The Importance of Custom and Local Reporting for Franchisees

Franchisee Reporting

If there’s any one single key to franchise growth, it’s data. Having access to customized, local reporting of data is crucial for franchisees to expand their customer base and make day-to-day decisions. While franchisors typically work with raw data, it’s less common for franchisees to have a chance to view data that is applicable to their situation in an accessible, easy-to-visualize manner. 

With relevant data that’s been fully tailored to their specific situation, franchise owners can be more proactive about taking advantage of otherwise overlooked opportunities and gain valuable insights into consumer behaviors.

How Franchisees can Benefit from Custom and Local Reporting

Franchisees typically pay into a marketing budget as part of their fees to the franchise brand. It’s often the understanding that this budget will not only be used to promote the brand as a whole, but also ensure individual franchisees have the marketing support they need.

While brands may use this budget to collect and analyze big data, they don’t always share their finds with franchisees in a way that has a direct impact on their daily operations. This leaves franchise owners unable to benefit from the proceeds of a large chunk of their fees.

Much of the time, this disconnect happens when franchisors are uninformed about the advantages of arming franchisees with data specifically tailored to their locations. Here are just a few of the insights franchisees miss out on without access to custom and local reporting.

Understanding Potential Customers 

Basic demographic data is often used to assess the number of potential customers in an area. However, providing franchisees with this kind of static data isn’t enough. For territory-based businesses that lack brick-and-mortar storefronts, it’s especially important to collect and analyze psychographic data.

Psychographic data refers to consumer habits and buying behaviors. Because of the changing nature of this data, it’s far more dynamic than demographic data and a more accurate representation of who is likely to purchase a product or service. With this information at hand, franchisees will have a better idea of which potential customers to target. In addition, this type of data can be used to redefine territories more evenly and accurately.

Understanding the Latest Trends

Market conditions are constantly changing, and the only way to remain relevant is to stay on top of the latest changes in consumer purchasing patterns and marketing techniques. The right data allows franchisees to conduct market checks and make proactive decisions when planning and budgeting.

Understanding Where Improvements can be Made

Real-time data is necessary for franchise owners to make changes that enable them to operate their businesses efficiently and effectively. When a franchisee has the ability to do a quick data audit, they can both improve their performance and avoid making costly mistakes or investing in areas that won’t offer a significant ROI.

Data can also be used to rank franchisees based on performance. This helps franchisors understand which locations could use a little more support and why they may be falling behind. 

In turn, rankings are a great motivational tool for franchisees. This system can not only be implemented to acknowledge the hard work of top performers, but also to inspire those who still have room for improvement.

Making Data Accessible for Franchisees

Franchisees already have enough on their plate as it is, and most won’t have the time to sit down and analyze a bunch of stats on a regular basis. It’s better to ensure they can get the specific takeaways they need through a customized reporting solution. A dashboard that offers plenty of control over how franchisee reports are displayed is what franchisors should be on the lookout for.

It’s also beneficial to maintain a degree of flexibility here, as everyone has different preferences for how they interact with data. Franchisees wear a lot of hats, but Data Analyst typically isn’t one of them. Choosing a reporting program that offers ample visualizations and predictability functions is the best way to ensure franchisees are able to take in data in a practical way.

Finally, franchisors and franchisees alike will benefit from keeping the data collection side of things automated. Being a business owner is demanding, and simply taking care of business is often more than a one-man job. Franchisees shouldn’t have to sacrifice time spent with customers in order to input data. Instead, it’s best to use an automated system that gathers data from a range of relevant sources (such as Google My Business and Yelp) and curates regular, easy-to-digest marketing insights for individual franchisees.

Get Your Online Presence Back On Track with these Tips

The COVID pandemic has led to a sharp increase in time spent online. With so much of the world actively engaged online, your brand should not be an exception. Many brands, however, are left wondering what kinds of messages they should be sending, and how to stay relevant when nearly every brand is fighting for attention in the virtual space?

Building your online presence during a pandemic is no easy feat, but with the right tools and perspective you can develop a genuine connection with your customers that leads to increased online interaction even as consumer purchasing patterns fluctuate.

The Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Today’s Circumstances

If you’re looking for a roadmap to guide you through this unfamiliar environment, we can help. 

Here are our tips for maintaining your brand’s image and connecting with customers in the current climate of uncertainty.

