Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

Advertising, All News, Digital, Mobile

Recently, Google flew a few Swim’rs out to its headquarters in Silicon Valley to tour the campus and record a few videos at the Google Hangout Studio.


Fun fact: Nearly half of all marketing budgets are spent on search, with 31% being paid search and 18% on SEO.

And, much of the growth in paid search can be attributed to increased advertiser focus on mobile devices.

Take 10.

Watch as our digital strategist, Amber Ooley, explains the ins and outs of search ads and how search engine marketing works.

Contact us if you are interested in learning how search engine marketing can help your business succeed online.

Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

All News, Social, Strategy & Research

Who knew you’d have to battle trolls as an adult? Good or bad, feedback on online content (blogging and social media) should not be ignored, and is something we deal with every day. Don’t look at it as a burden. View it as an incredible opportunity to learn and engage with your audience.

Here’s how we suggest handling online feedback:

Step 1: Build a process 

After you establish your content marketing strategy (and define the social channels that are right for your brand), the next step would be to develop and document the process associated with handling feedback online. Whether you’re doing it all by yourself or working collaboratively with a team, a written process will save you from scrambling down the road.

Pro tips:

  • For organizations with a social media team, assign roles in the process doc so everyone is aware of their responsibilities in regards to the feedback workflow.
  • Include tips for responding to feedback, including tone of voice, where to direct them next (email or phone?) and at what point do you need to bring in the manager.


Step 2: Develop your comment policy, and make it publicly available

This is the public-facing document that tells users you have the right to delete their inappropriate comments and/or block them from your page if they don’t follow the rules.

We’re a fan of the comment policy for TopRank Marketing.

Think of it like social media or blog insurance. You have something to show for yourself when Negative Nancy gets a little out of control.


Step 3: Hug your haters

Did you know that 80% of companies say they deliver outstanding customer service, but only 8% of their customers agree?

Whether or not you like it, we need to be where our customers are—and that’s online.

This concept is derived from Jay Baer’s book: Hug Your Haters and it’s worth every penny!


Step 4: Draw the line

Not all negative comments should be deleted. Sometimes you can get the best feedback through negative comments. Determine when the line is crossed.

We live by the Rule of 2.

The user will always get a response after comment #1.

If they persist on replying to our reply, we’ll ask them to take the conversation offline, aka send us an email directly.

If they continue to babble on, we’ll hide their comments and move on with our day.

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Step 5: Don’t take it personally

Just because someone has decided to direct their frustration at your brand publicly, doesn’t mean you should call your PR manager to put out the fire.

If you follow the steps above and show that you publicly care about everyone’s feedback—positive or negative—the bystander users who read your comments will notice and appreciate your efforts.

As Bob Marley once said, “Every little thing gonna be alright.” 


Are you in need of some guidance for creating your internal process or policy around handling negative feedback?

Send us a note at We’d love to help you out!

Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

All News

Last month, Swim visited Google Headquarters in California. #lifegoals

By Swim, I mean me, Amber Ooley, and two of my team members, Ben Luoma and Tanner Blaschka. We won this trip for earning the highest percentage of increases in client mobile-friendly websites with AdWords accounts in the US and Canada.

As we were Lyft‘ing to Google, I felt like a kid on Christmas morning as we passed many of the companies that originated in Silicon Valley, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Intel and eBay.

See the full list of notable companies here. It’s incredible!

Once we arrived at Google, it was like the first day of college all over again—an overwhelming amount of nerves and excitement all at once.

Our hosts greeted us and we kicked off the day with a gourmet breakfast at one of the many food stops on campus. I’m talking polenta with pork belly (pictured below) followed by handcrafted espresso drinks.


Next, we toured a few iconic spots and immersed ourselves with the Googlers, Newglers and Dooglers. That last one is Googlers with dogs in tow. Nice to meet a fellow dog-friendly company!


After taking selfies with a dinosaur, testing out a Google bike, strolling through the Android Garden and picking up some Google merch, we enjoyed an à la carte style lunch where Swim’r Ben spotted a celebrity: Kari Byron!




To wrap up the day, we spent a few hours recording videos at the Google Hangout Studio.

Subscribe to Swim’s YouTube channel, and you’ll be notified when our videos are available.

More photos from the Googleplex:


One of the first Google Maps Street View cars.
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Yes, that’s a slide.

Swim Team Was Here

Thanks for the fun, Google!

