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5 Things You Didn't Know About Connected TV

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Introductions to traditional television changed history, and connected TV has the potential to change television's history — especially when it comes to advertising. While it may still be finding its footing, there are plenty of benefits to connected TV, and understanding them may be one key to helping the platform take off.

1. More Mature Audiences Watch CTV

The average connected television (CTV) user is older than advertisers might think, and almost 70 percent of these users have children.

Though older Americans grew up watching program favorites on traditional TV sets, they aren't reluctant to try new forms of entertainment. Actually, mature audiences are shifting away from cable and broadcast television to watch programming over the internet in increasing numbers.

This new trend offers marketers opportunities to reach multiple household members — 2.6 viewers on average are being reached with connected TV advertising alone. Better still, connected TV ads provide access to decision makers and influencers within households simultaneously. This lays the groundwork to develop and deliver the right messaging at favorable times.

2. Audience-Based Targeting Has Potential

Connected TV targeting is advanced, seamlessly combining traditional TV and digital marketing. This allows advertisers to guide ads toward targets by demographics, interests, and geography. Advertisers can even narrow geographic targeting down to a ZIP code.

For example, viewers who use CTVs are required to log in with email addresses or universal identifiers via social media profiles. With the use of third-party data, a user's profile is completed based on device, geolocation, interests, online behavior, language, and more.

Specific audience segmentations are used to deliver relevant messages to brand-receptive audiences as well. Throw in sophisticated targeting, and advertisers find high-value audiences they can serve connected TV ads to through their IP addresses or device IDs.

The general idea is to build an audience segment of qualified users who have been exposed to the brand's CTV ad. Once achieved, these users are then served with related ads across multiple digital channels. Consistent messages across different channels and devices drive site traffic and profits.

In the end, success is possible for advertisers who have developed well-defined target audiences using data-driven algorithms — those outside of traditional TV buying parameters. Similar technology is applied to optimize the price paid to reach that high-value audience.

3. Less Is More in Advertising

With traditional TV, three to five commercials run consecutively, which effectively overwhelms viewers. More importantly, the viewer is likely to ignore or forget the commercials altogether.

Unlike its predecessor, connected TV commercials appear at a much lower rate, with only one ad shown at a time. When casual or TV binge watchers aren't besieged by an onslaught of commercials, they're more attentive. Viewers not only see an interesting ad, they also remember the brand behind it, and perhaps even engage. An action may not occur right away, but showing an interest is favorable since the viewer may become a future customer.

4. Lights + Camera = Action With Digital Video Ads

High-quality videos aimed at the right viewers in prime environments is a surefire success strategy. It's the future of video advertising, with enormous opportunity and relative acceptance among consumers.

Placing video ads on streaming service providers to reach an audience you wouldn't otherwise through broadcast TV is a no-brainer. It merely involves networking with companies that buy CTV ads from ad tech companies like MediaMath or The Trade Desk. Check out the local market too.

Let's say you want to broadcast a message to viewers highlighting a private school in a major metropolitan area. Using video ads comprised of aspiring student testimonials or scholastic achievements is likely to garner the attention of parents. Ads such as these placed on premium outlets like CNN and local news channels are viable media sources for consideration.

What are some other facts to consider?

●      Less fraud, since CTV is a closed, controlled ecosystem

●      Advanced targeting, enhanced survey, audience analysis capability, and dynamic ad insertion

●      Full-screen TV experience on large entertainment devices, along with co-viewing

●      Wider reach of cord-cutters

●      Closer digital format to TV commercials

●      Support for third-party ad serving and measurement

5. Digital Audio Ads Are Hidden Gems

You might think the audio market is irrelevant or antiquated. Surprisingly, it's the underdog that's poised to be the next big marketing combat zone. In fact, radio has a broader reach than TV and mobile devices, reaching an estimated 228.5 million adults.

Why not make an audible appearance on music streaming services such as Pandora, SoundCloud, Spotify, or local radio stations?

To get the biggest slice of this marketing pie, know your audience. Audio ads aren't limited to basic demographic details, so get specific about lifestyle preferences, location, and age. Knowing the audience gets advertisers closer to ideal choices in stations, markets, and time-of-day broadcasts during the targeting phase.

Since the audio medium differs greatly from video and digital, you not only have to harness creativity, but also choose words with caution. Another important factor is monitoring real-time campaign insights — always be in the know about when and where ads run to receive proper airplay.

For a broader reach across multiple stations, a marketing agency is a go-to aid to position digital audio messages on a variety of channels.

Connected TV advertising gives viewers the ultimate branding experience by allowing people to consume digital video content on TVs from the comfort of home, work, or play. When considering adding connected TV ads to your marketing mix, use them as an extension of traditional television buys, or as a complement to digital advertising to better manage campaigns across CTV and other devices at the household level.

Clean Marketing Data Is Critical — Here's Why

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Dirty data, or data filled with errors, leads to poor marketing decisions. It's a pervasive problem that affects nearly every business. After all, data is the cornerstone of the modern information age we live in — even more so in the new marketing landscape — which relies heavily on the complex information that's more readily available today than at any point in the past.

The volume of customer data collected every day is immense, which is why it's so common for companies to have, or plan to have, a large marketing database to corral all its customer data.

In a perfect world, collected data is used seamlessly to provide marketers with the insight needed to guide campaigns, make decisions, and target audiences for promoting specific services and products. Unfortunately, dirty data costs businesses billions of dollars every year and has far-reaching consequences.

To remain competitive, prioritizing data quality is essential. Adtaxi wants to spread the word with all the essential details you need to know, from what dirty data is to how to clean data for optimal results.

The Lowdown on Dirty Data

The Data Warehousing Institute estimates that businesses in the United States lost $611 billion in staff overhead, printing, and postage due to low quality customer data. The real cost goes far beyond that, as poor data quality frustrates prospects and alienates loyal customers while eroding a company's credibility.

So, what is it? The simplest definition of dirty data is a database record that contains errors. Those errors could come from inaccuracies that existed from the start or from changes over time. As TDWI points out, roughly 2 percent of the information in customer records become obsolete within 30 days as customers go through life changes including moving, marriage, divorce, and death. Data entry mistakes and errors that occur when source systems change is also problematic. 

Perils of Dirty Data

In truth, having great data is the foundation of any effective marketing campaign. It allows organizations to engage with their target audience and respond to shifts in dynamics quickly and effectively to get the most return on their investment. As mentioned, errors in the data making up your customer database can cost you. Some consequences of having bad data include:

●      Wasted printing costs

●      Inaccurate customer metrics

●      Tracking errors

●      Inaccurate marketing segmentation

●      Misleading customer records

●      Missed opportunities

●      Decreased revenue

 

Characteristics of Clean Data

There's more to clean data than simply making sure it's accurate. To judge your data as clean, it should meet five criteria:

●      It's valid: you can judge it as accurate or inaccurate

●      It's accurate, up-to-date, and as current as possible

●      It's complete: all the necessary fields contain all the necessary information

●      There's no duplicate information and there are no (or minimal) errors

●      All the data values are consistent — same time zone and same unit of measurement throughout the database.

 

How to Clean Your Data

Don't make the mistake of confusing data cleaning with data purging. You can have clean data without deleting old records, which can be useful for creating reactivation campaigns or generating scoring models. Instead, prioritize eliminating useless information with a multi-step cleansing process:

●      Complete a data audit to identify discrepancies

●      Set data cleaning workflow constraints as a team so the program knows what to look for and your team understands how to deal with anything that falls outside of those parameters

●      Execute the data cleaning workflow

●      Review the data to make sure it's correct and to manually correct anything as needed

 

To combat the changes that naturally occur, cleaning data should be an ongoing process for businesses and marketers alike. Collecting clean data from the start is a way to control data quality and reduce heavy data cleaning workflow.

 

The Top 10 Ways to Creatively Build and Develop Your Online Audience

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Building a successful online audience of loyal brand advocates takes time and insight into demographics. For brands and marketers to attract and maintain loyal followings online, leverage networks, platforms, and marketing strategies effectively.

