The Vantage Buzz – June 2024

Hi,

Happy summer! With July just around the corner, brands with Amazon stores are gearing up for the 10th Prime Day event (July 16-17). “In fact, over the course of last year, Amazon customers saved nearly $24 billion from deals and coupons—with Prime members enjoying the vast majority of those savings—including over $2.5 billion during Prime Day 2023,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president of Amazon Prime.

It’s crucial for brands to not only concentrate on the event dates but also to focus on the periods leading up to and following the event. Building brand awareness ahead of time and retargeting interested customers after Prime Day is essential for staying competitive.

Did you know that more than 200 million paid Prime members around the world enjoy access to Amazon’s enormous selection, exceptional value, and fast delivery? So, here’s to a successful Prime Day to all our clients who participate!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

RCS (rich communication services) is coming to an iPhone near you! Apple has announced they are adding RCS to their Messages app as part of iOS 18 come the Fall in the US. Currently, the format is supported by Android only, which hasn’t really been enough for marketers to get excited just yet.

What does this mean for marketers once Apple gets on board with RCS? SMS mobile campaigns will no longer just be confined to a dry text. RCS users will have the ability to share high-quality GIFs, videos, and other interactive elements directly within a text message and marketers will be able to incorporate logos and design elements to create a distinct, branded appearance for these messages.

Just some actions marketers will be able to take with RCS campaigns:

  • Suggested auto-replies – replaces the the user having to physically type in a response
  • Suggested actions – opens up a map or website to engage with, or gives the option to call to speak with someone directly at the business
  • Ask for the user’s location – will recommend an action in the user’s physical area
  • Carousel – offers five or more options users can swipe through
  • Collect analytics
  • Send personalized messages and videos
  • A/B test – different elements used in an RCS message
  • Two-way conversations with generative AI – similar to a chatbot experience

E-commerce:

We can’t stress enough how an inactive social media account can harm your e-commerce business. Trust is a crucial factor for customers when shopping online. They need to believe that your brand is legitimate, see that it’s up-to-date, and witness your business ‘in action’ through social media posts that highlight your brand’s transparency and unique voice.

If you’re not doing this, then there’s another competitive brand that is… and they’ll get the sale. So, how do you market your business on social media in 2024? Because the average person spends more than 2 hours a day on social media, HERE are 15 strategies to achieve your business goals on social media platforms!

When it comes to your online store’s visitors, it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s crucial to build your buyer’s persona, and when creating your marketing strategy, have them in mind at all times. If you’re ambiguous when it comes to your target audience and cast too wide of a net, conversion rates suffer.

So, how can you draw in customers to your online store who are ready to make a purchase because they ARE your target audience? Here’s a great article from Shopify!

Data suggests that online shoppers are holding on to make that big purchase until later in the year. There still is that price conscious shopper who ‘window shops’ up until Q4, when they eventually pull the trigger during sale season. What does this mean for e-Commerce businesses? NOW is the time to push brand awareness to your top of funnel audience. You need to be top of mind when a customer is ready to make a purchase down the road.

Also, according to Caila Schwartz, director of consumer insights and strategy for retail and consumer goods at Salesforce, “One of the top factors driving decision-making is whether a consumer can earn and redeem loyalty points. That’s a value play for this price-conscious shopper today.”

Driving e-Commerce purchase decision making these days requires brands to be seen frequently when someone is in the market for your product (Google search results, social media ads, etc.). It’s also critical for shoppers to feel a sense of trust and transparency with your brand and a consistent message being conveyed across all marketing platforms. Learn more HERE on why consumers are waiting until later in the year to save their big shopping moments.

General Intrigue:

The 2024 Paris Olympics in July will be the first time fans will fill Olympic stadiums since the COVID-19 pandemic. 🤔 What kind of interest are advertisers showing in broadcasters like NBC? Find out HERE.

The Vantage Buzz – May 2024

Hi,

Let’s talk activity versus results. Are you of the mindset that consistent activity and hard work in your business are futile unless they yield tangible results? Perhaps you lean towards prioritizing results above all else. Yet, a relentless focus on immediate profitability can foster a negative atmosphere, stifling creativity and experimentation.

In fields like marketing and sales, where returns aren’t always instant, you might instead be an advocate for laying the groundwork first — developing your brand, fostering connections, refining strategies — with the understanding that results will eventually follow.

