SoMoConf to Provide Local Media with Latest on Social and Mobile Opportunities

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As digital advertising spend continues to chip away at traditional media spend, many local media organizations are looking for new sources of revenue and ways to serve their clients. Social and mobile solutions provide these organizations with a variety of new opportunities to expand their product line and help SMBs attract new customers.

We are excited to partner with Borrell Associates and the Local Media Association for the upcoming “Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money!” conference, taking place August 20th-21st in Chicago.

At this year’s event, we’ll hear from the heaviest hitters in social and mobile, digital agencies and clients on the best ways to make money from these platforms.  The event also promises superb networking by bringing together professionals from three leading local media organizations, along with a variety of receptions and other ways to get to know one another.

Notable speakers will include:

  • Ted Zagat, Ads, Facebook
  • Lutz Finger, Director Data Science & Data Engineering, LinkedIn
  • Joel Meek, Head of Partner Online Sales & Operations, Pinterest
  • PJ MacGregor, Brand Development Lead, Instagram
  • Greg Stuart, Global CEO, Mobile Marketing Association
  • Luke Edson, VP of National Markets, YP
  • And many more…

So if you work for a local media organization and you want to learn what your colleagues are doing to grow digital revenues, SoMoConf is for you. You’re bound to make some new connections and leave with fresh ideas on how to drive sales.  Click here to learn more.

Report: The Native Advertising Opportunity for Local Marketers

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Today, we are releasing a free Digital Advisory Report on Native Advertising. The report takes a comprehensive look at the growing native advertising landscape by highlighting the opportunities and challenges it presents, providing best practices and reviewing recent case studies.

As agencies and publishers can attest, native advertising is quickly becoming one of the hottest trends in advertising. Spending is growing faster than many other forms of digital advertising. In social media alone, BIA/Kelsey estimates native advertising will grow to $5 billion in 2017, from $3.1 billion this year. Much of the activity is stemming from mobile, as marketers look to follow the fast growing number of consumers who consume media on smartphones and tablets.

Smart marketers, publishers, and agencies are adopting their approaches to incorporate native advertising. Check out the report on our website. And while you’re there, take a moment to review our other research reports.

3 Online Video Stats that Matter Most to Local Marketers

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As part of winning in the Video category of the Ad to Action Awards, Sightly’s Robert Helstrom, vice president of marketing and strategy, will provide monthly insight into the world of video advertising.  Robert helps craft and execute the go-to-market strategy for Sightly’s TargetView platform.

You may have seen the recent Cisco study predicting that by 2018, 79% of all Internet traffic will be video. That’s significant in that it points out just how much video we consume—and will continue to consume—on all our screens.

But what does that mean to you, your clients and the brands and products you tend? Let’s put it in terms we marketers can appreciate:

  1. 190 million Americans watch online video each month: We are in the midst of a seismic shift from single-screen TV to multi-screen video viewing, and if you or your clients don’t have a strategy to reach this massive new audience yet, now’s the time to get cracking.
  2. 53% of YouTube viewers are 35 or older: Yep, online video is mainstream now. The audience is watching everything online—from traditional TV to original content to comedy, sports clips, product reviews, how to videos, news, health, education, you name it.
  3. Americans now watch 30 to 35 billion video ads each month: Not videos, video ads—i.e., commercials that appear in online videos. And that number represents an increase of more than 200% in the past 18 months.

More about the difference between video marketing and video advertising in our next article, BTW. For now, just imagine running 15 to 30-second commercials online, where you can measure exactly how many people watch them and you only pay for full views.

Want to learn more? Download the latest brief from our Founder & CEO, Seize the Advantage in the Exploding Video Ad Market, and discover 5 ways you can use new technology to gain advantages in the burgeoning online local video advertising market.

Capitalizing on the $1.7 Billion Digital Co-Op Opportunity

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Please join LSA and PaperG for an exclusive webinar presentation next Thursday, July 10 from 2 pm – 3 pm EST.

In this webinar, PaperG’s Marianna Tishchenko will walk you through digital co-op advertising for publishers and agencies and share some recent industry trends and why you should care. She will cover what’s keeping all the offline co-op spending from going digital and what digital solutions and resources exist to help you overcome them, making the process painless and simple.

PaperG is the leader in local display. Named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Promising Companies in America, the company makes digital display advertising efficient and effective. The company’s technology and cloud workflow streamlines ad creation so that anyone can make high quality, cross-platform ads within minutes — a process that has historically taken days or weeks. PaperG has already powered hundreds of thousands of digital display ad campaigns for major media companies like YP, Dex Media, and Digital First Media, saving them time and money.

Spots are limited so reserve your seat today!

SoMoConf Speakers to Uncover the ROI in Social Media Advertising

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Not every ad works. Despite the tremendous adoption of social media, ads on these platforms aren’t guaranteed to drive engagement. Fortunately, at this year’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! event,  we are bringing together speakers that will share best practices and success stories on ways to sell, monetize and drive advertiser results on social media.

