Community Building Online: Five Places to Start

Students sitting in a circle on the lawn.

The final traction channel in the book Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares is community building. Many of the traction channels in this book seem to overlap and build on each other. But this is a channel that more often seems to stand alone. Community building is when you are purposefully fostering relationships and connections with your customers. This encourages them to bring others into your circle. An easy ma and pop, brick and mortar type example could include hosting an offline event, or opportunity for your customers to get together, bring their friends, and talk about how much they love your product, but what happens when you are an e-commerce or tech company that would like to take advantage of their community and help it flourish? Here are five online locations you can implement community building in a tangible and impactful way.


Reddit is an enormous and ever-growing collection of forums where users can post about news and other content as well as comment on posts made by other people. The world of Reddit is huge and easy to get lost in. But, when used strategically, it can be a powerful community builder, especially through subreddits specific to your business.

In case you aren’t familiar with the platform, subreddits are the individual forums within the larger site. Subreddits are free to create and can play many purposes for businesses. For startups, creating a subreddit can help customers give feedback and connect with each other, helping the company grow and gain traction. For existing businesses, subreddits allow customers to connect with each other and members of your team, enter giveaways hosted by the business and simply chat about what they love (or hate) about the product or service. With over 330 million users, Reddit is sure to be a place where you can build a community for your business. 

Community on Reddit
Blog Comments

Similar to Reddit, popular blogs provide an online space for people to discuss specific topics that interest them. As mentioned in our blog post about SEO, writing quality blog articles can help your website show up higher in search engine results, ultimately leading to higher amounts of organic traffic, but this is not the only benefit of a good blog. Once a business establishes a blog that provides meaningful information to its readers and brings traffic to the website the blog can become a very powerful tool for community building. If users are finding value in your blog they are more likely to interact with you by leaving comments. These comments can then create conversations with different customers and with your team. Getting engagement can be difficult at first, but here are a few tips to hook your first few commenters: 

    • Ask questions in your article. Readers are much more likely to comment when there is a question for them to answer. 
    • Use social media to share your blog posts. Then encourage your followers to comment on the article instead of the social post. 
    • Talk about your readers or customers in your post. If something that is shared interests you and the community talk about it on your blog.
    • Respond to all comments when they first start to be made. This will provide value to those who are commenting and encourage future comments.
Pioneer Woman Blog

While most millennials grew up being told that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for scholarly papers, it still proves to be a site that is read by many when searching the internet for an answer to a question. It might surprise you that Wikipedia actually doesn’t have any employees. Any knowledgeable person with access to the computer can create the content. This is the exact reason many teachers advise students to avoid using the site as a reference. The lack of proof that professional research has gone into a Wikipedia article is concerning to academia, but, for your business, this open-source information is a great opportunity to encourage community building. Having a Wikipedia page specific to your business can allow your current customers who are subject matter experts on your business to share information and encourage discussion of your product or service.

Trader Joes Wikipedia Page

Topic Specific Forums

Even though it’s hard to believe, forums still exist outside of Reddit! Creating a forum that allows your current and prospective customers to discuss, ask questions and give advice about your product, service or other topics pertaining to your business is a great way to create community. Hosting a forum allows you to directly interact with the people who post on it similar to how you could reply to a blog article, but it also allows for readers to communicate with each other on an even higher level. Another way to leverage forums is to comment and interact with customers in an existing one. Find a forum that has a topic that resonates with your brand and start a conversation with participants.

Amazon Community
Facebook Groups

Facebook is arguably the most popular online community and can easily be leveraged for your business, especially through the use of Facebook Groups. Here at Pintler Group, we love putting all aspects of Facebook to use for our digital clients, including the groups feature. Creating a group for your business is easy. It allows you to share posts, images and other pieces of content with the group’s members. You can decide if the group is private and invitation-only, or open to any interested parties. Consider your intended audience and create a group that creates value specific to these individuals. If you have multiple audiences you would like to reach, create multiple groups. This way you can cater even more directly to individual audiences.

It is also important to remember that these groups do not need to be all about your business. Try creating an open space where members can talk about various topics that relate to your business. Cast a wide net to catch anyone interested in the topic rather than only people familiar with your brand.  

