Turning Pro: Strathcom Takes in Facebook Marketing Pro Expo

the screen at the facebook pro expo event

It was almost a day like any other, only that myself and another member of the Strathcom team flew to Toronto to take in Facebook Marketing Pro Expo–an event designed to showcase Facebook’s offerings to select advertising agency partners. Only the best agencies from all over Canada took in the half day event in the beautiful West Toronto event centre, The Glass Factory. In a move to improve the agency relationship, which will in turn improve the client relationship, Facebook introduced Facebook Pro: their new Marketing Partner program.

wall with #facebookproExpo written on it

How It Went Down

The event itself was a great opportunity for Strathcom to network with companies Facebook has partnered with to improve advertising on the Facebook platform. One such provider is Shakr, a tool that lets you build out multiple ads with different content seamlessly, utilizing a user friendly, what you see is what you get-style interface. Along with these networking opportunities, the event offered the chance to connect with Facebook creative consultants to discuss ad creation best practices, and to converse with Facebook engineers to discuss the platform (and any issues that our agency has encountered). While lots of companies claim they’re always trying to improve user experience, we were able to actively influence the platform–which should net you real results! There were several lectures that our team attended, broken down by agency business practices: creativity, technology, and customer relationship management).

Creativity

Some of the key takeaways from the creativity lecture were:

  • Facebook’s creative shop works with 7 million advertisers to support agencies. Facebook itself works with 5,000 advertising agencies.
  • On the advertising platform 4 million accounts use Instagram stories every day, and 3 million users are using Facebook and Facebook Messenger stories daily. If you aren’t already utilizing this tool, get on it.
  • Good creative makes people do three things: think, feel, and do.

Technology

From the technology lecture there was one standout highlight–the impact that attribution modelling can have on a business’ advertising strategies. Facebook Analytics will now show you more in-depth, key insights on your customers. You will be able to look at customer’s journey, and opportunities to reduce drop offs.

Marketing Science

Marketing science helps businesses grow by transforming marketing practices, grounded in data science. One of the key takeaways from this lecture was the measurement journey that a department –grounded in a scientific approach to marketing– would use to measure success. This journey to better marketing requires you to have the right mindset, to test assumptions, and to create a long-term strategy that leaves room for growth. Facebook’s suggested format for this is:

  • Track the correct metrics. If they aren’t furthering your business’ goals, you may not need to focus on them.
  • Understand the results that Facebook is currently driving.
  • Optimize Facebook; have it work harder for you.
  • Determine how Facebook fits into your media mix. Spend the appropriate time to see the appropriate ROI. How does something like cross-device behaviour impact your marketing goals (which will impact your future marketing decisions).
  • Inform your media spend with better data! This goes back to tracking the proper metrics, and making sure they align with your goals. How much of your budget is allocated to specific channels?

These are all decisions that will help to build a successful Facebook marketing plan.

Unfortunately, like the holiday season, the conference was short and sweet. By lunch we had been filled with knowledge and Facebook branded products, and we headed toward the exit. It may have only been a half day conference, but we’ll see the impact of what we learned playing out for a long time. Fortunately, there was a little time before our flight back to our snowy home of Edmonton, so the two of us took in the West Toronto streets and dined on delicious hot ramen. The perfect way to end a chilly 23 hours in Canada’s little NY.

conor in front of facebook expo pro sign
“I don’t know what to do with my hands!”

“They Came Highly Recommended!”: The Changes to Facebook’s Review System

Vector realistic isolated neon signs of thumbs up and down on the wall background. Concept of rating, network and social media.

Life used to be simpler, before social media democratized everything—including criticism. Now while this can be a good thing (in theory), allowing all consumers to have a voice is an incredibly difficult system to police. Arguably the most famous —slowly becoming infamous— review site Yelp has faced enormous criticism over what’s seen as a Mafioso-like approach that would leave Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola shocked and appalled. Everything from negative reviews about parking, to outright extortion. The pushback has been fierce, and Yelp has been the subject of countless articles, a 2017 documentary, and a 2015 episode of South Park—and if you’ve ever seen South Park, you know that you don’t want to be the subject of one of their episodes. Like many aspects of the digital world, advances come quick and changes come quicker. Facebook is leading the charge in this regard, and are changing their review system from a 5 star rating system into a new, recommendation system. But how will this affect your dealership? Continue reading ““They Came Highly Recommended!”: The Changes to Facebook’s Review System”

Be More Dynamic, with Facebook Dynamic Inventory Advertising

A man chooses a car on a blue background.

