Monthly Industry Update: May 2018
Location3 News: Our team stretched far and wide in the past month, presenting at conferences in south Florida, Chicago, as well as at our home base in Colorado. Location3 CEO Alex Porter discussed new search platforms at Search Insider Summit in late April before sharing his ideas on artificial intelligence and its impact on digital marketing at LSA 2018 in early May. Location3 Director of Earned & Owned Matt Lacuesta also got in on the conference action, presenting on local reviews and link strategies at SearchCon in Breckenridge.
We celebrated the busy run with our annual Ski Day at Arapahoe Basin, and we’re happy to report no major injuries or notices of eviction! Shoutout to the helpful folks at A-Basin for another successful year of food and fun at 10,000 feet.
The Impact of Artificial Intelligence On the Future of the Digital Agency
Building on his appearance at LSA 2018, Porter shared his thoughts on artificial intelligence with Forbes in this post. Here’s an excerpt:
“Discussing the implications of AI can certainly raise a few eyebrows in the workplace. There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding AI, and perhaps the most prominent misunderstanding is that it will lead to employee layoffs. While not every position is immune to these concerns, the primary objective of using AI for digital marketing is to automate rudimentary tasks like data collection, processing and reporting. From my perspective, the idea is that automating these tasks doesn’t lead to layoffs; it leads to more efficient processes and more time for people to focus on strategic planning.”
For further discussion on AI as well as data transparency and review management, check out the latest episode of Digital Shoptalk.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN FRANCHISE DIGITAL MARKETING?
6 Ways to Market Your Franchised Business
In Rick Grossman’s new book, Franchise Bible, he outlines six marketing opportunities for franchise brands and franchisees. These plainly stated initiatives, argues Grossman, should be at the foundation of any successful franchise marketing campaign.
- Advertising: Magazines, newspapers, television, radio, and billboards are traditional outlets, but technology is giving online advertising a bigger piece of the pie.
- Direct Mail: Traditional mail can still be effective, but e-mail newsletters and other opt-in formats are making progress. (Sensing a theme yet?)
- Sales: A significant portion of franchise development will always be reliant on the sales process – a systematic way to attract leads and engage prospects.
- Promotions: Special sales and deals spark interest, and the ability to reach wide audiences through social media and other online outlets makes promotions a low-risk, high-reward proposition.
- Public Relations: Technology is making PR campaigns easier due to lower production costs and more accessible channels of promotion.
- Online Marketing: Perhaps no strategy has as much room to grow as online marketing. The internet has leveled the playing field for franchisees, providing an avenue to connect with more potential customers and drive them to their locations.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LOCAL LISTINGS MANAGEMENT?
2018 Google My Business Listing Image Requirements
Google Map listings are constantly shifting, and business owners might not have the time to keep up with the more intricate changes. These changes include how your business images are uploaded and presented in the most up-to-date version of Google My Business.
Users are increasingly turning to Google Map listings as the source for business information, and Google has responded accordingly, expanding the photo options and types (now including video!) on listings. Check out this post from Location3’s Mariah Cyphers to ensure your Google My Business listing is making the right impression on any potential customers.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PAID MEDIA?
Local Search Ad Spend on Google and YouTube to Reach $19 billion in 2018
BIA/Kelsey estimates that the local ad spend on Google and YouTube will reach $19 billion combined in 2018, as local online marketing continues to gain on traditional outlets. BIA also estimates that local advertising on Google will soon exceed the total local advertising from all 11,044 commercial radio stations in the U.S. While investment in online advertising still lags behind television, a recent report from eMarketer estimates that marketers will spend 7.4% more on media this year globally due to “an increase in the amount that consumers will spend through online channels and a shift in viewership from traditional TV to digital.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PAID SEARCH?
Location3 Study: Responding to Reviews Can Improve PPC Conversion Rates
Location3 Principal Data Architect Matt Donahue recently compiled a report that examines the relationship between online review management and paid search conversions. Using 16 months of SEM campaign data, the study concluded that more favorable reviews in terms of stars are correlated with higher paid-search conversion rates.
More than that, business that responded to reviews at a higher rate also saw increased paid-search conversion rates. The lesson here: ignoring your reviews on Google could limit the success of your paid search ads.