SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Shannon Kinney, Founder, Dream Local Digital

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Today’s Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money! speaker spotlight features Shannon Kinney, founder and client success officer at Dream Local Digital, a digital marketing agency that has worked with thousands of small businesses across North America. She and her team specialize in offering online marketing assistance such as websites, email marketing, social media marketing, SEO, SEM and more.

Shannon Kinney, Founder & Client Success Officer at Dream Local Digital

Shannon has over 15 years of experience in the development of successful Internet products, sales and marketing strategies and has worked on the teams developing successful Internet brands such as cars.com, careerbuilder.com, and over 60 online media properties for newspapers all over the U.S. and Canada. Prior to that, she spent over 10 years in media sales and sales management in Maine.

We asked Shannon a few questions about her upcoming SoMoConf session, and here is what she had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
We will review top takeaways from the LMIA report and expand to cover some of the latest case studies on companies leveraging social media to build brand awareness, reach and serve customers, develop relationships and audience.

What about your session are you most excited about?
Sharing some of the great tips and best practices that we leverage every day in our work with online marketing, and making sure that every attendee leaves with ideas they can implement themselves!

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
Social media is one of the most powerful tools to engage your community, promote your content and your advertising products and this session will provide several tips on how to make the most out of your time invested!

What is your favorite social media platform to use?
I personally favor Twitter and Instagram as communication platforms, LinkedIn for business communication, and love Facebook for its broad reach and application. I also spend a lot of time with Pinterest and Snapchat!

Click here to learn more about the SoMoConf event or register now!

YP’s Mobile Properties Attract Users with Spending Power

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With more than 10 million downloads of its mobile app and approximately 30 million monthly unique visits across its app and mobile websites, YP.com offers advertisers a great way to reach consumers searching for local business information via their mobile devices.

Not only does YP.com attract a strong cross-section of users, but those users trend younger and carry some serious spending power.  The typical YP.com mobile user is between 25-44 years old and makes more than $75,000 annually, according to the latest comScore MobiLens data, although the site has users across all age and income groups.

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Source: comScore MobiLens May 2014

Last year, YP reported $378 million in mobile ad revenue and noted that half of its audience came from mobile devices. Recently, YP CEO David Krantz was quoted as saying, “we were mobile before mobile was cool” – a claim that seems to be validated by the company’s strong mobile performance indicators.

YP is continuing to attract mobile users and driving mobile ad revenue with new mobile offerings, such as its recently released offering, My Book. An alternative to reviews and tips, this new tool allows both mobile and desktop users to create and manage lists of their favorite businesses. With this data, YP is able to provide users with recommendations based on the number of “favorites” each business has.

Krantz has been very public in his comments regarding the importance of YP’s mobile strategy – and rightfully so. Mobile local searches are driving consumer actions and continue to transform the way consumers interact with local business information. In addition, since YP’s mobile properties are attracting users with spending power, they are poised to remain a major local player that offers strong results for advertisers.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Online Privacy

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As Big Data transforms the relevance and effectiveness of digital advertising, it is generating tension around online privacy.  At the local level, mobile devices have created an influx of location data that has led to many discussions about the impact this is having on privacy. What we are finding is consumers want the conveniences of digital technologies, yet the control to decide what about them is shared.

Digital properties are acquiring a variety of consumer data from web history, cookies, social media activity, online purchases, GPS, likes, check-ins, tags and other methods. A question some are asking is whether properties really own this information after it is collected, or if it is up to the consumer on how their information is shared.

While the debate rolls on, it’s important for marketers to consider consumer sentiments about this issue. Here are some stats to help put online privacy into perspective:

  • 92% of U.S. Internet users worry about their privacy online. (TRUSTe)
  • The percentage of consumers willing to share their current location via GPS with retailers nearly doubled year-over-year to 36%. (IBM)
  • 85% of online consumers oppose Internet ad tracking. (Consumer Reports)
  • Nearly 80% of consumers are willing to provide personal information to “trusted brands,” yet 62% of consumers said they worry about how markets are using their personal information. (SDL)
  • 91% of respondents value the benefit of “easier access to information and knowledge” that digital technology affords, but only 27% say they are willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience and ease online. (EMC Corporation)

Be sure to check back next Friday for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

LSA Member Innovation in Local: Search Influence

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This week we hear from Search Influence, a national, full-service, online marketing company based in New Orleans. Search Influence serves local and small / medium size businesses with SEO, Online Advertising, Social Media and Social Ads, both directly and as a white-label provider for media companies and resellers.

We caught up with Will Scott, CEO and co-founder of Search Influence, to learn more:

What local problem(s) does Search Influence solve? How?
On some level, we’re like the Yellow Pages of old. We make “phones ring and doors swing” (and email go ding). Regardless of the medium, our job as local marketers and media companies is to connect buyers and sellers.

For our partners in the media, we give them products their advertisers want without the cost of building their own team.

What makes Search Influence innovative?
We devote significant R&D and software development to the challenge of scaling content-based SEO and Social Media. Before most of the industry was talking about “content marketing” we were driving buying traffic by producing hundreds of thousands of pages of copy for online distribution.

