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

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The Blurred Line Between TV and YouTube: what it means for advertisers

As more and more people turn to YouTube for their entertainment, it is getting more and more difficult to track exactly how many viewers a TV program gets. For example, I think everyone has watched – or at least heard about – Saturday Night Live’s skit in which Melissa McCarthy impersonates White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer. We all know SNL airs on NBC on Saturday nights (duh), but is that when and where you watched it? Or did you watch it on YouTube?

Watching YouTube videos on smart TV with home media sharing technology.

In a recent Think with Google article, Google discussed how more viewers are watching TV programs on YouTube, and even casting what they are watching on YouTube to their televisions. According to their research, adults are 5x more likely to prefer online platforms over cable TV.

In another Think with Google article, they discussed how programs like ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on the Late Late Show with James Corden – despite being a successful TV program – frequently gets more views on YouTube than on TV.

“The blurred lines of video consumption have changed the way success of any TV show should be measured. That’s particularly true for us since we originally air after midnight. We’re in the relevance business. The first thing we do when we come in in the morning is look at how our videos performed on YouTube. Our executive producer, Ben Winston, says, ‘The overnight ratings just tell us who managed to stay awake past midnight. The YouTube numbers tell us which bits flew.’ I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point: Viewership of ‘Carpool Karaoke’ on YouTube regularly eclipses viewership on the show itself.”

So what does this mean for advertisers? It could mean that the money being spent on TV ads (about $72 billion last year) could be better suited for YouTube. This is one reason that YouTube is now rolling out a Web-TV service called YouTube TV. For just $35/month, customers can sign up for a package consisting of about 40 channels. It has also been speculated that YouTube TV will get about 2 minutes of ad time per hour to sell to advertisers.

It also means that Google’s targeting methods can now be utilized in the TV space, and Google can now sell their advertising in the network ad slots that would have typically gone to cable operators. But Google is insistent that they are not trying to take money away from TV, they just want to play in the TV space.

Will you sign up for YouTube TV if it comes to Canada? Will you be willing to spend $35/month? Let us know in the comment section!

10 YouTube Fundamentals

Google sign

We were lucky enough to attend Google’s Video Ignite event at the New York Chelsea office. It was a great event packed with a ton of useful content that we would like to share with you!

Video has been gaining popularity for quite some time now; video even had its own section at Think Auto this year, which was a first. Most of us would agree that we would rather ‘watch’ the internet as opposed to ‘reading’ it, but how do you become successful at utilizing video? Karolina Chodkiewicz, Senior Strategic Partner Manager, YouTube Content Partnerships North America with Google was so kind as to share the top 10 fundamentals of YouTube:

  1. Shareability
    Does your video appeal to users in a way that will encourage them to share you video? Having great content is key, and here are a few things to keep in mind when developing a strategy for your video: is it topical, is it valuable, and is it relatable?
  2. Conversation
    Is there an element of your video that speaks directly to your viewers? This could be content added in the main video or as supplementary content. Think of calls to action and video descriptions!
  3. Interactivity
    Are you able to incorporate your viewers into your content? Are you able to spark a conversation in the comments section and get them involved with what you’re doing?
  4. Consistency
    This is probably the hardest fundamental: updating your video content regularly. We all get busy and forget to make time. Having a schedule and specific video format in place will be key. You also want to make sure you’re portraying the right personality and voice in all of your content.
  5. Targeting
    Do you have a clearly defined audience? You can set your targeting at the video level, show level, and even channel level. Targeting your videos will give you more opportunity to speak to different audiences.
  6. Sustainability
    If the audience loves it, can you make more of it? Meaning, if you spend $40,000 on a video that everyone loves, do you have the resources to keep making videos to that level? Can you continue to hire the right crew for your video?
  7. Discoverability
    Will your content be found? Not every video can go viral, but are you choosing topics that are trending or evergreen (like how-to and DIY videos). Go check out google.com/trends to kick-start those creative juices!
  8. Accessibility
    Can every single video be appreciated by a brand new user or do they need to sit there and watch multiple videos to understand what you’re trying to get across? If you want your content to be shareable, you will want to make sure it’s accessible as well.
  9. Collaboration
    Is there a way to feature guest stars? More and more viewers are relating to YouTube Creators as being more like them compared to traditional celebrities. This means that they take their opinion seriously!
  10. Inspiration
    Is the idea for this video coming from a genuine place of passion and does it fit your overall brand? You want to create unique content that aligns with your brand identity and excites your viewers!

