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.
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:
Boosting that post is not going to be the difference between selling another car or booking another service appointment, and is therefore not going to affect your bottom line.
I repeat: Stop wasting your money on things that don’t affect your bottom line.
Boosting posts is intended to increase the number of people who see, like, comment on or share a post on your page. Its sole purpose is to increase engagement for small businesses (which car dealerships aren’t), and the reason to want to increase engagement is to build a community that will regularly want to interact with you and purchase from you on the same regular basis. Boosting posts isn’t Facebook advertising – it’s paying to stroke your own ego.
The average Canadian purchases a new vehicle every 2 years†. With car dealerships, maintaining a regular organic (as in, not paid) social media presence is a key part of long-term customer retention and building brand, but it is not a definitive call-to-action to make a customer decide to purchase a car from you today. And I promise you – the boosted picture of a smiling customer standing next to their new car at delivery (that they then shared with their friends, and you received the residual likes and other engagement metric bump up from) is also not that call-to-action.
If you missed out on the webinar we hosted with Facebook last month, Nimalan Bala, the Client Solutions Manager at Facebook’s Automotive Dealer Solutions, echoed the same sentiment.
“The vast majority of your marketing dollars should be spent on your business’ objectives for building lead ads and driving traffic to your website, because again – your website is a great property. You spend a ton of money building ads and building your website, and there is no other competition on your website. There is only you. And how are you using that data, how are you using the website? Focus more on that.”
Your dealership should have a clear set of marketing objectives, and your money should be spent strategically to help accomplish those objectives. If you’re looking at paid social media (which is a great option), Facebook offers a multitude of ad types that can generate leads directly for your dealership so that you can sell cars, target customers nearby to come into the store to take advantage of service or parts promotions at your dealership, or view your dealership’s inventory directly from the comfort of the app they’re spending the most time in. Our team can show you any number of options or ideas that might fit your budget (and with Facebook advertising, it doesn’t need to be a huge one). But if you want to advertise on Facebook, it makes the most sense to do it in a way that you can measure, manage, and monetize. “Likes do not pay the bills – sales do”. (Noah Kagan)
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
Marketers are making the mistake of not integrating search and social strategies, or choosing to ignore social all together. Keynote speaker Jason Dailey of Facebook’s US Agency Development team stressed the importance of running a social campaign along with search ads, and how to properly run the content together.
To no surprise to anyone, mobile is the leader in performance marketing channels, and is the key platform to integrating search and social. Jason mentioned that people are on their phones from when they wake up to when they go to bed, and are less distracted by things around when consuming content on their smartphones (as opposed to TV).
The key to integration is recognizing that search and social advertising have the same outcomes, but with different signals. On social media, we can identify our audience based on their profiles and engagement, but cannot identify their intent online. Paid search allows us to discover our customer’s intent with keyword targeting, but cannot identify who they are as a person. Integrating social and search brings us to the middle ground of the two to execute a successful online advertising campaign.
Making Sure Your SEO & SEM Get Along
My favorite session of the week was keynote speaker Wil Reynolds of Seer Interactive. Wil brought an exciting insight as an SEO expert on how paid listings should complement organic. As PPC analysts, it is so easy to forget why customers are using Google, and focusing too much on getting them in our sales funnel. His key take way was optimizing for the real world, and making sure you answer the customer’s question. If your organic or paid listings don’t help the customer, another source will. A true example below shows that both ads on the top of the page have no mention of the price of a Toyota Rav4, and the answer is provided by a non-dealer website. Making sure ad copy or ad extensions match the “why” of a consumer’s search will improve the quality of traffic SEO and SEM listings receive.
It would be difficult for me to include everything I have learned in a single blog post. HeroConf 2017 was a great experience and provided so much insight into how to succeed in PPC in 2017. Can’t wait to return next year in Austin!
The 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.
Videos are becoming an important form of expression and communication over social media. Gone are the days of long statuses or posts to express yourself. Individuals are now sharing short videos to convey a message. However, most people don’t want to hear what you have to say, they want to view it. To get your customer’s attention, make sure the message of your video can be expressed without sound. Use text or subtitles in your video to get the customer to focus on your ad for a few seconds.
“Thumb stopping” content is one of those buzzwords everyone is using. But how do you create content that will stop people from scrolling?
People recognize pictures more than they recognize a wall of text. You may provide the best description of your business possible, but if you are not utilizing photos, or using very dull photos, no one is going to recognize your brand in the future. You need to also consider the age of your target demographic. Younger people tend to scroll through their feeds quickly, whereas older individuals tend to take their time. You should use interesting graphics to capture a younger audience, and consider using quality photos to keep an older audience interested in your post.
The quality of engagement on social media is no match to other platforms. Individuals are more attentive and more positive to their experiences on mobile versus other platforms such as television. Even though smartphone screens are smaller than a flat screen TV, individuals are more focused to the content on their phones due to less distractions around them.
It’s time to revamp your social media strategy and Strathcom Media can help! Reach out to our sales team today to get started.
Have you ever wondered where your favorite automotive brands fit within market niches? The Auto Insurance Centre has your answer; their study was conducted using over 114 million Facebook brand fans from across North America.
Using Facebook fans as the sole input, the study managed to find some pretty interesting things regarding demographics of car brands. Though ‘page likes’ and ‘fans’ do not necessarily translate directly into vehicle sales, it does determine what type of individuals are willing to be subject to a distinct brand’s marketing and social-media presence, and the study gives us further insight into brand image and consumer perception.
