Meet our Partners: 8-digital

Last week we told you all the great ways that you can benefit from our partner programme, whether you are a customer looking for an easy way to achieve all your marketing goals, or a business wanting to offer additional services to your customers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved

Well, this week, we’re going to start introducing the wonderful partners that we’ve already begun working with, so i’m excited to introduce 8-digital – one of our first partners!

Who are 8-digital?

8-digital was founded in 2008 and has evolved significantly during the past 11 years. This year they were acquired by Gorilla, one of the leading channel marketing companies and became the EMEA arm of the corporation.

8-digital specialise in helping vendors measure, grow, enable, and manage their partners, delivering, performance driven, channel marketing solutions at scale. One part of their offering is full service digital marketing including pay per click, display advertising and retargeting campaigns.

How does being a SeeLocal partner help 8-digital?

8-digital run a large scale operation with clients all over the globe so they never have a quiet day. Here are the main benefits that 8-digital utilise by being a SeeLocal partner:

1. Exclusive ad inventory

SeeLocal has access to 94% of all online audiences, including exclusive local ad networks that are unavailable anywhere else. This allows 8-digital to offer their customer’s access to publishers that their competitors can’t!

2. CampaignGuardTM AI technology  

By utilising SeeLocal’s unique technology, 8-digital’s account managers are able to easily maximise their client’s campaign performance and ensure budget isn’t being wasted.

3. Easy campaign management

The SeeLocal platform makes it quick and easy to manage, edit and check results for hundreds of accounts, across multiple networks at once – saving 8-digital’s account managers time and frustration!

4. Advanced reporting dashboards

The SeeLocal platform offers advanced reporting dashboard with real-time results and 8-digital’s account managers can schedule automatic reports to send to their client’s, or generate custom reports at any time.

“Not only does SeeLocal help us to manage our staff resources more efficiently, it has also helped us to grow our client base through customer referrals that are looking for a full-service digital solution.”

Mev Dzihic, Managing Director of 8-digital

If you’d like to find out more about working with one of our partners, or becoming one, please get in touch today.

How can you benefit from the SeeLocal Partner programme?

Collaboration has changed our world. When two (or more) great forces come together, it’s no wonder that something great is born – take Larry Page & Sergey Brin for example; when the duo teamed up to experiment with search algorithms, they founded the company that we all know today as Google. Another great collaboration of the same historical influence – Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, responsible for making the world a better place with their delicious ice creams.

With this in mind, we thought – you know what? How about we collaborate with companies offering complimentary services that our customers need, to offer them everything they want in one, nice, easy package. And with that, our partner programme was born.

That sounds great, but what exactly is the partner programme?
The SeeLocal partner programme enables us to work with digital marketing agencies, videographers, radio stations, local newspapers, online community publishers and other companies that offer services help our customers achieve their local marketing goals.

Not only is this hugely beneficial to our customers but it’s a great way for businesses that qualify as partner’s to expand their customer base and offer their clients additional services.

Okay, what are the benefits?
So glad you asked! There’s tonnes of benefits for everyone involved but to make it simple, we’ll break it out:

For our customers – SeeLocal campaigns are awesome, obviously, but we know that 360 degree marketing makes any form of advertising campaign even more successful. By partnering with businesses that offer services that support SeeLocal campaigns, our customers can access everything they need to achieve their marketing goals in one place, without having to reach out to multiple agencies. And because we only partner with businesses that we trust, you can be rest-assured that you’re not working with any cowboys.

For our partners – SeeLocal gives our partners the opportunity to host a market leading self-serve ad platform on their website, with the ability to white-label. Not only can our partners add value to their business by offering their customers additional services without any hassle, SeeLocal also helps to generate extra business by lead referrals and up-sell recommendations. Win win!

Sounds great! How does it work?
The SeeLocal partner programme is designed to benefit our customers, our partners and us! We often find that customers approach us with local marketing needs that require additional services such as needing a website or video content created. Whilst we offer ad design and landing page creation, we’d rather recommend our customers work with a trusted partner for their other needs. This way, we can focus on what we’re experts at, our customers can get everything they need easily and we’ll help out our partners by referring leads!

