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Is Your Website Ready for Cyber Monday?

By | Cyber Monday, Web Speed, Website Design | No Comments

With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, Cyber Monday (or for some businesses, Cyber Week) is the next official commercial celebration on the calendar.

Last year, Cyber Monday sales increased by 8.5% with the total number of transactions up and more purchases on average per transaction. Since 2009, the day has seen a steady sales growth:

While many retailers feature online and store-centric deals on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, on Cyber Monday, the focus is all online, all the time. This removes some stress from from brick and mortar storefronts, but puts a lot of pressure on web developers, servers, ecommerce sites, and more.

We’re highlighting a few of the must-have components any successful Cyber Monday retailer must have when it comes to website functionality and usability.

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How to Get the Most From Small Business Saturday

By | local search, Small Business Saturday, Small Businesses | No Comments

Small Business Saturday falls directly after one of the biggest shopping days in the entire year: Black Friday. National retailers reap in huge profits each Black Friday, and they work hard to extend the profits of Black Friday in the days leading up to and following it. So, what’s a small business owner to do? It’s always hard for small businesses to compete with national chains, but there are a few strategies small businesses can use to stand out from the crowd and take advantage of Small Business Saturday.

Create an Annual Event

In order to stand out from the herd of other small businesses hoping to bring in some extra profit on this day, give customers a reason to visit your particular local business. Beyond offering some special deals on merchandise or services, turn the day into a true event. That means taking the time to decorate the space and plan out other aspects like refreshments, special drawings for prizes, and entertainment. You might consider offering complimentary glasses of wine, or non-alcoholic beverages, along with snacks. Invite a local band, a musician friend, or even a local high school jazz band to come play. All these special aspects will create an extra (and fun!) incentive for customers to come to your business. Another great idea is to pair up with a local charity to call for item donations or even donate part of the day’s profit. Customers will appreciate knowing that by shopping at your store they are also contributing to a good cause.

Spread the Word

Many local customers are interested in supporting and shopping at local small businesses. The catch? Without adequate advertising, they won’t know where to go. While mentioning the event to customers as they shop in the weeks leading up to the event is a good start, there’s a lot more you can do to spread the word about your business’s participation in Small Business Saturday. Social media is one of your most important tools for raising awareness and getting customers in the door. Use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote your event. For example, update social media profile and cover photos to an image promoting the event (Canva is a free website that allows you to easily create customized imagery). This also includes the use of popular hashtags, like #shopsmall and #smallbusinesssaturday to extend the audience that sees your event. Encourage customers to use the hashtag too to share the event with their friends. Facebook ads are another useful tool; you can set up a small radius to target potential clientele just in the local area, which helps to drive more local customers to your business.

Invite Other Local Businesses

Everyone knows that two businesses are better than one (that’s how that saying goes, right?). We recommend joining forces with other local businesses to help promote each other so that everyone wins. Not only will other businesses be able to help you get new customers that might not have heard of your business before, but it’s also good publicity when customers see local businesses working together to help each other. Try setting up a special deal or joint coupon between your business and a neighboring business. Another easy idea is to simply promote other businesses’ Small Business Saturday events on social media by retweeting or sharing their posts.

Is your local business participating in Small Business Saturday? Call Turn The Page Online Marketing today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 for advice on how to get more customers in the door.

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Black Friday Marketing Highlights

By | Black Friday, Branding, Email Marketing, Graphic Design, Social Media | No Comments

Black Friday is unquestionably one of the biggest shopping days in the entire year. Although ostensibly Black Friday is supposed to consist of one day of major sales and savings just after Thanksgiving, over the years it has evolved into the week-long (or more) sales extravaganza as we know it today. Beyond just Black Friday, there are the days leading up to and following the official day. Black Friday is followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, two other big sales events that ride on the coattails of their more famous older brother. With so many businesses and companies taking part in these sales events, the competition to stand out is tougher than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the ways several major companies are making themselves stand out this year through the use of bold design, smart branding, and social media.


Target has built its brand on being the store consumers can turn to for practically anything, from clothing to appliances to last minute gifts. Their look is consistently clean and modern, yet also undeniably whimsical (ever seen a Target commercial?). For Black Friday, their main website page ad is bright and fun and aimed at the whole family.

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It’s also an interactive ad:

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Customers can click on the drop-down arrow to see not just one day of Black Friday sales, but 10 days of deals surrounding Black Friday. Each day has a different theme (kitchen items, clothing, food, etc.), which is right on point with Target’s brand of being the store with everything. It gives consumers a calendar to plan out different shopping days and to prepare for which deals they might be interested in, rather than putting everything on a mass sale on one hectic day.