Karolina and her team researched the top performing YouTube channels and found that they all incorporated a combination of these 10 fundamentals which were key to building their success. We’re not suggesting that you need to incorporate all 10 of these items in every single video, but keeping 2 – 3 in mind is definitely a good place to start.

If you’re looking to get some videos created and would like some help coming up with a strategy, don’t hesitate to give our team a call!

Car Parts & Service: The Auction Your Dealership Is Missing Out On

The hard truth: winter is coming. And with winter, comes white walkers snow and ice that require consumers to switch from their summer to winter tires. Car parts and services search queries happen year round, but many queries see huge seasonal peaks that your dealership should be capitalizing on.  With the looming seasonal change upon us, is your dealership ready to face the long night?

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The Changing Face of Television Advertising

Watching TV used to be a common practice; Thursday evenings were reserved for watching your favorite weekly drama, and who can forget buckling in for an hour of intense reality gameshows like Survivor on Monday nights?

How we watch TV has changed
The television game has changed drastically over the last few years. With a smart phone in every pocket and access to the internet almost anywhere, keeping up-to-date with who’s heart was broken on The Bachelor, or which super car was driven on Top Gear no longer depends on getting to your TV in time.

Thanks to technologies like PVR and On Demand programs, viewers are still loyally tuning into their favorite programs except now they can watch what they want, when they want. For advertisers, this means there are even more ways to reach consumers and advertising on TV can still allow advertisers to be there for that part of the customer’s journey.

We know that companies like Expedia, Netflix, and Facebook (and Strathcom) have developed ways to personalize user experiences. My Netflix looks different than your Netflix because of their algorithm. Expedia will show me different hotels than it will show you based on what each of us viewed on their site. Strathcom can personalize the way your website appears based on the location and/or the pages clicked by the user. So how can advertisers adopt this strategy when promoting their brand through TV? Google has answered this question with Addressable Advertising.

Advertisers can now target specific households
Advertisers can show different ads to different households while they are watching the same program. This form of advertising lets the advertiser scale down to show the most relevant and interesting content to the viewer. In other words, you can share your message with only those that are most likely to be interested in your ad.

With any new technology, there are going to be challenges. There were some concerns about the ability to achieve accurate measurement and implementation with Addressable Advertising. However, with the launch of DoubleClick Dynamic Ad Insertion, Google has seen a huge advancement in how to achieve reliability in measurement for this new form of advertising!

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Benefits of Vehicle Descriptions

Vehicle descriptions are a big part of user engagement on a website. Users are more likely to click and on a car when they see a write up that points out why they should buy that car. So what really grabs a viewer’s attention? CAPITALIZED LETTERS? Listing an essay size amount of package options that can turn a reader cross eyed? All these ideas are outdated and consumers skim over them without a second glance.

So how can your write ups engage consumers?

vehicle descriptions

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Pokémon Go for Car Dealerships

Pokemon Pikachu Squirtle Strathcom
Gotta catch ’em all… will this bring you more leads?

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last week, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Pokémon Go – the latest viral app. The idea is that users explore their surroundings to hunt and capture Pokémon. People chase the cartoon creatures at “pokéstops” and “gyms” plotted on a customized version of Google Maps, navigating to their real-world locations using their smartphones. As of Monday, July 11th, the game was seeing about 21 million daily active users, (for comparison, at its peak Candy Crush reportedly had about 20 million daily active users). Nintendo’s new virtual reality smartphone game  has only been officially released in the United States, but Canadians are managing to play the new Pokémon game through a couple different workarounds.