Tip #1: Focus on Delivering Value

Be sure any message you send is one that contains some kind of value for the customer. With so many brands taking the “we’re in this together”, it’s no surprise that many consumers are starting to feel a little skeptical or even cynical about these kinds of messages. 

Rather than putting all of your efforts into projecting positive vibes, focus on serving your target audience in concrete ways. It’s through action, not just words, that you will build trust and retain attention.

Tip #2: Understand that Mistakes Happen 

We’re all new to this, and no one has a degree in marketing during a pandemic. If you do get started off on the wrong foot or find that your messages aren’t generating the positive reaction you hoped for, don’t be afraid to apologize. Listening to your audience and acknowledging that you’ve made an error is the best way to move forward.

Tip #3: Cater Content to Consumers’ Current Needs

Right now, it may be best to emphasize qualitative over quantitative data. You may need to focus on creating content that doesn’t necessarily generate the kind of outcomes you’re used to.

Instead of producing content meant to increase your ROI, you may want to ask yourself how you can provide consumers with a positive experience they’ll remember in more stable times. This could involve putting out some kind of “infotainment” that helps customers fill their time in a constructive way, or other types of creative content that are relevant to your industry but don’t necessarily promote your product or service outright.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of PPC Marketing

With fewer people out and about, more and more individuals have taken up residence in front of their screens. This means more Google searches and more eyeballs on pay-per-click (PPC) ads. 

If you’re not already using PPC marketing, there’s never been a better time to start. Thanks to a decrease in cost-per-click and increase in viewership, you’ll get the best bang for your buck with this digital marketing strategy.

Tip #5: Put an Emphasis on SEO

Don’t consider this lull a time to pull back on your SEO efforts. Instead, you should be optimizing your website and content on a very frequent basis to remain on the front page of Google SERPs.

Implementing local SEO strategies is also more crucial than ever as many families are sticking to their local neighborhoods for supplies and services. Local SEO can help ensure your website appears in “near me” searches and makes it easier for customers in your area to find your information. Not only can local SEO drive new customers to your business, but it can also help you be there for your community when they need you most.

Tip #6: Use Social Media for Its Intended Purpose

Connecting with others has always been the main goal of social media. Now is the time to take a moment to connect with your audience over the shared experience of the pandemic. 

There will be time for sales pitches and marketing pushes in the future. However, as we all begin to embrace a new normal, you have the chance to tap into the emotions your audience is feeling and let them know they’re not alone.

Bringing back your local audience with Social Media

As the effects of the COVID-19 shutdowns are setting in, it’s not easy for businesses to know how they can maintain a connection with their customers during this time. With more and more individuals staying home and exploring socially distancing alternatives for their normal routines and daily activities, social media has become an important outlet for both consumers and businesses. 

Along with these changes, an increasing number of people are getting more comfortable using Facebook and Instagram. They are also beginning to appreciate what an amazing tool these platforms can be.

Whether you’re currently open for business, are trying to find innovative ways to offer your products and services, or are closed for the time being, staying in touch with your target audience on social media is essential. 

Below, we’ve listed some ways that you can utilize social media as your brand faces unprecedented challenges.

Instruct

Even the CDC recognizes the power of social media for creating localized efforts in the fight against COVID-19. This government agency has released a social media toolkit with a range of templates to help businesses get the word out to their customers about practicing social distancing and other important habits to promote health and safety in the face of the pandemic.

From Facebook and Twitter message templates to creative graphics and instructive videos, this toolkit includes a wealth of resources that businesses can use free of charge as part of their social media campaigns. Most importantly, you can be confident you’re putting out reliable information when you utilize these materials to keep your customers up to date.

Inform

In addition to the larger concerns on all of our minds, there’s also an unprecedented number of questions about things that once seemed simple. Taking the initiative to answer questions relating to your business will give your customers one less thing to worry about. 

From your business’s current status of operation to changes in the way you’re delivering your services to clarifications about your policies, these informative details can be crucial in helping your customers plan their day.

Instagram Stories and Facebook Live are two great ways to keep your customer base informed. You can hold an FAQ session on either platform to answer questions that you’re frequently receiving as direct messages. As Stories can only be viewed for 24 hours after they’re posted, they’re best for providing to-the-minute updates as your business situation evolves, including notes on inventory and last-minute deals.

