Posts Tagged ‘Local Search Association’

Highlights from 2014 Ad to Action Awards Webinar Series

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

During our webinar series last week, we heard from all of our 2014 Ad to Action Award winners on the functionality, benefits, targeting and ROI associated with each of their products or solutions.

The Ad to Action Awards recognized innovations in local advertising and marketing within eight submission categories that demonstrated the greatest potential for driving consumer actions. We received 60 outstanding solutions that were evaluated by a diverse panel of 14 notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry.

Learn more about our winners below:

Mobile: GeoCookie by Thinknear


Social Media: Likes for Lives by Search Influence


Vertical Specific: Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum


Video: TargetView by Sightly


Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce: MyTime


Implementation: AdMax® Local by The Search Agency


Print: Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum


Business Listings: Local Listing Manager™ by Rio SEO

Digital Marketing Tactics that Drive Customer Retention for SMBs

Monday, July 28, 2014

In my recent article on Street Fight, I talk about the importance of customer retention for SMBs and highlight some of the best digital marketing tactics that help build loyalty and repeat customers.

According to a recent study by Gigaom, email marketing is considered the most effective digital marketing tactic for driving customer retention, followed by social media and content marketing (websites, blogs, etc.).  These tactics should be fundamental pieces of any SMB’s marketing strategy and the best part about these tools is that they are understood methods that require minimal time to manage and are cost-effective.

Check out the full post on Street Fight.

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Andrea Borodenko, Senior Product Manager of Local Solutions, Mediative

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight features Andrea Borodenko, senior product manager of local solutions at Mediative, a digital marketing company providing performance services and access to diverse media platforms. Andrea will bring the SoMoConf audience over a decade of experience connecting large brands with local customers.

Andrea Borodenko, Senior Product Manager of Local Solutions, Mediative

Before joining Mediative’s product and innovation group over a year ago, Andrea gained her deep knowledge of the local space as Yellow Pages Canada’s regional manager of national sales, where she had the pleasure of working closely with CMRs to build integrated print, online and mobile strategies for some of North America’s best known plumbers, movers, contractors, retailers and travel agencies.

We asked Andrea a few questions about her upcoming SoMoConf session, and here is what she had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
We’ll cover tips and tricks for optimizing campaigns that leverage listings management/syndication, local SEO and local media buying solutions. Furthermore, we’ll dig into examples of how to use social platforms to drive local success — all while going beyond the “click” to focus on bookings and sales.

What about your session are you most excited about?
The real examples and case studies from several of our travel sector clients (airlines, hotels and car rental companies). It’s one thing to hypothesize about what could work … its way more interesting (and exciting) to talk about success factors that are proven to work.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
These days, it’s so easy to get excited with the numerous digital agencies who are pitching new ideas and new technologies that provide the opportunity to break the standard marketing mold. The issue that I see with this is that these new ideas rarely have proven ability to drive ROI. Furthermore, by focusing only on these new ideas, some of the fundamentals of local promotion (name, address, phone number) get completely forgotten! As such, I recommend that attendees come to my session so that we can walk through an optimal roadmap that combines both the basics of digital marketing with new ideas in such a way that has proven remarkable success for several of the national brands that work with us.

What is the best part about working at Mediative?
What I really love about Mediative is – as an arm of Canada’s Yellow Pages Group – we’re able to leverage the rich history and local marketing knowledge built up over 100 years in order to really fuel our tests with digital marketing platforms and technologies. Our agile nature lets us fail quickly in order to drive down to solutions that work. Seeing the success that we can drive for our advertisers from all of this hard work is incredibly rewarding.

Click here to learn more about the SoMoConf event or register now!

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!

Free Webinar Highlights Ad to Action Award Winners

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don’t miss part two of our free webinar series this Thursday, July 24 at 2pm EDT featuring our Ad to Action Awards winners. Representatives from three winning companies will give attendees deeper looks into the functionality, benefits, targeting and ROI opportunities associated with their product or solution.

  • Print: Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum
  • Mobile: GeoCookie by Thinknear
  • Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce: MyTime
  • Vertical Specific: Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum

Register for our free webinar here.