It’s even one of the top searches according to Google:

2016-07-15 3-36-09 PM
Top Google predictive search results for “What is”

One thing to look at with the advent of any new technology or social platform, is what is the impact for advertisers? Pokémon Go is a free app, but users pay in data. The developer behind Pokémon Go is planning to allow retailers and other companies to sponsor places on its virtual map.

“There are several ways that we see the potential for significant monetisation of Pokémon Go by Nintendo, and one of them is certainly the potential for paid advertising or paid deals that encourage players to come to a particular building or store. It is a huge opportunity,” said Atul Goyal, analyst at Jefferies.

In an interview with the Financial Times, John Hanke, chief executive of Niantic, which developed Pokémon Go, hinted that similar advertisements would soon be coming to Pokémon Go.

Alongside in-app payments, “there is a second component to our business model at Niantic, which is this concept of sponsored locations”, Mr. Hanke said, where companies “pay us to be locations within the virtual game board — the premise being that it is an inducement that drives foot traffic”. Advertisers are charged on a “cost per visit” basis, similar to the “cost per click” used in Google’s search advertising, he said.

Pokemon Go has taken over
Pokemon Go has taken over

Some car dealerships & local businesses have already found that positioning a pokestop on their premises has driven a rush of traffic. According to the New York Post, one pizza restaurant in Queens saw business increase 75% after buying a $10 in-game power-up that lured Pokémon to its location.

Robert Drews of Mile High Motors implemented a program to reward players. He created a Facebook graphic to promote oil change discounts, with savings that correlate with your level on Pokemon Go (Level 5 = $5 off, Level 10=$10 off etc). Within the hour he had over 32 shares and 125 likes. Creative dealers could also open their service departments as hunting grounds, or see if their location is a “Pokestop” and use that to buy lures and entice customers to visit.

Pokemon Go could become a very powerful advertising tool in a short amount of time. Since this technology is so new, jury is out on the financial impact, but we cannot wait to see how progressive dealers use tools like this to bring in more business.

Automotive Marketing: 4 Strategies to Drive Leads on Mobile

The shift to mobile is happening and there is no doubt that consumers are making most of their purchasing decisions based on searches from their mobile device. According to a U.S. study, 4 out of 5 car shoppers use their phones in the purchasing process, and 63% of shoppers are still shopping on mobile while at a dealership. With 86% of consumer research being done online, how does your dealership stand out in a mobile-driven world? Here are some mobile-driven strategies to help your dealership win mobile moments.mobile

1.    Calls are the Most Important Conversions

Before shoppers visit a dealership in-person, they’re likely going to make a phone call instead of using email, chat, text, or social media. 60% of car shoppers would use a “call” button if it were available in a search ad. Call extensions should be a standard feature to your mobile ads, but making sure your call extensions are running during your operating hours, and are tracking Call Forwarding numbers will drive your dealership phone leads.

Optimizing your mobile site to allow phone calls can also increase your dealership’s mobile performance. If you are only tracking form completions from your mobile site, you could be missing half of your website conversions.

2.    Target Automotive Keyword Trends with Mobile Ads

Thanks to search term reports, marketers have easy access to the search terms that are rising in the mobile landscape. Since 2015, there have been two keyword trends that are increasing in popularity in mobile auctions:

  1. Price Searches: more shoppers are searching for the prices of their vehicle of interest on mobile. By targeting “MSRP” and price keywords, you can help shoppers make quick decisions regarding the vehicle they’d like to purchase.
  2. Near Me Searches: 80% of searches for “car dealership near me” were made on mobile. By enabling location extensions, you can appear on the top results for shoppers looking for the nearest location to them.

3.    Target On-the-Lot Shoppers

Shoppers carry their mobile phones everywhere they go. Even once a shopper arrives at the lot, they are still comparing price and inventory with other local dealerships. Here are the strategies you should use to target on-the-lot shoppers:

  • Run geotargeted ads for your dealership, and your competitors
  • Use ad copy emphasizing savings and inventory
  • Include call extensions so customers can quickly connect with your team

4.    The Power of Facebook

Canadians spend one out of every four minutes of their time spent on mobile surfing Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is effective in the consideration phase of the customer journey since targeting includes options such as vehicles of interest, current vehicle, life events, and many more. Utilize Facebook ad formats and targeting to reach your customers where they are the most.