Our partners will have access to host the SeeLocal platform on their own website and to help explain the partnership and all the benefits to their customers, we’ll also run email and display advertising campaigns for each partner and provide them with digital brochures.

For our partners that want to keep things under-wraps (don’t worry, we won’t be offended), we offer a white-label solution that includes all of the benefits of being a SeeLocal partner but is completely branded to them.

We’re already collaborating with some great companies, which you can check out here and we can’t wait to partner with more! If you’d like to find out more about working with one of our partners, or becoming one, please get in touch today.

 

 

Facebook adds a click to WhatsApp tool, could this affect your marketing strategy?

Facebook is changing the world of digital marketing and has bought out a tool that allows advertisers to use ads that users can now click on to open a chat on WhatsApp. This tool will help advertisers to expand targeting and therefore increase the chances of people sending a message.

So how does it work…?

With this update advertisers can create news feed ads with a call-to-action button that users can select to open a WhatsApp chat with the business. This call-to-action button appears at the bottom right of the ad. To be able to use this function advertisers must have both a WhatsApp business account which must also be connected to Facebook ads manager.

The benefits…

The benefits of this click to WhatsApp tool makes it easier for users to communicate with businesses in a more personal manner without the hassle of a phone call. Companies with WhatsApp business have access to multimedia messaging including, free calls, free international messaging, and group chats. It also offers customisation and quick replies to the customer. This new tool benefits the business by making them more discover-able and accessible to their audience.

Whats in it for marketers…

With Facebook’s click to WhatsApp ads, marketers can initiate conversations with potential consumers through an encrypted platform. In addition to being able to message consumers, this new ad campaign will also show traffic, conversions and post engagement.
Facebook have also announced that they have plans to roll out WhatsApp ads in the app’s status feature this year, however they have not yet announced a specific time frame for when this might come into action.

Why do Businesses need a website?

The importance of a good business website is crucial. In this day and age of increasing reliance on technology, businesses need to be not only marketing online, but present online in every possible way in order to be visible to their target audience.

For small businesses, this can be tricky, as being small often means limited funds, staff and expertise to develop and maintain a highly sophisticated website, so it tends to take a backseat.

It is important for businesses of any size, but particularly smaller companies to focus their attention on digital- it is the future, and is progressing and becoming more advanced every day.

We’ve come up with a few reasons why having a website is so important, and how you can ensure you are making the most of it.

Firstly, you need to focus on your local audience before you start thinking bigger- this goes for all sized businesses, but particularly SME’s and start-ups. How can you expect a nationwide following if you have not saturated the market in your local town or county? Online gives you the opportunity to build touchpoints,  and can be a successful way in building relationships with customers at a local level. At the end of the day, those customers who are loyal, engaged and regular are the most valuable, as they are the ones who come back again and again. Even if your business does not run primarily online, perhaps you have a shop or building, you want to have customers coming back to you again and again, making you their first point of call. Online gives your customers the flexibility to choose to visit you in person or online.

Next, find the channels that will impact your business the most. There are so many different options when it comes to online advertising, so choosing the channels that are worth the time and effort, whilst also painting the picture of your business in the right way is key.

For example, B2B companies may tend to focus on channels such as LinkedIn, more so than Instagram, whereas e-commerce companies may focus more on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc- it’s all dependent on where your customers are. Using your website as your starting point, and as your central online hub of activity provides a solid basis for all of your online marketing efforts.

Finally, make sure you are accessible at all times. Having a secure,  clear and functional website is the best way to do this, so that you can be confident that your customers can contact you at any time online, and in a way that suits them. To do this, we recommend having various different contact options- links to social media pages, phone number, email address  and contact forms in order to provide your user with their preferred contact method. From these contact methods, make sure you are answering queries and questions quickly and efficiently, giving simple, uncomplicated answers wherever possible.

If your customers, particularly those in your local area, are consistently thinking of your business as accessible…why would they have nay reason to go elsewhere? This is the basis of forming solid relationships with loyal customers who will keep coming  back again and again. And let’s face it, that’s all business owners really want at the end of the day

 

 

 

What is Marketing Automation?

Its everywhere at the moment, but what does ‘marketing automation’ really mean?

The term seems to be thrown around all over the place, but how many marketeers are actually aware of the real meanings of it?

