Facebook Develops New Mobile Advertising Tools

From June 18 through June 25, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity was at the Hôtel Barrière Le Majestic Beach and Pier in France. This festival was originally founded in 1954. It is an eight-day program of celebration, networking, education and inspiration. More than 15,000 people from over 100 countries attend. There are over 40,000 submissions in 23 categories that are assessed by industry representatives to qualify for different awards.

This year, “Connect the World. Create for the World,” the main stage session, was hosted by Mark D’Arcy, Facebook’s Chief Creative Officer as well as Nunu Ntshingila, Facebook’s Director of Africa, at the Debussy Theatre. One of the biggest reveals at the festival was the announcement of the new mobile advertising tools that Facebook developed.

What’s New:

– Beta-test of Audience Insights API. Facebook is currently beta-testing the interface with a small group of advertisers. This includes Anheuser-Busch InBed and Mondelez International. The Audience Insights API will be available to partners early in 2017.

The gained insights can be used to create more effective campaigns by collecting psychographics, demographics, reports and topic data.

-Updates to its Canvas full-screen immersive ad product. These updates will allow marketers to design, create, share and gain insights. By advertisers sharing their Canvases with stakeholders, it will simplify the review process. Marketers will be able to see metrics such as clicks per component and dwell time per component to track performance of Canvas. Canvas will also have a new feed unit.

– Updates to its Slideshow ad product. You will now be able to overlay audio and text for Slideshow ads. There is also a video-to-Slideshow creation tool as well as the new ability to create a Slideshow ad from a mobile device. After this you can integrate it with Facebook’s photo library and the Shutterstock stock image library. What this means for small businesses is that they will be able to create, edit and boost customized Slideshows using already existing photos or stock images from Facebook.

-Launch of the Facebook Creative Hub. This will take a bit longer as it is currently being tested, but this is revolutionary in ad creation. You will be able to create ads from your smartphone or other mobile devices instead of needing to be on a laptop or desktop computer.

The use of mobile devices is only increasing as many people are on the go and need to be able to access a variety of things from many places. The way people absorb information from mobile devices is different than from other computers.

Mobile marketing campaigns need to be creative in order to be successful. People want to see something unique that will stick in their minds. If an ad is cookie cutter or boring, people will not be interested in the product. It needs to attract their attention.

Sometimes it can be hard for the people in the creative community to stay up to date with technology. Technology is ever-changing and must be monitored to keep up with the latest and greatest. The Creative Hub will help creative agencies to learn about the formats and different tools. From there they can share mock-ups, collaborate with stakeholders and experiment with content creation.

Creative agencies will be able to experiment with different ad formats for both mobile and online and see what works best. They will be able to work on their smartphones in addition to their desktops. There is a dynamic mobile feed that allows ad creators to preview their work. It will also produce a preview URL that can be shared with stakeholders to get their take on the mock-ups. There will also be a repository of case studies and content that is easy to navigate within the Creative Hub. This can help the creatives find inspiration for their work.

This gives the ability to create and publish campaigns from anywhere at any time. This will help ads get up sooner and reduce the time it takes from ad creation to development. It also helps creatives to work smarter.

Facebook has come up with some great tools for the future and will no doubt continue trying to improve itself. Getting ads across to consumers is only getting trickier with the increase of ad-blockers. By allowing people the flexibility to get feedback and work from any type of device, ads will be better, get up faster, and be more effective.

RAIN and Pokemon Go team up to bring your small business more sales than you can imagine

MAIN-Pokemon-Go

Pokemon lovers and business owners rejoice, there is a new business tactic that is sure to bring customers around. Less than a week after the release of Pokemon Go, this augmented reality game surpassed the engagement of Snapchat and is installed on more phones than Tinder. Users are getting sore legs from merely investigating the town in search of the next Pokemon. Often, users find themselves entering local stores, restaurants and other businesses. Businesses caught on and have begun incorporating this into their marketing strategies.

