Use the improved Google Maps local search ads to promote your business

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Website Content |

If you use local search ads on Google maps to attract customers in your area, there have been some improvements to this service that you should know about. Appearing on both desktops and mobile devices, the adverts you place on Google maps are a very powerful way to increase your exposure, making it easy for people to find you, contact you and make their way to your premises. The “new generation” Google maps ads are set to improve by introducing new ad formats and features, that will hopefully direct more traffic to your physical location. These include Promoted Pins, customizable business pages and in-store promotions. The aim is to make the ads more visible to the user, but without becoming intrusive. New local search ads will appear in the Google Maps app, on Google Maps mobile, desktop and tablet sites, as well as on expanded map results. In the recent Google Performance Summit, some mobile statistics were revealed that should make you sit up and realise why people need to be able to find your business easily, both online and physically: Around 90% of all global sales happen in stores, not online. Three out of four people that use their mobile devices to search locally, end up visiting the store within a day, with 28% of those searches result in a purchase. Nearly one third of all mobile searches are related to location. 84% of consumers conduct local searches. Over a billion people use Google Maps. Promoted Pins, or branded pins, will help your business stand out on a map. Your logo will appear on the map search result, instead of the usual red dot. Below your business details and address, you can feature an in-store promotion, which could be the pull the user needs to select your business. So how does Google know which store listings to show, when there could be many in the area? Using a variety of signals, including search history, interests, time of day, demographics and query context, Google will show results that are relevant to the user, similar to what they’re doing on the Google Display Network. Local pages are set for an upgrade – when someone taps on a local search ad, they will be taken to a page that will include store hours, phone numbers, website address, directions and even a photo of the storefront. These changes are set to roll-out in the next few months, so in the meantime, you can make sure that you enable local extensions – only ads with location extensions enabled will be eligible to show. Check that all your information in Google My Business is up to date and accurate. The world of digital...

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The Latest in Streaming Video Apps

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Visual Marketing |

Like most things internet related, the speed at which new apps and tools are released can leave you reeling. You’ve just got a handle on the latest, greatest, when a competitor releases a bigger and better product. Staying current with digital marketing trends is a full-time job. Facebook announced just last week the launch of its new live-streaming app, Live. Hardly surprising, since the launch of Meerkat, followed quickly by Periscope (Twitter) and thereafter. One would think the market would be flooded now with apps offering the same service, but multiple live-streaming apps can exist side-by-side, since they each have various features, differentiating themselves from one another. So in case you haven’t got a handle on the latest social media apps out there, here’s a short summary: Meerkat: Following its launch at the end of February, this platform went from obscure to almost viral in one week. With 18 000 users in the first week, Meerkat has shown its quirky fun side to the world and looks set for success. It provides a simple way to live-stream video and get an audience for those videos, by using the Twitter platform (an unofficial but tight integration). The app automatically tweets when a stream is launched. One of the keys to its success, is its ephemeral nature – once the live stream is over, it cannot be seen again, creating a missing-out fear. So far, it has largely been ‘played’ with, but it has a scheduling feature created with businesses in mind. Marketers like the simplicity of the platform – they can just jump on, without first having to create a new profile which needs to be maintained. Periscope: This product was acquired by Twitter, reportedly for close to $100 million. This app enables people to stream live videos from their mobile devices, much like Meerkat. Since their Android app release in May, they seem to have overtaken Meerkat in the live-streaming race. Collectively, Periscope users watch about 40 years of video each day. Launched soon after Meerkat, this more flexible app allows users to live-stream videos from their iOS or Android devices and share it in real time over Twitter, Facebook, Google+, email and text messages. One can also shoot 15 second ‘reels’ that are available for 24 hours. It enables real time messaging during the live-stream, allowing people to communicate with the person broadcasting. Live: Facebook’s dip into the live-streaming pool has a catch – at the moment it is only available to public figures with verified Facebook pages. Live-streams are posted via the Facebook Mentions iPhone app. The logic behind limiting the videos to celebrity posts, is that they will be able to focus on high...

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Part 1: Social Media Mobile

Posted by on Jun 22, 2011 in Social Media Marketing | 2 comments

Social media is big, it’s huge, and it is basically a fundamental part for many businesses these days. Here’s a couple of questions that I often get asked: “what is the next big thing?” and “what social media platform is the next Facebook or Twitter?”. Usually I answer that I just do not know what will be the next “big thing”. There might be a next big thing around the corner, but I see the Web 2.0 (social media/networking) boom settling down and it’s becoming more common for companies popping up to stake a claim on user’s online time. Instead of worrying about what will be the next big “Facebook” or “Twitter”, PR professionals and digital marketing professionals should focus more on the technology side of things.  The existing applications and networks won’t change that much.  You will still need to understand and watch them closely and find new ways to communicate and provide value on them. Is it a bird, is it a plain, no – it’s mobile! If I truly had to pick the next big thing, I would say that it is already busy happening and it’s moving at the speed of light – it’s mobile! Everywhere you look you can see advertisements of the latest smart phones and tablets.  It is really not a luxury for only business people any more. Because of the open source nature of the internet and major players in the industry such as Google and Apple’s ability to let any developer and development house build applications for their platforms, the technology got far ahead of normal users. Instead of playing with devices we couldn’t even think to visualize how to use, we all of a sudden had easy to use applications (apps) that made our every day lives easier by only using our fingers. Website development was the big thing in 1997.  Social networking was the big thing in 2008.  Mobile is the big thing now, and it’s happening very fast. In part 2 of this series we are going to look at various social media technologies you can use on your mobile...

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