Here are the 10 best approaches to identify and engage a qualified audience.

 

1. Leveraging Partnerships With Influencers Who Have Desirable Audiences

 

Looking to add another powerful layer of engagement? Want to be as relevant and credible as possible? Benefits abound when brands and marketers collaborate with established trendsetters with rock star quality and unique storytelling mastery. The key is knowing how to cash in on them.

 

Start with the right questions. It's important to have a deep understanding of the scope and future impact of an influencer's offering to ensure a favorable outcome of your brand's goals. From execution, data, and analytical tools to cost, disclosure questions help you identify and connect with the appropriate influencer talent. In the end, it's beneficial to you, consumers and the influencers, too.

 

2. A/B Split Testing Every Email Communication

 

Retaining customers is easier than prospecting for new ones. It's why A/B tests are critical to new email campaign experiments. To improve conversions, it's a cinch to run effective A/B tests when you:

●      Settle on what you'll test: For the best results, test one thing at a time. Some considerations might include subject lines, personalization, message layout, text, or images.

●      Test whole or partial lists:  To get an accurate account of email opt-in responses, start with your entire list. Go for partial list testing if your A/B test service charges per email address, you're trying something new, or offering time-limited promotions.

●      Know what to test for: Decide on what you'll test for before launching your emails. Review previous results from consistent campaigns or open rates for future improvements.

●      Use proper testing tools: If your email campaign software is devoid of support or built-in A/B testing, consider splitting your lists into two separate lists and send different campaigns to each.

●      Analyze your results: After running a campaign with two different email versions, examine the results of open rates, click-throughs, and conversion rates. This helps to lower the risk of losing sales.

 

3. Including Exclusive Information in High-quality Content for Expert Brand Positioning

 

To perfectly position your brand to stand out from competitors, you'll need to leave an enduring impact on your target audience. This is easily doable through a genuine mix of targeted content through different formats, mediums, and touch points.

 

Bottom line: Give the people what they want. Take the reader's perspective into account and ask yourself: Is it informative? Is it relevant? Does it offer value? High-level content is what attracts a large following, especially when it's entertaining, engaging, and useful.

 

4. Expanding Client Lists with Look-Alike Modeling

 

For marketers, the challenge to reach more of the right customers is real. The struggle oftentimes extends into tailoring new strategies to increase the reach to a larger audience — particularly with relevant advertising. Here's where look-alike modeling works to streamline the process.

 

This secret weapon defines customers most likely to engage with your marketing messages. Also, it extends your reach by analyzing the common behaviors or traits of current customers to capture new ones exhibiting similar characteristics. The strategy behind this ingenious method is to find new targets that look like your best customers.

 

Why use it? According to 30 percent of advertisers who reported using look-alike modeling, their results doubled or even tripled that of standard targeting. Given these benefits, two common approaches are sure bets to get started:

●      To build look-alike models from email or direct mail lists, work with third-party data providers to build offline model audiences.

●      When using online customer data (i.e, an active website audience) build look-alike models via data management platforms that house third-party data.

 

Even if you start with offline data for digital marketing, you can still reach your model audience within digital channels through mobile, video or display.

 

5. Determining and Choosing to Interact on Platforms Where the Targets Spend the Most Time

 

To grow your fan base is to know where your audience hangs out to absorb content and get social interaction. Once you begin to navigate platforms that are ideal consumer breeding grounds, you'll need three things:

●      To know where your audience engages with your chosen platform at all times, on any channel factually and in real time

●      Content management offering the ability to optimize, test, and scale content to identify critical components of the audience journey

●      Platform automation to distribute great content to build momentum, boost conversions, or page views

 

Take Facebook, for instance. It's the one platform known to drive an audience and site traffic. With its popularity, a brand can quickly make it a top priority, find a large audience, and define a content strategy and voice.

 

6. Providing Valuable Gated Content

 

To gain access to a name, phone number, or even an email address when looking to get contact information, you need to master the use of gated content, or information that a user must fill out a form to access. You'll find that it's not a matter of what you should gate, but more of the what and when gated content should be used. Whitepapers, ebooks, podcasts, videos, and product demos are a few optimal content sources to generate leads and build online viewership during the audience journey.

 

Time invested in gating helps to drive leads deep into a sales funnel, where they're primed and nurtured over time. Also, leads from gated content are much more likely to convert, which creates opportunities for high conversion rates.

 

7. Taking Advantage of Social Sharing

 

In an effort to extend your reach and gain more adoring fans, use social sharing to your advantage. If it's more tweets, likes, or pins you're after, make awesome content to compel people to share. Do this with enticing headlines, irresistible offers, humor, and visuals. Posting at the right times is an added bonus to capture more attention and drive up the ante in social shares.

 

8. Engaging With Your Audience

 

Once you've gained a solid footing in delivering interesting content, encourage comments and feedback. Engage with active followers and respond to inquiries, including positive and negative comments, in a timely fashion. When readers request more information on certain topics, publish articles or blog posts to address their questions or concerns.

 

9. Focusing on Organic Search

 

When consumers are interested in something they take to the web to connect with the information they need. Use targeted keywords in your niche and evergreen content to stay top of mind on a search engine results page when they're ready to buy. With this cost-effective approach to the "pay to play" method, you stay ahead of your competitors. Besides, consumers are more likely to click on the top organic results over paid ads.

 

10. Maintaining Interest With Retargeting

 

Sometimes customers reach your brand early in the purchase journey as a result of interacting with an ad, blog post, or some other means. In either case, they're often not ready to make a purchase on the first visit. Not to worry, they're just in the consideration phase.

 

Simply reconnect with them through retargeting. Target users based on specific actions taken on your site and offer value on commonly viewed products. Consider retargeting existing customers who've been unresponsive to emails. Get behind the power of lead-gen ads like the ones offered by Facebook.

 

Every aspect of building an online audience comes down to understanding customers and what motivates them. Armed with the proper knowledge, it's easier to use digital channels to reach well-defined targets, improve engagement, and drive sales.

Harnessing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Predictive Modeling in Digital Marketing

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Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive modeling offer a clear path for digital marketers to deliver personalized service efficiently and with ever-increasing reliability. But they're not the same thing. Here are the differences, and how they can be used.

What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

As humans, we're able to harness our natural intelligence to make predictions based on experiences we've had in the past. Say, for example, you've allotted 15 minutes for your morning commute, but in the last week you've actually spent closer to 30 minutes navigating through traffic and construction. You predict that next week will be the same based on these experiences, and modify your schedule to allow for 30 minutes in the future.

Artificial intelligence allows for a computer to make these predictions without your input. Based on the dynamic traffic and construction data available to it, an AI system can estimate, often with greater accuracy than human intelligence, the amount of time your commute may take, and then rely on traditional programming to prompt you to leave sooner for work.

How AI Is Used in Digital Marketing

AI takes a data-driven approach to digital marketing by analyzing customer patterns, profiles, and purchasing decisions to deliver personalized content that is relevant to your customer and results in conversions. Product suggestions and pricing can be based on data pulled from any of these dynamic sources for a complete customer-driven experience.

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a subset of AI that allows machines to learn and improve from experience without being programmed to do so. Returning to our commuting example, if our AI system predicted you'd need 30 minutes for your commute but your trip actually took 35, the machine could automatically change its estimate for the following day based on this new experience.

How Machine Learning Is Used in Digital Marketing

Facial recognition, natural language processing, and chatbots are three major areas where machine learning has created a marketing stronghold. Machine learning is also used to manage user-generated content (to flag or rank posts), to rank search engine results to determine which appear on the first page, and to determine which marketing activities have the highest return on investment.

It's also important to note that machine learning is responsible for filtering certain types of marketing emails to the spam folder, so it's even more important to send relevant emails that your customers want to read.

What Is Predictive Modeling?