Facebook has also released a set of new templates to help you answer basic questions such as “Are you still taking orders?” and “Can I shop online?” These simple visual tools can be easily used to direct customers to your current purchasing options and communicate important changes in your opening hours or delivery policies.

Connect

Providing your audience with behind-the-scenes insights into what’s going on at your business as a result of the pandemic will give them a better understanding of any changes you’re having to make. You may want to illustrate how you’re addressing important issues, like social distancing, during your daily operations, or show what you’re doing to give back to your local community.

You can think of these types of posts as simply keeping in touch with your customer base, and keeping them in the loop about how your industry is being impacted by recent developments. Not only will your audience appreciate that you’re taking the time to reach out to them, but you’ll also be able to express how much you appreciate their support as you continue to meet their needs.

Engage

Starting a conversation with your customers via social media is a convenient method for getting crucial feedback on any changes you’ve implemented in your business model. In addition, it’s a good way to gain insight into how your audience is feeling overall, so you can strike the right tone with your messaging.

There are plenty of ways to engage with your customers on social media. For feedback on specific issues, Instagram has a useful question sticker you can add to posts in your Stories. To bring your audience together as a community, try using Instagram Live for hosting events online. Be sure to post a notification well in advance of your event to ensure you have as many viewers as possible engaging at the same time.

You can also use Facebook and Instagram to promote challenges that help your customers feel part of a community. Whether the winner of the challenge receives a prize or the reward is simply the engagement in and of itself, there are plenty of ways to leverage your brand to help your audience feel less alone during these difficult times. 

Rethinking Your Digital Marketing Through COVID-19

With the news of the impact of COVID-19 changing every day, it can be tough to grasp how all of these new changes will affect your business overall, not to mention what the situation signals for your digital marketing campaign. While there are many uncertainties that lie ahead, there are still concrete steps you can take to maintain a marketing strategy that makes sense for your brand.

In normal times, marketing is all about adaptation – to new trends, new data, and changing consumer behaviors. Now more than ever, that ability to remain fluid through changing circumstances is key.

Your team should be thinking on its feet, while also being sure that any and all decisions are made in a spirit of compassion. This is the time to invest in long-term consumer trust and loyalty, keeping your brand in a positive light throughout the ups and downs that the future holds.

Adjusting Your Digital Marketing Approach During Uncertain Times

Here are our suggestions for maintaining a strategic approach to digital marketing while navigating this uncharted territory:

Aim to pivot, not pause.

While in-store traffic is being curtailed in the wake of the pandemic, TV usage, and at-home online activity are skyrocketing. This presents an opportunity for advertisers to reach their target audience through more targeted investments in different forms of advertising. Rather than pausing your campaign altogether, you can pivot your digital marketing strategy to comprise platforms that are most relevant to the here and now. 

OTT-CTV is one example that shouldn’t be overlooked. OTT-CTV advertising combines the impact of traditional TV advertising with the precise targeting capabilities of a digital campaign, including addressable targeting, behavioral targeting, and demographic targeting. 

The use of Social Media in the United States is up 30% in recent weeks. This is the time to make sure you’re staying in front of your audience and reminding them of your services. It’s also a great way to provide thoughtful content and share supportive resources with your audience.

By taking into account how your customers’ consumption of media is changing as their daily lives are altered, you can be sure to reach them as they embrace different platforms. 

Take a leadership role.

Customers may not know how the pandemic is changing how your industry operates, and providing them with more information can help them see you as an authority in your industry. From a quick email blast to social media posts or an informative banner on your website, there are many ways to go about getting clear information out there concerning any processing changes or limitations that are affecting the way your business normally runs.

Ask the right questions.

What do customers need from your brand right now? How can you adjust your services to make them more viable as self-isolation and social distancing measures become necessary? 

Many of these questions can be difficult to answer. Make sure you’re communicating with your digital marketing partner to help you navigate the right path you should be on during these uncertain times.

Strive to stay tonally on point.

In this day and age, certain subjects, images, and types of humor aren’t going to be perceived in the same way as they would have been even just a few weeks ago. Take the initiative to reassess all aspects of your digital campaign, from keywords and copy to visuals and other creative elements, in light of the current situation. Being proactive about tweaking these aspects of your digital marketing creative now can mean the difference between running an effective campaign and running one that is seen as being tone-deaf.

Trying times often call for creative thinking and a willingness to adapt. By taking things one day at a time while also keeping an eye on what the future holds, your team can make digital marketing decisions that give your customers confidence, shine a positive light on your brand, and help make the future a little brighter. 