One of the many in-app purchases includes what the game calls “Lures”. Lures increase the rate of Pokemon generation in the area around the PokeStop where they’re placed for one half hour. When you break down the cost, it comes to a mere $1.19 an hour for tons of guaranteed foot traffic to your business.  Pokemon fanatics are always looking for the next rare Pokemon in their area; promote your lure on social media and watch the players flock.

RAIN will help your business tap into the fascinating market of Pokemon Go enthusiasts. With the help of our team, you can create a lure near your business or find out if you’re near a Pokemon gym to attract a wide variety of consumers. Imagine a Pokemon Go user walks into a local restaurant and smells the overwhelming aroma of French fries, do you really think they could resist? Act today and watch your business grow.

It is our goal to give our customers the best experience around, part of that means staying on top of the latest trends. If you have any suggestions of a service we should add, please reach out to info@rainlocal.com.

Surviving Mobile Ad Blocking

Word cloud on ad blockers.

Ad blocking can be great for consumers, but horrible for advertisers. With how many pop ups there can be, there has been an increase in ad blocking apps and technology, which is very attractive to consumers. They are constantly bombarded with ads that are irrelevant or in just too high of a volume. This can present a large problem for advertisers as not as many people are seeing their ads.

What Ad Blocking Does:

– Speeds up user’s browser experience. Displaying ads slows down web browsers. People hate not being able to navigate around the Internet with ease and blocking ads makes it a faster and easier experience for them.

– Protects user from being targeted by programs that track web history. Many people feel that it’s an invasion of privacy to be monitored and then targeted by online advertising companies. They don’t want other people or companies to know what they’re searching for or what they’re interested in. Some feel that this is going too far when their activity is being monitored.

– Affects online publishers and online advertisers. It is often more harmful to the website publishers. The publishers that own websites make the majority of their money from online advertising. If the ad is blocked, the publisher can’t charge the advertiser and lose out on that revenue. Online advertisers are harmed from a decrease in online exposure. The advertisers lose this chance to market to certain users.

Why Blocking Apps Have Increased:

– People are online more and don’t want to be bombarded with ads. They don’t want to be targeted as they assume most ads won’t be of interest to them. This allows the user to only see the content they want and speed up the time it takes to load a page. Another added bonus is that adblockers reduce the data consumption and then save the consumer money as well.

– A huge change that affected ad blocking came because of something Apple released. Apple recently launched iOS9 which has content-blocking capabilities at the operating system level. This makes it easier for developers to program apps that block ads.

– The biggest reason why people may look at blocking ads is for security reasons. Most ads are hosted by third-party sites and their viability may be in question. Some ads may lead to phishing attacks and trick users into revealing confidential information. They can also lead to malicious websites.

How These Apps Hurt Businesses:

– Online ads accounted for 89.5% of total revenues of Google Inc. in 2014 and TechCrunch has concluded that the overall online ad market was at $121 billion for 2014. This is no doubt going to continue to climb. Shopping online is so convenient and with how people are so connected to the Internet all the time, it only makes sense to advertise online as well.

– Blocking ads can hurt the online business industry by preventing their products from being seen.

– Adblocking also affects websites themselves as they are what pays for the infrastructure, content, management and associated staff.

– Free content is accompanied by ads and blocking ads could force your favorite sites out of business.

– It can also affect writers and editors since they earn their livings from online content and ad revenues.

– Many startup businesses rely on ads and blocking them can hurt them from being successful.

How to be Successful in Spite of Ad Blocking:

– You have to find other ways to market your business and be flexible to advertise in other ways.

– Add value. Add value to your ad by offering a coupon. People love to save money and will be more likely to click on your ad if they’re getting a discount.

-Be creative in your marketing strategy. Go back to basics and use a variety of sources to generate business.

– Make sure your ad is in relevant places. You need to be more strategic with how and where you place your ads to increase the likelihood you’ll reach people that will actually be interested in buying something.