Our philosophy is that software should end where human intelligence is needed. At search influence we develop scalable systems powered by experts.

How does Search Influence make the local space better for advertisers and/or consumers?
It’s hard to be a local advertiser today. Between keeping your doors open, your employees happy and your online presence humming there’s barely enough time to sleep and eat.

In a recent BIA/Kelsey Local Commerce Monitor, the data showed some local advertisers are active in 7 or more online channels. That could be a full-time job.

We help those advertisers tell their story. On their website, in social media, throughout the local search ecosystem, we provide buyers with the information to confidently select a provider.

What is next in local?
Content is going farther and having more impact on media company revenues. As native advertising has evolved this year from a buzzword to a tangible revenue stream for our partners, we are working with media companies to develop quality native advertising content at scale. We handle everything from telling the advertiser story in text, image and video to finding channels for distribution online and extending their reach in social media.

For more info, check out the presentation below, or you can contact Search Influence at (504) 208-3900 or email them at Info@searchinfluence.com.

About Search Influence & the Importance of Content Marketing for Local Bussinesses from Local Search Association

SoMoConf Speaker Spotlight: Matt Baldwin, Senior Research Analyst, Borrell Associates

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Now that we are about a month away from Social + Mobile: Show Me the Money!, we are spotlighting some of the great speakers we have lined up for the event. First up we have Matt Baldwin, senior research analyst with Borrell Associates, where he works directly with ad agencies, media companies and business organizations nationwide to develop the deeper target audience insights that drive more effective media applications and creative direction.

Matt Baldwin, Senior Research Analyst, Borrell Associates

Matt has been recognized as Advertising Age magazine Marketer of the Year and has also served as President for NAA’s Research Federation Board of Directors. His techniques and approaches to media and advertising have won over $100 million in new business.

We asked Matt a few questions about his session, and here is what he had to say:

What are the key topics you’ll discuss during your session?
Quantifying market potential, understanding subcategory media share, identifying market-specific healthcare opportunity segments and fitting social and mobile into the right spots.

What about your session are you most excited about?
Sharing the approaches that drive results.

Why is it important that attendees not miss your session?
Healthcare is such a hot overall category, but some subcategories represent more opportunity than others.  When clients and prospects see YOU in the know about THEIR business, you are automatically positioned as a more complete and engaged marketing partner.

What is the most fascinating part of your job?
Uncovering new insights, then seeing clients use that knowledge to be more successful.

Click here to learn more about the SoMoConf event or register now!

Google Turns Local Product Searches into Delivery Business

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To date, Google product searches have delivered fairly relevant local results, but have failed to translate those results into actual purchases.  Now, Google is introducing a new platform to that helps consumers move from product searches to real-life transactions.

The offering, called Google Shopping Express, allows consumers to buy products from several major participating retailers through Google’s interface. In turn, Google will take a single-digit percentage cut of each transaction and then deliver the purchased product from the physical retail store to the consumer on the same or next day. Instead of operating massive warehouses and store inventory – along the lines of Amazon – Google simply acts as a facilitator of local product transactions.

Currently, the service offers products from the likes of Target, Costco, Toys “R” Us and Whole Foods, and is operational in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. A source told Re/code that Google execs have set aside around $500 million to expand the service nationwide. According to Tom Fallows, head of Google Shopping Express, the company is “willing to sustain that investment over time as this gets going.”

While there is the obvious benefit of using Google to help sell local products, it will be interesting to see how they incorporate small retailers in the mix.  At this point, the service looks well suited for retailers that offer specialty, one-of-a-kind goods that aren’t available anywhere else. On the other hand, the local drug store with common brand name products might struggle to compete with the pricing flexibility of national chains like Walgreens.

Once again, it looks like small local retailers face an uphill battle when it comes to competing with the influence of national retailers.  If Google plans to continue this partnership model for Google Shopping Express, we can only assume that the national brands will have priority over small local retailers that offer the same products with less reach.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how this new Google offering resonates in the market and what impact it has on local product sales.

Upcoming Webinars to Highlight Ad to Action Award Winners

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We are excited to announce that next week we will be holding two webinars featuring all of our Ad to Action Award winners.  Representatives from each winning company will give attendees deeper looks into the functionality, benefits, targeting and ROI benefits associated with their product or solution.

Join us to learn more about these innovative offerings:

Part 1: Tuesday, July 22 at 2pm EDT

  • Business Listings: Local Listing Manager™ by Rio SEO
  • Implementation: AdMax® Local by The Search Agency
  • Video: TargetView by Sightly
  • Social Media: Likes for Lives by Search Influence

Part 2: Thursday, July 24 at 2pm EDT

  • Print: Platform Agnostic Dynamic Location Based Media Planning by SMG Local Spectrum
  • Mobile: GeoCookie by Thinknear
  • Deals/Loyalty/Ecommerce: MyTime
  • Vertical Specific: Weather Triggered Demand Generation by SMG Local Spectrum

The Ad to Action Awards recognized solutions within eight submission categories that demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local business sales and providing memorable experiences to consumers at the end of their purchasing decision track. We received 60 outstanding solutions that were evaluated by a diverse panel of 14 notable experts, analysts, media and practitioners from across the local advertising industry.

