Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018

Group of people sitting in a row and applauding at conference.

 

Canadian International Auto Show

Toronto – February 16-25, 2018

AutoShow 2018 is excited present attendees with fast and furious opportunities and experience throughout this 10 day event! Continue reading “Automotive Conferences You Should Check Out in 2018”

Dealers Asked, Google Listened: Google’s 2017 Dealer Playbook

GOOGLE’S DEALER PLAYBOOK IS HERE!

2017 Dealer Playbook

If you attended any of the Google Think Dealer events this fall, you know that Canadian dealers have been asking for a step-by-step guide on how to advertise on Google for years, and it is finally available. Based on Canadian automotive data, whether you are a beginner looking to do the bare minimum, or a seasoned pro looking for how to stand out online, The Dealer Playbook breaks down exactly where you should be spending your marketing dollars. Continue reading “Dealers Asked, Google Listened: Google’s 2017 Dealer Playbook”

What’s the Story with Instagram?

We have had a few dealers ask us about Instagram lately, so we took the liberty of asking Facebook what’s up with its sister platform. Here are the new stats they sent us:

  • Instagram currently has about 250 million daily users
  • People under the age of 25 spend an average of 32 minutes a day on Instagram
  • People over the age of 25 are spending an average of 24 minutes a day on Instagram
  • In the last year alone there have been more than 20 new features added to Instagram Stories – including stickers and Boomerang
  • Last month, over 50% of businesses produced an Instagram story.

Instagrammers iPhone 5 displaying log in screen of Instagram application.

Case Study

There is also a case study on the Instagram business page called Accelerating to Success: The Auto Industry on Instagram that includes a ton of data about why dealers should be utilizing this powerful platform. Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading “What’s the Story with Instagram?”

Strathcom Media: Das Volkswagen Website & Online Advertising Provider

Volkswagen driving down a highway

Over the past few months, Volkswagen Canada has been searching across the country for the best website and online provider for their dealers. Strathcom Media is thrilled to announce that we have been  selected as one of their 3 providers.

Volkswagen Dealers – if you would like to learn more about Strathcom Media and why you should consider us as a provider, you can: Continue reading “Strathcom Media: Das Volkswagen Website & Online Advertising Provider”

Changes to Google’s testmysite Tool

No, you are not imagining things – Google’s testmysite tool has been given a bit of a face lift.

Google's testmysite tool

If you want a quick way to see how your site is performing on mobile, Google’s testmysite tool provides a quick overview. It can tell you in seconds if your website takes over 5 seconds to load (most people won’t even wait that long for a site to load), or if there are things you should fix to make your site more mobile friendly. Continue reading “Changes to Google’s testmysite Tool”

New Medium, New Rules

In a recent Facebook blog, Mark Rabkin, the VP of Core Ads at Facebookdiscussed everyone’s favourite media platform: smartphones. He mentions in the article that just as televisions were not just a modern version of the radio, smartphones are not just tiny televisions. TV was revolutionary because it gave every household a screen, smartphones give every person a screen, on their person, at all times.

This constant access to content means that advertisers have to create attention-grabbing, thumb-stopping content in order to capture and hold the small amount of attention consumers have. In fact, Facebook studied the Facebook activity of 537 participants as they watched the season premiere of a popular TV show. They found that during every commercial break, their Facebook activity rose.

Participant's activity on Facebook rose during comercial break
Rabkin, M. (2017, June, 8). New Medium, New Rules: Video Advertising in the Mobile Age

When it comes to advertising, Facebook clearly knows what they’re doing. Here are the best practices of some of Facebook’s top advertisers: Nestle, AirBnb, and Ubisoft. Continue reading “New Medium, New Rules”

Check Out Our Case Study on Facebook’s Website!

We have been talking about Facebook a lot lately, but that’s only because we understand its potential and we know to succeed on it. If you still don’t believe us, check out this case study Facebook published on their own site about yours truly.

With Facebook advertising, we were able to get this dealership group 68% more vehicle sales than the next best advertising medium in just 60 days. If you want to give Facebook advertising a shot, you can try it with us for 3 months and get $500 in bonus ad spend. Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Facebook is more than Likes and Shares.

 

Advertising in the Age of Ad-DHD

People are busy. With work, family, social media, and a plethora of other distractions it is getting more and more difficult for advertisers to get people to notice their ads; let alone retain people’s attention long enough for their ad to actually be recalled. Think of it as a kind of ADHD… Ad-DHD.

As people's attention spans decrease, their ability to recall ads does too.

