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Can I Do Digital Advertising for Cannabis?

For years we have been trying to navigate through the restrictions and limited targeting when it came to digital advertising for the cannabis industry. There are now a wealth of targeting options available that we offer, including Native Ads, Display Ads and Video Ads .

Do you want to reach people who are marijuana legalization advocates? What about people looking at both Leafly Reviews, and Weedmaps online or in apps? How about people searching general topics of marijuana? We have categories for that.

Another huge opportunity for targeting? Consumers interested in using Cannabis in place of over the counter or even prescriptions medicines for common ailments. Check out this Nielsen study showing just how interested!

We now have targeting categories to reach the exact audience you are looking for! Check out these options:

Headaches/Migraines; Pain Relievers > Headache/Pain Reliever; Headache & Migraine Medications; Headache and Migraine Sufferers

Back/Neck Pain; Back Pain; Back Pain Medications; Back Pain Sufferers

Head & Neck Surgery

Arthritis; Arthritis Symptoms; Arthritis Prescription; Osteoarthritis; Rheumatoid Arthritis Medications

Psoriatic Arthritis; Arthritis Medications; Arthritis Sufferers; Arthritis and Bones; Arthritis, Moderate to Severe

Daily Aspirin Therapy; General Aches and Pains; Pain Relievers

Feminine Pain; Menstrual Period & Ovulation; Menstrual Cramp Relief; Feminine Care; Feminine Products; Feminine Needs

Chronic Pain; Pain Therapy; Pain Relief

Alternative Medicine

Inability to Fall Asleep; Sleep Disorders; Sleep Aids; Sleep Medicine; Sleep Issues; Nighttime Sleeplessness

Treatment – Insomnia; Insomnia Sufferer; Insomnia Relief

Cancer; Cancer Pains

Smoking Cessation; Smoking Cessation Intenders; Smoking Addiction; Quit Smoking

Has Tried To Give Up Smoking In Last 12 Months; Trying to Quit Smoking

Now that you are armed with amazing targeting options, what products allow you to you run ads for cannabis?

Here are some fantastic options:

Native ads, ads that go across all devices and match the look, feel and visual context of the website or app where they are seen.

Artificial Intelligence is showing your display or video ads to people across all devices, using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad.

Keyword Targeting, showing your display or video ads on webpages that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.

Behavioral Targeting, showing your display or video ads to specific consumers based on their previous on-line behavior, across all devices.

All-Device Geo-Fencing and Geo-Retargeting, drawing a virtual fence around an area or location and showing your display or video ad, to people inside that “fence” and continuing to follow them and show them your ads across all devices.

Video Pre-roll and OTT, where we use your :15 or :30 video to target people on thousands of websites that offer video programming including streaming across all devices, even Connected TV.

Also, keep in mind the benefits from doing an SEO Campaign to increase your visibility with Google and other search engines or Live Chat options as well.

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When should you Geo-Target and when should you Geo-Fence and what is the difference?

There are several “geo” terms in digital advertising, and it can be complicated to determine which option is best for your campaign. With so many opportunities and choices it is important to understand the differences.

First let’s define our “Geo” terms:

Geo-Targeting (Geographic Targeting):  all digital ads are geographically targeted meaning we serve ads to specific geographic areas like a city, zip codes, or large radius around a location (several miles), etc.

Geo-Fencing:  serving ads to anyone possible, in a small, specific geographic area (i.e., a competitor’s location). We usually do this with our Mobile Conquesting product

Geo-Retargeting:  serving ads to people who were in a geo-fenced area and following them after they leave the geo-fence. This is done with our Mobile Conquesting product. (This is sometimes called Geo-Farming by other providers)

Geo-Retargeting Lookalike:  serving ads to people who were in a geo-fenced area and following them after they leave the geo-fence AND targeting their neighborhood. This is done with our Mobile Conquesting product.

Geo-Framing:  going back in time to an event and serving ads to people now who were at the previous event.

So now that we know more about the terms, how do we determine which strategy is the best fit?

Geo-Targeting allows you to layer specific consumer targeting like demographics, behaviors, and interests in addition to where the person is located. So we are using groups of IP addresses to determine location, and then adding in additional targeting options. Go with Geo-Targeting if a client needs to reach  specifics targets in a broader area, for example: “soccer moms who frequent Starbucks in zip code 90210.”  This can be done with any of our digital products such as Behavioral Targeting, Native Ads, Facebook and Instagram, Mobile Conquesting, etc.

Geo-Fencing is usually used when the geo is tighter, and you are okay with capturing everyone within the fence regardless of their demographics or behaviors such as what coffee they like.  Use this if a client has a request such as: “I need a tight geo fence around the arts and crafts festival located on 123 main street for 3 days this summer.”

