What in the World is Geofencing?

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-6-49-16-pm

Ever wonder why you get served an ad for a pizza deal on your smartphone when you are out at your favorite bar? Or maybe you don’t wonder at all and you are just stoked to see an awesome deal for a large pepperoni pizza because you are really hungry, and it might shut up your buddy Ted, who has spent the entire evening ranting about how his girlfriend gives love a bad name (Bon Jovi earworm; you’re welcome).

Welcome to the world of geofencing.
Geofencing is exactly what it sounds like – a virtual fence around a geographic area (like your place of business or a competitor’s business or an apartment building). This technique allows advertisers to select an exact storefront, using its address or latitude/longitude point and customize a radius around that point. Establishing a geofence and linking it to a mobile device like a smartphone lets the advertising program know when a person has entered or exited the defined geofenced location. For most businesses, this information is used to trigger a banner ad to the person.

The Opportunities with Geofencing
There are many creative ways to use geofences. Besides the pizza restaurant offering late-night deals to the bar crowd, here are some other examples:

Example 1 – Bakery
A bakery is cooking up a new recipe for some cookies they want to start selling. To help spread the word and get feedback, the bakery sets its geofence targeting and serves ads that invite folks to come in for a free sample. Not only will they get lots of feedback they need on their new recipe, but they can also drive a ton of foot traffic and sell a bunch of their other tasty treats.

Example 2 – Car Dealership
By placing a geofence around a competitor’s location, you have a few options on detouring potential customers your way by serving ads that mention something like “Buy From Us, Not Them” or you can just advertise your latest specials and deals.

Example 3 – Home Builder
A home builder can set up a geofence around apartment buildings and then serve the tenants banner ads promoting options to the advantages of buying a home instead of renting. When a potential homeowner enters the geofenced zone, they can get served an ad about available homes for sale in the area or the advantages of home ownership.

Geofencing’s Flexibility
A geofence can be set at several distances from the location you choose. The distances vary, but some of the targeting option range from over 10 km (6.2 miles) or just out to the sidewalk in front of your business locations at 20 m (6.67 yards).

Why meters? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the world’s last-ditch attempt to get Americans to switch over to the metric system.

Who Benefits?
When done correctly, geofencing should not only benefit your business by driving customers to it, but it should also benefit your consumers as well. Geofencing can be used to improve their experiences and deliver such valuable items like promotions, discounts or maybe just some much-needed peace and quiet from Ted.

This blog post originally appeared at my former place of employment, which is here.

Advertisements

Search Engine Optimization Tips For YouTube Videos

  1. Titles
    Think of the video’s title as its “headline.” Titles help audiences understand the content.
    Be sure to pick the right keywords to help describe to the viewers what the video is about.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-6-01-22-pm

  • Keep the titles concise. A good recommendation is to have less than 70 characters, since titles longer than that will get truncated in a Google search.
  • Avoid titles that trick viewers into watching a video. This will cause a huge drop-off that will negatively impact the video’s watch-time performance, along with its ranking.
  • Include descriptive and relevant keywords at the beginning of the title.
  1. Thumbnails
    Along with the video title, thumbnails act as tiny marketing banners for the videos. The right thumbnail attracts greater audience numbers to the video, and you should always customize thumbnails in order to optimize the video for SEO purposes.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-6-05-36-pm

  • Accurately represent the video content.
  • With animated marketing videos, use the most colorful and attractive stills from the video to stand out.
  • With live-action marketing videos, use close-ups of faces when possible. Human faces always draw more attention.
  • Use high-resolution images. If the resolution is low, the video might be perceived as a low quality production, and people won’t click on it.
  • Make the thumbnails look great at both small and large sizes. Check the thumbnails on different devices (such as TVs, iPads and desktop computers) to be sure that they look great everywhere. Remember that in search engines the thumbnail will appear quite smaller. If the tiny image is not appealing, people won’t click on it.
  • Make sure that the foreground stands out from the background. Don’t use an image where the background competes with the foreground; the elements placed above should always stand out more. We will only have a few seconds to catch the audience’s attention, so make it simple.
  1. Descriptions

The description is another important element. It describes what the video is about to the viewers. It’s also what appears below the title in any search. You need to make sure that you write the most important information in the first two sentences. Then, you can add further information and possibly add a transcript of the video script, which is a great spot for keywords.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-6-10-54-pm

  • Accurately describe the basic information about the video.
  • Include relevant keywords that will make the video easy to find on Google.
  • Add a transcript of the video script if possible below the first lines on the description. This action gives us the opportunity to place more relevant keywords for the target audience.
  1. Calls-to-Action (CTA)

A CTA is a clear action that you want your audience to perform. YouTube lets you include a CTA in the form of a clickable button in videos. It’s highly recommended to always include one as you can entice viewers to complete the action that you’re looking for.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-6-17-07-pm

  • Ask viewers to subscribe, like, comment or share the video through the CTA.
  • Measure the CTA performance to learn if the video campaign is effective.
  • A/B testing different CTAs can help you understand what your audience wants and learn where your leads are coming from.
  1. Engagement

There are many reasons why you want to make people watch your videos all the way through to the end. The most obvious reason is that we need them to get to the call-to-action, but probably the most important reason is that the amount of time people spend watching directly affects the video’s YouTube rank. In other words, if thousands of viewers play the videos but leave after a few seconds, YouTube will consider that the video isn’t interesting enough and your place in the search engine rankings will drop drastically. What’s the secret to getting a high audience retention rate? Make a great video. Your videos need to be attractive, engaging and awesomely crafted!

