Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Beth Lawton, Founder, Canoe Media Services

Monday, August 11, 2014

For today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight, we caught up with Beth Lawton, executive director at LION Publishers, a group for local online independent news publishers and founder of Canoe Media Services, a consulting firm focused on social media and content marketing for businesses.

Beth Lawton, Founder, Canoe Media Services

Previously, Beth was a regional editor for Patch.com, digital media manager for the Newspaper Association of American, the founding online editor of MKEonline.com (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and more. She is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Here is what she had to say about her SoMoConf session titled, “Using Social to Build & Engage Your Audience”:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
I’m looking forward to talking about some of the newer social networks — some of those that might be “under the radar” for the news companies — and how thinking creatively can yield interesting, productive audience results.

What about your session are you most excited about?
I’m excited about getting questions — I love hearing audience members bring up new ideas for everyone’s benefit and the brainstorming-out-loud aspect of it.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
Social media is still important for audience development and revenue, but there’s no doubt it’s getting more complex every day. Attending this session will help editors and advertising professionals stay on top of the latest information about organic social media reach and more.

What is your favorite social network and why?
I use different social networks for very different reasons. Pinterest has been useful with interior design and event planning, but I can keep up with my family and friends and stumble across interesting news through Facebook.

We are just 9 days away from SoMoConf so click here to learn more or register now!

Shift to Video Continues with New Yelp and Facebook Updates

Friday, August 8, 2014

Video continues to take a central role online for consumers and publishers.  A 2014 Cisco study predicts that by 2018, 79% of all Internet traffic will be video – and Yelp and Facebook are working to accelerate that growth.

Yelp recently introduced a new feature allowing users to post 3-12 second videos related to local businesses in order to better capture ambiance, lighting, noise and other features that are hard to capture with photos.  Currently, the feature is only accessible on the Yelp app for iPhone users but is expected to be available for Android soon. 

Image Source: Business Insider

Bringing the sights, sounds and motion from a local businesses to the digital world is going to be extremely helpful for a wide range of verticals. According to a study by Animoto, 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service.  In addition, Yelp users post around 23,000 photos each day, and that kind of activity should help the review site generate video content at a similarly rapid pace.

While Yelp does provide some tips and examples of what a good video looks like, the downside to the feature is that there doesn’t seem to be much the company can do in regards to video quality.  On the other hand, poor quality videos should be less a reflection of the business and more so of the uploader.

Facebook is also putting some effort into growing the influence and overall presence of videos on the social network.  In March this year, Facebook introduced a new video ad unit that is 15 seconds long and runs inside a user’s news feed. The ads automatically play without sound and when clicked, they expand to fill the screen with sound.

With Facebook’s often cited 1.5 million small and medium-sized business advertisers, the introduction of these ads may seem like a big win for Facebook and SMBs alike, but it hasn’t happened yet.  The ads are still in preliminary stages and according to a story on Re/code, Facebook is running tests and working to get users ready for the full roll out of these ads by showing more autoplay videos in the news feed.

“We have to get the consumer experience right, and autoplay is obviously a big deal,” Dan Levy, Facebook’s director of small businesses, told Re/code.

The time table isn’t clear, but much of the testing of the new ad format is taking place with the help and ad dollars of big brands.  The cost for these ads are well outside the typical SMB ad budget, with Mashable saying in February that ads start at $600,000.

The continuing shift towards video content for consumers and publishers alike is changing the complexion of the digital world. And this shift is only being accelerated as big names like Yelp and Facebook invest in video solutions and products.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: In-Store Purchases

Friday, July 25, 2014

Despite the growth of e-commerce and online shopping, in-store purchases still reign supreme. For that reason, according to a BIA/Kelsey study, SMBs voted in-person interactions as “excellent” lead sources more than any other lead source, except for calls, which received a comparable amount of votes.

The Internet and other digital technologies have transformed the way consumers make purchases – and that’s not because they can make these purchases online. Instead, these technologies are giving consumers the ability to conduct extensive research that allows them to be more informed about the products or services, price and availability.