  • Is there a fine balance between both activity and results?
  • Which side do you find yourself on?
  • What adjustments are necessary to make to avoid being exclusively focused on either?

Exceptional leaders excel in harmonizing purposeful activity within their business with tangible results. They recognize that strategic and consistent effort underpins outcomes, while also acknowledging that results ultimately define success. HERE’S a great article with more on this subject.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

THIS is a great in-depth article on finding the best times to post your content on Instagram. Did you know there are better times to post based on your audience and industry?

The optimal time to post on Instagram varies based on…

  • Your target audience
  • Content
  • Industry
  • Post objectives

To determine the best times, conduct your own research and experiments. Keep in mind that timing is just one aspect; Instagram’s algorithm favors content with high engagement, so focus on creating compelling posts.

Begin by using Instagram analytics to understand your followers. Analyze the posting times of your main competitors to see what works in your industry. Consistently post and run experiments to refine your schedule, tracking and adjusting to maintain high engagement levels year-round.

Once you have a high engagement post, agencies such as Vantage, can take that post and turn it into a highly effective ad, capitalizing on the social proof the post has generated.

It’s crucial to realize that in each area where AI might be involved, the final decisions regarding AI recommendations, creations, and analyses still rest with humans. Your job in marketing might not be taken over by AI itself, but by someone who understands and utilizes AI more effectively than you do.

What skills are needed in an AI world?

  • Socialization – Actively engage with others by listening attentively, collaborating effectively, and managing emotions.
  • Creativity – One can excel at utilizing design tools (such as AI), yet creativity is needed to produce the original designs and ideas.
  • Critical Thinking – It’s still required to scrutinize what AI comes up with for flaws or inconsistencies.
  • Curiosity – AI can often answer “what?” and “how?”, yet struggles with “why.” Human curiosity drives the need to understand the reasons behind actions. It’s up to humans to ask probing questions about the reasons behind actions, making this skill even more crucial in an AI-driven world.
  • Unbiased Decision-Making – Because everyone has bias, it’s inevitable. And, AI can easily perpetuate bias by producing skewed solutions. Without human intervention to identify and address these biases, AI could come up with unfair suggestions.

So, instead of being frightened of AI coming after your job, put that energy into enhancing your skills that could make you a frontrunner for learning how to incorporate AI into your industry.

E-commerce:

‘Ads get you traffic. Landing pages get you customers.’ This is what we tell our clients all the time. It’s one thing to create an exceptional ad, but it’s the landing page that ultimately gets the sale.

This is why, as a marketing agency, we need to look further than just ad creative to determine if a marketing initiative will succeed. We scrutinize our client’s landing pages as well.

What are some best practices for an effective landing page?

  • Design is responsive across all devices.
  • Refine the most impactful benefits of your product.
  • Strategize on both copy and design.
  • Show consistency between the ad and landing page.
  • Once someone makes a purchase, ensure there is clear communication post-conversion (ie: confirmation or ‘thank you’ page).
  • Do you have a post-conversion experience for capturing lead generation to turn your new customer into a customer for life (ie: newsletter, discount offer, subscription).

Check out THIS ARTICLE for more information on how to make the most out of your landing page.

At Vantage, we recognize that while marketing KPIs like return on ad spend and cost per acquisition are important, core profitability metrics such as gross margin, cash flow, and lifetime value are equally, if not more, critical to a client’s bottom line. By prioritizing these essential metrics, marketing can be transformed from a cost centre into a key driver of growth.

Many marketers demonstrate ROI to their clients as marketing metrics such as click-through-rate, conversion rate, cost per acquisition and cost per lead. However, these metrics alone do not tell the story of true ROI. They need to be looked at along with a company’s overall gross profits and gross profit margins.

At its core, marketing ROI should showcase the increased gross profits resulting from marketing investments. For more on marketing ROI and why it’s important to decipher the right metrics for your business, click HERE.

General Intrigue:

Did you know that digital food marketing to teens are predominantly unhealthy fast-food brands? A new research project is underway, uncovering how food marketers are trying to appeal to teen audiences. Learn more HERE.

The Vantage Buzz – April 2024

Hi,

The official sunset of Universal Google Analytics is happening on July 1st! Have you fully migrated to Google Analytics 4 for your online business? If not, it’s critical you move your Universal Analytics properties over to GA4 now, as by July 1st your data will be permanently deleted and will not be recoverable.