Stay tuned for our next trip to Google’s San Francisco office in October, where we’ll spend a day of learning at the Mobile Workshop.


Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

All News, Design

On warm summer days, a magical cart appears around the city to dish out sweet scoops of sassy nanny goat cheese with roasted cherries. Or maybe you’re a fan of the honey lavender? Salted caramel? Whatever way your frozen dairy preferences lean, you can count on Love Creamery to make your expectations take flight like a winged ice cream cone.

As word got out and popularity increased, Love Creamery wanted to expand beyond the cart and into the dessert aisle. The only problem? The original woodcut-inspired logo was hard to reproduce on packaging.

Enter Swim, logo refresher and packaging refiners.

Working with Nicole, the mind and ice cream maker behind Love Creamery, The Swim Team worked to retain the original hand-rendered feel that made the logo unique but simplified the artwork so it could be recognized from afar. Nicole also wanted the Love Creamery name and ice cream cone to stand out more than they did in the original.

A few rounds, a couple pints of sorbet later and voila! The new logo is ready to hit the shelves. It looks even better on the new packaging, which you can find on (reusable!) glass jars at Duluth Coffee Co., Spokengear in Two Harbors, Fika in Lutsen and several area farmers markets. For a full list of locations,

For a full list of locations, visit the Love Creamery website.



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Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

Agency Life, All News, Awards, Digital, Events

For Immediate Release:

A small agency in Duluth, Minnesota earned a trip to Google Headquarters for being in the top 10 in the United States and Canada to achieve the highest percentage increase of mobile-friendly client websites within Q2 of 2016.

Yay for mobile!

Three members of The Swim Team will travel to Mountain View, California. There, they will spend the day touring the headquarters.

Meet the traveling team:

Follow Swim Creative’s Twitter and Instagram accounts, as we’ll be sharing our experience from Google HQ on August 25, 2016.

Swim Creative is a Google Partner.

We work to perfect the performance of our client’s Google AdWords accounts every single day. Send us a note, if you’d like to learn more about our Google advertising services.

We’ll also be onsite during Google’s Mobile Workshop on October 27, 2016. Stay tuned for some live-tweeting action!

Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

Agency Life, All News, Tech

In honor of summer finally arriving in the northland and a long holiday weekend ahead of us, we pulled together a short list of industry-leading books and blogs to keep you busy. Get ready to feel smarter by next Tuesday.

Quick reads to throw in your beach bag:

Blogs for the techies on-the-go:

Amber Ooley


Director of Digital Strategy

Agency Life, All News, Events

Duluth will host 18,000 runners this weekend, and 7 of those are Swim’rs

Racers and spectators alike are anxious for what’s upon us—Grandma’s Marathon.

If you’re running, we wish you the best of luck!

If you’re spectating, we invite you to stop by the Swim office (415 E. Superior Street) to join our cheer party. Give our prize wheel a spin and win something awesome like this t-shirt or umbrella.


Because spectators are awesome, too.

To wrap up our training, we asked members of the #SwimRunClub to tell us what they’re most excited—and not so excited—for. Here’s what they had to say:


I love being able to drive up the shore, run 13.1 miles, drink a beer and eat pizza—all before noon. #bestdayever

I’m not too excited for the post-race wobble.


Excited to see family and friends cheering on London Road.

Not looking forward to the pain that will undoubtedly set in at Superior St.


I’m looking forward to all the cheering and cowbells along the way…because I’m going to need them! And the long nap afterward. Then the food and beer.

I’m not looking forward to the pain!


Looking forward to finally being a part of this event rather than spectating.

I’m also looking forward to the route. Something about running through lakeside into downtown and finishing in the heart of Canal Park seems really cool to me.

And who could complain about celebrating in the tents after 13.1 miles?

Not looking forward to testing my 10-year-old iPod’s battery life! 


Looking forward to the expo. Seeing the finish line. Beating people.

Not looking forward to impending agoraphobia.


Things I’m looking forward to completing my first half marathon and having a well-deserved beer afterwards.

What I’m not looking forward to: waking up at 4am. 🙁


I can’t wait for the gigantic bowl of spaghetti I’m going to eat Friday, and probably Saturday night. The entertainment that is Lake Superior stretching out before me during the race, and the feeling of accomplishment that will hit as soon as I cross the finish line.

I am not looking forward to the nerve-wracking night of sleep on Friday. 

Good luck to all those participating and spectating during this weekend’s events!