Tag Archive for: Advertising Newsletter

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.

The Vantage Buzz – September 2023

Hi,

Happy Fall! With the arrival of this season comes the swift reality that the 2023 holiday season will be upon us in a flash. First up on the holiday season calendar… Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Doing the prep for a sale ad campaign is just as (if not more) important as the ad campaign creation process itself. Here are a few questions to ask, that can help with your ad prep…

• Does the landing page you want to use for the sale have all the accurate details about the promo you’ll be running?
• Will the sale be using auto-applied discounts, or does the customer need a discount code?
• Do you have sale specific creative (ie: images/video)?
• What is the budget you’re looking to spend for the duration of the sale?
• What is your target audience for the sale?
• What is your performance goal… do you have a particular target return on ad spend or cost per acquisition for the sale?
• Did you run a similar sale the year prior? And if so, are your goals the same?

Doing the prep in a timely manner and having all the necessary creative material ready to go, at least a few days prior to the sale launch date, is so crucial. This is because ad networks, such as Meta Ads, take at least 24 hours to approve the ad. It also gives you time to ensure everything is in place to get the most ROI on your ad campaign.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Did you know, according to Google, 21% of consumers complete their seasonal gift purchases by mid-October? This is because major retailers start rolling out their Black Friday sales as early as September. Do you have your Black Friday / Cyber Monday campaign strategy ready to go?

We have noticed that our clients are running their BFCM promos over longer durations, as well as starting them earlier than they used to. No matter what your business model, this guide on creating a successful 2023 holiday season SEO strategy, can greatly help the performance of your digital advertising efforts.

Also, how can your brand conquer the Google search universe? Sending the correct signals to Google within your site content, still remains of the highest importance. Here are some SEO content strategies to consider in order to boost your brands’ online visibility.

E-commerce:

The advanced capabilities of Apple’s latest iOS system, iOS 17, allows you to create dynamic 3D objects. This is a fantastic addition to your Shopify store, as it gives your online customers an elevated shopping experience, showcasing products in the same way you would in-person.

Could this be something that allows you to stand apart from your competitors during this coming holiday season? HERE’S an article with step by step, user-friendly instructions on how to use the Shopify apps’ new 3D scanner.

Is it time to market to your Gen Z customers? The highest percentage of TikTok users are Gen Zers, ages 18-24. They are often dismissed and not taken seriously. And we can all relate to this attitude towards young adults, as we were all there once upon a time. However, this is a generation unlike any other…

They’re the first generation of “digital natives”, never knowing a world without the internet. They are intelligent and are confident users of technology. Most don’t remember an age without smartphones.

Also, research performed in 2022 estimated that the disposable income of Gen Zers was more than double what was estimated three years earlier. When considering TikTok for your business’ marketing strategy, also remember that Gen Z is known as the generation that cares. They are socially conscious, hyper-aware of green issues, and expect the brands they engage with to be as well.

Here are some essential TikTok statistics from Shopify, which will help with your marketing efforts.

General Intrigue:

Well, it’s that time of year where kiddos go back to school. Did you know that in some parts of Canada there’s competition between school boards, and in northeastern Ontario alone, over $1M a year is spent on marketing? Check out THIS article to learn more.

The Vantage Buzz – August 2023

Hi,

With Summer coming to a close and back-to-school being right around the corner, social media scammers are back-at-it as well. In particular, we’ve been alerting our clients about a scammer impersonating Meta Business Support. They are sending our clients messages, claiming they need login credentials in order to resolve an issue with the account.

First, do NOT click on the link associated with the message. In order to check if this is, indeed, a real message from Meta Business Support, login to your actual admin page to view any errors with your page and/or any issues that might cause a page suspension or disablement of a page.

HERE is an article further explaining what you can do in case you’ve received an email or message from someone claiming they are from Meta, and you believe it’s a scam.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Google Analytics 4 has fully launched and has officially collected a couple of full months of data. Although you can still view the previously collected data from the original GA Universal, it’s ceased to collect new data. And, in approximately 6 months time, you won’t have access to GA Universal whatsoever.

In the near future, we’ll offer guidance and recommendations on the data export process, but in the meantime… How familiar are you with the new GA4 platform? Here are some great tips on becoming a GA4 pro, no matter what your skill level is.

E-commerce:

This is old news, but also new news. Starting in November 2022, Shopify has been gradually rolling out a new checkout which limits Google Tag Manager in the checkout for Shopify Plus stores.

Even though Shopify announced that the official end date for checkout.liquid as August 13, 2024, we’ve recently noticed that some of our clients’ Shopify Plus stores are already being affected by the checkout.liquid file depreciation, resulting in Google Tag Manager code being ignored.

Checkout.liquid is a specialized Liquid theme file used to customize the overall look, feel, and functionality of the checkout of a Shopify Plus store. This functionality, only available to Shopify Plus merchants, had been providing them flexibility to customize and control the user experience during the checkout process.

If you’re currently using checkout.liquid, please refer to THIS article, which includes links at the bottom of the page, to learn how to upgrade your checkout customizations to “checkout extensibility”.

And, for the first time ever, US-based Shopify merchants will soon have the choice to offer their products to Prime members. Amazon is releasing a new Shopify app soon, which will allow merchants to add “Buy with Prime” to their Shopify Checkout.

HERE are more details on what this new app integration means.

