Hero Conf 2019 Wrap Up

Gritty and Phanatic

“The City of Brotherly Love.” “The Birthplace of America.” “The Place with the Weird Sports Mascots.” Auspicious nicknames are befitting of Philadelphia indeed, and in this fine city did an equally auspicious event recently take place: Hero Conf 2019. We had the pleasure of attending one of the online advertising industry’s largest conferences, at which thought-leaders from all over the world gather to share, challenge, and provoke the eager minds of the equally global attendees. Featured topics were wide ranging, from cutting edge theories on consumer behavior to optimal campaign setup for up-and-coming advertising platforms such as Quora, Reddit, and Amazon (if you can even call them up-and-coming anymore). As with previous years, the conference was spread over several days, with the bulk of the sessions taking place over a 2-day, inspiring, information-crammed, PPC marathon – and we are happy to share a summary of some of the event’s themes and takeaways for you here!
Continue reading “Hero Conf 2019 Wrap Up”

The Q-4 Scaries

Human hand cutting the budget word

Scenario: it’s the home-stretch of 2018. The fourth fiscal quarter hits and you see consumer traffic dry up like a raisin. Well, maybe things aren’t so dire. But we all know that, as a business, you’ve got to acknowledge and adapt to the seasonal change in consumer focus. No, it’s not like people have completely stopped buying vehicles in the last three months of the year—your amped up Black Friday and fear-mongering “Get Ready for Winter” ads have seen to at least a few vehicles leaving the lot since November but, admittedly, it’s nothing like the crazy consumer action you might have seen in July. “Time to tighten up the purse-strings”, you say, “if sales are down, it must be because our advertising isn’t effective, and we’ve got to seriously scale back for the lean months.” Next thing you know, you’ve slashed your total advertising spend in half, thinking you’ve done yourself a fiscal favour for the time-being. Continue reading “The Q-4 Scaries”

Having Issues Generating PPC Leads? Review These Great Ideas

Surprised man looking through a magnifying glass

Every aspect of your business is important, and you want to see a return on every dollar you spend—whether you’re a small, mom & pop business or a giant multinational. This includes your online advertising. While it can be disheartening when you don’t see the results you’re after, keep your head up! We’ve got some tips and tricks that’ll help you generate more online advertising leads.   Continue reading “Having Issues Generating PPC Leads? Review These Great Ideas”

Chess, Not Checkers: Why Your Dealership Needs a Digital Strategy

wood chess pieces on board game. brown vintage background

When most dealerships are faced with the question, “Does your business have a digital strategy?”–the usual answer is (hopefully), “Yes, of course!” And this would be great, but are you truly utilizing this strategy? Or, even worse, are you not using a strategy at all? We’re not saying that not having a digital strategy is borderline criminal (though it is)–we’re just here to help.

Strategy, according to Wikipedia, is a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim. In short, a strategy is an in-depth plan. For your dealership you should be thinking of the long-term advantages your dealership provides compared to your competition, and how you can defend that competitive advantage. Continue reading “Chess, Not Checkers: Why Your Dealership Needs a Digital Strategy”

Be More Dynamic, with Facebook Dynamic Inventory Advertising

A man chooses a car on a blue background.

Your dealership has a wonderful selection of vehicles in stock.

Your sales manager sets prices at competitive market values.

Your inventory manager writes thorough, accurate, helpful descriptions for each unit.

Your detailing staff do a meticulous job making every vehicle spotless.

Your photographer shoots and edits photos just right, so that your products appear dazzling.

Your social media advertising is parroting the same message as every other franchise, and it doesn’t show off the above, anything unique about your business, or what you alone have to offer.

Wait a second—let’s talk about that last one. Continue reading “Be More Dynamic, with Facebook Dynamic Inventory Advertising”

To OEM or Not to OEM? That’s the Advertising Question

William Shakespeare in period clothing sitting in school desk with laptop computer shrugging at viewer.

