YouTube and its trouble with the COPPAs

Youtube COPPA image

If you’ve been aware of the social media buzz in recent days you will no doubt have heard lots of people discussing YouTube, COPPA and how it’s the zombified remains of the ‘Adpocalypse’, so what the heck is going on?

There’s a good chance you already know what COPPA is if any of your work is based in the US, or you advertise on American platforms. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act was tabled and passed in the Supreme Court in late 1998, it came into force in April 2000 and is designed to protect the surfing of children under 13 in the US and those on American based sites. It specifically targets the collection of personal information and retention of other forms of data. It states what a company must include in their privacy policy, as well as when and how to ask for parental consent, essentially what responsibility a digital company has to protect children’s privacy and safety online including, most notably for us, restrictions on marketing to those 13 and under.

In finer grain detail it states children under 13 may only legally supply personal information, knowingly or unknowingly, with their parents’ permission. This has caused a lot of consternation for many websites most notably social media, but also those that collect personal information via forms and tracking methods, prevent children under 13 from using their services due to the cost of meeting the legal stipulation.

That’s where YouTube comes in, since its creation in 2005 the platform has been growing not only its content but also one of the most complicated, mysterious and downright judgemental discovery and advertising algorithms in the business. There have been multiple controversies surrounding the algorithm in the last decade often with the platforms content creators citing a lack of communication and intentional subterfuge on YouTubes part as the reason their videos are suddenly less, or far more, popular. This begins to make more sense when you realise that there are only two realistic ways of making money on the platform; sponsorship, something reserved only for the true upper echelon of each demographic/interest niche; or ad revenue, essentially a cut of the money generated from each advertisement run on each video on a creators channel, something available to basically any user but with a low yield per view. As such a lot of YouTube content creator culture is based around attempting to please the algorithm, as better relationship with the platform’s discovery means more views for videos and the channel in general meaning, more ad revenue.

Earlier this year, YouTube paid the Federal Trade Commission $200 million for an out of court settlement after an investigation into whether they had violated the COPPA.


The upshot of this beyond YouTube’s embarrassment and fine is beginning in 2020, all content creators will be asked to make a confirmation when they upload a video as to whether the video is ‘directed’ at children. They’ll also have to do this for each of their previously uploaded videos and in fact for the description of their whole channel.


‘Directed’ at children in this case refers to children as being the primary or intended audience that are only a secondary audience according to the video’s analytics.


Some of the things YouTube considers to make a video considered to be ‘directed’ at children include: containing characters, celebrities, or toys that appeal to children, notably animated or cartoon characters; include activities that appeal to children; and algorithmic evidence a video’s audience being primarily or secondarily those under 13.


This leaves content creators in a bit of a tough situation. Any video they describe as being directed at children will lose a lot of features, they not only rely on for making money, i.e. personalised paid adverts will not be run, but also key engagement indicators and generators such as; a comments section, pop-up information cards and much more. These videos would likely not produce much revenue for the channel meaning the incentive for children’s creative content could almost disappear overnight.


However, what happens if they just don’t mark their videos as being for children? Should this be seen as a wanton act there is the overarching possibility of being sued by the Federal Trade Commission, not pleasant. However, the likelihood of the FTC trawling for content themselves is incredibly small, after-all YouTube have been acting without considering COPPA since their very beginning and were only brought up on it this year after 14 years! The likeliest solution will be YouTube self-invigilating the content with the ability to pull advertising from or shut-down channels that don’t comply with the law. Unfortunately, this raises another habitual issue of the YouTube community.

Many content creators have a distinct lack of faith in YouTubes approach to assessing it’s content. Like many large social media companies, it uses code and algorithms to scan and detect things like bad language, violence and hate speech in its videos to either remove or demonetise as the need may be. It’s likely a similar program will be used to detect content directed at children, the problem being, it doesn’t work. Depending who you ask the current algorithms are either far too lenient or incredibly strict, with the opinion changing on a weekly basis, what most agree is they are more often than not completely off the mark and ineffectual. All of this bodes badly for the moderation of the videos and their desired audience and could compel many desperate creators to either chance their arm at not marking their product in accordance with COPPA or jumping to another platform where they can more easily access their target audience.

Whatever happens come early 2020 we will likely see a severe impact on children’s content made for YouTube but only time will truly tell the impact of COPPA on the whole platforms advertising potential.


