You Ask, We Answer: Google My Business

map with google my business written and pin on top of map

Welcome back to another installment of “You Ask, We Answer!” (*intense music plays*). Because when you’ve got questions, we won’t rest until we find the answers. Well, there was that one time when one of the temps fell asleep while searching for the answer, but we doused them with a bottle of cold water–because that’s the type of intensity we bring to our webinars!

Today, we tapped our Lead Content Strategist, Google Local Guide, and moral beacon Melina Beeston to talk about Google My Business. Not only have we embedded the video below, but we’ve transcribed the whole damn thing (while I may subscribe to the infinite monkey theorem, it isn’t the best practise as a business).   Continue reading “You Ask, We Answer: Google My Business”

Reel Leads: How Video Can Help You Market Your Dealership

Sleazy man with big curly hair is wearing an old 70s outfit. He holds an old 8 mm camera and shoots some video. He is very happy.

One day, probably in the near future, we’ll connect USB cords into a slot on the back of our neck and intake copious amounts of information in a matter of moments. The only thing at risk is filling  our minds with too much knowledge and our heads exploding, like one of Gallagher’s watermelons (sorry for the dark mental image, it’s Monday morning and I’ve got a long week ahead of me). In the meantime, we’re forced to find as many different methods of learning as possible within a short time frame. Sort of like when I went to the “How to Make an Impact with Video” seminar put on by Margaux McWatt of local video production company Modern Muse Media. Attempting to condense their 30 hour video training program into 1 hour might’ve proved impossible, but hey, the Mission Impossible movies make Tom Cruise look like an ordinary sized person so my motto is never say never. And while we certainly had to skip a good portion of the actual —you know— filming and editing, I still walked away learning about the importance of video content on social media. Continue reading “Reel Leads: How Video Can Help You Market Your Dealership”

Taking Control: Improving the Millennial’s Car Buying Experience

Tattoed guy is listening to a podcast on his laptop

In our previous post, Driving the Market: What Millennials Look for When Buying Cars, we shared some insight into what can help you and your dealership best maximize your chances for sales success and brand loyalty–when it comes to one of the fastest growing, car buying-demographics.

Following up, we’re addressing what dealers can do to adjust their business practices for what millennials look for–their priorities and expectations–in order to increase the chances of this huge demographic driving off of your lot in one of your vehicles. Continue reading “Taking Control: Improving the Millennial’s Car Buying Experience”

You Ask, We Answer: On-Page & Technical SEO

Vector illustration - Web development

Welcome to the first of many thrilling installments of “You Ask, We Answer!” (working on the production value, in the meantime just imagine a gong sound in the background), where you send in your questions, and we answer them in our webinars.

We figured we’d start out strong with our Director of Product Development, CrossFit strongwoman, and all-around good gal, Carrie Oliva, talking about On-Page and Technical SEO. We’ve embedded the video footage of the webinar below, and then painstakingly transcribed (read: edited what the app transcribed for us) the answers to the questions below that. Continue reading “You Ask, We Answer: On-Page & Technical SEO”

Oh, What a Tangled Webinar We Weave!

questions, business concept

Here’s the thing—sometimes something perfectly good gets replaced. Even if the original didn’t need improving (*cough* New Coke *cough*). But sometimes, even if the older version was fine, a change can be absolutely reinvigorating. Life-changing even. Now, am I suggesting that the changes we’ve made at Strathcom are going to change your life? Damn straight. Continue reading “Oh, What a Tangled Webinar We Weave!”

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”

Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics

Young man at the psychotherapist, lying on couch, emotionally speaking, discussing with psychotherapist his problems, practitioner making some notes. Horizontal photo banner for website header design

In the 70s people hung out at roller disco rinks wearing bellbottom jeans and big perms. In the 80s they hung out at the arcade, and acid-washed denim was all the rage. Fast forward to 2018 and all the cool kids are wearing morose, Zuckerberg-esque heather grey hoodies, sitting in independent coffee shops, spending their time on Google Analytics.

Okay, maybe not quite. But if you’ve been hanging around in Google Analytics lately, you’ve probably seen a few new things pop up. And while we’d never toot our own horn about how cool we are (*sound of crickets*), we do know a thing or two about Google Analytics. Cool or not, you can never say we’re not helpful, so here’s a quick summary of those new features and how they can make your life easier. Continue reading “Analyze This!: New Features in Google Analytics”

Enhance Your Display Campaigns with Custom Intent Audiences

Beyonce on a billboard, holding a google logo

Like my diet, the Google Display Network can be a bit hit or miss. For those that need a quick refresher, think of the Display Network as a passive form of advertising where, unlike traditional search advertising, Google gives advertisers the opportunity to place ads on a variety of sites or apps beyond the ‘Search Engine Results Page’ (SERP). Users in this network may not necessarily be in “shopping mode,” rather, they are busy reading about crypto currency, watching Beyoncé’s latest music video, and learning why its good to drink kombucha (two of three being major components to my aforementioned diet). To be successful in the GDN, your ads must not only attract the users’ attention, but entice them enough to click through to your site, leaving the original content they were engaged with. Accomplishing this is not easy – have you ever tried competing with Queen B? Continue reading “Enhance Your Display Campaigns with Custom Intent Audiences”

GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2018: FULL REVIEW

think auto screen

June 21st has come and gone, and yet another Google Think Auto conference is in the books. Moving this hotly anticipated event from September to June was a solid choice by the Google team — can you blame us for thinking that? We live in Edmonton where it’s winter 10 months of the year and we were dying for some warm weather! Continue reading “GOOGLE THINK AUTO 2018: FULL REVIEW”

Driving the Market: What Millennials Look For When Buying Cars

Young and handsome hipster man, buying a new car with his girlfriend, from the car saloon.

How can you best maximize your chances for sales success and brand loyalty, vs. losing sales opportunities in both the short and long-term? For starters, this can be done by having a deeper understanding of the preferred car shopping experience that today’s customer is looking for, both online and offline, and then adjusting the dealership’s business practices accordingly. Today’s customer, who also happens to be the customer of tomorrow, are those who were born between 1977 and 2000 — commonly referred to as millennials. It is estimated that by 2020, 40% of new car buyers will be millennials; furthermore, according to a study by Brandwatch, 88% of current millennials use the internet to research a new car purchase.

Simply put, this means that a dealership’s sales and marketing team must ensure that their shopping experience, both online and off, is up-to-date.

So how can your dealership ensure that its online and offline experience is up-to-date for today’s potential customer, while staying true to your brand? It starts with understanding today’s customer, particularly the millennial, and doing what’s necessary to integrate the online and offline brand experience for them, in one seamless flow. And no, that doesn’t necessarily mean memes or viral videos (which, if used incorrectly, are the online equivalent of the giant inflatable green dancing tube man).

Continue reading “Driving the Market: What Millennials Look For When Buying Cars”

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…”

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”

Businesses, It’s Time to Go APE Over Google My Business’ New API!

Monkey going ape over Google API

Google’s omnipresent HAL9000-esque eye is trained on all things mobile these days, and when it noticed that local search on mobile devices is growing faster than mobile search overall, well, you better believe gears started turning. In response to the remarkable 50 per-cent annual growth in mobile search Google’s been adding new features to its SERP Knowledge Panel and Google My Business (GMB).

And then, an announcement! Google is introducing a new GMB Application Programming Interface (API). In tandem with this release, Google also revealed a new agency analytics dashboard and a new agency partner program. The API is designed to give agencies the ability to manage additional, diverse categories of business information, including merchant descriptions and Posts. For multilocational brands and small outfits alike, this new functionality promises greater control over a wide range of content. Continue reading “Businesses, It’s Time to Go APE Over Google My Business’ New API!”

Increase Brand Awareness & Sales with Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a strategy that focuses on indirectly targeting an audience through a (relatively) influential individual — hence all the bikini models telling you to buy their favourite brand of Fit Tea. As one of the fastest growing marketing trends of 2018, this is something that all businesses, including dealers, can explore and integrate into their sales and marketing strategies. Of course, this strategy only works if it is integrated in a way that highlights the influencer’s profile and sphere of influence; in other words, play to your audience. Continue reading “Increase Brand Awareness & Sales with Influencer Marketing”

Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan

marketing personas meeting

Marketing personas are a way for your dealership to connect on a personal level with your potential consumers. These personas allow you to relate to a consumer’s personality to create a positive interaction with your brand and its vehicle models. Personas can take some research and in-depth questions to really understand both who your audience is, and what speaks to which target demographic. Through this blog, you can see if a marketing persona approach fits within your advertising plan.

Using personas creates a very targeted approach to engaging potential customers who are interested in your dealership. Since there are many different personalities in the world, you will have to find a common theme and group individuals together based on their similar responses to your questions, as well as their characteristics. Continue reading “Marketing Personas & Their Impact on Your Advertising Plan”

Are You Effectively Using Your CO-OP Budget?

As a dealership, you want to utilize all the support you can get from your manufacturer in terms of co-op incentives for advertising. Traditionally, dealerships get co-op for what they spend on print, television and radio advertisements. What you may not know is that this can apply to all or a portion of your digital advertising as well. This co-op advertising partnership helps alleviate some or all the cost of advertising online with your local dealership(s).

Online advertising can be broken down into Google paid-search advertising, display advertising, remarketing, Facebook advertising and a few other platforms. Engaging in your co-op partnership for online advertising allows you to reduce the cost of advertising with more control and have all your advertisements tracked to produce the most ideal leads for your dealership. With online advertising you will be able to curate your ads to be tailored to an audience that is searching for that message. Your advertisements will be highly targeted to display in front of customers that are already engaged in looking for your products or used to re-engage visitors that have viewed your website previously.

Effectively Using Your CO-OP Budget?

Below is a breakdown of various OEMs’ co-op incentives and how Strathcom Media can help you with effectively using your co-op budget.

