Why Local Marketers Can’t Ignore Programmatic

Display ads are one of the oldest digital marketing formats. But recently, they’ve fallen out of vogue with local marketers. Instead, these marketers are choosing to focus on other channels and formats, like local SEO, paid search ads, and social media.

In doing so, they’re ignoring the advancements and advantages of modern programmatic advertising.

The programmatic ads of today represent a big leap forward over display ads of the past. Programmatic ads offer extraordinarily precise targeting and tracking capabilities. They’re available in a range of dynamic and interactive formats, encouraging clicks and conversions. And through programmatic ads, you can reach consumers on the websites and apps they love to use.

Most importantly, programmatic ads have a proven track record of boosting awareness and sales. Studies have found that programmatic ads can boost:

  • Branded search queries by up to 25%
  • Conversion rates by up to 30%
  • Word-of-mouth recommendations by up to 10%
  • Event registrations by up to 25%

And thanks to their targeting capabilities, programmatic ads are a gift to local marketers in particular.

The Importance of Programmatic for Local Marketers

For local marketers, precise targeting can make or break a campaign. To connect with the right consumers, you need to carefully target your audience based on who they are and where they live/work. At the same time, you’re typically working with smaller budgets, which means that every single dollar needs to count.

In the past, display ads offered limited capabilities when it came to user targeting. Essentially, the only control marketers had over targeting was which website the ad ran on.

With programmatic ads, you can target users with the level of precision that local marketing demands. Thanks to the reach and targeting methods of the Google Display Network and the Facebook Audience Network, you can target your ads based on individual users’ characteristics, behaviors, and location.

This way, you aren’t limited to local websites for targeting local consumers. Instead, you can serve ads to local consumers wherever online they happen to be.

5 Advantages of Local Programmatic Ads

1. Awareness & Trust

Programmatic ads are highly effective at building awareness and trust with local consumers. Compared to paid search, local SEO, and social media, you’re less dependent on user actions. You don’t need to wait for users to find you. Instead, you can serve ads directly to your audience. What’s more, you’ll be doing so on the websites and apps they trust most.

2. Precision Targeting

The core strength of programmatic lies in its targeting abilities. Local marketers can target programmatic ads via a user’s location, either via a set geographic radius or by targeting specific ZIP codes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You also have the option of targeting users based on their demographics, interests, search behaviors, and their history of online interactions with your business.

3. Dynamic Ad Content

On top of serving your ads to a highly targeted set of users, programmatic allows you to tailor your ads according to users’ features and behaviors. If a user has recently searched for a product you offer, you can serve them an ad with an image of this product. If they’re within a short distance of your location, you can serve them an ad with directions to your business.

4. Detailed Analytics

Like other digital marketing formats, programmatic ads are extraordinarily rich in terms of data and analytics. The same level of precision used to serve ads can be harnessed to measure their performance, with the ability to micro-segment data for specific campaigns, specific ads, and specific audience groups. Programmatic ads are also ideal for A/B testing, allowing you to quickly optimize your campaigns for higher click-through and conversion rates.

5. Cost-Effectiveness

One more reason why local marketers should use programmatic ads? Their cost-effectiveness. While programmatic campaigns cost more than traditional display ads, they remain much less expensive than other types of digital marketing campaigns. They also deliver more immediate and tangible results, allowing you to measure the ROI of your ad spend more easily and more quickly.

Why Brands Can’t Afford to Ignore Similar & Lookalike Audiences

Modern digital marketing campaigns make extensive use of retargeting, showing paid ads to users who have already interacted with a brand’s website, paid ads, or social media content. When implemented correctly, these types of campaigns have far stronger metrics than their non-retargeted counterparts, making them attractive to business and marketers alike.

While retargeted campaigns are well worth the investment, there are drawbacks to retargeting. For one, it takes time and money to develop retargeting audiences. For another, these audiences are limited to users who’ve already interacted with your brand. If you’re looking for new prospects, you won’t find them in your retargeting audience.

While some digital marketers will use the terms “similar audience” and “lookalike audience” interchangeably, it’s important to note that these are two separate tools.

Similar audience is a feature on Google Ads. This feature is based on remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs), i.e., users you are retargeting because they’ve interacted with your website. When you use RLSAs in a paid search campaign, Google will analyze the search behavior of your RLSA audience. It will then give you the option of expanding your campaign to target a similar audience. This is a group of users whose search behavior closely mirrors your RLSA audience.

But what if there was a simple, low-cost way to double or triple the size of this audience? And what if you could target new users in the process? That’s where similar audiences (on Google Ads) and lookalike audiences (on Facebook) can make a huge difference in your digital marketing strategy.

