Category Archives: AdWords

Think Beyond Your Brand Site and Deportalize Your Content

Here are the slides from a presentation at the recent  Local Social Summit in London.
What caught my eye was slide number 11 where Seb Provencher talks about how fragmented the web is and the need to deportalize your content to reach consumers where they are and where the conversations are taking place.
Here’s his entire presentation.
The Perfect Local Media Company Sebastien Provencher Lss 09 Presentation November 2009 Final
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The deportalization of content idea has been around for awhile and I think only gets more important as social media really demonstrates how many ways consumers can come into contact with your brand online.

Now, more than ever, you have to think and market beyond the safe confines of your brand site.

Building microsites for your dealers is a good way to deportalize your content and your brand message to reach more consumers.  A dealer microsite, unlike your brand site, presents locally available product, local  price and local promotion on one site that is easily navigated by consumers.  Reach consumers who are not only in the market for your brand but literally in physical markets where you can close the sale.

It’s a great place to link to from your dealer locator.

Modify this microsite slightly and you have a Google landing page for your best dealers.

It works to support outbound email campaigns, newsletters, banner ads, social media and much more.

It’s time to think beyond your brand site.

The value of Pay Per Click (PPC) versus SEO

I had a burning question finally answered last week during a conference session.  Kevin Lee, author of “The Truth about Pay-Per-Click Search Advertising” and other search marketing books led the DMA session on how to utilize smart Google online search strategies.  The burning question is one I’ve heard often:

“If my SEO efforts have given me great organic search rankings, why should I pay for online search?”

After all, some companies invest hundreds of thousands in optimizing their sites for the ever changing search engines and their search algorithms.  After attaining a top 3 position why go further and actually pay for placement?

The answer?  Mr. Lee always recommends testing the conversion of organic and paid placements head-to-head.

“I’ve done dozens of these tests, and when tested its always been shown to be beneficial to implement a Pay Per Click campaign.”

Wow.  Mr. Lee has helped dozens of companies in this area for years so I was curious to hear how this was possible.

First of all, You can control almost every aspect of a paid search campaign:  keywords, positioning, ad text, and landing page.  This is a huge advantage over organic placements which rely on the ever changing search engines to crawl and place the right content with the right keywords.

Testing PPC campaigns is easy and if done properly the learning and improvement can take place quickly.

All of us in advertising know the power of repetition.  Seeing multiple references to your brand on screen are bound to help with conversion.  This is easy to accomplish with a dealer local search campaign to augment a national PPC or SEO effort.  Local dealers simply use brand approved ads and landing pages with co-op funds to be where the customers are.

As an authorized Google AdWords Reseller, we know consumer brands only reach a small fraction of interested consumers with a national PPC campaign.  Thanks to Kevin Lee, we now know SEO isn’t the answer by itself.  Encouraging your dealers to convert local online consumers in coordination with your organic listings and national PPC  campaigns is the right answer.

Winners and Losers in 2009 Marketing Budgets

It was standing room only at Bruce Biegel’s Outlook 2010 presentation at the DMA Conference last week.   Bruce shared a boatload of research and stats on trends in media spending and marketing budgets.    Here’s a quick recap of the winners and losers in marketing budgets for 2009-2010.
Winner:  Digital and Mobile Media
Loser: Traditional Media
Winner: Below the Line Spending
Loser: Above the Line Spending
Winner: Consumer “pull” accountability in Direct Response Media
Loser: One-way marketer “push” messaging in Traditional Media
The slide below strikes a familiar chord often discussed on this blog:

WinterBerry Group

While not every marketer saw cuts this year, budgets fell by 15.6% on average.  If anything the recession shook the status quo in spending and accelerated the shift to digital.   Next year U.S. GDP is forecast to rebound a bit and grow 3%.  This will be in spite of unemployment hovering between 10-11% so the growth in overall marketing budgets will be incrementally positive but slow.

Again, the big shift here is within marketing budgets.  Note the continued growth in online search as marketers follow consumers’ online behavior.  The mix is changing dramatically and will continue to be the “new normal”.

SMBs are Thinking About the Internet, They Get It

I keep my eye out for studies that give us some indication of what small and medium sized businesses are doing on the internet.

smbs-use-web-202

This chart is from the BIA/Kelsey Local Monitor study and gives me the feeling that companies just like your independent dealers understand the value of  how much time consumers are spending online.

Also, it has to be in part a function of the economy, when times get tough you re-evaluate everything you do and are more willing to try the new things.  The internet takes time to learn but it is a lot less expensive to use than the old way of doing things.  Setting up a Facebook page only costs some time and effort, no money.