TikTok Marketing – The potential and the pitfalls

We’ve seen the future, and its moving! TikTok is the latest in the string of social media minor reinvention that means new forms of media are becoming ever prevalent in the mainstream. But how can TikTok marketing with it’s new video trends be used effectively, sit back and look below to find out more.


TikTok has grown exponentially in the last year. It became the most downloaded free iOS app in the first half of 2018 and that was before it reached mainstream appeal! It fought to the similar position for Google Play later that year. TikTok enjoyed over 1.1 billion installs as of this March. Over 500 million people around the world use the app each month.


It has gained mainstream notoriety off the back of being in the news due to concerns over its safety in protecting younger users.  Notably in April the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology ordered the app be removed stores, after a High Court stated the app was ‘encouraging pornography and other illicit content’. Fortunately the ban lasted only days when the company vowed better monitoring of its content, and took down over 6 million videos believed to be in contravention of its T&C’s. Not a surprise as nearly 43% of the apps user base is in India.


So what is it?

TikTok has followed in the footsteps of Vine and Instagram by being a visually focused platform. It consists of short user created videos, often with a musical bent, the owner’s original app being, a similar lip sync only product. Typically up to 15 seconds long, although 60-second Stories-type videos are possible, it attracts much the same markets as Instagram, snapchat and Vine did in their infancy, 13-24 year olds make up the majority of users, with well over 60% of users under 30.

The one startling difference between these and TikTok is users don’t need to follow anybody. Much like YouTube or other discoverability platforms the app has algorithms and search capability to find ‘random’ interesting content based on user.


What’s the marketing potential?

In a word healthy. There is a reason marketers try and stay on top of social media development, fresh markets like TikTok have less competition and more sought after demographics than there are dwindling in others. TikTok marketing systems provides a fresh battleground for marketers to use to reach the elusive younger generation.


How can we use it?

There are 3 channels we can use for TikTok marketing.

  1. Content Creation
  2. Influencer Marketing
  3. Paid advertising

Obviously the usefulness of each depends heavily on the companies objectives, resources, brand and appeal. A combination of any mix of the three is likely the best generic solution before A/B testing and researching.


This form of TikTok marketing is likely not suitable for everyone, TikTok is, as an emerging market, very much dictated by the trends and whims of its users, and making content to please them is no easier than it has ever been. Video content can be uploaded to your own channel, or perhaps working to encourage others to make content on their channels to promote your brand. Finding a way to encourage power-users to share videos featuring or simply using your product is likely to be a great way to increase your visibility.


One of the best things about TikTok’s user-base is the whole application concept, used by real people any time, means high level camerawork and production is not necessary. This means while content planning should be as exhaustive as possible the creation of content is actually quite fast and the users are more engaged by authentic and fun videos rather than their presentation.


One viable content opportunity is the challenge. These are big in the TikTok community. Often they involve a simple premise of video creation that encourage users to participate, maybe giving their best version of a dance or other such fun, engaging activities. They are usually spread virally on the platform, and others, via hash-tag, making them easily searchable and (with the right name) memorable. Brands can either use their own channel or sway with influencers to get the tag trending. Once a challenge is launched, people can participate within 15 seconds for a quick hit of social interactivity and modestly background brand awareness.



It’s likely you’re familiar with influencer marketing, if not take a look at our blog on the subject. Standard influencer marketing techniques work on TikTok much like any other platform, such as YouTube, Twitter and Snapchat. Often the influencer will have useful ideas of how to bring relevancy to the promotion giving their followers something unique and in line with both the brand and usual content. The key to success here is setting achievable goals, and choosing the correct representative to take your product to the right people, at the right time, in the right way.

While influencer marketing can be expensive targeting those slightly above the upper echelons of the influencer powerhouses and offering free products or services can go a long way, should the influencer be a customer or correct framework for one, of what you are selling. Remember, influencer marketing is often a reciprocal relationship in which both parties should be offering to boost the profile of another, leeches are not a long-term medical strategy.



TikTok has only recently started advert implementation, mostly over the last year, but has yet to create a bespoke profit management scheme. This being said they are getting closer having started showing some ads in January.

A TikTok marketing advertising pitch deck surfaced in late 2018, giving something of an feel for what forms of dedicated advertising they would be going forward with. They are testing ads in both the US and Europe with results and plans moving forward expected in early 2020

Possible ad types include:


  • Branded Hashtag challenges
  • In-feed proprietary video
  • Lens filters for photos.
  • Brand takeovers


So as we can see TikTok is really becoming a force to be reckoned with in the social sphere, only time will tell if its ascendency will slip off and the key youth demographics will leave with the influx of older members (and marketing companies) but for now, the TikTok gold rush is very much on, start panning!