Fortunately, there is a way to export your historical data from your Universal Analytics 360 property, using the BigQuery integration from Google. It’s strongly advised to start this process ASAP.

HERE are step-by-step instructions on how to set up BigQuery and then how to export your priceless, precious data.

👉 More info on the sunset of Universal Analytics.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Paid search in the US retains its unmatched position as the top revenue generator in digital advertising.

Why is this important to marketing agencies? Every year, paid search becomes a bit more expensive and more challenging to navigate, shrouded in less transparency. Yet, advertisers persist in its use for a straightforward reason: it consistently delivers results for brands and businesses.

The digital advertising sector remains robust amidst challenges. In 2023, despite high inflation, increasing interest rates, and job losses, advertising sustained its growth momentum, as per the report cited in the article below.

Search advertising continues to be a must for each and every one of our clients. It consistently gets faster results than SEO, as well as a much higher level of control when it comes to placement in search results.

E-commerce:

🤔Do you maintain regular communication with your brand’s influencers? Research indicates that 29% of consumers prefer sharing product feedback with influencers rather than directly with brands. Consequently, brands are increasingly seeking closer engagement with influencers to gain valuable insights.

In today’s competitive market landscape, trust holds immense value, especially with consumers facing endless purchasing choices. Interestingly, Millennials and Gen Zers prioritize influencer reputation over shared values or authenticity. For frequent buyers, factors like posting frequency and follower count hold more sway than personal values or authenticity in assessing an influencer’s worth.

See more HERE to find out how else influencers sway shopper’s decisions.

Are you familiar with your customer’s journey? Customers are more and more basing their purchasing decisions on online research, rather than on strictly on product packaging and customer service.

Give your customers the information their after, by digging into what questions customers are asking in response to your social media posts, website feedback or customer support emails. Then, use this customer behaviour data when going to create content. Prioritize what your customers are seeking instead of what you think they need to know.

This type of marketing is called ‘Reception Marketing’. This approach to marketing connects consumers to the information they’ll find most valuable by closely monitoring their questions and needs regarding your product. Reception marketing allows brands to position themselves as trusted advisors rather than pushy salespeople.

Here’s MORE on this marketing superpower and how you can integrate it into your brand’s strategy.

General Intrigue:

🌎 On the heels of Lululemon ambassadors distancing themselves or severing their ties with the company, disappointed by its track record on climate change, a marketing compliant has been made that Lululemon is misleading consumers about its environmental practices. Click HERE for more details.

The Vantage Buzz – March 2024

Happy Spring!

According to the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA), 75% of Canadians express a greater willingness to share their personal data with businesses for marketing purposes when there’s transparency regarding data usage and the ability to adjust preferences over time.

Additionally, the association discovered that consumers are significantly less worried about having their information used for ads and offers targeted to them by a business than having their data stolen or misused by bad actors. HERE’S more on this topic.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

An SEO audit of your website can help determine what keywords to focus on with your digital marketing strategy. And, a thorough audit of your Google Ads campaigns (for example) can lead to assisting with your SEO strategy.

As we enter a new season, are you making arrangements to do a little Spring cleaning for your website?

Why conduct an SEO audit?

  • Improve rankings on various search engines
  • Maximize your marketing efforts
  • Determine what informative content works and where the gaps are
  • Gives you an opportunity to further align your content with your ideal customer

Not sure how to get started? Shopify breaks down how to run an SEO audit for your website in THIS article.

To achieve optimal performance, AI depends on reliable and top-notch data. This is the perfect time to tidy up and enhance your databases, ensuring they’re ready to maximize the potential of forthcoming AI tools available to you!

Not only when it comes to preparing to leverage new AI tools, but ad agencies also rely on dependable, high-quality data from our client’s CRM platforms to use for successful marketing initiatives.

As an ad agency, we use the accurate data from your CRM platform for effective retargeting campaigns, as well as to ensure the conversions being generated from our efforts are relevant to your business.

Is your data ‘AI ready’? HERE are some tips to get you started.

E-commerce:

What makes a great Shopify store? Do you need some inspiration to creating your eCommerce website or are you due to for a refresh of your current online store?

Shopify has shared more than 50 inspiring stores to get those creative juices flowing! Check out the link in THIS post.

What makes a great eCommerce store?