Video Advertising in 2020

Video is a great medium for grabbing people’s attention—but only when it’s used strategically. Poorly produced videos will have viewers clicking away at lightspeed. However, high-quality, on-the-mark videos enable you to get your message across and make a lasting impression on viewers that resonates even after the clip is over. If you’re wanting to use video in order to grow your brand in the upcoming year, we have some tips that can help you get the most out of this engaging form of media.

How to Use Video to Amplify Your Digital Marketing Strategy

We often say that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” With video, you can count on amplifying that impact. Each second of your video contains a message that would otherwise require countless words to get across. Utilize this time in a way that allows you to connect with your audience, form a trust-based relationship, and inspire them to see your brand in a new light.

Here are just a few of the ways you can make an impact with this creative medium:

You can use video to bring the story of your brand to life. 

Show rather than tell your backstory in order to truly leave a lasting impression. When viewers have a deep understanding of how your brand came to be, they’ll be better able to relate to your messaging. Presenting your story in a creative way doesn’t just fill in the blanks for the audience, it can also help build your business by generating growth organically.

You can use videos to educate and inform your audience. 

Video is one way to provide a large number of people with information they value. In addition to delivering content that nurtures and increases the knowledge of your followers, creating informative videos keeps contacts engaged. It also helps expand your base by putting people on the path to conversion who were not initially searching for your product or service. As a source of reliable information, you’ll stand out from your competition and gain an advantage in the market.

You can reach busy consumers. 

As a member of the modern world, you have a first-hand understanding of just how busy people can be. Most people are more likely to choose to watch a video rather than take the time to read a long article, especially if it’s covering a topic that’s new to them. You can easily say a lot in a short video while also pointing users to other sources of information on your site should they want to delve deeper into the subject.

You can improve your email marketing strategy. 

Embedded videos breathe life into your emails and contribute to increased click-through rates. Of course, you’ll want to do thorough testing before your big email marketing push, since many email clients are still lagging behind on their video rendering abilities. Remember, people receive plenty of emails every single day that they’ll either skim or simply click away from. By offering engaging video content right in their inbox, you can give them a bit of respite from mental fatigue and a reason to stick around and listen to what you have to say.

You can catch—and hold—people’s attention. 

Video is an excellent way to ensure that you’re being heard when you put your brand and product messaging out into the world. When it comes to purchasing a product or service, people often prefer to rely on video rather than written content during the decision-making process. Not only does using video allow you to focus on the value your product or service can provide for the user’s life, but it also makes it more likely that they’ll be able to visualize that value themselves.

You can do more with your ads. 

Many digital ad formats are seen as a nuisance; we’ve all fought off irritating pop-ups at one time or another. If you’re looking for better click-through rates, focus on video. Video enables you to make a greater impact on your audience and deliver a resonating message that would otherwise get lost in the noise of banner and pop-up ads.

You can connect with more people. 

Using videos in social media is a cost-effective strategy that brands can use to get more eyeballs on their content in an organic manner. Videos shared via Facebook have a much greater organic reach than photos, as well as more messaging potential. The power of video to engage people on a massive level shouldn’t be underestimated, which is why many brands are making the resolution to invest in video as part of their digital marketing strategy in 2020.

Best Practices for Building Your E-Commerce Website

The number of digital buying worldwide is constantly growing. According to a report from Statista, this number is projected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021.

Giants like Amazon and eBay aren’t the only companies that are contributing to these skyrocketing numbers. Small online stores serving local communities are also thriving.

With sales at brick and mortar stores giving way to online sales, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your business is taking the right approach to e-commerce.

The best way to do this is to create a website that invites visitors in and converts them into customers with as little friction as possible. Design and content both play a huge role in enabling visitors to find the information they’re looking for and can make the purchase process a smooth journey when properly executed.

Read below to learn about the critical practices that can make web design and e-commerce strategy a success.

Use Customer Testimonials

Testimonials can be used to showcase customers’ satisfaction with your product or service in a clear and authentic way. Whether you include them as part of the product description or have a separate page dedicated to testimonials and reviews, this type of content is essential to building trust with potential customers.

Adopt a Minimalistic Style

A simple website design, including a straightforward navigation menu, improves the flow of your site, reduces friction, and directs visitors to the necessary conversion points. Distracting links, videos, pop ups, and other clutter can cause potential customers to click away from your site and onto your competitors’.