Lookalike audience is a feature used for Facebook ads, which works similarly to Google’s similar audiences feature. However, Facebook isn’t using search behavior to build this audience. Instead, it bases your lookalike audience on features like user interests and demographic data. Facebook also allows gives you control over the size of your lookalike audience. Smaller audiences will mirror your original audience more closely, while larger audiences reach more users.

In both cases, there are limitations to these tools. Both features require a large enough sample size to create a mirror audience. Google will only give the option of a similar audience if your original RLSA has “at least 1,000 cookies with enough similarity in search behavior.” Facebook requires at least 100 users in your source audience, but it recommends using a source audience of at least 1,000 users.

These concerns aside, the question for marketers is simple: Do similar and lookalike audiences work?

Why You Should Invest in Similar and Lookalike Audiences

If digital marketers have learned one thing over the past decade, it’s that Google and Facebook know what they’re doing. So it should come as no surprise that brands who’ve adopted similar and lookalike audiences have seen impressive results.

In simple terms, these features allow you to target a larger base of potential customers while retaining the positive metrics of retargeted marketing. In numerous case studies, mirrored audiences on Google and Facebook have had similar engagement and conversion metrics to the audiences on which they were based. In terms of purchasing behavior, it’s almost like cloning your most promising leads.

Even better, mirrored audiences can significantly reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. While there is an investment of time and money to develop your initial retargeting audience, it costs much less to mirror that audience via Google or Facebook. Not only are you practically cloning your best leads, but the cloning process also costs pennies on the dollar when compared to traditional lead acquisition.

Ultimately, similar and lookalike audiences are a near-foolproof way to get more value out of your current retargeting data and increase the overall efficiency of your digital spend. However, there’s one important catch. For these features to work, you need to be targeting the right people in the first place. That means investing the time and money it takes to build high-quality source data for your brand.

7 Digital Marketing Best Practices for Multi-Location Brands

Digital marketing can be a thorny issue for multi-location brands. On the corporate level, you’re engaged in broad, national campaigns that promote your brand as a whole. On the location level, you (or your franchisees) need to worry about local marketing efforts. That means taking a hybrid approach to your digital marketing strategy.


Yet, when you look online for digital marketing best practices, there’s little information on how to balance brand-level and location-level marketing. Most of the advice you’ll find is focused on one or the other. There’s little information on how to coordinate corporate campaigns and local marketing to complement one another.


At Qiigo, we specialize in digital marketing campaigns for national brands, so we know a thing or two about the best ways to market your multi-location brand online. If you’re in the process of rethinking your digital marketing strategy, here are seven important areas that you’ll want to focus on.


What Multi-Location Brands Need for Digital Marketing


  1. Create Unique, Localized SEO Content. If your brand uses boilerplate content for each location’s sub-site, these pages will likely be excluded from search results. Google expects every page on your website to have unique content. When it detects duplicate content, it removes these pages from search results. Effective local SEO for multi-location brands therefore requires the creation and implementation of unique, localized content for each location’s website.
  2. Centralize Your Pay-Per-Click Campaigns. One of the advantages of modern PPC is the ability to carefully segment your PPC campaigns. This has made it much easier, cheaper, and effective for multi-location brands to centralize their PPC efforts. Centralized campaigns benefit from the cost-efficiencies of scale, the accuracy of larger data sets, and the cohesion of a unified message. Meanwhile, it’s now easy to customize ads based on users’ locations, or to create a market through which franchisees can increase or decrease ad spending in their market.
  3. Engage in Two-Tier Reputation Management. Reputation management for multi-location brands naturally occurs on two levels: the reputation of your brand, and the reputations of individual locations. While some companies prefer to focus their corporate efforts purely on their brand-level reputation, it’s often smarter to assist individual locations with reputation management. This can be done by identifying locations with low review counts or middling ratings, then providing them with tools and resources to strengthen their review profiles.
  4. Local Listings Monitoring & Management. It can be costly and inefficient for individual franchise locations to manage their own local listings. By handling local listings management at the corporate level, multi-location brands can eliminate redundancies and lower the cost of these services. Centralized management also carries other benefits. For example, it ensures business data is consistently structured from one location to the other. And if problems with one location’s data are causing problems for another location, it is much easier to correct his issue.
  5. Help Locations Win Fans on Social Media. Social media is one area where it can pay to give franchisees control over digital marketing. Franchisees can put a human face on their business and use social media to build a strong community presence. With that said, there’s a lot that brands can do to aid franchisees on social media. For example, brands can provide franchisees with content to augment their social media feeds, creating a mix of corporate and local content. Brands can also use their corporate accounts to signal boost franchisees’ posts and profiles.
  6. Target Locally with Programmatic Ads. Programmatic ads — which show users ads based on certain types of user data — are an excellent tool for local marketing. Multi-location brands have an advantage in this field, since they can build and/or acquire large data sets for programmatic targeting. This data can then be used to run centralized campaigns that include localized targeting and customization. Alternatively, it can be provided to franchisees who wish to run independent programmatic campaigns.
  7. Mobile-Friendly Website Design. Nearly two-thirds of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, and studies show that most local searches occur on mobile devices. In light of this, it’s crucial that multi-location brands have mobile-friendly websites on both the corporate level and local levels. In particular, it’s important that you have a mobile-friendly store finder — a feature that often has problems on mobile devices.