Predictive modeling is used as a practical application of machine learning. It's a general practice that relies on using identified patterns to make informed decisions about future events. Predictive modeling existed before AI, but now can be used in tandem with these very large digital marketing data sets.

How Predictive Modeling Is Used in Digital Marketing

Predictive modeling allows a digital marketer to chart a marketing campaign's performance in real time, assign priority to sales leads, or rank product search results for relevance in real time.

With the vast amount of data now available to digital marketers, AI, machine learning, and predictive analysis offer ways to work smarter, not harder. A digital marketing strategy focused on improving the quality of customer data can result in actionable insights with ever-increasing reliability.

The True Costs of Implementing In-House Advertising

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There's been a recent trend among many brands of moving their advertising in house, as first reported by the Association of National Advertisers in 2013. Many companies cite faster turnarounds and lower costs as top reasons to make the move. Although the popularity of going in house hasn't yet reversed, an increasing number of brands are realizing the choice isn't always cut and dry, and that bringing advertising in house isn't always as effective and efficient as they initially believed.

As technology continues evolving and the marketing landscape changes, brands' needs and wants shift. Before you decide whether in-house or outsourced advertising is right for you, consider the following potential costs.

Costs of Recruiting Talent

Unless you have qualified team members ready to take the helm, forming an in-house team can cost more than you might think. Recruiting top talent isn't the only issue. Recruiting, onboarding, and training all cost an average of more than $4,000 per hire, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Once you add each member of your in-house team's salary and benefits, you can easily see how the costs start piling up.

The Danger of Tunnel Vision

In-house teams do have an edge on agencies — they know their brand inside and out. But there's a downside to that, too. As a part of a company's culture, your creative team can get swallowed up by it and ultimately lose touch with your customers. Pepsi's 2017 ad featuring Kendall Jenner may well be the most spectacular example of the lack of perspective that can come when relying solely on an in-house marketing team. The tone-deaf message made this ad instantly out of touch with the reality experienced by the very audience it was meant to target, and the backlash was swift.

Lack of Innovation

Not to say that in-house talent can't be innovative, but your team will likely be focused more on developing the core product than on the latest and great digital technologies available. Heavy workloads and potential skills gaps don't help matters. Outsourced teams are used to the fast pace of digital marketing. Not only do they typically notice new algorithms and innovations first, they also have access to better tools and partnerships with digital giants than you may not be able to leverage with your in-house team.

Technology Know-How

Keeping up with the latest tech isn't the only thing you could be sacrificing. The amount of technological proficiency you need from a strong in-house team is substantial. There are so many systems involved in integrating distribution channels and marketing mediums. Your team may know certain aspects well, but still have a blind spot. For example, many brands end up outsourcing their video marketing even if they have an internal team, because of the challenges associated with producing high-quality video.

Ultimately, brands should consider their options carefully before making any decisions. In some cases you might find it makes good sense to bring most of your marketing in house, leaving the door open to outsource as needed for creative competencies you haven't mastered. But for many companies, outsourcing remains a strong go-to for cutting-edge creative talent that understands how to blend ideas with data and technology to best represent your brand.

Getting Smarter: Here's How AI Is Changing Digital Marketing

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way marketers see interactions with consumers. It's becoming the way for products and processes to work smarter with more data and less human intervention. Put simply, AI is "intelligence" shown by machines rather than that of humans.

AI exists in making things work through a combination of machine learning, big data, and cloud computing. At AI's core are algorithms that are integrated within products and processes to solve specific problems. Over time, products using artificial intelligence can be trained in a variety of ways to learn from past examples.

AI in Digital Marketing

Each time humans interact with artificial intelligence machines, we leave more and more data to be parsed, sorted, filtered, and used to increase AI learning. With a wider range of data, algorithms can work faster on their analyses. This increased data collection is how digital marketers learn more about our searches, buying methods, among brand preferences, among other things.

More than 50 percent of marketers already are using AI in some form, according to recent Salesforce research, and another quarter (27 percent) of marketers will start using AI technology in 2019. Also, a recent Business Insider study noted that marketers are using elements of artificial intelligence to better plan and execute keyword tagging, segmenting and tracking in current campaigns.

For brands and advertisers, the big question for using AI is how it fits into their current processes. AI machines are great at sifting and sorting through incredible amounts of data for programmatic advertising, for example, but will AI learn to create stories using human emotions in ads?

AI to Anticipate Consumer Behavior

Data collected via artificial intelligence are helping marketers anticipate consumers' needs.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a promising area for the study of consumer behavior, and is being researched by data scientists and digital marketers. NLP machine-learning technology can find trends in patterns and behaviors, and help digital marketers to look past keywords and show online ads to people based on much more context. 

AI in Chatbots and Customer Service

Chatbots are another way that AI is changing how marketers interact with consumers using machine-based AIs. For example, HGTV launched its own chatbot named Hazel to interact with customers on Messenger or the HGTV Facebook page. HGTV uses its Hazel AI to share design-themed pictures and information to customers in the form of pictures, videos, and content. 

AI in Voice Search

AI is already being used in voice-activated digital assistants. Marketers are exploring how to use voice search for Amazon Echo or Google Home devices, and shifting their SEO strategies to include this new machine learning.

Google is also using AI technology in its search tools. When you ask Google, "How old is Drake?" the search box below automates related questions to you based on your initial query about Drake's age.

AI in Data and Demographics

Successful AI-based machine learning is dependent on large sets of data, and uses those data sets to specialize in specific demographics data collecting and targeting. As digital marketers collect more data through AI experiences, brands can use that data to gain more organic traffic from potential buyers.

AI in Image Recognition

AI is advancing the use of image recognition for easier creation of ads/social media posts.  Facebook recently experimented on Instagram with learning tools to create higher accuracy rates for image recognition. Facebook engineers were able to train image recognition networks using hashtags, and ended up achieving an 85.4 percent accuracy rate.

Google, too, is using AI to enhance image recognition with its Cloud AutoML Vision. It's an AI-assisted tool to let enterprises, brands, and agencies create custom ML models for image recognition. Brands with thousands of product images can use machine learning models for image recognition to avoid having to do this work manually.

Ask and Receive: 5 Ways Smart Speakers Are Shifting Shopping Experiences

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Smart speakers — those voice-activated digital assistants in your home or office — are changing the way people interact with news and information and how they buy goods and services. Launched within the past few years, these devices from Amazon, Apple, and Google have outgrown their early "fad' status, and have made a dramatic impact on consumers' lives.

Gone are the days of writing date reminders on your kitchen calendar or jotting down reminders on Post-It notes affixed to your computer screen. Now, notes Google, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of smart speaker owners make their digital assistants part of their daily routine. Last year, users directed their voice devices to check weather and commuting routes, sports scores, and news updates while streaming music and radio. Now, increasing numbers of people are using voice devices to make online purchases with their Amazon, Google, or Apple-connected accounts.

Transforming Consumer Shopping Habits

A recent study from shopping analytics firm Narvar found that 42 percent of voice device owners use voice devices to make purchases — that's a big jump from the 29 percent of smart speaker owners from six months ago. The increase is due to more routine usage and familiarity of the voice-activated devices. As a way of comparison, do you remember when consumers were skittish to place shopping orders online over the internet? As usage increased and security measures got better, online shopping took off in numbers and sales. Expect the same here.  

You can now plug in a Google Home device, click over to Walmart Voice Shopping and make purchases directly using voice commands. If you use Amazon Echo, you can ask Alexa to update your grocery shopping list as you remember needed items.

More consumers are using voice-activated devices, and more marketers are creating new opportunities on the platform. It's time to see what early impact is forming around shopping patterns via voice devices.

Let's look at five ways voice-activated assistants are shifting our shopping experiences.

People are spending more time with voice-activated shopping experiences. A March 2018 study by OC&C Strategy Consultants found smart speaker devices have become more common in family homes, and usage is more prevalent. Accordingly, purchases made through voice-activated devices will rise sharply, and may hit $40 billion in sales by 2022. This increased time by consumers using voice-activated shopping will likely result in less time engaging with our mobile phones and the web via desktop, tablets, and laptops.