Make Honesty Your Go-To Policy

You shouldn’t have to deceive visitors in order to make a sale. Be as honest and upfront as possible, especially about prices and policies. Visitors can easily see through deceptive tactics, and a lack of clear information about your services will diminish their confidence in your brand.

Make Essential Info Easy to Find

An FAQ page and easy-to-locate search bar both help improve site navigation. If a customer’s question can’t be answered through either of these elements, they’ll want to be able to get in touch with you. List your contact info on its own page or at the bottom of the homepage, and include as many details as you can: an email address, phone number, and hours of operation are the bare minimum.

Prioritize Mobile Optimization

Don’t make the mistake of losing a customer because they couldn’t navigate your website on their mobile device. Use a responsive layout that easily adapts to all screen types (desktop, mobile, and tablet) and operating systems rather than creating separate mobile versions of the site. Don’t forget to perform tests from a variety of devices and operating systems so that you can get a feel for what your visitors are experiencing.

Maintain Uniform Branding

Your company’s branding, including its logo and color scheme, should act as a through-line for every page on your website. A consistent look doesn’t just project a more professional image for your brand, it can also prevent customers from thinking they’ve been directed to a different site. The need for consistency also extends to your navigation menu and design, which should remain the same from page to page.

Get a Second Opinion on Website Usability

It can be tough to see your website through the eyes of a visitor who is unfamiliar with your business. Hiring a professional to rate your site on its appearance and usability can provide you with an objective understanding of any improvements that need to be made.

Choose an Easy-to-Use E-Commerce Platform

An e-commerce platform can transform your website from a source of information about your company’s services to a successful e-commerce store. Be sure to select a platform that is easy to configure and works well on all devices. Some of the most popular, secure, and flexible e-commerce platforms include Shopify and WooCommerce.

Maintain a Flexible E-Commerce Business Model

Franchises have several options when it comes to taking their business online. A distributed e-commerce model is one of the most flexible of these options. Through this model, franchisees operate standalone websites while the franchisor retains complete control over branding and pricing. This helps avoid confusion among internet consumers and prevents uneven user experiences.

Generating Franchise Leads with Digital Marketing

Building sign says "Interested in a franchise opportunity?"

When you’re developing a franchise brand, your survival depends on your ability to generate leads. Your brand can’t grow without qualified franchisees — even if you’ve created a strong franchise offering. To succeed, you need an equally strong system for generating franchise leads.

Digital marketing for franchise owners will play a central role in this system. To attract, nurture, and convert the right franchise leads, you’ll need a comprehensive and multi-channel strategy, one that covers multiple digital touchpoints.

Let’s take a closer look at how to make this happen.

Why Digital for Franchise Lead Generation?

At this point, almost every major franchisor depends on digital marketing for leads. This change is reflective of a broader, global trend toward digital marketing. But in the world of franchising, the shift toward digital marketing is especially noteworthy.

Here are five of the biggest reasons why this is the case:

  • Digital marketing gives you access to the widest possible pool of franchise leads, across the widest possible geographic area.
  • Programmatic, dynamic, and retargeted digital ads provide a cost-effective way to target your most qualified leads.
  • Franchisees conduct extensive self-directed research before purchasing a franchise. The majority of this research is conducted online.
  • Digital analytics offer powerful, proven methods for tracking, measuring, and fine-tuning online lead generation campaigns.
  • A multi-touchpoint digital marketing strategy will anticipate questions, concerns, and needs, creating a near-frictionless sales funnel.

Digital Marketing Strategies for Franchise Leads

A franchise location is a major purchasing decision. Given the weight of this decision, the purchase journey for franchise leads is an exceptionally long process.

As a franchisor, you need to stay with your leads at every step of this process. To do so, you’ll need to cover a wide range of digital touchpoints. What’s more, you’ll need a comprehensive overall strategy for lead generation. This strategy will need to connect from touchpoint to touchpoint, creating a coordinated journey for your leads.

