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How to map a yard sign route for sign placers

If you want to succeed with yard signs (or bandit signs), Google My Maps is a must-have tool.

For the reason that, without this tool … putting out yard signs will be much more difficult than it should be.

Because imagine if you can do this:

Create custom driving routes – Hop into your car, open up Google My Maps on your smartphone, and in seconds, get the step-by-step directions to each sign placement location – without spending an ounce of brainpower! Making it easier for you to finish putting out signs faster so you can get home to bed early before your spouse gets worried sick.

Discover new places to put your signs – Use this tool to find unexplored cities, suburbs, or towns to map out new locations for your yard signs or bandit signs that otherwise would’ve been impossible to find.

Prevent miscommunication with your team members – Share GMM with your yard sign placers so they can know where to place each sign without ever having to consult with you. Thus, saving time for you and your team members.

I recommend any business using yard signs to snag this tool.

Go here to get Google My Maps for free.

In this blog post,
we’ll go over the three different ways to use google my maps:

  1. Targeted Zone
  2. Location List
  3. Driving Route
Targeted zones, location list, driving route
Each option has its own pros and cons.
 
But all of them will make it easier for your yard sign placers to go out in the field and complete their jobs faster.
 
Make sure you stick around until the end to become a pro at using all three.
 
Okay, let’s get started.
 
If you haven’t already, open up google my maps.
 
1. Create a targeted zone 
Targeted zoneThis isn’t exactly a driving route but it’s a great way to get started quickly.
 
With a “targeted zone”, you can quickly draw boundaries around the areas you want to place your signs. Then, give this “targeted zone” to your team for them to get started with their yard sign placements right away without having to plot out everything.
 
So what we’re going to do first is this.
 
Step 1: Click on create a new map
 
Step 2: Give it a quick name by clicking on “untitled map.” You can leave a description in there as well
 
Step 3: Click the “draw a line” button
How to find draw a line button
Step 4: From there we’re going to go through and click an outline of this area where we want our team to place the signs
Outline of the area
 
Step 5: Give the outline a name and some instructions, such as “place signs every 20 yards.”
 
Step 6: Hit save.
 
Pro Tip: Change the color of this area to make it stand out a little bit more.
 
2. Create a Location List
 
Location listA location list is a great way to map out the strategic areas you are already familiar with.
 
And if you’re aiming to create a driving route, I highly recommend creating this location list first because it will make it easier to set up the driving route later on.
 
There are two different ways to create a location list.
 
Option 1: Manually add each location
 
This option is great if you want to quickly add a category of locations, such as supermarkets or shopping centers.
 
Step 1a: Do an individual search
 

In the search box, you can type in an exact address or the location’s name.

For example, if I type in the search box, “West Seattle Thriftway Supermarket”, then that exact supermarket will show up on the map.

Step 1b: Do a bulk search

Alternatively, you can do a bulk search to find a category of locations.

For example, if I type in, “Supermarkets in West Seattle”, then every supermarket in West Seattle will pop up on the map.

And when the pin shows up on the map, go to the next step.

Step 2: Go to the pins that you want to add and click on “+ add to map” and you should see that location show up in the layer that you created.

Step 3: Repeat steps 1-2 until you have every location you need.

There you go you’ve just added a whole list of locations very quickly.

Pro Tip: Create new layers to keep different categories organized. For example, you can have a layer for just “supermarkets” and another layer for “shopping centers”. It’s not necessary but it’s there if you need it.

Option 2: Import a spreadsheet of addresses

If you already have a list of addresses in a spreadsheet somewhere, then you can use this option.

Importing a spreadsheet makes it incredibly fast to map out all of your locations on google map.

So for example this one that I have on google drive

It just has the column headers as restaurant and address and the name of the restaurant and the addresses that they’re at:

Sample spreadsheet

To upload a spreadsheet of locations into google my maps, then follow these steps.

Step 1: Create a new layer

On the left-hand side of your screen, you’ll see a button called “add a layer”. Go ahead and click on it.

Otherwise, you won’t see an option to import the spreadsheet file.

Step 2: Click on “import”

After you click on the button, upload an excel file or CSV. If you’re on a desktop, you could just drag it or click the select a file from your device.

Import button

Step 3: Select the column to position your placemarks.

This basically means to click on the column that has the addresses of each location.

Step 4: Select a column to title your markers.

Pick a column to use as the title for the placemarks, such as the name of the location, and in the example case, the name can be the “restaurants” column.

Hit finish.

3. Create a Driving Route

The sample of driving routeIf you want to do that extra prep work and create a step-by-step route for when you’re actually in the field or your team member is in the field placing signs, follow the next steps to create a driving route.

Step 1: Click this add directions button that’ll create a new layer automatically.

Add directions visualization

Give it a name.

Note: You can change the transportation mode to walking or biking by clicking on the “driving” icon.

Step 2: Click on the point A type box and do one of the following options.

Driving route visualization

You have two options here.

Either you can type in the name or address of the location, or you can click on a pin from the map like in the image below.

Pins on the map visualization

(If you don’t have any pins on the map yet … go to the “Create a Location List” section above for learning how to create one.)

Now, we’re going to keep adding destinations and you can play around and see what’s the most efficient way to drive there.

Step 3: Keep adding destinations until you have an entire route.

But there are some downsides. The biggest one is that google my maps only allows you to do a driving route of 10 stops per layer. The solution is you could create multiple layers and have multiple driving routes on a single map.

Finally, share the map to your sign placers

Now it’s time to take all of your hard work and hand it off to your sign installer so that they’re able to go out in the field and know where you want them to place their signs.

To share your map, click on the share button on the left panel:

How to find share button

Next, enable link sharing and then turn it on to public so everyone gets access to it that needs it:

Enable the link sharing

Copy that link to your clipboard and send this as a text message to your team members.

