Editor’s note: Today marks the start of National Small Business Week, a time to celebrate the millions of small businesses across the U.S. that power and connect our communities. This morning, Lisa Gevelber, Founder of Grow with Google, was joined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator, Isabella Casillas Guzman, at an event to announce new resources for businesses to help fuel growth and employee skill development. More details below.
Small businesses drive the U.S. economy and employ more than 46% of workers. We can attribute much of the nation’s economic rebound over the past two years to the hard work of American businesses — and to the digital tools that helped them adapt. At Google, we see how technology is fueling American business growth in the 2.4 billion connections we make every month between American businesses and their customers.
Three out of four U.S. small-and-medium sized businesses reported that adopting digital tools during the pandemic created new opportunities for their business. And digitally advanced businesses report 20 times better customer acquisition rates. Yet almost half (49%) of small businesses still lack the information and skills needed to use digital tools. Filling these skill gaps can help fuel growth for American businesses while creating new opportunities for workers. That’s why we’re expanding our Google Career Certificates program to further meet the needs of businesses and job seekers.
Google Career Certificate scholarships for U.S. businesses
To make it easier for businesses to help their employees get the skills they need, beginning today, U.S. businesses can get up to 500 scholarships each to Google Career Certificates to train their employees.
It’s no secret that businesses of all sizes are struggling to acquire and retain talent. Those who create growth opportunities for their employees have a much better shot at retaining them. Businesses can use Google Career Certificates to train their employees for jobs in data analytics, digital marketing & e-commerce, IT support, project management or user experience (UX) design. No experience is required, and employees can earn an industry recognized credential in three to six months of part-time study. For every scholarship we give, a business will be gaining capabilities and, at the same time, an employee will be growing new skills.
Giving businesses more capabilities in e-commerce and digital marketing
The pandemic accelerated the need for digital tools — and we know digitally advanced businesses have been more financially resilient, and have hired at twice the rate compared to less digitally advanced peers.
To ensure businesses of all sizes can use digital marketing and e-commerce to unlock growth opportunities — and that they have access to talent with the know-how — Google is launching a new Digital Marketing & E-commerce Certificate.
This new certificate is rigorous, and endorsed by the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and the AAF (American Advertising Federation). Here’s what you should know:
- This certificate teaches digital marketing and e-commerce skills, including how to find customers, building an online store, measurement and analytics and increasing customer loyalty.
- Like all our certificates, all course instructors are Google employees who are subject-matter experts.
- Learners will get hands-on experience with popular digital marketing and e-commerce tools and platforms such as Canva, Constant Contact, Hootsuite, HubSpot, MailChimp, Shopify and Twitter, as well as Google Ads and Google Analytics.
This certificate is the latest addition to the Google Career Certificates program, which provides flexible online training for skills in high-growth fields. Combined, these certificates provide job seekers with access to more than 1.5 million in-demand jobs in the U.S. Graduates of the program gain access to jobs through our employer consortium, which includes more than 150 companies — such as Crate & Barrel, Infosys, Shopify, Verizon, Walmart, Wayfair and Google — that are eager to hire entry-level talent in these fields.
We’re looking forward to seeing what opportunities businesses, employees and job seekers continue to unlock with the expansion of the program. Learn more and enroll at grow.google/digitalmarketing.
Summer 2022 is nearly here, and vacationing is on many minds. But it’s not as easy as deciding you’re ready to hit the road — or sky. We took a look at some Google Search and Flight trends and came up with a few questions you can ask yourself as you start planning to go…somewhere, anywhere besides your home. And to help you answer those questions, we’ve got plenty of travel-related Google trends that can guide you through settling on your next journey.
Who should go on the trip with you?
So far in 2022, search interest in “girls trip destinations” is up 300% and “good bachelor party ideas” is up 200%, so group trips are certainly on our minds. Expecting parents would be wise to take one last couples trip — in fact, in the U.S., search interest in “best babymoon destinations usa” increased 170% in the first four months of 2022. And there’s nothing wrong with going solo; look no further than the 600% spike in “singles cruises” from January through April 2022.
What’s the goal of your getaway?
Once you’ve settled on who you want to travel with, the real fun can start and you can decide what kind of trip this will be. Well…is this a trip, or a vacation? Do you want to rest up, or rev up? Are you treating yourself or trying new adventures? Or maybe a little of all the above!