Preparing Your Programmatic Strategy for 2019

preparing programmatic strategy for 2019In 2018, programmatic advertising has come to dominate the digital marketing field. Programmatic ads — which target consumers through a range of signals, including demographic information, internet usage behavior, and their geographic location — are so effective and so popular that other, traditional forms of online advertising risk extinction.


Yet, as popular as programmatic marketing is right now, it will be even more popular in the coming year. That will only make the programmatic market even more competitive than it already is. So, as you plan your brand’s digital marketing game plan for 2019, here are four tips to help you develop an effective (and cost-effective) programmatic strategy.


Keys to Programmatic Marketing for National Brands


Consider Every Consumer Touchpoint. Programmatic ads have reshaped the average consumer’s decision journey. Brands can target consumers more accurately at every stage of this journey, including instances where their decision-making journey is disrupted or delayed.


As programmatic ads have become more advanced, with ever-more accurate methods of targeting, it’s become more and more important that brands consider every touchpoint in the purchasing journey.


Display ads can build brand awareness with users who share similar traits and interests as your customer base. Social media posts can target users who’ve visited your website (or your competitors’). And if a customer abandons their journey just before purchase, you can give them a nudge with a retargeted ad.


Leverage Mobile Opportunities. Mobile devices now make up nearly 2/3 of all internet traffic. What’s more, mobile ads also outperform desktop ads, posting strong click-through rates, conversion rates, and on-the-dollar ROI.


While a handful of industries still perform better on desktop, mobile is where the money’s at for most brands in 2019. Needless to say, most brands should focus on mobile first-and-foremost when developing their programmatic strategy for the upcoming year.


But before you go all-out on mobile, a word of caution: Desktop still plays a crucial role in many purchasing journeys. In many cases, users will first become aware of and interested in a brand via mobile, but they will make their final purchase through a desktop device. In these cases, your programmatic strategy should move with users from one platform to the next.


Take Advantage of Local Targeting. For brick-and-mortar businesses, geo-targeting is one of the most effective tools in the programmatic marketing toolbox. Geo-targeting makes it easy to show ads to users within a specific geographic area, targeting users in a specific town or city, within a geo-fenced area, or within a certain radius of a particular location.


Location targeting has proven particularly popular with franchise brands, offering an easy and effective way to market individual franchise locations. Brands can operate programmatic local campaigns on a franchisee-to-franchisee basis. Alternatively, they can program and segment a national campaign to direct users to their nearest location.


When targeting users based on their location, remember to tailor your method of targeting to your business. If you operate a franchise network of coffee shops, you’ll want to target specific, smaller-footprint locations. A maid services franchise network, on the other hand, will likely target a much broader overall area, but may focus its spending on specific neighborhoods.


Track, Segment, and Measure Results. Accurate data is the foundation of any successful digital campaign. Nowhere is this truer than the field of programmatic marketing. Small tweaks to targeting can make a massive difference in the performance of programmatic campaigns, and it’s only through accurate data that these tweaks can be made.


The sheer volume of data on programmatic campaigns can make it difficult to track, segment, and measure this data. This can be particularly troublesome for franchise brands with multiple locations. The more locations involved with your campaign, the more data you have to manage, and the harder it is to sort important signals from insignificant noise.


One of the best ways to avoid this problem is to hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in programmatic marketing for larger, national brands. These agencies have the experience, expertise, and infrastructure you need when running programmatic campaigns across multiple franchise locations. This allows them to not only assess data more accurately, but also to run these campaigns more cost-effectively.


Learn more about the benefits of integrating Programmatic into your marketing strategy here.


What is a Geo-Fence?

Geo-Fencing is the perfect tool for small and large businesses looking to connect customers who are in a specific geographical area. It uses WiFi, RFID, or cellular data, to set up a virtual boundary around a location, triggering a message to the consumer. 