Nordstrom’s brand is sleek and stylish. They are known for carrying designer brands along with trendy lines like Topshop. Their Black Friday ad is simple and classic, with a black background and simple tagline.

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Rather than try to create a flashy ad that simply wouldn’t fit their brand, Nordstrom smartly stuck to an understated and simple ad. Nordstrom also expertly uses social media platforms, like Instagram, to do the talking. Leading up to Black Friday, their Instagram posts show beautifully photographed scenes that put all the focus on their high-quality clothing.



These pictures put the consumer in a cozy, peaceful place away from all the stress and crowds of Black Friday shopping, giving the idea that shopping at Nordstrom will be a much more pleasant experience than other stores.


Sephora took to another social media platform to advertise their Black Friday deals. They used Instagram to post this recognizable image:


Snapchat is quickly becoming a valuable marketing tool, giving brands the ability to reach consumers in a more personal way using both pictures and videos. Using Snapchat to market for Black Friday creates a closer relationship between consumers and companies. Sephora is inserting itself as just another one of our friends sharing in-the-moment videos and photos with us.

What do you think about these marketing and branding strategies companies are using to stand out for Black Friday? One of the most important aspects to take away from these examples is that each company is using its unique brand to its advantage and making use of social platforms that allow new ways to reach consumers with branded images, graphics, and videos. Want to learn more about the importance of branding? Call Turn The Page Online Marketing today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

Fantastic Apps for Small Businesses- Part I

Fantastic Apps for Small Businesses

By | Business Practices | No Comments

Running a business takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to be successful. Wouldn’t it be great if some sort of tools existed to make your life a little easier? We’ve got great news for you, because those tools do exist. We’ve put together a list of apps for a variety of small business uses. Here they are:

1. Trello for Project Management

Trello is an awesome platform to manage projects and deadlines. We use it to manage our blog posts — like this one. It has an easy-to-use interface that lets users categorize projects however they want on different boards. We have boards for ideas, blogs we’re writing, finishing touches like proofreading, blog promotion, and published blogs.

Users can create tasks, add checklists, and even add or remove team members from the tasks. Trello makes communication easy for team members with messaging within each task, and users have no excuses when it comes to receiving messages or not: Trello notifies users via email.

2. Google Drive for Data Storage

We use Google Drive for pretty much everything data-related. It lets users edit and port files from PCs to smartphones to tablets. Google Drive is a fully-featured office suite that acts as a full cloud drive, so you can store any file via a web interface or virtual drive app. Google apps is moving to repeat its success in small business webmail with cloud storage. The five free gigabytes of storage Google includes is just virtual icing on the digital cake.

3. Constant Contact for Email Marketing

Constant Contact makes email marketing seamless. You can use it to manage subscribers, and also create and optimize targeted email campaigns. The tool offers analytics so you can see how many people actually open your emails, and, more importantly, click from the email to your website. You can continually test and optimize your content and try new ways of doing things with that data.

Turn The Page uses these apps to make our lives just a little more efficient. We are freaky about results, and are always looking for ways to deliver. For more information on making your life just a little easier, call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001. Stay tuned for Part II of Fantastic Apps for Small Businesses!



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The New Google+: What You Need to Know

By | Google, Google Changes, Google Updates, Small Businesses | No Comments

In recent months we’ve seen a flood of changes and updates overtake the Google world as we know it. Google+ has served as an effective social tool for small businesses for several years. Its integration with Google Maps and Google My Business, in addition to its advantage in Google search visibility, have made it a useful platform on which to promote a business and ensure that the business shows up in search results. However, many recent reports have predicted the Google+ apocalypse, partially because Google’s recent changes seem to be moving away from Google+. But then, this happened: the official Google blog announced big changes to Google+ last week, and with those changes a whole new potential for the future of Google+.

The Separation of Google+ and Local

Google+ is increasingly becoming separated from Google search. Where it used to hold a special place in searches and was always easy to spot in search results, now it’s much more difficult to find. Before recent changes, the typical local search would bring up a 3-pack of the top search results, along with a button at the bottom to view additional results. Clicking one of the links in the 3-pack would lead to a pages known as the “Local Finder” page, where you could see additional information about the business.

Now, the 3-pack is gone and replaced by a results panel on the left, showing all the top results, with a clickable information panel on the right. There is no visible link to Google+, which effectively separates Google+ from search. This is evidence of Google’s shift toward emphasizing Google+ as its own community rather than as a local Google search tool.