The item that surprised me the most is the interest in customer ratings and reviews.  Again, it doesn’t cost anything to encourage your customers to write a good review, it’s just good news that SMBs are paying attention to what is going on online and are willing to put time into making sure their image is maintained.

So, one good thing that may come out of this recession is that it encouraged dealers to focus on the way they advertise and it became clear to them that the internet has value.

Consumers Of All Ages Look for Local Information Online

TMP Directional Marketing released their annual study on how consumers find information about local businesses, do they go online or use printed Yellow Pages?   The quick answer is both but there is a lot to learn from their study including this chart broken down by age.

information-source-by-age

The younger you are the more likely you are to search online for information about local businesses and only the 65 plus age group actually use the printed Yellow Pages and White Pages as their primary source for information.

However, from age 25 to 54 it’s  more than twice as likely you’ll search online over the printed phone book.

The numbers continue to support the fact that consumers are going online to learn about your product and where to get it locally.  The challenge continues to be giving your local retailers the tools they need to build a great landing page that presents your product and their service offering in the best possible light.

Dealers Admit They Need Help in Buying Local Search

Here’s are the key points from a recent Microsoft sponsored study about why small dealers need help with local search:

microsoft-study

The interesting part is that if a small-business tried it, they liked it:

microsoft-21

None of this is surprising to us as the ROI for local search is simply phenomenal.  And, because it’s new and most independent dealers are very busy running a business, they just don’t have the time to figure out how to do local search.

That’s why we keep preaching that it is incumbent upon the brand managers at major corporations to do the research, share it and give independent dealers the tools they need to build landing pages, make the buy and track what happens.

That’s why you make the big bucks.

Direct Mail is Dramatically Losing to Email

A few months ago I read a report that predicted direct mail would be the next traditional medium to fall by the wayside, at a much quicker pace than what is happening to newspapers.

Now a new study is out that bolsters that prediction.

direct-mail-is-down

Consumers moved online and that’s what hurt newspapers, now consumers are telling us they prefer to opt-in for an email communication by three-to-one over anything else, especially direct mail.   Since the ROI is generally much stronger with email than direct mail it’s not going to take long for marketers to move dollars.

Because we work with brands and their dealer channels I see a lot of opportunity to leverage what most brands already have, a functional email program.

What’s missing is connecting an already existing email program to the dealers so the outgoing messages are co-branded with dealer and brand.

The real advantage to a brand is that they can utilize the dealers site, microsite or Google landing page to capture consumer names.  As long as the dealer is protected in the email (no links back to a site where a consumer can find another dealer) the dealers love it too.  In fact, dealers are at a loss when it comes to email programs and welcome any assistance a brand can give them.

Times are changing.

Low CPMs Stall Ad Spend

Actually, I stole my headline from this recent article from e-Marketer, “Low CPMs Stall Social Netword Ad Spend”

Here’s one of the main charts from the article that dramatizes the point.

ad-spend

The basic idea here is that there are a lot of impressions available on Social Networks but not a lot of advertisers are there because the cost is so low.  They never explained why low prices lead to low usage but I can make a guess.

In fact, the same can be said for many other online categories as well.   Because the CPM is so low and the effort to place an ad on Google local or Facebook is so high, it’s hard for an advertising agency or a marketing/pr firm to make any money offering it as a service.  So, no one sells the idea into a client.

In the very old days traditional agencies made a lot of money marking up media by 17.65% because national, regional and local outlets protected agencies and the buy was always rather hefty.

Now a retailer can buy Google adwords himself online (albeit time consuming) and in a small to medium market may only be able to spend $1,000/month.  How can a professional marketing person squeeze into such a small window to provide the expertise needed to do online the right way?  They can’t.

The only way we think this will work is to create online tools that simplify the process based on working with brands where you already have online tools dealers use for their other advertising efforts.

For example, a dealer builds a newspaper ad online (with approved material) and then it’s easy for them to commit to an online spend with Google or Facebook around the same promotion.  When we create the ad we also create a landing page and now there is a cohesive local advertising program.

The real work is building the API to Google or whomever so we can streamline the process and reporting.  It’s being done and it means dealers now have better access to the best advertising buy of the century…online.

Tweets About Brands are Mostly Positive

Here’s a study that was trying to measure what tweeters are saying about brands.

brand-tweets

It looks like 52% of tweets that mention a brand and then express a sentiment about that brand are positive sentiments.

This is good news for marketers but so far I can’t find too much more about this study to really understand if there are any good takeaways here.  One thing that bothers me is what they mean by brand mention.  If a local bar is a brand than this study means something completely different to me.

Social media is a phenomena that we have to keep watching but like most marketers I don’t believe we can justify spending a lot of money and time here right now especially when you think about all the things that we should be doing online that we’re not doing yet.