According to Google Trends, lots of people are looking to experience the outdoors: The top-searched summer attractions in the U.S. include Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, as well as Lake Tahoe and the Grand Canyon.
Glamping is also a popular option for those who want to get outside without totally roughing it (that’s glamorous camping, for the uninitiated). From January 2019 to April 2022, search interest in “glamping near me” spiked more than 500%. Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Tennessee are the most-searched destinations for glamping.
Where should you go?
Whatever kind of traveler you are (or plan to become this summer!), landing on the right destination is key. And if you’re excited about an international adventure, you’re in great company! Search interest in “passport appointments” increased 300% over the first four months of 2022, and Google Flights trends show that five of the top 20 destinations people in the U.S. are searching for are in Europe — London, Paris, Rome, Athens and Lisbon. Here’s a look at the complete list of the 20 top-searched summer destinations on Google Flights:
3) Las Vegas
5) New York
6) Los Angeles
13) San Juan
14) Fort Lauderdale
18) San Francisco
Looking to stay stateside? Domestic travel trends show people looking for flights to Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, L.A. and Seattle, among other great U.S. cities. So if you want to hit the trendy spots, you know where to go…and if you want to avoid the trendy spots, you know where not to go.
Traveling isn’t stress-free, and for anyone who’s already feeling overwhelmed by the options, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a staycation. In fact, looking at January through April 2022, “luxury hotels near me” has over two times the search interest it had during the same period in 2019. No passport required.
The strength and resilience of the Asian community has been remarkable — especially in response to the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes over the past few years. In the U.S. alone, they rose 339% in 2021, according to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. But through this adversity, coupled with all of life’s other stresses, the Asian community has shone brighter than ever. As an Asian American, I’m proud of how our community has come together while also uplifting others along the way. Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) — and all year long for that matter — is a chance to celebrate this spirit, and that’s why it’s so important for Google to show up to support the Asian community.
In my role as VP of Engineering for Google Search, I spend a lot of time thinking about how to organize and understand the information that people want and need. Through Google’s services and tools, we have an incredible opportunity to share relevant information with our users on important topics like cultural identity and history.
One great example, in honor of APAHM, the Google Assistant team has curated a collection of facts and quotes about notable people and achievements in Asian history. Just by saying, “Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month” to your Google Assistant, you can learn something new every day throughout the month of May.
Join me in celebrating APAHM and exploring some of the talented members of our community that Google is featuring this month.
Recognizing Asian culture through art and music
Throughout May, products across Google will spotlight Asian creators and heritage, showcasing the creativity and influence of these artists, musicians and entertainers on modern culture. For instance, Google Arts & Culture is launching a new iteration of its Asian Pacific American Culture Hub with a focus on community, intersectionality and inclusion. Features will range from new stories celebrating Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ (AAPI) joy, to inspiring contemporary artists and storytellers, to a fresh group of seven new partners who amplify voices and create space for togetherness. Organizations include the Asian American Arts Alliance, Welcome to Chinatown, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kearny Street Workshop, Asian Arts Initiative, San José Museum of Art and the Japanese American National Museum.
And for all the Pixel users out there, you can now carry a piece of art on your phone by downloading a new wallpaper created by visual artist Sarula Bao in the Curated Culture collection. Bao’s wallpapers illustrate the importance of community through sharing culture and celebrating one another, including a special Year of the Tiger wallpaper, all available in your wallpaper & style settings.
Over at YouTube Music, we will be spotlighting playlists featuring Asian American and Asian diasporic artists, such as keshi, Rina Sawayama, P-Lo, Lyn Lapid and Eric Nam. YouTube Music will also celebrate Asian+ artists on social channels and on billboards in select US markets.
And onGoogle TV, we’ll feature TV and movie recommendations throughout the month ranging from Asian Pride in Hollywood and Stop Asian Hate Collections to content featuring K-Dramas, Martial Arts, Bollywood, Anime and more.
Amplifying Asian history through continued learning
This year, people searched for “Asian representation” more times than ever worldwide. Search interest in “Asian cuisine” also reached a record high this year in the U.S. So to kick off the month, you’ll see a little surprise if you look up “APAHM” or other related terms in Google Search. Later this month, there will be a special Doodle celebrating a pioneer of the Asian community — keep an eye on about.google, where you can also learn about AAPI history through art collections, videos with notable members of the community, Google Doodles and more.