Here are some stats that show how in-store purchases are still driving local commerce and the digital technologies that are helping facilitate these transactions:

  • Two-thirds of total local purchases (65.9%) are still being purchased in-person. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Digital currently influences 36% of in-store sales, a figure forecasted to rise to 50% by the end of 2014. (Deloitte)
  • Nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices turned into purchases, with nearly 90% of those purchases made in a physical store. (comScore/Neustar Localeze/15 Miles)
  • Four out of five Yelp users visit Yelp.com before spending money, and 93% say that visiting Yelp leads to a local purchase. (Nielsen)
  • 21% of Pinterest users, 30% of Facebook users and 17% of Twitter users said that they have bought an item in-store after sharing or “favoriting” an item. (Vision Critical)

Be sure to check back next Friday for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Think Tank Chicago: Exploring Local Advertising on a Dark and Stormy Night

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ryan Vaspra, SVP of product and operations at Sightly, shares his thoughts on our recent Think Tank Chicago event which brought together local advertising leaders from companies including Facebook, YP, R/GA, Twitter, MediaVest, Ifbyphone, Marquette Group, Cars.com, Where 2 Get It, CityGrid Media and SMG Local Spectrum. The group discussed exciting new ideas and trends in local that have the potential to take our industry to the next level.

As lightning flashed and thunder crashed outside the 80th floor windows of the Aon Building in downtown Chicago, a group of local marketing thought leaders convened for dinner and spirited discussion – an industry “Think Tank,” graciously hosted by the Local Search Association.

The group was comprised of a diverse set of executives from agencies, publishers, media, and technology companies like Sightly, the online video ad tech company I represent.

The theme of the evening was an exploration of “how local advertisers are using various media outlets to drive clicks, calls and store visits,” what the LSA introduced this year as “Last Mile Advertising.”

From the offset, the discussion focused on what local advertisers want from marketing and advertising solutions and what providers’ pricing should be.

Many participants didn’t feel our industry necessarily needs to provide “free or nearly free” solutions for SMBs as incentives for them to try our products, especially if the value is evident. Simple? Yes.  Effective? Yes.  But simple and effective solutions are rarely free or inexpensive.

Some agency executives felt it’s our job to provide fairly priced, effective solutions but not worry about saving all SMBs from their competitors. In local business, those who are smart, savvy and willing to learn are usually the ones that survive. Conversely, to paraphrase one exec, “Those who don’t get it, usually don’t get that they don’t get it.”

Finally, our best takeaway was that the group felt agencies and service providers provide value by bundling and integrating marketing solutions. Otherwise, SMBs tend to “hopscotch” from tactic to tactic, treating each marketing solution as a stand-alone solution. In reality, bundled solutions create a much more valuable multi-touch, integrated marketing presence for the SMB in its local market than any individual tactic does at any given time.

It was a one-of-a-kind event and LSA brought together a very impressive and influential group of professionals from a diverse set of locally focused companies. The intimate setting made it easy for us to dive deep into the issues impacting the local space.  With such varied experiences and perspectives in one room, we came away from the meeting with insights that are extremely valuable for the future of local.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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.

SoMoConf Speakers to Uncover the ROI in Social Media Advertising

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

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 www.marquettegroup.com, email David Lenzen, EVP Sales and Marketing, or follow Marquette Group on Twitter @marquettegroup or find them on LinkedIn.

SoMoConf to Feature Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and YP

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The top social media platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest – have made impressive strides in their advertising offerings over the past year. So have the leading local directory providers such as YP. That’s why we’re very excited to hear the latest updates from these major players in the social and mobile space at Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money!, in Chicago, August 20-21.

Both social media and local search have become integral to many consumers’ daily lives. From advertising a local business on YP to posting a sponsored story on Facebook, these tools have the ability to attract the eyeballs of a massive number of consumers – making them great places to advertise.

