Tag Archives: digital marketing

How Will The iOS14.5 Update Affect Online Marketing?

Transcript:

Apple has confirmed that it will require customer opt-in to be tracked by IDFA or “Identification For Advertisers” with iPhone and iPad users who have the new iOS platform sometime in early Spring of 2021.

How Does This Change Things?  When you visit websites, use search engines or use mobile apps, your activities, in most cases, are tracked using IDFA by advertisers like Google and Facebook to create a profile of what ads would appeal to you.

As it stands now, there are settings in existing iOS versions that allow you to opt-out.  The new version will require you to actually opt-in, or give permission to be tracked by IDFA.  This will result in less IDFA data being sent to advertisers.

I believe that less “big brother”, or more accurately, big data and machine learning for advertisers, is a noble cause.   However, it may come with a steep price.  Google, Facebook, and other internet platforms have to make money.  Right now, the data that is provided by IDFA creates huge income streams for these advertisers.  Without these income streams, there will have to be alternative income streams.

The actual effect on online advertising of this change is to be seen, but Google is reportedly going to follow suit with Apple to “keep up with the Joneses”.   Google is instituting a new program which is purportedly 95% as efficient as the current system.   Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is a solution that is with Google Chrome only that groups those with like interests into groups for ads.  All privacy will be preserved under this solution.

It seems that there might be a return to good old-fashioned online marketing based on searching for keywords or phrases as opposed to marketing based on interests and intent.  Will this drive the cost of google ads or Facebook boosts up?  Google Display and Facebook ads are some of the most affordable ways for our clients to promote their brands.  Will we return to an online environment where small-sized companies will not be able to afford to advertise extensively on search engines and social media platforms?  

I am confident that these platforms will figure these problems out, but the one certainty is that the digital landscape will again change in the near future.  Most advertisers should also strengthen first-person strategies like email collection, rewards programs, customer data platforms (CDPs), and automated marketing solutions like Sharpspring.

For more on this subject and other Digital Marketing and SEO questions, please go to our website at zenergyworks.com.

Thanks.  Please stay safe and healthy.

Increasing Sales 3x with Local SEO

Zenergy Works began working with this client in November of 2015 and in the last 5 years that we’ve worked together we’ve:

  • Increased sales over 3x
  • Increased their website traffic 12x
  • Established this client as a presence in local search

This particular client is an Auto Body Shop with one location in Santa Rosa, California.  (The client’s name will remain anonymous for strategic purposes). When we first connect with this client, we did an exhaustive debrief of the client’s marketing strategy, their ideal customer, as well as the types of services they prefer to provide and are most profitable. The initial diagnostic was this:

  1. A new website had been launched, but it needed a great deal of work in functionality like contact/quote forms, content, and mobile load time.
  2. Poor organic placement for significant search terms.
  3. No presence on Social Media.
  4. No strategy to take advantage of extremely positive customer reviews.

We made significant gains for this particular client by employing a geo-focused SEO campaign that allowed them to be found in search and build relevant website traffic quickly.  We emphasized our core values (ie.  OEM parts) using Google Text Ads to augment organic search positioning.  We began using blog posts and social media to give relevant tips on auto maintenance, OEM parts v. aftermarket parts, and how to evaluate if a body shop has the proper certifications to return a vehicle to factory specifications.

By making marketing a priority, and getting constant input and assistance from the client, by the middle of October 2020, we have been able to accomplish the following:

  1. Web traffic now is coming from results for search terms that emphasize the core and most profitable services offered by this firm.
  2. The company has grown and enjoys 3x the sales the firm had in 2015.
  3. The company is now competing with market leaders in its service area for all businesses instead of relying solely on insurance company referrals for new business.
  4. The company maintains top of mind awareness with its target market through social media.
  5. We designed and built a new website for the company that reflects the services offered, is structured for good SEO, and converts website visitors into customers.
  6. We have also helped the company to ensure that the brand of the company is consistent from website to business cards and in all advertising platforms, including social media.

Overall, the marketing strategy and tactics we’ve implemented for our client has led to dramatic increases in sales.  Additionally, our targeting has allowed them to focus on the type of business that they prefer to complete and clients they wish to work with.

Here is a quote from our client about our services:

My company, ———————-, has been using Zenergy’s services from web design, graphic design, content writing, eblasts, social media content, etc………. Eric, Vanessa and their team do a terrific job. They always following through on their promises and are quick to respond to any matter.

If you would like to find out more about how Zenergy Works can help your business to grow, please contact us.   Your initial consultation is free.   The client outlined here is available to discuss how their business has been changed by our marketing efforts.

Increasing Efficiencies During COVID-19

Case Study: Increasing Efficiencies During COVID-19

Zenergy Works began working with this client in December of 2019 and in less than 12 months we’ve worked together we’ve:

  • Increased sales
  • Increased their closing ratio
  • Reduced their Google Ad spend by 70%
  • Reduced their CPC (Cost per click) by 38%

This particular client is a Kitchen & Bath fabrication and installation company with two locations in the Bay Area (The clients name will remain anonymous for strategic purposes). When we first connect with this client, we did an exhaustive debrief of the client’s marketing strategy, digital presence, their ideal customer, as well the types of services their prefer to provide and are most profitable. The initiation diagnostic was this:

  1. A new website had been launched, but it needed a great deal of work in functionality like contact/quote forms, photo galleries, content, and mobile load time.
  2. The majority of traffic to the website was generated by Google Text Ads at a monthly budget of approximately $16,500 at an average Cost Per Click (CPC) of over $6.
  3. Little or no presence in social media.
  4. Little or no use of the email contact list
  5. Poor organic placement for significant search terms.