Account Based Marketing the Benefits

Marketing has been continuously diverging especially in recent times from being something some organisations did to anyone who would listen, into discreet niches and subtypes that encompass every possible permutation and are viewed as essential for almost every company. While there are plenty of firms who only deal with B2C marketing there is a growing demand for targeted B2B solutions, especially Account based marketing.

Account based marketing targets the key decision makers within an organisation based on their known needs and previous purchasing/research history. But why are so many companies embracing the new account based marketing ethos? What could advertising effectively to other businesses do for you? Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities ABM can give you over other marketing solutions.


  1. Specific Targeting

A personal approach such as ABM, creates a synergy between you and your clients processes. It’ can be very obvious when a marketing solution is disseminated with generic appeal to a multitude of different targets. Possibly the biggest advantage of account-based marketing is it engages with the clients’ needs and concerns. This shows your commitment to their organisation and increases the chances they will purchase your services.

  1. Heightened Acquisitions

Using an account-based marketing strategy increases the chances of gaining the client that you are targeting. By appealing to this client on a personal level, you are more likely to convince them that you can offer them what their organization needs. It also gives you the opportunity to cater your services to the gaps that both you and your client may see in their organisation.

  1. Promoting Your Strengths

Creating space between you and competitors in the market is another useful benefit of ABM. You can show who you are and how what you achieve is different from your rivals, your unique selling point. Utilising Account based marketing is a powerful way to directly show how your individual services perform for the industry and how the USP will be crucial in creating great outcomes for the client.

  1. Networking Opportunities

Generating a buzz with what you offer via an account-based marketing strategy is crucial, discussions will resonate about your product far beyond your own sphere. Every relationship produced over your content is another potential avenue for discussion of your brand and how each company can benefit from using your services. By launching an account-based plan that incorporates several influential persons within one business, you can further improve your knowledge of their needs and operations while also generating more opportunities for you to be discussed around the water cooler.

  1. The Best ROI’s

Its proven that account-based marketing offers you a significantly greater return on the investment for your company. While inbound marketing can be highly effective when executed correctly, it has the disadvantage of being far less efficient than a highly targeted strategy. Having your market researched, segmented and effectively hyper-targeted ABM allows a focused decision on a single target for a marketing impact, precise and at multiple touchpoints, this saves you money in real terms and provides a strong relationship between you and the client, even before their knowledge of you, Creating a better opportunity for a long lasting working symbiosis with that organisation.

In the end account based marketing is all about value, it’s the most cost effective and proven B2B marketing strategy currently available; and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?

Independent Schools – Interesting Scenarios

The birth rate in the UK has been consistent rising year on year for quite some time (since 2002). It’s a global trend and one that’s putting a lot of strain on all pretty much all the systems in society. One of the worst affected is the school system. Every year since 2012 the rates of children being accepted to their first, second, and even third choice schools has been falling. First choice placements for secondary schools fell from 82.1% in 2018 to just 80.9% in 2019; correlating with a fall for top three placements from 95.5% in 2018 to 94.8% in 2019. This could spell the rise of the independent schools

There are around 2500 independent schools in the UK; most are junior schools but all. Over 550,000 children are at independent school, which is nearly 6% of all UK school pupils.

There are big discrepancies in regional uptake of private schooling. In Scotland merely 4% but with a far healthier 25% in the capital; A decent 10% in the South East of the country rising to an unsurprising 13% in London. The figures rise far more steeply towards the end of schooling with around 20% of all UK 6th formers in independent education.

It is generally true to say that independent school pupils achieve higher average examination scores than regular government run school population. Over 50% of GCSE entries from independent schools are awarded a grade A/A*, compared to a national average of around 20%. At A-level, over 50% are awarded grade A compared to about 25%. Independent schools make up one third of A-level candidates gaining three grade A’s or better. The vast majority end up going to university.

However there has been some tough times for independent schools recently, rising costs and a need to maintain educational standards above an ever improving public school system has meant lots of schools increasing their fees. So, in order to combat falling numbers, what they need to fill their classes, is some effective marketing!