More people are creating lists to do their voice shopping. Amazon Echo users can now create lists for anything. "Alexa, create a list" is all it takes to create lists for such things as important family dates, school project tasks, grocery shopping lists, holiday shopping lists, or similar lists. Using voice devices to create shopping lists can also help later for certain product discovery.

There's no visual branding with voice shopping. It's an audio play. Shoppers have far fewer opportunities to interact with visual branding when shopping by voice. In fact, the visual aspect is almost completely missing from the voice shopping experience. Will this harm sales that rely on visual allure? Can it help generic items that are well known by name?

There is less product variety offered via voice shopping. A recent Google Home survey showed that more than half (52 percent) of voice-activated speaker owners say they'd like to get information from brands on promotions, sales, and deals about products and services. As the opportunities build for brands and marketers to pitch their goods directly to smart speaker owners, it could be only a matter of time before device owners are ordering from "suggested' items" rather than a wide selection of goods in a certain product category. Could this create a shopping environment where the major category players win out over the lesser known brands? At least some seem to find it possible.

More automated returns will be processed using voice shopping. The returns process for consumers may become more automated and streamlined over time. Voice shoppers will get speaker reminders about product deliveries and returns. If you're dissatisfied with an item bought via your voice-activated device, you'll be able to return it with return labels already sent to your email address.

Figures of Speech: How Smart Speakers are Changing Search

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Voice search is becoming a big part of the lives of web users who as looking for information or  searching for products and services. One big reason why is due to voice recognition accuracy, which is now up to about 95 percent, according to Google. This advancement in artificial intelligence technology has created growth in the "smart speaker" industry.

The Amazon Echo launched in mid-2014 and almost overnight created the smart speaker category. Today, all the top tech and electronic companies offer a smart speaker. Voice-activated search on these types of speakers has become part of the daily routine for those who have one.

Nearly three-quarters of those who own voice-activated speakers say they use the devices daily, according to Google, and more than half of people age 55 and older say being able to search using smart speaker empowers them to seek out answers and information.

How does this affect consumer search and marketers' techniques for search? One such area to consider is the increase in semantic search queries. Semantic searches are more about finding the context and meaning of a person's search request rather than just focusing on the keywords. Voice-activated searches have become more commonplace, and that's helping to build more semantic searches.

Let's look at a few areas where voice search is having an impact on marketing methods:

●      Higher numbers of casual searches: People today don't have to reach into their pockets for their phones to do a search. Instead, they can call out a query in their living room. This added convenience is leading to higher volumes of casual searches ("Hey Alexa, where can I get a pizza on sale today?") and meets customer needs more quickly, so marketers have to be ready to respond.

●      More data and personalization: Marketers are able to see and collect more data on users than ever before. People are using multiple accounts on multiple devices, which is giving device owners more data to offer to marketers. Because of this, the future likely includes more product customization and in-depth search personalization.

●      More audio searches, less visual branding: Smart speakers today are voice-only ("screenless searches,") lowering the visual component of branding used in search visibility and rankings. Marketers need to consider future search terms that are simple to speak and easy to announce for clear searches. 

●      Optimizing for voice marketing: Marketers need to review segments and stages in the existing customer journey. Where does voice marketing fit in for the brand? Google recognizes voice in short search queries and voice engagement tasks. Marketers will have to adjust their schema markups to make the transition in this evolution, though one study notes that schema may not play such a key role in voice search.

●      High domain authority matters: Voice search may rely more heavily on the authority of a domain for its answer, as it's giving users only one key answer. The higher the domain authority, the more confidence Google feels in providing that answer. This differs from a traditional web search that offers 10 URLs on page one of Google available for users to check.

Voice-activated search over smart speakers continues to evolve, and it's important for marketers to stay on top of this fast-growing segment.

A Job Well Done: 5 Interesting Facts About Labor Day

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We celebrate it every year on the first Monday in September — barbecues, last-minute vacations, and a farewell to summer are common themes among Americans celebrating Labor Day.

At Adtaxi, we believe people matter just as much as technology. We even made that part of our mission statement. That's why we want to honor the people behind this national holiday and the blood, sweat, and tears they poured into their work so we could all enjoy what we have today. It's more than just an excuse for a weekend getaway or a blowout barbecue. Check out these five fascinating facts about Labor Day's little-known backstory.

The Labor Movement Started Way Before Labor Day

During the earliest days in America, workers suffered in terrible conditions. There was no minimum wage law. Workers were lucky to make enough to put food on the table. Long hours and dangerous, dirty conditions were the norm. Kids as young as five years old would work in factories and mines to help feed their families. The labor movement really kicked off with a strike that took place in 1768 in protest of wage reductions to New York journeymen tailors.

Labor Day (Probably) Didn't Start in the U.S.

Like anything else, there's disagreement about who came up with the idea of Labor Day. But one thing's certain: Canada beat the U.S. by about a decade. The first Canadian Labor Day was held in Toronto in 1872 as a demonstration demanding workers' rights. The idea quickly became popular, and the first Labor Day demonstration in the United States was in 1882.

The First Labor Day Was a Parade (and a Protest)

The idea to create a movement to honor workers started gaining popularity in the early 1880s and the first Labor Day in the U.S. was planned by the Central Labor Union and held in New York City on September 5, 1882. Roughly 10,000 workers chose to take unpaid leave to participate in a parade from City Hall to Wendel's Elm Park at West 92nd Street and what is now Columbus Ave. The event culminated in a concert and speeches in the park, all part of the workers' protest demanding the end of backbreaking 12-hour days, seven-day work weeks, and a lack of basic rights and protections.

Oregon Was the First State to Make it a Holiday

What we now know as a holiday wasn't always a holiday. That first labor protest parade inspired other regions to start holding their own parades. Oregon was the first state to declare "Labor Day" a holiday in 1887. Congress passed an act making it a legal holiday in every state and the District of Columbia on June 28, 1894. That's also when it was established as the first Monday in September every year.

It's a Real Celebration

What started as a movement to improve conditions and celebrate American working people evolved into more than just a parade. We still celebrate the achievements and contributions of everyone in the U.S workforce, but Labor Day also marks the unofficial end of summer. That's also where the fashion rule "no white after Labor Day" started. The rich population in the Victorian era would return from their summer vacations and store their white summer clothing for the next year in preparation for returning to work and school.

Labor Day is among the biggest shopping days of the year. It's a big day for businesses of all kinds, but it also has some fascinating history behind it. Whether you celebrate with a big backyard bash, heading out of town or going to a parade, send off summer in style.

 

6 Ways Amazon Has Changed Buying Behaviors

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Consumers love to shop online because it's easy, comfortable, and often comes with a significant price savings. It hasn't always been this way, but over the last 20 years Amazon has successfully changed the way people shop all over the world.

The world's largest online retailer has grown from its humble bookselling beginnings to influence nearly every aspect of the consumer buying experience, from browsing to ordering to returning. Here's a look at the top six ways Amazon has changed buying behaviors:

1. Checking Amazon First and Last

Running low on printer ink? You might reach for your phone to check Amazon's replacement price before considering another retailer. Have those ink prices made you consider buying a new printer? A bigger purchase might prompt you to consider "showrooming," or getting a feel for the printer at a brick-and-mortar store before ordering it online for a lower price.

2. Shopping by Voice

With the introduction of Amazon's Alexa, the company has become a major player in making it possible for people to shop by voice. Now there's no need to even lift your phone to order that replacement printer ink. Just tell Alexa and it will show up at your door.

3. Buying Groceries Online

The convenience of shopping online has disrupted weekly trips to the grocery store with Amazon Prime, Prime Now, and the Whole Foods merger. Consumers are increasingly ordering both perishable and non-perishable groceries online for quick pick-up or home delivery.