Instant Pot Facebook Group

For more on community building and the other 18 traction channels, check out our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise and our YouTube channel.

Offline Events and Online Tracking

Offline events bring people together to learn more about or to support your business. They can be anything from large trade shows to local concerts or races that raise funds. Even small workshops with limited seats qualify. Businesses can host, sponsor or even simply attend offline events such as these to gain traction.

Businesses savvy in digital marketing often overlook offline events. But at Pintler Group we celebrate the good news that offline and online efforts don’t have to live in separate bubbles. In this article, we look at how digital efforts can take your offline events to the next level. 


Offline Event: Board Meeting


Offline Fundraising Event

Many restaurants offer sponsorship opportunities to local clubs and non-profits. Typically, the restaurant will offer to donate a certain percentage of sales on a specific day to the organization, but the kicker is that many times, the orders only count towards this percentage if the customer mentions the fundraiser or hands over some sort of flyer or coupon to indicate their involvement. Recently, Montana Council BSA hosted an event like this at all Buffalo Wild Wings locations around the state of Montana. Customers presented a flyer to have the funds donated.

To effectively track, the flyer lived on a specific landing page that email and ad campaigns lead to. The page’s analytics can provide insight into attendance and campaign effectiveness.

While the method of creating a specified landing page for a ticket, flyer or coupon that corresponds with an offline event isn’t foolproof, it can give businesses a better idea of who is attending the fundraising event. This information helps you know which events are the most popular. Additionally, it identifies the most powerful targets.


Offline Event: Concert


Facebook Offline Events

We’ve all been “suggested” an event near us on Facebook. The feature is one that is proving to be quite powerful in the digital marketing space. Facebook Events are great for both large and small scale events and allow for tons of interaction from potential customers or participants.  When a company creates a Facebook Event they are able to select the time and location, connect it to their business page, keep their followers updated on event information, promote the event and, most importantly for this article, they are able to encourage and track RSVPs to the event.

When someone indicates they are “interested” in or “attending” an event, Facebook shares that information with a person’s friends. Facebook will then remind all who indicated they were “interested” or “going” that the event is coming up. People that attend can also let their friends know when it starts. Not only do Facebook Events allow you to track RSVPs, but they also act as a great tool to promote your event by allowing participants to share with their friends in multiple ways. 


Offline Event: Fundraiser


Sourcing Online Details at Offline Events

Once the offline event begins, there are still ways you can leverage online, digital marketing efforts. One specifically powerful digital way to use offline events is to collect information such as email addresses during the ticketing process or even at the event itself. Event participants are opting in to experience your event. Collecting their email addresses can help you track the number of participants who attended the offline event, but also allow you to continue to target them with future digital campaigns. And highly specialized audiences are more likely than not to be qualified leads.


Want to learn more about using offline events as a traction channel? Watch this video.

Learn more about the 19 traction channels and other digital marketing topic by listening to our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Geofencing: Attracting Customers at Trade Shows

Map on wall with pushpins.

As we discussed in a recent podcast, the marketing strategy geofencing, or delivering advertising messaging to people in certain locations using cities and zip codes, has many applications. It can be especially useful when trying to use digital to influence physical activities, such as a trade show or conference. How can we impact attendance at a booth or panel in a huge conference center? What are the ways to get the word out about awesome things you’re doing as a company? 

It’s crucial as marketers that we go to where prospective customers are rather than assuming they will come to us. When operating within the trade show traction channel you’ve already identified where those customers exist. You’re halfway to the finish line. You certainly can try and talk to everyone individually. Or you could use geofencing to make sure everyone in the conference center or hotel sees your messaging! We recently ran Facebook geofencing advertising campaigns for two clients with different goals, but similar results.


Geofencing on Facebook

Case Study #1: Trade Conference Awareness Advertising

One of our clients, a Montana chapter of a national organization, was preparing to attend a yearly conference. Given chapters from around the country would be attending they were interested in getting the word out about the great stuff they were doing. Think of it as a bragging campaign.

For the targeting, we geofenced the convention center where the conference would take place. We ran the ads starting the morning of the first day, turned them off for non-show hours and ended as the conference ended.