  • High-quality product and lifestyle images
  • User friendly and visually appealing design (make sure it’s mobile and desktop friendly)
  • Clear, concise and transparent text (less fluff, more to-the-point…shoppers have a LOT to choose from out there)
  • An easy way for shoppers to make a purchase
  • Leverage eCommerce tools
  • Tell YOUR story

If you’re using AI, or plan to, make sure to have ‘my customers always come first’ in the back of your mind. Whenever interacting with potential (or even returning) customers, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask…

  • Can I trust what this company is telling me about their product?
  • Is this company genuine? Do they care about me?
  • Will I be able to easily connect with a real person from this company if I need to?
  • Are the company’s intensions being displayed clearly and consistently across all of their networks (ie: ads, social media, website)?

THIS is a great article on how to earn and protect your customer’s trust if you choose to use AI.

General Intrigue:

Are you a MEMEr? If you get a kick out of memes, you’ll love THESE Easter themed ones. We hope you’re having a great long weekend!

The Vantage Buzz – February 2024

Hi,

Spring’s around the corner according to Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog! Earlier this month he made his prediction that there will be an early spring.

Are you ready to change your campaigns and strategies based on the new season that’s fast approaching? We always suggest that by continuing to appeal to your customers, highlighting your products benefits in relation to the seasonal change is impactful. Staying relevant to the time of the year is important when showcasing your brand.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Active social media user identities have passed the 5 billion mark (over 60% of the world’s population). What were key points from this article that stand out to a digital marketing agency?

  • The average social media user spends almost 2.5 hours per day on their social platforms.
  • Social media users spend their time on almost 7 different platforms each month, which makes for many digital advertising possibilities.
  • Over the past 12 months, Facebook grew its global ad reach by 10.5% year-over-year.
  • Instagram is said to be the ‘world’s favourite social platform’ this year, which means that dialled-in images and video ads have never been more crucial to your brand.

Click HERE for more on the latest social media and digital trends worldwide.

We often ask our clients to provide us with specific KPIs to help us with our digital marketing efforts. We are especially keen to know what some of our client’s Key Performance Indicators are, so that we can assist in growing their new customer acquisition, customer retention and customer lifetime value. These are just a few of the many KPIs we take into consideration when building and managing ad campaigns.

There’s much more to an ad campaign’s performance than initial return on ad spend (which can count multiple touch points for the same sale). We strive for long term growth and for the retention of loyal customers with the brands we work with.

Check out THIS article by Shopify, which outlines key metrics to use in monitoring your online brand’s performance.

E-commerce:

With uncertainties surrounding our economy, given the state of the World right now (wars, the Red Sea shipping chaos and the looming US election this year), we’re noticing an uptick in the Amazon Subscribe and Save option our clients offer their customers.

Customers are not only looking for solid, meaningful and trustworthy brands, but are also looking for brands who take an interest in customer retention by way of personalized cost-saving loyalty programs… such as subscriptions.

You can create a very effective subscription business model on or off Amazon. Shopify has come out with an article which highlights some of the most effective subscription business models. Find out which model may work for your brand and learn about the benefits of recurring, predictable revenue!

Have you heard of MER? What is Marketing Efficiency Ratio and why is this metric just as important as ROAS (return on ad spend) to marketing agencies?

We know that customers typically interact with more than one ad campaign, medium, or channel before buying. MER takes into account the value generated from ALL parts of the marketing strategy (total revenue divided by total spend) and works out how lucrative marketing efforts are as a whole.

We’re interested in our client’s long term growth by striving for an increase in customer retention, along with an increase in customer LTV (lifetime value). In order to do this, we need to focus on not just short-term ROAS, but longer term MER goals and growth as well. Are you ‘MER’ curious? Check out this article HERE.

General Intrigue:

The future is here. Now. What do you think of the new Apple Vision Pro (‘spacial computing’)?

The Vantage Buzz – January 2024

Hi,

How are you doing so far this New Year? A refreshing new year might be just the right time to ensure your brand is consistent and clear wherever it’s seen, from your website to product labeling to paid advertising.

We encourage our clients to be consistent with their physical branding and messaging, which will be translated to customers as being confident and concise. This is a BIG part of building trust with your customers and therefore setting yourself up for a better chance at generating repeat purchases.

Do you need some help defining or redefining your brand? Shopify just released a great article on how to create a brand guideline for your business. This resource becomes the hub for your team members to use, as a comprehensive set of brand guidelines as well as a brand-specific style guide.

