1.10.20 eight ways to drive more calls with paid search

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Oftentimes, calls can be seen as more valuable than forms. Form fills still require a follow-up call – in which case a salesperson may or may not be able to reach the prospect. While with a call, the prospect is ready and waiting on the line. Likewise, I’ve heard salespeople mention that they prefer calls to emails and other forms of electronic communication because they are confident that if they can speak to a person on the phone that they can close the sale – and possibly even upsell the prospect. Plus, prospects that are calling are sometimes more likely to have an immediate need versus folks that fill out a web form.


Whether calls or forms are more valuable is something every business should determine using their own data to understand close rates, average sale value, and ROI of each for comparison.

Assuming you’re one of the many businesses that find phone calls to be a high priority for your business, then welcome! This post is for you.

In this post, we’ll walk through the many ways to ensure that you’re driving more calls while keeping a close eye on call quality.


1. Ensure Your Campaigns Have Call Extensions (& That They Are Optimized to Drive Business)

Call extensions are the absolute simplest way to drive more calls from your paid search ads in both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

Leveraging call extensions allows you to show a phone number alongside your ad.

If the searcher clicks your phone number instead of your ad, they will place a call directly to your business – foregoing your landing page.

The best part?

You’re only charged for the click – exactly the same way that you would be if they clicked through to your landing page.

With call extensions in place, it’s important to ensure that you’re capturing the maximum amount of value from those interactions.

Call extensions can be scheduled, so it’s best to only show call extensions when you have folks available to answer the phone.

For instance, you could schedule your call extensions from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (or your own custom schedule) when representatives are available but allow the rest of the ad unit to run outside of business hours, driving prospects to a form when call lines aren’t open.

Ensure that anyone who will be answering phones is trained to do so.

Companies that convert calls to sales best often have a script for reps to use, which helps to keep the conversation moving forward, while taking out any guesswork of trying to identify the prospect’s needs.

Well-trained reps may sound like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many folks tasked with answering phones don’t have the requisite skills to convert leads to sales.

You can track calls from your ad as conversions, to ensure that you know exactly which interactions are driving the most value.

You may even want to set a minimum threshold for call length to ensure that you’re only optimizing toward valuable calls.

For instance, you could track calls that are a minimum of 30 seconds as a conversion vs. tracking all calls as conversions.

You’ll most likely want to ensure that the conversion is set up to only count the first call – not duplicate calls from the same prospect – which can be set up in the conversions settings.


2. Use Call-Only Ads & Campaigns

In Google Ads, an alternative to running search campaigns with call extensions is to run call-only ads.

Since advertisers don’t have full control over when call extensions do and do not show, using call-only campaigns takes the guesswork out of whether or not your prospects see a phone number.

With call-only campaigns, the ad unit not only delivers your phone number every time – it also limits a prospect’s options for how they can connect with your business.

Call-only ads do not use landing pages and, instead, only allow prospects to call your business.

There are some pros and cons to call-only ads, so before you run them, you should be aware that:


Call-Only Ads Will Only Appear on Devices That Are Able to Make Outgoing Calls

Google can and will still track the call if it is made on another device, however, even if it isn’t on the same day. Google uses call forwarding numbers to track calls back to the appropriate campaign, ad, and keyword.

If someone writes down the number and calls a few days later – you’ll still see the call associated with the date that the ad displayed and the keyword that was searched at that time.


Call-Only Ads Don’t Allow as Much Copy – Since the First Headline Is Reserved for Your Phone Number

Also, keep in mind, since these ads show on mobile, your last headline and second description line may occasionally be dropped. (This is, of course, also true for any text ad that shows on a mobile SERP)


Call-only ads also won’t include sitelink extensions as users are unable to click-through landing pages.

Location extensions, structured snippet extensions, and callout extensions are still eligible to show.


Other Considerations

Likewise, some business types don’t tend to do as well with call-only campaigns, but others excel with them.

  • Businesses that require a lot of consideration can often benefit from folks clicking-through to a landing page to research the company before calling. In these cases, driving prospects right to a call before the prospect has a chance to research the company may lead to higher call volumes but lower lead qualification.
  • On the flip side, businesses with really poor web experiences and landing pages can benefit from allowing prospects to circumvent their website to connect with an agent.
  • For prospects with a sense of urgency, call-only ads can be ideal because it allows them to connect with your company right away, in their time of need.

Generally, call-only ads get less volume than typical text ads. I prefer to split out separate campaigns for call-only ads, versus incorporating them into existing campaigns.

Within call-only campaigns, you may even want to test using looser terms than what you’re currently using in your search campaigns (and even regular broad match), as long-tail terms often don’t see much impression share with call-only.


3. Implement Bid Adjustments for Calls

If you have call extensions and/or call-only ads in your account, you can also add bid adjustments in order to let Google Ads know that you want to prioritize calls.

Using these bid modifiers allows you to influence how frequently your call extensions and call-only ads show.

 

4. Deliver Ads within Google Maps

The Maps channel is a great place to find folks with a high sense of urgency. (Especially if you target a tight geo-target around your business for non-geo-modified terms.) These folks are looking for a nearby business – and that could just be you! If that local search is happening on a mobile phone, it can even indicate a higher sense of urgency as those folks are out and about right now, potentially looking for what could be their next stop, making them prime prospects. Delivering your ad in Google Maps is easy. All you have to do is connect your Google My Business (GMB) listing to your Google Ads account and target your campaign locally. You’ll also have the option to set up bid adjustments in a radius around one or all of your GMB listings – so you can bid higher for folks that are closer to your business. Unfortunately, call extensions are not eligible to run on Google Maps, so the phone number that will be delivered in the ad will be that of your GMB listing.


5. Calling Prospects to Action Call

If calls are your main priority, spell it out! It’s always best to leave the guesswork out of what a prospect should do next. Keep this in mind as you write your ad copy.

Test different CTAs and get creative. There are a ton of ads that say “call now”, so try to differentiate yourself if you can.

CTAs like “call now – no hold times” or “reps available 24/7” can help set yourself apart and give prospects more confidence that somebody is ready and waiting to speak with them.


6. Optimize Your Landing Pages for Calls

A big piece of driving calls – assuming you aren’t using call-only ads – is ensuring that the landing page experience does a good job of facilitating phone calls. Making the phone number easy to find is a really easy way to drive more calls.

Prospects typically look for a phone number in the top left corner of a desktop website and a similar location on mobile – if not centered at the top.

That said, it’s always best to use your own data to find out where CTAs should be placed. Running a heat mapping tool can help you identify click and scroll patterns to make sure you’re putting information and CTAs in the right places.

Ensuring that your site offers a good UX on mobile is important, too. Since mobile users are often more likely to call than fill out a form, you want to be sure that the site is easy to navigate on mobile.

For example, having click-to-call in place creates a better experience, so that prospects don’t have to copy and paste your phone number – or worse, try to remember it.


7. Track on Page Calls & Import Them as Conversions

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have good tracking in place, and calls are no exception.

There are several different platforms that allow you to dynamically track calls on-site, all while passing that information back into Google Ads or Microsoft Ads (and even social platforms) as a conversion.

This allows you to ensure that you’re always optimizing to enter the auctions that have the highest return.


8. Monitor Call Quality

Call quality is just as important, if not more, than call quantity. As you focus on driving up call volume, you’ll also want to keep a pulse on call quality.