Marketing for an independent school has a very different set of parameters than a typical B2C campaign. The usual customer journey has many more stages than a usual B2C relationship, more touchpoints = more opportunities however it also means more moments for the customer to lose interest. Parents need to see an advert, contact the school, check out information about services etc, make a visit to an open day, and have an obligatory meeting with an educational decision maker. This could be repeated for each prospective school! A tough sell.

Fortunately, private schooling has a mystique all its own. They have great social clout. Parents who have enough money and interest in this kind of educational route often communicate with other likeminded prospective school goers. This connectivity, only enhanced with social media, means most parents base opinions about independent schooling from their friends. The efficiency of advertising, social media posts, and the school’s website is absolutely crucial. It needs to reflect keenly what is on offer, especially important in order to target the right parent types (those who value sport over academia, those who value alumni over cost, those who value Ofsted reports over courses on offer, the list goes on).

The most important thing to remember is you are engaging with parents that are making decisions about their children and simultaneously making financial commitments often worth more than the average salary …for possibly many years. Independent campaigns should always be treated with the reverence and due thought they warrant in order to create the ideal return on investment, not just for the school, but also the parents, and even their children.


Seelocal have proven experience making the most of marketing for independent schools. We can get more local eyes on your open day and make sure children have the best opportunity to succeed by finding your school. Book for a no obligation demonstration of our system today.

Small and Medium business marketing

We don’t know about you, but we are constantly hearing the phrase ‘There are plenty more fish in the sea’, generally they aren’t talking about marketing but that’s a discussion for another day! The thing is, people are always chasing the big fish. Moby Dick had his whale, Martin Brody had Jaws (or Bruce) … ok ok, and in the real-world fishermen weigh their catches, and trawler men chase massive tuna paydays. Minnows and pilot fish are ignored in favour of bigger game, despite the fact their biomass as a whole is many, many times that of all the whales and sharks combined! In the past the same could be said of marketers. Everyone chased the big clients pushing for superiority, only relatively recently has it become a great choice to pursue small and medium businesses, SMB’s. They don’t play by the same rules as the big hitters though, so let’s take a look at how you can maximise your connectivity with small and medium business marketing


The complications


In broad stokes, no one is fixed on what makes a company small, medium or large. There is no universal agreement on how to measure the size of a company; some people use staffing, some profits, some revenue, others still square footage! Obviously this muddies the waters a bit when even discussing SMB’s. All we can say is, you’ll know what companies are small or medium to your company when you meet them.


They don’t appear to be small outwardly, you have to dig below the surface on a backend level to determine the true size of a business. Most don’t want to be self-titled as small, and especially don’t want to be targeted by marketing as small. That means using lots of common tropes associated with companies that size or doing more homework to correctly assess their size.


In most of the developed world more than 99% of businesses are considered to be small or medium, so in reality the massive scope is far more the problematic than finding companies to market to in the first place. How do you appeal to as many as possible but retain relevancy?


Grouping companies based on number of employees or size/number of premises is rarely appropriate. Sometimes ‘small’ companies can have as much or more efficacy than a ‘larger’ business assessed by the same metric. Maybe the business with more employees just has more connections, more money coming in, a better/longer start, or even just have similar but differing numbers of staff (say 200 vs. 250) that are not lumped together as far as strategy goes but are very similar in real terms. It’s also wrong to NOT group based on similarity in other areas rather than size. Marketing to a small tech start up is much more like marketing to a medium web design firm than marketing to a small construction company. The type of company is frequently more important than the size when it comes to advertising.


SMB’s don’t have purchasing teams or marketing departments often, so the link between decision maker and buyer is much shorter and a lot tighter, frequently meaning more precise knowledge of what they want, good, but this also leads to more indecision as mistakes are not easily tolerable and a lack of multiple committee style choices causes decision paralysis.


So why go after them?


Mostly because they’re so various. The number of niches that need filling is astronomical. The creation of the idea of a USP means all businesses see themselves as having unique properties and needs, meaning more gaps in the market to fill with diverse marketing. They are frequently less contested contracts or more open to the concept of fresh ideas than larger businesses, who have set processes and times to review relationships.


How to do it right


The first section of this blog may make it seem like marketing to SMB’s could be a nightmare, ‘we’re going after 99% of all companies that span almost every type, style and specific niche going??’ The best way to make sense of the deluge of opportunities is to be very specific about who you are directing each campaign towards.


