Monthly Industry Roundup: January 2018

2017 gave us plenty to be thankful for at Location3; the incredible clients we continue work with, the launch of our LOCALACT platform and much more. While we’ve covered things like marketing for a multi-screen world and voice search trends in 2017, we wanted to hear what kids in Generation Z had to say about these topics and more. So, enjoy this latest installment of Digital Shoptalk, and we look forward to hearing from you in 2018!


Why 2018 Will Be The Year Of Online to Offline Marketing

There’s plenty of buzz around e-commerce and Amazon, especially, as the final frontier of consumer goods. That conclusion assumes that the rising popularity of online shopping will result in all purchases being made on Internet-enabled devices. But that’s not accurate, and more importantly, that assumption misrepresents the relationship between online shopping and in-store purchases.

Only 7 percent of shoppers say online is the only way they shop, according to a Retail Dive consumer survey. Perhaps the more relevant insight is that two-thirds of survey respondents said they research products online before shopping for them in a physical store.

A brand with a large brick-and-mortar footprint shouldn’t worry about losing sales to online competition; it should be establishing an online presence that will entice shoppers to visit their stores, where the majority of consumers still prefer to shop and the majority of purchases are still made.

The brick-and-mortar brands most prepared to connect their customers online behavior to offline purchases will reap the rewards in 2018, says Location3 CEO Alex Porter. For further analysis, including how Amazon is connecting its brand to brick-and-mortar locations, read Porter’s post via Total Retail.

Bing Releases New Local Listings Reporting Insights

Bing recently released an update to its production environment for the Bing Places API. The update is seen as a big step forward for Bing, according to Location3’s Tom Lynch. In a post on the Location3 blog, Lynch is hopeful that the latest update fills the gaps in Bing’s previously inconclusive Maps data. Here’s an excerpt from Lynch’s post:

For much of Bing’s existence, it hasn’t provided the information needed to analyze what users are doing when they use Bing Maps as well as what they’re doing once they reach your business profile. Sure, we can combine referring site traffic data from analytics reporting with general search engine volume data, but those methods of analysis still left major gaps in our understanding of the service. But with the release of the updated production environment for the Bing Places API, Bing hopes those gaps have been filled. 

For further analysis, including what new data is available and how you can use the new information, the entire post can be read here.


Amazon Testing Alexa Sponsored Voice Ads

A report last week indicated that Amazon has reached out to Clorox and Procter & Gamble in an effort to produce advertisements for devices powered by Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.

In a post from Laurie Sullivan via MediaPost, Sullivan notes that discussions between Amazon and the aforementioned product goods companies have focused on advertising models similar to that of paid search on Google, where the highest bidder receives the most prominent placement for strategic search queries.

This development is just another signal for marketers and companies to start formulating their strategies for voice search ads. As Sullivan notes, this space could become especially competitive because voice assistants only provide one answer per consumer query.

And with consumers becoming more comfortable with voice-enabled assistants, it will be important to keep a close eye on the latest developments as it’s sure to quickly grow and evolve.


3 PPC Predictions For 2018

It’s January, which means there is no shortage of forecasts for the new year. Chaitanya Chandrasekar, CEO of QuanticMind, shared three predictions for the world of PPC in a recent post on Search Engine Journal.

Online to Offline (O20) is Only Getting Bigger: Chandrasekar agrees with Location3 CEO Alex Porter. 2018 is going to be about connecting your online presence to physical, brick-and-mortar stores. That connection can work both ways whether it’s Amazon opening physical stores or established brick-and-mortar brands stepping up their online presence.

You Need to Make Data Work for You: The good news for PPC marketers? You have more data than ever! The bad news for PPC marketers? You have more data than ever. According to a report from Veritas Global Databerg, mismanaged data will cost $3.3 trillion in 2020!

With access to more data, digital marketing budgets are rising. And with that increase in dollars also comes an increase in expectations. The goal as PPC experts should be to not add to that $3.3 trillion. Get ahold of your data, folks.

Relevance Will Be the New Profit Margin: With Google adding an innate ad blocker to Chrome and a new AdWords budget cap, be on the lookout for “spiky” traffic, says Chandrasekar.

Placing efficient bids on long-tail keywords could be a difficult task given the little data available on those terms. Whether it’s through data analysis or machine learning, PPC specialists should be looking to stabilize these spikes and wrangling the most valuable long-tail keywords.


10 Content Types That Will Boost Your Traffic

It can be easy to lock yourself in the blog-post bubble, where text-heavy posts dominate all of your content production. After all, blog posts are valuable pieces of content, and many content producer’s skills start at “writing”. But if you’re looking for a change of pace, and the public’s preference for visual content indicates you should be, Alexandra Tachalova has compiled a list of ten content types that will boost traffic. Here’s a few to think about.

  1. Webinars: These are valuable because they are designed, first and foremost, to bring in leads. When properly prepared, webinars bring a certain authority that can’t be replicated by many types of content.
  2. Podcasts: Seemingly everyone has a podcast. Why not you? Podcasts are great resources for niche professionals and tend to create greater loyalty than other forms of media.
  3. Interviews: Many content professionals have ties to journalism. Use those skills in an interview with an industry expert. Not only can you provide valuable content for your customers, you can create valuable, lasting relationships within your industry.

For the rest of the list, the full post can be read here.

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