The term refers to developed software that exists to ultimately automate marketing actions which would otherwise be done by an employee and take up hours of time, never mind resources and finances too.

Marketing automation allows companies to run independently, to nurture prospective customers, to ease the pressure of marketing professionals in their day-to-day responsibilities meaning that scaling the business is more accessible.

Automation tools can’t do all the work, but they can help relieve the pressure of online marketing, by making the whole process more efficient and sophisticated.

It helps marketers to prioritise tasks without compromising the quality of work being created, so that goals can be reached faster.

The most effective form of marketing automation is email marketing. So many CEO’s and marketing managers believe in blasting out hundreds of thousands of emails to customers in the hope of getting a sale, but in fact this just doesn’t work.

Marketing automation allows for a much more personal experience for the end-user, rather than being bombarded with sales and marketing emails which may be of absolutely no interest to them whatsoever.

Instead, by sending relevant content based on their actions, you are able to gage the likelihood of your customer converting, based on the actions they have previously performed. For example, you send a chain of emails, but your customer only opens the second email, but chooses not to download the brochure- this would gage that there is perhaps some interest there, but not a storing one, otherwise they would have opened the first email, and also downloaded the brochure. By knowing this, you are able to then tailor your email workflows to appeal to their level of interest in terms of the content you write, and also the frequency in which you send them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Facebook video streaming could mean for online advertising.

The new Facebook Watch feature was launched in the US in August last year, and just a couple of weeks ago was revealed that it will be launched in the UK and Europe in the coming months.

The new feature on the phenomenal social media giant  is just the latest  extension of the platform to directly compete with other video streaming platforms such as Amazon prime, Netflix and YouTube. Just like current platforms, the video streams will range from mini documentaries to live sporting events.

But how will Facebook Watch differ from other video streaming platforms?

  • Original video content exclusive to Facebook watch
  • Monetized by ad breaks, so users do not pay for subscriptions unlike current platforms.
  • Facebook watch will be hyper-personalised thanks to the detailed targeting available within the Facebook platform, in a way no streaming platform ever has been before.

Facebook has over 2 billion active users per month, who check on a daily basis, most often multiple times a day. The scale of the Facebook platform is huge, and any extensions on it is definitely something marketers should feel excited about.

Reports are suggesting the new Facebook Watch platform will be integrated into news feeds, as the platform has seen great success in the past using the news feed to drive success of new features.

This means more and more people will be paying attention to their news feeds, spending more time on the news feed which in turn will increase ad impressions. The increase of impressions, often leads to increased clicks.

The feature also opens doors to highly targeted video advertising. Combining the success and engagement levels of generic video ads, along with the detailed targeting available on the Facebook platform could be a new and exciting extension to online advertising campaigns.

Accompanying targeted video ads with highly targeted static or HTML5 ads is a great way of ensuring your ads are seen in every aspect of the Facebook platform in particular. Running campaigns across all marketing channels is undoubtedly the most effective as you are targeting audiences in all aspects of online, rather than just one social channel. However, extending your marketing within individual channels is also highly effective, particularly if Facebook is one of the main channels your target audience are likely to be.

 

 

 

 

The importance of digital strategy

With the change and evolution of modern technologies, businesses of all sizes, but in particular the small and medium sized, are having to do everything and anything they can to keep up with the growing technology to ensure their business is up-to-speed.

Bricks and mortar businesses especially are beginning to move may of their services online, some are becoming online-only businesses as a bid to save money and keep up with the technological advances in business. The majority of companies now, no matter the size have specially designed, online marketing strategies in place to capture the growing online marketplace.

But why is it so important for businesses to have a digital marketing strategy in place?

