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Does Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising live up to the hype?

By now whether you sell online advertising or you are an advertiser we have all at some point come across pay per click (PPC) advertising most commonly Google pay per click or ad words. Just in case you require a definition I am talking about those ads at the top of Google that no one ever clicks on. Well maybe you do but I definitely don’t.

As recently as last week I was meeting with a client who works with a SEO/website optimization agency and I was told that the agency was recommending that they cancel the online advertising with me and increase their Google AdWords/PPC budget. My response was “so to them it’s only about clicks when people are searching through Google”? I then went to explain that from talking to the agency myself I had learned that the advertisers click through rate with my platform is equal to the PPC program and I didn’t even let him in on my secret now that we have added audience extension/retargeting to their campaign we are now at least doubling the PPC click through rate which I will share the next time we go over stats. I am not trying to say that online marketers should not have this presence or it is not valuable because it is especially since these are high quality clicks. What I am saying is if this is where an online strategy stops you will be left out in the cold.

First off I am going to explain what this client (a local car dealer) is doing with Metroland. They have a content marketing strategy with monthly content, online business profiles on our local news site and goldbook.ca, IP targeted video overlay impressions and a lot of them, audience extension/retargeting targeting those in the market for a new or used vehicle. Overall the program is performing very well with about 250,000 impressions being served up over the course of the year (yes that’s 250,000 sets of eyeballs) with a click thru rate between .2 and .7 percent depending on the month and promotion that we are running. The click thru rate is 2-7 times the national average so performing exceptionally well and of course there is the content on a high traffic local news site all searchable through Google which separates them from the competition and increases the brand awareness. I could add in the social media benefit but that is another blog. The early stats are showing hundreds of reads, the articles showing up on page one of Google and yes even more click thru’s to their site. You can’t get a more engaged click than one that comes from an article that was just read on a product or service their company provides. We also have profile views and yet again there have been hundreds of them and YouTube views on the video we produced and yep in the hundreds at this point.

I am not picking on Google I am actually a huge fan but if your online strategy is 100 per cent pay per click advertising you are missing out on online marketing platforms with many benefits such as the ones illustrated above. You are missing out on sales and valuable loyal customers that your competition who does have a strong platform is getting. Online advertising is about more than just clicks (read my previous blog “it’s about more than just the click”). Potential customers go online to find out information so they can become a more educated buyer, go to sites looking for online Flyers/Deals/Coupons, are reading news stories and this is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to have a platform where you become part of this experience and that includes platforms such as content marketing, video marketing, audience extension, retargeting, deal sites, mobile marketing, impressions the list goes on and on and yes Pay Per Click.

If PPC is all you are doing all you have is a deal so in other words you are looking for price shoppers selling based on price. Google‘s biggest strength after all is the content it provides so focus on becoming part of that experience more so than the paid ads. Isn’t it more likely that potential customers are typing in key words looking for more information so that they become a more informed buyer than to see who simply has the best price? I will end on this note as a business owner looking to attract customers who are surfing the web you will obtain loyal customers by getting them engaged in your product or service and the internet is the perfect place to do that. What you need to do is plan a well thought out online marketing strategy.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous Blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/online-advertising-click-thru-expectations/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/is-cross-border-online-shopping-becoming-canadian-retailers-biggest-threat/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/

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The Modern Day Print Advertising rep

Oh how the life of a print advertising media rep has changed. For the first 20 years of my advertising career life really was pretty simple. I sold one product which for most of that time was flyer distribution inside newspapers. I worked very hard, built up an account list in excess of 1 million dollars annually which is a lot of local flyer distribution. My job consisted of convincing local business owners as well as national agencies, big box stores, grocery chains etc that they should be distributing their flyers in newspapers that I represented and I did that job with much success. This is after all how I initially established myself in the industry. At the time I saw myself as a passionate, hardworking “flyer guy” and if you asked me then I would have told you that what I was doing was very complex and it was to an extent. Most newspapers did have specialists to deal with this part of the business and still do. I decided to move on for a new challenge and start my own company FlyerMail which provided me the opportunity to diversify myself by adding commercial print and graphic design to my areas of specialty. Again this seemed to be a huge challenge at the time but I was about to discover that my life as a print media advertising sales professional was about to drastically change with the sale of FlyerMail to a multimedia giant in Torstar.