Among the attendees will be representatives from the world’s largest social media networks including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn.  These reps will highlight their current advertising offerings and offer counsel on how to get the most out of their platforms.

We are excited to once again partner with Borrell Associates and the Local Media Association for this event, which is scheduled for August 20-21 in Chicago. Check out this video with messages from each of our organizations about what to expect:

As mentioned, we’ve booked some influential speakers who include:

  • Ted Zagat, Ads, Facebook
  • Lutz Finger, Director Data Science & Data Engineering, LinkedIn
  • Joel Meek, Head of Partner Online Sales & Operations, Pinterest
  • PJ MacGregor, Brand Development Lead, Instagram
  • Greg Stuart, Global CEO, Mobile Marketing Association
  • And many more…

We are less than 2 months away and look forward to seeing you there.  Register here or for more information, click here.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: Marquette Group

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Today we hear from Marquette Group, a cross-channel, digital agency managing marketing and advertising efforts for a long list of brands, including Edward Jones, ServiceMaster, Bank of America, Roto-Rooter and Nationwide Insurance. The Company began in 1963 as a Yellow Pages agency and over the years has successfully made the transition to digital. Marquette Group is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois with offices in Atlanta, St. Louis and Milwaukee. They recently placed among the 2014 Best Places to Work in Illinois.

We caught up with David Lenzen, EVP sales and marketing at Marquette Group, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does Marquette solve? How?
We’re in good company when we say that erroneous and missing data is a significant concern in the local space. It’s pervasive and the reason we focus intently on data management.

We find that brands typically don’t have a strong platform or strategy for collecting and using localized content. Meanwhile, at the SMB level, the challenge is recognizing the need then finding time to manage and create content across the platforms where consumers are looking–Yelp, Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, etc.

We offer the strategy, the platform, the content management, and of course, the performance analytics for brands and their locations.

What makes Marquette innovative?
We bring innovation to both campaign strategy and the technological developments needed to meet those strategies. Strategic innovation includes not just a client-specific, but location-specific understanding of goals and market nuances. We then construct the marketing programs with a unique mix of providers’ digital products combined with our own search solutions and proprietary client location data management systems.

How does Marquette make the local space better for advertisers?
Marquette Group acts as a single source for building integrated, efficient campaigns to drive results for our clients versus acting as an agency focused on leveraging and selling a singular media type. By bringing simplicity to a complex advertising marketplace and remaining media neutral, Marquette Group focuses on connecting our clients’ national brands to local consumers exactly how those consumers are searching at key moments in the customer lifecycle—regardless of medium or device. Our focus is performance and our loyalty is to the advertisers’ brand and their local lead generation goals.

What is next in local?
Social and video still have a long way to go for local and were highlighted on our 2014 predictions blog. Understanding how to use social and video for lead generation and loyalty building is still new territory for the majority of local businesses. Worth mentioning, too, is the need for greater use of content in social given the growing impact on SEO.

For more information, visit, email David Lenzen, EVP Sales and Marketing, or follow Marquette Group on Twitter @marquettegroup or find them on LinkedIn.

Google My Business Tips for Multi-Location Businesses

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During last week’s webinar, Andrew Shotland, proprietor at Local SEO Guide, walked through Google My Business (formerly Google Places) issues for multi-location businesses and provided some tips for how to deal with them.  He also provided detail on on-page local SEO tactics including markup that can improve the display of search results for consumers.

Here are some of the highlights from the webinar:

  • Questions multi-location businesses should ask before deciding on linking to homepage or location page on Google My Business: How many locations?; Which page has “authority” (links)?; and which is the preferred landing page?
  • On Google My Business, do not create new listing when rebranding. Simply change name of business on listing.
  • When changing locations, once again, do not create a new location, but update location once the location opens.
  • While it will take a long time to update, when actual address is missing from maps, some of the primary places to go to update the mapping data include: Google Map Maker, TeleAtlas, TomTom, and OpenStreetMap.
  • It is good to list multiple practitioners at single location (real estate agents, doctors, etc.) but try and differentiate them somehow with different phone numbers.
  • Be the first to upload photos to your Google My Business page in order to prevent other, unrelated pictures from becoming your business profile image.
  • In Google Carousel results, the top two-thirds of your profile photo will be what users see when you show up, so optimize the picture accordingly.

Check out the entire presentation below:

For access to all of our past webinars and a look at what’s to come, visit

Bing Study: Online Search Trends Vary By Device During Different Times of Day

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Building rapport and gaining visibility within a community can be difficult for SMBs if they are not targeting through the right media at the right time. To ensure a successful message, it is important for SMBs to first understand who to target, and then also when to target them.

Bing recently released a study that tracked the time periods that consumers are most commonly browsing the Internet. According to the study, weekdays and weekends have distinct search patterns.