– Diversify your advertising and marketing plans. You can expand into social media mentions and word-of-mouth recommendations, which won’t be blocked like traditional ads. You can ask customers to write recommendations to help generate interest.

– Work with advertisers who won’t aggravate users. The Internet Advertising Bureau announced an initiative to create ads that strive to rebalance the “fine equilibrium of content, commerce and technology.” This imbalance is what turned many people off of ads in the first place.

By understanding the reasons behind ad blocking, you can adjust and adapt to a new way of doing business. You don’t want to put all your eggs in the online ad basket, so look into other ways like those listed above to have greater success.

Succeed with Location-Based Marketing

As information improves and consumers are doing everything on the go, brick and mortar stores can capitalize on consumer’s tendency to do their shopping-related via mobile. While online retailers have taken advantage of mobile marketing tools for a while, offline retailers also have options that work to entice consumers to visit their physical storefronts. Technologies that are GPS-enabled like location-based targeted marketing can mean an increase in profits for brick and mortar stores.

What is location-based marketing?

Technologies have advanced enough to allow retailers to earn customer’s loyalty by reaching them where they are. While the initial adoption rate of this technology has been gradual, it is expected to surge as technology continues to improve. Here are three types of location-based marketing currently being used by retailers.

  1. Geo-Targeting

This type of marketing means businesses send a targeted message to people of a specific geographic area. Consumers from different areas have different needs, so it’s a great tool for marketers to tailor their message to the needs of a specific location. Better customer targeting means your message will be more effective and have better results.

Smaller stores can capitalize on this technology by using it to understand their customers better. For example, a sporting goods store in New York can tailor its offers and promotions by knowing where the majority of Mets fans live compared to Yankees fans.

  1. Geo-Fencing

In order to use this technology, the store must have an app that customers can download. Downloading the app is considered opting in to the marketing. Businesses set up a virtual perimeter around their business, and when people enter that area, it automatically sends them a notification of the day’s deals and other information.

An example of using this technology would be is a local restaurant set up a notification for $1 off drinks to be delivered to diners’ phones when they walk into the establishment. The diners who may have intended to only drink water might now order a drink since they were made aware of the offer.

  1. Beacon

Beacon technology was introduced by Apple in 2013 with the release of iBeacon. As an answer for Android phones, Google released Eddystone beacons in mid-2015. Beacons are Bluetooth devices that retailers can install throughout their stores to target customers with high accuracy in specific locations like certain aisles or the store’s entrance. Beacon technology is only used by a few large retailers right now.

This type of location-based marketing allows retailers to send offers directly to a customer if they have the correct app installed. For example, if a customer was in the cleaning aisle of a store, a notification would be sent that said a certain brand of soap was currently 20% off.

How to make the most of location-based marketing

If done correctly, location-based marketing can open the door to huge opportunities for retailers. Mobile marketing is an extension of a business’s storefront, and using location-based tactics allows brands to deliver a personalized experience to their consumers. Here are a couple of ways to use this new technology effectively.

  1. Respect privacy

Consumer privacy is an important concern for companies to have. However, with the consent of the customer, location-based marketing can make meaningful connections between brand and consumer. The key is to give consumers control of what they see. Allow them to opt-in to push notification and GPS-enabled content, and give them options for the frequency of contact. Let them know exactly what is being done and how it will enhance their experience.

  1. Make it convenient

Use the technology to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. If things are faster and easier for consumers, they are likely to spend more money. One company that has perfected the convenience factor is Starbucks. If customers are within a certain proximity of a store, the Starbucks app allows them to pre-order and pay for their drink before they stop in. They use location-based marketing to save customers time, and entice them to come back.

