10.23.12

KidPickers.com: Building an Online Social Community for Children by Mike Wolfe of American Pickers

Kid Pickers LogoBackground

Mike Wolfe, the creator and host of the hit television series“American Pickers”,  wanted to pass on his passion for the great American tradition of exploring, collecting and trading to the future generation of pickers-kids.

Challenge

Create a safe and educational online space where kids from 7-12 years of age can share their picking experiences with their peers while learning about the history of their families and communities through the items they collect.

Kid Pickers' Official WebsiteSolutions

After using social media to get input from parents and teachers,  Simplified Solutions used the Social Engine platform to created a digital playground for young pickers at www.KidsPickers.com.  The moderated online social community gives kids the ultimate “show and tell” experience and explore the world of picking through interactive games, share photos of their treasured finds, and learn picking tips from  Mike Wolfe himself. The journey is filled with learning moments about history, recycling and exploring their local communities all in a safe environment.

Results

Within a five month window of the launch, over 1,200 kids had a password-protected profile with 1,200,000 page views.  KidPickers.com is receiving positive reviews from parents and teachers alike.

Simplified Solutions continues to webmaster the website in addition to managing the social engagement.

For additional information on how Simplified Solutions can help you with your web development, online marketing and technology solutions, visit www.SimplifiedSolutions.biz or contact Bill Kamper at 1.312.846.7669 x1003.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago digital marketing and technology agency

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04.30.12

Young Rembrandts – A Strategy for Web Development and E-Commerce

SimplifiedSolutions strategic roadmap for web development and online marketing helps art education franchisor increase web traffic and enrollment by over 200%.  Online revenue increases by 15% in 6 months. 

Young RembrandtsBackground

Young Rembrandts is a franchise business concept that brings art education and instruction to children ages 3-12. Young Rembrandts art classes are run as an after-school program through elementary, preschools, park districts and now in Michaels Craft Stores in over 80 markets across the US and Canada, and expanding internationally.

Opportunity

Improve Young Rembrandt’s search engine page rankings, value proposition, website user enrollment experience and back ending website management including lead tracking capabilities.

 

Young Rembrandts Website on UmbracoSolution

Using a combination of stakeholder surveys, consumer insight, keyword and web traffic analytics, and technical development best practices, SimplifiedSolutions created strategic roadmap to guide the building of new website for Young Rembrandts. With a focus on a stronger consumer proposition, enhanced user experience and a powerful new administrative control panel (built on the popular Umbraco CMS platform), the new website has improved Young Rembrandt’s ability to manage the ecommerce side of their business more effectively and efficiently.

YoungRembrandts.com features new streamlined enrollment process makes it easier for prospective students to find local classes through a navigational friendly interface. A simple and customized dashboard using .NET and HTML 5 allows Young Rembrandts administrators to update and manage class signup and registration using a more efficient process.

A custom API was written to capture leads and Constant Contact sign-ups for the 80 franchisees as well as the parent organization, to launch an email marketing nurture campaign. SEO-rich micro-websites for each franchisee allows for local management while keeping brand messages intact.  The CMS system also enables the client to efficiently manage banner ad management and create custom landing pages with unique offers.  A separate new blog marketing website was developed to link to the website and promote thought leadership within the art education space. The website was fully optimized with a SEO keyword strategy to improve Young Rembrandts search rankings and increase website traffic.  To measure performance and ROI, enhanced analytics with goal setting was added to the website.

Power in Art BlogResults

SimplifiedSolutions provided a highly dynamic website and enrollment system that improved Young Rembrandt’s search engine presence, showcased their local classes, and allowed them to easily deliver fresh, relevant content to their customers (and capture great leads and data).

The results since the launch have produced impressive numbers:

  • Overall total online revenue increased by 15%
  • Online enrollments jumped up by 200%
  • Total website visits were up by 203%
  • First-time visitors increased by 270%
  • The overall website bounce rate was decreased by 13%.