As for the creative, we gathered the most appealing imagery we had, knowing that even if someone didn’t engage with the Facebook ad the visual would leave a lasting impression. Our text was very direct, highlighting what sets this chapter apart from others.

The results were impressive. At a very small budget, we were able to reach over 11,000 people and drive 700 ad engagements over a three day period. As an added bonus it drove additional likes on the Facebook post.

Finally, an offshoot of the campaign came in the form of one of our core values: delight. The members of the chapter who attended saw their own ads. That brought the campaign to life for them and validated our work!

Case Study #2: Driving Traffic to a Booth at a Trade Conference

This example is where digital truly meets the physical. One of our clients was new to their industry and looking to have a big coming-out party at a conference. They spent a lot of time and energy building out a flashy booth and printing brochures to give away. Being the little fish in a very big pound, though, they needed to get foot traffic.

We took a multi-faceted approach to the campaign. First, we geofenced hotels affiliated with the conference and offering blocks of rooms. These ads started in the days leading up to the conference, knowing many arrived early. The creative specifically urged people to visit the booth.

Once the conference started the targeting switched to geofencing the convention center itself. Again, the call to action was to visit the booth. Additionally, simultaneous to this ad set we were also running Google Search ads in the city of the convention. The hope was that people who were exposed to signage or Facebook ads would want to Google what the company was all about.

The results: a stellar amount of foot traffic to their booth (which can, of course, be attributed to many factors) and triple the number of website visitors during the conference compared to the previous period.

Facebook Ads

Setting up a campaign

The nice thing about incorporating geofencing into your advertising strategy is that it’s easy to set up and can be launched with a small budget. In the planning stages these are the key pieces of information you need to focus on:

    • Location: Where are the people you are trying to reach?
    • Timing: When will they be there?
    • Interests: Are you targeting everyone in the area or only people in the area that resemble an identified persona?
    • Action: Is your action online or offline?
    • Tracking: Put in place ways to accurately define success or failure

Enjoy your first geofence!


Check out this video for step-by-step geofencing instructions.

For more information on trade shows and the other 18 podcasts check out our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Stand Out By Leveraging Existing Platforms

Neon sign that says #tweettweet

The term “platform” returns a surprising number of definitions. In marketing, it can refer to social media, podcasting, video, web, and more. The traction channel “Existing Platforms” alludes to how startups can leverage traction by integrating with platforms that already have a massive following.

The short explanation of this channel is that startups should represent their business on these platforms to get their content in front of existing audiences and be able to identify their ideal audience with better precision. The following is already on the platform. Take advantage of that pool and explore integrations with platforms that make the most sense with your business. This article highlights the platforms your startup should consider leveraging marketing efforts on.

Social Media Platforms

The History of Social Media Platforms

As of 2019, it is estimated that 3.5 billion people are online. When you compare that number to the total world population of 7.7 billion, it has quite an impact. Breaking that figure down more, studies have estimated that two-thirds of internet users are on social media. For those of us who can remember the early 2000s, the world first saw social media make its presence known in the form of MySpace. What started small in the early 2000s but rapidly grew created an explosion of new opportunities in marketing. 

While MySpace paved the initial pathway of social media, it was the introduction of Facebook to the general population that sparked immense growth in this industry. Originally available only to college students, Facebook allowed users to connect via digital space and share content with one another in a new way. Today, Facebook is a must-have platform for businesses to advertise on. In 2019, there are a reported 6 million businesses that have their own Facebook business page. With 74% of Facebook users checking in daily, there are minimal cons to integrating with this platform.


Staying Ahead of the Competition

However, startups should consider the stage of a lifetime the existing platforms are in. To really gain traction, Businesses only marketing on Facebook will not succeed. The ones who identified and were first to adopt new platforms are the ones who see massive growth. Early adopters are those who are early users of new technologies, products/services, or platforms before the majority of the population catches on. 

With this in mind, keep updated on growing platforms. The earlier your business integrates, the more you can stand out. Just keep in mind who your audience is and whether the platform makes the most sense. A business whose target market is restricted to an older demographic might not want to consider TikTok, a short-form mobile video sharing platform popular with a more tech-depended demographic.

