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Amanda Strouse

Amanda Strouse

Amanda breathes and bleeds writing and social media. While in college at San Diego State University, she decided to turn her leisurely love affair into a multi-faceted career and, ever since, has been helping business owners increase leads by using a variety of inbound and outbound marketing. She has used several social media platforms since their conception and has ten years of professional writing experience, including three years of experience as an editor.

She is proud to be one of Bloominari’s social media marketing associates and enjoys helping the clients build brand awareness, engaging with the client’s target audience and enhancing the client’s image as an industry expert. Her recipe for effective social media is one part fun, two parts hard work and one part persistence.

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys creative writing, volunteering, going to the beach, visiting new places, watching movies and relaxing with her dogs.

Find Amanda on LinkedIn

Here’s a (sarcastically) bold statement: People love to communicate. 

Here’s another one: People need to communicate with businesses.

Those statements shouldn’t be surprising. So, why do so many businesses make communication difficult and time-consuming?
It’s almost as if these businesses don’t want consumers to reach out to them. 

By 2016, more people were using messaging apps than social media. Every year, fewer and fewer consumers are using a phone to contact a business’s customer service and are instead opting for digital customer service avenues. Companies not following this powerful digital shift are getting left behind.

Remember the Staples® Easy Button™ commercials?

One click of the Easy Button and all the work is magically done!

Yep, we all wish that business tasks were easy. But sometimes we have to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work required. Fortunately, when you hire a marketing agency like Bloominari, we do almost all of the work for you.

Whether you’re currently shopping for a marketing agency or not – the rest of this blog post will help you understand what you need to know and understand about your business and its customers before you hire a marketing team to enhance your efforts.

Why would your company need to hire a marketing agency?

The Industrial Revolution, which began in the 1700s, was a critical turning point for mankind because it allowed businesses to manufacture and produce items faster, cheaper and more efficiently by use of machines.

After reading this, you should find yourself seeking out automation technologies for an “Industrial Revolution” within your own business.

However, instead of helping you find technologies that will increase production of your merchandise, I’m going to educate you on one type of modern computer technology that will improve sales and efficiency while reducing costs and human error.

Your business has a new, fresh website that you love. And that’s great.

(If you’re not in agreement with that last sentence, click here.)

But your business needs more than just a website. Potential customers have to find your website, feel a need for what you’re selling and ultimately trust your business enough to spend their hard-earned money.

However, the first step, getting people to the website, is perhaps the most critical.

Google first announced back in 2015 that mobile searches in 10 countries, including the U.S., officially out-numbered traditional Google searches on desktops. As a result, mobile commerce (called m-commerce) has been a growing force. And businesses, large and small, followed suit.

Now, in the year 2017, having a website that isn’t mobile-friendly means kissing leads and customers goodbye. In order to stay competitive in the current market, businesses need to create user-friendly purchasing journeys and tailor user engagement based on what device is being used. If a certain company doesn’t follow this golden rule, then its competitor will, while taking customers with it.

Not only are people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet, but they’re commonly on apps. In 2015, Yahoo developers put out a report showing that 90 percent of people’s time spent on their mobile device is spent utilizing apps.

While it’s necessary to make sure your company’s website is mobile-friendly, it’s equally important to ask your team if your business could benefit from a mobile app.

Storytelling is marketing

Think about a commercial that you really enjoy or that sticks out in your memory. This brief advertisement told a story, struck an emotional chord within you and captured your interest with such effectiveness that you still remember it. Yes, that’s the goal of advertisements, but it should also be the goal of your marketing content.

Crafting and distributing concise, engaging, convincing and conversational marketing content is a necessary inbound marketing strategy that can boost your business tenfold. This content, whether it’s a case study or a landing page, should make your targeted audience trust that your business understands their needs and will help solve their problems efficiently, leading them to convert. Your audience will read the content, feel understood, click on links and become a lead or customer. That’s the ideal process.

However, this is easier said than done. Professional content marketers, like myself, use various formulas to maximize the likelihood that the content is noticed, digested and utilized to the company’s advantage. Here is a summarized list of some of the most important features to include when writing excellent content that convinces and converts.

You may have heard the term “landing page” from a marketing agency or an employee or maybe even from reading the headline of this blog post.

You know what a website is. But what is a landing page? How does it differ from a website? How is a landing page used?

Definition of a Landing Page:

A landing page is a single web page that is most popularly built to acquire leads through a short online form. In general, a landing page directs the visitor to its single purpose, which is for them to click the main (or only) call-to-action button (CTA), such as “Buy now” or “Signup”. 

Whereas websites are a multitude of pages with various information, media, lead capture forms and call to actions (Learn what a Call-to-Action is), an efficient landing page should just focus on one informational subject and have one call to action (CTA). The goal of a landing page is to get conversions, and landing pages can be stand-alone pages (without navigation to your website) or can be located on your website.

Social media’s focus has been slowly morphing from images to video for a while now, with the uprising of video sharing sites like Vine (RIP) and Snapchat, the decade-long dominance of YouTube and recently, the development of Instagram Stories and Facebook Live.