For more information on web development, online marketing and technology solutions, visit www.SimplifiedSolutions.biz or contact Tom Casale at 1.312.846.7669 x1001.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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02.15.12

Roothouse Inc. – The Rapid Deployment of a Multi-Storefront, Single Catalog E-Commerce Solution

Background

Roothouse Inc. is an e-commerce company that prides itself on quick deployment of niche websites driven off a single catalog. They selected SimplifiedSolutions to build their robust e-commerce stores from the ground up using the zNode platform. Roothouse recognized a tremendous opportunity to grow online sales and effectively interact with their customers in a new and more efficient way.

Calsport.com was the first site to launch, followed quickly by BlackboxPaintball.com and TailsandThings.com (an online pet products store).

Challenge

Roothouse expressed the importance of speed to market with 28,000 dropship products, and needed an ecommerce solution rapidly deployed for multiple websites – all of which were to be managed leveraging a single catalog and administrative panel. An interest was also expressed in tightly integrating social channels into their websites to enable seamless interaction with their brand and new customers in a variety of ways.

Solution

As a part of our process, SimplifiedSolutions collaborated with key stakeholders to plan and implement a Simplified Roadmap. The Roadmap included of functional and technical recommendations as well as strategic marketing tactics including social media

The Roadmap recommendations led to the successful launch of their robust, multi-storefront e-commerce solution built on the flexible zNode ecommerce platform. The Roadmap also resulted in the successful activation of their social media channels (using Facebook ‘like’ campaigns to create buzz and drive qualified traffic to their sites). Thousands of fans joined their pages in Facebook.

Specific functionality was used – like live chat, wishlists, email to a friend, share this, and peer reviews – to create a sense of community and facilitate interaction with their brand. From an architectural standpoint, this solution was developed to scale with future growth of stores as they continue to drive more customers to their websites and boost sales volume.

Results

Sales through all stores continue to multiply. The zNode platform enabled Simplified Solutions to rapidly roll out over 28,000 drop-ship products using a single catalog for three web stores over a 60-day timeframe. This ecommerce solution is a catalyst for sales growth for years to come, while their Facebook fan pages have quadrupled in participation since launch… and continues to grow weekly.

For more information on web development, online marketing and ecommerce solutions, visit www.SimplifiedSolutions.biz or contact Tom Casale at 1.312.846.7669.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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02.11.12

American Pickers – Online Marketing Turns Rust Into Gold for TV Star Mike Wolfe

Background

Mike Wolfe is the star of The History Channel’s highest rated show of all time — American Pickers. Since he was waist-high, Mike has been picking through junk looking for treasure, and since becoming a TV personality Mike has earned the well deserved reputation as one of American’s best foragers.

Challenge

Advance Mike’s new found fame and build his Antique Archaeology brand and business.

Solution

SimplifiedSolutions developed a suite of online marketing solutions which included a new Antique Archaeology website, an e-commerce store, several social media platforms, a content marketing campaign, and an email marketing campaign, all aimed at building Mike’s customer loyalty and generating revenue.

Results

The launch of the new website and social media platforms created a strong reputation winning Mike 120,000 avid fans on Facebook, 50,000 devoted Twitter followers, and over 400,000 monthly website visitors.

Antique Archaeology Facebook Fan Page

Additionally, the email campaigns produce a 50% open rate with a 75% click through rate to key landing pages. Through Facebook advertising and social media, Antique Archaeology gear is generating incremental revenue for merchandise.  SimplifiedSolutions is currently working on a kid-focused social community website, books, and marketing for the two retail store locations.

For more information on web development, online marketing and technology solutions, visit www.SimplifiedSolutions.biz or contact Tom Casale at 1.312.846.7669.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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02.10.12

John Marshall Law School – A Marketing Plan for Distance Education

Background

John Marshall Law School, a nationally ranked law school located in downtown Chicago,  joined the online education boom by offering three advanced law courses via the web.

Challenge

Create awareness and increase enrollment for the law school’s online courses.