App Platforms

Additional existing platforms to consider are app-focused. App stores like Apple and Android allow businesses access to an impressive pool of potential users. If your business has an app, consider the free strategy: feature a free version of your app to increase the number of users, then monetize those free users with in-app purchases or paid upgrade to a premium version. It’s important to get your app to appear somewhere on the charts, so push for users to share ratings of their experience.

Web or App Extensions

Another example of integrating with existing platforms is through web or app extensions. With web browsers, such as Chrome or Firefox, users can improve their browsing experience by downloading extensions. Usually free, these extensions create a direct portal to a business. Plus, they provide some kind of value to the user as a means of personalizing their browsing experience.


Grammarly is a free browser extension that analyzes in real-time your text to correct grammatical mistakes, provide clear messaging, and improve the quality of messages. It’s a built-in spell checker useful for all messages that are created within a web browser. Grammarly gains a lot from this extension. It receives access to the web browser’s existing audience, provides a useful feature, and drives users to its services, which include premium services.


Slack, a cloud-based instant messaging platform popular with organizations, features a similar type of method with its app extensions. Allowing for seamless integration with services such as Zoom, Google Drive and Obie, Slack has created an opportunity for businesses to tap into its existing user pool in a simple and easy way. An app extension with Slack is perfect for services that seek to make collaboration between teams easier.

With so many platforms existing to take advantage of, what are you waiting for? Take the time to research trending social media or brainstorm how to convert your services to a value-added tool. Finding the right platform can be time-consuming. But once tapped in, you won’t regret the time invested to continue gaining traction.

Check out this video to learn more about existing platforms.

Want more traction channel tips? Follow our YouTube channel and listen to our Cutting Through The Noise podcast for more content on these topics!

The Cutting Through The Noise podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

Affiliate Programs: What to Do and What to Avoid

Woman taking selfie.

Part traction channel, part revenue stream, part lead gen tool, affiliate programs can be extremely effective for everyone involved. When done correctly, that is. By definition, affiliate programs are arrangements in which a company pays a commission to affiliates for delivering conversions. Sales and leads are the primary conversions used, but some companies will pay for web traffic.

Amazon, of course, is one of the leaders in the affiliate space. Coined Amazon Associates, the e-commerce behemoth pays percentages and flat fees on sales generated from a company’s website or social media account. Say you review baby products on your blog. You can apply (and hopefully get accepted!) to the program, attach a tracking code to links to the product page you are reviewing and you’re set. In this example generating a sale of a car seat would net you 4.5% of the sale price. A bonus? Commissions don’t just apply to the product you are linking to. Any purchase from a customer you drive there counts!

Keeping with the baby theme, recommend your readers signup for the Amazon Baby Registry and you get $3 as soon as someone adds one item to the list.


Affiliate Marketing Revenue

Do Your Research

Just like anything on the web, some services are better than others. And when it comes to affiliate programs there are a lot of shady operations. Does it seem too good to be true? Well, it’s probably not. Look out for clumsily put together websites, a lack of terms and conditions and an unorganized fee and payout explanation. You should never pay to join. Anything that says “Get Rich Quick” should be avoided. And make sure the products you would be recommending are legit. The last thing you want is to get scammed out of commission AND your readers or followers scammed as well.

Bottom Line: Do your research, read reviews and talk to associates.


Staying True to Your Brand

It’s important to keep in mind that while you’re driving revenue and making a living that you are still a trusted source of information for your readers. So you certainly don’t want to be mentioning products you don’t recommend just because they have a high price tag. Further to that point, the best affiliates are transparent, noting on their site or in the article they are making a commission over referral purchases. The New York Times does a great job at that when they publish their books bestseller lists.


New York Times Bestseller List


Why Should I Engage in Affiliate Marketing as a Big Brand

Because it’s noisy out there and you can use all the help you can get! Similar to business development it’s a relationship that is a win for you and a win for the partner. You can almost consider an affiliate network your own paid street team. You just don’t have to pay them until there is money in your pocket.