4. Buying Clothes Online

Prime Wardrobe makes it easy for people to purchase clothing online by decreasing the time spent finding the right item and returning any wrong items. Consumers are growing increasingly likely to purchase higher quantities of clothing at a time due to the ease of returns.

5. Ease of Returns

Whether it's clothing, furniture, or a simple book, Amazon has streamlined the return experience to ensure a return is almost as simple to make as a purchase. By simplifying a return to just a few clicks, buyers are more likely to make a purchase with which they'll be satisfied.

6. Endless, Searchable Aisles

Brick-and-mortar stores are physically limited to the number of different products they have available for purchase. Through their extensive network of warehouses and other drop-shipping practices, Amazon offers a seemingly unlimited selection of items that is searchable with a single click, rather than hunting through a crowded store.

While many of these changes may feel sudden, Amazon has been influencing consumer buying behaviors since 1994, allowing the company to affect an entire generation of purchasing decisions. Traditional retailers today are challenged to build a response to Amazon's disruptions by listening to the needs of their customers, whether it's through an exceptional in-store experience, a desirable loyalty program, or a curated product selection that can't be replicated.

10 Must-Visit Digital Marketing Events for Fall 2018     

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When summer vacations end, work begins again. That means it's time for digital marketers and online advertisers to decide which events to attend during the autumn digital marketing conference season.

Digital marketing conferences hold fantastic opportunities to expand your professional network, learn new ways to tackle current challenges, and uncover techniques, tactics, and tips to help you become a better all-around digital marketer.

We've checked the U.S. digital marketing conference calendar for the remainder of the year, and we're most excited about these 10 must-visit conferences. These industry events can help you learn new methods from top executives in digital marketing, online advertising, content marketing, search engine optimization, and mobile marketing. Here's what you should know before you register.

September 2018

September 4-7           INBOUND 2018 / Boston

INBOUND is a big show, with over 20,000 attendees expected. That's a lot of marketers for meeting and sharing ideas. From creating brand stories and building high-volume lead generation to learning how to leverage your data for revenue generation, it's all here.

September 13-14       Digital and Content Marketing Summit / San Francisco 

Forward-thinking marketers will attend this San Francisco conference to learn new insights about content marketing's role in the marketing mix, find authentic online engagement, and seeing how virtual reality (VR) and digital storytelling might change the future of marketing.

October 2018

October 7-9                &THEN Conference / Las Vegas

Marketers, directors, and account managers will head to Las Vegas in early October for the DMA's annual &THEN conference to learn about disruptive creation methods, tech data insights for advertisers, and digital marketing techniques for the business landscape.

October 8-9                Swivel Digital Marketing Conference / Bend, OR

Swivel wants those attending its SEO and marketing conference to recharge and refresh themselves at this year's show in the mountains of western Oregon. Top tech companies will be on hand to show off new methods and technologies, and attendees will learn about new social media tools and SEO software capabilities.

October 16-18            PubCon 2018 / Las Vegas 

If you're an internet publisher, then PubCon is the professional web publishing conference for you. Now in its 18th year, Pubcon brings together SEO executives, web publishers, and content marketers to figure out the next steps for success in the web publishing world. Agenda topics this year include marketing subscriptions, advanced PPC, Facebook ads, and SEO for content marketing. 

October 24-25            SMX East / New York City

Search Marketing Expo East is run by Search Engine Land (the leading SEO industry website) and dedicates itself to being focused on search marketing and its place within the overall marketing mix. Content topics will include mobile-first SEO, web speed, SEO crawling, and SEM targeting. Digital marketers and online advertising pros who understand SEO will feel right at home here.

November 2018

November 4-7            UnGagged Las Vegas / Las Vegas

UnGagged offers topical sessions in all things SEO and digital marketing, including sessions on content marketing, influencer marketing, social links, and managing brand reputation. Video recording devices are banned from the speaker sessions, allowing for premium content to be shared by attendees only. 

November 7-8            DMWF North America / New York City

Those attending this New York conference will mingle with 1,000-plus other marketers to learn tips and insights about content marketing, data analytics, digital strategy, e-commerce, brand recognition, and newer issues surrounding mobile marketing, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.

November 13-16        B2B Marketing Forum 2018 / San Francisco

This MarketingProfs event brings together the brightest B2B marketers to share digital marketing and advertising strategies for B2B email, account-based marketing, pipeline generation, content marketing, and B2B SEO strategy.

November 14-15        Internet Summit / Raleigh, NC

Executives from Facebook, Square, Gartner Consulting, The Onion, Bit.ly, and other leading tech companies highlight the speaker list at this year's conference. This tech summit will showcase sessions on engagement and conversion, B2B/B2C marketing, user experience and design, mobile strategies, content, social media, and brand storytelling.

November 28             Intrigue Summit / Miami

With more than 200 speakers, the one-day Intrigue Summit will offer content on marketing strategy. This conference encourages audience participation in discussions about sales, marketing, and digital strategy issues and challenges. 

December 2018

December 11-12        Growth Marketing Conference / San Francisco

Executives from Lyft, Dropbox, Spotify, and others will tackle topics including finding growth and innovation through unique B2B marketing methods, storytelling through brands, and finding data models.

Building Trust Using Customer-Centric Approaches in Marketing

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In [A1] the competitive environment of business marketing, more and more brands are working to adopt a customer-first philosophy. In the past, marketers focused their efforts on boosting revenue or site traffic with flashy ads bragging about the wonders of their products. But this hasn't attracted customers in the most effective way.

Today's technology has changed the game. Consumers are more empowered and prepared to take their buying power into their own hands, and those flashy ads aren't cutting it anymore. Consumers want to know about the value that the brand and product offers them, and how it can help them do things better.

How can you create customer-centric marketing campaigns? Adtaxi has five tips to help you start building consumer trust and boosting your conversions.

Organically Attract Customers With Inbound Marketing

Outbound [A2] marketing (think magazine ads and direct mail) is all about getting people's attention to garner interest in your product. But today's buyers are more likely to seek knowledge and find solutions on their own than they are to respond to outbound marketing. That's where inbound marketing comes into play. This strategy transforms your brand into consumers' go-to resource by providing them with the information they need when they want it. These consumers then become more likely to buy from you when they're ready to do so.

Provide Actionable Advice

For [A3] this to work, stick to creating content that puts your audience's needs and interests first. The content shouldn't be about your sales pitch. Instead, focus on creating high-quality content that's well researched, visually friendly, and on point with the issues your target audience cares about.

While you should include a subtle product pitch or call-to-action, the content itself shouldn't feel like readers are being sold something. Instead, that should feel like an afterthought added to a piece that stands on its own merit.

Integrate Customer Engagements

Just [A4] as you want to create a seamless customer experience across all your platforms, you also want to create a single, seamless conversation with your customers to provide long-term value while building trust. To make this happen, all your marketing silos should be integrated. That way, when a customer makes a purchase on his or her mobile device, he or she won't continue getting ads for the same thing on a desktop.

Have Honest Interactions

Your [A5] customers can be your most effective salespeople. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful, especially in the age of social media, where customers can read reviews from anywhere in the world at any time. Part of that process includes having honest interactions with consumers when you're providing customer service, asking for feedback, or engaging with people on social media.

Create Goal- and Behavior-Based Buyer Personas

Buyer [A6] personas are nothing new. Traditionally, businesses have used them to profile the markets they're targeting with different consumer segments. But when brands create both goal- and behavior-based buyer personas, the emphasis switches to helping buyers across multiple segments based on their goals, attitudes, and behaviors, which organically shifts marketing to customer-centric strategies.

To be effective, brands need to truly understand their customers, and use the data available to deliver marketing efforts personalized to fulfill their customers' needs and solve their pain points. After all, that is what customers want to know more about. Making the shift to truly customer-centric marketing delivers great results – just wait and see!