As an automotive dealer you’ve got a lot to worry about. No doubt, when it comes to your business’ online advertising you’ve got a keen interest in sharing the most effective message that’ll have the most impact in service of your business goals—to sell cars. At your dealership, you’ve got a certain idea of what your business is. It has a certain voice, a certain persona that you want online users to get acquainted with; it resonates with your audience and eventually prods them to trust you with their business. But what if you’re not satisfied with the message or advertisements pushed on you monthly by your OEM? Maybe you think their incentive message is too weak? Perhaps too generic? If you run the incentive advertising of your manufacturer, are you simply settling for creative that doesn’t do your business justice? It’s a fair concern, and one that deserves serious consideration. This post delves into the question of “why” run OEM incentive advertising, and questions whether individuality in your advertising, at this level, might not be the hill to die on. Continue reading “To OEM or Not to OEM? That’s the Advertising Question”

Finding SEM-o: When You Can’t Find Your Search Ads

disoriented clownfish searches for his paid search ad frantically

I tend to walk around randomly during phone calls. A few years ago, I realized this as I saw my reflection in the glass patio doors and saw myself walking along the top of the couch. No idea why, but I’m at peace with this. I even move around absentmindedly on short calls, such as activating a new credit card, which I had to do recently.

I called the bank to complete the process, and after a few questions confirming my information, the rep completed the task and was very helpful throughout. I prepared to hang up and stop parkouring around my kitchen when she suddenly launched into an aggressive sales pitch for multiple other products offered by the bank. Identity protection, credit limit increase, insurance coverage – you name it, she was selling it. Continue reading “Finding SEM-o: When You Can’t Find Your Search Ads”

You Ask We Answer: Paid Search

pay per click lolo

Welcome to a brand-new installment of “You Ask, We Answer!” (*still waiting on that production budget, Bill*). We know navigating the vast tapestry of the internet can sometimes be difficult and a little overwhelming, which is why we host our weekly webinars for you to up your online savvy without the negative, thick-framed glasses-wearing, man-bun connotations that come along with it! 

For today’s webinar, we asked our Director of Online Advertising and Home Alone aficionado, Nathan Leverette, to answer any of your questions and concerns regarding Paid Search (as the organic search specialist writing this blog begrudgingly sat and watched in the corner while we recorded). We’ve embedded the webinar video below, along with a transcription of everything we discussed so you can follow along below!

Continue reading “You Ask We Answer: Paid Search”

When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?

Another little boy in math class overwhelmed by the math formula.

Not everyone is into numbers—and that’s fair. For some people, the math can be annoying because it’s hard to understand, confusing as hell, and I often wondered if I’d ever use it in my life again (which is why I hated it so much in school). But much like my own math teachers and Shakira’s hips, the numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they can tell us plenty of stories about how well your online campaign is doing; the hardest part is actually listening and paying attention to what they have to say.

Continue reading “When Numbers Talk: What Defines Success in a Marketing Campaign Report?”

Translation vs Localization in Google Ads; or, An Ode to Poutine

french bulldog with red wine and baguette and french beret hat, isolated on white background

If you’ve ever tried to drop a sick pun with a relative whose first language isn’t English, you will understand the importance of conveying the more subtle meanings behind words. With the magic of the internet we can now type familiar or foreign phrases into Google and receive an instant translation in any language you want–some of them not even real languages . This is a wonderful resource when a well-meaning Aunt from Quebec sends you a birthday card, and you haven’t spoken French since Grade 6. The general gist behind what tante Laurence is saying can be mine in seconds! The problem is that as amazing as Google Translate is, it has limitations. The French employed is Parisian French, not Quebecois French, meaning some local words or phrases could be completely lost. Continue reading “Translation vs Localization in Google Ads; or, An Ode to Poutine”

Look Closer… Seeing the Difference Between Ads & Organic Search

Closeup of the word SEARCH on binary code on a computer screen.

“Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” – Morpheus, The Matrix (1999)

I had to get up from the computer and take a walk after realizing that, at the time of writing this, The Matrix is almost 20 years old. It was a game-changer which has stood the test of time, much like another entity which is around 20 years old: search engine advertising (abrupt segue, I know). Continue reading “Look Closer… Seeing the Difference Between Ads & Organic Search”

Optimizing your Dealership’s Online Presence with Google

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION CONCEPT

Fact: today’s car shoppers do most of their research online before even stepping foot in a dealership. So the older generation can complain about “those darn millennials being on their smartphones” all they like, but those smartphones are influencing their purchasing decisions. According to Google, the average car shopper visits two dealership websites when researching a new vehicle. That’s why it’s now more important than ever to be highly visible on Google in the competitive and complex car industry.  Many dealerships are multi-faceted, offering new and used cars as well as maintenance and repairs. It then only makes sense that their digital marketing strategy should equally be as dynamic—starting with an optimized online presence.  And, without further adieu *drumroll*, here’s a few tips to optimize your dealership’s online presence. Continue reading “Optimizing your Dealership’s Online Presence with Google”