Now for the other options and layers. Once you start with the Geo-Fence on our Mobile Conquesting platform, you can add options. Like, “Continue to follow everyone who was at the arts and crafts festival until my impressions run out.” That adds the Geo-Retargeting piece. We are following people (on their mobile devices) because they were inside that virtual fence.

If the client also wants to reach the neighbors of people who were inside the Geo-Fence, go ahead and add “Geo-Retargeting lookalike.” A great example here would be car dealerships. They might Geo-Fence their dealership as well as competitive dealerships, so they have the potential to reach EVERYONE inside those fences. Now, hopefully someone drives home with a new car. We are still able to follow them AND their neighbors (who likely now have “new car envy”) with an ad for the dealership. Not every client will need to add this piece, but when it makes sense it can be very effective.

Geo Framing works completely different. In this case we go back in time to an event that was missed. Let’s go back to the Arts and Crafts festival. Perhaps you have a client that is offering an Arts Camp late summer and they didn’t Geo-Fence the event. We can go back in time, capture the mobile device ids of people who were at the event, and then we serve ads to their phones and at their households on any device through their wifi connection. If the event is at least two weeks past but not more than six months, this is a great option to recommend.

One final note, although I talk about Geo-Fencing mainly with Mobile Conquesting, it can be done with our display exchanges as well. The difference is the fence is not as tight or accurate, think one mile vs. 500 feet.

If you need more help deciding which option is best for your business, reach out to us to schedule a capabilities appointment.

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Social Media: When should you DIY and when should you enlist a digital expert?

There are absolutely times in life it is more cost effective to “Do it yourself.”  Before taking on a DIY project, consider if  you have three T’s, meaning do I have the tools, the training and the time. If all signs point to yes, go for it! All three must be in place and it is always important to consider the full scope of the project.

If you own a business, you likely do a lot yourself. Social Media is no exception and there is a lot you can do. However, there are also times it is highly recommend enlisting an expert who possesses the necessary tools and training in Social Media, the bonus is all the time you will save and potentially campaigns that deliver better results.First, why do you need Social Media. Why is Social so important? Social platforms help you connect with your customers in unique ways. You can use Social to increase awareness about your brand, and to boost your leads and sales. Over three billion people around the world are actively using Social Media every month, and it is a very important piece of your marketing puzzle.What are some things you can do on your own? Post and have a Social Media presence.   Through organic posting on your Social Media pages you can:

  • Create Awareness:  Who are you and where are you? How can people discover you?
  • Communicate:  Frequent updates and relevant content build your authority AND allow your personality to shine through.
  • Engage with Customers: Go live, post a series, do a “how to” video.
  • Support your followers:  Interact with customer comments, respond quickly to questions, be positive and helpful, listen to critiques, know when to take it to a private message.

How often & when should you “Socialize?” Hubspot offers some great guidelines:

Starting with Facebook, if you have less than 10,000 followers post once a day or less. In fact, Once you exceed one post, each post gets 60% fewer clicks per post. Does once a day stress you out? Aim for once a week.  If you have more than 10,000 followers? Posting 1-2 times per day leads to the most clicks. 32% more engagement when posting on Saturday and Sunday, and 18% more engagement when posting on Thursday and Friday.

What are the best hours to post? 9 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. You’ll get the most clicks when posting at 3 PM and the most shares when posting at 1 PM. Keep in mind, this is a guideline and your business might be different!

Now let’s talk about Twitter. Aim for no more than 3-5 Tweets per day and Wednesday is the best day. Hours to tweet? 12 PM, 3 PM, 5 PM, and 6 PM

As for Instagram, quality matters the most on this platform! 1-2 posts per day are fine as long as you’re capable of publishing content that provides value. If not, post less! When?  Monday and Thursday are best.  Hours?  Posting a video at 9 PM gets 34% more interactions, however anytime works except 3-4. Research shows it is best to post on Instagram during off-work hours than during the work day.

Now for LinkedIn, 1 post per day during the work week and the best days are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from  7-8 AM, 12 PM, and 5-6 PM. It appears that business people are more inclined to read LinkedIn in the morning, similar to a newspaper.

Finally, Pinterest.  Users on Pinterest skew heavily female and 25% of users are active on this channel daily.  Saturday evenings are best especially 8-11 p.m. Some businesses have also seen a strong performance on the later side of Friday afternoon, around 3 p.m. Opposing many of the other channels we’ve listed here, evening commutes tend to be some of the worst times to post to Pinterest.