You should: target key issues the industries have, make the most of those issues that affect small business specifically rather than all businesses; try and be more precise about what sort of small businesses you are targeting, make your materials better for small start-ups, small family-run legacies or small but growing firms; don’t just target a specific industry with ALL of your marketing, but do create both generic content and some specific ideas towards one or two key industries.


Make yourself as available as possible. Taking note of the fact that purchasing for SMB’s is so much more tightly controlled than larger businesses, make sure whatever you are selling is as available to them as possible. Trials, demonstrations, personal contact with other users or reps as well as detailed reporting and added value resources are all great ways to enhance the clients experience on a personal level. This makes it easier to entice them to use your product or create repeat orders. But be careful, if you are trying to market to large numbers of SMB’s the more you entice the more time and money will be used in these strategies.


Show them they aren’t alone. Back to the USP, while all companies want to be individuals, most aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel. They see themselves in a segment of a larger landscape of their particular industry. Being part of their industry is the true barrier from other companies their size, they acknowledge the similarities between themselves and their competitors. Consequently, when they go out to buy a product or service, they feel far more reassured to know the company they are using is a veteran of campaigns with other companies in their sector. This is frequently more important than the intricacies of the product itself. To achieve this aim, and cover as many bases as possible, websites and literature should contain testimonials and case studies from the target trades.


Aside from that the only real thing to remember is to treat every person you meet, as well as each company as a whole as an individual. Most people in smaller companies are there for a reason. It could be they really believe in the product, or they are inexperienced, or they like to have a feeling of impact on the running of the business, maybe they just like to have more social interaction. Whatever it is it’s likely they see themselves as the representative of the company far less than people from large corporations, the best way to get on their side is to talk to them like openly and honestly, free of agenda and without the infamous ‘hard-sell’.

The Challenges of Council Local Advertising Campaigns

There are 408 principal councils in the UK, but there are estimated to be around 11,900 local councils, that’s broadly 1 council for every 5,500 Britons! That’s a pretty good reach. But councils have their own set of unique problems when it comes to marketing, especially local advertising. These challenges are key and can make or break a client’s campaign. So, here is a brief overview of the problems councils face when marketing and hopefully some solutions!


  1. Budgets

Being either governmentally overseen or on quite small-scale budgets are usually a big problem for councils. The lack of revenue coupled with a fundamental need to operate at only minor profits means the marketing budget doesn’t stretch too far. The best way to counteract a low budget is advertising that really stretches, finding new ways to reach your audience. Any form of free advertising space should be utilised as fully as possible. Social media, cost effective 1-page websites, and council owned physical space should all be used to maximum efficiency to provide premium local advertising space. When paid options are the only solution you need to create the most effective strategy possible so impression figures are as high as possible but still with a top end conversion rate. How? Laser focused targeting that really zones in on the people you think need the services and a way to fine control your campaign to make sure you only use money on what’s working.


  1. Locality

I said before that there’s a council for every 5,500 people in the UK, that’s rather a good way to consider their audience as well. Most councils will sit over a town or small area with only 408 government-led councils that preside over a larger patch. Given the nature of their business it’s very likely anything they wish to promote will only be important to those in the local area. The internet, fortunately, is a vast network accessible by almost everyone. That doesn’t necessarily lend itself to showing relevant content to those who need to see it. Using real-time location data to enhance your targeting criteria for advertising as well as a consistent and effective retargeting strategy that assesses and focuses on creating multiple lasting touch points with previous visitors and users to foster a long-lasting opinion and ‘brand’ loyalty is key to campaigns forging ahead. Marketing on multiple platforms and applications means even with a relatively small target audience interactions by each member of that audience will be high and more likely to create the desired result.


  1. Data assessment

So you’ve executed your value for money, hyper local advertising campaign, what now? How will you know if it worked? Many councils face the issue that their campaigns are not product promotions, and while some are attended events without some sort of reporting the efficacy of the campaigns can sometimes be lost. A comprehensive reporting tool that shows how your campaign is being interacted with, how your budget is being used, and what your local saturation is like can really help you take control and make key decisions about how to best use the data that is collected. Coupling this with accurate real-time direct reports means understanding how the knowledge you acquire over the course of a campaign can be filtered, assimilated, and used to improve results in subsequent endeavours.


Over all councils can have quite a hard time trying to balance their marketing experiences to provide an awareness-based ROI from a limited budget and stringent advertising guidelines. However, with the right management and powerful marketing tools at their disposal they can find ways to succeed.