  1. Tags

The tags are the keywords that people will use to find your videos in a video search engine. Therefore, they should be consistent and accurate.

  • Put the most important keywords first.
  • Add long-tail keywords (Long-tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases that are specific to whatever you are selling. You see, whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they want or need like “do I need to go to college”). If you choose your tags wisely, your YouTube ranking results will yield in your favor for your videos.

 

 

 

Is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Necessary?

need-of-search-engine-optimization_519c799e369d9_w1500

The answer is yes for almost everybody. Why almost everybody?  Well if you don’t have a business that requires an Internet presence then I guess search engine optimization isn’t really something you need. SEO is necessary for the rest of us especially if you want to continue to make your business as successful as possible. The majority of search engines users are more likely to choose one of the top 5 suggestions in the results page, and to take advantage of this by getting visitors to your website  you need to rank as higher as possible.

Infographic courtesy of Visual.ly.

 

Word Up! What To Say If You Want People To Share Stuff

Some words don’t just impact what folks read, it can also impact what folks share! This infographic from ShortStack provides data collected from Iris Shoor, Leo Widrich and Scott Ayres.

If you would like to discuss your marketing needs in greater detail, give me a call @ 208.995.9437 or send me an email so we can discuss how I can help you. Free 1-hour consultation available. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Blog Writing Sample

Are Micro-Moments Going To Be A Game Changer?

The new reality of consumer behavior is that mobile devices are becoming more and more crucial to our daily lives, and this reality is changing the way people consume media. And the battle for these consumers is now done in “micro-moments.” Google coined the phrase and explains how these moments are changing the rules:

“What used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day—checking the time, texting a spouse, chatting with friends on social media.

“But then there are the other moments—the I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments—that really matter. We call these ‘micro-moments,’ and they’re game changers for both consumers and brands.”

To continue to be successful, companies need to have a strategy for understanding and meeting the needs of the customer in these micro-moments, and Google is helping to meet those consumer expectations with some new advertising features they rolled out recently on their YouTube TrueView ad format.

One of the features advertisers love about the TrueView ad format is that it gives the viewer options, the most common of which is the ability to skip the advertisement after five seconds. With TrueView ads, you don’t pay for random impressions or maybe-they-saw-its. The viewer has to choose to watch your video or there’s no charge.

Google made some significant changes to their TrueView ads by introducing cards, a new feature that allows companies to share more information about their brand, related videos and playlists, and link to their website directly from the TrueView video ad.

Google said to think of the cards like an evolution of annotations. They can inform your viewers about other videos, merchandise, playlists, websites and more. They can look as beautiful as your videos, are available anytime during the video and yes, they finally work on mobile.
Here’s an example of the cards panel on a mobile phone:

Cards

And an example of the cards panel on desktop:

Cards Panel

Another exciting new feature they also recently released is their efforts to cut down on those maybe-they-saw-its. You could just click anywhere on the player and it would register a click but now only clicks to cards or CTAs, the video header, companion banner or a link at the bottom of the player will count as a click.

CTA

YouTube also introduced ‘TrueView for Shopping’ to its video ad offerings, a feature that enables merchants to add product links to their video ads. The capability is available for TrueView in-stream video ads on YouTube across mobile and desktop. It builds on the cards platform, and integrates Google Merchant Center – the first time this has been done with video ads.

Advertisers can connect their campaigns with a Merchant Center feed in order to automatically add products, which then appear alongside the video with a ‘buy now’ button that leads directly to the item’s purchase page on the merchant’s website.

Turning YouTube into a giant online marketplace is pretty serious, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out with Amazon and eBay.

TrueView for Shopping will fully roll out over ‘the coming months’, but YouTube has already started trialing the capability with some retailers.

Home goods retailer Wayfair reported a 3X increase in revenue per impression served compared to previous campaigns, while beauty retailer Sephora saw a 80% lift in consideration off the back of a TrueView for Shopping campaign.
Here’s an example of Wayfair’s TrueView for Shopping ad:

wayfair

Welcome to the new age of marketing. Marketers need to identify these “micro-moments” and learn how to make each matter for their clients. By infusing these moments with meaning like taking advantage of the new TrueView ad features will help people make a better choice when those I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments arrive.