 

According to Google, users who watch ads for more than three seconds are more likely to recall, recognize and consider your brand. This may not sound like a long time, but to keep someone’s attention for more than 3 seconds is a lot more difficult in this day and age.

In a recent Google Livestream, Google talked about the new currency: time. Google also discussed how the Old Mantra was ‘get the customer to the dealership‘ and the new mantra is ‘bring the dealership to the customer‘. So, how can do you bring the dealership to the customer? Continue reading “Advertising in the Age of Ad-DHD”

3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google

In a recent edition of Google Best Practices they laid out the difference between auction-time quality and the 1-10 quality score. Regarding your quality score, here are 3 things that matter:

  1. The User’s Device
  2. Relevance
  3. Performance on Related Keywords

Hands typing on laptop computer - there are several misconceptions about quality score on Google

I don’t think that there is anyone out there that can argue that these factors do not effect your quality score. But here are some factors that, contrary to some opinions, do not matter: Continue reading “3 Misconceptions About Ad Quality According to Google”

Clarity on Conversions: what is actually being reported to you? Leads?

Do you know exactly what your online providers call a conversion? What they call a lead? If you cannot definitively answer that question it might be time to have a chat with them.  Although there seems to be endless oversight in the automotive industry, there is no industry standard for what we call a lead or a conversion.

hand holding mobile smart phone at blurred car for sale in showroom background

Most people would agree that a form completion, email, text, chat or clicks-to-call all represent a lead as a consumer is engaging directly with your business. Sounds fair. Continue reading “Clarity on Conversions: what is actually being reported to you? Leads?”

4 Ways to Make Your Mobile Site Better, According to Google Best Practices

In the latest article from  Google Best Practices, Google gave 4 Tips for a Frictionless Mobile Experience. Not all of their tips necessarily apply to the automotive industry, but these are 4 simple ways to make your mobile site better.

Woman using tablet at night, visiting a mobile site

Make it Responsive

Continue reading “4 Ways to Make Your Mobile Site Better, According to Google Best Practices”

AR Canada 2017 Recap

April 4th wrapped up 2017’s Auto Remarketing Canada Conference at the Westin Harbor Castle in Toronto. This year brought hundreds of progressive dealers and vendors together to discuss new innovations and the future of the automotive industry.

AR Canada sign Continue reading “AR Canada 2017 Recap”

CMS Update: Silent Salesman’s New Style

technology updates with a laptop computer.

Here at Strathcom, we are constantly working on new features and new ways to provide the best experience for our clients. Here are just a few things that we updated in the last week: Continue reading “CMS Update: Silent Salesman’s New Style”

Random Acts of Kindness

At Strathcom, we know the importance of giving back to our community. We know that there are things that we take for granted, and we know that sometimes it can be difficult to make the time and set aside the funds to give back. This is why Random Acts of Kindness was created. This year, every Strathcom Media employee was given $350 to give to the person or organization of their choice.

One group of people pooled their money together and assembled over 40 male and female care packages containing toiletries, food, hygienic products and warm clothing and donated them to YESS. Additional donations were sent to other organizations within the Edmonton community that support the homeless and families in need including: Kids Kottage, Boyle Street Community Services, and the Bissell Centre

care packages donated to YESS and other organizations that help the homeless in Edmontoncare packages donated to YESS and other organizations that help the homeless in Edmonton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others pooled their money for an organization called SMILE. This small group of volunteers sets up what they call a sidewalk party outside the Hope Mission for the homeless people waiting in line to get shelter and a bed for the night. They do this every Sunday night without fail, their ideals are simple: bridging the gap between those who have enough & those who don’t. A kind smile, eye contact are worth their weight in gold to people that feel forgotten. To get a hug from a child is a gift, for a child to learn kindness for strangers is an even bigger gift.

We were able to buy a pair of socks, gloves, tissues, Goldfish crackers, and a sweet snack for 150 people. We also had enough money left over to purchase 16 large pizzas and hand them out. The manager at Giant Tiger gave us 30% off our purchase as well as contributed a $25.00 gift card which allowed us to stretch the money even further. He also allowed us to share his contact info with the organizer of SMILE and said he would honor the 30% discount anytime they needed it.

The organization did a little write up on it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SmileEdmonton/permalink/631375877051080/?notif_t=group_post_mention&notif_id=1488177974504369

volunteering outside the Hope Missionvolunteering outside the Hope Mission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$350 was also used to purchase dog toys and treats for Dogs with Wings. This is an incredible organization that raises and trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities. And of course we had to stay and play while Reign tested out her new toy!

golden lab playing with a toy we donated to Dogs with Wings

We were very humbled by all of these organizations and we can’t wait to participate again next year!

Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook

met with Facebook to discuss the benefits of Facebook advertising

On Wednesday we were visited by our friends Brian and Nim from Facebook. We discussed the many reasons that dealers should be advertising on Facebook, and how we can improve our current Facebook campaigns. Here are some of the key takeaways from their visit: Continue reading “Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook”

The Blurred Line Between TV and YouTube: what it means for advertisers

As more and more people turn to YouTube for their entertainment, it is getting more and more difficult to track exactly how many viewers a TV program gets. For example, I think everyone has watched – or at least heard about – Saturday Night Live’s skit in which Melissa McCarthy impersonates White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. We all know SNL airs on NBC on Saturday nights (duh), but is that when and where you watched it? Or did you watch it on YouTube?

Watching YouTube videos on smart TV with home media sharing technology.

In a recent Think with Google article, Google discussed how more viewers are watching TV programs on YouTube, and even casting what they are watching on YouTube to their televisions. According to their research, adults are 5x more likely to prefer online platforms over cable TV.

In another Think with Google article, they discussed how programs like ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on the Late Late Show with James Corden – despite being a successful TV program – frequently gets more views on YouTube than on TV.

“The blurred lines of video consumption have changed the way success of any TV show should be measured. That’s particularly true for us since we originally air after midnight. We’re in the relevance business. The first thing we do when we come in in the morning is look at how our videos performed on YouTube. Our executive producer, Ben Winston, says, ‘The overnight ratings just tell us who managed to stay awake past midnight. The YouTube numbers tell us which bits flew.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point: Viewership of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on YouTube regularly eclipses viewership on the show itself.”

So what does this mean for advertisers? It could mean that the money being spent on TV ads (about $72 billion last year) could be better suited for YouTube. This is one reason that YouTube is now rolling out a Web-TV service called YouTube TV. For just $35/month, customers can sign up for a package consisting of about 40 channels. It has also been speculated that YouTube TV will get about 2 minutes of ad time per hour to sell to advertisers.

It also means that Google’s targeting methods can now be utilized in the TV space, and Google can now sell their advertising in the network ad slots that would have typically gone to cable operators. But Google is insistent that they are not trying to take money away from TV, they just want to play in the TV space.

Will you sign up for YouTube TV if it comes to Canada? Will you be willing to spend $35/month? Let us know in the comment section!

Every Generation is the Facebook Generation

phone screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

Facebook. What started out in a college dorm room has since grown into one of the largest advertising platforms available. Yet, there are many companies that still do not realize the potential Facebook has to offer their business.

One common objection we hear about Facebook advertising is “I’m not on Facebook, and my customers aren’t on Facebook”, or “people my age and older aren’t on Facebook”. Although this sounds like a reasonable objection, the data simply does not back it up.

There are 22 million Canadians on Facebook, and 17 million of them are on Facebook every day. The population of Canada is about 35 million people, meaning that about 63% of Canadians are on Facebook, and almost 50% are on Facebook every day. When one considers that 1 in 2 Canadians are on Facebook, suddenly the “people my age aren’t on Facebook” argument seems unlikely.

Also, a recent study by Sprout Social looked at which social platforms each generation – Millennials (ages 18-34), Gen Xers (ages 34-54) and Baby Boomers (ages 55+) – engage with the most. They surveyed 1,000 people from each demographic and the results showed that, actually, every generation is the Facebook generation.

43.6% of those surveyed chose Facebook as their social network of choice. 64.7% of Gen Xers chose it and 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose it. That’s right, out of all three generations, the highest percentage came from those aged 55+. 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose Facebook as their social media platform of choice

Another interesting discovery in this study is which generations are most likely to follow a brand on social media. They found that 48.6% of Millennials currently follow brands, and 48.8% of Gen Xers currently follow brands.  That means almost half of people aged 35-54 have opted-in to following brands on social media. Is your brand available to them?

But what about Generation Z? Even though Sprout did not survey anyone from this generation, there are a plethora of articles out there trying to figure this generation out. Many suggest that SnapChat is going to be that generation’s Facebook, but according to an article by Contently:

“67 percent of older Gen Zers regularly use Facebook, while 50 percent name the Facebook-owned Instagram—only one percentage point behind Snapchat. Facebook was also named by 26 percent of respondents as the social network they use ‘constantly,’ compared with 23 percent for Snapchat. Nearly half of respondents said they log onto Facebook multiple times a day”.