Enhance Your Display Campaigns with Custom Intent Audiences

Beyonce on a billboard, holding a google logo

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

Personalize Your Google Experience

Female hand holding an ipad showing Google

Have you ever wondered why you see ads which are tailored to you on your favourite blog, or while you’re catching up on local news online? These are the ads found on the Google ad network, and all the millions of websites and apps that partner with Google. This network is made up of Google services like Search, YouTube, and Gmail, and is borderline-omnipresent (we’re happy as long as they don’t change their name to Skynet). But did you know that you can personalize this information, telling Google what you do and don’t want to see? Continue reading “Personalize Your Google Experience”

Cool (or Creepy?) Ways to Target Your Audience

Red apple pierced by an arrow.

Ever wonder why after you’ve look at a pair of shoes online, you’re continuously haunted by ads for that store, or similar products? This is the beauty, and precision, of advertising in the digital world. And while many people have an issue with this invasion into their online privacy, whether this is a real or perceived invasion, platforms like Facebook and Google only have the users experience in mind. Collecting information about the unique interests of an individual and their tendencies creates a more tailored experience. If you like shoes, it would make more sense to see ads about shoes rather than furniture. If your search history reads like a new-age grocery list, with kombucha and faux-leather shoes and tofu — do you really want to see ads for a burger spot? Continue reading “Cool (or Creepy?) Ways to Target Your Audience”

Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising

businessman wearing boxing gloves,competition concept

“If you spend 15 minutes studying business, you’ll have wasted 14 minutes. I’ll tell you everything you need to know: supply and demand.” – Chael Sonnen

I always take quotes from people who get punched in the head for a living with a grain of salt. Mike Tyson interviews were entertaining, but they were hardly TED talks. However, Chael Sonnen is a bit of a different quote machine. Not only is he a former UFC title contender and current multi weight-class veteran, he has also been a politician, actor, business owner, realtor, and even has a degree in sociology. Some of his more devoted fans are known to feature him in parodies of The Most Interesting Man In The World commercials, and he has leveraged his status as a record-setting MMA pay-per-view headliner into a book deal and successful podcast. Quite the LinkedIn page, right? It makes me feel a little better about quoting someone who gets punched in the head for a living. Continue reading “Supply, Demand, and The Bruising World of Online Advertising”

Are Your Ads Mobile-Friendly?

Women hold the phone to enter the code to get a discount from the store. The concept of providing marketing services on the internet for easy access to information.

We’ve all heard it before, “the world is going mobile”. But that’s old news. As a matter of fact, the world is not going mobile — it’s already there (and that’s not just my opinion either). According to a recent study done by comScore, Canadians spend 59% of their total internet time on their smartphone. That’s an average of 3,927 minutes per user per month, and counting!

If you’ve got a website, you’ve probably got the mobile side covered, right? Site speed and responsive layouts are pretty well a mandatory feature if you want to reach (not to mention engage) as many visitors as possible.

But how about your ads? Are they also mobile-friendly? Continue reading “Are Your Ads Mobile-Friendly?”

Do It for The ‘Gram!

a woman holds a phone with instagram open

 

In a dealership a few kilometers away, there is a car waiting for you . . . *CUT*.

Okay, it may not be a movie, but you can bring just as much excitement to your ads with Instagram and, more specifically, Instagram stories. The days of television commercials and big billboards are coming to an end and the sooner you accept the change and move on with the future of advertising, the more likely it is for you to hit that quarterly sales goal — unless you want to be the next Kodak. That may be a little harsh, but it’s the truth as the entire world goes digital; Instagram is becoming the major platform to push your ideas and vehicles, and reach the right audience.

“Instagram has become the place for visual storytelling”
– an excerpt from the article Driven By Instagram.

Continue reading “Do It for The ‘Gram!”

What? There Are Other Competitors Advertising?

shocked and angry man at laptop

How to Compete When the CPCs Are High.

In the automotive marketing industry every day is a battle.  Just as it’s a battle as a consumer to find the perfect car; from navigating the internet, wondering if you can trust your friend’s recommendations that he or she claims will get you the perfect car, or just wondering where to begin.

One question emerges more than most when advertising digitally, “How the #%@$ do I get to be #1, or how the #%@$ can I compete against the top guns that are ranking #1?”

Well gosh, we thought you would never ask! Over the next few minutes we may change your life, by that we mean that we may teach you something new that will help in your future digital marketing efforts.

 What exactly is a cost-per-click?

Continue reading “What? There Are Other Competitors Advertising?”