 [A1]Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danielnewman/2015/02/17/marketing-building-a-customer-centric-marketing-eco-system/#2e4cece31cb2
https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-us/the-insider/how-to-succeed-with-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy
https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecrandell/2015/10/09/going-beyond-customer-centric-marketing/#722c7d9d5278
 [A2]Source: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-us/the-insider/how-to-succeed-with-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/06/08/is-your-content-marketing-strategy-customer-centric-heres-why-it-needs-to-be/#5fa60673422c
 [A3]Source: https://www.ngdata.com/expert-tips-on-creating-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2016/06/08/is-your-content-marketing-strategy-customer-centric-heres-why-it-needs-to-be/#5fa60673422c
https://www.crazyegg.com/blog/make-your-content-actionable/
 [A4]Source: https://www.ngdata.com/expert-tips-on-creating-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy/
 [A5]Source: https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/en-us/the-insider/how-to-succeed-with-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy
https://www.ngdata.com/expert-tips-on-creating-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy/
 [A6]Source: https://www.ngdata.com/expert-tips-on-creating-a-customer-centric-marketing-strategy/

Boosting Social Media Marketing Efforts With IGTV

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In June, Instagram marked two peaks in its 8-year history. The popular social media site reached a new milestone of one billion users, and it announced the launch of Instagram TV, or IGTV. Described by some as a hybrid between Instagram Stories (the circles of your friends at the top of your feed) and YouTube, IGTV offers plenty of new marketing opportunities for advertisers who use Instagram in their social media marketing strategies.

Advertisers and publishers have moved quickly to explore IGTV over the past month because it provides a much wider canvas on which to work. One reason for the fast attraction is that IGTV's time lengths for videos have been extended. Before, branded videos on Instagram were kept simple, adhering to the platform's 1-minute limit. Now, IGTV offers everyone a 10-minute minimum time limit — and for some premium advertisers, a 60-minute time limit on videos.

As Advertising Age points out, this may lead to experimentation by brands to take full advantage of the 1-hour time length with off-the-wall videos, like the one the article features of teen star Cole Sprouse eating a hamburger for an hour.

What Is IGTV? 

IGTV is a new platform from Instagram dedicated to videos. It gives brands and everyday social media influencers the opportunity to expand brand presence on Instagram TV. The new TV format is designed for viewing on your mobile phone.

How Does IGTV work?

To get started on IGTV, go into your Instagram brand account and click the TV icon on the top right. Follow the prompts in Instagram to set up the channel. You don't get to pick a new name—the channel is the account name. When you are ready to shoot a new clip or upload an existing clip, use the "upload video" prompt that appears. Note that you can upload from a desktop browser at Instagram.com. Here is a step-by-step guide to the IGTV upload process.

Remember, this format is geared toward seeing original vertical videos. Brands that have hundreds of horizontal videos can still upload these clips, but users will have to turn their smartphones sideways to watch them.

If you're looking to make the most of your social media marketing efforts on this new platform, here are some IGTV tips.

Offer brand-related tips or use your IGTV video to share a key point about your brand or product. Keep it simple, funny, or unique. Try different ways to grab people's attention, because a swipe right will happen faster on IGTV than with a remote channel switcher.

Teach viewers how to use products. Why not offer tips for viewers on how to use the product or service? Show the product or service in action, in its actual environment. Let viewers see some things they might not know about your product. From home and garden items to software essentials, showing how your product is best used is natural for marketers using IGTV.

Interview experts or tell personal stories. Another way to experiment with IGTV is to use the brand channel to tell personal stories that can relate to the brand (or not). Invite some of the brand team experts to share their favorite stories about working with that particular product. Or you might choose to interview the brand's CEO to talk about how the product is created. A behind-the-scenes view of a top brand is always an interesting view.

Display brand culture and products with crisply edited videos. Show your brand culture and products using high-quality, professionally produced videos. Mixing these high-quality productions with mobile phone clips from your phone can help to balance the feel of your channel.

As of mid-July, IGTV is not showing any advertising. This is an opportunity for brands to upload their previous ads to their IGTV channels to give it that traditional TV experience that we know and love. You can also contact Adtaxi if you have any questions on using IGTV. You can bet there will be more developments in this fast-moving niche.

 

5 SEO Best Practices for Auto Dealership Websites

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Having an attractive, SEO-optimized auto dealership website is more important than ever. As most other areas of life today, technology has changed the way people shop for their vehicles. In [A1] fact, roughly 86 percent of shoppers research vehicles online before ever stepping foot onto a dealership.

In 2018, Adtaxi conducted its first Auto Shopping in America Survey, and a majority of respondents listed convenience and transparency as key factors when shopping online. Other findings include:

·      96 percent find dealership websites helpful, particularly the vehicle description pages.

·      91 percent of vehicle shoppers use the internet.

·      45 percent of people research vehicles before and after they visit a dealership.

You can see why it's important to have a website that not only looks good, but also reaches the widest possible audience. To do so, auto dealership websites must optimize with vehicle-specific keywords and follow best practices to make sure the website, pages, and content are readily visible to consumers by achieving high rankings in search results. Want to learn how? Keep reading for five tips to get you started.

1. Set up a winning website.

Did [A2] you know that 90 percent of potential buyers get their first impressions of your dealership from your website? Make sure your website ranks highly among search results by creating a home page with 400 words or more, and including keywords relevant to your industry. Also, include the dealership's address, contact information, and cities you serve on every page of the site.

2. Keep content fresh.

You're [A3] in a competitive business. To stand out, you need to do more than just list your inventory and provide product descriptions — you need to have content that provides value to potential customers and makes your site the go-to spot for advice. As customers interact with your website based on the advice and tips provided, they'll begin to form trust in your auto dealership, and keep you in mind when it's time to buy a vehicle.

To keep your website ranking high within the search engine results, make sure to regularly update blog posts and news articles with topics that are relevant and unique, and provide value to your readers. Some ideas include seasonal vehicle maintenance, traveling during the holidays, local events, or community construction impacting local traffic.

Use targeted keywords.

Do your research! Finding the most relevant keywords is crucial in succeeding at automotive SEO, and should guide your advertising and content plans. Tools like Google Ads' Keyword Planner can give you a good starting point by suggesting keywords based on their estimated search volume. In addition to choosing the right keywords, you also want to make sure the ones you pick are targeted to your local area. For example, if you offer an oil change service in Memphis, target keywords like "oil change in Memphis."

Use a site aggregator tool.

The more your auto dealership's name and contact information is mentioned on other websites, the more credible your business is with search engines and customers alike. It also helps your dealership's website rank well, which means potential customers can find you more easily. Aggregator tools like Yext or Moz Local boost your business mentions by publishing your dealership's information across different directory sites.

Create a Google My Business page.

This [A4] could be one of the best tools in your digital marketing toolbox. Creating a Google My Business listing is free, boosts your online presence, and makes your business visible in local searches. Start by Googling your business to make sure you don't already have a listing. If so, claim it and edit the information. If not, add a new page and use all your contact information. Add your service area information, including all zip codes and/or cities you serve. After you've made sure all your details are correct, submit the information and verify the listing.

 

 [A1]Source: https://www.digitaldealer.com/survey-86-car-shoppers-conduct-online-research-visiting-dealership/

 [A2]Source: https://gofishdigital.com/local-automotive-seo/

 [A3]Source: http://www.autodealermonthly.com/article/story/2010/04/seo-need-to-know.aspx

https://gofishdigital.com/local-automotive-seo/

 [A4]Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/optimize-google-my-business/218797/

High Quality: Understanding the Components of Ads Quality Scores

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Google [A1] Ads is an advertising tool that lets you connect with customers at the right time, control costs, and boost campaign performance. Even if you have never used Ads for anything other than a keyword lookup, you have probably noticed how the keywords have Quality Score ratings.

The Quality Score rating can have a big influence on how successful your Ads campaign is. It represents your ad's relevance to Google users' search queries, and Google uses it in addition to your highest cost-per-click to determine your ad rank. A higher Quality Score equates to better rankings and higher odds of landing in the top position in Google SERPs. Let's look at the following seven components of Quality Scores to understand why it matters, which is key to improving your overall score.  

