Monthly Archives: September 2016

New Alliance Forming Amongst Facebook, Google, IAB & Other Major Brands for Better Ads

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Ad blocking is continuously increasing, and as it does it is posing a threat to the advertising industry.  Businesses such as Indianapolis SEO, healthcare companies and so forth are being affected. Because of this, people are seeing a need to address the underlying issue and look at ad experiences in their entirety.  Last year, Apple allowed iOS users to use ad blockers, and this perpetuated the problem even further.

Regarding ad blocking, the SVP of Google’s Ads and Commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy said:

This is something we need to address together as an industry. We need standards of good ads that you and I would find acceptable as consumers. Ad blocking presents creative challenges and certainly a business challenge.

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Last week there was a conference held in Germany called DMEXCO.  There the project Coalition for Better Ads was launched.  Coalition for Better Ads is composed of 16 companies that all agree the digital advertising experience must be improved. Some of the companies include Facebook, Google, GroupM, Unilever, Procter and Gamble, and the Washington Post.

Nancy Hill, the President and CEO of the 4As said the following:

“Our members recognize that there is room for improvement with the current consumer online advertising experience, as indicated in part by the emergence of ad blocking. Now is the time for advertising professionals and marketers to look at ourselves to understand why consumers are not responding to these types of ads, and figure out how we can correct the issue to better engage with the consumers we’re trying to reach.

The Coalition has already stated several tasks they plan to implement in order to improve the digital ad experience.  These tasks include:

  • making data-driven, consumer-based standards that all companies involved in digital ad-making can implement in order to improve the overall experience
  • develop and use technology that implements these standards (in conjunction with the IAB Tech Lab)
  • make sure consumers and companies understand these standards in order to receive feedback and uptake

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According to eMarketer, in the United States alone, in 2016, 69.8 million people will use ad-blockers.  This is a 34.4 percent increase from 2015.  If this statistic isn’t shocking enough, PageFair reported that 22% of smartphone users all over the world use ad blockers and it leads to $22 billion of lost revenue per year.  The goal of the new Coalition will be to decrease these statistics as user experience increases.

How to Ascribe Value to Your Facebook Ads

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Recently in the marketing world, there has been a lot of conversation about the attribution, or the ascribed value, of advertising on Facebook. Only within the last few years, it has been fairly easy to place a value on different links or channels for traffic to your products or services; but, now it is significantly more complex. So, if you feel lost and wonder what is the true ascribed value to your Facebook ads, you are not alone. Many businesses and business owners struggle through this same problem. We will go through some basic principles to try help determine this ascribed value.

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One of the nice things about Facebook is that they have tools to help you determine the value of your different ads. Let’s work through these:

  1. Facebook conversions

A Facebook conversion is created on the day that a customer or potential customer clicks your ad and they are taken to your product, service, or information. Facebook will use the last day a user clicked on the ad if there are multiple clicks from a single user. Facebook has a standard view which is a 28-day view, but there are options for 1-day, 7-day, or 28-day.

  1. Which window is best?

There is no perfect answer to this question–you need to determine which one works best for you. You need to determine which one will give you the clearest idea of what is going on. This will allow you to manage your Facebook Ads Manager and Power Editor appropriately. To have the best results you probably want to review and really understand your back-end average order value, return on advertising spending, and lifetime value. By understanding these, you can really manage where your money is going and get the best utilization of your Facebook ads.

  1. View value

When you go back to the basics of marketing, think about the value of someone viewing an ad. Just because you got your ad in front of tons of people and you have a large amount of traffic does not mean anything significant if it is not in front of the right customer. Facebook allows third party viewers to evaluate your data at the ad level and this can give significant more information.

  1. Determining who is who

Facebook can determine if you are you no matter what device you are using. Facebook can track what you do, your preferences and hobbies, and can also determine if you are using a new device. Facebook has a people-based marketing strategy, and it works.

  1. Conversion lift

On Facebook, this tool allows you to determine how much business growth you have had due to the ads. It will calculate in a scientific, methodical way the increase in business from your ads.

  1. Third party attribution

Facebook has multiple ways to determine the ascribed value to our Facebook ads, but one of the best ways may be third party attribution. This allows you to have an even better understanding of your business niche.