Mobile marketing can provide your dealership with plenty of strategies to drive sales offline. Don’t let your dealership fall behind on the shift and contact the experts at Strathcom Media at 1 (888) 914-1444.

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

How Mobile-Friendly Are Your Ads?

Mobile search has become a way of life for consumers. In fact, Google proclaimed that 2015 was the first year that saw more searches being done on mobile devices than on desktops and laptops combined. Not surprisingly, more and more people conduct their research online before making a purchase, and automotive customers are no different. Buyers are now Googling vehicle brands, reading reviews, comparing models, and visiting dealership websites before finally deciding on which vehicles they’re interested in and where they will be purchased.

Customers are spending more and more time on their smartphones

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Google+ Local – A Business’s First Impression

It’s time to buy a new car – you know your favorite brand and you’ve done your research on the models you want to try, but where should you start?

How does a customer decide which store to go to, the location, or even which phone number to call? With Google processing over 40,000 search queries every second, the possibility that a buyer may start on the web are extremely high. Google is currently being utilized by over 85% of today’s users, and can easily function as a primary connection between the customer and dealer.

Typing Into Google Search EngineBy typing a business into the Google Search engine, a quick search can produce millions of results for a user to choose from. But which one do they choose? A dealer who takes into account the importance of Google’s marketing ability will recognize that a proper search will pull up a link to the main website, quick links to many frequently sought out pages, as well as the convenient, easy to read Google+ Local page.

This area on the right hand side provides a first glance at the business. User friendly and appealing to the eye, the Google+ Local business page provides potential customers with quick links and more.

Professional photos, a map to the location, reviews, hours, and contact information give the customer access to everything needed to get a first impression and seamless accessibility to contacting the business.

Data shows that Google+ Local has had a steady increase in interest and users through to the year 2016. What better way to showcase a first look at your business than to do so with a strong development like Google+ Local!

From a business owner perspective, Google+ Local is easy to use and update. Plus enjoy the benefit of Strathcom Media tracking your reviews so that your business maintains a quick response rate.

Happy Customers with Google+ Local

Don’t overlook this simple business tool. Google+ Local is a first impression before the customer steps through the door!

How Dealerships Can Use Urgency to Increase Website Conversion

Act now! Hurry! Low Stock! Only a few items left!

Creating a sense of urgency during the sales process is a common practice in marketing, but is very underutilized in the automotive industry.

Take a look at your current website and ask yourself, am I creating a perspective sense of urgency that encourages potential customers to buy now? Are your customers aware that if they don’t act promptly, they may lose their chance to buy the product, or to benefit from the promotional offer? This practice works well, if executed properly.

Here’s how you can generate a sense of urgency to increase your sales and online conversions.

Provide Availability Information

Dealerships have a great opportunity to use the scarcity effect on their websites.  When an item is perceived as being limited, the desire to have that product will increase due to the inherent fear that people have of missing out. Leverage this by providing instantaneous alerts on inventory and let customers know when the stock level is low.

Scarcity can help improve your conversion rates

Integrate a Timeline on Your VDPs

This week only! Exceptional price! You have 3 days and 4 hours to take advantage of this offer! Add a countdown to your VDPs to remind users that your offers are temporary and perishable and that they should buy before the end of the countdown to take advantage of your deal.

The search results on Expedia’s website prominently displays a “Daily Deal” function with a timer. This fuels the urgency and encourages visitors to act fast!

Use limited time offers to increase urgency in your ads

Show Off Your Vehicle Popularity

Show visitors the popularity of your vehicles. The popularity of a product decreases consumer uncertainty and increases demand as a result. When an item is perceived as being popular, the desire to have that product will increase.