Account Level

Google's [A2]  chief economist Hal Varian denies that an account level quality score exists. While it's not a metric that's available to Google users, it is a helpful category to keep in mind. The account-level score involves the history of your account and the performance of the keywords and ads you have used in the past. As a rule, accounts with stellar performance and a substantial history typically outperform new or poor-performing accounts. Improving on this level takes time and strategic planning, so choosing the right keywords and launching consistently good ads are crucial.

Ad Group

This [A3] score type provides insight into what needs work in your campaign, so you can restructure as needed to boost your score. For example, you might have a keyword quality score of 3 in one group but an overall score of 8. This tells you exactly what to prioritize — i.e., work on the lowest score areas first, and you will begin to see a difference.

Ad Level

Each [A4] of your ads is going to have its own click-through rate, and having a large percentage of ads with a low click-through rate can drag your score down. Incorporating a few Dynamic Keyword Insertion ads into your campaign can provide an organic boost, as these ads typically appear more search-relevant, which makes them more likely to receive clicks. Keep in mind that ads with high click-through rates that aren't converting may not affect your Quality Score, but they also aren't helping your return on investment.

Keyword Level

This [A5] is the score you can see right in the Ads main interface. Your keywords are scored from one to 10, with 10 being the best score. It's based on the number of search queries that match, which indicates the relevance of the keyword. Need to boost your score? Look at the impression share data, which tells you the percentage of time ads were displayed out of the total available slots open to you. If this metric is low, you might need to boost your bids or increase your daily budget to rank higher.

Landing Page

Google [A6] wants marketers to offer high quality websites with useful, relevant content. That's why they score your landing page based on three main factors:

·      Content: Are you providing original, useful content that's relevant to your keywords and ad text?

·      Transparency: Does your website deliver what people need and clearly state what your business does, the products you offer, and what you do with any personal information customers provide?

·      Navigability: Can people easily find information? Is the page designed and organized well for mobile and computer viewing?

Display Network

Google's [A7] Display Network reaches internet users on millions of sites using a passive type of advertising. When someone's casually browsing the internet, they might come across these ads, which often contain video, animation, and images. Display networks have different bidding options, and your Quality Score is tied to your ad's performance on the site you're eligible for. Targeting ads to the most appropriate audience and sites is essential.

Mobile

In [A8] today's marketing climate, you have to be mobile-friendly — if you're not, Google will penalize you for it. The distance between your business location and the user is typically considered when Google calculates your mobile Quality Score. Other factors include loading time, navigability, and user experience.

Understanding how Google Ads calculates your Quality Scores and all the important components is key to keeping your scores high. In turn, this enhances your marketing efforts to increase your results and boost your business.  

 

 [A1]Source: https://www.seo.com/blog/why-adwords-is-important-to-your-online-success/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/3-important-benefits-adwords-digital-marketing-shekhar-pawar
https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
 [A2]Source: https://klientboost.com/ppc/adwords-quality-score/
https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
 [A3]Source: https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
 [A4]Source: https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
 [A5]Source: https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
https://klientboost.com/ppc/adwords-quality-score/
 [A6]Source: https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2404197?co=ADWORDS.IsAWNCustomer%3Dfalse&hl=en
 [A7]Source: https://searchengineland.com/3-reasons-love-google-display-network-really-220673
https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/
 [A8]Source: https://searchengineland.com/quality-score-leverage-points-275327
http://www.commonmind.com/blog/top-links/importance-of-mobile-web-performance/
https://www.ppchero.com/ultimate-guide-to-adwords-quality-score/

To Spend or Not to Spend? When You Do and Don't Need a Bigger Campaign Budget

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There's no denying it: Advertising is big business. By 2021, experts estimate that marketers will spend close to $119 billion on everything from display advertising to email marketing, according to Forrester[A1] . Digital marketing is particularly important for marketers looking to craft effective campaigns. In [A2] 2018, the average company expects to allocate more than 40 percent of their budgets to digital, and that figure is expected to continue rising as technology evolves.

No matter the medium, one thing remains true across the board for businesses of all sizes and marketing budgets: plans change. And when they do, you're likely to face a major decision about your ongoing budget. It would be easy to assume that if a campaign is getting results, you should increase that budget — but that's not always the case.

To make an informed decision about increasing your budget, it helps to understand your return on ad spend (ROAS). To help set you on the right path, we gathered up the basics, including what ROAS is, how to calculate it, and why it matters. 

What Is ROAS?

By [A3] definition, ROAS is a metric that measures how effective a paid campaign performs. Sounds simple enough, but this key figure is crucial in comparing campaigns to determine the ones that are most profitable. ROAS can also reveal aspects of a campaign that are generating more revenue than others, and it helps managers determine where to bump up their advertising budgets or scale back to maximize returns. In short, ROAS is the calculation needed to figure out what's working and how to improve in the future. 

How ROAS Is Calculated

The [A4] basic formula is pretty simple: Revenue divided by cost equals ROAS. To see it in action, let's look at an example:

Marketers spent $2,000 on a campaign held in April, with $1,000 devoted to paid search and another $1,000 spent on display ads. In May, the team evaluated both components of the campaign and discovered that the paid search component created $10,000 in revenue, while the display portion generated $5,000. Using the formula above:

·      Paid Search: $10,000 divided by $1,000 gives you an ROAS of 10:1, or $10 revenue for every dollar spent.

·      Display: $5,000 divided by $1,000 gives you an ROAS of 5:1, or $5 revenue for every dollar spent.

If the team needs to choose where to increase spending, they now have a clearer picture of the components that are performing better.

Beyond the Basics

That [A5] same formula can be applied to different elements of a campaign, including ad groups and keywords. To calculate the ROAS for these elements, marketers need to track details such as the clicks that led to specific purchases, tracking conversions, and determining the amount of money that a campaign, individual ad, ad group, or keyword generates.

Other important metrics include the click-through conversion rate, calculated based on the number of conversions divided by the number of your link’s first-time clicks. This gives you good insight into how often views are converting for a specific ad. View-through conversions are a little trickier because they tell you more about viewers who see the ad, but don’t click on it immediately. Later, they find your website on their own and convert based on the impression the ad initially gave them.

Conversion tracking is easy if you're using online platforms like Facebook or Google Ads. Tracking sales is simple when you have good customer relationship management (CRM) software, which lets you tie all of your important marketing details to a new lead. When that lead turns into a customer or client, you can easily see the marketing efforts behind the sale.

Knowing where and when to adjust and allocate your budget to specific marketing efforts can make all the difference in your long-term success. ROAS is a great tool to help guide your decision-making process. When you use this metric instead of just going off results or revenue, you gain incredible insight into the campaigns (or aspects of campaigns) that are most effective and worthy of an increased budget.

 

 

 

 

 [A1]Source: https://www.forrester.com/report/US+Digital+Marketing+Forecast+2016+To+2021/-/E-RES137095#
 [A2]Source: https://www.snapagency.com/blog/much-spend-digital-marketing-2018
 [A3]Source: https://ppcprotect.com/return-on-ad-spend/
https://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-answers/what-is-roas-calculating-return-on-ad-spend/
 [A4]Source: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/roas-and-how-is-it-calculated-2295469
https://www.bigcommerce.com/ecommerce-answers/what-is-roas-calculating-return-on-ad-spend/
https://fitsmallbusiness.com/return-on-advertising-spend-roas/
 [A5]Source: https://searchengineland.com/roas-practical-guide-improving-return-ad-spend-290646
https://megalytic.com/blog/return-on-ad-spend-roas
https://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/marketing/roas-return-on-ad-spend/

Adopt These Back-to-School Digital Advertising Strategies

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It's inevitable — the moment July 4 [A1] fireworks end, the back-to-school shopping season begins. Summer merchandise clears out, only to be replaced by notebooks, furnishings, backpacks, and other essentials. It all underscores one guiding principle that marketers and businesses both understand: Back-to-school is big business.

