Google puts an emphasis on local business

It’s been a historically irregular year. We don’t need to remind you of that at this point, but the twists and turns of 2020 have resulted in some drastic shifts in the way marketers think about business.

People are whipping out their phones to buy things at a higher volume than ever, social platforms continue to gain steam, and you probably still can’t go to your favorite club. But, before we call out the Ghanian pallbearers over the death of retail, let’s take a look at some recent numbers:

  • Retail is still growing in the US, even during a pandemic. Statistics from the U.S. government show that current retail sales are higher than at this time in 2019, and they’re about 2% higher now than they were during February – before the pandemic.

Sure, retail sales would be even higher if we weren’t in a worldwide pandemic; and sure, e-commerce has seen massive gains. Local business isn’t dead, though, and Google provided some updates yesterday that should help local businesses market themselves a little more effectively. Here’s the bottom line:

  • You can now easily display in-stock products and prices on your business panel. Google’s making it easier to let customers know exactly what you have, and how much it costs. This is a big one for local businesses – if you’ve ever skipped a store because you weren’t sure if they had something, those days are over.
  • Other relevant information is also easier to see. Store hours, curbside pickup, and other relevant details are now displayed more prominently on one page. This information was available already, but Google’s making it easier to see everything in one place.

For you marketers who don’t work with small businesses, Google’s update yesterday on regional structured data might be worth checking out.

Overall? E-commerce store owners and marketers have plenty of reasons to feel good about the trajectory of sales – but local businesses and retail are still going strong!


With social proof, it’s not all the same


Social proof is complicated – and comparing different types of social proof is much more an apples to oranges situation than a tomayto tomahto ordeal (but who says tomahto, anyway).

What does that even mean? Glad you asked, because Emma from Adbox put together a useful Twitter thread yesterday with some answers.

If you’re looking to grow your brand, follow along with Emma’s advice:

  • Let’s define social proof. Emma clarifies the different types of social proof, and how they can all affect your business. And behind the power of social proof, there are four principles: uncertainty, similarity, expertise, and numbers. Check out her Twitter thread for the full definitions of these.
  • Based on these four principles, we can identify two different types of social proof. This is where our apples to oranges reference is relevant.
  • The first type of social proof ad: Authentic user-generated content. This usually comes in the form of a longer review or first impressions video from one user, normally in a casual setting and shot on a normal device. The goal of these ads is to help the user connect with the person giving the social proof in an authentic way.
  • The second type of social proof ad: Social Proof Block. It’s a weird-sounding name for a simple concept: jamming as much social proof as you can into one ad. This normally looks like a compilation of various user reviews and promotions – the strength in numbers approach.

So, which do experts prefer? It varies – and will definitely change based on your brand. If you’re curious, you can check out some expert opinions for yourself in the Twitter thread to see what you think!


Amazon and Spotify get up to 15% better conversion rate and 300% better CTR with these video ads


Vidico. This company produces stellar creatives for companies like Uber, Square, Spotify and Digital Ocean… And what are the results?

  • Your landing page conversion rate could increase by 15%, and in some cases go up a whopping 580% (see Vidico’s campaign for DTC-startup Koala).
  • You can expect a 3-5x lift in CTR over static image ads. This can mean cheaper CPCs.

Sounds enticing? You can actually get a taste of their work for free… But first, you’re probably wondering – “Where have I heard of Vidico?”.

  • Vidico has worked on over 300 projects with their videos accounting for over 1.1 billion views and millions of dollars in sales.
  • Their video content has been played across national television in the US, Canada and Australia, with ads for Square and Homelight.
  • They work with smaller companies as well, and this is what the CEO of Alltrails had to say about Vidico: “We partnered with Vidico to create two animated explainer videos and couldn’t be happier with the price, the process, the team, and most importantly the finished product.”
  • You can see their work for tech startups and global brands here.

There are two ways you can try Vidico’s work for free:

Tip from The Crew: get both of them!


Stop chasing the breakthrough


Growth, growth, growth.

It’s all about growing your business.