Solution

SimplifiedSolutions created a comprehensive marketing plan to help recruit lawyers and non-attorney professional for the new Distance Education program.  The integrated marketing campaign relied on a mix of both traditional and online marketing tactics.  The program included Linked-in and CareerBuilder.com display advertising, plus banner ads on legal blogs and websites. Search engine marketing featured Google text and content PPC.  Print advertising, email marketing, videos, social media and PR rounded off the comprehensive approach.

Results:

Website traffic increased 300%. Conversions went up by 150%. The website in on the first page in search engines for all major keywords.

For more information on web development, online marketing and technology solutions, visit www.SimplifiedSolutions.biz or contact Tom Casale at 1.312.846.7669.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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02.7.12

Facebook Advertising – Success Stories in Social Media Targeting

SimplifiedSolutions’ social media advertising programs target audiences by key interests and demographics on sites like Facebook, YouTube, Linked-in, Yelp and other relevant social networking sites. Our clients have converted traffic for sales, promotional events and offers, viral marketing, drive reviews, and Facebook Fan page ”likes.”

Mike Wolfe, star of the hit cable TV show “American Pickers,” has created a line of branded wearables and gear available at his online store AntiqueArchaeologyShop.com

During the holiday shopping period, SimplifiedSolutions created a Facebook ad campaign targeting fans of the show. 10,000 clicks led to the highest grossing month in the online store’s HISTORY.

Honor Roll Online is a premier professional career services company providing its corporate partners with access to a rich talent pool of students and graduates of America’s top small universities and colleges (5,000 and under).

SimplifiedSolutions developed a micro-targeted PPC campaign on Facebook to reach students attending specific schools. Seventy-five campus-specific or area of study ads promoted HRO’s unique value proposition and generated over 200,000 branded impressions, 15,000 site visits, and added more than 2,000 new enrollees!

Race Your Face Off, a viral marketing site by Quaker State, featured an interactive video game where consumers could download their picture, then race animated NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmy Johnson in a cross- country adventure The captured viral video could then be shared with friends via social media and email.

SimplifiedSolutions created a multi-ad Facebook campaign to drive a 600% increase in website traffic and over 1,300 conversions in two weeks. The viral video was passed to an average of 3 friends.

Muscle Milk, the protein-enhanced performance beverage, needed some social media support for local promotions with the Chicago Cubs and local high school football teams.

SimplifiedSolutions used Facebook advertising to drive awareness and participation in the on-going sweepstakes, plus increase the local “friend” base in Facebook. The social ads generated 2MM impressions, 2,000 sweeps sign–ups and 1,000 new “likes” in two weeks.

Andres Tapia, Chief Diversity Officer & Emerging Workforce Solutions Leader at Hewitt Associates, is one of the leading authorities on global diversity issues in the workplace and beyond and the author of The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity.

Facebook advertising that targeted academics and HR professionals was used to promote books sales and speaking events.

For more information about SimplifiedSolutionsFacebook marketing programs, click here.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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02.3.12

Simplifed Solutions – Custom Integration of QuickBooks and Ecommerce

Background

An e-commerce provider of personalized gifts for all occasions.

Challenge

To update the accounting system so the current system, QuickBooks, would be able to communicate with the e-commerce website, merging two databases into one. Through this process, the necessity of having to manually type 1,000+ daily sales into QuickBooks would be eliminated.

Solution

SimplifiedSolutions built a customized integration layer to streamline communications between QuickBooks and their e-commerce web application. Allowing any order that came through the website to automatically be recorded into QuickBooks.

Results

The entire process was automated, eliminating human error and allowing the company to assign the 2 full time employees who were updating the two databases to other jobs, resulting in cost savings. With the whole process streamlined, the numbers were more accurate, and there is now the power to access real time visibility in the accounting system, as they no longer have to wait until the orders are put into the system to access numbers.

For more information about SimplifiedSolutions’ ecommerce solutions, click here.

Simplified Solutions – A Chicago Internet marketing and technology agency

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