The [A2] National Retail Federation predicts that 2018's back-to-school (BTS) and back-to-college (BTC) season will generate more than $82 billion, with shoppers purchasing everything from clothing to electronics to school supplies. Adtaxi believes that merits a fresh approach in digital marketing, so we rounded up a few innovative strategies to kick off the school season in style.

Get Creative on Social Media

Social media is a game changer for BTS and BTC marketing campaigns. Kids, parents, and teachers all use it to generate shopping ideas, which provides businesses with a natural way to build brand recognition and attract both new and returning customers. A few ideas include[A3] :

·      Build a buzz around BTS and BTC sales on social media by giving your followers a chance to win a prize or a shopping spree for every share or reaction they give to a post. To keep people interested, randomly choose winners once a week.

·      Showcase popular new merchandise and have your audience vote for their favorites using a brand- or product-specific hashtag. This not only increases sharing potential, but also gives customer engagement a boost.

·      Invite customers to post pictures of themselves in your store or with your product in exchange for exclusive savings, coupons, or invitations to private sales.

Jazz Up Your Site Content

While [A4] social media marketing is a key part of any good digital advertising strategy, the importance of keeping your content fresh and optimized with keywords designed to get your posts in front of your audience can't be understated. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing leaders experience over seven times more site traffic than non-leaders. Keep the content interesting and relevant, and don't forget to follow SEO best practices. Also, don't overlook the power of providing unexpected and creative extras, like a study time music playlist.

Create a Cross-Platform Experience

As [A5] important as keeping the strategy and content fresh on your social media pages, website, and mobile apps may be, it's even more important to give your audience a seamless experience across all platforms. This is a great way to increase customer engagement, reach them at different points in the buying process, and increase the odds of your customers becoming and staying loyal to your brand.

Use Different Voices for Different Audiences

Understand [A6] who you're talking to and tailor your content and ads accordingly. Kids want to know that it's "cool," while adults need to understand why they should invest money in your brand. Likewise, what excites someone in junior high is going to be very different from the things that college kids enjoy. Use a more authoritative tone in your blog posts and social media content to engage with adults.

Tip: Don't overlook the fact that teachers are part of the BTS demographic, and they often bring additional spending power to the table!

Partner with Community Groups

Take [A7] a page out of grassroots marketing efforts and create partnerships with local community groups to increase your brand's reach, which is also a great way to build a local presence. A few examples include offering coupons to YMCA members or discounts to summer camp kids and parents.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to adopting innovative, fresh digital marketing strategies. BTS and BTC are huge opportunities for businesses and marketers alike to get in on that $82 billion of spending while increasing brand recognition and reaching out to their target customer.

 [A1]Source: http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/summer-back-school-marketing/309647/
 [A2]Source: https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/back-school-and-college-spending-reach-828-billion
 [A3]Sources: https://info.wyng.com/blog/7-back-to-school-visual-marketing-ideas
https://www.godigitalmarketing.com/learn/blog/how-to-use-social-media-for-your-back-to-school-promotions
 [A4]Sources: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/blog-search-engine-optimization
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2016/08/content-marketing-stats/
 [A5]Sources: https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69690-what-is-cross-channel-marketing-and-why-do-you-need-it
https://www.revlocal.com/blog/paid-advertising/this-is-why-you-need-a-cross-platform-advertising-strategy
 [A6]Sources: https://marketingland.com/smarter-approach-back-school-marketing-213807
https://www.kingstonwebworks.com/back-school-marketing-tips/
 [A7]Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/280211

Boosting Social Media Marketing Efforts With IGTV

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In June, Instagram marked two peaks in its 8-year history. The popular social media site reached a new milestone of one billion users, and it announced the launch of Instagram TV, or IGTV. Described by some as a hybrid between Instagram Stories (the circles of your friends at the top of your feed) and YouTube, IGTV offers plenty of new marketing opportunities for advertisers who use Instagram in their social media marketing strategies.

Advertisers and publishers have moved quickly to explore IGTV over the past month because it provides a much wider canvas on which to work. One reason for the fast attraction is that IGTV's time lengths for videos have been extended. Before, branded videos on Instagram were kept simple, adhering to the platform's 1-minute limit. Now, IGTV offers everyone a 10-minute minimum time limit — and for some premium advertisers, a 60-minute time limit on videos.

As Advertising Age points out, this may lead to experimentation by brands to take full advantage of the 1-hour time length with off-the-wall videos, like the one the article features of teen star Cole Sprouse eating a hamburger for an hour.

What Is IGTV?

IGTV is a new platform from Instagram dedicated to videos. It gives brands and everyday social media influencers the opportunity to expand brand presence on Instagram TV. The new TV format is designed for viewing on your mobile phone.

How Does IGTV work?

To get started on IGTV, go into your Instagram brand account and click the TV icon on the top right. Follow the prompts in Instagram to set up the channel. You don't get to pick a new name—the channel is the account name. When you are ready to shoot a new clip or upload an existing clip, use the "upload video" prompt that appears. Note that you can upload from a desktop browser at Instagram.com. Here is a step-by-step guide to the IGTV upload process.

Remember, this format is geared toward seeing original vertical videos. Brands that have hundreds of horizontal videos can still upload these clips, but users will have to turn their smartphones sideways to watch them.

If you're looking to make the most of your social media marketing efforts on this new platform, here are some IGTV tips.

Offer brand-related tips or use your IGTV video to share a key point about your brand or product. Keep it simple, funny, or unique. Try different ways to grab people's attention, because a swipe right will happen faster on IGTV than with a remote channel switcher.

Teach viewers how to use products. Why not offer tips for viewers on how to use the product or service? Show the product or service in action, in its actual environment. Let viewers see some things they might not know about your product. From home and garden items to software essentials, showing how your product is best used is natural for marketers using IGTV.

Interview experts or tell personal stories. Another way to experiment with IGTV is to use the brand channel to tell personal stories that can relate to the brand (or not). Invite some of the brand team experts to share their favorite stories about working with that particular product. Or you might choose to interview the brand's CEO to talk about how the product is created. A behind-the-scenes view of a top brand is always an interesting view.

Display brand culture and products with crisply edited videos. Show your brand culture and products using high-quality, professionally produced videos. Mixing these high-quality productions with mobile phone clips from your phone can help to balance the feel of your channel.

As of mid-July, IGTV is not showing any advertising. This is an opportunity for brands to upload their previous ads to their IGTV channels to give it that traditional TV experience that we know and love. You can also contact Adtaxi if you have any questions on using IGTV. You can bet there will be more developments in this fast-moving niche.

 

In Rapidly Evolving Digital Age, Retailer Success Stems From Personalization

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Our VP of sales and strategic accounts and the creator of Quantum, Brian Kroll was recently featured in a Total Retail Article focusing on retailer's success using personalization.

As retailers scramble to keep up with an ever-changing media landscape and constant technological advancement, the need to adapt and embrace new models has become abundantly clear. In order to stay ahead of the curve — and possibly to stay in business — retailers must not only listen to evolving consumer demands and habits, but respond to and anticipate them. Today’s consumers are perpetually omnichannel and “always on” with digital media, so the key to thriving in this challenging retail environment is adaptive personalization within your omnichannel customer experiences.
— Brian Kroll

Kroll dives into what personalization means, how to put it together and what's in store for retail. Read the full article here.

From inspiration to innovation, here's how Adtaxi and local tech leaders fuel creativity

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We were honored to be featured in a recent article highlighting how leaders in the tech space are continuing to innovate to keep a competitive edge. Our Vice President of Operations Doug Gesiorski shared how ideas can be expanded through interdepartmental collaboration. With 2,600 monthly campaigns, the operations team stays ahead of the game through strong cross-team collaboration, communication, and a great incentive program. Read the full article from Built in Colorado to learn has creativity helped the team overcome challenges, accomplish awesome things, and much more.