Facebook Visits Strathcom Media!

Facebook logoSome of our friends at Facebook dropped by our office to share some information about their products as well as to answer some of our questions. First, they shared some of their statistics from the latest quarter:

  • There are 1.8 billion people on Facebook worldwide and 550 million people on Instagram.
  • In Canada, there are 22 million people on Facebook and 17 million of those users are daily users.
  • there are 3.1 million apps available on the App Store and 82% of time spent on apps is only spent on 5 of them; the most time is spent on Facebook.

One question that we asked Facebook was: “what benefit does advertising on Facebook have over ‘boosted’ or ‘sponsored’ posts?”. This depends on what your goals for online advertising are. If you want Likes, Shares, and Facebook Friends, boosted posts are what you are looking for. If you want leads and to sell cars, Lead Ads on Facebook are what you are looking for. If you are unsure of what the difference is between boosted posts and lead ads, here are some examples:

Example of a Lead Ad on Facebook
Example of a Lead Ad
Example of a boosted post on Facebook
Example of a Boosted Post

Now what everyone really wanted to know: What advantages are there to advertising on Facebook that you won’t get on traditional search engines – even Google. Facebook was pretty transparent on both the benefits and shortcomings of advertising on their platform. Search engines are the perfect place for a dealership to get in front of their customers at the last possible second of the purchase journey; keyword-based searches drive high-intent clicks and conversions. While Facebook doesn’t offer keyword-based search ads, they do offer something that (we think) is even better, identity-based targeting. Facebook wouldn’t share their secret sauce with us but it turns out Facebook doesn’t use the traditional cookie-based tracking that most people are used to when attributing actions or generating targeting buckets. Through their technology, Facebook is able to track their users through their actions and behaviors on the platform. Your likes, comments, uploaded photos, hashtags and more are all used to to help Facebook determine exactly who you are and what you’re interested in. Because they don’t use cookies, there’s no risk of lost data when a customer switches between devices or clears their browsing history. This revolutionary identity tracking algorithm takes the typical interest targeting accuracy from 62% to an astonishing 92%!

It’s not just how Facebook targets customers that helps win over our hearts. Facebook is Canada’s biggest media channel with the average person spending an average of 50 minutes a day scrolling through news feeds, profiles and groups – think of all the possible eyeballs on your ads!

If you’re as excited about Facebook advertising as we are, it’s time to consider adding it to your advertising repertoire. It’s not just for sharing cat videos or baby pictures. Facebook is a powerful website traffic and conversion driver that everyone should be taking advantage of. Get started with Strathcom today and receive $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Click-to-Message Ads: Starting Conversations Even Quicker

The latest and greatest from Google AdWords: Click-to-message ads.

Earlier this year, Google announced a new beta that would allow advertisers to augment their search ads with an SMS feature so customers could send the business a text message. With Google Consumer Surveys reporting that 65% of customers would rather learn more about a product or service through a message, it was only a matter of time before such an extension was developed. After a couple of months of successful testing, Google is now rolling out click-to-message ads out globally.

So how do these click-to-message ads look? Google played around with a couple different layouts throughout the beta testing and promises to keep testing different layouts, but it looks like the final layout has the feature sit at the bottom the ad, accompanied with a custom call-to-action.

Click to Message Image

When a customer taps the message icon on their phone, the texting feature of their phone is opened with a pre-populated message (as set by the advertiser) to help streamline conversations even further for the customer. For those who are looking to send a more creative message, the customer will also have the opportunity to edit the message before sending it off.

Be sure you are catering to your mobile customers and take advantage of this stellar feature today. Stay tuned for some best practices and initial performance highlights!

Ads & Modifers & Audiences, Oh My!

Google’s annual livestream event was held on Tuesday, May 24th and, as always, we find ourselves in store for some great new features within the AdWords product. Advertisers can look forward to even more mobile-centric features like device bid modifiers, new ad formats and enriched location ads in Google Maps.

One of the most exciting announcements in this week’s livestream, Google has brought to light a complete redesign of the standard text ad on the Google Search network. With the new Expanded Text Ads, advertisers will get 50% more space for text with description lines expanding to 80 characters and the introduction of an additional 30-character headline. That’s right, we’re going to have two headlines to showcase products. With initial performance reports stating an increase of up to 20% in click through rate, this new ad format is sure to change the Search network as we know it.

livestream

Google didn’t just stop with at the text ads when they were redesigning things. Image ads on the Google Display Network can also expect to have a face lift. With efficiency and mobile phones in mind, we will now be able to create responsive image ads. With a headline, short description, image and landing page, Google will create the perfect image ad based on the website your ad is show on. This will allow for a more seamless production of creative while ensuring that users are shown the most appealing creative.

responsive google-built display ads for mobile

While on the topic of redesigns, it was also mentioned that advertisers can expect to see a completely redesigned AdWords interface over the next year. With an updated look and better showcase of important metrics, we can look forward to an interface that will stage data in an easy-to-digest format allowing us to save time when optimizing accounts.