  1. Level playing field- for SME’s, marketing online allows them the chance to target and capture leads that would not otherwise be accessible to them. The sales and marketing processes were once only available to large corporations with bug budget, leaving SME’s fighting for the small proportion of targeted traffic with much smaller budgets and staff to monitor the process. With developments, improving at the rate they are, the processes that were once only available to the larger corporations are now much more easily accessible to smaller and medium sizes companies.
  2. Cost effective- small businesses with limited resources and budgets simply can’t afford to partake in marketing activities that are of high cost as their budgets often don’t allow for major losses. Online marketing allows companies to track and monitor their campaigns in real time so they can easily see the results of their campaign, and make changes and alterations if necessary to lessen their loss of budget. With a SeeLocal campaign, we have developed a unique algorithm, Campaign Guard™, which works to protect budgets by pausing and reoptimizing campaigns if they begin to underperform.
  3. Targeted audiences- real-time engagement points allows businesses to see exactly what their audience likes and dislikes based on click-through-rates and social media likes and comments. This then improves customer retention and satisfaction, leading to more precise and effective targeting, increased sales and overall marketing efficiency.
  4. Access to ‘the internet of things’- Getting involved in online marketing at this stage is really important, as more and more appliances are running through the internet, technology is only going to get more complex. For businesses just starting out online, getting to grips with how everything works now is key to understanding the digital world in years to come, setting up a stable, internet based future for the business to ensure stability and longevity.

The main thing for seasonal business owners to remember, is that there is no quiet time when it comes to preparation and advertising for the busy period. Keeping active and present online even in the quieter months will help ensure that the business is the leading brand when the time comes.

Why do I need a mobile-friendly website?

Over the last few years, the developments in technology such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and even smartwatches has caused a huge shift in the way people browse and use online advertising campaigns. Although this is a major shift in technological advances, it is surprising how many websites are not compatible with any other devices than PC.

There have been many cases, when companies send links to websites that are only compatible for PC, and users open them on email. This causes issues, as the sites then have much higher loading times, and sometimes cannot open at all. The user is then given a choice- do they use their laptop or desktop and try to load the email again, or ignore the email altogether. Most of the time, it’ll be the latter. Having a user-friendly website, provides your user with flexibility, to open and read your link at any time, on any device, avoiding any time wasting or frustration.

In display advertising campaigns, it is even more important that your site is compatible with all devices. Ads can be shown on all devices, but if your landing page or website cannot, then anyone clicking your ads to go through to your landing page or website won’t be able to gain access, or will be left waiting for so long that they give up and don’t convert. With the majority of people using mobile to browse the internet, there’s no point running an online campaign if your landing page or site is not optimised as you simply won’t see accurate results.

Ensuring your website is user friendly also gives your company a competitive edge. Shockingly, only 1 in 3 websites are optimised for mobile devices, so chances are some of your competitors will fall into the two thirds of websites that are not optimised. Comparing your mobile optimised site, to one that has not been optimised, statistics show that around 67% of users will prefer to use a site that has been optimised for mobile, compared to one that has not, so immediately by optimising your site you are likely to be preferred over your competitors.

Generally speaking, user-friendly sites are typically faster than non-user-friendly sites due to being fully optimised to be opened on all devices and browsers. According to statistics, users will wait a measly 2 seconds for a website to load before leaving the site…2 seconds! If your site is taking longer than this, you’re already losing customers, so why not optimise it to maximise your loading time and website traffic?

With over 60% of internet users preferring to use a mobile or tablet device, it is important now, more than ever that your website is available to those users on their preferred device. As mobiles become more and more a part of everyday life, a necessity, these statistics will only increase to grow, so make sure you’re moving with the times and that your website is working on any screen size, and any device.

 

 

What counts as a video view?

When it comes to using videos within your online advertising campaign, it can often be difficult to understand and record how successful this has actually been in terms of views. According to Marketing Land, both Facebook and Twitter regard a video view as only 3 seconds, whereas YouTube regards a view as anything over 30 seconds.

The difference between these considerations is huge, and can cause a lot of confusion when it comes to advertisers.

Essentially, how can you accurately measure how many people have properly viewed your video, is near enough impossible. If a view counts as as little as 3 seconds on Facebook and Twitter, regardless of the overall length of the video itself, what is the most effective way of tracking the success of your video?

The answer is, there isn’t! Until these platforms recognise that 3 seconds is far too short to count a review, you have no real way of measuring how many people have actually seen your video. The chances are, most people are viewing your video for more than 3 seconds, but there is no way of monitoring this, so how are you meant to know for sure?