After I sold to Torstar I came back thinking that I would continue to drive FlyerMail for the new company which I did. I knew there would be some minor changes such as the format, design, new printer etc but overall I would be pushing one product. Sure there was the co-branding with an online flyer site in save.ca but for the most part my life would be the same. What had changed since my last stint in the industry was the business was no longer just about newspapers. In fact newspapers were no more than one of the many core products that I was expected to push. I was expected to push our many digital platforms which included content marketing, daily deal sites, flyer sites, impressions, IP targeting, take overs, audience extension, retargeting and this barely scratches the surface. There were magazines, newspapers, direct mail products and a heck of a lot more. What happened to the days when all we had to worry about was asking “do you want to buy an ad in next week’s paper?”  Well it was clear those days were gone. The message being sent was simple if our industry was going to survive we were going to be hitting the streets with a multimedia approach with a heavy focus on digital. So that’s just what I did. We were now packaging digital with FlyerMail which was a natural for me as we had a Flyer site (save.ca) and to be honest adding a measly $120 for the online portion on a $3000 direct mail campaign was easy. But I had so much to learn in a short period of time. I knew I needed to embrace the digital world so I quickly learned all about our content marketing initiatives (In Your Neighborhood) and I sold this is waves. I was shocked at how easy this was and how badly my clients craved this once I hit the street. And for $300 per month which included business profiles, monthly content, video production, online advertising, social media there was a lot of value for the price.  And guess what? About 80 per cent of these customers bought newspaper advertising as part of their annual contract. So we were using our strong digital platform to sell newspaper display advertising. What a far cry from the old days when we sold all print customers a $12 upsell on their ad to put the ad online.

My life as a print advertising rep has definitely evolved as now I call myself a true multimedia rep. It’s about listening to the customer and selling them what they need which for me is more and more becoming a digital platform whether on its own or part of a print buy. For print media reps to not only survive but grow they need to embrace this approach or very shortly they simply won’t exist. The days of “a half or a full page this week?” are gone. Listen to your customer and put them in the advertising product that will best suit their business even if that isn’t a full page in the local newspaper.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/why-all-small-and-medium-size-businesses-need-a-content-marketing-strategy/

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Does Your Business Need A Content Marketing Strategy?

For those of you who are not yet familiar with content marketing you will be very soon. Content marketing is one of the fastest growing trends in advertising. Here is a definition that I took from the Content Marketing Institute “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

For years  businesses of all sizes have banked on traditional call to action advertising campaigns to get business through the door such as newspapers, direct mail, radio, TV the list goes on and on. The demand for traditional advertising continues to change as advertisers look for alternatives to grow their business. There still is a place for traditional media and it can be very effective if done properly but today’s consumer is a more intelligent buyer in that they do more research on that little thing we call the internet before they buy. This shouldn’t be completely foreign to traditional advertisers as many businesses have been using advertorials through print with great effectiveness for many years. Just look at content marketing as an extension to that.

When done well the content appears as a news article about a specific industry topic with a catchy headline. The technical term for this if you want to impress your media rep is native advertising. It should not be obvious in any way that this is an advertisement. The goal is to provide consumers with relevant information so that they can make a more informed buying decision. This should be a consistent marketing strategy such as Metroland’s In Your Neighborhood platform where we produce and post monthly content geared to your business.

Customers attained from content marketing are far more likely to be loyal repeat customers as they are educated on what it is that sets you apart. When combined with a traditional advertising strategy such as direct mail or a print campaign it can be very effective. Relevant content is also a great tool to communicate with your current customers through social media and email marketing to remind them why they do business with you versus the competition. Here is an example how it can work.

This is an opportunity to separate your business from the competition especially those who are still exclusive to traditional advertising. A good example is a direct mail package with a new restaurant inside let’s say a pizza guy with 3 or 4 competitors in the package. Chances are all 4 will have similar specials so if you are the new guy on the block why would they try your product when they already know they love “Tony’s Pizza” Most people are going to stick with what they know unless you are giving away free pizza’s which doesn’t make any sense from a business perspective. But if the “new guy” has a content marketing strategy explaining why using healthy ingredients is important, using better ingredients, the importance of using fresh ingredients, how using the best cheese makes a better quality pizza.….the likelihood of picking up the phone and responding to the ad is that much greater. Personally I would be more likely to try the new guy as there is already a buzz in the community. This also holds true for established businesses who want to find new customers.

Chances are you are still using traditional media to promote your business which may or may not have the impact it once did. Regardless of that success you need a content marketing strategy to separate yourself from the pack and take your business to the next level. Content creates loyalty, attracts a more educated customer, enhances your SEO as search engines reward quality regular content and in the end when combined with your traditional marketing increases your ROI. With solid content your customers will look forward to your advertising and you will earn their business with a soft “not in your face” approach. This is the present and future of multimedia advertising and it should be part of your marketing platform.

Follow me on twitter @geoffjosey

Previous blogs

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/print-advertising-is-dead-i-guess-i-missed-the-memo/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tis-the-season-if-you-work-in-advertising/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/online-advertising-its-about-more-than-just-the-click/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/multimedia-blog/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/have-local-business-interests-get-involved-in-the-community/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/12/using-twitter-as-a-business-tool/

https://geoffjosey.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/extreme-couponing-in-canada/