The Community

Google is now focusing on making Google+ a stronger community. Google+ communities provide users a way to make connections based on shared interests. Social Media Today reported that as Google has gradually changed the way Google+ works, the G+ communities began to shine as the network’s biggest strength, providing an especially helpful link for “technical and niche communities that have built up strong, loyal, and highly beneficial networks through Google+ groups.” The release of Google+ Collections a few months ago built upon that solid community base.

Collections, Collections, Collections

Google+ Collections allows users to group posts into categories. In some ways similar to Pinterest, users can create collections based on various topics that they are interested in and then share those collections with whomever they want. You can also browse through other users’ collections to find even more content about the topics you like. This new emphasis on collections and communities was built for how users are actually using the site, showing that Google is dedicating time towards redirecting Google+ into a platform that people will continue to use and love. While it’s unlikely that Google+ will ever rival social media power players like Facebook, it’s certainly far from dead. We look forward to seeing how the network continues to evolve and how it will be used.

Want to learn more about Google+, other social media platforms, and how to use them to better your business? Call the online marketing team at Turn The Page today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

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5 Great Online Sources of Inspiration for Copywriters

By | Blogging, Content Writing, Copywriting | No Comments

A good copywriter is always searching for new ideas, unique angles, and tools and tricks to refine his or her writing prowess. Copywriters often juggle many different assignments over a variety of topics at once. Sometimes these topics fill us with inspiration and the words come pouring out. Other times, not so much. We all hit mental roadblocks in our writing or are required to write about topics that are, to be frank, downright dull. In these cases, the Internet can be your best friend if you know where to look for inspiration. These five websites are like a shot of caffeine to a writer’s brain to help get those words flowing once again.

Power Thesaurus

Do you ever feel like you keep repeating the same words over and over? (Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.) In that case, Power Thesaurus will help infuse some fresh verbiage into your writing. Power Thesaurus is like a thesaurus, except it’s way better. It gives you a whole community of other writers to help you find the best words for what you are trying to say. Individuals in the Power Thesaurus community suggest synonyms and antonyms for basically every imaginable English word, and the community votes thumbs up or thumbs down, ranking which words are the top pairs for each other.

Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator

Hubspot’s handy blog topic generator is a lifesaver for coming up with interesting blog topics for copywriters, especially when you need to write a high volume of blogs in a short amount of time. Even for the most interesting subjects it can be difficult to find, say, 12 unique blog topics to write about in the span of a few weeks. And for subjects that don’t really interest you at all? Summoning up truly engaging and unique blogs can feel practically impossible after expending all your creative energy on writing the first few. The blog topic generator at Hubspot simply prompts you to type in three keywords and then it comes up with several suggestions that you may never have thought of before.


Factbrowser is another resource for content ideas. Say you have a topic that you need to write about, but can’t figure out an engaging angle. Factbrowser allows you to browse through statistics and facts for a variety of topics, which often will reveal a new and interesting direction in which to take your latest blog or article. For example, if you’re stuck on what to write about mobile apps, this statistic gives an intriguing angle: “34% of mobile app developers say they have been cheated by customer acquisition companies.” Cheating?! What a scandal! (You get the idea).

Idiom Dictionary

The Idiom Dictionary, like the Power Thesaurus, helps when the cat’s got your tongue (see what I did there?). While sometimes idioms become dreaded cliches, they can also infuse a sense of fun and personality into your writing. Plus, the Idiom Dictionary has a lot of idioms that many people have never heard of. Simply type in a word and a long list of idioms will appear to inspire you.

The Oatmeal

Okay, so this isn’t exactly a writing resource. The Oatmeal is a comics website created by Matthew Inman, a talented cartoonist. His comics range from whimsical (“A cat’s reaction to a laser pointer“) to hilariously sarcastic (“Should you buy a selfie stick?“). He also has some truly genius cartoons about grammar that any copywriter will appreciate. This is a website best used sparingly, as it can be a dangerous slippery slope to wasting hours looking at cat comics if you’re not careful. However, his farcical comics often provide the perfect inspiration for original content with a high dose of humor.

Want more content marketing tips? At Turn The Page Online Marketing, we are always working to find better ways to deliver high-quality, unique content. Call us today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

World Series

Leveraging the World Series in Your Franchise Marketing

By | Franchise Marketing, Marketing Plan, Online Marketing, Social Media, World Series | No Comments

This post was originally published on October 22, 2014. To celebrate their second consecutive trip to the World Series, we are sharing it again!