General Intrigue:

Cold and flu season is upon us, but Kleenex won’t be a part of the action this year in Canada. Kleenex is discontinuing its product in Canada and according to THIS article, “The decision was likely made because profit margins on the product were thin to begin with, and inflation has consumers choosing cheaper options wherever they can.”

The Vantage Buzz – July 2023

Hi,

As we approach August, we get reminded that September and back-to-school/Labour Day is right around the corner. We’re starting to plan with our clients on how to best transition from the slower Summer months into the next season, and we ask the question… do you have a social media marketing strategy?

As brands continue to ride the wave of social media marketing, a large percentage of marketers say they’re confident their efforts deliver a positive return on investment for their business.

Customers still rely on a consistent and confident organic presence from their favourite brands on networks such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. When a brand isn’t active on social media, customers can take that as a red flag that something is awry with the business.

So when we take it a step further, creating a social media marketing strategy (as outlined in this Shopify article) will show tangible results related to your business goals.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

The era of AI is here and it’s here to stay. So, how can we make it work for us? In order to build trust with your customers and to have them see you as a trusted expert in your industry, a blog on your website can be very valuable.

Sometimes it can be difficult to turn a blog/article idea into a concise, useful written piece to establish your business as a respected and trustworthy leader in your industry.

Google has a new experimental tool, their AI notebook, NotebookLM, which may help you in the near future. “The tool functions like a virtual research assistant, capable of summarizing facts, elucidating complex ideas, and brainstorming new connections based on the sources provided by the user.”

E-commerce:

If a client offers free shipping for their customers, we want to know. It’s always something we highlight in our ad campaigns. Yes, free shipping can increase sales, however, there are different ways to offer it. HERE’S a guide to how you can be strategic with the type of free shipping you use, in order to make it work for your business.

Earlier this month, Meta introduced their new app, Threads, a conversation-based app nearly identical to the format of Twitter. Although Threads was quickly called the fastest growing app in history, it remains to be seen whether interest will be sustained in the long run.

What we do know, according to our sources at Meta, is that it’s suspected in approximately 6 months’ time Threads will start serving paid ads on its platform. Getting in on the ground floor of a new social and marketing network can be beneficial for brands, whether you’re new to the scene or established in your industry.

General Intrigue:
What ever happened to Jell-O? And will it make a comeback? Well, it would seem that they just rebranded for the 1st time in a decade!

The Vantage Buzz – June 2023

Hi,

We hope you’re enjoying your Summer so far. This is an important reminder that Google Analytics Universal will cease to collect new data as of July 1st! However, you will continue to have access to its data for at least 6 months. We intend on offering more guidance and recommendations on the data export process in the near future.

Google Analytics 4 is fully replacing Universal Analytics this coming Saturday, and if you haven’t already created a GA4 property, Google will do it for you, based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property.

If you have already created a new GA4 profile, you will want to check that your old GA Universal profiles have “opted out” of automatically creating a new basic GA4 profile. This can be found in the Admin / GA4 Setup Assistant section of your property settings (screenshot below). Some of our clients have many GA profiles that are no longer being used, and we don’t want new GA4 profiles created for them.

Click HERE for more info.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Continuing the dialog about Google Analytics 4, check out the new GA4 conversion attribution settings.

Also, Google Ads announced significant changes to its trademark policy, worldwide. What are these changes, you ask?

E-commerce:

Whether you’re new to e-commerce, or you’re an old pro, sometimes going back to the basics is key! HERE is a step-by-step guide on how to sell your products online.

You might already know your customer acquisition cost, but do you need tips on how to reduce it? HERE is Shopify’s take on why customer acquisition cost is important, how to calculate it for your store, and their advice for reducing it.

And General Intrigue:

Talk about a marketing explosion! Check out the latest movie marketing stunts behind the new ‘Barbie’ movie.

The Vantage Buzz – May 2023

Hi,

In May we celebrated mom, and according to one of the largest online flower delivery services, UrbanStems, it recorded its highest day for revenue… EVER this month. Find out what types of website optimizations the company performed, which can be attributed to its incredibly successful month HERE. There might be some key takeaways you can use for your next promo!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Here’s a recap of Google’s annual Marketing Live 2023 event, which covered new features and insights.

How well do you know your business’ audience? HERE are ways to get to know your audience better to improve your marketing strategy.

E-commerce:

Do you need a refresher on social media marketing for your small business? Here’s a comprehensive guide.

Learn how the YouTube algorithm works in 2023 for your channel. It might just give you insights into what makes engaging ads on the network as well.

And General Intrigue:

Humorous marketing can be successful, but when you “break TikTok” due to one overwhelmingly effective idea, is it just a one-hit wonder? Find out more HERE on how Clancy’s Auto Body became a TikTok sensation in just over a week.

The Vantage Buzz – April 2023

Hi,

April 22nd was Earth Day! Find out what one of the founders of this annual environmental event has to say about today’s Earth Day message HERE.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Business:

Put your reader first by choosing the right content recommendation strategy for your website.

Top 3D virtual influencers have well over 1 million Instagram followers! What is a 3D virtual influencer and can it help your brand?

E-commerce:

“Survey data shows 91% of businesses engage in video marketing…” We tell all of our clients that video marketing is key to great advertising hygiene! Learn more HERE.

Also, optimizing your website for SEO has a huge positive impact on online advertising. Here’s a very thorough SEO checklist from our friends at Shopify.

And General Intrigue:

Did you encounter any April Fools pranks this month? HERE are some big brands who famously participated in April 1st shenanigans.