Whether you’re getting ready for your brand’s launch or looking to scale, THIS ARTICLE can help create a consistent experience for your customers!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

As an ad agency, from time to time we rely on ad network support teams to assist us with the ever changing landscape of their platforms. Over the past while, the quality of support from Google Ads has been noticeably decreasing.

It would appear that Google has heard the cries of their ad customers, and are addressing the issue. The solution? Layoffs and potentially bringing in AI.

The jury’s still out on whether if AI takes over a human’s support role (even with the human’s lack of knowledge to solve a problem), will prove to be better than the current situation.

In the meantime, as an ad agency, we are always taking it a step further than just contacting Google Ads when we run into a roadblock. We are also conducting our own research, troubleshooting and coming up with strategic solutions to any issue that may arise.

Here’s MORE INFO on the latest from the higher-ups of Google Ads

E-commerce:

What’s the actual reason your business exists? Customers want to know WHY you sell your products and what’s behind the shiny product shot, and not just what you sell.

We live in a day in age where people are craving authenticity and truth. Telling a story in your advertising that evokes an emotion related to your product’s purpose is more important than the perfect, well-manicured static product shot.

“Imagine visiting a doctor who only treats your symptoms, ignoring the underlying cause. Absurd, right? Yet, that’s how many brands approach marketing.”

THIS article has some great steps you can take to show the world your authenticity as a brand.

What is marginal revenue, why should you care about it in relation to your business and how do you calculate it?

Calculating marginal revenue is important because it can help your business…
1. Bring in more profit from additional profit.
2. Predict customer demand.
3. Estimate future production levels.
4. Define completive pricing.

For your marginal revenue questions, check out this informative blog article from Shopify.

General Intrigue:

Are you ready for Winter to be over? Well, there may just be a cruise for you… departing from Miami! Check out the world’s largest cruise ship, which set sail for the very first time this year.

The Vantage Buzz – December 2023

Hi,

As we get close to ringing in the New Year, we start to think about all of the wonderful possibilities 2024 will bring, both personally and professionally. You might ask yourself… how can I work smarter, not harder?

You don’t have to cause yourself unnecessary stress trying to come up with an original digital marketing campaign strategy or concept. Take a look at big brand’s successful digital advertising campaigns. They can help generate creative ideas for your own brand.

Using creative strategies and key marketing components that have already been proven to work can not only be beneficial to your business, but can also alleviate the pressure to come up with a new approach.

Check out some of these outstanding marketing campaigns from 2023, in order to help you succeed in 2024!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

The better your content on blogs or social media, the more traffic and engagement you’ll acquire. Seems pretty obvious and simple, right? But, are you setting yourself for success by doing your research before posting content, or are you just… posting?

If you create content around specific high ranking keywords that you know people are interested in searching, your content will have a better chance of performing.

One way of finding trending keywords is by starting to type a topic into Google search that’s relevant to your business and see what comes up (make sure to clear your browsing data first). For example, if you want to post something about what someone might want to use organic shampoo for, you might start your search with “organic shampoo for…” and then see what popular queries pop up.

Then, to make your content appealing, think ‘quality, uniqueness and authority’.

Content Must-Do’s:

  •  Use good quality and engaging images or video.
  • When you can, use quotes or lists to make the content more visually digestible.
  • The first sentence is your ‘hook’. Make sure it uses the keywords from your initial research.
  • Find a new angle on your topic to make your content unique.
  • Explain something better than the content that might already exist around your topic. YOU are the expert.
  • Be a journalist.
  • Appeal to your audience’s ego.

There’s a lot of content out there for people to consume, so we know it can be difficult to be ‘original’. However, people aren’t taking as much time to slow down, do their research and therefore creating intentional and well-thought-out content. Instead of pumping out as much content as possible, create less content with more purpose.

E-commerce:

When it comes to ad creative for Meta and Instagram, not only is the content of the ad important, but also using the appropriate size and aspect ratios.

Because there are many placements in which ads can serve on both platforms (Meta and Instagram), it’s critical for our clients to provide us with images or videos in multiple, specific formats. For example, when creating your video, keep in mind that in order to serve ads to all placements (which we recommend, instead of manually selecting a few), consider what your video would look like in a ‘Stories’ version (vertical, 9:16 ratio) and in an ‘Instagram feed’ version (square, 1:1 ratio).

THIS article outlines some best practices to create the most effective ad creative on Insta and Meta, which marketing agencies such as ourselves can use to get the most out of your advertising efforts!

