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digital advertising (7)

Twitter Moments And What It Means For Us

If you are active on Twitter, you might have already noticed the addition of a tiny lightning bolt icon up in the menu bar where you can find your mentions or direct messages. Last week, Twitter launched Moments, a new feature that makes it easier for users to stay up-to-date with what’s happening in the world.

 

Basically, Moments makes it so that you do not need to filter through personal tweets or follow individual news platforms in order to keep up with current events. Instead, by visiting the Moments tab, you are able to see articles, photos, and videos about the biggest news stories all in one place.

 

Of course, a new venture for Twitter also means a new way for advertisers to get noticed. Twitter will soon start testing for Promoted Moments, where a few lucky companies will have the opportunity to place ads within the Moments feature. While advertisers are normally stuck working with Twitter’s signature 140-character limit, Promoted Moments will allow them to build a complete campaign rather than just a sales blast here and there. It allows companies to be more creative and really set the tone for their brand.  

 

Over time, there is a chance Moments could expand to cover not only national and international news, but local news, as well. If that is the case, advertising would localize along with it. At that point, smaller companies would have the ability to place their ads amidst local news stories relevant to people within their target audiences.

 

So what does this mean for the future of advertising? Well, at this point, unless you are a multi-million dollar corporation, probably nothing. The companies with opportunities to take advantage of Promoted Moments are few and far between, and it is still too early to tell whether or not Moments will really take off. However, as is true with most social media platforms, things change over time. As of right now, with Moments in its preliminary stages, the only people with control over its success are the approximately 300 million people who use Twitter each month. 

To hear about our social media strategies and more, contact us today!

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A Day In The Life Of A Digital Performance Manager

I sat down recently with one of our Digital Performance Managers, Kelly, to get an inside look an inside look at her daily life and best practices.

Kelly was asked what she feels as the most important aspects of her job, which she stated, “I think the most important part of my job is helping our clients. We play a role in generating leads for them. It's just as important to follow through and help them with their processes so they can close the deal. At the end of the day, leads won't do much if the dealership doesn't handle them correctly.” 

In order to properly help our clients Kelly and our other Digital Performance Managers have instilled best practices, which they follow on a daily basis. “The big picture of best practices for digital is to have an understanding of what's important for each platform and how to implement an appropriate strategy for each. What works on Facebook doesn't necessarily work for AdWords. It is also key to differentiate clients. Much like the different platforms, what works for one may not work for another. Attention to detail is also critical. There are so many moving pieces in what we do and it's critical to not lost track of any of them.”

During their day they are faced with challenges, highs and lows, as well as misconceptions. Kelly let me know that the biggest high for her is “Making conversions and seeing successes. It's gratifying to notice a trend and capitalize on it to get more conversions. Seeing a strategy pay off is a good feeling. At the same time, seeing a successful campaign that a client wants to pull the plug on is a bit of a low.” Although it is a low for us, we move forward with what the customer wants, giving our suggestions and feedback along the way. Retargeting is great for our clients and us, we understand that it can be slightly creepy for someone who is shopping online and then they see an ad on their Facebook page for the car they were just looking at. It isn’t meant to feel like Big Brother watching you, simply a way to stay in the forefront to keep from being forgotten about. Customers are retargeted, or followed, so that the chance of making a conversion becomes higher.

The next time you are shopping online, then later see ads following you around the Internet, keep Kelly in mind and all the hard work she and her team members put into building these campaigns.If you would like to hear more about the campaigns Kelly puts into place, contact us today!

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Using Animation To Catch Their Attention

          My generation was fortunate to grow up during an era of emerging technologies and we were able to experiment with them as they came to the surface. The most prominent of these technologies, without a shadow of a doubt, would be computers and the Internet.

            While growing up and advancing through school, most of what I learned came from textbooks. Then, we were given computers and the Internet, which turned into a phenomenon of ‘how did I live without this?’ It was an explosion of technology; people across the globe had access to just about any information. It was limitless what we could do, and what did I want to do? I wanted to make light sabers for the short films I created with my friends.

            Thanks to the Internet, after a not so short period of time, I was able to teach myself Adobe After Effects and then turn that knowledge into fun features for my short films. They featured a lot more lasers, explosions and light sabers. Every good film needs explosions, right? Kind of, depending on the look and effect of the explosion it could very well be pointless. I was not alone in my aspirations and being self-taught with Adobe After Effects. People the world over were doing the same as me, teaching themselves and seeing what came of it. This became noticeable when YouTube became so prominent. However, no matter how much experience you had with the program, the effects almost always felt amateur and flat. I don’t want to use the word “boring”, it’s such a terrible word, plus how can an explosion be boring? The fact of the matter is, some of the effects and animations kind of were.