One of the most basic lessons in advertising is to be where your customers are and where your competition isn’t. It’s been proven that your customers are, in fact, on Facebook; but right now, a lot of your competition is not advertising there. Give us a call today to get started and get $500 in bonus spend to put towards your next lead-generating campaign.

Not Your Typical ‘Trust-Fall’ Kind of Company…

Some companies have corporate retreats where everyone falls into each other arms in order to build trust. At Strathcom, we believe there is no better way to strengthen trust within our team than to throw axes (at targets, of course!)

 

After work one day, we headed over to The Rec Room in Edmonton for axe throwing and dinner (a delicious gourmet poutine station) to get a little break from the daily grind and to do some team bonding.

gourmet poutine from the Rec Room in Edmonton

We definitely recommend giving axe throwing a try if you haven’t already, and know that if we can throw an axe and hit a target, we can definitely hit your advertising targets as well!

Google Externship

Last week, Strathcom Media had the pleasure of hosting an exclusive 2-day “Google Externship” with Googler, Caitlin. As a first-time Edmonton-visitor, Caitlin was pleased to learn more about our Canadian culture and hear that Edmonton (yes, just Edmonton) was hosting 9 sold-out Garth Brooks concerts!

During her time with us, she was able to share her expertise of Google products and optimizations in order to help us improve some of our AdWords accounts. In addition to doing deep dives into specific accounts, she also provided us with insider tips and tricks on how to improve efficiency in our daily tasks and shared new insights and different ways to use Google products.Close-up view of Google apps on an Android smartphone, including Chrome, Gmail, Maps.

We all know the importance of Google and its impact on our daily lives. Whether it’s to learn more about a topic or to settle an argument, anyone can just “Google it” and find everything they need. In fact, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and the use of search engines is expected to increase by another 15% in 2017. Additionally, 84% of new car buyers and 68% of used car buyers use Google in their shopping journey. Also, 75% of users do not scroll past the first page of search results, hence the importance of advertising.  As a Premier Google Partner, Strathcom understands how to get you noticed on the search results page.

Our ad operations and sales teams greatly benefited from Caitlin’s visit and we are now refreshed and ready to smash your advertising  goals out of the park!

You Have Been Warned: Google’s Intrusive Interstitial Penalty Is Now In Effect

Google Search on a smartphone

Not all heroes wear capes? Google just saved the day with the introduction of the intrusive interstitial penalty. Of course, whether Google is a saviour is a matter of perspective because it is highly unlikely that all advertisers are thrilled about it.

The introduction of intrusive interstitial penalties, as always, is to improve the user experience especially in the mobile platform. One of the key annoyances for mobile customers is the unexpected (annoying) pop ups when they go to a page. Given the smaller screen on mobile devices, chasing the little ‘x’ symbol to close these ads is not something that is widely appreciated.

What are interstitials? According to a blog by Bright Edge, these are “ads that land on a page on your site, where the user intended to go”. Usually these ads either contain an option to skip the ad or an expiration after a short time.intrusive interstitial ads

As stated earlier, Google wants to improve the landing page and customer experience. Failure to abide by the new rule will result in a poor ad rank, especially on mobile. That’s a risk no advertiser wants to take given the increase of mobile use over the years and the rise in competition in every industry. This penalty only affects “intrusive interstitials that happen directly after going from a Google mobile search result to a specific page” (Search Engine Land; January 11, 2017).

The only acceptable interstitials are: legal requests for cookie tracking, age verifications, logins and banners that only use a reasonable amount of the screen and can be easily dismissed (Max Traffic, January 1, 2017). Now the most important information – what can you do to prevent the penalty? The blog, Will New Google’s Intrusive Mobile Interstitial Penalty Affect Your Business, has a great set of details on how to prevent them:

  • Analyze the performance beforehand: if your ads are generating enough traffic and leads to risk losing points, then by all means ignore this warning.
  • Reasonable amount of screen: simple as having smaller banners that do not take up the entire screen.
  • More control for the users to dismiss your interstitials: simply place the infamous ‘x’ as visible as possible.
  • Don’t show pop ups to all incoming visitors: approach at the very end, when the user is about to leave. This will keep the frustrations minimal as they already interacted with the content of the specific page.

At the end of the day, this penalty is beneficial for everyone involved, so Google really is a saviour! How, you ask? Other than the loss of site rank, customers are less frustrated and bothered, which decreases the bounce rate and increases the chances of conversion on your site. In the automotive industry, this is key as with multiple dealerships offering various makes and service, and the convenience of navigating to a different page with similar content, risking the penalty would not be not a stride in the right direction.