Downsides to location-based marketing

While the technology looks to have a bright future, there are a few downsides to consider. For one, location-based marketing often requires a native app download. Many smaller stores might not have the ability to develop an app, or they won’t have a large number of downloads. Investing in location-based could be a gamble, since there isn’t much data on how customers are behaving towards the technology. Additionally, if not done correctly, customers could get turned off by the constant notifications

Mobile marketing is going to a whole new level with the advanced technology of location-based marketing. Brick and mortar store owners can remove any inconvenience from customer interactions and give them a highly personalized experience.

 

Study Show That People WANT Mobile Advertising

I know what you’re thinking, no one likes ads and would do anything to get rid of them. But a new study shows that in fact people actually want relevant mobile advertising.

According to a recent study conducted by TUNE, “almost three quarters of us are not willing to pay even $1/year to avoid mobile ads. Only 9% would spend $1/week or more.”

This study also discovered that less people are using the “limit ad tracking” feature on iOS and Android devices, which limits the amount of data advertisers can gather to help reach the right audience with content that is relevant to their lives.

As a society, we look down upon advertising but this study proves that people are not willing to pay as little as $1 to rid mobile ads or turn on a setting that limits them for free.

As marketers, this gives us hope that if we find the right market and target them using the most relevant content, everyone is in for a better mobile experience.

The Power of the Digital Wallet

money-card-business-credit-card-50987

Digital wallets are becoming extremely popular for mobile device users as they make shopping both online and in-store incredibly simple. When we refer to digital wallet, we mean electronic devices and programs used to make payments for purchases digitally, without presenting a physical credit card, debit card or cash. Some examples include: Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Many tech analyst believe this is the future of money. Digital Wallets can incorporate various features such as tap-and-pay on smartphones, gift card apps with scannable QR codes and even digital smart cards that mimic the features of a regular credit card. A smartphone digital wallet will help you pay for stuff, but it will also store your concert tickets, bus and subway passes.

As the millennial generation begins to take over the consumer market, the digital wallet will continue to be adopted at a rapid speed due to its convenience. Mobile-based payments in the United States are expected to reach $142 billion in volume in 2019.

How can Digital Wallets benefit my business?

Adopting the digital wallet to your business plan lets consumers know that you are up to date and care about the consumer’s experience with your brand. Many of these digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay, allow businesses to build loyalty programs which can help keep customers coming back.

As a merchant, you benefit from the use of digital wallets because they’re protected against fraud and they help sell more products, faster.

How secure are Digital Wallets?

According to SmallBizTrends, “New EMV terminals adhere to a “chip and pin” standard, established by the credit card industry, that produces a unique transaction code (called a “token”) for each purchase. As such, EMV credit cards are more secure than cards with magnetic stripes, and this new standard enables payments to occur via NFC over POS systems.”

Because digital wallets are rather new to the tech industry, it will still take time to convince the general public that this payment method is 100% secure. Concerns are heightened when they consider the complexity of a digital-wallet transaction, especially compared to the simplicity of cash or straight credit. Although, security experts have continually come out in favor of digital wallets versus physical payment technology.

Talk with a Rain representative today to see if we can incorporate the use of the digital wallet into your campaign!

6 Ways to Stay Relevant in a Digital World

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“A new study of media usage and ad exposure by Media Dynamics, Inc. reveals that while a typical adult’s daily media consumption has grown from 5.2 hours in 1945 to 9.8 hours (or 590 minutes) currently, this has not been reflected in a huge spike in ad exposure.” (SJ Insights)

This is partially due to the control consumers have over what they see when they use tools such as DVR and fast forward online.

Digital marketing has become a crucial part of brand image and success. With the increase in popularity of online marketing, it seems that it has become a war of who can capture the audiences’ attention and keep it the longest.

If you incorporate these 6 steps of how to stay relevant with your digital marketing technique, your efforts will surely show quick results.

 

  1. Promoted posts on Facebook

It is highly unlikely that unpaid Facebook brand posts will be seen by many people.

Even with extremely relevant content, it will be worth your while to spend the extra money to boost your post. You would be surprised the effect as little as $5 can have on the posts interaction with consumers.