 

Link Building in SEO

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In today’s realm of SEO, there are a plethora of thoughts about link building and generating web traffic. Some marketing experts believe that link building takes a long time to increase traffic to websites.  Kristina Kledzik from Moz said that it takes about 10 weeks for new links to make an impact on traffic for a website. From other cases that we see from Conrad Saam, I would beg to differ on this there are many examples when appropriately done link building generated significant new traffic in a matter of days.

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Conrad Saam, founder of Mockingbird Marketing, has proven that link building can generate significant new traffic that does not take 10 weeks. Because of his great success in web traffic, we will skim over his four different cases, all of which were law groups trying to increase traffic on their website.

His group works exclusively with law firms that are small business with websites. All cases contain align with the following characteristics:
– When they designed high-quality links they saw overwhelming success
– They did not do any other SEO work for these clients
– Most of these cases only took a few days.

The reasons they saw significant new traffic in a short period of time:
-Smaller web dominance: greater, more striking results are expected from smaller business sites. Any change shows a significant impact.

-Monumental use of links: a high volume of applicable, excellent links were used. Volume was increased anywhere from 50-300% in less than two weeks.
-Success in traffic: measure of success was based on the amount of traffic, not the ranking, as this correlates better with how businesses are run.
-Less influences on change: less variables can confound why traffic changes may occur with small business sites.

Four cases:
Case 1–
The group did a link building campaign for a law firm around a particular women’s right topic and increased incoming traffic by 20%. This was done in about three days.

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Case 2–
The group built links, using social media to contact potential litigants, for a law firm that filed a class action case, and increased incoming traffic by 17%.

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Case 3–
This one involved an injury claim against a famous technology company that had news crossing over onto secondary information sites. There was a 46% surge increase in traffic.

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Case 4–
The last case was unique because it increased traffic, but it was more delayed compared to the others. This project took closer to eight weeks for it to hit the maximum amount of traffic, but it increased traffic by 65%, so this was the most successful case.

case-iv-800x270There are a lot of options for link building, but if done in a similar way from these examples, you can experience significant growth in website traffic. If you only do one or two links here or there, then yes, it will take weeks to months to see significant results; but, a well thought-out and strategic plan can result in significant traffic with only a short amount of time to implement it.

Advertising on Facebook: A Look at Carousel and Pricing Trends

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Facebook recently implemented a new policy for advertisers where ad images must not exceed 20%.  Ads where text was higher than 20% were rapidly dropped our placed on hold by Facebook. This new change makes it clear that image text will have a huge impact on what reaches a company’s audience.  Presently, when a healthcare company submits an ad to Facebook, they will then be graded on a four-tier system.

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The system points out the likelihood of audience reach based on the text and image shared. If you are a company looking to use Facebook ads as a form of marketing, you should be aware that when submitting an ad to be graded, you should still greatly reduce the amount of text in your ad image.  The types of images that will yield a good grading score are logos, album covers, and movie posters.  What will yield a low grading score are discount languages and product descriptions.

carousel-growthFacebook Carousel ads have been very popular since their launch, especially when marketing a product.  You are able to display multiple products within a single unit and allow for an interactive experience with your users.  Carousel ads have also improved the click to purchase conversion for a great amount of advertisers.  As these ad targets improve, Facebook’s CPMs are increasing as much as 10% each quarter.  Despite this, however, healthcare companies are continuing to use Facebook ads.  Despite the higher ad prices, the value provided by them far outweighs the cost.  As spending increases, so does the returns.  Facebook clearly has a great ability to keep customers happy and continuing to return each year in order to place their ads.

cpm-2016-1In the past, Facebook has made tweaks to their algorithm that has caused a bit of an upheaval by advertisers.  Despite this, however, the user growth continues to climb.  Advertisers should follow Facebook’s lead, and trust them with their advertising vision.  The whole purpose of Facebook providing the image-text guidelines as well as the reach estimates to advertisers is to show them what works and what doesn’t.  Facebook has recently made it to where desktop ads can no longer be shut off.  On the flip side, however, they also made it so people could opt out of specific ads.  This goes to show that healthcare companies should be very thoughtful in providing interesting, attention-grabbing ads to keep users from shutting them down.