Unfortunately, though, real-life growth isn’t normally the stuff of movies – one brilliant idea alone isn’t enough for a sustainable growth strategy.

The concept of ‘growth hacking’ has spread through marketing communities like a pandemic unchecked, but it’s important to know that true ‘growth hacking’ isn’t about finding the magic hack that’ll send your business to the moon.

As Tyler Hakes writes in this piece, you’re probably not one gimmick away from breaking through. The answer?

Trust the process.

You might get 1M visitors on your website because TechCrunch shared an article about your startup. But if you don’t have an acquisition channel, those visitors will leave your website, and you’ll never see them again.

A real-life example is Dropbox and their famous “growth hack”: A free storage referral program. Every time a user signed up a friend, they got free storage.

It worked like a charm. However, before executing this “growth hack”, they first needed a system to acquire the first user. No users, no referral, right?

How do you build an acquisition system?

This mostly depends on your business. But the general process is test, experiment and iterate.

Here at Stacked Marketer, we have a referral program that, so far, has accounted for around 20% of daily new subscribers. (And since we’re talking about it, let’s shamelessly promote it here – there are some pretty cool prizes).

In his post, Tyler says that the content marketing + SEO combo is the best growth system. The main reason for this? It’s scalable. Unlike paid channels, you don’t need to pay for every new user.

And if you want to follow this path, here are four points that most successful content marketing strategies include:

  • Evergreen content
  • Thought leadership content
  • Link-building content
  • Lead generation content

As Tyler points out, content marketing won’t give you 1M users in the first month, but it’ll provide the sustainable, repeatable, and scalable growth your business needs.

Sustainable, repeatable, and scalable. That’s the juice of this post. Whatever is the acquisition channel of your choice, make sure it reflects these three characteristics.

As cool as your one-hit wonder tactics might be, make sure they’re backed up with repeatable marketing strategies to capitalize on those big moments.


GOOGLE: Background blur is now available in Google Meet, aka the easiest way to hide the kids, the dog, and your dirty laundry from clients while you’re on calls.

TWITTER: We’re still waiting for an edit button on Twitter, but the company did announce yesterday that you can now save Tweets as drafts. Kind of cool, right?

FACEBOOK: You can now check your ad limit on Facebook. This probably won’t be a huge deal for many of you, but it’s still good to know!

APPLE: Yes, iOS 14 launched yesterday – but there’s no reason to panic just yet. As we’ve mentioned, the potentially damaging tracking update doesn’t arrive until sometime in 2021.

SEO: Has Google ever hit your site with a manual action? It’s not a good feeling, and John Mueller stated that you shouldn’t expect to get those rankings back – even if you do recover from the issue.

ADVERTISING: Wondering how much of an impact Google’s search terms limitations have on your visibility? This script will help you figure it out.

SHOPIFY: Here’s a real blast to the past. One of Shopify’s requests of funding to investors back in 2010, at a time when many investors thought Shopify would never be bigger than a $50M company.

GOOGLE: In rare form the EU gave Google a compliment, saying that its additions to Shopping which allow more choice are a positive improvement.


What five-letter word in English is pronounced the same with four of its letters removed?

You can find the solution here.


Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The worst dishes ever served on your favorite cooking shows


It’s got nothing to do with marketing, but Insider just posted a couple of quotes from their interviews with judges on popular food shows – and don’t deny it, we all watch cooking shows from time to time.

The question – What’s the worst food you’ve ever been served on a cooking show? Here are a couple of the best responses:

  • “Top Chef” judge Gail Simmons said she ate a warm blue cheese and watermelon salad that was “not enjoyable”. Based on that description, we’re going to say that “not enjoyable” is an understatement.
  • Nancy Fuller, a judge on the Food Network’s “Baking Championship” series, said that burnt pineapple and a matcha cake were among the worst things she’s ever tasted on TV.
  • Duff Goldman of “Holiday Baking Championship” said that hot dog-flavored ice cream was the worst he’s had – and based on the name alone, we’re not surprised.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever tried? At the very least, rest easy knowing it’s probably better than hot dog-flavored ice cream.

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