            The reason the effects were flat, fake looking, and boring was because everyone had learned After Effects the same as I had. We were animating things without knowing the proper way. Adobe had unintentionally bred an army of animators with no background on animation. Behind a computer screen, you think to yourself I want an object to move from point A to B within a 1-second timespan. The computer will do as it is told and move the object from A to B in that 1-second and that’s it. In life, things do not simply move from one point to another, they flow, wiggle, bounce, jump, run and creep. In life, there is expression and emotion in movement. This is the first thing many cartoon animators learn while in animation school. However, when you are self-taught, you don’t have someone to tell you these things and correct your errors. Humans relate to emotions and sense it in so many ways. Seeing someone walk slowly, shoulders slumped and their head lowered you would get the sense that they’re sad or upset. While in the inverse, if you see someone strolling upright with their head held high, you will get the sense of their confidence or happiness.

            We are still a ways away from being able to tell a computer to create exactly what we’re looking for with our animations. For now, I continue to look every day for new ways to add life to my animations. I look for ways to add expression, exaggeration to every movement, to make something as simple as moving from one point to another relatable and attractive to the eye. It is my goal everyday to put life into my work, so my question to you is; what can you do to add life to your work?

If you would to like to hear more Best Practices from our Design Team, contact us today!

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You’ve invested in a website and you’re running a successful dealership. You’ve heard about PPC Advertising, but might be a little bit skeptical. It can be a bit scary to see the dollars start to pileup after as searchers click on your ads. Here are 7 key reasons your dealership simply cannot live without PPC.

 

You MUST be on Page 1

Studies have found that 93% of consumers begin on a search engine when looking for a vehicle. That’s HUGE. But what’s even more important is that 95% of people never scroll past the first page of search results. This means that in order to get that 95% of business, your site must fall on page one for all of the vehicles that you offer.

 

Immediate Exposure

Your ads can appear on page one of Google, Yahoo! and bing within minutes! Unlike Search Engine Optimization, it doesn’t take months of content generation and link building to show up on page one. PPC is immediate, and can get that website you invested thousands of dollars on in front of your potential customers as soon as it is turned on.

 

Increased Visitors

PPC ads provide 50% incremental visitors EVEN when your dealership is first in the organic search results. That’s 50% more opportunities to get a searcher to your site to buy a car from you. Of these visitors, 91% say that they found what they were looking. Simply put, your dealership needs these additional visitors in order to increase revenue.

 

Track-ability

If done with a professional PPC group, like ReachLocal, your online program will provide 100% track-ability. This means that you will know where each and every one of your dollars is going. We do this by tracking every search term down to the conversion – a phone call, email, form submission, booked appointment, live chat, etc. So unlike traditional advertising like print and radio, you will know exactly what your return-on-investment is.

 

Scalability

PPC is highly scalable. Once you find the right approach, you can open the flood gates for new leads and sales opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have had before. Your keywords and ads can, and will, become the blueprint to your dealership's success.

 

Geographical Targeting

So what if you only want to target a certain area? PPC has the ability to reach only your ideal geographical market, making your campaigns super targeted. Let’s say you own a dealership in Charlotte, but you also do work in cities in the Metropolitan area of Huntersville. PPC allows you to only show your ad only in the areas where you service, making each dollar you spend on PPC count.

 

Your Competition is Doing PPC

Dealerships are now spending more of their advertising budget online. It’s predicted that in 2015, online advertising will grow to be a 35 Billion dollar industry, up 14 Billion from 2011. And in 2012, online advertising surpassed all forms of print advertising. What does this mean for you? More and more of your competitors are spending their advertising budget on the search engines. Unless you shift your dealership's marketing to PPC, you’ll be missing out on that 93% of consumers who search online for a vechicle. What’s worse – your competitors will be getting their business.

 

Ready to learn more? Contact me today!

nicole.jobes@reachlocal.com

704.989.3710

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Cut Wimpy Words

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me, right? Wrong. Weak, or, wimpy words are an epidemic that needs to be put to rest.

            Respect is something we all want to gain within our every day lives and within our professional lives. Eliminating any aspect that could take away from that is essential. One of the biggest things we think of in regards to this are wimpy words. Words such as “just” can really change the feel and importance of what you are trying to say. Look as these two examples: “I am calling you in regards to the email I sent you last night, have you read it yet?” or “I am calling you in regards to the email I sent you last night. I was just wondering if you read it?” Which has a firmer feel to it? Adding the word ‘just’ gives it a softer feel, giving a sense of your vulnerability. You want to eliminate any opportunity for someone to feel as though they can control you or how the conversation should go. Once this happens you can potentially lose control of the situation. Which can be hard to get control of again.