In terms of who, let’s extend the street team analogy. Who better to market your product than your loyal customers? They are already educated on your brand or service and the promise of occasional discounts in addition to a commission could be a powerful motivator. You’ll, of course, need to vet them and make sure they have a platform worth your effort, but the impact of a team of influencers could be huge.

One place to start would be with your analytics. Who has purchased the most from your store or who opens the most amount of your emails? Is there someone who is always liking, sharing and commenting on social media? Isolating these super users and then vetting them prior to reaching out can save a lot of time.

Looking for some simple tips on setting up your affiliate marketing program? Check out this tutorial!


Want to learn more about affiliate marketing and the other 18 traction channels? Check out our YouTube channel and our podcast, Cutting Through The Noise.




Engineering as Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

Woman sitting at desk with three monitors.

Engineering? In marketing? From first glance, the two terms don’t appear to invoke thoughts about being complementary to one another. For digital marketers, it’s a powerful combination and can be an incredible asset to any agency. “Engineering as Marketing” is building and using tools to reach more people and gain traction by providing value to users.

Creating tools that your target audience finds useful can do wonders for your business in the long-term. Ideally, making this tool free for your users is best for businesses looking to grow rapidly. 


A good engineering as marketing case study comes from the marketing automation software company HubSpot. They used the traction channel to improve the quality and quantity of its leads. In the early years of HubSpot, the founder Dharmesh Shah spent quite a bit of time manually scanning through websites to check on the quality of its inbound marketing. Tired of this process, Shah decided to create an application to automate it. Then he made it public as a way to gather emails. Since the app’s launch, Marketing Grader has been used by well over 4 million websites. Also, it can be credited for a large percentage of the leads HubSpot receives monthly. Talk about a win!



The key with the engineering as marketing traction channel is to really pinpoint what service will provide the audience value that you can build off your existing services. It serves as a first step to getting your customers to look into what your business can offer.


Another example to consider is one that’s close to home. In fact, it’s an example taken from within our own agency.

Over the past five years, there has been a steadily growing interest in marketing strategies focused on targeting users based on location. As customer data continues to provide more value to marketers, knowing a user’s location has sparked some innovative and clever strategies in marketing. Such strategies fall under a variety of names: geofencing, geotargeting, geomarketing, location-based targeting, etc. This method of targeting users within a certain geographic radius is applicable across advertising platforms. For example, marketers can serve ads to regions with region-specific ad copy or adjust organic content based on a user’s location.



Taking note of this trend early on we realized there could be a marketing tool engineered to fit this need of marketers. Enter GeoFli, a software as a service (SaaS) product that complements the digital marketing work we do at Pintler Group. GeoFli is a website personalization tool built for marketers (by sympathetic developers!) looking to surface relevant content that lives on their web pages to specific geographic markets. This tool allows marketers to create geotargeted content on their website that adjusts to the viewer’s location.

Say you are a recruiter at a college. With GeoFli, a web visitor from Boston will see different content than a web visitor from California. GeoFli takes away the confusion of coding and web design. Additionally, it makes it easier for those looking to market their content more effectively to different markets. 

GeoFli is a complementary tool that we offer through our digital marketing services. However, we do offer visitors the ability to try GeoFli as a free trial in hopes to receive more qualified leads and reach an audience that truly benefits from its value.


Final Notes

Still unsure about how to develop your own engineering as marketing tool? Just remember these parting notes.

    • Look within your site and think about what tools or widgets would improve your experience.
    • Keep it simple and user-friendly.
    • Always keep your target audience in mind. Provide a tool that is useful to that audience.


Want to learn more about engineering as marketing? Check out our podcast and video on this topic and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

How To: Go Viral in Three Easy Steps

Three women talking.

When we say the word virus, what do you think of? Probably that sickness that kept you home from work for a few days last year so you didn’t pass it on to your co-workers. Just like a virus spreads and bounces from person to person, a viral marketing campaign is one that is spread from person to person where everyone impacted by the campaign brings at least one person to conversion for the business.  The conversion might be a sale, a website visit, an email list sign up, or whatever else is important to your business at this time. Wow, sounds like a great, easy way to market your business, hu? Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. Let’s dive into the 3 steps associated with this unique traction channel and figure out what it really takes to create a successful viral marketing campaign.