However, if you have a video that is short, perhaps only a few seconds long, this probably isn’t an issue as 3 seconds may be the majority of your video. The key, is to ensure your important information is as near to the beginning as possible, to ensure that even if people aren’t viewing it for very long, your message is still getting across in that time. Alternatively, if you have too much to say in only 3 seconds, make the start of your video as intriguing as possible, so people want to stay and watch it for longer.

So there are ways to optimise using videos, and to work around the extremely short viewing time. There is no reason to suggest that just because the views counted are very short, that people are not viewing videos for longer, perhaps even the entire length. The issue though, is how this can be measured for advertisers, in order to measure effectiveness of videos for future reference. YouTube regard a view as anything over 30 seconds, which may seem too high, as often we view parts of videos to find the information we want, which could, and should, be available before the 30 second mark. Attention spans  can be extremely short, so maybe a time in the  middle of these would be a more effective way of measuring, for example 10-15 seconds.

Regardless, email marketing can be a very tricky tool to use, simply because measuring it’s effectiveness is not always accurate. However, it has been shown that videos do get more engagement than static images, so all in all they are a great way of getting your message across in a creative way. It is important to just be aware of how your views are counted, and that they may not be entirely accurate every time.

 

What is HTML5?

The development of HTML5 ads is revolutionary in the world of online marketing. With internet browsers such as chrome, Firefox and Explorer all growing in speed year on year, consistently reaching record highs in terms of speed.

HTML5 ad development, has led to the use of high quality video graphics being featured within advertisements,  as well as elements such as photo galleries and in-ad games to improve engagement with the target audience.

The new technology allows for highly creative and sophisticated development such as banners with videos, complex animations and interactions with users through advertisements, without the need for plug ins, such as Flash. According to figures, HTML5 ads tend to have a 7% higher conversion rate  than standard static ads, and even better, they are accessible on all devices unlike as static ads. This essentially means your audience reach is increased  by using HTML% ads, alongside the diversity of devices that your ads can be shown on.

Integrating HTML5 ads onto your existing website is simple and easy to do,  using polite loading, which ensures your ads are loaded simultaneously to website content, both improving the user experience in general, and ensuring page loading times are not affected.

At SeeLocal, we specialise in creating bespoke advertisements using HTML5 as part of a local online advertising campaign with us. Your campaign could generate more conversions and engagement from your target audience through highly sophisticated targeting technology to areas of your choice. Previous HTML5 ads that we have created as part of campaigns showed an increase in click through rate of up to 1% compared to static ads, therefore driving more users to the associated websites simply through highly engaging HTML5 advertisements.

If you would like to know more about HTML5 ads, and how they could make a difference to your campaign, get in touch here, we’re happy to help.

 

 

 

How To Destroy Your Marketing Content, Just Using Words.

The main aspect of advertising online, is how words are used to convey a message. If you get your words wrong, this can have a drastic effect on the success of your campaign.

Our first point, is that there is such thing as too many words. It’s all too easy to fill a post with unnecessary waffling simply because you need to get the word count up, or thinking that what you’re saying is really beneficial to your reader…when you’re actually just repeating yourself. One tip on how to avoid these issues, is to simply remove any filler words to keep it simple and to the point. Remember, your reader is going to read your piece for no longer than 10 seconds before deciding whether it’s worth their time so cut all the unnecessary words and stick to the point you want to make. Secondly, once you’ve written your first draft, which is likely to be triple the ideal word count, ruthlessly cut out anything that doesn’t relate directly to your subject or point- aim to cut about a third out and you’ll end up with an effective, clear and to-the-point piece that readers will enjoy.

Secondly, be careful with your use of jargon- using technical terms are usually only acceptable in high tech industries, where you know your readers know the technical terms for aspects of the business. In other areas, simplicity is key; imagine that you know nothing about the subject and ask yourself if you would understand your writing. If the answer is no, rewrite it so that you would.

Our third tip, is to include your audience within your writing. Don’t make the mistake of using first person pronouns, such as I, we, us, our- although it is important to discuss your company and what you’re doing, use second person pronouns too such as you, yours and your, to involve the reader in what you are discussing. Ultimately, your reader cares about what your company can do or provide for them, so enough about you and focus on them and how you can help.

 

To discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing, contact us– we’ll be happy to help.