“Soon when you use Google’s AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) to look for apparel, you’ll have the option to generate photorealistic images inspired by the words you search — and shop products that match those images.” – Julie Black, Google’s Director of Product for Consumer Shopping

This is just one of many new updates Google’s SGE is getting this month, which is currently only available to those who opt-in to SGE in the US. What does this mean for advertisers? New Google Ads formats appearing within the SGE are still in the testing phase, and Google has not yet confirmed any details about potential costs for these placements.

‘See similar products’ will be an option after you’ve created an image of your ideal product, based on what Google’s AI generated, inspired by the words you searched. This is a part of the very near future in search and shopping advertising, and we’ll stay on the pulse of updates when they become available! To read more about this new update, click HERE.

General Intrigue:

Did you know that Chinese tourist’s return to the shores of the UK has been far slower than Americans’ — flight bookings are down around 50% of pre-pandemic levels. Prior to the pandemic, they were the second-highest spenders in the UK after Americans and generally spent more per trip. It has therefore been suggested for UK businesses in particular, to focus their advertising dollars on a holiday that generally sees quite a few Chinese tourists abroad – the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival. Learn more HERE.

The Vantage Buzz – November 2023

Hi,

We’re already right in the thick of the holiday season for our e-commerce clients, and particularly for our American friends, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did you know that the 5 days around Black Friday are responsible for approximately 4% of the total yearly online customer spend? And post-Black Friday, customers are still looking for that great deal!

We can’t emphasize enough that because this can be the most profitable time of year for your online business, checking up on your promotions daily (even multiple times during the day) is essential. Also, dig into what happened during your sale yesterday, and use the results (as well as last year’s day-by-day results) to apply optimizations to your campaigns and promotions based on your findings.

Be aware that you may want to make knee-jerk, impulsive changes to your promotions, so be sure to take your time to do a bit more digging before making any hasty adjustments.

Most importantly, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your loved ones this holiday season!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Google Search regularly updates its search ranking systems to make sure they’re showing the most relevant, helpful content possible. And, a big core update (the 2nd in less than 2 months) happened in November.

Google Search seeks to reward content creators who share helpful, reliable content that’s primarily created to benefit people. If you’re already doing this on your website, then during the newest November Google Search Core Update you may have noticed you’re performing better in search results.

However, if you notice your organic site traffic drops right after a major Google Search Update, Google has a guide on how to self-assess your content to ensure your website is using the SEO fundamentals.

Helpful Google Links:
Q&A on Google Search Updates
SEO Fundamentals

E-commerce:

How’s your online store’s user experience? During your Black Friday promo did you notice there were changes you could have made to your website, which may have helped to increase sales? Sometimes we have to learn from what we didn’t do in order to set ourselves up for success in the future.

Shopify outlines some great best practices to improve your customer experience on your online store.

User experience improvements in a nut-shell:
1. Prioritize function above all
2. Build sales funnels, not web pages
3. Capture attention and intention
4. Write user-centred copy
5. Make online store navigation intuitive
6. Always consider mobile e-commerce user experience

Are you maximizing your business’ sales potential by using all available direct marketing channels for your promotions this year? HERE are some top direct marketing channels for prospects who are determined to be likely buyers.

Are you using email marketing leading up to your business’ sales? As in, are you doing this right now? We’re in it people… sale season crunch time!

If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts this holiday season, we hope you’ve been connecting with your current customers and newsletter subscribers. It’s time to be bold with your marketing!

A few tips on your email marketing strategy:

• Don’t be afraid to go broad. This is the time of year when you can target those who have shown engagement over longer durations. Instead of targeting those who have engaged with your brand in the last 30 days, open it up to the last 60 or even 90 days.

• Be more aggressive with frequency because, during this time of year, your email might get lost in the sea of competitors.

• Re-engage with your loyal, returning customers. We know it’s important to acquire new customers, however, a separate more personalized email just for your faithful, repeat customers could improve their lifetime value.

• Compare against your business’ benchmark and not against a benchmark of vague, industry standards. Look at what you did last year and ask yourself how you can improve your brand’s success this holiday season.

General Intrigue:

This year, Shopify set a Black Friday record, raking in a 22% increase in global sales compared to last year! More info HERE.

The Vantage Buzz – October 2023

Hi,

Happy Halloween! And now… welcome to the Holiday Season. With more and more potential customers flocking to purchase your product(s) in the coming weeks, we can’t emphasize enough how lifestyle images lead to much higher click-through rates than standard product images. Your potential customers want to actually see your product ‘in action’, rather than having to imagine it for themselves.