For The Love of Marketing

Online Marketing Pick-Up Lines


It’s Valentine’s Day and if you’re not feeling the love yet, don’t worry – we’ve got something to make you smile. We’ve spent the morning looking for the cheesiest, nerdiest and, importantly, most hilarious digital marketing pick-up lines out there and we’ve found some corkers… Here’s our 10 favourites!

    1. Is your name Google? Because you have everything I’m searching for.


    1. There is no frequency cap on how often I think of you.
    2. How would you like to make a 301 redirect to my heart?
    3. Is your name wi-fi? Because I’m feeling a connection.
    4. You must be a paid media expert, because your cookies keep me coming back for more.


    1. Girl, I don’t need to do any A/B testing with you.
    2. You could spam me all night and I still wouldn’t unsubscribe.
    3. You must be an in-bound marketer because you sure attracted me!
    4. All conversion paths lead to you.


  1. Baby, you can give me a call-to-action any day

So, there you have it! Get testing them out on your colleagues – you never know, you might even score a date!


All our love, SeeLocal

Google Shopping Ads Being Used To Display Products On YouTube

YouTube has been a major part of the Google network for some time now, and Google AdWords has always been a key feature within it. Adverts display before or during videos, are shown on the sides of the screen, and even questionnaires and surveys can be shown to viewers before they watch a video. Allowing ads to display online during YouTube videos has already been a highly successful new format, allowing longer video adverts and emphasising the usefulness of shorter, snappy adverts. But Google is always looking for better ways to implement their AdWords features into a video, and new features have been tested and implemented that can be a huge boost to local online advertisers such as SeeLocal.

Back in May 2015, Google began integrating their Shopping Campaign adverts into YouTube, creating a layout that meant that products included in the YouTube video were shown along the right side of the video. This was a very useful addition for brands and retailers to advertise specific products alongside their videos, but now Google has been preparing for the release of a new format of Shopping Ads on YouTube. The implementation of shopping ads below a video is a boost for local business marketing as it offers a fresh way to attract a relevant audience to your website, and an audience is more likely to make a snap purchasing decision if they know the store or website they’re buying from is local.

The more traditional style of Google Shopping adverts that people are used to are the carousal format on the search engine, but people have spotted this traditional style of shopping ad appearing below YouTube ads recently. Back in November 2016, this format was spotted by users in Denmark, with shopping ads appearing below Bruce Springsteen videos, and ads for cleats appearing under soccer cleat product reviews. The ads didn’t show for all users, and it most likely is a preliminary test being done before rolling the feature out to a larger audience. When these features are implemented, SeeLocal and other local digital marketing firms will find them very useful in reaching a more locally based audience using a very wide-reaching method. Millions of people watch YouTube videos, so the feature will reach a huge and varied audience, and this audience is more likely to make a conversion when they are attracted to the products being shown on the video itself.

Google has also implemented another shopping feature onto YouTube in the form of TrueView, allowing advertisers to show products directly from their Merchant Centre shopping feed on the YouTube video page. Once again, these adverts appear below the video itself and show off specific products related to the video being shown. Google automatically selects videos on which to feature these shopping card, depending on their title, descriptions, and various other attributes. Dynamic Remarketing has also been introduced for this feature, allowing people watching YouTube videos to see your products provided they have already visited your website before.

Youtube is one of SeeLocal’s many networks. Contact us today to find out how SeeLocal’s digital marketing platform can benefit your business.

Google AdWords Updates To Keep In Mind In 2017

Google AdWords is constantly evolving and changing to adapt to the modern world of marketing. Each year, new features like Enhanced Campaigns and Expanded Text Ads are implemented to try and improve the AdWords experience, and in 2017, there are a number of updates that can aid any online advertiser. SeeLocal is a local advertising company, so we have a keen interest in any updates that can improve our local online display advertising, such as the updates below:

A major theme that has gradually been moving forward is a change in how search ads are targeted. More often, search ads are more focused on a specific audience rather than on keywords, as the rise in machine learning and voice search renders keywords less vital, with digital marketing poised to focus more on semantic and contextual information to target a specific audience rather than a keyword. This will be important for SeeLocal to adapt to as keywords are a key part of our online advertisement strategy, but as we have adapted to the ever-increasing use of mobile and tablet devices for online advertising, we can also adapt to new voice and context searches.