Imports dominate Facebook in the U.S.: with Mercedes Benz (19.4 million), BMW (18.9 million), Ferrari (16.2 million), Nissan (13.5 million) and Lamborghini (11.7 million) rounding out the top five. It isn’t until 10th place that we see our first domestic brand appear: Jeep.
Beyond simply tallying the number of fans each manufacturer has on Facebook, the study has managed to dig deeper thanks to information available through Facebook profiles (as shown in the images above and below). Each brand’s ranking has been segregated by varying factors like age, gender, annual income, ethnicity and politics, etc.
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+.
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.
Every year, we look forward to Super Bowl commercials; so much so that the price of these ads has been on a steady incline over the last decade, despite less people watching TV. According to Variety, Fox sold 90% of their commercial spots by December. (For those unfamiliar with the NFL schedule, the teams playing in Super Bowl hadn’t been selected by that time). With demand like that, prices are undoubtedly high.
For comparison, the average price of a 30 second slot during game 7 of the World Series this past year was just over $500,000. The average price of a similar spot during the 2016 Oscars cost around $2 million. Super Bowl 50 had reports of a 30 second commercial going for $5 million dollars! With prices like that, it’s no surprise that companies enlist advertising agencies with extensive repertoires to try and make the longest lasting ads. Despite ads only living on TV for seconds, they’re uploaded to YouTube nearly simultaneously and receive millions of views. And in more recent years, 90% of new ads are released on YouTube prior to the Super Bowl.
YouTube reports that brands whose ads are among the top 20 Super Bowl Ads on YouTube (2008-2016), reflect a 30% increase in subscribers in February after the release of a new ad. In fact, YouTube says that in 2016, viewers used televisions for YouTube’s services 3 times more than phones or computers.
Even though the Super Bowl is an American pastime, viewers from all over the globe go to YouTube to watch the ads. There has been a 28x growth in Super Bowl viewers from 2008-2016. The top non-American countries that tuned into the Super Bowl are: The United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany.
Below are the top 10 ads from 2008-2016. Thanks to geo-blocking, we weren’t able to get some of the orignal commericals, but you can still see why these ads got the amount of views that they did.
Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial “Puppy Love”, 2014 – Anomaly Clash of Clans: Revenge (Official TV Commercial), 2015 – Barton F. Graf Volkswagen The Force: Volkswagen Commercial, 2011 – Deutsch Budweiser Super Bowl Commercial “Lost Dog”, 2015 – Anomaly Pokémon #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial, 2016 – Omelet Mountain Dew Mtn Dew Kickstart: Puppymonkeybaby, 2016 – BBDO Duracell: Trust Your Power – NFL’s Derrick Coleman, 2014 – Saatchi & Saatchi Bud Light Super Bowl XLIX Commercial – Real Life PacMan, 2015 Energy – BBDO T-Mobile #KimsDataStash | T-Mobile Commercial, 2015 – Publicis BMW i3 2015 Big Game Commercial – Newfangled Idea, 2015 – KBS
Ever wondered what brands are most popular in other countries? The British based auto parts retailer ‘Quickco” analyzed the most searched car brands on Google throughout 2016.
As we can see from the findings, nationalist tendencies seem to be more apparent in Europe than the anywhere else; with Sweden, Germany, France and Italy all remaining homegrown in their brand searches. As always, a few nations failed to provide data for the study, it’s hard to imagine what brand North Korea might have made up for this study.
Perhaps for some, the biggest surprise was to see BMW (a relatively small company) take 2nd place overall. However, if you’re a follower of BMW on social media this global presence is something you likely comprehend wholeheartedly. For the past three years BMW has created dedicated social marketing campaigns (remember the ‘Drift Mob’ video?) to assure brand reputation and user engagement. With over 19 million fans of BMW’s Facebook page, the online initiatives seem to be paying off both at home in Europe and abroad as BMW sits only below Toyota in Google searches across the globe.
2016 was a very successful year for Strathcom Media.
We strengthened partnerships, made new partnerships, and even developed and launched a brand new WordPress website platform.
New Website Platform
Last year we had a dream. A dream that resulted in us investing over a million dollars into developing a brand new website platform that was jam packed with new tools for dealers.
Less than a year later, we began moving our dealers onto our all new WordPress platform with technologies like Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad, Silent Salesman and more. This new platform is faster, more secure, and more user friendly so dealers can spend less time making changes to their site and more time selling cars.
In addition to Google breakfasts and hangouts in Vancouver and Toronto, we also held our very first Google event in our hometown of Edmonton, Alberta in June. We also held a contest in September to bring 6 lucky winners to Google’s newest & coolest office in Waterloo, Ontario!
In 2016 we became a Provider for the Mercedes-Benz Canada Dealer Website Program, and a Preferred Website Vendor for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program.
In addition to speaking at conferences like AR Canada and DSES, we also had the opportunity to speak at the first annual Women & Automotive conference in Toronto. We also attended several events including Western Canadian Dealer Summit and ThinkAuto.
We were also included in AR Canada’s Power 200 List for 2016!
And finally, last month we packed up and moved just up the road into our new office. A new location means a new atmosphere, and a new atmosphere means fresh ideas for the new year.
Thank you to all of our customers for their support, and we look forward to what 2017 has to bring!