We hope you’ll join us!

Think Tank Chicago: Exploring Local Advertising on a Dark and Stormy Night

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Ryan Vaspra, SVP of product and operations at Sightly, shares his thoughts on our recent Think Tank Chicago event which brought together local advertising leaders from companies including Facebook, YP, R/GA, Twitter, MediaVest, Ifbyphone, Marquette Group, Cars.com, Where 2 Get It, CityGrid Media and SMG Local Spectrum. The group discussed exciting new ideas and trends in local that have the potential to take our industry to the next level.

As lightning flashed and thunder crashed outside the 80th floor windows of the Aon Building in downtown Chicago, a group of local marketing thought leaders convened for dinner and spirited discussion – an industry “Think Tank,” graciously hosted by the Local Search Association.

The group was comprised of a diverse set of executives from agencies, publishers, media, and technology companies like Sightly, the online video ad tech company I represent.

The theme of the evening was an exploration of “how local advertisers are using various media outlets to drive clicks, calls and store visits,” what the LSA introduced this year as “Last Mile Advertising.”

From the offset, the discussion focused on what local advertisers want from marketing and advertising solutions and what providers’ pricing should be.

Many participants didn’t feel our industry necessarily needs to provide “free or nearly free” solutions for SMBs as incentives for them to try our products, especially if the value is evident. Simple? Yes.  Effective? Yes.  But simple and effective solutions are rarely free or inexpensive.

Some agency executives felt it’s our job to provide fairly priced, effective solutions but not worry about saving all SMBs from their competitors. In local business, those who are smart, savvy and willing to learn are usually the ones that survive. Conversely, to paraphrase one exec, “Those who don’t get it, usually don’t get that they don’t get it.”

Finally, our best takeaway was that the group felt agencies and service providers provide value by bundling and integrating marketing solutions. Otherwise, SMBs tend to “hopscotch” from tactic to tactic, treating each marketing solution as a stand-alone solution. In reality, bundled solutions create a much more valuable multi-touch, integrated marketing presence for the SMB in its local market than any individual tactic does at any given time.

It was a one-of-a-kind event and LSA brought together a very impressive and influential group of professionals from a diverse set of locally focused companies. The intimate setting made it easy for us to dive deep into the issues impacting the local space.  With such varied experiences and perspectives in one room, we came away from the meeting with insights that are extremely valuable for the future of local.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Indoor Location

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Indoor location marketing is a promising way to reach consumers when they are extremely close to the point of purchase. While there are some privacy concerns to consider, indoor location is already winning over major retailers and brands as a new way to connect with relevant, on-the-go consumers.

As an intro to how it all works, check out Greg Sterling’s webinar from last year that provides an overview of the indoor location marketing ecosystem, various technologies in use, indoor analytics and the way in which online-to-offline tracking is revolutionizing ROI.  Sterling is also holding the 2014 Place Conference in less than two weeks that will dive deeper into the indoor location opportunity.

Here are some stats that give a glimpse into this emerging space:

  • Indoor location and place-based marketing will surpass $10 billion by 2018. (Opus Research)
  • Beacons in retail stores resulted in a 19x increase in interactions with advertised products, and a 6.4x increase in the likelihood that a shopper kept an app that sent them a beacon message on their phones. (InMarket)
  • Public WiFi is the basic location infrastructure needed for indoor location marketing, and the number of WiFi locations nationally increased 293% from 2009-2013. (NinthDecimal)
  • 72% of smartphone owners used devices while shopping in stores during the 2012 holiday season. (Pew)
  • Indoor maps and services to reach more than $2.5 billion by 2017. (ABI Research)

Be sure to check back next Friday for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

About $450M of Digital Co-Op Ad Dollars Are Left Unused

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During this week’s webinar, Marianna Tishchenko, business development at PaperG, walked through digital co-op advertising for publishers and agencies and shared some recent industry trends.  She shared some data to show why digital co-op presents a huge opportunity for local advertisers and discussed what’s keeping all the offline co-op spending from going digital.

In addition to getting a sneak peak into PaperG’s solutions that help facilitate digital co-op advertising, here are some other takeaways from the webinar:

  • Online co-op marketing is worth $1.7 billion today with $450 million left unused due to lack of participation. (Borrell Associates)
  • There are 4500+ co-op programs available in the U.S. for digital, print, radio, mobile, SEM, billboards and many other forms of advertising.
  • The obvious benefit of co-op advertising is that it gives local dealers “free money” from manufacturers which makes advertising more cost-effective.
  • With U.S. digital ad spend expected to grow to $61.35 billion by 2017, co-op will grow with it.

Check out the entire presentation below:

For access to all of our past webinars and a look at what’s to come, visit http://bit.ly/LSAwebinars.