What’s next?

Send your team members
out into the streets to place your yard sign🙌

However, most business owners don’t always trust their sign placers.

What if … they don’t follow your instructions.

Or worse … they throw away your yard signs.

This is where SimpleCrew comes in.

SimpleCrew verifies that your sign placers are outside (going to places such as supermarkets, shopping centers, etc), following your instructions and perfectly placing your yard signs.

How does it work?

First, sign placers use SimpleCrew to snap photos of each sign they place.

Next, those photos are immediately populated on a map inside our software, letting you see all their work getting done in almost real time.

SimpleCrew campaign example

As a result, this makes it the easiest experience of managing a sign placer. 

SimpleCrew pairs seamlessly with Google My Maps

Copy and paste your Google My Maps link within SimpleCrew so that your sign placer will never have to ask you where to find the link to the map. It’s always in one place.

How to share Google My Maps map to SimpleCrew

And when your team members are inside the app they’re going to go into that campaign and they’ll be able to see the instructions by clicking the link to the map.

How to open Google My Maps in SimpleCrew

To keep your sign placers accountable, start your free trial with SimpleCrew.

If you learned something from this blog post make sure you leave a comment and if you try it out let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about SimpleCrew and how you can hold your team members accountable by tracking all of your signed placements in the field … check out the video and introduction to simple crew for sign marketing.

Categories
Guides

Why aren’t my SimpleCrew photos showing up on the map?

You’ve just started using the SimpleCrew app to track your street team’s progress in the field. Everything is going swimmingly, but the gosh dang photos won’t show up on the map!  Dont’ worry, we’re here to help.
Android GPS Settings
For most Android OS, the problem is that you don’t have GPS enabled in your normal camera app. To do this:
  1. Open your normal camera app
  2. Click the settings (Gear Icon)
  3. Scroll down until you can turn GPS on
If that doesn’t work, you should check that your locations services are enabled in your phone Settings -> Location. The shortcut for this is to swipe down from the top of your screen and select the GPS icon.
iPhone Settings
Go to Settings -> SimpleCrew and set Location to “While using the app” or “Always” You should also check to make sure Location Services is turned on in Settings -> Privacy
Mobile App
If you are uploading photos from Android or iPhone, make sure to upload photos through the mobile app which you can download at app.simplecrew.com/getapp.
Web App on a Smartphone
Uploading from a web browser like safari or chrome will NOT extract GPS data on a mobile phone. You need to first transfer your photos to a laptop and upload at app.simplecrew.com
Laptop
As long as you took your photos with the correct GPS settings, you can always upload them on your favorite web browser (chrome, firefox, safari, etc) and the photos will show up on the map.
Mac / iPhoto
If you want to upload in bulk on the web app, you probably will be importing your photos from iPhoto if you are using a Mac. First select your photos, then in the menu bar, click File -> Export. When the window box pops up. Make sure you select Include “Location information.” If you still can’t get your photos to show up on the map, you can always shoot Mike or Alan an email at [email protected] or [email protected], and we’ll be happy to help. Good luck!
Categories
Guides

Getting Started with SimpleCrew (as a Team Member)

Over the weekend, our friend Jim over at 3Dot Entertainment asked me for a one-sheet to send to his staff to ensure their accounts and phones were set up properly and ready to go.

Realizing that this was probably a good thing to share with the rest of our customers, I figured a quick post would be appropriate. So, here you go Jim 🙂

First, what is SimpleCrew?

Great question. SimpleCrew is a mobile photo app for groups and teams. Think of it as Instagram, except instead of being public for a social network, it’s private for groups and teams.

If you’re a marketing/street team, you guys are going to be using SimpleCrew to track the progress your marketing campaigns in the field.

You’re going to upload photos via the mobile app (or website), and will be able to see timelines of all the other photos your team has submitted, with information including who took each photo, and date and time information.

Click here for an example from All Good Music Festival

Additionally, the app uses the GPS location from your phone to map the location of every photo on a map, so you guys will be able to get an overhead view of all the work your team has done in the field.

Using SimpleCrew, your team will be able to work together more effectively 🙂

Getting Started With SimpleCrew (… as a Team Member)

True to our name, we’ve kept this as simple as possible. Here’s the gist:
1. Your team manager invites you to their account via email.
2. You’ll receive an email inviting you to create an account. Follow the link and create your account.
3. Once you’ve created an account, download the mobile app: Android Market // iOS App Store

… and you’re done! With these steps, you’ll be up and ready to go. If you’re having issues, refer to the FAQ below. If you can’t find your answer here, feel free to shoot us an email or call and we’ll help you get started!

Do you only see a blank dashboard with no campaigns?

This is important! You can only see campaigns that your team manager has added you to! So if you log in and all you see is a blank dashboard with no campaigns or anything, your manager hasn’t added you to any campaigns yet!

Email your team manager and ask them to add you to some campaigns so you can participate, or shoot us an email and we’ll help you get it sorted.

Are your photos not showing up as pins on the map? 

If you’ve uploaded photos that are showing up in the timeline but not on the Google Map, you need to enable your GPS settings on your phone! This is super easy:

Android:
1. Open your normal Camera app
2. Click on the gear icon
3. Scroll down to GPS Tagging and “Enable”

iPhone:
1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Settings
2. Find SimpleCrew and toggle ON

Do you see a dashboard with only an Example Campaign and no other team members?

If all you see is a dashboard with only an Example Campaign and no other team members? Chances are you created a new Company account on accident (instead of joining your team’s existing SimpleCrew account).

If this is the case, email your team manager and ask them to re-send your invite, or email us and we’ll help you get sorted!