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.

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?

Two women sitting in a bar and staring at mobile phones - Girls watching a video online on portable device

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.

Recommended for You

If you have ever shopped on sites like Amazon, eBay, or Expedia, you are likely familiar with the concept of recommendation marketing. However, you may not know just how effective this type of marketing is. In fact, Amazon’s recommendation engine generates 35% of their revenue and according to an article on Fortune.com:

“Judging by Amazon’s success, the recommendation system works. The company reported a 29% sales increase to $12.83 billion during its second fiscal quarter, up from $9.9 billion during the same time last year. A lot of that growth arguably has to do with the way Amazon has integrated recommendations into nearly every part of the purchasing process…”

Cropped photo of man using credit card to make payments Recommendation marketing is essentially upselling 2.0. Companies like Amazon, Expedia and Netflix track what you view and use an algorithm to determine which additional items you are likely to purchase/watch. A humorous example of this is the drug dealer example; when someone looks at a scale on Amazon, Amazon recommends a vaccuum-sealed storage container, rolling papers, and a spice grinder because these are items that are frequently purchased together.

How can auto dealers incorporate recommendation marketing?

One way is Dynamic Remarketing. This type of remarketing shows potential buyers ads based on the inventory they viewed on your site. For example, if someone viewed a Ford Explorer, you could show them ads for some other Ford Explorers in your inventory or other models that people tend to also look at; like the Edge, for example.

Another way is Website Personalization and Geo-Fencing. With these tools you can set rules that change the images, messaging and CTA’s on your site based on where the user is located and/or which pieces of inventory they viewed. If the user is a student at the local university, you can recommend vehicles under $10,000, for example.

young people view car ad

A third way is with lookalike audiences on Facebook. Lookalike audiences are when your CRM list is uploaded to Facebook and Facebook advertises to those that share similar characteristics to your current customers. Similar to how Netflix recommends shows to you based on what your Facebook friends watch.

If you want to get started on recommendation marketing or would like to learn more about any of these tools, drop us a line or subscribe to 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!

Think with Google – Online Video Planning

Camera lens with lense reflections.

The Think with Google resource gives us online video planning tips for success with online videos. The first tip is to be mobile-minded. Google’s research found that viewers who watched an ad twice on mobile had – on average – a significant lift of 23% in unaided brand awareness, and 47% in unaided ad recall.

Think with Google also suggests to put YouTube alongside TV. But for most small to medium businesses, this might not be as easy as it would be for big-box businesses. So what’s the alternative? Put YouTube alongside Facebook. Not only are you adhering to the first tip, but you’re also choosing to advertise on a platform where people spend their time watching videos. When was the last time you watched a video on Facebook? The answer is probably yesterday or when you were on your coffee break.

Facebook is also more measurable than TV because you can track conversions from pixels and generate leads right from Facebook through their lead ads objective. In addition to the ability to generate leads, you can also track performance and measure key performance indicators to see if it’s all living up to your expectations.

online video planning tips

You can read the referenced Think With Google content here. If you would like more online video planning tips, check out or previous post about YouTube or give our Online Marketing Team a call; and don’t forget to ask about how you can get $500 in bonus Facebook ad spend!

Adjusting AdWords For Mobile Traffic

According to a Google study of mobile traffic, 96% of people use their smartphone to get everyday things done. To meet those needs, people will use search functions – the resource 87% of people turn to first. In moments of need, people turn to their smartphones.

Secondly, they found that 70% of smartphone owners who bought something in-store had turned first to their devices for information about that purchase. To tie it back to the previous finding, they found 92% of those who search on their phone made a related purchase.

So what does this mean for you?

This means that you need a strong mobile strategy. Smartphone owners utilizing searches are likely to make a follow-up action, and another after that, until they meet their needs. Having a strong mobile campaign in your AdWords will ensure you are taking advantage of this knowledge.

mobile traffic

What can you do to have a strong mobile campaign?

  • Mobile-only campaign
  • Mobile-specific bids – mobile bids are different from desktop bids, so why treat them the same?
  • Mobile-specific ads and extensions – with extended-text ads, you currently can’t make ‘mobile-preferred’ ads; however, the mobile-only campaign will make sure these ads show only on mobile devices. Use mobile CTAs as much as possible. If you have historical data on extensions (that’s good), use it as a starting point in optimizing your mobile campaign.