Not only are video sharing platforms being used, they’re flourishing.

Consumers view videos as a convenient, easy and quick way to get useful information about a product, service, organization or idea.

Therefore, businesses need to understand that videos provide a special type of easily-consumed, detailed content that potential customers increasingly engage with, enjoy, share and use as an educational step in the buying cycle. It is now up to businesses to create captivating videos to help spread their messages and maximize their customer base. Viewers are standing by.

Instagram stories were launched in the beginning of August and have propelled the social media giant to another level: 600 million monthly active users, thanks mostly to its new Instagram Stories feature. Instagram is currently the second-most used social media site in the U.S. and Instagram Stories now have at least 100 million daily users.

Instagram users who never used Snapchat were probably immediately smitten with this new feature. (However, if you use Snapchat, you know that Instagram stole the Stories idea from it.) Either way, Instagram stories are awesome, engaging and it looks like they’re going to stick around.

What are Instagram Stories?

This San Diego marketing agency, Bloominari, is full of die-hard fans of marketing automation software. Always reading about new technology, always researching new tactics, always tinkering with new tools. We use various technologies for (internal and external) business communication and organization because we know and believe in the benefits.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about: Think back to the last time you filled out a contact form on a website or emailed a business and then immediately got an email confirmation about your inquiry. (Usually the email reads something like, “Thank you for contacting us. Someone will respond to your inquiry shortly.”) That instantaneous email was sent to you via automation software.

I’ve been a marketer in-house for several companies and a marketer for several marketing agencies, and I’ll tell you, the skills needed for either position are exactly the same.

However, it’s more difficult for a business to find a competent marketing specialist who will make a good fit in-house, compared to finding a competent marketing agency that can reach the goals that you have in mind.

It’s not only more challenging to hire someone in-house, it’s also more expensive, making it even more imperative that the perfect person is hired.

“User experience is everything. It always has been, but it’s undervalued and underinvested in. If you don’t know user-centered design, study it. Hire people who know it. Obsess over it. Live and breathe it. Get your whole company on board.”  –Evan Williams, Co-Founder, Twitter

When a potential customer uses your business’s website, they embark on a journey through the site. This journey should include tasks that you want the website visitor to accomplish, such as watching videos, reading certain web pages and filling out a lead capture form. Ultimately, the goal of your website is for your audience to learn certain information and then make them convert (aka: fill out a lead capture form, make a purchase, schedule an appointment or download a white paper - whatever the end goal is for your website).

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. So how many words would you think a video is worth?

The answer is millions!

Research has shown that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. Just one minute! As YouTube remains the second most commonly used search engine, more and more small businesses are noticing how strategically important video marketing is.

At the end of March, Google held a live Q&A session, in which its Search Quality Senior Strategist confirmed that the top two factors for Google’s search rankings are: content and links pointing to the site (also called link building and backlinks).

This didn’t evoke many surprises - professional marketers around the globe know that those are two key SEO strategies to best optimize a website for search rankings. But it’s nice to know without a doubt what websites MUST have in order to fare well with Google. 

In a 2015 study, 59% of small businesses reported that they did not receive an ROI from their social media strategies.


That is a shame.

And it is proof of ineffective marketing strategies performed by business owners without experience or marketers who are not utilizing social media tools properly.

Most business owners, large or small, do not really understand why journalists write about some topics and not about others. It’s also common for business owners to think that many happenings within their business should be turned into a press release (and eventually, into a news article.)

As a previous journalist and editor, and as a current PR professional, I am here to clarify and help your business with its press release distribution efforts.

Monday, 30 November 2015 22:42

Online Marketing Strategy Plans for 2016

The early bird gets the worm.

Or, at least, you have much better odds of getting the worm than those who procrastinate.

Now that the end of the year is approaching, this might naturally feel like a good time to slack off. Alas, there is pivotal research and planning to be done!

Take advantage of the new year and use this as a time to gain momentum.

When you take the time to plan ahead, you are more likely to budget wisely, use your time more efficiently and think up creative tactics to beat out your competition.

A new year brings new opportunities, new obstacles and new goals. Do some brain storming and figure out what those are for your business!

Read my below-mentioned ideas about what you should do in December 2015 to get ahead for 2016.

I understand people like you.

You’re the owner or manager of a small business.

Your mind is overloaded with thoughts about work’s important impending tasks, employee performance problems and fantasies about the next piece of equipment you can’t wait to buy. You check your work email while on your breaks and enjoy talking about work to your loved ones and friends. You live, breathe and bleed this business.

Who could blame you? It’s your livelihood. It is the mark you intend to leave on the world.

And while you are engulfed with work, you forget about the everlasting mark your business leaves on the Internet - aka, its online presence.

Someone eventually asks you, “Is your business on Facebook?” Your teenage daughter wonders, “Is your company on Yelp?” A friend tells you that pay-per-click ads really helped his business, and you contemplate if it can help yours.

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