The Ad to Action Awards recognized solutions within eight submission categories that demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local business sales and providing memorable experiences to consumers at the end of their purchasing decision track. We received 60 outstanding solutions that were evaluated by a diverse panel of 14 notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry.

Automated Tools To Help Local Businesses Tackle Online Marketing

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In my Local Search column on Search Engine Land this month, I talk about the growing promise of automated local marketing solutions in providing local businesses and marketers with faster, more reliable and more cost-effective service.

Marketers are increasingly turning to automation to help them better achieve a variety of advertising objectives. According to a new survey, 45% of marketers believe that automation is most important to improving marketing productivity, while 44% believe it is key to increasing sales revenue, and 42% think it is vital to increasing lead generation.

To demonstrate the opportunities ahead in local, I discuss three of our Ad to Action Awards winners and the ways that their offerings are lowering barriers for local businesses and marketers to compete online.

  • Rio SEO’s Local Listing Manager solution is automating online business listing management so that local businesses can update their listings throughout the web from a single dashboard
  • The Search Agency’s AdMax Local product is enabling marketers to offer SMBs automated local SEM campaigns at a price point they can afford
  • Sightly’s TargetView offering is enabling local businesses to create, target and distribute video ads so they can compete with big brands.

Read my full column on Search Engine Land.

LSA Member Innovation in Local: MatchCraft

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This week we hear from MatchCraft, a search marketing technology company that supports publishers and local advertising companies around the globe. The company’s AdVantage platform is a fully automated SEM solution that delivers campaign results with little to no human intervention and works to drive ROI for campaigns of any size - including micro-budgets of $100 (or less) per month. MatchCraft has been around since 1998 and operates in 21 countries and 14 languages. 

We caught up with Jill Hammond, vice president of marketing at MatchCraft, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does MatchCraft solve? How?
We all love the thrill of managing large media spends but we find the biggest challenge most SEM technology providers face is how to get great results for low-budget search campaigns. Many of the merchants our clients work with are spending $2000, $500, even $100 per month; with budgets at that level there’s not a lot of room for the publisher to dedicate campaign management resources to tasks like customized campaign setup or ongoing optimization.

At MatchCraft, we’ve created a fully automated solution that delivers excellent campaign results with little to no human intervention. Once the campaigns are up and running, AdVantage adjusts bids hourly, which means more high-quality clicks at lower cost.

What makes MatchCraft innovative?
We’ve been a small, nimble team for more than 15 years. The search marketing landscape has shifted hundreds of times during MatchCraft’s existence, and we’ve shifted with it, building products and platforms that meet the needs of our specific customer base and the merchants they service.

We’re innovative because not only do we provide our customers with reliable, high performance products, we are also committed to ensuring those products are easy to sell.  We empower their sales teams with the training and materials, online and in person, needed to garner greater market share. MatchCraft delivers great results to our clients because everything we do is built around our customers’ needs and wants.

How does MatchCraft make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
Businesses mostly want the same thing from search marketing: more customers. MatchCraft’s technology delivers advertisers not only more potential customers but better qualified potential customers. Because our campaigns are so highly targeted by both location and content, the people who end up clicking on the ads are more likely to be the right people. And higher conversion means higher ROI, happy merchants and better retention rates for our clients.

Consumers also win when search campaigns match the right businesses with the right searches. Whether you’re looking for a plumber or a dentist or a used car, relevant results mean you’re getting the information you want at the exact moment when you’re looking for it. That’s what a good online search experience is all about.

What is next in local?
Two things, and they’re related. The first is clearly mobile. As users continue to shift their searches to their smartphones, we need to focus on helping merchants increase their presence in mobile search results. It’s essential that mobile ads incorporate click-to-call and other immediate contact options so users who are on the go can actually reach the business they’re interested in buying from.

The second thing all the companies in our space are working on is conversion attribution – all the way through to the sale. That’s easy for ecommerce companies, but historically it’s been really hard for local businesses to connect online search advertising with customers who walk in their front door and make purchases. Mobile is the key bridge, and we’re working hard to help our customers connect the dots from search to click to call to conversion.

For more info, check out the video below, contact Jill directly at jill@matchcraft.com or visit www.matchcraft.com

MathCraft’s AdVantage SEM Platform from MatchCraft on Vimeo.