  • Google will be introducing a feature called Life Event Targeting to YouTube and Gmail, targeting people who are making searches based on huge life events such as weddings or graduations, making it easier for these people to find particular products or services that are related to the event they are facing.
  • YouTube will be able to use Location Extensions similar to the ones that AdWords uses. This will be a huge help for local advertising firms such as SeeLocal as it allows a relevant audience to not only see your ad on YouTube but to also see if your business is located near them, and where it is.
  • Mobile advertising is a huge industry now, but it requires grabbing the customers attention far quicker than advertising via a desktop. Literal seconds can be the difference between a click and a conversion, and Google is introducing AMP landing pages to ensure that loading times for webpages are improved, including special display ads for AMP landing pages that load up to 5 seconds faster than regular display ads.
  • Google is planning to merge Google Optimise with Google AdWords, giving advertisers a method of creating new versions of their landing pages for mobile devices and applying them to their ad campaigns without any coding needed. This has the potential to be a huge improvement and offer a far easier and simpler way for SeeLocal to reach mobile customers.
  • Google Attribution is a new feature being created that focuses on directly attributing conversions correctly. Rather than simply telling you how many conversions there have been, advertisers will be able to see exactly what actions led to that conversion. This will make it far easier for SeeLocal to tell you exactly where your conversions are coming from, letting us know where best to optimise the ad campaign to generate conversions and letting you know where the majority of your profits are coming from in your business.
  • Google Assistant is being optimised for voice searches, allowing voice actions to lead to faster conversions and website searches. Combining mobile and voice searches may well lead to the next big boom in digital advertising, so you can be sure SeeLocal will be keeping a close eye on this as it improves and develops.

We ensure that we are up-to-date on all search engine updates, to make sure our online marketing campaigns are as efficient as possible. For more information on what we have to offer, contact us today.

Facebook Ads Are About To Get A Whole Lot Smarter

Facebook have recently announced that marketers will be able to target entire households instead of single members. This announcement has been created from the idea that the relationship between each member in a household provides useful information on purchasing decisions. This could be considered as an additional angle for businesses to reach their target audience. Let’s have a look at some of the examples:

  • During the Christmas holiday period, parents might want to see ads displaying gifts that their children might have an interest in.
  • Families usually travel together. Travel ads could be aimed at each member to inspire their choices.
  • There may be a shared interest within a household, therefore marketers can try to inspire repeat purchases and buyers from one household.
  • On the contrary, some products are only needed once in a household. For example if someone has purchased a sound system for the house, then other members are less than likely to buy another for that house.

This means that Facebook are able to use your information to understand your family relationship and try to influence your buying decisions as a group rather than individually. You can decide to opt out of these ads though by simply removing yourself from the “member of a family-based household” section within the ad preferences category, (Settings>Privacy>Advertising).

As well as this, Facebook are also going to begin displaying dynamic ads. These are adverts that display on-video content, acting as a supplement for an image. As well as this, they are allowing overlays to be added to these ads which allow for extra information to be added. Video is seen to be a greater movement on mobile devices as more and more people are using mobile devices to make purchases.

These advertising updates have been released in the US are set to be released elsewhere in the next coming year!

SeeLocal uses Facebook as one of our main local display advertising networks. By having access to the household data and by having the ability to use dynamic ads it allows us to enhance your online marketing campaign. For more information on our online advertising platform, contact us today.

How to Generate Momentum for Your Event

There’s a great deal of stress involved in setting up an event. Besides the hassle of arranging the event, preparing the locations, and organising ticket sales, there’s the fear that you’ll go through all the trouble and find an empty audience at the end of it all. SeeLocal understands your worries, and we’re committed to helping your event be as successful as it can possibly be through local online display advertising, ensuring that the local community is aware of your event and will be showing up to take part. We have experience dealing with advertising events, such as the Horrible Histories stage event for Magnet Leisure Centre, and we can guarantee results.

The focus of the Horrible Histories campaign was to generate Brand Awareness, ensuring that the audience would see the adverts and come to the event. With SeeLocal, you can choose yourself what the goal from your campaign should be, whether it’s to generate brand awareness, sales, clicks, sign-ups, or anything you want, and we will design a campaign based around this at the best cost for you. SeeLocal works with you to ensure that you achieve your goal, no matter what that goal is.