  • “15 people are looking at this SUV”
  • “10 people booked a test drive in the last 48 hours”

Using scarcity in your ads can increase conversion rates

 

Creating a sense of urgency doesn’t need to be complicated. If you have a website with Strathcom Media, you will have access to the tools that can achieve this for you. The result? An increase in your customers’ confidence levels in your product, and the creation of a sense of urgency that will successfully spur people to convert their interest into a purchase. What are you waiting for? Join companies like Amazon and Expedia and start creating conversion producing urgency now!

Marketing Decisions Based on Data; Seems Simple, Right?

Every manager and business owner out there knows that marketing decisions often need to be made quickly, and so we often rely on our intuition to guide us.

The problem is that our intuition can easily deceive us. By not asking the right questions and by allowing emotion to permeate the decision-making process, it can become easy to make a decision that will negatively affect your company’s fortunes. Therefore, it’s important to have a system of predetermined guidelines in place to support our decisions. We should challenge our intuition and ask ourselves if there is data and evidence to back our marketing decisions.

Google, for example,  has proven to be very effective in this type of decision making. Google tested 41 shades of blue to confirm which would bring the highest click rate on their paid ads. As crazy as the study might seem, this campaign enabled the company to generate millions of additional dollars in profits.

Here at Strathcom Media, we often get the request to publish a “GET APPROVED FOR CREDIT” call-to-action (CTA) button on the homepage, despite extensive research showing this particular CTA is seldom clicked. This valuable homepage real estate is unnecessarily occupied. Take the time to monitor your analytics and discover what meaningful CTAs could be placed on the homepage.

marketing decisions

The same applies when choosing advertising mediums to leverage. There is no lack of advertising channels to choose from (Google PPC, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, print, radio, billboards, email, direct mail, flyers-the list goes on), but how do you choose the appropriate channels for your dealership?

Some marketing agencies are notorious for promising significant conversion and lead increases in an attempt to lure in gullible buyers with too-good-to-be-true promises. This stains an industry that can potentially yield a very high return on investment.

That being said, a wealth of information gives us a great advantage, enabling easier decision-making. A good agency will use informational reporting to create marketing accountability and evaluate their value. In a digital world, there are so many metrics that you can measure anything and everything! A competent account manager will be able to break the metrics down for you in a way that is both understandable and useful.

Keep in mind that not all data is defined consistently. For example, if a marketing agency is promising to increase your conversions or your leads, ask them to define what a qualified sales lead or conversion is. Having a common definition of a qualified lead is imperative to avoiding disappointment. A confident marketing agency will have a strict framework for what does and what does not qualify as a sales lead.

A good place to start is by asking the right questions to define your advertising strategy. Here are some sample questions to help you figure this out:

  • Who is your target market? It is wise to conduct some research and take a look at your analytics to find out what your age and gender demographics look like. This will influence your answers to the other question below. (If you don’t already have Google Analytics (GA) connected to your website, do so immediately, as this information is easily accessible and invaluable.)
  • How do your competitors execute their promotion strategies? This may also influence your choice of promotional activity. For example, many of our dealers are executing geo-fencing strategies to steal customers from other dealers. How will this affect the way you react, if you choose to react at all?

In summary: Strathcom integrates these methods so we can better know our clients, understand our market segment, and identify weaknesses and strengths of our digital strategy, and then ultimately take the guessing and intuition out of our decision-making process. You can too! At Strathcom Media, we apply these methods in our decision making to ensure our clients’ marketing decisions and advertising strategies are backed and driven by statistics, keeping their minds at ease.

Google Analytics 360

Looking for a way to deep-dive into your customer data and take Google Analytics one step further?

Introducing the new Google Analytics 360.GA360Suite_Vertical_Logo

This new premium paid, enterprise-level solution is designed to help businesses just like yours integrate all of your customer data into one platform so you can easily make sense of it all and create better marketing campaigns. It’s taking advantage of all those micro-moments car buyers experience and giving them the right messages at the right time.

