Facebook Summit Toronto 2018 – A Refreshing New Outlook on Facebook

Facebook Summit Toronto 2018

On March 28 in Toronto, specialists from across Canada came together for the annual Facebook Summit conference. It was a half day event which consisted of amazing speakers and great food – a full day of learning. After visiting multiple auto-related conferences, training and events, this was a refreshing change for this author as the conference had more of a general outlook about online presence, especially Facebook. Here’s what we learned at the Facebook Summit Toronto 2018 conference.

Continue reading “Facebook Summit Toronto 2018 – A Refreshing New Outlook on Facebook”

Dealer Huddle III – VIP Automotive Event Recap

Dealer Huddle III March 2018, Facebook Canada

Last week, the Strathcom team was honoured to not only attend Dealer Huddle III, but to also be on the speaking roster. This year’s Dealer Huddle Automotive Event was hosted at Facebook Canada’s head office in the MaRS Discovery Building in Toronto, On. Dealer Huddle is a VIP Automotive event focused on the future of Canadian Automotive trends, and it brought together an impressive list of speakers for a room filled with dealers and students from the Georgian College Automotive Business School.

The morning kicked off with an exciting presentation from Josh Bloom, Head of Autos for Facebook Canada. He really hit home on the importance of focusing on mobile and even stated that 80% of Facebook’s revenue is generating from mobile. Josh had some great examples of how to utilize video on Facebook and what to try to make it stand out on a busy newsfeed. The whole idea behind video is to connect with your audience — make it personal!

I was honoured to present at the Dealer Huddle Automotive Event and to go up right after Josh. Although his Wakanda dad-joke fell flat (if you don’t get the reference, please drop what you’re doing and watch Black Panther right now!), I was excited to showcase how dealers can put Facebook into practice. In this industry, we are inundated with data from both Facebook and Google and it can be challenging to know what you should do with it all. In my presentation, I was able to showcase how to make that data work for you. We went through a number of real-life dealership examples showcasing how you can use Facebook’s ad formats and unreal targeting tools to ensure you’re getting the right message in front of the right audience. If you’re curious to see those examples, shoot me an email – alecia@strathcom.com. Main takeaways from my presentation during this Dealer Huddle Automotive Event were to get creative, test absolutely everything and to find the right advertising agency to partner with to execute your strategies.

Mike Blackmore was up next to give us all a behind-the-scenes look at his experience in the automotive industry so far. If you’re curious as to what a marketing career in Auto could look like, Mike is definitely the person to talk to. He has a ton of dealership experience and has been the Chief Marketing Officer for the Harms since 2010. Mike showcased a number of tips for how to manage expectations, what a ‘normal’ work week might look like. and how he constantly works to stay relevant.

Networking is such a huge part of any marketing or Sales role and Logan Kierstead ran us through some great examples of how we can go about it differently. When we think of networking, I think everyone’s first reaction is to tighten up, clench their jaws and start sweating a little bit. It’s safe to say that it’s an uncomfortable exercise, so what can you do to get around it? Logan’s tips were to think of what you stand for (being confident, approachable, friendly, etc.), be patient, be consistent, and more importantly, be authentic. Utilizing platforms like LinkedIn are great for introducing yourself to new people and building valuable connections with others in automotive industry.

Dealer Huddle Automotive Event

After lunch, we had Adam Biesenthal from the Drive Auto Group run us through the importance of building the right team at the dealership. Some of the stats he shared were quite daunting, like how 39% of Sales Consultant jobs end in termination and the average tenure in the auto industry is 2.5 years, and yet it takes up to 3 years for an employee to reach their maximum proficiency. So what’s the number one thing you can do to change this? Have an onboarding plan! Instead of throwing a new Salesperson on the floor with little to no training and expecting them to sell 15 cars in their first month, show them the ropes, introduce them to the staff, and maybe take them for lunch on their first day. Do something different!

Speaking of that… Brent Wees was up next to give a killer presentation on Doing One Thing Different Today! Sounds easy, right? We all think that we’re multi-taskers, but really, we’re just half-assing a number of different projects all at once and talking about how busy we all are. Brent’s five tips during this Dealer Huddle Automotive Event were to:

  1. Research like the wind – ask yourself, can I Google this
  2. One day, one focus – no one can multi-task
  3. Stories, not selfies – take a quick look at your Instagram feed; what story does it tell?
  4. Be Authentic – everyone can see through the bullshit
  5. Understand the brand – the body of work you stand for and not the props you use

To finish up this killer day, we had none other than Brian Sencich to hit the stage. As the Auto Client Partner at Facebook Canada, Brian gets grilled with questions on the effectiveness of Facebook on a daily basis. Continuing with Josh’s theme of mobile, Brian showcased how your phone is no longer just a piece of technology, it’s a piece of consumer behavior. We’ve come a long way from the Danny Glover-Lethal Weapon days when we were walking around with the equivalent of a car battery just to make a call. Now we have more power with our two thumbs than we’ve ever had before. In the past, you could never say that you were able to sell your house the second day it was on the market because your realtor was smart enough to post it on Facebook and it was discovered by someone interested in the post as they were scrolling on their newsfeed while sitting on their couch at home. Mobile is what ties everything together for consumers and Facebook gives you the ability to connect with potential buyers on a different level. If neither of these focuses are in your 2018 plan already, then you are already behind!