Call quality has two facets:

  • The most obvious: whether or not the calls are coming from relevant prospects; and
  • Whether calls are being handled well by the folks responsible for answering the phones

If you use a call tracking software, as discussed in the last section, you’ll have the data to analyze both of these facets of call quality. With a call tracking software, you can download your call data in order to have access to Caller ID details. Then you can match those details to the phone numbers that you have in your CRM to ensure that you’re receiving calls from qualified prospects. You can also use this to doublecheck that you aren’t driving customer service calls – unless that is part of your goal. If you find you’re getting a lot of calls from existing customers and you don’t have an opportunity to upsell, you should consider uploading a list of current customers to exclude from your campaign. You can analyze your results on a campaign by campaign basis to measure the real outcomes of the calls that are being driven by each campaign.

You’ll also have insights into how many calls go unanswered – and at what time of day. Some platforms can tell you the number of times the phone rang before it was answered, or the number of rings before a prospect disconnected. Last but certainly not least, most call tracking software platforms also have call recording options. If you don’t have a CRM to match back calls to, you can use call recordings to get a sense of call quality. Moreover, call recording allows you to monitor whether how your representatives are handling customers: whether they are following your script, and how well received the script is – which is great for testing different messaging. If you don’t have a script but are considering implementing one, you can use this data to see what dialogue is working well currently and use that as a starting point.

If this sounds like micro-managing, trust me – it isn’t! True story: a client of mine once overheard one of their technicians explaining how to skin a squirrel to another technician in the background of a prospect call. Needless to say, you can never be too sure about how calls are being handled so it really helps to keep a pulse on it!

12.25.19 - is it time to cut the cord?

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People often associate cord cutting with streaming services like Netflix, which are on the rise as traditional cable subscriptions decline. Many people also view cord cutting as a millennial phenomenon.

When you cancel your traditional pay TV services like cable or satellite TV, you’re Cord Cutting.

These cord cutting perceptions are partly true, but they don’t tell the whole story. Netflix is just one of many over-the-top (or “OTT”) services competing with cable. Some new OTT services even emulate the cable model, allowing cord cutters to channel surf just like cable subscribers – only at a fraction of the cost. And good old-fashioned antenna use is making a big comeback as more and more cord cutters are finding that free, HD-quality, over-the-air TV (or “OTA”) is easy to access with an antenna and an inexpensive digital tuner. These antenna users aren’t necessarily young millennials – many folks have been enjoying OTA broadcasts for years.

Why cord cutting?

Nobody likes paying high cable bills. But if you’re apprehensive about canceling cable entirely, you’re not alone. A lot of people are cutting the cord these days, but it’s still a scary idea to some of us. Cable is expensive, but familiar. Streaming services may seem more complicated, and we’re afraid that we might lose access to our favorite programs.These fears are understandable, but you need not worry. The reality is that cutting the cord empowers you to choose the content you want, saves you money, and won’t cut off your access to most programs. And when you see how the evidence stacks up, you might ask why everyone doesn’t cut the cord.

Pay less for your content

Cable prices have gone through the roof, and cutting the cord can net you some serious savings. According to the Leichtman Research Group, pay TV subscribers paid an average of $103.00 per month in 2016. And since cable prices have risen by an average of 5.8% per year over the past two decades, we know that the situation is only getting worse. By the way, inflation has averaged 2.2% over that same span, so cable prices are going up faster than inflation!But how do streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or HBO Now, among others, stack up? Pretty well, it turns out. These streaming services generally cost less than $10 a month. Streaming cable competitors offer live TV for less than $40 a month, and over-the-air broadcasts (NBC, CBS, Univision, BBC, PBS) are completely free with your antenna, a tuner, and Plex. It’s easy to swap cable for streaming alternatives and save hundreds of dollars each year.

Watch what you want, when you want

Because so many streaming services offer video on demand, cord cutters don’t have to let the cable companies control their schedules. While cable users flip through the channels and complain that nothing is on, cord cutters can navigate right to their favorite shows. Play and pause whenever you feel like it – Netflix, Hulu, and other OTT providers accommodate your schedule. On-demand streaming services are the ultimate DVRs.It’s not just when shows play, but which shows play. With most streaming services, you can choose a list of favorites, get suggestions based on ratings for programs, and hide shows and movies that don’t interest you.Speaking of things that don’t interest you, you can forget about having to pay for things you don’t watch. Hate sports? Just don’t pay for sports OTT services! It’s as simple as that. When you’re a cord cutter, everything is à la carte.

No commercials

If you’re already paying for cable, then why are there commercials? Many streaming services get their revenue from subscriptions, not from commercials. That means that your viewing time is completely uninterrupted. You know that advertising jingle that you hate more than anything? You never have to hear it again.So when do you get a snack or use the restroom without commercial breaks? Well, whenever you want – many streaming services show content on demand, so just hit pause and take a break at any time.

Streaming Simplified

When your content is streamed over the internet, you don’t need much. You’ll need an internet modem and a router (you have those anyway) and perhaps a smart TV or small streaming device (like a Roku, Chromecast, or Apple TV) to stream the content to your TV. For OTA, just install a digital antenna, connect to your digital tuner and that’s it.Your DVD player? You don’t need it. Cable box? Definitely not. Piles of DVDs? Your VCR? Extra cable boxes in other rooms? Gone, gone, gone. You’ll be free of all of that stuff without losing any content, and you can even make some of your money back with a yard sale or eBay (there are those savings again).


If interested in how we can put your business in front of this new and emerging media, emails us through our contact us page at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com

9.27.19 Why your business should be advertising on youtube

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If your company has dipped its toe into the digital marketing arena, then you are certainly familiar with Google’s advertising platform. It’s a robust system that allows advertisers to utilize an ever-growing list of targeting tactics to place text, banner, and video ads throughout the Google network in pursuit of potential customers. Included in the GoogleAds platform is YouTube, the popular video streaming website that users can access at no cost.

YouTube has drastically evolved from its early days when it was best known for funny videos and questionable quality. Today, YouTube boasts nearly two billion monthly users. It has become the Internet’s second-most popular search engine and trails only Facebook as the world’s preferred social media platform.

Such huge popularity offers advertisers the ability to reach a massive audience of all ages, demographics, and psychographics in just about any geographic area you could imagine. If your company is not using YouTube, then they are missing a huge opportunity to connect with their audience.

Here are five reasons why your business should maintain an advertising presence on YouTube:


Versatility

There is no “one size fits all” ad format for YouTube. Advertisers have the ability to run campaigns with longer ads or shorter ads, skippable ads or non-skippable ads, and they are not forced to reach a minimum spend threshold every month to continue running ads. All of the power is with the advertiser to develop an advertising campaign that fits their preferences, needs, and budget.


Reporting

Since YouTube advertising is tied directly into GoogleAds, it is able to take advantage of Google’s ability to reliably report on campaign performance. Basic metrics like clicks, views, impressions, and conversions are easily accessible. A deeper dive reveals how long users watch the individual ads and on what the content was.


Reach

Are you just starting a business and hoping to reach anyone in a certain geography? That’s easy to do with YouTube advertising. Has your business found their identity? Is it ready to target prospective customers that are farther down the sales funnel? YouTube advertising makes that possible. The GoogleAds platform breaks up a company’s targeting abilities into several categories. Two of the most useful categories are “in-market” and “affinity audiences.” In-market audiences are made up of users that are ready to buy a product or service. Affinity audiences are made up of users who have shown a recurring interest in a specific topic. Both of these categories can get extremely specific in order to reach a group of people likely to care about what your business has to offer them.


Affordability

Purchasing ad space on YouTube tends to be much easier on the company pocketbook than other video platforms. A “view” may cost as little as a penny or two. Better yet, the advertiser gets to choose how they are charged based on the type of campaign they run. Advertisers more interested in impressions can run a bumper campaign and be charged on a CPM basis. If longer ads feel like a better avenue, then they may opt for TrueView in-stream and pay only when a user watches 30 seconds or clicks on the ad.