We made significant gains for this particular client in the three months we worked together. Then COVID-19 hit. Luckily, this business was deemed essential which allowed them to change their showrooms to appointment only, although sales staff was reduced due to initial declining sales. Despite these challenges, the decision was made to not stop marketing efforts, but rather to pursue our main goals for the marketing program, namely:

  1. Finish the needed functionality and photo presentations on the website and improve mobile performance along with reductions in bounce rate and increase pages viewed per visit and time spent on the site.
  2. Significantly reduce the Google Ads budget and reduce the CPC.
  3. Improve social media presence, build up and increase use of the email contact list, and improve organic placement of the website.

By making marketing a priority, and getting constant input and assistance from the client, by the end of September 2020, we have been able to accomplish most of our goals.

  1. The website is now fully functional, and we are constantly updating inventory and photos of new installations, as well as revising and improving content.
  2. Google Ad spend was reduced to less than $5,000 per month and an average CPC of approximately $4.25.
  3. We have created social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.  We are experiencing a cost per click (CPC) at around $.10 on Pinterest to drive traffic with Pinterest’s visual search engine and using Facebook and Instagram for further down the funnel retarget.
  4. Branded email templates were created and we worked closely with the client to develop custom email content.  We have scrubbed, verified, and converted the email list in various CRMs that the client has used to a viable list that allows the firm to stay in contact with previous clients with current news, maintenance tips, and industry information.  Open rates exceed 20% on average with a Click Rate of over 2%.
  5. We are still working very hard on organic placement and Google My Business Listings for the website by adding relevant content and link structure, we have been able to improve rankings by over 20%, but still have more room to grow.  This has helped to increase conversions and lower overall CPC for this client.

Overall, the marketing strategy and tactics we’ve implemented for our client has led to an increase in profitability – during a pandemic. Additionally, our targeting has allowed them to focus of the type of business that they prefer to complete and clients they wish to work with. Our work is still on progress, but so far, the changes we’ve made have been sweeping and have served to change the face of this business in less than 12 months.

Finally, here is a quote from the owner of this business about Zenergy Works:

Zenergy took the time to learn about my business and my goals. Eric and his team work on our business like it is their own and work hard to act in our best interest all of the time. They have become part of our team. Most importantly, we are getting a good quantity of quality leads despite the Covid-19 crisis and the current economic slowdown. We are happy that we started working with Zenergy Works and would recommend them for digital marketing.

If you would like to find out more about how Zenergy Works can help your business to grow, please contact us.   Your initial consultation is free.   The client outlined here is available to discuss how their business has been changed by our marketing efforts.

Programmatic Ad Campaigns – Find Your Target Market

According to eMarketer, over 80 percent of all digital display ads in the U.S. will be purchased this year through programmatic or automated channels.  Programmatic ads are exploding because they take advertising far beyond the basics banner ad and create ads that reach specific targets and use Design Side Programs (DSP) and Real Time Bidding (RTB) to deliver ads to the targets that are converting.  These targets can be tracked by location, time of day, receipt of email from a specified domain, any Dun and Bradstreet criteria and numerous other traits.  The Bottom Line Is Programmatic ads are automated using audience data and technology to achieve the right marketing to the right person, at the right time, in a relevant context.

A focused ad targeting strategy can help small and medium-sized businesses to be more targeted in their digital ad spend and when managed correctly, deliver a higher engagement and conversion rate than other forms of online ads.  Programmatic ads can also help advertisers to develop insights into the behaviors of their targeted audience. Having these insights can help to optimize other campaigns and develop future online marketing strategies.  Below are some insights that an advertiser can hope to gain from a well designed programmatic advertising campaign.

Programmatic Ad Campaign

Reach A Defined Target Audience

Programmatic allows advertisers to find their target audiences across the internet, wherever those audiences are located. Anyone who has researched autos for sale online or looked for a mortgage quote can tell you that programmatic ads will follow you around online for 30-90 days after the search. This targeting is managed anonymously, without marketers learning any identity information about their target market.

Establish Your Brand

Programmatic advertising is mainly used to target audiences and increase conversions. But companies who are developing their brand can experiment with  by trying different advertising approaches to test their branding message.

The most popular approach is a “top-down” programmatic ad campaign that targets the core target audience, the most engaged online users for their products. A popular method for this is to target visitors to the sites of their closest and most popular competitors.

A “bottom-up” campaign approach involves targeting a smaller audience with potential to become engaged online users.  The target numbers are smaller, and the budget is larger because a higher frequency of ads is required to establish the brand.  Popular targets for this would be complimentary industries like a tire and custom wheel shop targeting an audience shopping for high performance off road vehicles or sports cars.

As recently as 2-3 years ago, Programmatic advertising was available only to the “big budget” advertisers.  These days, we are seeing small to medium sized businesses with budgets as low as $1,000 to $1,500 per month use programmatic platforms to target new customers.  Google Display can be used in a complimentary role to help to increase the range of these campaigns and reach a target audience.

Eric Van Cleave is the Digital Director for Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California online marketing and SEO firm.