Special thanks to Jay Radke and R22.io for hosting this great Dealer Huddle Automotive Event and bringing so many of us from the industry together. We hope to see you all out next year!

Interested in learning more about setting up a mobile strategy for 2018? Are you sad you missed out on this killer VIP automotive event? If you said yes, then reach out to info@strathcom.com to get more information and be added to our event invite list!

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!”

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.”

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”

Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?

We’re all familiar with Facebook and that 18 million of us Canadians visit the site daily, but what’s in it for the dealership? As a dealership, can you utilize Facebook and all of its data for more than likes and shares?

Some dealers have remained skeptical and think successful advertising on Facebook is a myth. However, after reading the data in Facebook’s latest study, that myth is busted. Continue reading “Facebook for Auto Dealers: Meh, Myth or Legend?”

Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook

met with Facebook to discuss the benefits of Facebook advertising

On Wednesday we were visited by our friends Brian and Nim from Facebook. We discussed the many reasons that dealers should be advertising on Facebook, and how we can improve our current Facebook campaigns. Here are some of the key takeaways from their visit: Continue reading “Our Visit with our Friends from Facebook”

Every Generation is the Facebook Generation

phone screen with social media applications of Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Periscope while a male finger is about to touch on Facebook app.

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+. 65.2% of Baby Boomers chose Facebook as their social media platform of choice

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.

A Look Back at a Successful Year

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.

New Opportunities with Google

We spent a lot more time with Google in 2016, and even achieved Premier Google Partner status!

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!

New Partnerships

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.

We also became a Facebook Marketing Partner and recently hosted our very first Facebook webinar for FCA dealers!

New Conferences

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!

New Office

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!

Every Country is the Best at Something…

When one thinks of Canada, what is one normally reminded of? Hockey? Maple syrup? Saying ‘sorry’ too much? According to a recent study, Canada is known for personal freedom. But if you look at the study, you will see that before personal freedom was listed, Canada was known as  the country that is on Facebook the most! At first I found this result to be surprising, but it turns out that Canadians are online and on Facebook more than any other country.

what every country is known for

So why is Facebook still not being utilized in the automotive industry? Why are millions of dollars still being spent on print ads when Facebook, Canada’s personalized newspaper, is where everyone is looking?

If you are not advertising on Facebook, now is a great time to try it out. If you start a campaign with Strathcom today, you will receive $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend.

To find out more, give us a call or sign up for our newsletter!

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!

Google and Facebook Ban Advertising from ‘Fake News’ Sites

Hot off the trails of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, internet conglomerates like Twitter, Google and Facebook have decided to prevent websites that publish falsified content from utilizing their respective advertising networks. The decision came after the companies were criticized for allowing fake news and false advertising to spread throughout the internet without any credible fact checking.Twitter, Facebook and Google after the U.S. election

Facebook is used by over 1 billion users worldwide and has been considered a primary news source for many adults. This new policy only applies to advertising and does not affect content shared between users’ newsfeeds.

In the past, Google has implemented policies against false advertising and the spread of inaccurate media; for example, when Google restricted the advertising of counterfeit products and weight-loss pills.

The goal of Strathcom’s advertising efforts is to provide customers with a relevant and quality experience. We always strive to maintain optimal Google and Facebook advertising accounts.

How Your Dealership Can Take Advantage of Facebook’s Messenger v1.3 Platform with Click-to-Message Ads

It’s time to start considering Facebook Messenger as a powerful tool in your advertising arsenal. The recent update to Facebook Messenger adds a lot more functionality to the platform and allows advertisers to start 1-to-1 conversations with your target audience straight from their news feed.new Facebook ad platform

Live conversations with News Feed Message Ads

Messenger ads allow you to use Facebook’s powerful targeting features and connect directly with prospects, your competition’s followers, or previous customers. Once a chat is started you can connect directly with users and have an in-depth 1-1 conversation. Or if you want to get more complex, you can run a “chatbot” to walk the user through a series of steps and provide useful information. Companies like Burger King are even using Facebook Messenger to take orders!

Follow up automatically on previous conversations

Forget your email list, sponsored messages now allow you to follow up with your target audience and remind them about sales, events, and relevant information. This allows you to keep the 1-1 conversation going with anyone who has engaged with you on messenger previously. The best part is that sponsored messages show up exactly like a traditional Facebook Message in the same chat window.

Share chats and get referrals

Users can even choose to share chats with friends, allowing your ad to go further and reach more people. For example, opting into your coupon for a “20% off oil change” or “$500 trade-in credit” and sharing the chat with their friend. Or you could follow up with someone who recently purchased or serviced at your store and ask them for a referral, the user shares the chat and their friends can connect with you.

 

Perfect for your dealership

These new features couldn’t be a more relevant solution to your dealership. Starting live conversations straight from an ad and being able to follow up much like an email list is exactly what dealers need to engage with car buyers on Facebook. You could promote a highly targeted sale with a coupon ad, deliver the coupon through chat and engage users through a live conversation and even set an appointment with the user. The user can share the same chat, invite another friend to your promotion and you can automatically follow up later with them through a message at a later date.