Step 1: Awareness of Your Business

In order for a virus to spread, someone has to be its first victim. This same thing has to happen in viral marketing (except, let’s call them customers instead of victims). In order for your viral marketing campaign to be successful, you need to have early adopters who aware of and interested in your business. 

Here are a few ways to increase awareness of your business:

    • Create great content. From blogging to creating podcasts or infographics, engaging content can help people recognize your brand as topic experts and ultimately who they choose to purchase from.
    • Establish partnerships. Working with other businesses (both local and digital) can help you reach a larger audience. Try to promote your products together, host connected giveaways or even just trade social media posts about each other. You can also partner with local non-profits or other organizations that align with the morals of your company. Giving back to your community is a great way to gain positive press.
    • Advertising your business. From Google search ads to billboards, there are many new and traditional ways to advertise your business and increase awareness of your business. Check out this video on offline advertising for some more tips and ideas.

Step 2: Customers Tell Their Friends 

You might have customers who love your product, but if they don’t share with their friends, family and acquaintances then it’s not viral marketing.  

Here are some tips for encouraging your customers to tell their friends:

    • Offer a referral program. Try offering your customers or clients a special deal if they refer a new customer or client to your business. This might just add the small push they need in order to make a recommendation.
    • Make it easy and fun to share social media posts and emails. With fun content that can be easily shared with a click of a button, your customers and clients will be quite likely to pass your name on to their friends.
    • Branded gear. Let your customers become walking billboards by offering clothing, stickers and other gear with your brand on it.

Ask for reviews or customer engagement in social media. Studies show that potential customers trust what other people similar to them so give your current customers an avenue to share their love for your product or service by collecting feedback, reviews and other types of engagement. For example, you know how many grocery stores and fast food services hand you your receipt and say, “fill out the survey on the back for a chance at $1,000?” Well, that is because they know the value of customer satisfaction, quality control, and reviews.

Step 3: New Customers Participate

Word of mouth can be extremely powerful, but it doesn’t always equal conversions. Once someone hears about your business from their friend they need to decide whether or not they will purchase anything. Here are a few ideas for encouraging new customer participation:

    • New customer discounts. Give your new customers an incentive to purchase right away by offering them a first purchase discount.
    • Have an easy to find website and social media pages. Additionally, make sure that information about your product or service is easy to find. While referrals from friends (step 2) help, people often do their own research once they get a referral.
    • Moral mission that people want to get behind. Many people like to purchase products and services that do good in their communities and the world. Therefore, if your business has a community-focused mission be sure to share that publically. It might just end up being the factor that creates a conversion for you.
    • Create a sense of urgency. Do you have a limited time product? Do you book up quickly? Don’t be afraid to let your customers and potential customers know this to create a sense of urgency. When people feel like there’s a time constraint on their potential purchase they are more likely to purchase than if there isn’t anything pushing them. 

Want to learn more about viral marketing? Check out this video and be sure to follow our YouTube channel.

Visit our blog and listen to our podcast for more information on the 19 Traction Channels.

Creating Compelling Content for Your Ads

Man scootering at high speed.

Just like unconventional PR and search engine marketing, social and display ads are one of the 19 traction channels recognized by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares in their book Traction. Basically, these are any advertisements you see on social media or around your computer screen as you surf the internet. Chances are, you have already seen multiple social and display ads today. Do you remember any of them? Better yet, did you click on any of them?  

As you are deciding to run social and display ads for your own business you want to make sure your ads have the ability to cut through the noise and be remembered (and clicked on) by your potential customers. There are many ways to create an effective ad, but sometimes it can be really challenging to know where to start, and once the ad is created, it can be difficult to know where to go from there. Here are some of the tricks we use to create effective digital advertisements that lead to effective landing pages.

Special Deal Creative

Ad Assets

An effective ad starts with a design that catches the viewer’s attention. Many attractive ads include three main pieces of information: the company’s logo, its value proposition, and a call to action. These three pieces of information help the viewer understand who the ad is from, why it is important to them, and what steps they should take next if they want to participate with the brand. Once you have your logo, value, and call to action figured out it is time to design what the ad will look like to the viewer. If you do not have design skills, we would recommend outsourcing this small project to a graphic designer. While this might be more expensive, in many cases, having an effective and attention-grabbing ad will be worth your spend. Regardless of whether you design the ad or pay a designer to do it, make sure it is the correct dimensions and easy to read right away.