Generally, we think of fences as something used keep people in or out a specific area. Geo-Fencing works the same way but in a virtual manner. Businesses can set up a virtual boundary around their location or a competitor’s location.


As you cross that boundary, a message or ad will be triggered to your device if you have downloaded their mobile app. Location settings must be turned on for Geo-Fencing to work, but it has been highly successful for businesses looking to target consumers in an specific area.


How Qiigo Uses Geo-Fencing


At Qiigo, we understand the importance of Geo-Fencing and how useful it can be to businesses. With Geo-Fencing and its precise targeting, you can see increases consumer engagement, boost brand loyalty, improve promotional response rates, and more.


Geo-Fencing can be used to target consumers in a wide variety of ways and across nearly all industries. Some examples include targeting consumers who are:


  • Traveling (at airports, car rental lots, or hotels)
  • Attending trade shows or conventions
  • Shopping at drug or grocery stores
  • Shopping at retail establishments or big box stores
  • Visiting health clubs
  • Interested in DIY projects
  • Homeowners


Businesses who take advantage of Geo-Fencing can expect to see benefits that are wide ranging. Geo-Fencing allows for pinpoint accuracy so you can control your spend. It allows you to set recency requirements for targeting. For example, you can target trade show attendees for the next 30 days. It boosts mobile performance and reach and allows you to target consumers who are driving through your area, but who don’t actually live there.


Geo-Fencing offers some really unique opportunities to improve marketing results and build brand awareness. If you’re not using this latest trend, now is the time to learn more and get started.



5 Reasons Local Marketers Need Retargeting in Their Strategy

If you are not retargeting your website visitors, you are missing out on transforming prospects into customers. Retargeting might seem “too complex” or “not worth your time”, but taking advantage of this marketing tactic can reap real rewards.



Here are five reasons you should be using retargeting as part of your comprehensive  marketing strategy.



  1. Retargeting Raises Conversion Rates

The more times a prospect views your advertisement, the less likely they are to take action. In general, if they don’t respond after the first few views, they never will.


However, don’t assume they cannot convert! It could be they didn’t respond because they were busy at work, were distracted, or were away from their wallet. Remember, too, that prospects can be at different stages of the buying journey, and if they are in the research stage it may take a while to make a decision.


Don’t let these prospects get away: They are still viable leads. Research has shown that the more ad impressions presented to retargeted audiences, the higher the conversion rates.


  1. Retargeting is Affordable

Don’t settle for a low Quality Score or Relevance Score in your pay-per-click campaigns. That not only affects how effectively you are reaching your audience; it has been proven to increase the cost of your advertising.



On the other hand, when you serve content to prospects who have previously interacted with your website, there’s a much higher chance they will respond and interact with your ads as they have already shown interest in your business.


  1. Retargeting Makes Marketing Easier

Direct response advertising should definitely be in your marketing mix, but it can waste time, energy and money when directed to ‘cold’ customers. It’s expensive to convert cold customers on social media.


Instead, you can create website pages that are customized to audience preferences based on their viewing activity. This enables you to hone in on appeals that tap into specific audience interests. Since these prospects are further along in your sales funnel it can be a faster conversion cycle.

4. Retargeting Builds Your Online Business Brand

How does branding work? By repeating the same message again and again until people automatically align your business with that message. When you hear the term, “Just Do It “ you think of Nike, right? When you see the golden arches, you immediately think of McDonald’s.



Retargeting allows you to relay your message more times so your prospects will subconsciously brand your business.



  1. Retargeting Increase Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

Consumers have busy lives and many will forget about your business (and use someone else) if they aren’t continually reminded that you’re an option. If you’re not retargeting to your current customer base, you’re lowering your customer lifetime value.

Getting Started with Retargeting

So now that you’re considering retargeting, you may be wondering how to get started. Google states that it reaches over 90% of Internet users in the world, with 65% returning to use their services every single day. Facebook has more than 1.4 billion active users of which 900 million are active daily. These networks are a must in the marketing arsenal of any business.


Retargeting is a tremendously popular and effective tool for businesses of all sizes. Take advantage of it and you will be reaching more prospects with greater efficiency and transforming more of them into paying customers.



The Programmatic Buzzword Dictionary

Programmatic advertising can keep your products and services top of mind as potential, current, and past customers browse the web by strategically placing creative display ads around the web. But along with exciting new options that can supercharge your marketing efforts comes a new onslaught of advertising terms.


Get up to speed quick with our top 15 words for programmatic:



Ad Inventory
The amount of ad space a publisher has available to sell to an advertiser.


A piece of data that is sent from a website and stored in a user’s browser. Cookies track browsing behavior and are used by advertisers to gather information that can be used for segmenting audiences and targeting future ads.


