efforts.

Bottom line, it’s all about reaching and marketing desired consumer profiles as they apply to our respective clients in an easy and cost effective way. You’re also providing consumers another avenue in which they may prefer to be reached. Better yet, mobile is just as measurable using the same standard analytics associated with search engine marketing.

There should be nothing scary or mysterious about mobile advertising or its benefits. If mobile technology is not currently part of integrated marketing plans, it’s time to be “Goin’ Mobile”.

posted by | Comments Off on BAM Brings The Culligan Lady Back To Life

Say hello again to The Culligan Lady; she has been called back to action by Pittsburgh-­based BAM Advertising for use in TV, Radio, Print and Online media executions from coast to coast.

Culligan International, located in Rosemont, IL, kicked off 2012 with a completely redesigned Culligan.com along with an all-­new image of the Culligan Man. To complement their efforts, BAM undertook the project of re­‐launching the Culligan Lady. “It was time to introduce a new Culligan Man but by adding the Culligan Lady and her unforgettable “Hey Culligan Man” tagline, the entire brand will be re-­energized,” offered Neil Catapano, Vice President and head of Culligan client services at the agency.

LuLu (as Culligan dealers affectionately refer to The Culligan Lady) started shouting “Hey Culligan Man!” in a series of successful Radio and Print campaigns created and launched by Dallas Williams Productions of Los Angeles in 1959. In 1960, The Culligan Lady first appeared on TV thanks to the original animation created by designer/animator Lee Mishkin. LuLu remained part of the brand throughout the 1990’s until being retired. Now, BAM has brought her back to life by animating the most recent Culligan Lady graphic version in high definition.

“Honestly, it was a very cost-­effective alternative,” stated agency president Bill Berry. “We have a unique relationship with our Culligan dealers who allow us to produce creative where a void exists and the dealer’s message was heard regarding LuLu and the Hey Culligan Man tagline.” Added Catapano, “The tagline is the brand!”

The Culligan Lady can be seen and heard promoting core elements of Culligan’s international product line from water softeners and reverse-­osmosis drinking water systems to the hallmark of the brand, the local service provided by over 850 Culligan Men and Women in North America.

posted by | Comments Off on Search Engine Optimization For Dummies

It happens every time I meet someone new. No, I don’t get shy (at least, not anymore). The topic of our occupations is brought up and it usually leads to me dumbing down the explanation of mine, just to save time and so the majority have a general understanding. The same can be said for a variety of professions I suppose. But what is mind blowing is how popular and reliant people are on the Internet (specifically search), and how little the average person knows about its inner workings.

Millions use search everyday and have no concept of why or how a website achieves preferred rankings.

It’s true that search engine algorithms are purposefully kept hush hush like The Colonel’s Secret Recipe. By keeping an algorithm’s anonymity under lock and key, it in part prevents websites from scamming the system. It is also true that search engine engineers and programmers are tweaking said algorithms on a constant basis, always looking for ways to make your search results more relevant.

More than an overwhelming majority of search users worldwide still consider Google to be top dog when it comes to returning relevant results. With more than a 80% market share, Google continues to leave its competitors like Bing and Yahoo in the dust. But where do these relevant results come from? How does a given search engine know which websites to return when you type in “Ice Cream Cone” (for example)? Better yet, if I owned an ice cream cone website, how would I get it to show up on the first page when a user performs a search on Google?

Starting with the most bizarre to the more logical, let’s cover some of the myths that some search engine optimizers may feed you for your ice cream site:

1. “The more time people spend on your website (like leaving web browsers open overnight), the higher it will rank for related keyword searches.” What’s funny is that I have only come across this gem only once in my lifetime. I will no doubt be following up with these people to see how their theory worked out for them. The real reason why your website even has a chance of ranking well is covered a little later.

2. “If you repeat the same keywords over and over again in your meta data, You will be #1 overnight.” Meta data was the equivalent of Reebok Pumps to the webmasters of the world. Once popular (and even fashionable?), meta data would give your site a boost by telling (or spamming) search engines exactly what your page was about. However, it is true that page titles (considered meta data) are (arguably) the single most important on page element that tells a search engine what your page is about.

3. “You can spam blogs with comments to promote your website and Google will consider these links as a strong indicator to rank your site first.” Those who practice this theory aren’t off their rockers completely. There is some validity to the fact that the number of links from other websites that point to yours are a deciding factor in the ranking process. But Google and other search engines factor in the quality of links in to your ranking equation. Spamming blogs of course violates Google guidelines, but who am I to crush your dreams? Spam on!

So, how do you get your website to rank #1 for a specific keyword? Like many college freshmen’s relationship statuses on Facebook, it’s complicated (especially for those just starting out). What isn’t complicated and is consistent across all the search engines is the demand for other websites to link to yours. The biggest indicator of how well your website will rank is based on the number of backlinks that point to your site. Backlinks can be everything from business directories, social bookmarks, links from your friend’s website, to your content shared on another website.

It’s true that good content never goes out of style. It’s the reason I encourage all of our clients to always be writing and blogging for their website, if nothing more than to give it an updated look. The truth is that publishing content on a regular basis increases your website’s online visibility in a variety of ways, especially in this social sharing day and age.