Your dealership has a wonderful selection of vehicles in stock.

Your sales manager sets prices at competitive market values.

Your inventory manager writes thorough, accurate, helpful descriptions for each unit.

Your detailing staff do a meticulous job making every vehicle spotless.

Your photographer shoots and edits photos just right, so that your products appear dazzling.

Your social media advertising is parroting the same message as every other franchise, and it doesn’t show off the above, anything unique about your business, or what you alone have to offer.

Wait a second—let’s talk about that last one. Continue reading “Be More Dynamic, with Facebook Dynamic Inventory Advertising”

When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?

Another little boy in math class overwhelmed by the math formula.

Not everyone is into numbers—and that’s fair. For some people, the math can be annoying because it’s hard to understand, confusing as hell, and I often wondered if I’d ever use it in my life again (which is why I hated it so much in school). But much like my own math teachers and Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they can tell us plenty of stories about how well your online campaign is doing; the hardest part is actually listening and paying attention to what they have to say.

Continue reading “When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?”

Facebook vs Google: The Battle for Digital Marketing Supremacy

hands holding a smartphone with graphic that says facebook vs google

You did all the right things, talked to all the right people, and finally decided to utilize digital marketing–now what? Let’s not talk about budget, but rather the important question of what route to take. Do you use Google Ads or Facebook marketing? Which platform is going to give you the best bang for your buck? Which platform is ideal for your marketing needs? Is Strathcom trying to just sell me their service with this blog? The answer to the last question is a resounding “No!”, but the other questions aren’t quite as simple. Continue reading “Facebook vs Google: The Battle for Digital Marketing Supremacy”

The Oldest Problem in the Book: Facebook or Instagram?

phone with social media icons, some crossed off

You know, we pride ourselves on being a reflective sort here at Strathcom Media. More than once, I’ve found myself sitting in my oak-bedecked corner office (most of us here have one), pondering a certain large, dark portrait that looms high on the wall and which ties the room together rather nicely. Glaring down at me is the grizzled oil-cast countenance of our own hallowed founder, Fauntleroy Pamplemouse the Sixth, Earl of Strathcom. I often think of how different the automotive advertising game must have been, back in 1886, when our noble firm was founded. Much has changed since; the marketing tools we work with are more persistent and more precise. What would Ol’ Faunty have thought about the marketing possibilities for platforms like Facebook and Instagram? What advice would he have dispensed to clients in the throes of deciding on which of Zuck’s social networks to focus their digital marketing spend? Alas, while we might not have Lord Strathcom himself here to give his insights on the topic, we have a close second. Myself. Continue reading “The Oldest Problem in the Book: Facebook or Instagram?”

Dealer Inventory Comes to Facebook Marketplace

If you own a computer, or more likely a smart phone, there is a very real possibility you use Facebook. And Facebook Marketplace, a place on Facebook that makes it easy to discover as well as buy and sell goods, provides peace of mind by enabling you to learn a bit more about the person you are buying from, as well as utilizing Facebook Messenger as an easier way to communicate. After introducing a new autos experience on Marketplace in the U.S. last October, Marketplace is now bringing this experience to Canada, including the ability for dealerships to list their inventory. And wouldn’t you know it, Strathcom Media is working with Facebook to help dealerships list their inventory! Continue reading “Dealer Inventory Comes to Facebook Marketplace”

With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now

On January 11th, 2018 Facebook announced a major change to their News Feed algorithm that will cause some impact on brands’ ability to reach users on Facebook through organic distribution.

The change will focus on prioritizing content from friends, family and groups, rather than less public content like posts from businesses, brands and the media.  This means news feeds will likely start to show more pictures of your friend’s new puppy and fewer Buzzfeed articles.

As the changes roll out over the next several months, businesses will most likely see a decrease in their organic reach, but there’s opportunity here… Continue reading “With Facebook, it’s All about Organic Content Now”

Facebook’s Heart Will Go On – Facebook Newsfeed Changes

Facebook newsfeed changes

The Titanic didn’t change directions easily. It changed directions almost reluctantly, because A) it was an ordeal to maneuver such a large vessel, and B) the staff didn’t want to cause concern among the wealthy elites on board (and I don’t have to tell you how that worked out; James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster probably handled that already). This example is an apt metaphor about how surging ahead blindly in a straight line, without planning far ahead for directional changes, can be the downfall of a large organization. In a recent statement from its founder, Facebook essentially said they’re changing directions, and they aim to avoid such a fate. Here’s what you can expect from recent Facebook newsfeed changes… Continue reading “Facebook’s Heart Will Go On – Facebook Newsfeed Changes”

Getting the Most From Facebook Lead Ads: Facebook Announces Lead Ad Improvements For Auto!