The full suite comes with:

  1. Google Analytics 360 – Formerly known as Google Analytics Premium, this software is coming out with new capabilities over the next couple of months
  2. Google Attribution 360 – Formerly known as Adometry, it has been rebuilt to better help you determine the value behind your marketing efforts and allocate budgets for the best returns
  3. Google Tag Manager 360 – Allows you to add code into your website in a simplified and efficient way, saving Marketers a ton of time
  4. Google Data Studio 360 – Takes data from all products in the Google Analytics 360 suite and converts it all into visual and interactive dashboards and reports
  5. Google Optimize 360 – A brand new website-testing and -personalization tool that will let you A/B-test different versions of your website for better performance
  6. Google Audience Center 360 – This new tool will help you understand your customers better and find more customers just like them

So if you think your team has mastered Google Analytics and just wants more, then Google Analytics 360 and its new product suite may just be the perfect new tool for you!

Testimonials: Are They Still Relevant?

Are your website or marketing campaigns failing to generate business? How do you convince uncertain buyers that your product and services meet their needs and expectations? How do you persuade them that they are right to call on your services and right to trust you?

One of the most effective ways to persuade a potential customer is to show credible testimonials.

Why is this?

How often do you hear the following statements: “I’m not much of a car person”, or “I don’t know much about cars”. Now, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do you do when you need to buy a product you don’t know much about?  What is your initial reaction when you are searching for an expensive product or service? According to Google’s Think Auto data, 48% of people consult the internet for vehicle information, and 25% consult their family and friends for this information. This is because prospective clients want to mitigate as much risk as possible. When we are faced with a tremendous amount of vehicles to choose from, we all want to make the “right decision” and avoid making a purchasing mistake.

Loyal customers have a story to tell. Give someone who has already made a similar purchasing decision a chance to tell their story in front of the cameras and showcase what’s great about your dealership.

These testimonies will play a huge role in reassuring customers of their decision making throughout the buying process. That being said, not all customer testimonials are created equal. Unfortunately, many false recommendations circulate on the web, which makes it even more important to make sure your customer testimonials are credible and authentic.

Once you are ready to reap the benefits of a strong video testimonial, get on YouTube! This medium is greatly underutilized by Canadian car dealers. The potential to drive a lot more traffic and inexpensive pay-per-click rates are the two components that make YouTube a great tool for delivering video advertisements.

And guess what? Here at Strathcom Media, our automotive video production team will come right to your  dealership with the proper equipment to produce high-quality videos without disrupting your day-to-day operations. All you need to do is have your vehicles (and any featured customers) detailed, polished, and ready to film. We will edit your videos to your satisfaction, and then optimize them for search engines to help you get the most views possible.

Check out one of our testimonial videos below!

The Voice of YouTube

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that YouTube is a video-sharing website growing in popularity since it was founded in 2005. But do you know just how influential this website is becoming?

In 2014, the University of Southern California conducted a survey among 13-18 year-olds in the United States. The teens were asked to rate the influence English-speaking YouTube stars and “traditional celebrities” had on them. The top 5 places on the list were taken by YouTube stars. In 2015, they conducted the survey again and this time, YouTubers took the top 6 places; they were ranked even higher than some of the most influential celebrities like Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift. Yes, T-Swift.

There is another interesting phenomenon among YouTubers: they all seem to have the same voice. Julie Beck wrote an article about this in December for The Atlantic. The article describes how Julie began noticing certain commonalities between the way YouTubers enunciate and pronounce their words. She lists several examples of YouTubers that speak in this “bouncy” way, including Tyler Oakley, Franchesca Ramsey and Hannah Hart. Julie decided to investigate; she spoke with a linguist named Naomi Baron who not only agreed with her, but also actually explained the components of what she calls the “YouTube voice:”

  1. Overstressed vowels
  • Ehxample
  1. Sneaky extra vowels
  • This example is tericky
  1. Long vowels
  • Exaaample
  1. Long consonants
  • Exammmple
  1. Aspiration
  • Exampuhle

Additional techniques used by YouTubers include changing their speaking pace, moving their head and hands, raising and lowering their eyebrows, and even opening their mouth more.