Franchise owners need digital marketing

Here’s a look at how a range of digital marketing channels can help franchise owners generate leads:

  • Website Design. Before purchasing a franchise business, most entrepreneurs go through an extensive, self-directed research process. This process typically involves several hours spent reviewing franchisor websites. In light of this, your website could be the most important weapon in your lead generation arsenal. The perfect website will be attractive, fast, and intuitive, and it will have resources for every stage (or nearly every stage) of your sales funnel.
  • SEO. When creating your brand’s website, you’ll want to invest in search engine optimized content. SEO is a particularly cost-effective strategy for franchise lead generation. Search volumes for industry-specific franchise keywords are relatively low, so there’s less competition for these keywords. At the same time, those search volumes include a significant share of qualified buyers.
  • PPC Advertising. As with SEO, paid advertising is another great way to target high-quality leads. Through keyword research, you can identify which search terms are most closely associated with the different stages of the sales funnel. You can then tailor your ads to mirror the purchase journey of your prospects, keeping friction to an absolute minimum.
  • Programmatic. Programmatic advertising can help you target leads with extraordinary precision. Programmatic ads target users based on their search behavior, browsing history, location, and other factors. This way, you can micro-target your highest-quality prospects. Even better, you can reconnect with leads at later stages of your funnel, providing content tailored to their needs and preferences.
  • Social Media. In the world of franchising, social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are the most powerful lead generation tools available. No other social networks compare in terms of quantity or quality of leads. Take the time to polish your personal and corporate profiles, target high-quality prospects with ads, connect with interested prospects via direct message, and qualify leads with paid ads that drive prospects to your website.

Each of these channels can be powerful tools for franchise lead generation. But that’s only true if they support and reinforce one another. To generate, cultivate, and convert high-quality leads, you’ll need to create a seamless journey: from point A to B to C.

To learn more about how Qiigo can help franchise owners achieve Franchise Development goals through digital marketing, fill out the form below to  connect with one of our digital experts.

3 Things Every Marketer Should Know About Hyperlocal Programmatic

If you operate a multi-location brand, programmatic advertising makes it much easier and cost-effective to operate hyperlocal campaigns. Advances in programmatic technology have given rise to the adoption of this form of advertising by multi-location marketers, but some are still in the dark about how to build the right strategy for their brand.

Looking for tips on how to run hyperlocal programmatic campaigns for your multi-location business? Here are three important tips that will help you target users accurately and improve conversion rates.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Any successful programmatic campaign depends on in-depth knowledge of your target audience. You need rock-solid data about who your customers are, what kinds of ads they respond to, and the touchpoints at which they’re most receptive to targeted ads.

There are a number of ways to build and/or acquire this data. Analytics from your website can give you significant data about consumer demographics, behavior, and preferences. Tracking technologies are another great way to build out detailed information about your customer base. Both of these methods will give you the ability to segment your audience into various micro-audiences — an important part of programmatic advertising.

The most effective programmatic campaigns are typically built on a mixture of first-hand data and data from third-party sources. Unfortunately, the quality of third-party programmatic data can be inconsistent at best. So, when purchasing third-party data, it’s often a good idea to lean on a digital marketing agency with deep experience in this field.

2. Leverage Hyperlocal Targeting & Customization

Hyperlocal programmatic marketing delivers extraordinary value to multi-location brands. The reason for this is simple: programmatic marketing succeeds through personalization, and a person’s location is a critical factor in his or her purchasing decisions.

Imagine you’re searching for restaurants that deliver to your workplace. As you browse online reviews, you see a pair of ads for two chains of Thai restaurants. One ad tells you the address of the nearest location, shows you reviews for that location, and includes how long it will take them to deliver to your address. Meanwhile, the other ad contains generic copy for the brand, with no information about their nearest restaurant.

Which ad are you more likely to click?

Countless case studies have shown that users are much more likely to click on the localized ad instead of the generic one. This underscores the importance of not only targeting customers on a hyperlocal level, but also of customizing your ads to reflect location data.

3. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

While hyperlocal targeting is incredibly effective, brands sometimes make the mistake of focusing too heavily on geographic targeting. No matter how precisely you target customers on a geographic level, your ads will fall flat if users are not targeted along other vectors.

Personalization is the key to successful programmatic campaigns. The more accurately an ad reflects a specific user’s needs, the more relevant that ad will be to the user and the more likely that the user will click it. While a user’s location is one of their most important data points for certain types of purchases, there are a number of other data points that will be relevant to their purchasing decision.

Multi-location brands must be careful not to lose sight of this when they develop hyperlocal programmatic campaigns. While geo-targeting is a crucial element for multi-location programmatic campaigns, a successful campaign will use multiple targeting methods, drawing on several different types of user data.