Let’s go, Royals!

Our Kansas City-based online marketing firm has baseball on the mind for obvious reasons. After an unprecedented
8-game postseason winning streak — no need to talk about Game One — the Royals are representing our home turf as American League champions in this year’s MLB showdown.

As we watch the boys in blue with bated breath, we’re sharing a few of the ways we’ve noticed brands incorporating the World Series into their marketing efforts — and what your takeaways should be for your franchise marketing strategy.

Organically Integrate the World Series (Or Another Sporting Event) in Your Franchise Marketing Efforts

Lee Jeans Uses Local Loyalty

Perhaps the smartest way we’ve seen a brand use the World Series in their marketing plan? KC’s own Lee Jeans is calling for all Royals fans to support the team by donning local blue jeans, rather than denim made by San Francisco-based Levi’s.

Today, Lee Jeans is hosting a Blue Jean Trade-In at their Merriam, KS headquarters, inviting people to drop off used jeans (whether they’re Levi’s or any other brand). The cast-offs will be donated to San Francisco homeless shelters, and to benefit the KC area, the company will be donating an equal amount of Lee Jeans to shelters in the metro area.

Donors get entered to win an $1,000 Visa gift card, and all receive a coupon for 85% off one item at, an homage to the Royals’ 1985 World Series win.

Your Franchise Marketing Takeaway?

Sure, everything aligned almost cosmically — the fact that Levi’s is based in San Francisco, home of the Giants, makes the Lee vs. Levi’s rivalry a perfect parallel for the KC vs. SF World Series — but your franchise marketing department can still take a few cues from this campaign even if the dots are a little harder to connect.

The Lee’s marketing team did a great job of cheekily appealing to their hometown fanbase with nods to the Royals’ last Series win — 1985 echoed in the 85% discount — and capitalizing on the call to action of supporting the boys in blue by wearing KC’s own blue jeans. Throw in some charitable donations in two cities and an $1,000 giveaway, and — forgive us, we have to — Lee’s campaign is a home run.


One easy way to include any sporting event in your franchise marketing? Individual franchise locations can offer a victory discount to fans. Whether you opt for the Papa John’s route and provide an online discount the day following the win or ask consumers to stop in wearing their team gear to receive reduced rates in person, this promotion is easy to implement for almost any event, and can be customized region to region, making it ideal for franchises.

But what if your franchise has no direct connection to the World Series, no fanbase to nod to? You shouldn’t bench yourself just because your campaign won’t be as resonant. One reliable way to capitalize on any mainstream event that local customers will be watching is offering contingent discounts or giveaways. A classic example is Taco Bell’s giveaway, which they’ve done sporadically over the past few years, most recently offering a free Doritos Locos taco to all guests if a base was stolen during the World Series. Contigent giveaways and discounts like these work regardless of who’s playing. You’ll just want to be sure that the product or service you’re discounting isn’t something that will cost your franchise much.

Ticket Giveaways

Ticket giveaways are the ageless classic: a way to drive traffic to a website or social platform as the masses are motivated to win big. Franchise marketers should take note, though, that the big boost in social followers or web traffic shouldn’t be squandered. Make sure you have a plan in place to appeal to contest entrants so that they’ll stick around to hear your marketing messages even after the World Series concludes. Fair weather fans aren’t only in baseball, after all.

Forge a Winning Franchise Marketing Strategy

The team at Franchise Marketing Group features an all-star line-up of social media strategists, major email marketing maniacs, champion content creators, and more, all of whom can’t wait to help you create a franchise marketing strategy that leverages current public events and trends while providing long-lasting results.

Call (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today and we’ll knock your franchise marketing plan out of the park!

Google My Business

Google My Business Dashboard Gets an Update

By | Google, Google My Business | No Comments

Businesses’ best friend, Google My Business, has gotten a face lift. The search czar began covertly introducing the revamped dashboard on September 29th after very quietly announcing it on Google Business forums (as of this writing, the post only had 334 views). And we have a feeling you’re going to love it.

What is Google My Business?

Google has so many services, it can be hard to keep track of what’s what. In case you need a refresher, Google My Business is, at its core, a way for your company to ensure that the information potential clients or customers find on Google’s SERP is correct. This can include:

  • Your business address
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Price range
  • Website URL

It can provide valuable information such as:

  • Directions to your business
  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Photos

And it also offers a place for consumers to write said reviews and allows them to access your business information across devices.