 

livestream

Next up, the introduction of device bid modifiers. “But wait!” you say, “I thought we already had device bid modifiers?” We do, kind of… Currently, we have the ability to set bid modifiers to increase or decrease bids on mobile devices only. We can tell AdWords that we’re willing to spend up to 300% more for a mobile click, or alternately, bid down the device up to 100% if we want to stay away from cell phone users. This feature will now be expanded to include the ability to adjust bid modifiers not only on mobile devices, but also on tablets and desktops with a total of 900% increase of bids. This will give us more control over each device, ensuring we only spend money where performance is strong.

According to Google’s stats, 30% of mobile searches are linked to a location which is growing 50% faster than general searches on a mobile device. That’s a lot of eyeballs looking for your business and Google is helping advertisers capitalize on this through the launch of new local search ads. With new, enriched business location pages, companies can stand out from the crowd with a branded pin, promotions of in-store offers and even the ability of browsing product inventory; all from the business page. Three quarters of searches looking for a local business lead to same-day in-store visits, these enhancements are geared towards helping drive that foot traffic even more.

Last, but definitely not least: remarketing! Everyone knows the importance of remarketing and the incredible performance it can bring. Google announced they were bringing similar audiences to the remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) product. This is big news as advertisers have been drooling over this feature in the display network for ages. The ability to target highly qualified users based on mirrored behaviors matching your past website visitors opens your reach to a once untapped potential customer pool.

Google has become a dominate force in the online world for a reason; their ever-evolving product line always ensures both advertiser and user are presented with the highest level of quality and service in the market and this livestream provided us with a small look at what’s in store for us in 2016 and onward.

Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads

Advertisers love the ability to follow around potential customers with remarketing ads because it’s a great reminder to customers of their ever growing list of wants, as the advertiser patiently waits until your will power is at its lowest and for you to finally return and make your next purchase. You may even be running these images ads for your own dealership.

Today, this is how most people search for new vehicles.

Now, what if I told you that you could have this same stalking ability but get your business in front of audience that is actively shopping for your products a second time? No more passive approach to remarketing, patiently waiting until a user is ready to continue down the purchase path. You can skip the waiting and now entice previous website visitors when they’re actively on the hunt again. How can this be? Well…

Continue reading “Turn Even More Website Visitors into Leads”

Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads

Since 2013, many big brand companies have been taking advantage of Instagram’s 400+ million member community by sharing high quality, image-rich content while driving results that matter. Thanks to the great success of these campaigns, Instagram has opened up their advertising product to all advertisers, internationally. No brand, budget or idea is too small to take advantage of this next wave of social media advertising.

Turn Instagram ads into happy customers and increased revenue!

Continue reading “Turn Pictures into Cash with Instagram Ads”

YouTube Advertising: More Than Just Funny Videos

It’s no secret that everyone loves to watch their share of online videos. In fact, YouTube has become the second largest search engine, beat out only by its big brother, Google. From how-to demonstrations to cat videos, even to feature-length movies, YouTube clips are watched, shared, and commented on regularly.

The end result: YouTube has become the new network television, just without the TV trays and battles for the remote.

With such popularity, it’s only natural to want to monopolize these millions of eyeballs. Through AdWords for Video (a.k.a. YouTube advertising), many marketers are starting to do just that. Creating a campaign through your regular AdWords interface allows you now to showcase your brand and serve your potential customers with bright and entertaining videos.

How does AdWords for Video work, exactly?

Get your green screen ready. It’s as simple as filming a video or stringing together some great photos in Google’s Ad Gallery. Next, you choose your ad format, targeted audience, and budget, et voilà!—you’re now reaching the vast audience on YouTube.

Creating your first video

While it’s recommended that you keep your videos short and sweet to account for the short attention span of users, there is no hard limit on video length. Regardless of length, it’s vital to create a video that has your brand and message within the first few seconds of play. This way, your message is heard and absorbed before the user has the option of skipping your ad and continuing onto their chosen video. Need some help brainstorming the perfect video idea? Give us a shout! We have some great stories to share.

