Create Ads for Nearby Customers with Facebook’s New Tools

fb local ads

Facebook recently improved its advertising tools for local businesses, a decision stemming off the company’s 45 percent increase in advertising sales over the past year. Now they have plans to gain an even larger share of local business marketing budgets.

The social networking leader has released two new ad products that are tailor-made for local business marketing. These tools are designed to give businesses a detailed understanding of local foot traffic as well as help multi-location organizations target ads to specific store areas.

The first of the new tools is a tab in the Page Insights section allowing local businesses to identify the groups of people nearby. The data gained from Facebook mobile user demographics can show local business marketers when their neighborhood is most active.

The company revealed that retailers can also view the number of anonymous users within various distances: 150 feet, 450 feet and 1,500 feet. This tool will also give you important demographics, such as age and gender, of residents and visitors in the vicinity.

A recent blog post from Facebook said advertisers can see the percentage of people who have seen the ad in their location, showing businesses how their ads are reaching potential customers. This unique tool helps businesses achieve their local marketing goals by reaching a greater number of people near them.

The second local advertising tool helps businesses target local traffic by creating location-specific ads. This will allow multi-site businesses to target their ads to specific store locations.

If potential customers are near any of your business locations, they will see the branch name, address and phone number, as well as a button that allows them to receive directions. This feature is great because it takes away the necessity of opening a mobile map app.

Matt Idema, VP of Facebook product marketing, said these products will help businesses track foot traffic near their stores and understand how ad campaigns affect those groups. Taking advantage of these two new tools will give local businesses an edge by giving them a better picture of the people who are within walking distance of their stores.

For more information on the new local advertising options with Facebook, or about incorporating social advertising into your marketing mix, please call Qiigo at (404) 496-6841.

Google Offers Gmail Native Ads to Advertisers

Gmail ads1

Google is offering an updated Gmail native ad product for advertisers. The previous format allowed advertisers to place their ads at the top of users’ inboxes, but now AdWords users can display ads in a more appealing fashion.

Gmail Ads

This reinvented native format was released to help make it easier for advertisers to buy Gmail ads. Users will be able to view these ads in more appealing ways than those previously available.

The nature of these native ads encourage user clicks due to their placement on the page; they are now collapsed by default on the page and will only expand when users click on them. Ads will also feature a variety of extensions, including forms, images, and call-to-actions buttons.

Google claims that this new ad format will create greater informational and visual quality of landing pages. They will only charge advertisers when these collapsed boxes are expanded, keeping with the style of traditional AdWords pricing.

One of the most popular features of the native ads is their forwarding function; each ad contains a “Forward” link, allowing users to send the information to others. There is also a “Save to Inbox” link that lets them save ads just as one would save an email.

Google has made the purpose of these ads clear: The native advertising in Gmail shows higher quality ads that mesh well with the inbox layout. Gmail advertisers can use standard AdWords targeting options to develop their own personalized native ads.

Higher quality, customized ads will lead to a better user experience. Users will still be able to control which types of ads they see in their inboxes, retaining the customization aspect of Gmail. And these won’t appear in the inboxes of those using Google apps for Work.

Advertisers will be happy to reach audiences in a less intrusive way through this native ad format. As the update continues to draw in more advertisers, we’ll no doubt see more local advertising options become available.

Learn more about the updated Native Gmail ads in AdWords here.

Want to find out how your brand can incorporate Gmail native ads in your marketing mix? Call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

Internet Ad Revenues Up 19%

internet ad revenue2014-2015

According to a recent report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) states that internet ad revenues in the U.S. grew to $27.5 billion over the first six months of 2015. This represents a 19% jump compared to the $23.1 billion in the same period in 2014.

The IAB’s “Internet Advertising Revenue Report” revealed that internet ad revenues grew by 22.5% in 2015’s second quarter compared to the same period in 2014. This year’s number was $14.3 billion, compared to $11.7 billion in Q2 2014, representing an 8.5% advancement in 2015’s first quarter.

Representatives of the IAB stated that consumers have been adjusting their media and purchasing habits. The use of digital and mobile devices have helped to influence these changes.

The report went on to state that mobile revenues are up to $8.2 billion at the half year mark in 2015, which is up 54% compared to the $5.3 billion in the first six months of 2014. Mobile ad revenue now covers 30% of internet advertising revenues, a 23% increase from the half year mark in 2014.