Learn more about Qiigo’s Programmatic solution by clicking here.

PPC-Part of the Band-Not a Solo Performance

In digital marketing, it’s easy to get excited about pay-per-click ads (PPC).

Thanks to Google Ads, PPC is one of the most reliable channels for digital marketers. It also offers the kind of analytics that marketers love, with clear and immediate data on what works and what doesn’t.

This can lead some brands and businesses to over-invest in PPC, with marketers pouring more and more dollars into PPC campaigns. Meanwhile, they ignore channels that are harder to track or take longer to develop.

But PPC should never be a solo performance. Focusing too heavily on paid search ads can make you invisible to most of your target audience, impeding your ability to generate awareness. It can also put your brand at risk by taking an all-eggs-in-one-basket approach.

By making PPC part of a group effort, you’ll avoid these problems. In fact, several case studies have shown that PPC campaigns benefit from a coordinated and holistic approach to digital marketing.

The Risks of PPC as a Solo Performance

Overinvesting in PPC ads carries a number of risks for brands and businesses.

These include…

RISK #1: Missed Funnel Stages

When users are already interested in a product, service, or brand, PPC ads can capture this interest and translate it into conversions. But PPC doesn’t work as well for generating that awareness and interest in the first place. Other digital channels, like social media and programmatic, do a better job with up-funnel prospects.

RISK #2: Eggs in One Basket

When you over-invest in PPC marketing, your marketing strategy becomes more and more risky. Variations in consumer preferences, increased competition for keywords, or changes to the Google Ads platform itself could tank your PPC efforts. Without a diversified strategy, your web presence may be at risk.

RISK #3: Narrow Web Presence

While Google is one of the world’s most powerful and popular websites, users only spend a fraction of their time on Google properties. When they’re on social media networks like Facebook, or when they’re browsing content on their favorite websites, your PPC ads aren’t there. To maintain a broader web presence, you need a broader strategy.

RISK #4: Shallow Pool of Data

Marketers love PPC for its rich data and the strength of its analytics. But if you’re not pulling data from other sources, you’ll miss out on key insights about your audience. You’ll also lack data sources that can power your PPC campaigns, like remarketing lists that allow you to target past visitors to your website.

How to Make PPC a Part of the Group

It’s one thing to say that PPC needs to be a part of a larger group. It’s another thing to put that into practice.

To get you started, here’s a look at how to coordinate PPC with other digital channels…

PPC + Social Media

While PPC is great at capturing down-funnel prospects, social media thrives at capturing an up-funnel audience. It’s also great for sustaining interest in your brand and moving users down your sales funnel. When they’re getting closer to a purchase decision and start conducting Google searches, your PPC ads will be ready.

At the same time, social media gives you valuable audience data that can be used for PPC campaigns. Audience insights on social media can provide you with new PPC keywords, identify new target audience segments, and help you tailor your ads to your audience. And if you can direct social media followers to your website, you can retarget these users with PPC ads.

PPC + Organic Search

In the area of search engine marketing, PPC should only be one part of your overall strategy. You should also be targeting organic search results, targeting national or local rankings, depending on your business.

A strong organic search presence takes longer to build. But with routine site maintenance, it can be maintained for years and years. At the same time, it can help boost your PPC campaigns, as users are more likely to trust your ads if they see organic results for your business on the same page.

Organic search is also more effective than PPC at capturing up-funnel prospects. Once on your website, these prospects can be added to your remarketing lists, allowing you to serve them with uniquely tailored PPC ads.

PPC + Programmatic

PPC ads work great at capturing search traffic. But users spend less than 5% of their time on search engines. But with programmatic ads on the Google Display Network and the Facebook Audience Network, you can serve ads to users across millions of websites, social media networks, and apps.

Both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network are controlled via Google Ads. This allows you to create coordinated campaigns where you target users with PPC ads after interacting with programmatic ads and vice versa. And if you coordinate your messaging across PPC and programmatic ads, you can increase your click-through and conversion rates on both types of campaigns.

Optimize Your PPC Campaigns With These Tips

With the right approach, pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns are one of the most effective channels for digital marketing. In fact, the largest PPC platform right now, Google Ads, is so popular with marketers that it rakes in more than $100 billion each year. What’s more, returns are so strong that 78% of marketers increased their Google Ads budgets in 2019.