Graphic Design 

Ad Assets Quick Tips: 

    • Include a logo, value proposition, and a call to action
    • Work with a designer to create an eye-grabbing ad
    • Keep it easy to read and nice to look at
    • Remember to use the correct dimensions when designing your ad
Landing Pages

Once you create an attractive ad that people want to click on you need somewhere to take them, and a landing page is one great option. The point of your landing page is to supply relevant and desired information to the viewer so they either visit another page of your site, sign up for your email list, make a purchase, or complete whatever your goal may be. In order for your landing page to complete your desired goal, you need to understand your audience and what they are looking for when they visit this page. Try to understand their current emotions, needs and frustrations and play to those within the landing page copy and design. An effective landing page is straight forward, attractive, easy to look at and mobile-friendly. Make sure your landing page supplies the offer or content that the ad that brought them there promised.

Mobile Friendly

Ad Landing Page Tips: 

    • Really understand your audience
    • Keep it straightforward, attractive, and easy to read
    • Make it mobile friendly
    • Supply relevant and desired information or offers
    • Use a low-barrier, relevant call to action

For more information on social and display ads and the other 18 traction channels, check out Pintler Group’s new podcast, Cutting Through The Noise, our YouTube channel and this video.

Search Engine Marketing: Using Google Trends

Screenshot of Google Trends.

Search engine marketing, or paid search, is a powerful, and heavily invested in, traction channel. But looking at a blank campaign and wondering where to start is equivalent to watching a blinking cursor on the blank first page of the next great American novel. Where to begin!

Luckily there are a lot of tools out there to get you out of the gate and headed towards the finish line. One that we love is Google Trends. After all, who knows more about Google than Google!

After identifying your goals and KPIs it’s time for the keyword research portion of your campaign. And Google Trends is a great place to start. The platform is to SEM what Google Search Console is to SEO. It allows you to identify keywords that are trending, research volume of searches over time or even just browse for new keywords.

While it’s understood that keywords with higher search volume are going to cost more on average, you also don’t want to invest in keywords that aren’t being searched for at all. Or ones that are sharply declining. Or invest in regions with very little activity.

So let’s run through an example. Say you’re a clothing company releasing a new line of tank tops and are looking to support with a paid search campaign. Here are three simple ways you would use Google Trends.

Identify Search Volume By Time of the Year

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that search volume for “tank top” is going to ebb and flow with changes in the weather. But the beauty of Google Trends is that you can get even more specific than just spring, summer, fall or winter. The following chart illustrates search volume over the past 12 months.

Search Trends Over Time

It, of course, confirms our hypothesis. But it also shows that search volume starts to drop off earlier than you might expect and identifies the peak towards the end of June. That makes sense given Independence Day. Using this data you can schedule your campaigns appropriately but also consider increasing or decreasing your max CPC bids accordingly.

A by-product of gathering this data for your ad campaigns is that it can inform business decisions. Knowing when the search volume starts to increase for tank tops could be a factor in your new product release schedule. It can also inform when you run promotions or incorporate other traction channels into your overall marketing strategy.

Geographical Relevance

As with any ad campaign, you only want to pay to surface messaging to people who are most likely to convert. Again using “tank top” we ran a geographical analysis to determine what states are producing the most searches.

Given the company has a limited budget we wanted to drill down as far as possible to really optimize our spend. So we filtered by cities rather than states.

Searches By City

As with the timeframe chart, the numbers on the right are indexes, not the total volume. The number 100 means that location, New York in this example, is the location with the highest frequency of searches as a percentage of its overall search usage. That’s important to note has it pertains to the overall population. A smaller city or state that has an above-average amount of searches for “tank top” is going to rank higher than a bigger city with an average amount of searches. But that doesn’t mean the volume is higher.

While the timeframe analysis tells us when this tells us where for our ad groups. We can either target cities and states specifically, or flip the list and exclude areas that aren’t going to net the results we are looking for.