Visuals

A recent report from Hubspot showed that 55% of users pay close attention to video ads, a higher rate than any other type of advertising. On top of that, Google reports that nearly half of all consumers will watch a video about a product before making a purchase. This makes YouTube the perfect place to capture engaged and motivated users.

Advertising on YouTube makes more sense for certain industries than it does for others. Are you interested in learning more about how we can help you? Message us at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com 

9.22.9 retargeting tactics to enhance your marketing

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When a search advertising client asks what else he or she could be doing in the digital advertising space, my first thought is typically to tell them about retargeting.

Retargeting perfectly complements search advertising, especially for those clients who offer expensive products and services (think private schools, interior design services, and summer vacation packages).

That said, retargeting is actually a solid fit for any business that wants more visibility and website traffic from highly interested prospects, which can help improve conversions, like calls. And these days, there are a plethora of retargeting options available.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular and effective retargeting tactics out there.


Search Retargeting

Retargeting isn’t just about keeping one’s brand top of mind among previous website visitors. It can actually boost the effectiveness of search advertising efforts as well.

How, you may be wondering? Well, search retargeting is a specific kind of retargeting that enables businesses to show ads to customers who recently executed a relevant search on Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Search retargeting allows your ad to piggyback on these search engine queries (think more general searches like “new roof options,” as opposed to more refined searches like “tile roof installers near me”). Then, your ads can display on websites to people who searched for these terms after they leave the search engine.

With any retargeting tactic, it’s important to note that you’re able to target individuals within a tight geographic area (if need be). If most conversions come from within a 15-mile radius around a business, then that same targeting should be applied to a retargeting campaign.


Site Retargeting

One study shows that 98% of consumers leave a site without converting. This statistic alone speaks to why it’s important to incorporate site retargeting into your digital marketing efforts.

Site retargeting is a very familiar, well-established remarketing tactic. The most common setup looks like this:

Business installs a bit of code on its website.

The code drops a pixel on visiting traffic.

Banner creative will appear in front of visitors on a variety of different websites after they leave your site.

Whether website traffic is arriving via social media, directory listings, organic search results, or pay per click ads, the website pixel will drop and retarget website visitors with your ad as they move off your page and browse the web on their desktops or mobile devices.


Facebook Retargeting

Facebook is a great channel through which businesses can retarget visitors. Facebook retargeting works the same way as site retargeting, with the only difference being the site where ads are displayed. Advertising on the social media site gives you the advantage of clear and crisp ads which nestle in with other content (the differentiating feature being a small “Sponsored” label). In addition to the regular ole’ desktop version of Facebook, ads can appear in the mobile app.

By virtue of being on Facebook, a user is typically used to viewing branded content like posts and articles so your prospects may be more likely to click. But unlike a news website or niche blog, social media users scroll quickly through content, so your ads need to be eye-catching to stand out in a busy News Feed.


Hot Tips for Display Ads

Banner and Facebook ads are great for highlighting special events, temporary promotions, and new products. I’ve seen excellent results from ad creatives that offer a percentage discount on items for my clients’ prospects.

It’s important to utilize multiple ad sizes with site and search retargeting efforts. At ReachLocal, we typically utilize about five to eight different sizes of the same banner (perhaps with small variations). In today’s world, you have to consider sizes not just for desktop, but also mobile. In contrast, Facebook ads require a standard size but can stand out with compelling messages and calls to action.

These retargeting tactics are natural additions to your search engine marketing efforts and can help you entice prospects back to your website so they can convert into a customer. Learn more about retargeting on our website.

9.17.19 3 Ways to Improve Your Social Media presence

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 Did you know that 10 years ago only 7% of the U.S. population was on some kind of social network? Today, 79% of the U.S. population is on social media. So, what does that mean for your business? Well, it means that in order to stand out from your competitors and attract new fans and followers online you need to go beyond just setting up your business on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter – you need a strong, active presence. Here are three quick tips for improving your social media presence.


Schedule Engaging Content

People use social media as a resource, so you should be posting regular and relevant content to your social media sites. Posting one or two times a day could potentially increase your likes by 32% and your comments by 76%. Even if you aren’t posting that frequently, posting once a week can help improve your presence and engagement. Use tips from this blog to create some quick, engaging social media posts, then schedule them out on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Taking the time to put together some engaging social media content and then scheduling it out can help you create a consistent posting schedule without taking up too much of your time.


Run Contests or Giveaways

Giveaways are a big hit on social media and a great way to quickly increase engagement, which can build up your social media presence. You don’t even have to give out a huge prize like a trip to Disneyworld – it can be as simple as a special promotion just for your Facebook fans or Twitter followers.


Advertise on Social Media

Running ads on social media is a good way to boost your social sites quickly and get your business in front of additional users. For example, Facebook ads drive about 25% of social referral traffic and can result in a 2.85x higher click-through-rate when using a call-to-action button. If you aren’t comfortable setting up ads on your own, I can help you set up Facebook advertising for your business.

9.11.19 4 Steps to a Successful PPC Campaign

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 Here are a few tips for measuring and ensuring success for your PPC campaign.


Define Your KPIs & Set Realistic Benchmarks

It’s difficult to assess your campaign’s performance if you have no standards to compare against your data. Setting key performance indicators that line up with your business goals will help you set a realistic baseline for performance and give context to changes you make. Defining KPIs makes it easier to diagnose any issues that could be causing a campaign to perform below benchmark or give you insight into successful changes.

KPIs should be specific, measurable, and attainable. In PPC campaigns, standard KPIs measure actions taken to gain a lead (such as cost per click, cost per call, or cost per conversion), clickthrough rate (CTR), or keyword performance. For example, if you know how much it usually costs to acquire a new customer, you can use this to determine your target cost per lead. It’s also important to consider seasonal trends when setting KPIs.


Audit Ads & Keywords

Testing and optimization – trial and error – are major components of campaign management. Often, business owners fall into the trap of focusing on performance metrics without looking at the whole picture. Even the most expertly configured campaign relies on compelling ad copy and appropriate keywords to drive quality leads.

Keywords are the vehicles for delivering your ads to the right consumer, meaning they do all the heavy lifting to determine when and where your ads will show. Ensure your keywords are driving the right kind of traffic by reviewing the search terms report often. This information can be used to assess what keywords could be added, removed, or negated to help attract the right audience for your campaign. A keyword may look like it’s performing well but could be driving irrelevant traffic to your site.

Ads should provide relevant and up-to-date information. Keywords might work to get your ads in front of the customer, but if the ads are unclear or outdated, you’ll lose out on clicks and conversions.


Track Conversions

Traffic-based metrics can provide broad insight into the most basic aspects of campaign performance, but they don’t paint a full picture on their own. Business owners are sometimes hyper-focused on achieving the most attractive metrics to the detriment of overall performance. A low cost per click or a high CTR doesn’t matter if a campaign isn’t generating any ROI. That’s why it’s important to make sure your campaign is configured to track leads and conversions.


Follow Up on Leads

A campaign can help generate and capture leads, but it’s up to the business owner to turn them into paying customers. Being prepared to manage leads as quickly as possible can prevent missed opportunities and avoid wasted spend. Leveraging an automated lead management system is an effective way to make sure no customer interaction goes unanswered and can be used to quickly follow up with customers who were not yet ready to buy or who may want to buy from you again.


Search engine marketing can sometimes feel like a waiting game, but taking a proactive approach to campaign management can drive long-term success for your digital advertising. Learn more about successful PPC campaigns on our website www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com , and contact us if you need help with pay per click, search engine marketing or Google AdWords.

9.7.19 3 Tips to Get Started with Geofencing

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 Are you looking for a hyperlocal way to target new and potential customers for your business? Geofencing is an effective way to reach smartphone users when they’re near your business (or your competitor’s business) through location-based mobile ads. If you’re ready to get started with geofencing for your local business, here are a few tips to help you create and maintain an effective strategy for your business.