FCA: FIAT CHRYSLER AUTOMOBILES

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, You Tube, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Dealership must be a part of the FCA program

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Vehicles, Location, General, Finance
  • For Finance Models there are some strict rules that FCA requires the dealership to follow

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict postal codes or areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for FCA dealerships

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 33%, 40% or 50% depending on what tier your dealership is in the program

MERCEDES-BENZ

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Must be enrolled in the MBCA program

Eligible Business Models

  • Passenger Vehicles, Certified Pre-owned, Vans, Smart

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict postal codes and areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • In display advertising only for Mercedes-Benz

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please reach out to your OEM Rep for co-op amounts

NISSAN

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook/Instagram, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Example, Confirmation of Publication

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Fixed Ops, Certified Pre-Owned, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict market areas for each dealership

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Nissan

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50% co-op allocated

INFINITI

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales, Certified Pre-Owned, Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is strict primary market area with Infiniti

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Infiniti

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

KIA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Twitter, Facebook/Instagram, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Display advertisements must have Kia Canada logo

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Certified Pre-Owned (Maximum 25% of Spend), Conquesting (Must be Kia specific landing page)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Kia has a strict primary market area

Tactical Required?

  • Strongly suggested that tactical be used by Kia

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please contact your OEM representative for details

HONDA / ACURA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords only

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Location, Fixed Ops, (New, General Honda/Acura), Used Honda/Acura

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict areas or postal codes to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical required in Display ads only for Honda/Acura

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please speak with your OEM rep for co-op details

FORD / LINCOLN

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Google Requirements: 1. Internet Affidavit 2. Keyword Report – showing run dates and the cost per keyword Placement Report 4. Strathcom Media Invoice with Display and Banner charges (if running display advertising) on one line, Paid-Search charges on a second, and our management fee on a third line 5. Live Ad Example
  • Facebook Requirements: 1. An invoice that includes the run dates and total cost of the Ford ad(s) and itemizes the agency fee OR a Facebook Billing Report along with a Billing Statement A Facebook Campaign Report showing legible ad creative(s) and clarifying the run dates and cost of each ad. If your Campaign Report does not include a legible image of the ad(s) a screenshot of the ad(s) live on Facebook must be provided

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Ford has a strict primary market area

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is required by Ford

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, you can reach out to your OEM for accurate details on co-op amounts

JAGUAR / LAND ROVER

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No strict postal code or area targeting

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical required for Jaguar/Land Rover

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please talk with your OEM representative for further co-op details

TOYOTA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Keyword Report, Live Ad Example, Strathcom Media Invoice

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is a strict primary market area to target in

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is needed for Toyota

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

HYUNDAI

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Confirmation of Publication, Screenshot of display/Facebook ads

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there is a strict area of responsibility to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is strongly suggested for Hyundai

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

LEXUS

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Strathcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Example, Keyword Report

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No, there are no strict postal codes or areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging required for sales only with Lexus

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 1:1

GM

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, Twitter, You Tube

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, Fixed Ops, Certified Pre-Owned, New Sales (New, General, Location)

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, GM has a strict area to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is strongly suggested by GM

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

MAZDA

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram, You Tube and You Tube Production Costs, Twitter, Bing

Reporting Requirements

  • Stratcom Media Invoice, Live Ad Examples, Keyword Report

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales (New, General, Location), Certified Pre-Owned

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, there are strict postal codes and areas to target

Tactical Required?

  • Tactical messaging is required by Mazda

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • 50%

PORSCHE

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Stathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales, Certified Pre-Owned, Fixed Ops

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • Yes, Porsche has a strict primary market area to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical messaging is required by Porsche

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please inquire with your OEM representative for co-op amounts

VOLVO

Eligible Networks

  • Google Adwords, Facebook/ Instagram

Reporting Requirements

  • Confirmation of Publication, Strathcom Media Invoice, Facebook: Ad Screenshots

Eligible Business Models

  • Branded, New Sales

Strict Primary Market Area / Area of Responsibility?

  • No, Volvo does not have a strict area to target

Tactical Required?

  • No tactical is required by Volvo

Co-op Amount Allocated

  • Varies, please speak with your OEM rep for amounts allocated for co-op

Strathcom Media looks forward to helping you with effectively using your co-op budget to start reducing your cost of online advertising. It is time to utilize your co-op partnership properly and leave less money on the table! Contact us to make Strathcom Media your valued ally in advertising online and start generating warm leads with your OEM’s money instead!

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”

Are You CASL Compliant?

Important Update:

The Government has decided to suspend the implementation of the provision known as Private Right To Action.  This is the provision that would allow lawsuits to be filed against individuals and businesses for alleged violations.

Check out this government page for more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/news/2017/06/government_of_canadasuspendslawsuitprovisioninanti-spamlegislati.html

The government will be reviewing this, but the rest of CASL is still moving forward July 1.

Continue reading “Are You CASL Compliant?”