Digital video revenue, at $2 billion, is up 35% from 2014 to 2015. While social media revenues are up to $4.4 billion in the first half of 2015, 51% greater than in the same six months of 2014.

The remaining half of advertising revenues consist of the same three categories as previous years, including retail at 22% and both automotive and financial services at 13%.

Display ad revenue is up 5% in the first six months of 2015 compared to 2014, at $6.8 billion, compared to $6.5 billion over the same period in 2014. Display ad revenue accounts for 25% of all digital ad revenue.

Yahoo & Google Sign Non-Exclusive Ad Agreement


Yahoo and Google recently signed a deal in which Google will provide ads for results on Yahoo’s search engine. Many of the details remain undisclosed, but the basic agreement is that Google will provide ads on Yahoo search results pages and pay Yahoo a percentage of gross revenues from AdSense for Search ads displayed on Yahoo Properties. In turn, Yahoo will pay Google fees for image search results or web algorithmic search results.

The deal is similar to a previous one between Yahoo and Microsoft Bing, which was updated in March. That update left a gap for Yahoo to partner with other search ad providers. Yahoo took advantage of this opportunity to partner with the largest search engine behemoth in the industry.

The agreement began on October 1st and expires late in 2018. Yahoo disclosed the general nature of the contract in its quarterly earnings results.

Both companies have also come to an agreement with the US Department of Justice regarding antitrust issues. The DOJ previously shut down a similar agreement between Yahoo and Google in 2008.

Google disclosed that the agreement would come to an end if “certain events” were to take place, but neither Google nor Yahoo has stated what events this clause refers to.

The contract is non-exclusive, meaning Yahoo remains free to continue its relationship with Microsoft and to provide its own search ads as well. Yahoo has previously been reported to be building technology for its own search results via mobile technology. This agreement simply gives Yahoo the opportunity to use the Google name and power for search results and ads while pursuing its own path.

This is an excerpt from Yahoo recently released statement in regards to the agreement:

    “…Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google’s AdSense for Search service…web algorithmic search services through Google’s Web search Service, and image search services. The results provided by Google for these services will be available to Yahoo for display on both desktop and mobile platforms…”

New CEO to Lead Google


Earlier this month, Google announced it’s restructuring into a company called Alphabet. Alphabet has been positioned as a “collection of companies” to be run by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This collection of companies will include Google as well as those other companies which are a bit more “far afield” of Google’s
main internet products.


Sundar Pichai, new CEO at Google, 2016

With the restructuring came the need to appoint a new CEO at Google. Page and Brin have named Sundar Pichai, 43, to this position. Pichai has risen quickly through the ranks at Google since his start with the company in 2004. He has worked on such products as the Google search toolbar, the Chrome operating system, Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Maps. Pichai is credited with the idea that Google should create its own browser. Initial objections that browser development would a distraction were pushed aside and today Chrome has an estimated worldwide market share of 45%.

In 2014, Pichai was promoted to head of products at Google. This put him in the number 2 position behind Page. He has since been in charge of oversight for key projects including maps, search and advertising, as well as development of Google Photos and Google Now.

Pichai is well regarded internally. His management style is reported to be empathetic, supportive, communicative, and self-deprecating. Prior to this promotion, rumors were circulating that he was being considered for key positions throughout the tech world including as the new CEO at Twitter.

It will be interesting to see where Pichai leads Google and how the new Alphabet company impacts the digital marketplace.

Franchise Marketing Playbook Now Available

fran marketing playbook

Google has recently released its first Franchise Marketing Playbook. Qiigo is proud to have been a partner in the creation of the Franchise Marketing Playbook.

The Playbook is designed to provide strategies for addressing common local advertising challenges faced by franchisees. This step by step guide can help franchisees optimize their digital presence while increasing their return on investment for key digital marketing strategies. Strategies and best practices have been gathered from experts working within the franchise community, including Qiigo.

“We are thrilled to have played a part in creating the new Franchise Marketing Playbook,” remarked Rick Batchelor, Qiigo CEO. “Our work with franchisors and franchisees across a wide range of industries has made Qiigo the trusted choice for digital marketing solutions.” Qiigo provides strategies for managing online directory listings on pages 40 through 43 of the Marketing Playbook.

With tips for franchise development, search, display and mobile marketing, franchisor and franchisee specific strategies, and more, the Franchise Marketing Playbook is filled with a wealth of information to help your business grow.

View the Franchise Marketing Playbook here.

