Strathcom Media Blog

Digital Marketing for Dealerships

Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising

businessman wearing boxing gloves,competition concept

“If you spend 15 minutes studying business, you’ll have wasted 14 minutes. I’ll tell you everything you need to know: supply and demand.” – Chael Sonnen

I always take quotes from people who get punched in the head for a living with a grain of salt. Mike Tyson interviews were entertaining, but they were hardly TED talks. However, Chael Sonnen is a bit of a different quote machine. Not only is he a former UFC title contender and current multi weight-class veteran, he has also been a politician, actor, business owner, realtor, and even has a degree in sociology. Some of his more devoted fans are known to feature him in parodies of The Most Interesting Man In The World commercials, and he has leveraged his status as a record-setting MMA pay-per-view headliner into a book deal and successful podcast. Quite the LinkedIn page, right? It makes me feel a little better about quoting someone who gets punched in the head for a living. Continue reading “Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising”

Are Your Ads Mobile-Friendly?

Women hold the phone to enter the code to get a discount from the store. The concept of providing marketing services on the internet for easy access to information.

We’ve all heard it before, “the world is going mobile”. But that’s old news. As a matter of fact, the world is not going mobile — it’s already there (and that’s not just my opinion either). According to a recent study done by comScore, Canadians spend 59% of their total internet time on their smartphone. That’s an average of 3,927 minutes per user per month, and counting!

If you’ve got a website, you’ve probably got the mobile side covered, right? Site speed and responsive layouts are pretty well a mandatory feature if you want to reach (not to mention engage) as many visitors as possible.

But how about your ads? Are they also mobile-friendly?

Back in 2014, Google introduced a new ad extension to enhance text ads and enable advertisers to provide extra info to users, called callouts. Callouts are a pretty neat way to jazz up your creatives, especially if you know how to combine them with sitelinks. In the blink of an eye, advertisers were able to go from simple text based ads to complex and lengthy ads. How delightful!

But here’s the thing: if our websites are adjusting themselves to fit into a smaller, mobile screen, why are advertisers not doing the same thing to their search ads?

Earlier this year, the online advertising team at Strathcom did an experiment to check what impact, if any, mobile-friendly ad extensions would have on our campaigns. We created shorter versions of callouts and sitelinks, marked the device preference checkbox, and released them into the wild.

Regular Ad Extensions

Mobile-Friendly

Service And Maintenance (23 characters)Service Dept (12 characters)
Pre-Owned Inventory (19 characters)Used Vehicles (13 characters)
40+ Years In Business (21 characters)40yrs In Business (16 characters)

After all, smaller screens call for shorter texts (in theory). We don’t want to sacrifice our carefully written ad copy, but what we can do is reduce our character count when it comes to ad extensions without harming the message.

In fact, in order to make an ad mobile-friendly, Google itself recommends we keep mobile-oriented sitelinks and callouts at a 12 to 15 character maximum, instead of using the full, 25 character allotment.

So we gave it the old college try, and a few months later this happened:

Sitelinks: 9.81% increase in click-through-rate

Callouts: 8.45% increase in click-through-rate

When we compare this to the same period of the previous year, the outcome is even more impressive:

Sitelinks: 30.55% increase in click-through-rate

Callouts: 35.43% increase in click-through-rate

In fact, the mobile-preferred extensions show an overall better result in almost every metric. Just look at the Sitelinks indicators for the last month of the same campaign:

CTRCPAConv. RateCPC

Mobile-Friendly

49.29%$1.8939.35%$0.74

Regular Ad Extensions

28.92%$8.2012.47%$0.75

As of late, mobile devices have shown far better performance than desktop, but if we can improve mobile performance further -without having to resort to bidding adjustments- why not try? This is especially true when it comes to accounts with smaller budgets. And trying new things like mobile-friendly ad copy is what we do best here at Strathcom. One could say we’re a bit obsessive in experimenting with different ideas to find the best results (well, speaking for myself at least, I’m a bit obsessive about it).

This is of course just a small sample in how different situations demand different approaches — and how sometimes in the mobile world, less is more. Is it a cliché? Maybe. But is it accurate? Definitely.

curious french bulldog dog looking up to owner taking a selfie or snapshot with mobile phone or smartphone

A Modest Request…

child dressed up as retro business man

In the wonderful world of web, we as consumers are exposed to subliminal messages and overbearing marketing lists that have become second nature. And while automotive dealers have a plethora of knowledge, having seen the industry progress firsthand, some of the marketing ploys they ask for get lost in translation due to the stimulus-overload we are already in the midst of. Simply put, there are too many features available on websites, and everytime we add a new feature something gets lost in the shuffle. We, as designers, are often tasked with creating carousel slides to catch the eye while there are better tools available. If you read my last blog, about trusting your designer, then you’ll remember that sharing your vision and goals is an important part of the process — but letting us help guide you with our professional knowledge is just as important. After all the main goal is to improve the communication from Dealership to Marketing Manager to Designer, culminating in getting the message through to the customer loud and clear. And as a former dealership employee, marketing manager, designer, and customer, I can tell you with all honesty that these lanes of communication could be improved. Continue reading “A Modest Request…”

How To Avoid Scammers

Scam sign

We’ve all had it happen to us at one point in our lives; a deal too good to be true, a stranger that was just too nice. And there is a name for those people scammers! Scammers have been around for a long time, and will continue to operate in their shady ways if there are people and businesses around to scam. Often, if you have an online business, these scammers appear in the form of 3rd party companies claiming to be from Google and claiming they can improve your search ranking (or offer services that Google already provides for free).  Not only is this frustrating for small business owners, but Google isn’t too happy about it either. Continue reading “How To Avoid Scammers”

Spam & Regs: GDPR and What It Means for Your Business

Shot of a young businessman looking angry while using a computer during a late night at work

E-mail, or E-mbarrassed

Well, this is embarrassing.

According to the 2018 Radicati Email Statistics Report, the average person has 1.75 e-mail accounts. And I have six. Six! That I can remember. And that isn’t including any ultra-regrettable, junior high school e-mail addresses I signed up for in the halcyon days of the internet, and have been trying to forget ever since (in my defense, sk8er_boi_98@hotmail.com was created well before Avril Lavigne hit the scene).

Now I suspect that number of 1.75 e-mail accounts per person is a touch low—dragged down by everyone’s Nana & Pop-Pop who have an e-mail so that they can use Facebook to comment on large corporations’ posts asking how their grandchildren are doing, but I digress. I have six e-mail accounts that I use fairly regularly, which means that on May 25th, 2018, I probably set a personal record for most e-mails received.

“Damn you, GDPR!” *shakes fist at the air*

Continue reading “Spam & Regs: GDPR and What It Means for Your Business”