A Look Back at 2019: Search Influence Style

December 26th, 2019 by Alison Zeringue

I’m fairly certain that at some point in the first quarter of this year, I fell into a wormhole and recently emerged to discover that 2019 is coming to an end. How did this happen so fast?! And not just 2019, it’s the end of the DECADE, people!

It’s like it happened in the blink of an eye, yet this year was jam-packed with exciting happenings.Happy 2020 New Year from Search Influence

Whether you’re still suffering from the nationwide White Claw shortage or re-binge-watching the last season of Game of Thrones while eating Popeye’s new chicken sandwich, you probably agree that 2019 was a doozy. Lizzo rose to stardom, there was a new royal baby, and Stranger Things graced us with a third season.

Clients and employees of Search Influence had an equally eventful year! This Year-in-Review post reflects on and celebrates the many exciting accomplishments of our team and our clients in 2019.

Here’s the TL;DR version of our 2019. More on all of this below!

In 2019, we…

  • Kicked off partnerships with 26 new clients 👟
  • Launched 84 client campaigns 🚀
  • Congratulated 5 newly married Influencers
  • Welcomed back 2 more Influencers who “boomeranged” back to Search Influence after going to work elsewhere ♻️
  • Said “Happy birthday” to 5 new Influencer babies in the last 12 months
  • Moved from downtown NOLA into a historic three-story building in Central City with our own courtyard
  • Initiated SMART Goal setting for each of our clients, an effort to hold ourselves accountable while focusing on our clients’ marketing objectives
  • Won a PRAL Flambeaux award for our successful digital campaign to produce a favorable vote to evenly distribute taxes among NOLA’s parks and greenspaces
  • Traveled to 6 cities in 5 states (Austin, TX; St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN; Denver, CO; Nashville, TN; and Torrance, CA) to develop our expertise, share our knowledge, and visit with our clients
  • Began working with clients in 17 different industries, 7 states, and 16 cities across the country
  • Achieved a company-wide profit threshold as a unified team through a culture of transparency and collaboration
  • Achieved an above-industry standard client retention rate by focusing on client ROI and employee education
  • Shared our expertise with speaking engagements at MN Search, Zenith, New Orleans & Company’s Tourism University, 2019 UPCEA Marketing and Enrollment Management Seminar, Mississippi Alliance for Nonprofits, Public Relations Association of Louisiana, and Public Relations Society of America, New Orleans Chapter
  • Blushed when three of our leaders were nominated for Ada Lovelace Awards
  • Topped off our 14th year in business and marveled at the change from early days around Will & Angie’s dining room table to now

Search Influence 2019 Year in Review

A Happy & Prosperous 2019 for Our Clients

This year our Account Management team put a focus on strategy and client ROI, spending significant time ensuring that our campaigns align with our clients’ ultimate goals. Leveraging the methodology of SMART Goal setting, we worked hard to ensure all aspects of our campaigns are connected to the greater purpose of achieving client goals. And we have made these goals transparent to every member of our agency so that each individual can understand how their work is connected to the big picture.

We launched and ran successful campaigns for key clients, including New Orleans City Park, Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts, the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, and many more.

Through a newly-formatted quarterly feedback survey, we solicited valuable insights from our clients about their experience with us and gathered some amazing testimonials:

On Data and Analytics Reporting:

“One of the biggest advantages to using Search Influence is their transparency and collaboration in reporting on analytics. The SI team worked with the Tulane School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) to determine what analytics and benchmarks were most important to us and made sure to align them to our outcomes. Each month, the SI team presents these data and analytics to the SoPA team and we ask questions, discuss strategy, and make data-informed decisions. Search Influence works with us each month to refine both the gathering and reporting of data. As a result, not only do we have a better understanding of the impact of our digital strategy, we are part of a continuous improvement process.”
From Christa Payne, Assistant Dean at the Tulane School of Professional Advancement

On Expertise and Client Experience:

“I tell pretty much anyone who will listen how much I love working with y’all. Jordan and Ariel are both amazing—they’ve done so much for our Editorial Team and our overall approach to content on the site. On top of being incredibly knowledgeable, they do a great job of explaining oftentimes complicated subject matter to our team in a way that’s approachable. 10/10—y’all are the best!”
From Hartley Casbon Wasser, Director of Editorial & Content Marketing of New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Corporation

On Holistic Marketing Strategy:

“Search Influence has been an integral and essential part of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience’s marketing. The team goes above and beyond to make sure we are happy and taken care of. At the beginning of each season for NOWFE, Search Influence sees our vision and then brings it to life, offering advice and suggestions along the way to help meet our goals. I know that when I give the Search Influence team a task that it will be done, and having that kind of trust and loyalty in this industry is everything to us.“
From Aimee Brown, Executive Director of New Orleans Wine & Food Experience

A Productive & Rewarding 2019 for Our Employees

The biggest development in 2019 for our team was our move from downtown New Orleans to a historic building in Central City! Moving from the CBD resulted in savings for both the company and each individual employee thanks to FREE PARKING! We also gained several outdoor spaces for our team to enjoy and use for collaboration. We’ve already enjoyed using our new space to host clients for in-person meetings and lend meeting space to organizations in need. We hosted our first Careers Open House this December, welcoming 20+ prospective employees and others looking to network.

Ribbon cutting at Search Influence's new office at 1610 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, New Orleans, LA

We’re proud to say that our team rallied around a collective goal to achieve a profit threshold this year, and we accomplished it months earlier than planned! Through a culture of transparency (we share financials in our company-wide meetings monthly) and collaboration, we worked together to exceed our own expectations. No doubt this is thanks to the hard work of each individual team member staying connected to client goals and delighting our clients with strong results.

A Focus on Professional Development

Members of our team traveled to Austin, Denver, and Nashville to further their education in key areas of our work, from Local SEO to Analytics and tracking. A key initiative for the year was a renewed commitment to our employees’ personal and professional growth. We kicked off a program enabling all employees access to a mentor from our leadership team (from any department) and empowered them to set SMART Goals for their personal and/or professional lives.

A Focus on Fun

When we worked together to achieve milestones set by our leadership team through quarterly planning, we celebrated with a Stranger Things themed party that featured Eggo waffles and just about any topping you can dream up. We mused. We boozed. We watched movies. We played Clue. We found fun ways to unwind together. Our work—and more importantly our clients—are better because of it!

Can’t-Miss Content From 2019

Our core purpose is to “optimize potential,” the potential of our clients, our employees, and the community in which we work. One way we live this is by constantly growing and sharing our knowledge with the larger community, whether within our industry or to small businesses or nonprofits in need.

This year, our team produced presentations, blogs, and oodles of content to educate the larger community of which we are a part. We spoke at several conferences, luncheons, and community organizations. And we consistently kept our blog updated with useful information. Here are five of our most-read blogs in 2019:

Cheers to 2020

Writing this post has made it clear that capturing the happenings in a digital agency like ours over the course of a year is nearly impossible! With such a fast pace to our work and industry and a company goal of continuous improvement, it was a year packed with fun, exciting changes, and growth. We look forward to dialing up the fun and prosperity—here’s to seeing you in 2020!