Just take a look at the average monthly active users for each platform:

  • Facebook: 1.23 billion
  • Google+: 540 Million
  • Instagram: 150 million
  • YP: 75 million
  • Pinterest: 70 million

Come hear representatives of these companies discuss how they are working to make advertising on these channels easier and more effective. While at the event, we will also walk-through case-studies of social and mobile strategies that are driving results.

Check out the agenda to learn more. Through June 30, use the code “SocMob100″ while registering to receive $100 off the ticket price.

Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter Set Sights on SMBs

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Google introduces Google My Business; Yahoo “wants to help people worldwide to start, build and grow their businesses”; Amazon is reportedly launching a marketplace for local service providers; Facebook is traveling the country courting SMB advertisers; and Twitter develops an online SMB curriculum for Twitter Ads. All of this news crossed the wire within the last two months and highlights just how intense the SMB marketing and advertising space is becoming.

According to Google, Google My Business looks to make it “easier than ever to update business information across Google Search, Maps and Google+.” In the past, managing local listings and content across all of Google’s properties has been difficult for SMBs, but this new tool represents a strong commitment to SMBs.

Another search giant – Yahoo –  is developing stronger tools for SMBs. According to a report from the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Yahoo is working on a tool that interprets sales, visits and conversion data to provide businesses with recommendations on what advertising and marketing solutions they should invest in. For instance, if mobile is a strong fit for a business, Yahoo would recommend its mobile ad product, Yahoo Gemini.

One of the biggest stories comes from Amazon. The company has plans to launch a new marketplace for local services, according to a report from Reuters. The new offering will compete directly with existing local market players such as Yelp and Angie’s List, as well as home improvement chains such as Home Depot and Lowe’s,  which provide resources for customers to connect with local service providers.

The social media players that are investing in SMBs are pleased to see that businesses are increasing their marketing spend and time spent on social. According to a recent study by Social Media Marketing University, the majority (54.4%) of U.S. SMB marketers said they had increased their social media marketing spend this year.

For Facebook, traveling the country to New York City, Chicago, Miami, Austin and Menlo Park, is just the beginning of efforts to capture more SMB ad dollars. These “Facebook Fit” workshops follow the launch of the Small and Medium Business Council, which aims to put more of a face behind Facebook, build a small business community and boost advocacy.

Twitter is entering the second year with its self-serve ad products and is simply trying to promote the ad solution. With an emphasis on education, the company has developed “an awful lot” of content, including an online SMB curriculum, intended to help marketers reach customers on Twitter.

The local space is clearly heating up, and this is great news for SMBs. More competition within the space should lead to better price points. On the other hand, providers of local advertising and marketing solutions will need to have products and solutions that differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack with measurable ROI and transparent practices.

Advertisers Can Now Chase Search Advertising Leads onto Facebook

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Local Search Association member Kenshoo recently announced Intent-Driven Audiences™ (IDA), a clever way for advertisers to follow search leads onto Facebook via an anonymous cookie sync.  Kenshoo is the first Facebook ad partner to enable this type of targeting ability.

As the diagram above shows, IDA promises to marry Kenshoo’s paid search data with Facebook’s audience data to allow advertisers to re-engage custom audiences and develop new “lookalike” audiences.  Most importantly, the solution ties consumer intent to actual Facebook users, which before now, has been elusive.

The results are solid. After running a multi-month test for a leading national retailer, IDA campaigns on Facebook achieved up to 110% higher ROI and 66% lower CPC than equivalent SEM campaigns. Additionally, SEM campaign conversion rates increased by 19%, lifting paid search revenue by an incremental 22%.

“Kenshoo’s Intent-Driven Audiences allows advertisers to bridge audiences across marketing channels by bringing together consumer intent signals from search campaigns and Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting capabilities to drive better results for their marketing efforts,” said Blake Chandlee, VP of Partnerships, Facebook.

Search continues to be one of the best ways to capture and document consumer intent. Marketers that find ways to use this information across the fragmented digital landscape will help bring order to the local space and drive the consumer actions advertisers are looking for.  This is a great example of smart, innovative thinking that has tremendous upside for national brands and SMBs alike.