And as interest in Asian culture and representation continues to grow, Google is partnering with Gold House for the second year in a row on their annual A100 List — the definitive honor recognizing the 100 most impactful Asians and Pacific Islanders in American culture over the last year. We will be amplifying voices of the A100 honorees throughout the month of May.
Uplifting Asian businesses everywhere
Google is committed to helping small business owners by providing them with resources and tools to help reach new customers and show their products across Google. For example, Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi — a small business owned by Lauryn Chun that seeks to celebrate the legacy of her mother’s cooking and share a delicious, authentic, handcrafted small-batch kimchi — used Google Ads and Google Shopping free listings to grow her sales by 128%, going from nine jars to over a million sold nationwide — delivering her kimchi to kitchens all across the country. To discover more tools that help small businesses, like Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi, visit g.co/smallbusiness.
At Google, we must take these opportunities to meaningfully celebrate, uplift and appreciate Asian culture and the people across our community who are doing trailblazing work. And while there is always more work to be done, APAHM gives us the opportunity to celebrate the vast identities that make up the Asian community and recognize our talents, influence and resilience of our community together.
As B2B companies look to create more authentic and meaningful experiences for digital first customers, content marketing co-created with industry and internal influencers has enabled many organizations to deliver information that is more empathetic, useful and inspiring.
Growth B2B brands are seeing the influence piece of the puzzle as an opportunity to better attract and engage increasingly distracted and distrustful customers. Many of those ambitious B2B marketers are looking for ways to accelerate their use of influence both internally and externally.
Since our first paid B2B influencer engagement in 2012 with a Fortune 500 brand that is still our client today, we’ve seen an acceleration in B2B marketers seeking expertise, technology and best practices for engaging influencers. In 2022 those solutions come in many forms ranging from independent B2B influencer marketing consultants, to software platforms that also sell services to specialist agencies with teams dedicated to the strategy, tactics, technology, measurement and scale of B2B influencer marketing programs.
For those B2B brands that prefer to have a trusted agency partner capable of delivering a full suite of services, there are questions to be answered. Just use Google to search “b2b influencer marketing” and you’ll see many of them:
- What is a B2B influencer?
- Does B2B influencer marketing work?
- How do you do B2B influencer marketing?
- Is influence a B2B or B2C strategy?
B2B marketers are searching for more than the topic of B2B influencer marketing. They want to find:
- B2B influencer marketing examples
- B2B influencer marketing in 2022
- B2B influencer marketing case studies
- B2B influencer marketing statistics
- B2B influencer marketing on LinkedIn
- The best B2B influencer campaigns
For our part, TopRank Marketing’s B2B Marketing Blog has been publishing answers to these questions for many years. One of the ways we bring those answers together is through our State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report, which you can sign up for advanced access to here.
On the topic of B2B marketers working with agencies for influencer marketing, our most recent research found that only 22% of B2B marketers surveyed are currently using an agency to manage their influencer marketing program.
But not all B2B marketers are equal in their marketing maturity, sophistication or performance. We found that 44% of the most successful B2B marketers work with an agency to manage their program and 67% of the least successful B2B marketers do not work with an agency to manage their influencer marketing program.
One of the top challenges B2B marketers have with influencer marketing is finding the right influencers. So it was no surprise that we found that 56% of the most successful B2B marketers surveyed say working with an agency to source influencers is effective.
As seen by the Google questions above, many B2B marketers are not clear on what a B2B influencer is, so finding one would then understandably be difficult. And if you can find the right influencers, how can an influencer marketing program have any chance of success? Incidentally, we’ve covered what characteristics makes for a great B2B influencer here.
So, what else are the most successful B2B marketers having agencies help them with? The way you engage with industry experts or internal key opinion leaders or both really depends on expected outcomes, topics, content types and which relationships are either in place or in need of being developed. Here are some essential questions to answer about influencer marketing when developing your strategy here.