Choosing the right ad format

There are a total of 4 different ad formats available through YouTube advertising:

  • InSearch
  • InDisplay
  • InStream
  • InSlate

InStream and InDisplay ads (a.k.a. TrueView) video formats are by and large the most popular and effective formats. TrueView ads show up just before a video and the viewer has 5 seconds to decide whether the ad served is worth their time before the “Skip Ad” button appears. Ads also show as static image ads in the right-hand margins of a page, as seen in the photos below. As an advertiser, you pay only for the view if the user decides to watch more than 30 seconds of your ad or if they click the ad. If your ad is not over 30 seconds, then you pay for the view once your video has concluded.

You also have the option of opting into the Google Display Network, which allows you to expand your reach outside of YouTube.

Target only those who matter

Once you have your video created and have chosen the ad format to present it with, it’s time to determine who you want to see your ad.

Much like its Search and Display counterparts, YouTube advertising can set targeting based on specific keywords, user interest or intent, and demographic information, such as gender and age. You also have the ability to target specific videos and channels (what’s the new song or funny clip people are discussing at your dealership this week? Or the most popular automotive video channel?). And you can also set up remarketing lists built out for both the regular AdWords interactions and YouTube interactions, such as video views and “likes.”

With cost-per-views averaging around $0.10, YouTube advertising is a great way to get your potential clients to interact with your brand. You also have the option of bidding by the click or impression, just like how we do it through traditional AdWords.

Get your cameras rolling!

Through YouTube advertising, you have all the control you’ve learned to love with traditional AdWords, joined with the additional pizazz of a rich media video. Now that you have your Search and Display campaigns running like a well-oiled machine, it’s time to get inside and explore the next largest audience network on the internet: YouTube.

Happy filming!

Poaching Customers Has Never Been so Easy with Gmail Sponsored Promotions

Google continues to roll out its ever-growing portfolio of services, introducing a unique advertising opportunity for marketers in the automotive industry. And they’re doing it through one of the country’s most used email services: Gmail.

The result is Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP). Now you can catch your customers at the breakfast table or on the bus each morning as they scroll through their messages, serving them up engaging, full-page ads and ensuring your business is kept top of mind throughout every step of the car-buying process.

There’s a lot of potential in this new concept. So let’s explore it some more…

 

A Little Primer on Gmail Sponsored Promotions

First off, how does it work? You start with just a small taste to intrigue the appetite. Advertisers get 125 characters to grab the attention of their targeted audience through GSP’s “teaser ad.” The teaser sits on top of the user’s inbox, includes a thumbnail image, a title, and a short description, and is the gatekeeper to a much more interesting and interactive advertisement: the full page “expanded ad.”

GSP Teaser Ad Example

What a teaser ad looks like to your customers

 

And now the main course, where you convert! The expanded ad is your chance to provide a persuasive and memorable user experience through your expert use of images, videos, and links to your website. This can be as simple as a standard image ad that can be found across the Google Display Network. Or, with a bit of coding and graphics knowledge, you can build something eye-catching that functions as a mini landing page, providing engaging information and a contact form.

(Don’t have coding or graphics knowledge? You know who to call!)

GSP Expanded Ad Example

Just one example of the expanded ad

 

What are even more impressive than the endless options in such a large, rich media ad are the ways in which you can target these ads across Gmail users. Gmail Sponsored Promotions uses the same targeting options as Google Display, singling out desired users based on filtered searches for interests, locations, and income-levels.

But it also has two additional targeting options that prove Google is the ultimate creep:

Keyword Targeting

It’s not poaching customers; it’s showing them better choices. Want to serve your ad to people who’ve already been in talks with other dealerships about getting information on pricing, or setting up a test drive? Keyword Targeting will let you do that; up to 500 unique keywords can be targeted and GSP will comb through the user’s 300 most recent emails to determine if they have had any correspondence related to your keyword or keywords of choice.

Domain Targeting

Determined to win customers over from a specific competitor? Through domain targeting, you can target specific websites found within the user’s inbox. This is great if you’re interested in getting the attention of users who may be receiving newsletters as part of a specific mailing list, or who might have a relevant website found somewhere in an email signature; just add the domain you’re interested in et voila! You’re now introduced to new potential customers.

 

Google continues to make it as easy as ever to reach potential customers with your message of choice. Contact Strathcom today to take advantage of Google’s Gmail Sponsored Promotions!