If you want to be one of the first to try out the new platform and find out how you can receive $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend, give us a shout today!

Instagram Advertising

With over 500 million users, Instagram is becoming one of the largest mobile platforms and a large contender for other advertising mediums. In 2015, Instagram launched Instagram Ads which has given businesses the ability to increase awareness, message association, as well as increase traffic to their websites.  Before choosing which ad format works best for your company’s objectives, you need to choose an audience that best fits your business model. For example:

  • Where are you trying to target (location)?
  • What age range?
  • What detailed interest are you trying to target?

After choosing your target audience, now you have the hardest choice to make:  which ad format should you choose?

Continue reading “Instagram Advertising”

Facebook Is A Must-Have Advertising Platform

In March 2016, Google came out with a case study that highlights how the modern car buying process predominantly involves digital interactions, 71% of which occurred on mobile devices. In November 2015 they stated that 1 in 4 car buyers turned to mobile every day to do research on vehicles prior to purchasing. Google’s 5 big moments should be something all digital marketers think about, which is why I think Facebook is an advertising platform that will strengthen any marketing efforts if executed properly.

Facebook advertising can help you generate more credible leads.Facebook has over 1.65 billion monthly Facebook users1 and that number grows each year. On average, users spend approximately 20 minutes on each Facebook session2. In Canada, about 21 million people are on Facebook and about 16 million of those users are on Facebook every day. Just the sheer amount of daily users should be enough to consider advertising on Facebook, and we haven’t even gone into the features and tools that help you get more leads and engage potential and past customers. Not to mention, you’ve probably heard more than once that everyone is always on their phone. Well, 1 out of every 4 minutes spent on mobile is spent on Facebook and/or Instagram.

Connect with potential customers via Facebook and InstagramIf you want to compete and get ahead of your competitors you should be where people spend their time – Facebook. Not only will people be familiar with your brand, but the people who are truly interested in purchasing will interact with you on Facebook. How, you ask?

  • Your ads can generate website or page traffic which can result in a lead.
  • Competing to engage with people interested in makes or models outside of your own.
  • Facebook allows users to fill out a form directly on the app or website.

The third point should stand out the most. Facebook has lead ads that allow users to fill out a form quickly through Facebook. You don’t even need to worry about a form being too long. Facebook pre-populates their info reducing the time it takes a user to fill out a form. Which means you get all the information you need to get more qualified leads.

Want the best strategies and optimizations for Facebook and Google? Contact one of our Strathcom Online Marketers to learn more.

Statista
Fast Company

Credible Alternatives to Google Adwords Advertising

Digital Advertising is becoming the new norm – this marketing channel has rapidly developed into a preferred advertising channel and shows no signs of slowing down. Companies love digital marketing because of its ability to be targeted, engaging and easily measurable. You know your outreach is going to people who want your information, you have the ability to reach your audience when they are on-the-go, and the metrics of digital advertising are built right in so you can see how the channel is adding value. Google is definitely the leader of the online advertising realm with millions of Canadians using Google every day to search the web.

 

Continue reading “Credible Alternatives to Google Adwords Advertising”

Up Your Video Game with Facebook 360

Facebook 360The next big thing in vehicle walk-around videos won’t merely showcase your vehicle from multiple angles; it will flaunt the vehicle from every single one of the 360 degrees.

Introducing the brand-new, open-sourced Facebook 360-degree video camera!

Right now, even the most progressive dealerships in the country are using some sort of spinning platform with different areas where you can attach lighting for best results. This contraption raises the vehicle off the ground and spins the car so you can capture it from different angles.

The new Facebook 360-degree video technology will take consumers’ increasing demand for more photos and video to a whole new level with full 360-degree video. They are claiming this is the “best camera of its kind”.

 

The How & Why with Facebook 360-Degree Video:

The Facebook 360-degree video camera is built with 17 component cameras: 14 wide-angle cameras on a flying saucer, 1 fish-eye camera on the top, and 2 more on the bottom. Using web-based software and new techniques in filming, you’ll be able to “stitch” images together and bring your customer into the vehicle in a new way. Facebook has created a webpage with helpful tips and tricks, best practices, and success stories to help you get the most out of Facebook 360-degree video: https://www.facebook.com/facebookmedia/get-started/360-video.

Facebook is saying they’re not interested in jumping into the camera-manufacturing space, so they’ll be putting the open-source designs on GitHub sometime this summer. There are a few other companies in this space that have designed versions similar to the Facebook 360-degree video camera, but so far, there has been no comparison of video quality between them all.

Nikon – http://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/action-cameras/index.page

GoPro – https://gopro.com/spherical

Nokia – https://ozo.nokia.com/

The future of video shows a clear path into 360-degree viewing and virtual reality. If you haven’t started doing videos of your showroom and dealership, get filming and give the people what they want! What are you waiting for?

In the meantime, check out some AMAZING Facebook 360-degree videos other industries are doing: https://www.facebook.com/Facebook360/timeline.