Know Your Target Client

Geofencing is designed to target a certain geographic area; therefore, you should know who your target client is and where they spend their time. Your goal is to get the right information in front of the right audience at the right time. Typical smartphone users are checking their phones 150 times per day. By understanding how your client shops and uses their mobile phone, you can send them more relevant content and get more out of your geofencing campaign.


Start With One Geofence

Rather than establishing a geofence around your business, your parking lot, and the shop across the street, start with creating one large geofence encompassing all three areas. This way, you won’t let potential customers fall through the cracks.

When you begin geofencing for the first time, start with creating a geofence around your business and track the results. Once you’ve placed your first geofence, you may want to start expanding to other locations. You can even think a little outside of the box by placing geofences near your competitors or complementary businesses.

If you have multiple geofence locations, providing customized messages for each location is key. If you have more than one location for your business, you wouldn’t want to send someone a message saying you are hosting an event and have them show up to the wrong location.


Keep Messages Simple & To-The-Point

Geofence messages need to be short and concise. Typically, you are given roughly 100 characters per message which means that your messages don’t need to be too detailed. Simply provide the main message you wish to get across. However, it is not very enticing for customers to receive a message that is just a statement. Include a call to action in your message to encourage clients to “tap here for more.” This gives them a reason to learn more about your business. Remember that consumers can enter your geofence at any time, even when you do not have an event or promotion. You should always plan ahead and have a generic message during these times so that you are constantly reaching out and making your business known to potential customers.


Geofencing marketing is a great technique to reach local consumers. Contact us at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com to learn more.

8.26.19 Digital Marketing Transformation in Construction

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Digital marketing transformation is a red-hot business trend. Construction Marketing Association Chairman Neil M. Brown recently authored an article on the subject for Construction Business Owner Magazine, July 2019 Edition.


WHAT IS DIGITAL MARKETING TRANSFORMATION?

Without question, digital transformation is a mega business trend. The hallmark of the digital transformation movement is the adoption or use of technology to change processes to scale faster, beat competition and ultimately achieve greater results. The process may also require organizational change, as well as new skill sets or talent. But what about marketing? Does marketing have a role in digital transformation? And if so, does marketing become “digital marketing transformation (DMT)?” And in the construction industry— “digital construction marketing transformation (CDMT)?” That’s a lot of acronyms.

As such, this article will provide the Construction Marketing Association’s (CMA) perspective on DMT, including a definition, details about the digital marketing mix of top strategies and tactics, and some insight into the role of marketing technology.


DMT DEFINED

Without question, marketing is changing rapidly, evolving from traditional strategies and tactics to digital ones. In fact, for many brand scenarios (business and consumer), traditional marketing tactics are quickly becoming obsolete, or secondary at most. For example, traditional advertising is no longer used by a majority of business marketers (and only by a minority of consumer marketers).

Lastly, digital marketing is in infinitely more measurable than traditional marketing, allowing marketers to calculate a return on investment, as well as test and improve marketing campaigns and initiatives before implementation.

DMT is defined as the evolution and transition from traditional marketing to a digital marketing mix, including the use of digital marketing technologies and tools to more effectively manage, scale, measure, test, optimize and report on marketing activities and results.


TOP STRATEGIES & TACTICS

What is the so-called “marketing mix,” or in the case of DMT, the “digital marketing mix?” In addition to being digital instead of more traditional methods, it uses technologies like marketing automation (MA), analytics and newer technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). The following are top digital marketing strategies and tactics in the digital marketing mix:

  • Website design: mobile, security and user experience (UX)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) for desktop, mobile, voice and visual search
  • Social media including social advertising
  • Paid search, including pay-per-click (PPC), display, programmatic advertising and remarketing
  • Content marketing (blogs, videos, checklists, interviews, whitepapers, e-book, case studies, infographics, etc.)
  • Email, including click-through optimization and email lists
  • Automation
  • Analytics
  • Influencers
  • Diagnostics
  • AI, including chatbots (computer programmed to chat with customers)


MARTECH

It goes without saying that DMT requires marketing technology, now called “martech.” Intuitively, martech is the intersection, or combination, of marketing and technology. The technology part is often so ware, tools or apps that support some or all facets of a marketing initiative or program.

MA is typically so ware that manages customer and prospect data, ongoing communications and analytics, including websites, blogs, email, social media and more. Some of the top MA platforms include Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Act-On, and Active Campaign.

Other tools and technologies used for marketing. In fact, the annual Marketing Technology Conference – MarTech identifies the “Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic” that lists 7,040 solutions. The graphic can be found at chiefmartec.com/wp-content/ uploads/2019/03/marketing-technology-landscape-2019-slide.jpg.


EMBRACING TRANSFORMATION

Like its big brother digital transformation, DMT is in full force. Experts agree—marketing has changed more in the last 5 years than in all the prior 50 years combined. The digital marketing mix has replaced much of the traditional marketing mix, while adding incredible measurement, testing and analytics tools that can identify and improve marketing effectiveness.

The future of marketing portends additional and rapid digital transformation, with marketing being increasingly automated. New technologies will be required, along with new skill sets and talent. MA, AI and machine learning will be among the tools and within the skill sets of the next generation of marketers.

While the construction industry lags others in technology adoption, construction firms that embrace DMT will certainly have a measurable advantage.

Transitioning from the traditional way of marketing to digital marketing can be complicated, but here at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com we can help.

8.12.19 A Crash Course in Google Search

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Search Engine Advertising. Local SEO. Search Engine Marketing. Search Engine Results Page. PPC. Google AdWords. SEM. Google Maps.


What do all these terms mean, much less have in common? And why on Earth should you care about them?

What if I told you that today, 4 out of 5 searches on Google have local intent, and these all help your business get found by online searchers. Would that make these terms important to you?

By understanding how Google works to help your business get found on search engines, you can start to build a successful search engine marketing plan for your business. Here’s a breakdown of the important terms you need to know.


What Is Search Engine Marketing?

When a potential customer uses their computer or mobile device, visits the Google search engine, and then enters terms for a product or service they’re looking for, Google returns a set of results in the form of organic links and paid ads on the search engine results page (SERP). This is where you want your business to show up. So how do you do it?

Search engine marketing encompasses two primary tactics: search engine optimization and search engine advertising. Doing both is critical to getting website visits, calls, and leads from search. In fact, 85% of retailers said search marketing, including both paid (PPC) and organic (SEO), was the most effective customer acquisition tactic.


Get Found Through Paid Search Advertising

Paid search engine advertising is also known as PPC advertising. This essentially means buying qualified traffic using paid search listings. Google sponsored ads appear at the top, right-hand side, and even bottom of the search engine results page, and are labeled with the word “Ad” in a green box. With search advertising, you’re able to bid on a set of keywords relevant to your business and then create text ads that appear when someone searches for those keywords. In basic terms, matching their search terms with your keywords enables Google to show your ads to relevant searchers.

So, why should you leverage search advertising to get found? For one, it’s fast — once you set up a campaign, Google can start to show searchers your ads when they are relevant to a keyword search. In addition, you have complete control over the message searchers see when they find your ad, which can help you drive more clicks and website traffic. For these reasons and more, search advertising is a no-brainer for local businesses.


Drive Website Traffic with SEO

So, what about the links that show up that aren’t search engine ads? Those links are the organic search results, or the unpaid results that appear for a given query. These are often the most relevant results for that query as determined by Google’s algorithm.

If you want your website and other pages you own — like your social media pages and local listings — to appear in these organic listings, that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. While SEO has no outright costs associated with it, the results can build slowly over time — and fluctuating Google algorithms mean your organic results can change rather frequently. In fact, Google just updated its mobile search algorithm to prioritize mobile-friendly sites in its search results, meaning if you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you may not show in search results.