The Keywords You Didn’t Think About

Google Trends is not only a good resource for researching and testing out keywords you have identified but also discovering ones you may not have thought of thanks to the “related queries” feature.

Related Searchs

Once again using “tank top” the tool was able to tell us whether more people as a fraction of overall searches are looking for women’s versus men’s, or which color people most frequently search for.

There are a lot of powerful keyword research tools, including SEMRush and Google Ads Keyword Planner, that you will want to employ in your campaign planning, but starting with Google Trends is never a bad thing.

While these are three high-level uses, there are a ton more ways to use the platform. And it’s not just limited to standard searches. You can filter by images, video and more. We encourage you to spend some time there experimenting. Just be forewarned, it can be quite the rabbit hole!

To learn more about search engine marketing check out our podcast and this video.

Five Unconventional PR Campaigns and Why They Worked

Upside down Mcdonalds sign.

We can all name a company who has pulled off a crazy stunt or unique campaign. But do we know why some are easier to remember than others? Here at Pintler Group we are diving in to find out why some of these ideas stick and some are forgotten. Public relations (PR) is the act of creating and maintaining a favorable public image. Unconventional PR is simply maintaining this image by using unexpected and abnormal methods. It can surface in many ways including publicity stunts, viral videos and customer appreciation. Here are five successful unconventional PR campaigns and why they worked for the brand who pulled them off. 


#1: Banksy’s Self Destructing Painting 

On October 5, 2018, many wealthy, art enthusiasts gathered at a Sotheby’s auction where one of the pieces for sale was a painting done by the mysterious artist, Banksy. Right as the hammer fell to indicate the sale of his piece, the painting titled “Girl with Balloon” began to self destruct by shredding. 

Typically, we think of PR as a way for businesses to maintain a positive image. But brands and individuals such as Banksy use it as well. This stunt was successful because not only did it draw attention to Banksy’s art from all over the world, but it also addressed a social problem that the artist found to be important – the obsession we have to apply a monetary value to art.

Watch the video below and try to not let your heart break a little bit as the $1.4 million painting is shredded. This stunt sure has shock value. It also makes each viewer reconsider their values which is a powerful and memorable thing to do as a brand.

The painting is now estimated to be worth $2 million now. So we can say with confidence that this stunt did a great job of increasing the value of Banksy’s art. 



#2: McDonald’s Golden Arches

To celebrate International Women’s Day, McDonald’s flipped their famous golden arches upside down to showcase a “W.” 

There were some people that didn’t like it, which is a risk of unconventional PR. But many did like it and McDonald’s did a great job understanding the political climate of the time and making a move that would resonate with many of their customers. This simple flip caught the attention of many people around the country and gained a positive image from many. 



#3: Frito-Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Competition

One way to use customer appreciation in unconventional PR is hosting a contest for people interacting with their brand. The Do Us a Flavor competition by Frito-Lay is a great example of this. First, Frito-Lay calls for flavor ideas from the general public. Next, they select the top ones and have them created. Then shoppers can buy the new flavors and vote on which one should stay. 

This is a successful campaign because not only does it get customers involved in product creation, but it encourages people to purchase and try all of the new flavors. Unique flavors that were dreamt up by every-day-people and made a reality are very popular to other every-day-people. This competition increases brand awareness, customer loyalty and, of course, sales.



#4: Volvo Epic Split Video

A very popular and well known viral video example of unconventional PR is the video of Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two moving trucks (watch below).

With over 92 million views, there is no doubt that this unconventional PR attempt was effective in gaining attention. The point of the video was to showcase the stability of their steering system. But beautiful imagery and a very unexpected and extremely difficult stunt captivated audiences and made the video viral.



#5: Dollar Shave Club Blades Video

Another great example of an unconventional PR viral video is’s “Our Blades Are F***ing Great.”

With over 26 million views this video is successful because the content is very funny and entertaining yet it very clearly addresses the value proposition of their business and introduces the viewer to the exact problems their product solves. Try not to laugh when you watch the video below. 



To learn more about unconventional PR check out this video and be sure to follow our channel on YouTube!



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