Think bout it. When someone is listening to the radio, watching TV or reading a newspaper, they aren’t looking for your ad. Your ad is an interruption. It’s a nuisance. It’s SPAM.
Your website, on the other hand, is where they go specifically to learn more about you and your products and services. They are researching and educating themselves about what you offer. They have sought you out to learn more about you. Traditional advertising is really about yelling into the darkness and hoping someone will listen. That’s why big numbers are so important. Just like any good Spammer, we’re looking for the most eyeballs, the biggest ratings, and the largest audience. We talk about thousands and millions of viewers, or readers and we’re willing to pay through the nose because we know that only a tiny fraction of those viewers will take even an instant out of their lives to acknowledge your attempt to reach them.
It’s the equivalent of walking down a busy street, tapping people on the shoulder and saying, “Hey buddy… you wanna’ buy a car?”
So it’s far, far better to focus on getting in front of those people who actually care bout your offering. It’s better to talk to 100 people who care, than 100,000 who don’t. So how do you ensure that? By focusing on digital rather than traditional advertising. Here’s how I break down our digital campaigns:
- Pay Per Click (PPC): Of course PPC is the cornerstone of our online advertising. At Express Auto we use Reach Local to manage our campaigns across Bing, Yahoo, and Google. We pay $50 above and beyond the ad budget for each campaign we run. We run three campaigns currently:
- Straight Search – Keywords
- Remarketing – Targeting people who have been to our website with ads across other sites
- Competitive – Where we target competitor’s names as keywords
- Preroll. We run :15-second video spots on local TV and Radio websites. Yes, this is more like traditional advertising, but it’s more narrowly targeted both geographically and demographically. Most important, it’s trackable and mobile enabled.
- Display. Straight up old style banner ads. Again, targeting is the key. We have focused these ads very narrowly based on specific factors.
- Mobile. This is becoming more and more important moving forward. We placed a big bet on mobile when we converted our site to a responsive design. It’s paid off. Fully 50% of our web traffic is now coming from mobile and tablets. So we’ve moved aggressively into mobile ads, and in app advertising. This is proving very successful for us at increasing call volume. Tap to call functions are built into all our mobile ads and that one-click convenience is proving irresistible for a lot of people.
Marshall McLuen’s famous quote, “The medium is the message…” may be just as true for the internet as elsewhere, but John Wannamaker’s quote, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half,” doesn’t have to be. If we know our market, and target them with a rifle and not a shotgun, we can track specific results from specific campaigns. The modern marketer has to be more than a salesman, more than a pitch-man, the modern marketer must be a psychologist and data analyst. Constantly looking for what will give the edge over the competition.
Case in point; the folks over at WebPageFX have put together a survey of the three big search engines; Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Now I knew that Google was by far the biggest, but according to them, Google holds and 80% share of the search market, while Bing and Yahoo between them have about 8% each. So Google is 10-times as big as it’s next biggest competitor.
At WebpageFX, we track over 1,000 profiles in Google Analytics. Combined, these profiles are a massive data set of search information from all over the globe. We have search data for over 35,000,000 queries in 2012. Proper analysis of this data reveals the current market share of search engines and the locations where different search engines are popular in the United states.
We’ve completed the roll out of the new expressauto.com website. If you’ve been reading my posts you know that we’ve decided to build our site on the WordPress platform. For a lot of reasons, one of them being extensibility. The WordPress community provides hundreds of plugins that add features to your WordPress site. Many themes are also available. Because WordPress components like plugins and themes are open-source, most are editable. We started with an off-the-shelf theme and hired a programmer to carry out our custom design. Then added plugins for additional functions we wanted to incorporate in the site. Continue Reading…
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat,” Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu might not have said it first, but that one statement sums up so completely the difference between strategy and tactics that I have to think he said it best. Sun Tzu or Sunzi was a Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher during the Zhou dynasty. In “Art of War,” he gives us a glimpse of the strategies AND tactics that made him a great general.
That’s the key, strategy AND tactics. These are not the same things, and the distinction is as important in a business setting as it is in a military one. Strategy is about the 30,000 foot view. It asks, “What do we want to accomplish.” Tactics are about how we accomplish that strategy. Continue Reading…
Redesign: Separating Content, Design, and Development.
Last time I talked a little about how, now I’m going to dig into it further and talk a little about our decision to choose 99Designs as our primary method of redesigning the site.
99Designs offers the opportunity to gather a number of designs from a diverse cross-section of designers. We started our redesign contest last Monday and received more than 30 designs from nine different designers by Sunday night. A great result, and we’ll only pay for the one we use. The cost? $599. It’s important to note that this isn’t a fully implemented redesign. It’s not a website at all. It’s a picture of the website; how the site will be laid out. Programming will be handled separately.