Despite the strong returns on Google Ads, few brands take full advantage of its tools and capabilities. Rather than eye-popping ROIs, their campaigns generate middling returns. This is usually a case of poor optimization. If you skimp on important investments (like keyword research and split-testing) or skip over powerful features (like ad extensions and RLSAs), your campaigns will suffer.

But if you optimize your PPC campaigns using the 7 tips below, you’ll see much stronger returns from Google Ads.

7 Tips for Better PPC Campaigns

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are the foundation of any successful Google Ads campaign. If you target the right keywords, Google will serve your ads to the right users at the right times. That means higher click-through and conversion rates, stronger Quality Scores, and lower Costs per Click.

Unfortunately, many brands fail to invest the kind of time and effort required for effective keyword research. This typically results in a list of broad, generic keywords, which tend to be more expensive, more competitive, and less conversion-friendly.

2. Negative Keywords

One of the best ways to target a broader range of keywords is to use Google Ads’ broad match or phrase match feature. However, these features can result in mismatches. For example, if one of your keywords is “men’s jeans,” broad match could serve your ad to someone searching for “men’s khakis.” That’s not very helpful if you only sell jeans.

To avoid theses mismatches, you can use negative keywords. Google will not serve your ad to searchers whose queries contain these keywords. So if you’re only selling jeans, you can add “khakis” as a negative keyword. This way, your ad will never appear in searches for “khakis.”

3. Location Targeting

If you operate a hair salon in Pittsburgh, you don’t want to serve ads to users searching for “hair salon” from a device in Houston, Salt Lake City, or Portland. In fact, you probably don’t want to serve ads to anyone who’s more than a few miles from your business.

With location targeting, you can narrowly target searchers within a certain radius or a defined geographic area. This way, your local business can serve ads exclusively to local consumers. You can even create different campaigns for different geographic settings.

4. Remarketing Audiences

If you’re not already using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), you’re missing out on one of Google Ads most effective features. RLSAs allow you to target visitors who’ve previously visited your site. These users are already more likely to click on your ads and convert. Plus, you’ll be able to tailor a set of ads to this group.

Once you’ve started using RLSAs, you can also take advantage of Google Ads’ similar audiences feature. This feature automatically finds users with similar characteristics and search behaviors to the users on your RLSA lists. This gives you an entirely new group of users to target with similarly strong conversion rates.

5. Ad Extensions

Google Ads aren’t nearly as visible as other ad formats, relying largely on compelling headlines and copy. To make your ads more visible and more compelling, we recommend using ad extensions. Ad extensions allow you to include additional information, which can make your ads more compelling to users. At the same time, they increase the visibility of your ads, giving you a new way to grab users’ attention.

Some of the most popular and effective ad extensions include:

  • Call Extensions. Allow mobile users to call your business by pressing a button.
  • Callout Extensions. Add short blurbs to your ad, like “free delivery.”
  • Location Extensions. Include business information for your local business.
  • Message Extensions. Allow mobile users to send text messages to your business.
  • Sitelink Extensions. Add links to specific pages on your website.

6. Split-Testing

Split-testing has been a cornerstone of paid search campaigns from the outset. Yet many brands only perform limited A/B testing on their ads. After testing an initial set of ads at the start of a campaign, they fall into a groove. Rather than continually testing and refining ads, they allow them to stagnate.

Today, this kind of approach simply isn’t feasible. Consumer behaviors are evolving at a breakneck pace, and other advertisers are evolving just as quickly. If you’re not continually testing and refining your ads, they’ll fossilize before your eyes.

7. Conversion Tracking

Advertisers are charged for PPC ads on a click by click basis. What’s more, Google determines the cost of each click based on a Quality Score, which is determined by each ad’s click-through rate (CTR). This has made CTR the leading metric for measuring PPC ads and campaigns.

But if you’re measuring PPC campaigns by CTR alone, you’re missing the big picture. The real measure of a campaign’s success is in its conversions.

In Google Ads, you can solve this problem by adding conversion tracking to your campaigns. Conversion tracking uses HTML codes to track which users convert after clicking on PPC ads. It can be integrated with Google Analytics to track conversions through your website, and it allows you to measure important data like cost per conversion, conversion rate, and value per conversion.

Make sure you’re asking your digital marketing partner about these PPC tactics to ensure you’re getting most out of your campaigns. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get real results from your Pay Per Click marketing.