We’ve covered myths; we’ve covered the basics, so to speak. The one thing you should take away from this is there is a process (or an algorithm) a search engine uses to rank a site. All search engines factor in the number of other websites that link to yours and decide where your site should show up for a given keyword. Links can be obtained naturally by having content worthy of sharing, like this post for example : ) A SEO professional like myself would be happy to review the specifics of increasing your search engine rankings.

If you are dying to learn more about my high tech, super skilled profession please contact me.

Everybody Knows SEM

Feb
2012
09

posted by | Comments Off on Everybody Knows SEM

If you’re like most Culligan Men and Women in the system you may have received a steady flow of calls, or know of other dealers who have, from folks that “know SEM”. One of our favorite lines here at BAM Advertising is “I know SEM! I know SEM!!” We say it in jest because seemingly countless people are calling dealers to make the point that they are THE SEM expert(s). But, what else can they offer? Indeed, our Director of Interactive Strategy, Justin Fritz, sure does know SEM (and teaches me everyday about the ever-changing world of SEO), but Justin’s world is just one part of an integrated approach that is the foundation of every media and marketing strategy BAM develops.

It isn’t about a singular focus; it’s about all media and communication working together in concert to create beautiful music. I’ve been known to strut the halls of BAM shouting, “It’s always been about a mixed media strategy… and it always will be.” A singular approach may not be the best bet for increasing your leads, setting qualified appointments, and ultimately achieving transactions in the home.

When we start strategically planning a market, our planners use SEM as the “backbone” of the plan. Following that crucial media layer we seed in a lead-generating, consistent foundation of local programs. We can’t stress enough the importance of efficiently utilizing your local co-op dollars on lead-generating activity and steering away from reference-based media.

BAM produces local programs such as our now “World Famous” New Homeowner Program, as well as varied Current Customer Marketing Programs (CCMP), on a monthly basis to make it easier for the dealers in our network to have these lead-generating programs at their fingertips and ready to be in market when it makes sense for them. For slow “household” times of the year we make available niche programs such as our very focused dental program that we rolled out earlier this year with assistance from our dealer network. Coming up you’ll see our agency present even more niche programs targeting industries that have already proven to be fertile ground for Culligan Men and Women across the country.

Next in the planning process we move on to the group/regional co-op level and overlay some form of electronic media such as radio or cable/TV, depending on the market. This electronic layer “adds fertilizer” to your local program foundation referenced above and helps turn cold calls into warm calls, while helping those lead-generating activities bring in more leads.

BAM has implemented these practices for all of the dealers in our network and we’ve seen some great results – especially in Hilton Head Island and Kingsland, GA where there was a year-over-year increase in sales of 300%!

It’s all about recognizing the importance of SEM, monitoring its efforts daily, communicating with our clients monthly, layering in lead-generating local programs and complimenting those programs with rich, electronic media. BAM!

Sure, we recognize the importance of and excel in SEM execution. But it’s our constant daily monitoring, regular dealer-agency communication, and complementary local program and electronic media strategy that generate measurable results. BAM!

posted by | Comments Off on BAM Launches Culligan Of Denver Website

Some would call not having a website for many years a drought in this day and age. BAM Advertising has put in place a cutting edge website that will allow Culligan Of Denver’s water to flow to new and existing customers.

Culligan has long been revered in many circles as the water experts. BAM’s latest creation on the web showcases Culligan’s rich history and paints a bright future for the water experts going forward.

Culligan Denver comes complete with many interactive features not seen on a Culligan website before. The first of many being the capability of ordering water to your home or business while on the go or lounging in your favorite computer chair. BAM has also integrated a live chat function that will allow new and existing customers the chance to chat with their local Culligan Man.

Culligan of Denver has also called on BAM for a paid search campaign in the Mile Hi region. Paid search or Pay Per Click (PPC) as referenced by some, is the popular search engine strategy of bidding on relevant keywords to get your advertisements in front of users in hopes of getting them to click through to your website. Once a user clicks, BAM has integrated lead generating forms on every page to make it as easy as possible for someone to track down a water softener in Denver.

BAM works with many Culligan men and women across the United States and has done so for many years. Their latest web development for Culligan of Denver is the first of many new innovative websites that they’re rolling out for the Culligan group in 2012.

On The Web



http://www.CulliganDenver.com

posted by | Comments Off on BAM Builds a New Home for Professional Contractors Group

BAM is pleased to announce the launch of the new website for Professional Contractors Group. PCG are Virginia’s Home Remodeling experts specializing in window replacement, major construction, roofing, siding, and more.

The website, coupled with a strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy will allow new customers to find them with ease when searching for geo-modified terms like “window replacement Virginia.” In addition to BAM’s organic search strategy, we have deployed a paid search campaign which will reach over 3 million people in the Virginia area.

Their website is heavily focused on lead generation. A contact form on every page, accompanies a phone number that will be dialed by individuals looking to get in touch with home remodeling experts.

BAM is very pleased to have worked with Professional Contractors Group, Inc and look forward to them sharing their success stories with us. If you are in the Virginia area and are in need of window replacement, home remodeling or even major construction, checkout their website below.