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Shannon Kinney, Founder, Dream Local Digital

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight features Shannon Kinney, founder and client success officer at Dream Local Digital, a digital marketing agency that has worked with thousands of small businesses across North America. She and her team specialize in offering online marketing assistance such as websites, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, SEM and more.

Shannon Kinney, Founder & Client Success Officer at Dream Local Digital

Shannon has over 15 years of experience in the development of successful Internet products, sales and marketing strategies and has worked on the teams developing successful Internet brands such as cars.com, careerbuilder.com, and over 60 online media properties for newspapers all over the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, she spent over 10 years in media sales and sales management in Maine.

We asked Shannon a few questions about her upcoming SoMoConf session, and here is what she had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
We will review top takeaways from the LMIA report and expand to cover some of the latest case studies on companies leveraging social media to build brand awareness, reach and serve customers, develop relationships and audience.

What about your session are you most excited about?
Sharing some of the great tips and best practices that we leverage every day in our work with online marketing, and making sure that every attendee leaves with ideas they can implement themselves!

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
Social media is one of the most powerful tools to engage your community, promote your content and your advertising products and this session will provide several tips on how to make the most out of your time invested!

What is your favorite social media platform to use?
I personally favor Twitter and Instagram as communication platforms, LinkedIn for business communication, and love Facebook for its broad reach and application. I also spend a lot of time with Pinterest and Snapchat!

Click here to learn more about the SoMoConf event or register now!

YP’s Mobile Properties Attract Users with Spending Power

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

With more than 10 million downloads of its mobile app and approximately 30 million monthly unique visits across its app and mobile websites, YP.com offers advertisers a great way to reach consumers searching for local business information via their mobile devices.

Not only does YP.com attract a strong cross-section of users, but those users trend younger and carry some serious spending power.  The typical YP.com mobile user is between 25-44 years old and makes more than $75,000 annually, according to the latest comScore MobiLens data, although the site has users across all age and income groups.

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Last year, YP reported $378 million in mobile ad revenue and noted that half of its audience came from mobile devices. Recently, YP CEO David Krantz was quoted as saying, “we were mobile before mobile was cool” – a claim that seems to be validated by the company’s strong mobile performance indicators.

YP is continuing to attract mobile users and driving mobile ad revenue with new mobile offerings, such as its recently released offering, My Book. An alternative to reviews and tips, this new tool allows both mobile and desktop users to create and manage lists of their favorite businesses. With this data, YP is able to provide users with recommendations based on the number of “favorites” each business has.

Krantz has been very public in his comments regarding the importance of YP’s mobile strategy – and rightfully so. Mobile local searches are driving consumer actions and continue to transform the way consumers interact with local business information. In addition, since YP’s mobile properties are attracting users with spending power, they are poised to remain a major local player that offers strong results for advertisers.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Online Privacy

Friday, July 18, 2014

As Big Data transforms the relevance and effectiveness of digital advertising, it is generating tension around online privacy.  At the local level, mobile devices have created an influx of location data that has led to many discussions about the impact this is having on privacy. What we are finding is consumers want the conveniences of digital technologies, yet the control to decide what about them is shared.

Digital properties are acquiring a variety of consumer data from web history, cookies, social media activity, online purchases, GPS, likes, check-ins, tags and other methods. A question some are asking is whether properties really own this information after it is collected, or if it is up to the consumer on how their information is shared.

While the debate rolls on, it’s important for marketers to consider consumer sentiments about this issue. Here are some stats to help put online privacy into perspective:

  • 92% of U.S. Internet users worry about their privacy online. (TRUSTe)
  • The percentage of consumers willing to share their current location via GPS with retailers nearly doubled year-over-year to 36%. (IBM)
  • 85% of online consumers oppose Internet ad tracking. (Consumer Reports)
  • Nearly 80% of consumers are willing to provide personal information to “trusted brands,” yet 62% of consumers said they worry about how markets are using their personal information. (SDL)
  • 91% of respondents value the benefit of “easier access to information and knowledge” that digital technology affords, but only 27% say they are willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience and ease online. (EMC Corporation)

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