Today, you need a variety of SEO tactics on and off your website to boost your presence on Google, including:

  • A mobile-friendly website
  • Website copy and metadata
  • Claimed and optimized local listings like Yelp and Google
  • And, much more

And as a local business, you want to make sure your website, listings, and other sites are optimized for local search by using local keywords and markup that help Google find your site for local searches.


Boost Results with a Google My Business Page

Google+ is not just a social media site; it has a lot of weight in Google search results, too. So, having a business page on Google+ boosts your organic search visibility because Google’s search algorithm immediately indexes updates to your page and features Google business listings in its organic search results. So, it’s important to make sure your page is optimized with keyword-rich content, compelling images, and positive reviews that help your page show up and stand out. If you don’t have a Google+ page or business listing, you can get one using Google My Business.


Getting Started

There are several components to a getting found in Google search, and getting started might feel overwhelming at first. Start with one search tactic at a time and as build out your strategy, you’ll start to get the results you want.

How are you using search marketing to get visits and leads online? Let www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com help you start these programs.

7.2.19 OTT/streaming video for cord cutters

7.19.19 Search & Display Advertising: What’s the Difference?

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 When I was little, I wouldn’t even touch peanut butter. I was a jelly kind of guy. Little did I know, adding crunchy peanut butter to my jelly-only sandwich would change my world. Peanut butter and jelly. Together. My lunches were so much better with both of them than just with one.

THAT’S how you should view search engine advertising and display advertising. Because when this dynamic duo works together, you get even better results than by doing each one alone. But, before you can put them together, you need to know how each of them works to reach your target audience– and the unique flavor each brings to your online advertising. So, what’s the difference between these two digital advertising types?


What is Search Engine Advertising?

Search engine advertising is a type of paid advertising, also known as pay-per-click advertising or PPC, that gets your business found on search engines. Search advertising is a great way to compete in the online space and directly target folks in your area who are using a search engine to look for your products or services.

The way it works is simple. Say you have a shoe shop. You were smart and placed a huge order of red, white, and blue sandals just in time for the 4th of July, and you want to advertise on Google. When someone searches for a keyword you’ve bid on, like “red, white, and blue sandals,” their search term will trigger your text ad, which shows up in the sponsored section of the search results page. This gives you visibility on the page quickly and cost-effectively. Then, if your text ad is compelling enough, the searcher will click your ad, visit your website, and ultimately contact you.

The beauty of search advertising is that you have a chance to compete with the bigger competitors in your local market without spending an arm and a leg in advertising costs. It also gives local business owners like you a way to directly target searchers based on their geography so your search engine ads only show to people who are around your store or service area. Search advertising is like having a billboard online, but your targeting is much more effective because it is only being shown to people in your local area who are actually looking for your products or services.


What is Display Advertising & How Does It Work?

Speaking of billboards, let’s talk about display advertising. Digital display advertising is a way to grow your brand’s awareness online. Display ads, also known as banner ads, are shown to your target audience whenever they are surfing online, but not searching for your product or service.

When your customer is online, it’s important to keep your brand in front of them as much as possible. Think of your own online behavior. How much time are you spending doing real, honest research for a specific service, and how much time are you spending just piddling around reading sports stats and barbecue recipes? We all spend much more time consuming information on our favorite websites than we do searching for something specific. So, it’s important to put your business in front of consumers when they are surfing the web because that’s where they spend the majority of their time.

Have you ever ordered a sandwich from Jimmy John’s? They make my other favorite kind of sandwich – and they’re also my favorite example of successful display advertising. Throughout my day at work, it seems like every website I visit has a Jimmy John’s banner ad somewhere on the site. That’s because Jimmy John’s wants me to remember their brand when I get a craving for a fast, yet delicious, lunch. And that’s display advertising.


Search Advertising vs. Display Advertising: How Do They Work Together?

We’ve all heard that saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” and it’s true in in advertising, too. The most successful advertising campaigns are the ones that utilize multiple forms of media. Small businesses should mimic that same strategy when implementing their advertising online to make the most of their advertising dollars.

When Sally searches for the perfect pair of red, white and blue sandals, she might see and even click on your text ad, but she may not make a decision right away. So you still need a way to reach her when she isn’t searching— with display advertising. The truth is, both of these tactics work to help you get more sales.

Harvard Business School’s Sunil Gupta says that because clicks lead to purchases, search advertising usually gets the credit for the sale because you can track the exact behavior of the customer from the impression, to the click, to the purchase. What gets lost is the awareness you have created by running your display campaign and helping that consumer remember your business in the first place. In fact, studies have shown that 27% of consumers conduct a search for a business after seeing their display ad, and there’s a 59% lift in conversion when users conducted a search related to a display ad.

Peanut butter is complemented by jelly and vice versa, which is the same with search and display advertising. You can be successful using just one or the other; however, when search engine advertising and display advertising are used together, they help you get even better results by targeting your customer from multiple angles rather than just one, making it easier for the customer to remember your business when it’s time to make a purchasing decision.

What are you doing in your online advertising to make sure you get discovered where people are searching and where they are surfing? Contact us for a no obligation meeting at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com .

7.1.19 3 Ways to Take Your Digital Marketing from Good to Great

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 Great article from my friend Vicki O'Neill!

The first step is to know your end goal. Then you evaluate your current state and map a strategy that gets you to your desired state.

There are multiple ways you can take your digital strategy to the next level. The path you take really depends on the following:

1. Your goals

2. Your ideal customer persona (ICP)

3. Where your ICP spends time

4. Your resources/manpower

5. Your budget

6. The findings from your evaluation

While your strategy will be specific to your needs, goals and business, below are 3 ways any business can take to take their business to the next level. 

  1. Know what you want to accomplish:  know what goal you're working towards. For example, if your goal is to create awareness of a new product launch or new initiative, or increase lead quality and volume, increase sales or keep consistently create content around your brand so it's a reminder of the value you bring to your prospects and customers. A content strategy is extremely helpful in planning this out as well as being intentional and consistent.    
  2. Know who you want to reach:  You may have one or two ICPs or you may have many. Your goal of increasing leads may only be applicable to one of your ICPs. In this case, create a more specific, relevant strategy to reach those personas and it will increase your response rate.  If you don't have any ICPs yet, I included a link to a template to help get you started and a list of interview questions you can use as a starting point for identifying your ICPs.    
  3. Develop a strategy that supports your goal and your ICP:  knowing where your ICP is spending time will increase engagement opportunities. Create various content pieces that attract your ICP along various entry points on their customer buying journey. Not everyone enters the journey at the same point, at the same time or with the same level of intent or urgency to buy. By create ICP specific content, it becomes "sticky" which will lead them back to your website when they are ready to take the next step in their buying process.  

If you aren't sure where to begin, the first step is evaluate your current state. You can't create content, an ICP, a strategy to move forward if you don't understand what is currently working and not working. 

As part of the current state evaluation, look at your Google Analytics, competition, social media posts, engagement and compare to what you wanted to achieve across all your digital real estate. Are you on target, achieving goals or not even close? 

Identify the gaps, develop a strategy to move your business towards the goals you want to achieve.


Full article:  https://www.vickioneill.com/post/2019/03/14/3-ways-to-take-your-digital-marketing-from-good-to-great 

6.8.19 Discover These Hidden Video Marketing Secrets

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 It’s no secret that YouTube is ground zero for influencers and  lifestyle gurus to launch their brands. Try any search on YouTube, and  you’ll see results from people just like you and me – but with one key  difference: They have thousands (or even millions) of subscribers  waiting for their next video with bated breath.