Do you remember your first version of Facebook? It might have looked a bit like this:

In the last few years, Facebook has evolved tremendously. Gone are the days where “pokes” were considered an acceptable means of initiating a conversation. Facebook has become a resource for people to connect and consume media. It has also become a predominate marketing platform. As such, its advertising platform has also evolved. One of the major developments in Facebook advertising was the introduction of Lead Ads.

Let’s Refresh – What are Lead Ads?

Continue reading “Getting the Most From Facebook Lead Ads: Facebook Announces Lead Ad Improvements For Auto!”

Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018

 

eMarketer.com recently published their report on Mobile Advertising in Canada and to no ones surprise, mobile is exploding. I wanted to condense and share some of the findings, but if you wanted to purchase the full report from eMarketer.com, you can find it here.

Before I get into the numbers, I wanted to give you an idea of what the end game for mobile is. Mobile has evolved to be a part of our lives; our phones are with us – for the most part – 100% of the time. Because of this, how much we use our phones to complete activities in our daily lives will only increase. It used to be just to make calls, then text as well, then email as well, then surf the internet on the early (crappy) mobile web browsers, then apps and so on. We even have the ability to track our health on our phone, and in a relatively short period, probably 10 years, when you go to the doctor’s office, you’ll just hand the doctor your phone, and it will have all your medical info and readings it has been taking since your last visit. Many companies are working on how the mobile phone will replace desktops, which – other than for work – have been declining in sales. Unless you need a desktop to run high powered programs like video/image editing or PC games, you’ll soon just have your phone and a couple monitors at home/work that you plug directly into.

 

Alright… onto the info:

Continue reading “Mobile Advertising In Canada Going Into 2018”

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?”

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.

 

Boosted Posts are Bullshit.

There is no mincing words here: boosted posts are bullshit.

It’s definitely an enticing idea, sure – you get that notification that gives you a little digital pat on the back that the Facebook post you made earlier is performing better than 75% of the posts on that Page, and you can boost it for $X and reach up to blank-thousand more people.

And that’s when you mark the notification as read, and step away from the computer. Don’t click on it, don’t pick a number of days to boost it for, and don’t plug your credit card in.

We can give you any number of answers as to why it’s a bad idea, but here’s the only one that matters: Continue reading “Boosted Posts are Bullshit.”

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”

HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC

T-Shirt from HeroConf 2017 that says PPC Nerd

From April 17th-20th, I had the opportunity to attend one of the largest gatherings of PPC nerds in North America: HeroConf 2017 hosted in Los Angeles.  This was my first PPC conference and I had no idea what to expect, but I couldn’t have felt more at home at the conference among other people who live and breathe PPC.

It was a busy week filled with learning, networking, and free drinks. Despite all the fun, I came home excited to share my new knowledge with the Strathcom team. Here are my key takeaways about what to expect in the world of PPC in the future.

 

It’s Time to Move on From Last Click Attribution

Attribution Modeling was one of the hottest topics discussed at HeroConf. Speakers from all industries agreed that it’s time to ditch the last click model, and focus on other touchpoints that lead to a conversion. However, there is no magical way of knowing which model is right for you. Speaker Jeff Greenfield of C3 Metrics discussed the importance of not waiting around for the perfect model, but to test and test again. The only way to prove the value of attribution models is to test until you become less wrong. Attribution modelling is extremely important in the automotive industry as we move away from the standard sales funnel, to a customer journey with multiple touchpoints. By ignoring the touchpoints a customer reaches today, we may never see them again for another 3 years.

Integrate Your Paid Social & Paid Search Strategies

Continue reading “HeroConf 2017: Recap On 3 Days Of Non-Stop PPC”

Social Advertising in a Mobile First World

mobile devicesThe mobile consumer experience is rapidly changing. Consumers are checking their favorite social media platforms on their smartphones when they wake up, and before they go to bed. At this point, it is no secret that your business needs to be reaching customers on social media. How does your business stand out from the other content your customers are consuming daily? The optimal consumer experience consists of three things: using the power of videos, content consumption, and the quality of engagement. Continue reading “Social Advertising in a Mobile First World”

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”