            Another wimpy word would be “try”. This gives the impression that you do not feel it can be accomplished, or that you do not have much faith in it or even yourself. “I will try to reach out to them and try to have an answer for you.” Instead, phrase is this way “I will reach out to them, then, I will be in touch with you as soon as I have an answer.” Phrasing it the second way gives a stronger sense of presence and conviction.

            When you have to send an email, or even speak in front of a group of people, have a coworker spot check your work. Doing it yourself does not always work. You can read the same paragraph three times and miss the same mistake each time. This happens because you know what you mean and what it should say. An outsider, however, does not. They can also catch any grammatical errors you may have missed as well.

            Eliminating wimpy or weak words is especially important if you are considered to be ‘client facing’. Having this position can sometimes put you between a rock and a hard place. Standing your ground, using a strong vocabulary and presence, will gain more respect from coworkers and your clients. Stop the excuses, believe in yourself, and let it show in everything you do.

            If this is something you found to be useful, or interesting, contact us today so that we can share more of our ideas!

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Day In The Life Of A Social Media Manager

We sat down recently with our Social Media Manager, Tori, to find out exactly how she spends her day. Does she spend it on her phone surfing Instagram and Pinterest? Or, is she busy helping to build a brand, researching trends and changes?

            When asked what she finds to be a best practice and procedure for her job she informed us that ensuring the content she is pushing accurately represents our brand. “You need to do your research ensuring you’re posting viable information your clients or fans will actually care about. You also need to check the hashtags you’re using before using them. Too many brands have made the mistake of incorporating a trending topic into their message without first taking a moment to see what the trending topic is. This can potentially become disastrous.”

            She also touched on the importance of staying current with new social platforms, but knowing which is best for business, what type of content you should put out there and what to do with comments. “You don’t want to jump into something without knowing how, or if, it will benefit your brand or business. You don’t need to be on every social network. You need to be spending time on the networks the work best for you. Just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand. We follow the 80/20 rule. The social web is about educating, informing, entertaining first and selling second. You have to engage with your audience before trying to sell something. 80% of your updates should be about engagement and the other 20% can be posts about selling. As far as comments are concerned, no one will believe if you only have 5 star reviews. Either, you’re faking it or deleting negative feedback. Turn the negative into a learning and growing experience. Don’t try to bury it, respond to it. Offer help and find a solution to the issue.”

            Tori is often faced with questions of ‘what do you do all day? Do you just sit on your Facebook account or Twitter?’ She took the time to clear up a few misconceptions. “The biggest misconception of my job is that I sit all day and play on Facebook and Twitter. I’d really like to clear this up, I don’t. Both of these platforms have separate accounts that house all your advertising so there’s days where I don’t spend a single second on any of my personal accounts. Like other jobs, mine has highs and lows. I’m given the ability to think outside the box and think of some really creative and fun campaigns to help increase engagement and customer retention. The lows? When a social network is down, and panic ensues.”

            This is just a glimmer of what she faces when she walks through the door each morning. Tori has many more tricks and tips up her sleeve that she constantly brings to the table.

            If you found this to be interesting and useful, contact us today so that we can help you with your digital and social needs! 

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For nearly two decades, most dealers have been divided in the way that they advertise. There is normally a budget for "traditional" advertising and a separate budget for "digital" advertising. While more dealers are consolidating their budgets, it's more than that. Should we be looking at it all as one holistic form of messaging?

The short answer is, "Yes". That doesn't mean mentioning your website URL in your television commercials. It's more than that. It's about finding the right message that fits your dealership and communicating in a consolidated manner across multiple channels.

It's easy for me to say these things as a CEO of a digital marketing firm because we do not do anything when it comes to traditional advertising. We do not make TV commercials, print ads, mailers, or anything that falls into that category. From our perspective, it's just a matter of marketing across a diverse range of mediums and our focus is on search and social, but it would make our jobs and the effectiveness of the efforts much easier to achieve if everything was consolidated to say the same basic things.

Take, for example, promotion of a tent sale. What we've seen happening for most dealers is that they have a television commercial produced, then they upload it to YouTube. It takes more than that. It should be a banner on the website. It should be a landing page. It means a planned out social media press for the event, including uploading and promoting it on Facebook directly rather than just sharing the YouTube video. It might even mean changing the title tag on the homepage temporarily, mentioning a shortened URL to the landing page on the television or radio commercials, or putting shortened links on mailers that are easy for the recipients to type in.

We're currently exploring the efforts of several vendors and agencies trying to do this. One in particular has an active participant here on ADM. The strategies that Alexander Lau and his team at WorldDealer employ are strong and their message of "One Voice" resonates with what we would love to see achieved with our dealers.

Are there any others that we should consider? What strategies have you employed to make this happen at your dealership? Should we still be separating the budgets and strategies out or are our reasons for wanting them separated valid?

Chime in here, please.

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