SeeLocal’s sophisticated platform allows us a greater level of audience targeting than other digital marketing firms. We can target audiences based on a huge variety of factors, such as location, age, interests, and more. For Horrible Histories, we made sure to target parents looking for a day out with their kids, and had shown an interest in children’s literature and books, and Horrible Histories in particular. We also use Radius Targeting to ensure only people in the local area are being targeted with adverts, meaning the ads were showing only to a radius around Magnet Leisure Centre and impressions weren’t being wasted on an audience that was too far away to come to the event.

Our expert advert designers provided detailed and relevant ads for the campaign, using artwork provided by Horrible Histories themselves to create a set of appealing images that included a clear call-to-action and relevant information all at once. SeeLocal uses relevant images from the clients themselves or we can find the images on our end to create ads that appeal to our target audience and result in the highest click-through rate. We make sure to customise the ads to fit the required sizes so we are able to fit the ads onto any website placement on the Display Network.

The campaign generated over 70’000 ad impressions across the target area, resulting in over 500 clicks. By targeting a relevant and local audience, we made sure that the Horrible Histories event was a total success, and we have continuously been hired by Magnet Leisure Centre to promote their events following our success. As experts in paid media advertisement, we can ensure that your event sees the same success as theirs. Contact us today for more information on how we can make your event the most successful that it can be.

Mobile vs Desktop – Shaping the Digital Future

There is a wave of new tech reaching the market all the time. With new phones, tablets, and gadgets coming out so often, people have more ways than ever to access the internet on the go. As a result, we have seen a huge change in local online advertising as more methods to advertise and reach customers that have sprung up. Older methods change and adapt, and now advertisers are realising how important the mobile demographic really is. Specifically, they’re noticing how important young people using these mobile networks are.

Generation Y, Millennials, whatever you know them as, they’re one of the most important audiences you can appeal to in the modern age of advertising. This is why SeeLocal has worked to not only excel in desktop advertising, but to make gains in the increasingly important mobile market.

The Importance of Young People and Mobile Advertising.

There are multiple benefits to appealing to a younger audience. They have a much wider access to social media, meaning a popular company can benefit from a very healthy online social media presence. They’re known early adopters, often being the first of your audience to take up new offers and products. They can be reached through a far wider range of networks than most audiences who stay to the same few. In terms of a target audience, developing a loyal following of younger customers can be a huge boost to your business. How to generate that audience is another matter entirely. The main thing to remember is that younger audiences aren’t all hanging around on the usual desktops anymore. They’re on their mobiles, and they’re spending money on them.

Make no mistake, mobile advertising is the future. If you aren’t reaching out to this market, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. SeeLocal has seen how important young audiences and mobile advertising is and we have reached out to appeal to these audiences using new mobile optimised ad techniques.

Desktop advertising revenue is flattening out while mobile revenue is exploding,  Desktop growth saw a growth of roughly 5% in 2015, while mobile growth increased by 66%. With consumers now spending 25% of their time on mobile, in comparison to 22% on desktop, this number looks ready to go even higher. This is why SeeLocal ensures that all our campaigns are mobile-optimised to reach this valuable audience. Our adverts and landing pages are designed to work with mobile devices and deliver ads to this fast-growing market.

Google and Facebook have taken a strong lead above all other ad networks. With Facebook being worth roughly $10 billion in advertising and Google a whopping $30 billion, they are the certain leaders in local internet marketing. SeeLocal focuses their efforts on Facebook and Google marketing in order to take advantage of their high growth and performance, reaching the largest possible audience while doing so. That said, other networks such as Instagram and Linkedin are also generating growing numbers on mobile devices, and SeeLocal is able to run ads and campaigns on these growing networks as well.

One key issue facing both desktop and mobile marketing is the increasing use of ad blockers. The recent boom in local online advertising has not gone unnoticed, and 92% of 3’200 internet users claimed they would consider using an ad blocker. This is why it’s vital to make sure that your online adverts aren’t irritating or distracting consumers. Making adverts that fit the layout and don’t annoy the customer is a difficult act, but it’s one SeeLocal has mastered, generating high quality native ads that fit whatever placement they’re on to ensure that audiences aren’t put off by them while browsing.

Which is more important?

While desktop advertising is still an important part of any online marketing campaign, it’s growth has reached a peak and is not pushing much further past it. Mobile advertising is more recent and has shown far greater growth. Even now there’s time to jump into this fast-growing trend and enjoy the benefits of mobile advertising.

Contact us today and let us help you make the perfect mobile advertising campaign for your business.