Even Amazon is aware of this. Amazon Ads has just come out with a new AI-powered image-creation tool, which strategically places your product against a relevant background image. According to Amazon, such lifestyle context can increase click-through rates by as much as 40% compared to standard product images. We’ll be working with our clients to ensure they have the best creative ready to go for their upcoming promo campaigns!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

We’re always telling our clients that an effective landing page is key to getting that coveted conversion from an ad.

When a potential customer clicks on an ad and is taken to your landing page, what do you want them to see/experience?

• An attention-grabbing image of the product you’re advertising.
• Information about the benefits of your product
• An explicit CTA button for purchasing your product or signing up for your offer
• Honest customer or client reviews
• The landing page loads quickly (a lot of ad networks view a slowly loading page as an issue, and it makes for a poor customer experience)

Basically, you want to give your customers the most seamless, visually appealing experience when viewing your product online, with the least amount of steps to get to your checkout or signup page. Be clear, be concise and be authentic to your brand and to your customer.

Here are some more tips on creating a successful landing page from Shopify.

E-commerce:

Plan, plan, plan. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of planning your e-commerce strategy in order to set your business up for success.

We’re constantly planning and executing new strategies within our clients’ ad networks, recording all pertinent findings, and using these for future campaigns/projects.

And, if your plan for an ad campaign includes only one thing, we’d recommend it be looking at past, similar campaign results. This way, at least you’ll be able to implement what worked and not use what didn’t work. Also, having some comparative data is key to observing your business’ growth.

HERE are additional tips on setting up your e-commerce campaign for success, as you plan for your business’s future growth.

And, if you’re selling your product(s) online, are you using all available sales channels for your business in order to target different customer audiences, maximizing your sales revenue?

We make our clients aware of all the available sales channels for their e-commerce businesses. We strive to provide comprehensive information to help them maximize their sales potential. Remember, creating brand awareness and expanding your reach might not result in immediate sales, but it’s a critical part of a consumer’s purchasing journey.

Check out Shopify’s article which outlines the ‘10 Most Important Sales Channels for Selling Online‘.

General Intrigue:

Only in Canada does this happen… a moose became entangled in Halloween decorations.

Common Social Media Scams & Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Customers & Yourself Safe


We’ve been working with a number of our clients, providing them with awareness and actionable steps they can take against the rise of social media scams. In particular, we’ve been alerting our clients about a scammer impersonating Meta Business Support. They’ve been sending our clients messages, claiming they need login credentials in order to resolve an issue with the account. Let’s look at the typical scams that are currently circulating, as well as what you can do to help protect your business, your customers and yourself.

Common Facebook Scams Targeting Businesses & Their Customers

A particular scam we’ve seen our clients experience first-hand is a scammer impersonating Facebook using social hacking, in an attempt to steal login credentials via Facebook Messenger and emails. Here’s an article describing this type of scam in more detail.

Here are more articles on social media scams to be aware of…

17 Facebook Scams You Need to Take Seriously

Facebook Messanger Scams

Facebook Page Recovery Scammers

Hacked Facebook Pages Buying Ads

The Latest Social Media Scams and How to Identify

Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Customers & Yourself Safe:

  1. Regardless of what a scammer is claiming, first, do NOT click on any link they have provided you with.
  2. Do not download files or software coming from people you don’t know.
  3. Don’t answer/report messages that ask for your password, social insurance number or financial information.
  4. Do your own research by digging into your Facebook account directly, logging in to your admin page to view any errors or issues with your page.
  5. For businesses, you can enable Business notifications, so you’ll be alerted of any changes happening within your Meta Business Manager Account. More here.

For Additional Security:

  1. Use a password manager, such as LastPass, as it won’t enter your credentials into a fake site.
  2. Use a hardware security key, such as the LastPass Authenticator app, which is used as a 2nd form of authentication or as a Multi-Factor Authentication.
  3. Use trusted antivirus software and remember that it’s important to keep this software up to date and scan your devices for malware regularly.

Here’s MORE on avoiding scams on Facebook, as well as how to report a fake Facebook account or page.

In conclusion, we all have or will be at some point, the object of someones’ social media scam. The good news is that because it’s so common, there are lots of resources out there on how to protect yourself and your business against these fraudulent actions. Karma, anyone??