This is not only an effective way to keep an audience, it’s also a popular way of speaking. Naomi Baron says, “Things become stylish. That happens with language all the time.” Hosts of TV Newscasts and satires, such as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, can also be found speaking this way.

iStock_000009025139_Medium

YouTube did not invent this way of speaking, however. Another linguist named Mark Liberman calls it the “intellectual Used-Car Salesman voice” or the “talking to the audience voice.” The example he gave was of a carnival barker shouting to people passing by to attract them to their carnival booth. Since they had only their voice and their words, they had to make what they were saying as enticing as possible. This principle also applies to YouTubers and salespeople that perhaps have only themselves and a camera, or themselves and a car.

Speaking with this voice is common, whether a person is making a sales presentation, selling a car or talking to a camera. There’s a reason it’s becoming more and more popular: it works. Just ask some of these YouTube stars’ millions of viewers:

Name YouTube Channel # of Subscribers (approximate)
Felix Kjellberg PewDiePie 40 million
Ian Hecox & Anthony Padilla Smosh 22 million
Benny & Rafi Fine Fine Brothers 14 million
Olajide Olatunji KSI 11 million
Lindsay Stirling Lindsay Stirling 7 million

These young stars are also making a lot of money with their YouTube channels; Felix Kjellberg earned about $10 million last year, for example. So what could these videos possibly be about, you ask? Certainly, it is not only their voice and speech mannerisms which earn them this kind of fame, right? Well, Felix’s videos, for example, consist of his commentary on videogames he plays. To see what other famous YouTube celebrities are doing, you will just have to watch for yourself.

Make sure your Dealership Doesn’t Hit the Holiday Slump

 

We all know that December and January aren’t stellar months for the automotive industry, but that’s no excuse to roll over and accept defeat. Yes, the market may be slower, but that means every deal is that much more precious and we as marketers should be doing our utmost to squeeze out every lead possible.

Do not fall prey to the dreaded holiday slump, use these strategies to end 2015 off on a high note and ride that momentum into the New Year.

Use Paid Search to Increase In store Traffic:

Don’t Play Follow the Leader: Many dealerships lower their advertising spend over the slower months, in an effort to cut back. Instead of following this tradition, break the mould and stay ahead of your competition. As others lower their campaign spend (or pause it altogether) the competition over keywords decreases. This allows you to get more clicks at a lower cost, and steal leads from others in your market. It also ensures your account maintains a healthy quality score with Google , so when everyone inevitably comes back to the party, they will be paying more than you and working harder for their clicks.

  • Bullseye your Prospects: Christmas is prime shopping season. What better time than the present to look for ways to increase foot traffic to your stores? This can be beneficial for both Sales & Fixed Ops. Because of this, it is recommended to set up tiered geo-modifiers around store locations in order to bid highest for people nearest the store, slightly lower for a broader radius, and even lower for an even broader radius. This will ensure the biggest bang for your buck during the holiday crunch.
  • Show ‘em what you got: A Google study asked participants what information was considered “extremely helpful” in planning a store visit. Seventy-five percent responded price, and 74 percent responded availability; those were the two highest-ranked answers. Ensure you have ads running of your actual inventory, with your real photos and pricing, and watch your click through rate skyrocket. If you aren’t running dynamic ads, talk to your provider to get started.

 

Use Social for Lead Generation:

  •  Be Santa’s Little Helper: Most dealers are using social media in some form, but the holidays is a great time to step up your game. Your consumers are stressed and frenzied over the festive season, so use promotions to make their lives easier. Create ads, posts and events that show them you’re here to help. Help them avoid the anarchy of the shopping mall and maybe have Santa come to the store for photos. Offer stocking stuffer gifts like 4 for 3 oil changes, winter ready gift sets in a variety of price points, emergency kits or detail gift cards. If you offer a shuttle service or loaner program, blast that messaging out on social channels- nobody likes being stranded in a Canadian winter.
  • Get Snap Happy: Instagram has opened up their advertising product to all advertisers, internationally. No brand, budget or idea is too small to take advantage of this next wave of social media advertising. Mercedes Benz USA was able to increase website visits as much as 54% through their efforts, according to a case study put together by Instagram. Couple your photo, or 30 second video, with the geo-targeting that best fits your goals. Take advantage of Instagram’s sponsored ads to run a giveaway or promotion that requires users to follow your page, share your photos and/or interact with your posts. (Think: “Enter to Win a Detail Package by Sharing & Following Our Page!” or “Take a Selfie in a 2016 Ford Fusion & Tag Us to Win a Free Gas Card”)