First Party Data
First party data is created when a website owner places a cookie on their website so the owner can recognize return visitors on their site. First party data can also include social, subscription, and CRM data.


Third Party Data
Third party data also involves placing a cookie on a website to gather information about website visitors, but instead of being placed by the website owner, it’s placed by a third party, such as an ad server or data provider. Third party data is used to segment audiences and target advertisements.


CPC stands for “Cost Per Click”, the average cost of user click-through. It’s calculated by dividing the total cost of clicks by the total number of clicks.


CPM stands for “Cost Per Thousand”, the price of 1,000 ad impressions on a webpage.


CTR stands for “Click-Through Rate”, the percentage of click throughs per ad impression.


Reinforcement Marketing
Reinforcement marketing shows your advertisements frequently to someone that has already shown interest in your business to keep you “top of mind”, reminding them of your business and unique benefits to increase the chance that they return and complete a purchase. Reinforcement marketing can also attract repeat business and reassure current customers that they have made the right choice.


Site Retargeting
Site retargeting provides a digital reminder to customers that visited your site without making a purchase, reminding them of your business and to come back and make a purchase.


Search Retargeting
Search retargeting collects data on what web users are searching for, and shows your ad to those who are performing searches relevant to your services or products.  


Contextual Targeting
Contextual targeting is used to target people who are reading about topics relevant to your products or services.


Geo-Fencing is a method used to target customers in a specific location, such as street and highway boundaries, sporting events, conventions, or competitor locations.


Event Targeting
Event targeting creates a virtual geo-fence around an event location during a scheduled timeframe. When a user enters this virtual location during the scheduled timeframe, they become part of an audience that can be targeted following the event. Ads can be served to this audience for up to 30 days after the event.


Native Ads
These ads are created to match the form, function, and feel of a publisher’s content and design, providing users with a cohesive browsing and ad experience for an improved user experience.


Programmatic Creative
Gives the advertiser the ability to generate multiple creative and copy variations. These ads are run programmatically to optimize towards the most effective combination. 



Learn more about Programmatic for Local Marketing here.



5 Ways Programmatic Advertising Can Drive Business for Multi-Location Brands

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic is the process of buying data and display to show highly targeted ads to the right audience, at the right time, during the right digital touchpoints. By using a number of multi-tactic strategies, audience and creative insights are continually refined to better target ideal prospects and customers. As a result, Programmatic ads influence a brand’s perception of value, reinforces local awareness, and bridges the gap between other traditional and online marketing strategies.

Using creative display ads, Programmatic helps brands place ads on websites to reach customers that:

  • Share the same interests as current customers
  • Are searching for your competitors
  • Are searching for your services or products
  • Have visited your website, but haven’t made a purchase
  • People within a specific location


Retargeting bolsters your online marketing campaigns by keeping you top of mind with customers. In fact, 70% of site visitors who are retargeted are more likely to take action. Retargeting with Programmatic allows us to show your ads to a customer that has already shown interest in your service or product. 


Interested in supercharging your marketing efforts? Here are 5 ways Qiigo’s Programmatic Advertising can drive business for your multi-location brand:



Search RetargetingSearch Retargeting
Search Retargeting targets people searching for you, or that performed searches relevant to your products or services. This is done by collecting data on what users searched for, or what they are reading on websites when they match the keywords related to your services.






Site Retargeting

Site Retargeting
Want to win back the customer that visited your website but didn’t convert into a sale? Site retargeting acts as a digital reminder to customers that visited your website, but left without making a purchase. We show them your ads as they browse the internet, reminding them of your brand and to come back when they are ready to make a purchase.  



RetargetingContextual Targeting
Brands can target people viewing content relevant to your product or services with contextual targeting. As users browse the internet and consume content, we collect data about the content they are consuming. Using that data, we can show your ads to consumers who are reading about topics related to your services and/or products. For instance, someone searching for interior painting tips could be targeted with ads from a professional painting company.


Competitor Targeting
Want to reach people searching for your competitors? Competitor targeting does exactly that, by focusing on people searching the internet for your competitors and targeting ads to that potential customer base. With competitor targeting, you target people interested in your type of product or service that may not be familiar with your brand, thereby increasing brand awareness.


With geo-fencing, we can create a virtual fence around a specific location and target people within that area, even after they have left that location. For example, we could create a geo-fence around a football stadium during a game, and target people leaving the game with ads for a local restaurant. A geo-fence can be active for any time period desired, and ads can be shown for up to 30 days after the geofence expires.


Qiigo’s Programmatic Advertising can influence a brand’s perception of value, bridges the gap between other traditional and online marketing strategies, and reinforces local awareness.