These YouTube pros have made a name for themselves by capitalizing on  their interests. Whether it’s makeup, cars, the latest gadgets, and  more – you can find a YouTube influencer for almost any niche interest.

And while we can’t promise you’ll earn millions of video views and  endorsement deals from major brands, you can look at what made them  successful and translate that to your own channel.

Here are the hidden video marketing secrets you need to steal from the YouTube pros.


1. Create Consistent Branding

YouTubers are excellent at branding. They brand themselves, they  brand their channel, and they brand their videos. If you watch enough  videos from a specific YouTuber, you start to notice some consistencies.  They use similar fonts, colors, and styles in their videos.

You can translate this into your own videos by including your brand  assets in your videos. This includes your logo, consistent fonts, your  business colors, and more. You can also streamline the look and feel of  your videos so they start to become recognizable by your target  audience. This applies to your YouTube ads, too. Make sure your ads are  branded consistently with your business branding.


2. Do Careful Keyword Research

Successful YouTubers understand the importance of keyword research  and getting in front of relevant searchers, they just may go about it a  different way. They’re constantly looking for feedback from their  viewers – whether it’s what video they want to see next, a specific  product they want to hear a review on, or just general feedback about  what they like or don’t like about the videos. By crowdsourcing  information from their viewers, they’re able to tailor their videos to  exactly what users are searching for on YouTube and demonstrate that  they really value their viewers’ opinions.

In the same way, your business can research what users in your target  audience are looking for on YouTube. Search for your business keywords  and see what pops up. Do the top video results have a lot of views? If  not, try looking at variations of those keywords so you can determine  what relevant videos are registering with your target audience. Then you  can look at how those videos have structured their information. Is  there a pattern to the way their title is listed? Do they include a lot  of information in the video description? You obviously don’t want to  steal their exact titles or content, but you can look at structuring  yours similarly.


3. Connect with Your Audience

One of the reasons users love YouTube is because they feel connected  to the people in the videos they’re watching. You probably trust a  seemingly unbiased YouTube review over a testimonial on a business’s  website, right? YouTube influencers  connect with their audiences. Like I mentioned earlier, they seek their  feedback. They also connect with them on other social media sites and  share information about themselves that makes them seem more relatable.

You want to connect with your audience by humanizing your business,  sharing information on other social media sites, and encouraging  engagement. Ask your viewers what they want to see from you, and then  deliver on that. The more engaging your videos are, the more likely  people will be to revisit your channel.


4. Be Authentic

One of the things that sets the YouTube pros apart from the YouTube  wannabes is an authenticity that translates to viewers. You can tell  when someone isn’t being genuine, and you likely won’t connect with  them.

YouTube and video marketing, in general, gives your business the  opportunity to really showcase itself to your target market. By  portraying the authenticity of your business, you can stand apart from your competitors.  Think about it: Is a consumer going to want to visit the big chain tire  repair shop or the local business that gets involved in the community  and shares helpful tire safety tips? I know I’d prefer to visit the  business that has an interest in helping me.

As the second largest search engine in the world,  we know that YouTube is an important place to establish a presence for  your business. And, the way your business looks on YouTube can be  helpful in getting new customers, especially if you pair your organic  YouTube channel strategy with a YouTube advertising approach. Learn more  about YouTube advertising on our website, and contact us to get started today at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com .

2.2.18 Kill Your Slow Season with Targeted Email Marketing

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 Winter is making its presence known, and you may notice a decrease in customer inquiries and appointments as a result. Don’t fret, as your business is not the only one facing a slower season.

As the winter storms roll-in, what can set your business apart from the others is how your team utilizes this new found bandwidth. Right now is the perfect time to launch a thoughtful email marketing campaign.

When it comes to launching an impactful email marketing campaign, it helps to have a plan in place.

Here are some tips for a successful email campaign so your business can keep customer interest warm even while the temperatures outside stay cool!


Determine Your Message

We recommend taking sufficient time to outline the reason you want to contact current customers and/or potential customers. Clarity in purpose will likely lead to better results!

Are you interested in highlighting a special promotion, encouraging customers to like your social media pages or sharing fun photos of the team? This core marketing goal will help determine other aspects of your campaign.

Additionally, think about your sales goals for the season, quarter, or year. How many customer leads do you need to meet those goals?


Choose Your Audience

Let’s assume you’ve identified a specific message, which aims to achieve a specific goal. The next step is choosing an audience that will be receptive to your message.

Hopefully, your team has diligently entered customer and prospect information over the last nine to 10 months into a lead management tool. If not, an online marketing company can curate a list of contacts that could be highly interested in your services.

We’ll get this out of the way early: we don’t recommend targeting everyone in the Rolodex for an email campaign. A tailored message requires a tailored audience.

For example, if the goal is to drive more online reviews on Google and Facebook, consider a segment that meets the following criteria:

  • Recently purchased a product or service
  • Provided positive feedback (via a feedback card, email or phone)
  • Been a customer for at least one year

Choosing the right audience is essential to the success of your email marketing campaign.


Deliver Fresh Content

Go for a fun, personal tone for the content of your message. Loosen up on the industry jargon. Your “fresh take” starts with the email subject line. Aim to achieve a few things with the subject line:

  • Succinctly convey the email’s purpose
  • Use catchy, but appropriate, words and phrases
  • Avoid spammy symbols and ‘calls to action’

Lastly, consider incorporating photos, links to your blog, or even appropriate memes. For more tips on creating the right subject line, read this blog post: Get More Opens: 15 Email Subject Line Formulas that Work.


Evaluate the Results

Are you evaluating open rate, link clicks, online purchases, or landing page form submissions? Maybe something else? If you’re partnering with a marketing agency, you don’t actually need to get bogged down with deciphering and compiling results – the marketing company will sift through the data on your behalf. They can share powerful insights, plus potential next steps.

Email marketing can help you keep your leads hot, even when your business is cooling off. Learn more about targeted email marketing from our website.

1.24.18 Local Search Advertising Tips you need to know

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With the new year in full swing, it’s time to take a fresh new look at your 2018 marketing strategy. Whether you’re a local business or a national brand, your marketing plan for this year should definitely include paid search advertising. Paid search can get complicated, and with everything going on this time of year, reevaluating your digital strategy can seem overwhelming. So, we’ve taken it back to the basics of paid search so you can make sure you’re starting the year off on a good note.


1. Keywords Are Key

Keywords are the core of paid search. It’s extremely important to consistently research which keywords your customers are using (at least quarterly). By creating and updating your keyword list, it will increase your chances of appearing in search results. For local businesses, it’s especially important to include location-based keywords so you can increase your chances of your ads showing to local searchers. If you’re a plumber in Dallas, make sure to add “near me” and “Dallas” to your keyword list.


Tip: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What are your customers actually searching for? Don’t think about what you want them to search for. Think about the solutions you provide for them.


2. Know the Importance of Your Quality Score

Google assigns each business a Quality Score on a scale of 1-10. Your score is based on a Google algorithm that reflects a customer’s experience with your ad. Google takes into account a variety of information, including how relevant your landing page is to your text ad.

A good Quality Score is important to your campaign because it affects your Ad Rank. A higher Quality Score typically means higher placement on the search engine results page and decreased cost per click.


Tip: Your score is based on a customer’s experience across all devices, including mobile. Make sure that your paid search campaigns are optimized for desktop and mobile, which leads us to our next point.


3. Create a Plan for Mobile

Almost 60% of search queries come from mobile devices. So, if your website and landing pages aren’t optimized for both mobile and desktop, you could be missing out on a lot of business. Not only should your website be mobile friendly, but it should be easy for searchers to contact you on all devices. Whether it’s having chat available for desktop users or click-to-call for mobile searchers, make sure the experience customers are having with your search ads are smooth and easy for all devices.