 Master the Content Game:

  • Get Organic: With less people coming in over the holidays, it’s a great time to get your sales team building out stellar content. It doesn’t take a wordsmith to get some quick and easy blog posts together. Maybe a section on everyone’s favorite car in the 2016 line-up and why? Explanatory seasonal posts on fixed ops (winter tires, snow safety, cold weather tips). Search Engines love regular page updates & blog content so getting into this habit for the new year will pay off with more traffic long term.
  • Light, Camera, Action: Get on YouTube. This segment is highly underutilized by Canadian car dealers. You do not need to be Spielberg to do this. A small investment in a couple good tools and dedicated sales rep is all you need to get started. Purchase a good quality phone, mic and some sort of tripod or stability system. Ask your sales people to film themselves doing walk arounds, introducing themselves and the languages they speak or showing the coolest features of a new vehicle. Most dealers know this is all it takes, but they do not consistently do it. Consistency in content is key!

We at Strathcom Media hope you enjoy a happy, healthy holiday season and wish you all the prosperity of the New Year. Get ready to kick ass in 2016!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strathcom at Dreamforce 2015!

What do you get when you take 160,000 people and stuff them into San Francisco for a week? One of the largest software and technology conferences in the world: Dreamforce!Strathcom was proud to attend Dreamforce '15

Continue reading “Strathcom at Dreamforce 2015!”

Stay Ahead of the Curve with These 2 New Google Marketing Strategies

Prior to heading off on vacation—and in between rolling his Rs and hitting the fake ‘n bake—our il presidente contributed an article to Auto Remarketing Canada. In it Duncan Cochrane outlined the two newest Google advertising methods you can use to funnel clicks and conversions to your website. Continue reading “Stay Ahead of the Curve with These 2 New Google Marketing Strategies”

Strathcom Hosts Google Partners Digital Breakfast

Strathcom is pleased to have hosted our Google Partners Event, where we welcomed automotive dealers from across Ontario to the Google Canada Offices in Toronto. We started the day by pairing a delicious hot breakfast with a little networking, settling ourselves in for two presentations on Automotive Digital Marketing.

Kim Rellinger from Google Autos reminds attendees how their online demographic is evolving.

 

First up, Kim Rellinger from the Google Autos team. She began the talks with her presentation, “Finding Your Customers Online,” and discussed new data trends and insights from the Canadian digital automotive space. Kim provided some interesting new statistics and surprising updates to how Canadians are interacting with advertisers during the buying process. During the very engaging Q&A portion of Kim’s presentation, prizes were handed out including a stainless steel, Google-branded French press coffee maker. Most attendees returned to their offices sharing swag including Strathcom water bottles, USBs, & Google notebooks and pens.

It’s all in the game: Strathcom’s Duncan Cochrane shares the promising idea of scalable pre-roll YouTube videos for dealers.

 

Next up, Strathcom’s President, Duncan Cochrane, presented “Expanding on the Fundamentals.” For his talk, he discussed how to leverage online basics to make the most of your advertising spend, as well as key new trends car dealers can take advantage of in the digital landscape to rustle up more leads. Strathcom also unveiled our scalable YouTube pre-roll packages, allowing even the smallest of dealerships to compete in the video advertising game.

 

The lucky dealers were then extended with an exclusive offer for attending. To wrap up the day, Strathcom & Google team members were available for any further one-on-one questions.

 

We had a great time and want to thank everyone who came out to join us!

 

Please stay tuned as we will be hosting future events in Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, and Winnipeg, with more cities being announced this fall. Want a part of it? Contact us to learn more.

Strathcom Media’s Tony, Liza, & Trish taking in the Google Breakfast in matching SMI t-shirts.