At the end of the day, your AdWords account should be built with a mobile perspective first. Need some advice about mobile traffic? Contact our online marketing team today!

Read the referenced Google material here: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-search-consumer-behavior-data.html

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!

Build a Desktop-Focused Campaign in a Mobile-First World

Yes, you read that correctly. Implementing a desktop-focused campaign can get you a better CPA – not alone, though.

Close up of elegant young business men standing against the wall and checking their mobile phones.

Every day, users search on the go with their mobile devices. You never know where people will be, so you can’t lock down one postal code or small area around your store. People search from everywhere, which is completely different from a desktop search. That’s why we need to be able to focus on mobile and desktop separately, and by making both a desktop-focused campaign and a mobile-focused campaign, we can achieve this.

AdWords accounts should be taking advantage of the ability for device segmentation. You should have campaigns that focus on both desktop and mobile search. You can do this by adjusting campaign settings so the mobile bid adjustment is set to -100%; this will make the entire campaign’s ads and keywords never show on a mobile device.

The next step is to clone that campaign and set up mobile-specific ad extensions, bids, and ad copy (and don’t forget landing pages if you don’t have a responsive website). This ensures that your keywords only activate the mobile ads in this campaign.

Now you have one campaign bidding for desktop and mobile at the same time and can focus your ad copy to speak to mobile users. In addition, you can see the value come from each device-segmented campaign at a higher level, whereas before you’d need to look at a segmented view in AdWords, which can be a bit of a mess to look at.

For more information, don’t hesitate to drop us a line or subscribe to our newsletter!

Updates to AdWords Keyword Planner

Google announced an update to Keyword PlannerThe AdWords Keyword Planner tool is one of the best resources used by advertisers to pinpoint new opportunities and substantiate investment into paid search campaigns. Earlier this month, Google announced an update to the tool that would require users to have an active AdWords campaign in order to gain access to full data as well as restrictions to users with “lower monthly spend.” Unfortunately, the limited data from these restrictions includes broad ranges for potential search volumes that would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the Keyword Planner.

Although users of the AdWords Keyword Planner are accustomed to working with the ranges provided, which are rounded-up numbers divisible by 10, now the data is even more imprecise. The ranges provided to these restricted accounts are:

  • 0
  • 1-100
  • 100-1k
  • 1k-10k
  • 10k-100k
  • 100k-1m
  • 1m+

It would be reasonable to assume that smaller businesses have smaller AdWords accounts and therefore are likely to be impacted by this aspect to the update. According to Google, “most” advertisers will see the data as usual. Google did not provide specifics on what it deems to be “lower monthly spend,” and therefore at this time, it is unclear what the minimum ad spend is for full access to detailed search volume data.

Should You Use Responsive Ads?

In addition to Expanded Text Ads (ETA’s) Google has also recently released Responsive Ads – are they right for your business?

Depending on the website, you can feature different combinations of your Responsive Ads. A short headline with the description, a long headline and a description, or a short/long headline. All this means is that your ad will have more opportunities to reach your target audience while they spend their time online. Note that long headlines and description lines are 90 characters, while the short headline is 25 characters. They also allow for branding, since Google allows you to upload a logo and an image.

Increase your brand's awareness by including your logo

One concept to think about when using responsive ads is the number of characters you use in the headlines and the description lines. The possible combinations would mean that your ad will take on ad spots where your ad would make no sense without a concise message in the headlines. Additionally, because of the lack of control (i.e. telling Google an ad can only show if the description line shows), Google might feature your description but only half of it – due to the size of the ad. In other words: don’t say more than you need to!

Another point is that Google can’t show you previews for every type of ad , so the creative you come up with might not meet your expectations on different websites. It all heavily depends on where the ads are shown. I suggest controlling this by finding strong performing placements/websites where they show and excluding mobile apps at the campaign level.

Consider how to target the mobile market

At the end of the day, you should take advantage of responsive ads since they offer more than Google Text Ads. However, like anything else in an AdWords account, monitor them closely. You can let Google find strong performing websites, but rein in control right away when you find them. Don’t let these responsive ads run rampant! As soon as performance dips for an extended period of time let Google find better performing websites or change your creative and repeat the process.

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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