Tip: Check your advertisements and website on a mobile device or through a tool to test that you’re providing a seamless experience for your customers.


4. Track & Manage Leads

The main purpose for running paid search is to get more customers, so don’t let your new leads fall by the wayside. Pay attention to the leads you’re receiving and how many are converting, and also make sure you’re driving the right type of customer to your business. If you’re not converting many of the leads you’re driving, then you should readdress your lead management process or your keyword research.


Tip: Find a lead management system for your business and create a simple, but effective process for your staff to follow up with those leads.


5. Back Up Your Paid Strategy with an Organic One

Did you know that you can receive up to 89% more clicks to your website when both your paid ad and organic listing appear on page one of the search engine results page? SEO pairs well with paid search, so make sure you take your keyword research and apply it to your overall marketing content strategy, no matter whether it’s paid or organic. Updating your website and landing pages to reflect your findings may boost the ROI of your search campaigns.


Tip:  You can look at the keywords that are driving organic visits to your website and incorporate those into your paid search strategy.  50% of potential sales are lost because consumers can’t find the information they are looking for. You’ve already done your keyword research, so you know what your potential customers are searching for. Now make sure to create landing pages to meet those needs.


Use these five guidelines as a checklist for reevaluating your paid search strategy this year. Make sure to keep the basics in mind and take a fresh look at your campaigns on a quarterly basis to continue to stay relevant. And, if this sounds like a lot to keep up with, don’t hesitate to find a digital marketing company that can help you run and optimize paid search campaigns. Learn more on our website.


For additional help with search engine marketing, pay per click, and Google AdWords, reach out to us at www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com .

1.22.18 Facebook's latest news feed update

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What Facebook’s Latest News Feed Update Really Means for Businesses

Facebook’s unexpected announcement on January 11, 2018, about the way it will soon display content within the News Feed sent media agencies and businesses into a tailspin. But what does this change actually mean, and will it really impact businesses?


What Does this Change Mean for Your Content?

In short, Facebook’s News Feed update will favor posts from people instead of brands, and posts with comments and shares are more likely to appear in News Feeds than posts with reactions (i.e. likes) alone.

In filtering out this type of content, Facebook sets its sights on its original purpose: social media, in which users participate in meaningful interactions with other users.

But this update raises the question of what the future holds for businesses who market themselves through Facebook posts. Many brands and businesses rely on Facebook as a communication channel to make announcements and stay in touch with their fans and followers.

With Facebook’s updated algorithm favoring users over brands, it is imperative that your social media strategy focuses on quality content and community management to continue to reach your audience on Facebook.


What to Do to Stay Relevant on Facebook

Now more than ever, it is crucial to create visual, meaningful, relateable, original, and polished content in an effort to connect with page followers. Businesses must also be cognizant of the fact that Facebook users determine what is noteworthy and shareable, and pages must publish and promote content with user preferences – as opposed to brand interests – in mind. Remember that good social media content earns shares and comments, which in turn, earns the favor of Facebook’s algorithm, meaning posts will be more visible on News Feeds.

With Facebook’s recent preference for interactions between users, community management should be a cornerstone of your social media strategy. Businesses now, more than ever, need to respond to comments, mentions, and messages from page followers. Facebook will look at these interactions when determining what content to show in the News Feed.

It’s worth noting that Facebook ads are not directly affected by this update. So, by advertising your business on Facebook, you’re increasing your chances of reaching a large portion of your target audience beyond your followers and across the social site and its extended network. And, coupling the aforementioned community management strategies within ad management can lead to improved page performance.


Your Future on Facebook

As Facebook continues to revise its algorithm, businesses must keep flexible, creative, and user-oriented social media practices in mind. Remember to show the human side of your brand to connect with your followers, which not only agrees with Facebook’s algorithm but also leads to the start of a meaningful client-business relationship.

1.18.18 Search & Display Advertising: What’s the Difference?

For more information on search engine marketing and online display, visit www.onlineadvertisingcincinnati.com

1.11.18 The Rise of OTT

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The Rise of Over The Top Television

 

OTT has become the buzzword du jour in recent months, not only because it offers an entirely new way to consume digital content, but also because it represents the marriage of traditional television and online video. For the uninitiated, OTT stands for “Over-the-top,” a phrase that refers to the method by which video-based content is delivered to users. Instead of going the traditional (a.k.a. “linear”) route – i.e., content delivery through cable/satellite TV gatekeepers such as Comcast or Spectrum – OTT essentially piggybacks on a user’s broadband connection to deliver digital video content directly to users via the Internet.


Chances are you’ve already interacted with OTT through popular streaming TV services such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Video, all of which deliver video content over the same broadband connection that you would use for surfing the Web or checking your email. The success of these streaming services indicates a seismic shift in how consumers engage with video content, and for the astute digital marketer, the emergence of OTT represents a gold mine of opportunity when it comes to audience targeting capabilities.


So is an investment in OTT-specific advertising platforms worth it? Let’s take a look at some of the interesting developments taking place in terms of linear TV viewership among various age groups, as it reveals the burgeoning influence that OTT is exerting upon viewing habits across target demographics.


TV Viewing Habits by Age Group

In terms of audience age groups, recent data published by Nielsen reveals a sharp decline in traditional TV viewing by younger audiences; in fact, teens and younger Millennials (ages 18-24) are watching 40% less traditional TV than they were 5 years ago, and viewing time among older Millennials (ages 25-34) has fallen by 25% in that same time frame as well. But this decline has not been limited to the younger audiences – according to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, traditional TV viewing time among Gen Xers (ages 35-49) has contracted by 13% as well, while it remained relatively flat among adults aged 50-64. For the older Baby Boomers (ages 65 and up), traditional TV watch time has actually increased by over 7% in the past 5 years, indicating that declines in linear TV viewing tend to taper off with each successive age bracket.


While the value of each demographic is a topic that is constantly up for debate among marketers, it’s safe to say that consumers of digital video content are the focus of most advertising budgets today for a number of important reasons:

  • All OTT devices are assigned a unique device ID, giving advertisers the ability to target users by this metric in OTT environments. This paves the way for more specific targeting capabilities including cross-device household targeting.
  • When purchasing OTT inventory, advertisers and media buyers can take advantage of various parameters supplied by demand-side platforms including device type, day parting, channel, geolocation, and even show genre. Even in the past three months, advances have been made that enable advertisers to get “hyper-local” with their targeting.
  • Several third-party audience measurement providers – including heavy-hitters such as Nielsen and ComScore – are delving further into audience measurement solutions that are specific to OTT environments, providing marketers with more robust tools to help facilitate effective ad buys.


OTT vs. Linear TV: The Audience Targeting Advantage

One of the most important distinctions to make between linear TV and OTT is the fact that when you advertise via linear TV, you typically target a show because of the audience you think is watching, while with OTT, you target individuals no matter what they’re watching. This subtle but hugely significant difference is one of the main reasons why OTT-specific advertising is heating up across the board, as marketers look to take advantage of the many benefits that this unique and versatile platform has to offer.


Full article here: https://2060digital.com/blog/the-rise-of-ott/

1.1.18 digital myths debunked

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10 Common Myths About Digital Marketing Debunked

 Ever since marketing has turned global, crossing the borders of countries and nations, it paved the way for marketing through digital media. That’s how Digital Marketing saw its heyday. Technically, digital marketing has been around for about two decades. And just like all things wonderful, some features of it are shrouded in myth and misconceptions.


These misconceptions and myths are mostly preached and perpetrated by distractors and unschooled people. These perpetrators can do no good other than ruining your motivation and misguiding you. So if you really want to get some solid result from your digital marketing efforts, you need to debunk these myths and dispell them once and for all. Let’s debunk some myths that hold you back from doing your digital marketing right.