  1. Bloggers and Brand Advocates

If you see that someone loves what you are doing, reach out to them and see if they will help promote your brand. Ask customers to share their honest experience, not only does this give your business credibility but it also holds your entire company accountable. Online marketing and word-of-mouth go hand and hand.

  1. Reviews

Ask customers to give you a review on Facebook. This is often one of the first sites that comes up when searching for a business and can give an immediate first impression for a potential customer during the research process.

  1. Digital PR

Get your company published in a trade magazine or site. Reach out to industry specific websites and writers in hopes that they will write about your company. Not only does this reach a massive audience,  but it increases SEO (search engine optimization). People love suggestions from sources they trust!

  1. Mobile SEO

According to Moz, “Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you’re not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away.”

Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, meaning the layout appears correctly on any device and the quality is flawless.

  1. Analyze Results

It is important to regularly analyze your marketing tactics to ensure that they are up to date and showing the best results. Sometimes, this calls for going outside the company to hire a professional who can perform a digital marketing audit. Often companies come out of this process with insights that they were once blinded to.

The digital world is constantly evolving, don’t be afraid to change and adapt to keep your business on top!

 

 

 

From Start to Finish: Mobile’s Influence on Path to Purchase

Photo courtesy of salesfuel.com

In a digital world, customers are constantly using their phone to manage their daily lives. A personal relationship with customers via mobile marketing is crucial in driving decisions when they enter stores and contemplate a purchase. According to EMarketer, Mobile devices used before or during shopping trips influenced almost $2 trillion in 2014.

In order to effectively reach your target audience, it is important to utilize various mobile channels including SMS, app, Web and social.

When all these channels are used, companies can retrieve vital information to better analyze their potential customers’ mobile interactions. When users download an app, the team behind the scenes is able to access which operating system they are using. This, in turn, helps marketers to better personalize their marketing strategies.

Where once mobile marketing was seen as a tactic, it is becoming vital to a companies entire marketing strategy. The goal is the same, but the marketers are able to attract and engage new and existing customers in ways not possible before. They are able to target potential customers through relevant content which can be based on location, interests and interactions with their mobile devices.

Most of all, it is crucial that marketers understand how mobile campaigns are performing across the entire spectrum, from mobile ads to messaging. Although consistency is key, marketers must analyze which tactic is working best to adapt their campaigns to whatever best triggers their customers and leads to the end goal — the purchase.

The key with mobile marketing is convenience. As marketers, we must provide our potential customers with instant access to product information and deals in the most accessible way to them.

As mobiles influence on the world has increased and continues to increase at a rapid speed, digital spending will almost equal that of television spending. Here at RainLocal, we can help you tap into this growing market.

 

Free Publicity: Help Your Customers Navigate to Your Business

Have you listed your business on Waze, Google Maps and other navigation apps?  These are free and simple ways to help your customers find your business when they’re nearby.

Ten years ago, having your company listed at the top of Google’s search engine was relatively easy – and affordable.  Now, securing top billing is much more competitive and expensive.

There are many other ways to reach customers now – whether on Yelp or even Waze, the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app.

Did you know you can list on Waze for free?

Similar to having a sign up for your business on a busy street, having your business listed in navigation apps like Waze will help more people “see” your business, even when they probably should be looking at the road.

Millions of people are using Waze daily, yet very few businesses are currently listed.  So, by listing your business, you’ll be ahead of the curve and positioned for success.

In addition to Waze, make sure your business is also listed on other navigation apps like Google Maps.  If you don’t have time to do this yourself, our mobile team can help.  To set up a time to talk to one of our professionals now, click here.

Tip: If you haven’t already, download the Waze app.  Use the app to help you navigate traffic to and from work.  Once you arrive at your destination, Waze gives you an option to take pictures of your business so visitors know what to look for when they arrive.  Do this!  This option enables you to select the photos that represent your business.