New Google Search Algorithm Places Emphasis on Mobile Friendly Websites


Starting April 21, 2015, the mobile search ranking algorithm Google uses will include mobile-friendly factors.

What does this mean for you? Ensuring your website is responsive and mobile-friendly is essential.

Google explains that this change to the algorithm will make it easier for users to find “relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.” With this change Google will begin labeling sites as mobile-friendly. The changes to the algorithm will also determine if a site should rank higher in the search results.

According to Google, “…We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.” You can find more information on this announcement here and test to see if your website is mobile friendly here.

Is your site mobile-friendly? Google has provided a quick start guide for ensuring a mobile-friendly website. Use this resource to gather information on offering a full mobile experience as well as testing your current site to see if it’s mobile-friendly.

Google’s given notice. To rank, your site must be mobile friendly by April 21, 2015.

Social Referrals Gaining on Search

Where do you go to get information? Google or Bing? Facebook or Twitter? It seems more people are turning to social media to find content on the web. While it’s a give and take battle between search and social referrals, social seems to be getting a foothold in the battle for consumer attention.

Shareaholic recently released data from BuzzFeed which showed that in June and September of 2014, social referrals topped referrals from search engines. Social referrals saw a huge spike between May and June only to decline again in July and August. Social referrals were on the incline again in September. In June, social referrals accounted for 30.93% compared to search referrals of 29.40%. The September rebound was much closer with 29.35% coming from social and 29.14% coming from search.
social search traffic

So what does this mean? Since June 2013, social referrals have been consistently closing the gap with search referrals. In June 2013, search generated 40.39% of referrals compared to just 14.43% from social. One year later, Social had surged ahead of search. The 13 month average shows search at 37.17% to 23.20% from social. It stands to reason that social referrals will continue to gain momentum and rival or surpass those of search.

According to Danny Wong of Shareaholic, “The figures simply reveal that social drives a larger relative percentage of visits to sites across the web…Over the past 15 months, there have been a number of changes in web (and mobile) users’ behaviors, with respect to how they discover content and arrive at different sites across the web. The most interesting finding IMO is how quickly and dramatically the numbers have shifted to favor social…”

For business owners, this means you must have a consistent social media strategy to complement your organic SEO and pay per click lead generation efforts. Qiigo can help you get a plan together so your business is top of mind to consumers. Call Qiigo today at (404) 496-6841.

Franchise Business Booms in Current Economy


Franchise businesses are driving job growth faster than ever before as more people seek to get involved with a reliable business plan. According to the International Franchise Association, 2015 marks the fifth year in a row where the franchise industry is expected to see a large expansion.

IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira said, “Franchising is a vital engine of economic expansion in the United States and 2015 looks to be another strong year for franchise businesses. With continued job gains, consumer spending will accelerate creating the conditions for another strong year of growth for franchise businesses.”

The IFA’s annual outlook for the franchise industry offered some important bits of data, including:

  • Franchise businesses are expected to add about 2.9% more jobs than they did in 2014, bringing the yearly growth to 247,000 jobs. Nationwide, franchise-based employment is approaching 9 million jobs all by itself.
  • Over 12,000 new franchise businesses are expected to open in 2015.
  • The combined revenue of all franchise businesses is expected to reach $889 billion for the year, 5.4% more than 2014.
  • Franchises are expected to grow at a rate of 5.1% – beating the national growth level of 4.9%.

At Qiigo, we look forward to helping franchisees and franchisors grow their business in 2015. For more information about our products and services, please call (404) 496-6841.

Small Business Owners Feeling Optimistic in 2015


The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) released its Small Business Optimism Index and the results are very optimistic. The results of the new Small Business Optimism Index are the best since before the recession dampened business owner’s enthusiasm for hiring and expansion.

The Index surveyed 568 members of the NFIB. The results showed more small business owners are considering hiring, expanding and investing in equipment and property. Some highlights of the recently released study include:

  • 2.3 point increase in the Small Business Optimism Index to 100.4. This is the highest the Index has been since October 2006.
  • 6 percentage point rise in the number of owners forecasting higher sales.
  • 5 percentage point increase in the number of owners who said now is a good time to expand their company.
  • 4 percentage point rise in the number of owners who are expecting to create new jobs and make investments in equipment or property.

The NFIB also reported that business owners were stepping up the pace of hiring in December 2014. Increases in optimism have been seen in the small business sector since the summer of 2014.