Myth #1: SEO is Dead
Nothing can be more untrue than this. SEO is no way dead, rather it is evolving with each passing day. With all the Penguins, Panda, RankBrain, Pigeon and Hummingbird, Google is setting the standards of SEO too high. It goes without saying the SEO is evolving at a steady pace. It is very much relevant to boost your website higher in the rankings when done correctly.

So stop on paying heed to any such kind of myth. Focus on meta tag descriptions, using keywords in the URL to make your website come towards the top of the search results.


Myth #2: More, More and More Traffic
Traffic is important, no doubt; but what’s more important is getting the right traffic. There is no doubt that more traffic means more leads and conversions. But the prime purpose of real digital marketing is not to bring maximum traffic, but to bring well-targeted traffic. What’s the use of 2000 random visitors, when only 5 of them actually convert? Isn’t it better to get 200 visitors, but get 30 of them as actual leads?

This is why you must thoroughly research the demography of your targeted group and understand their exact requirements, and how you can tap into it. It is far better to get a mention in a small website within your niche, than to get mentioned in a website with a bigger audience, but outside of your niche.


 Myth #3: Social Media only clicks for few Industries
Totally untrue. Social media is such a platform that is all about connecting with your customers, creating a buzz about your brand, and engaging your audience to your brand. And it can be a powerful and highly effective tool for any industry, regardless of any nature of business.

For e.g., just as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are good for B2B companies, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and again Facebook, works for a B2C retailer. Strategic implementation of social media marketing can provide tremendous ROI.

You just need to find the right social network that suits your business.


Myth #4: Just Create a Website, and you are done!
Just no! If you have a website that was created and updated several years ago, then you will be lagging way back. Because online marketing arena is constantly evolving and naturally people expect the latest features, functionalities and information from your website.

So a website with no interaction, no video on the homepage, not responsive, and having entirely static content won’t appeal much to the visitors. That being said, your work doesn’t end by just getting your website created. You need to furnish it with added functionalities and features.


 Myth #5: Digital Marketing is only for Techies/Engineers
Absolutely false. Anyone in the field of Advertising, Marketing, Social Media, and who’s interested in getting connected to their fans and target audience, can do digital marketing with a little bit training. Digital marketing is no rocket science, so you need not be a hardcore technical person or an engineer for it.

Just stay aware of the latest trends and features, stay informed about Facebook, Twitter, Googele+, Analytics, SEO, and your job is done.


Myth #6: Have a Profile on all the Social Media Platforms!
Indeed, social media has become a very powerful medium and can push your brand forward. But you must be calculative and judicious enough as to which platform you should choose. Because if your target audience is high tech professional, then, of course, Snapchat isn’t the best place for you. In that case, you may try your luck in LinkedIn.

Don’t think that you need to have accounts on all the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Snapchat, Vine, Instagram. Just think which platform would work best for your business. Choose maximum 3-4 platforms; and not all those out there.


Myth #7: My Industry isn’t capable to Interest People Online
Your product may be related to plumbing. Now if you think why is it important to put out relevant contents and be consistent on social media, or update your website, then you are wrong. Because if you do these, when your potential customers would need a plumber, your name would come at the top of their search results.

So don’t ever think that your business isn’t buzz worthy!

 

Myth #8: Digital Marketing is only for Large-Scale Business
On the contrary, any business, be large-scale or small-scale, can do digital marketing based on their goals and objectives. Rather small-scale businesses and start-ups should all the more engage in going digital. Because that is the only way to create a buzz, raise awareness for the products and services, and put an effort in SEO.

To be honest, any business can go digital based on what they aim to get out of it.


Myth #9: Constantly Re-design your Website
False. You don’t need to redesign your website now and then. You just need to test sales pages to see if there is a need to redesign. Preferably when you need to boost up your sales, to give your website an SEO reshape, or to keep pace with the latest trends.

To make your effort easy and simple, just keep adding fresh and quality content to your website on a regular basis, instead of completely redesigning or revamping it.


#10: My Competitors are not in Digital Marketing, why should I bother?
On the contrary, you should all the more take advantage of this and engage in digital marketing. Your competitors are surely losing a chunk of potential customers by their wrong moves. Why should you follow their footsteps? Go Digital, and gain more traffic, more conversion, and more revenue.

So don’t always believe everything that people tell you about digital marketing. Half of them take it as just another way of selling products and services. But digital marketing is more than that.





8.5.19 seven Digital Marketing Skills Every Marketer Needs

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Great article from my friends at BootCampp Digital.

 

This year 50% of advertising will be in digital – which means that the days of digital being siloed off are coming to an end (or at least they should). While there is technical expertise required to execute many aspects of digital marketing (for example SEO, copywriting, ad buying, social media) the idea that marketers can rely on separate “digital” people is an idea of the past.


Marketer = Digital Marketer

This means that while yes, there will be specialists (like we currently have media buying specialists for example), marketers will all be digital marketers. 

The challenge is that many marketers aren’t as digitally savvy as they need to be to fully embrace this.

This is partly because there is a perception that digital moves quickly and people can’t stay on top of it easily. This isn’t really true. Most of the strategies for digital marketing success have hardly changed in the last 12 years. The tactics are different as are the tools and complexity, but the basic strategy is very similar.

The reality is that digital marketing strategically and fundamentally doesn’t change quickly. It takes time. The good news is that there are some knowledge areas that will serve all marketers well in the short and long run.


The Top 7 Digital Skills Needed by Marketers

  1. Digital Strategy
    Digital marketing requires a much more precise execution of strategy. With so many choices available and technical options to execute, the marketers who win are those who are extremely precise and disciplined in their strategic approach.

    They know exactly the result they want from something and are sharp in their execution to drive the result.

  2. Digital Ads
    Advertising is still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience, and now digital ads can be implemented for almost any budget or business objective.

    Knowing the basics of different ad channels (display, social, video, mobile) and their pros/cons is vital to build a successful strategy. Getting a slightly deeper understanding of how they work (targeting, formats, placements, etc.) is key to maintaining best practices in execution.

  3. Social Media
    One in every 5 online minutes is spent in social media, and topics like influencer marketing, reputation management, and word-of-mouth are largely driven by social media. 

    Understanding social networks, how they work, and how businesses use them to connect with people will put you in a good position to really understand how to use these channels strategically vs. as a place to post content.

  4. Digital Content
    While most businesses rate their digital content as pretty good, the reality is that consumers don’t think so, and results show otherwise. The challenge with digital content is that it must be consumer first – not marketing first.

    This is a huge challenge for traditional marketers who are used to “pushing a message”. Knowing what has “thumb-stopping power” and grabs attention is more art than science. 

    All marketers need to understand how to create powerful content for consumers and to understand the type of content that breaks through and drives results.

  5. Websites/SEO
    For almost ANY business websites and search engines are at the heart of your online presence. Yet few people take the time to really understand what makes a strong web experience and how to drive results from their website.

    Knowing the ins and outs of SEO and Websites will help you to create a solid online presence and smartly evaluate work from agencies and partners. 

  6. Digital Experience
    Digital experience is about understanding the customer and creating strong digital experiences for them. More and more businesses are investing to understand their customer journey and create an integrated approach.

    Smart marketers are able to use technology and digital platforms to create experiences that are remarkable and valuable for their audiences.

  7. Analytics & Measurement
    Digital marketing offers TONS of data, metrics and reports to marketers. Marketers must be able to take the data or reports and develop insights and actions.

    Understanding basic analytics and measurement and being able to derive meaning from it is vital to improving the success and validating the results of your efforts.


Full link to article:  https://bootcampdigital.com/blog/7-digital-marketing-skills-every-marketer-needs/