The Evolution of Social Media Marketing

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Social Media has made it possible to connect a huge portion of the world’s population to each other.  From Facebook to Snapchat to Twitter, people are exercising their ability to use these platforms to reach out to others, stay acquainted with people of the past, and even market their businesses.  After all, there is a lot of ‘free’ marketing available within social media and what it currently offers.

Evolution-of-Social-MediaIt is easy to think that social media is what it is, and will stay the same for the most part.  Sure, different outlets may change their layout or the way their app appears, etc., but total evolution?  Most people do not think that much will change.  Jayson DeMers, a contributor to Marketing Land, thinks differently.  He believes that Social Media, right now as we know it, is only in it’s ‘teen years’.  Here are his predictions for the evolution of social media marketing:

  1. Jayson believes that a single social media platform could grow to dominate the entire landscape.  Currently, he sees Facebook as the frontrunner.  They have already purchased Instagram, and it would not be hard for them to slowly acquire ownership of other platforms.  It would take awhile, but it is possible.
  2. Paid Marketing Visibility. There are various social media platforms that are cutting back on free marketing for various businesses, such as healthcare organizations.  They are starting to make it so the visible content comes directly from individual users, rather than organizations.  Facebook, for example, has implemented this because they want users to see what they want to see.  This could mean that social media marketing visibility will be primarily paid in the future.
  3. Social Media platforms are already seeing that users want more customizability and individualization. They want to share and view information that only pertains to them, such as controlling what is visible in their newsfeed.  Facebook already allows for some of this, and in the future other platforms might adapt this feature as well.  this would give users the power to control the visibility of the content they view.
  4. Niche Specific Platforms. To completely contrast prediction number one, social media platforms may become even more niche specific.  Snapchat is a great example of this, as the platform allows users to send photos and videos as well as use specialty filters.  They can also chat and briefly video chat, but besides this there is not much else they can do.  As time goes on, more and more platforms may be created with their own specific niches.

Jayson shares a few more predictions here.  All in all, these changes may or may not come to pass.  If they do, however, healthcare organizations and others will have to rethink the way they are currently marketing to their end user.

Social Media: One of the Best Ways to Increase Brand Awareness

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With each passing day, more and more people are using social media. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube—you name it, your customers are there to network. And just like your customers, other businesses are also there to connect their brands.

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How do you get noticed and set yourself apart from the rest? How do you stay a step ahead of the competition? With the ever changing world of marketing and an increasing number of companies using these social media sites, you need to think of creative and out-of-the-box strategies to reach and resonate with your prospective customers while working within the expected avenues. And what better way to stay connected to consumers than through this highway of a marketing strategy?

What many businesses have not realized is that there are ways to utilize the full potential of these social media arenas. These sites allow a two-way dialogue of topics, interests, products, hobbies, and more. Here are some thoughts on how you can best increase the publicity and awareness of your brand.

1. Create a team mentality between staff and customers

If you can create an environment of conversation and transparency between your staff and customers, you will create a feeling of trust and unity. Your potential customers with think warmly of your company. Most advertisements can feel like one-sided entertainment from the consumer; but, with social media, the gate is opened for dialogue between followers and your staff, and this communication and participation from consumers helps them feel involved, like they are a part of your team.

2. Create a podcast

Podcasts have become increasingly popular method of communication in the last several years. Customers like to watch videos and learn information, not necessarily feel as if you are trying to sell them something. The one down side to podcasts is that it is not method of two-way dialogue but is still an effective way to communicate information. It can be helpful to also have guest speakers or have other ways to keep consumer interest.

3. Create a live forum

For those customers who cannot make it to your events/sales/auctions, live, online forums will help them feel involved. Live forums will also help them see your business and what is happening at these events to allow another way for more customers to experience your business.

4. Create a glimpse of your company’s everyday life

You can create a video or slide show that demonstrates the good, everyday aspects of your business. This allows customers to see your staff, facility, products, and work environment that give snapshots of who you are, what you do, and how you do what you do. This helps customers connect with your business at a deeper level and will create a further aspect of trust with your company. This method can even help potential employees as well.

Summary:

In the end, you can implement one or all of these strategies; but, before you do, you need to engage in some research of your future customers and determine which strategy will work well for your company.