What’s New in the Google My Business Dashboard?

This new roll out seems to be all about convenience and ease of use. Overall, what we notice is a cleaner presentation and simple interface. In fact, one of the first differences you’ll likely find in this streamlined dashboard is that locations and brand pages are easily accessed, with those being the only two options in the main navigation.

Google My Business Dashboard

Once you begin clicking around, another helpful feature you’ll find is the addition of breadcrumbs, which makes navigation much easier in what could be an overwhelming service if you manage a lot of pages.

Another useful component is that you can now view locations in either card view or list view. The new card view for locations gives you the option to choose how many you see, as well as quickly manage or view the location, while the list view offers convenience in selecting and editing multiple
The hamburger menu in the upper-left corner of the new Google My Business dashboard is a dream. It offers another way switch back to look at all listings or brand pages, should you navigate away from one of those views, allows you to bulk import locations from a file or add them individually, as well as bulk download locations. It also offers a neatly-organized summary of errors and issues, including:

  • Duplicate addresses
  • Google updates
  • Missing store codes
  • Unverified listings

This menu also allows you to monitor published locations and those that are permanently closed, on top of showing you any pending reviews your pages may have.

It also provides accessibility and high-visibility to the “Create business account” and “Contact support” features, so you no longer have to fumble around the dashboard.

Got Questions?

We’re really excited about this update to the Google My Business dashboard and we think you will be too. If you have any questions about the face lift, or about anything related to online marketing, we welcome you to contact our team today. You can reach us online or call us at our Kansas City area office at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

And for a visual walk through of the updates, check out this video from Mike Blumenthal of Local University.

Home Service Ads

Google’s New Home Service Ads Could Spell Trouble for Local Businesses

By | Google Changes, Local Business | No Comments

And you thought the Snack Pack was rough on local businesses. Right around the same time Google rolled out the Snack Pack, the search giant began beta testing in the San Francisco Bay area what could be an even more significant, and potentially devastating, update to its search engine results page (SERP) and local listings.

Google’s New Home Service Ads

Take a look at this screen grab of a search for “san francisco plumber,” juxtaposed with the same search for Lee’s Summit, MO (TTP HQ). Looks a little… different.

Home Service AdsSnack Pack
The Lee’s Summit search is a prime example of the new Snack Pack of local listings, while the San Francisco one seems to throw that update right out the door in favor of an even more refreshed look. And while a map is noticeably missing from the San Francisco search, that isn’t the most significant change with this beta test. This little pack of three isn’t a group of top organic local listings, like in the Snack Pack – these are sponsored, paid advertisements, known as home service ads, from the plumbers listed.


(Okay, they “may” be paid. Right.)

When you click on “More” at the bottom of the pack of home service ads, rather than seeing an expanded map with additional local listings, like you do with the Snack Pack, searchers are now taken to this page:

Send Request
Here, you can select the type of plumbing job you need and then send requests to one, two or all of the listed professionals, straight through Google.

What’s Going On?

Like we mentioned before, this beta testing of home service ads is only in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s currently restricted to handymen, house cleaners, locksmiths and, of course, plumbers (home services), but we predict it will rapidly spread not only across the country, but across industries and professions.

What Does This Mean for Me?

While the answer should surprise no one, that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. The expansion of the home service ads beta testing into a full-blown update comes with a few consequences:

  • SERPs will have more ad space
  • They will have significantly less organic local listings
  • Local businesses will have to spend money

If you are a local business, no matter how hard you have focused your efforts, whether by yourself or through an online marketing agency such as TTP, if you have not invested money in paid search for Google, you will be affected.

With more ad space and less room and focus on organic local listings, we expect clients to see a decrease in calls as their links begin to drop and get buried in the paid results.

What Can I Do?

As local business lovers, we’re on your side. We encourage you to contact your Account Executive with any questions or concerns you may have as to how home service ads may impact your business. And if you’re not yet a client, we welcome you to call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 to get in touch with one of our online marketing experts.

The Value of Content

The Value of Content

By | Content Marketing, Content Writing | No Comments

Did you miss our Periscope of our presentation, “The Value of Content?” Or maybe you just loved it so much, you want to watch it again. Brittany, Director of the Digital Content Creation Department, and Kelsey, Lead Website Content Specialist, discussed the difficulties of measuring the effectiveness of content.

Reach Out to Our Experts

Learn more about what the term “content” entails and why you need to be paying attention to creating and maintaining it across media.

Check out the Prezi below and reach out to our team with any questions! Contact us online or call (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.