Overall the most successful B2B marketers are engaging agencies to help in the following areas according to our survey question on the topic:
- 100% to develop strategy
- 50% to identify influencers
- 75% to manage influencer relationships
- 50% to manage influencer marketing technology
- 50% to implement campaigns
- 50% to measure effectiveness
It makes a lot of sense for an experienced agency resource to serve as a guide in helping B2B brands develop their influencer marketing strategy. An agency with experience and a proven track record will not only draw upon data, technology, process and most important of all, relationships to help B2B brands understand what’s possible, but also how to achieve it, what resources are needed, creative content ideation and production, influencer identification and activation, and measurement and scale.[bctt tweet=”“It makes a lot of sense for an experienced agency resource to serve as a guide in helping B2B brands develop their influencer marketing strategy.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]
B2B brands come in all sizes, so what about larger companies? Our research found that for companies with 500 to 1000 employees, 55% indicated that working with an agency to source influencers was effective vs. 27% that used software. For B2B companies with over 1,000 employees, 38% found working with an agency to be effective vs. 31% that used software.
Expertise with software alone does not equal success for an influencer program. It takes creativity in developing influencer activations and content collaborations that simultaneously deliver exceptional customer experiences as well as represent the interests of the brand and importantly, advance the objectives of the influencers involved.[bctt tweet=”“For B2B companies with 500 to 1000 employees, 55% indicated that working with an agency to source influencers was effective vs. 27% that used software.” — Lee Odden @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]
Such 360 degrees of win solutions are not easy but can perform exceptionally well as we’ve seen with B2B brands including SAP, LinkedIn and one of the largest telecommunications brands in the world.
Working with an agency on an influencer marketing program can be very satisfying or disappointing depending on expectations, and the capabilities of both parties. Getting the most out of the agency investment means focusing on getting help where it will have the most impact, especially with strategy, influencer identification and creative content activations that inspire influencers and customers alike.
GET CAN GET ADVANCED ACCESS to the 2022 State of B2B Influencer Marketing Research Report by signing up here.
The post How the Most Successful B2B Marketers Work with Influencer Marketing Agencies appeared first on B2B Marketing Blog – TopRank®.
Summer is fast approaching in most parts of the world, and there’s a familiar travel planning buzz in the air. Whether you have a destination in mind or are just dreaming about an escape, Google has tools to help you get inspired and research your options so you can book with ease when the time is right. Read on for new features that’ll make travel planning a joy, this summer and beyond.
Track flight prices for any dates
On Google Flights, you can track prices for specific dates between two cities. Just search for your destination, toggle to opt-in, and we’ll email you if prices drop substantially for those dates. But maybe there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to go and you just want the best deal possible (dream trip to Rome, anyone?). Beginning today, you can start tracking prices to find deals for any dates, and you’ll get an email if we detect lower than typical fares in the next 3-6 months. As they say, good things come to those who wait!
Browse destinations within driving distance
Not sure where to visit? The Explore tool lets you browse locations around the world with filters for things like budget or trip length. In the default view, Explore will show flight prices, but now you’ll also see a pink dot and a bubble that reads ‘Explore nearby’. Tap this feature to narrow your search to places you can drive to in a few hours, and select any destination to see helpful information including average hotel prices or what kind of weather to expect. If you do decide to take that road trip, there are plenty of ways Google Maps can help.
Find the perfect place to stay
Once you know where you’re going, it’s time to decide where you’ll stay. You can search for hotels on Google or head straight to google.com/travel. Heading to a new city? It can be overwhelming to choose what neighborhood to stay in, but with new interest layers on the map, you can quickly see which areas have the most options for dining, shopping or sightseeing. For more popular destinations, you can also tap ‘Where to stay’ under the search filters, for a handy neighborhood guide.
For some trips, you may want easy access to a certain landmark or address. Beginning today, you can enter that location in the hotel or vacation rental search bar and you’ll see a toggle to show properties within a 15 or 30 minute trip by foot or car. This might be helpful if you’re going to an event, like a wedding or a conference, and want to stay near the venue.
Stay organized along the way
For the vacation dreamers and planners, we’ve introduced a new way to keep track of properties that pique your interest so you can pick up your travel planning right where you left off. Just tap the bookmark icon on any hotel or vacation rental, and it’ll be saved for easy reference. To see your saved properties, look for the Saved tab on mobile or the right hand panel on desktop.
Here’s to safe and happy travels!