On weekdays, consumers are more likely to use a PC until 6 p.m., before switching to either a mobile phone or tablet through approximately 10 p.m. Given the typical workday times, this finding makes sense.

Source: Bing

On weekends, however, when the average consumer is not at their place of work, he or she uses the Internet more frequently, and the separation between the devices is much less substantial. On Saturday-Sunday, searches via desktops are consistently high from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. across PCs, mobile phones and tablets.

Source: Bing

Based on study findings, if an SMB’s weekday media campaign is chomping through PC budget in the early morning or mobile budget in the early afternoon, it is likely missing the prime times to reach consumers on those platforms. Aligning campaigns with the most popular search times on particular devices can lead to significantly greater visibility..

Whichever combination of platforms consumers use to access the Internet, reaching them is all a matter of timing. For a message to succeed, SMBs should gauge when their consumers are typically using each device. This can be a crucial factor in determining whether a campaign will be successful.

Yelp Adds New Direct Message Feature

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These days, local marketing best practices highlight the importance of one-on-one engagement with consumers more than ever before. A company’s product or service may be exemplary, but in our increasingly digital and social environment, consumers are often paying just as much attention to how well businesses interact with them and address their questions and concerns.

In a move that reflects this trend, Yelp recently introduced a new feature that allows users to directly message a business via its business’ listing page. The tool, which is available to any business that has claimed its Yelp listing, relays user messages directly to a business through its Yelp account as well as via email. The email feature is a nice perk because it allows businesses to read and respond to user messages directly from their email account without logging into Yelp.

Yelp’s new tool is a great idea because it creates a simple and easy-to-use way for consumers to communicate directly with businesses and visa-versa. Consumers generally need to call a business or visit its website or social media pages to request the information they are looking for. Now, consumers will be able to contact a business they find via Yelp without leaving ever leaving the platform. Businesses often want the ability to easily mine and respond to potential leads. Now, they will be able to view and respond to inquiries directly from their email inbox.

It really all comes down to convenience. Rather than navigating through mechanized voice prompts or website pages, consumers want the ability to reach out to businesses for what they need wherever and whenever they conduct a search. In order to accommodate this, businesses want faster mechanisms for addressing consumer feedback that don’t require them to take many additional steps.

The sticking point will be how well businesses take advantage of this new tool. Unanswered or delayed messages can become a problem – especially since Yelp will publicly track business’ response times to inquiries. Yelp will also allow businesses to turn off the direct message feature. If businesses go this route, it could send a bad signal to Yelp users about how much the business values them – potentially leading to lost leads.

Yelp’s ability to continuously innovate its product offering to reflect consumer and business trends has given the company a big advantage in the local market. We’ll be watching to see how this new tool is used within the market and whether both consumers and businesses catch on.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: NinthDecimal

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Today we hear from NinthDecimal (formerly JiWire).  NinthDecimal is a mobile audience intelligence platform building a comprehensive understanding of people by connecting their digital and physical lives. Ninth Decimal’s precision, scale, and advanced data science enables the most accurate understanding of audiences, providing clients with actionable insights and massive campaign reach that drive meaningful business results. The company brings mobile audiences to market through audience targeting, campaign measurement, insights and analytics – which drive continuous growth.

We caught up with Andrew Katz, national sales manager at NinthDecimal, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does NinthDecimal solve? How?
We connect local businesses with their target audience to drive brand awareness, foot traffic to their stores, and sales. This is accomplished through our mobile audience intelligence platform, Location Graph™. Location Graph allows us to deliver the right ad to the right consumer in the right “marketable moment,” motivating them to take action – from visiting a store to making a purchase – that increases brand awareness and revenue. Through the precision of our approach, we give local businesses the highest return on their marketing campaigns.

What makes NinthDecimal innovative?
NinthDecimal not only allows companies to connect with customers in ways not possible before, but it is also changes the way advertisers identify target audiences and connect with consumers. Our audience intelligence is based on data that matters – from offline purchase data, to devices used, to location and CRM data – allowing us to truly understand the consumer, predict their future behavior, and thus deliver target audiences that yield powerful results from marketing campaigns.

How does NinthDecimal make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
NinthDecimal’s audience intelligence platform is designed around the individual, allowing advertisers to engage with their target audiences on a true one to one level at scale across a billion devices. For consumers, instead of being served irrelevant ads, they are viewing highly personalized ads that are most relevant to their individual lives.

What is next in local?
We believe what’s next in local is bridging the gap between big data and SMBs. At NinthDecimal, we leverage big data to attain the most comprehensive understanding of consumers, helping local businesses connect with their target audiences on a deeper level than ever before. Because of the precision, accuracy, and scale of our data, we are able to help local small businesses engage with only the most relevant customers, and with meaningful messaging that induces an emotional connection – thus maximizing the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

For more information check out the case study below, visit or contact Andrew at

Ninth Decimal & Microsoft Audience-Targeted Mobile Ad Campaign Case Study from Local Search Association