If you or someone you know is looking for a new home on the web, get in touch with BAM.

On The Web:


http://www.VAhomeremodeling.com

posted by | Comments Off on Local Online Marketing Statistics That Will Make You Yelp! [Infographic]

I’ll save you the speech about how local online marketing is taking over. Instead, I will allow this infographic to demonstrate local online marketing’s importance. As more and more people start using smart phones, mobile search continues to grow at an exponential rate.

There is a common misnomer that mobile search is a seperate entity from “local search.” The truth is that they are the same. Search results have become heavily weighted towards the local aspects of businesses. Search results now display where your business is located on a given map, your phone number and address, if you have claimed your respective business page. Mobile search results mirror the efforts of search to feature local businesses as much as possible. After all, if you are performing a business search on your mobile phone, chances are it’s local.

Google and other search engines have taken into account mobile search activity and have reacted accordingly with local algorithm updates. They have made search results for a local business as relavent and as easy to navigate as possible. Local business profiles come complete with what others have said about your business and even offer potential customers with directions right from your profile.

If you have questions about your local online marketing efforts or are looking for guidance, drop us a line. In the meantime, check out the staggering local online marketing numbers in the infographic below.

Click to enlarge

posted by | Comments Off on Google Personalized Search Results Have Gone Too Far

Google has done it again.  Done what you may ask?  They have made yet another attempt to ram their social network “Google +” down its search users’ throat.  This attempt has no doubt been their strongest effort to date to push their fledgling product on the masses.  Google reps have cloaked their desperate attempts to pawn their lifeless, barren wasteland of a social network as a disguised effort that they “are bettering search” for their users.

The forcing of their social network started back with the redesign of several of Google’s services once Google+ went live to the public.  Google+ was created in attempt to beat Facebook at their own game.  While Google+ offered a few new innovative features like “Circles” (allowing users to group which of their stories were shared with who) and “Hangouts” (allowing users to video chat with several friends simultaneously).  Facebook, as predicted by many knowledgeable Internet professionals, didn’t blink.

You may recall the black navigation bar that became a permanent fixture at the top of any and all of Google pages.  On that not-so-subtle black navigation bar housed a link for “+You”, which put their social network in front of every Google goer.  buttons, much like the Facebook “Like” button, started not only appearing on their search results pages, but website owners  placed the button in hopes of raising their organic rankings.  What made website owners believe that a button could possibly improve their ranking?  Simple.  Google has put out and continues to push literature explaining that they are continuing to alter their search algorithm to include social signals.

Social signals, as in how often a given webpage is tweeted or retweeted.  Also supposedly included in the social signal search algorithm, how many “likes” a webpage or website receives via the Facebook “Like” button.  And last but not least, Google gives a slight boost to websites on how many times it was ‘ed.

Months have gone by since the button was introduced and (while Google + has reached over 90 million users) many are considering Google+ a failing network.  Despite the abundance of G+ users, the frequency of returning users has taken a nose dive since the network’s inception.

Admittedly, there were the majority of users like myself who couldn’t wait to sign up.  Google+ was that shiny new toy that we couldn’t wait to get our hands on.  After playing with our new social network for a few days, we realized that it quickly lacked relevancy in our lives do to the fact that none of our friends migrated there.  No matter what, you may love or hate Facebook, but YOUR FRIENDS are on there.  The same cannot be said for Google+ now and most likely going forward.

For G+ to succeed and be a TRULY relevant social signal for Search+, Google+ needs to have a network effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_effect. The value of Google+ is dependent on the number of your friends using it.

Fast forward to this month, January 2012.  In their best attempt yet at forcing G+ further down users’ throats, Google has unveiled “Search, plus your World” that favor websites ‘ed by social network pseudo-friends and acquaintances.  It also allows Google+ social network pages and photos to leap ahead of long standing websites in the search results. Initially,  it’s not a big deal.  Their unveiling of “personalized” search results shows the continued merge of social and search.

“Personalized” should remain in quotes because I refuse to accept what they’re selling as personalized.  If you are telling me that personalized results display a website I’ve previously visited should show up on the first page of my search results for a given topic, I can agree with that.  But to tell me a given website is more relative because a someone I have a quasi connection with shared it, that’s going too far.

Google has personalized results through your G+ connections, and Google has gone as far as to display content from “suggested” G+ connections. It’s not truly personalized or relevant if your friends aren’t there.

Their shameless attempt to make their social network more relavant by including it in “personalized” search results reeks of desperation. My negative tone throughout this piece merely expresses my dissatisfaction with the direction in which Google search is moving. Are they not satisfied with having far and away the largest search engine market share?

Hmmmm… who was the person who complained to Google? Who was that person that said… “You know what guys, your  search results just aren’t personalized enough for me!”  Could it be that no one complained?  Could it be they’re attempting to fix something that isn’t broken by furthering their own agenda?

I’ll be surfing on Bing and Yahoo if you need me.

Just kidding!  I’m not THAT desperate. And yes, I did this article.

Tweet @BAMadvertising your feelings on Google’s “Search, plus your World.”

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