So there you go! Posting to your Social Media pages organically is something you can do (much like changing a light fixture) yourself or have a staff person do, and now you have some tips on times and frequency. When and why do you ever need an expert for Social? Advertising!

When it comes to placing your ads on Facebook & Instagram things get really complicated really fast and you will likely want to call in the experts.  Running ads on these platforms is more like re-wiring the room. Things can go south very fast if you are not trained and the results will not be as strong.

If you want to get the most bang for your advertising dollars and reach your exact target in your exact geographical area…Enlist the Bay Area Digital Solutions experts who are dedicated to maximizing your campaign and who live in Facebook and Instagram all day every day and bring the necessary expertise. You can do a lot on your own, but it is time consuming and it is important to consider what is your time worth? Read through the list in the graphic below.  Are you aware of these options?  Are you maximizing your ad spend?

 

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Digital media is on the rise for 2019, are you ready?

Digital spending was up 21.9% in 2018 and is forecasted to grow an additional 18% in 2019.
Digital continues to climb, as consumer habits have changed and more activity is happening online and on mobile devices. The ability to speak to people where they are, with targeting messaging continues to get more sophisticated. Traditional media as a whole continues to decline, with TV and Newspaper taking the biggest hit. Broadcast TV and Cable TV is forecasted to decline by 4% and Newspaper is forecasted to be down 7%. Advertising dollars as a whole are forecasted to be up 5% in 2019, with the majority forecasted to go to digital.

Don’t let the digital dollars go past you. Make the wise move and pair the right digital channels to meet your marketing goals. It is important as technology advances that businesses make sure they advertise to not only the right audience, but to the right behaviors and targets. This is much easier to narrow in with digital.

New digital technologies are emerging daily. Some digital trends we see in 2019 that will continue to rise are Native Ads,Video Marketing and Mobile Conquesting.  Research is king online and 88 percent of consumers pre-research their buys online before making a purchase online or in-store.

If you want to reach new consumers in 2019, advertisements should look more genuine to the content people are searching and researching online. This is where native ads can come into play. Advertisers may think “breaking thru the noise” may be the way to go with digital, but actually consumers are getting smarter. Native ads are a refreshing approach that is less disruptive and more conversational than the in-your-face ads consumers have been trained to tune out. Native ads they can be targeting target to certain online behaviors, relevant keywords or with an email list. Native ads have proven to be a viable approach for such major brands like Airbnb, Amazon and Visa.

As consumers are getting smarter they also are getting a little lazy. The ease of buying anything from groceries to makeup online has seen quite a surge. Consumers are protective of their time and many would much rather watch a video than read an article or a blog. If you have made it this far in the blog, you may want to consider introducing video to your online media strategy. There are many platforms that utilize video from Mobile Conquesting, Facebook and behavioral targeting and more.
Another strategy to consider is Moble Conquesting. Because of how much consumers are using their phones for EVERYTHING these days, there is so much data to be had as well as the benefit to market to them on their mobile device. A recent study showed showed that 82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store.

While consumer behavior is evolving Mobile Conquesting is a great way to get in front of consumers who show current behavioral interest for your product or service. Plus, there are more reporting metrics available for Mobile Conquesting than most digital products. We can report on how consumers are engaging with these ads as well as if they visit your business.

Don’t be behind the times. Move with the times and maximize your reach and frequency with digital in 2019.

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Buying Facebook Premium Placement

The key to successful Facebook campaigns is not only the type of ad unit you’re placing catching your customers attention, but where you’re placing that ad.  That’s where Facebook Premium placement comes into play.

What is Facebook Premium?

Facebook Premium is our preferred style of buying that includes Facebook News Feed (no right-hand column ads), Facebook Messenger, Facebook Instant Articles, and the Facebook Audience Network.  This style of buying goes far beyond your traditional boosted post.  Here’s a breakdown of each placement:

Facebook Messenger

“Messenger” is Facebook’s mobile instant messaging app that you can download separately from Facebook to communicate with friends and family.  This is an important ad placement to buy because 64% of Facebook users use Messenger, and since its debut became the most popular messaging app in the world.  We incorporate traditional News Feed ad buying with Messenger utilizing the same creative and same targeting that is running for your Facebook News Feed campaign.  It’s important to note ads in Messenger are mobile display only (no video) and can be single image or carousel.

Facebook Instant Articles

Similar to Google AMP, Facebook Instant Articles give you content with the click of a button.  When you see interesting news articles in your News Feed, simply click and the article loads within the Facebook app – no waiting for the publisher’s website to load.  Then, your Facebook ad appears within the article from that particular publisher, while staying on Facebook.  Similar to Messenger ads, the same creative utilized in a traditional News Feed ad can be used with Instant Articles.   Facebook Instant Article ads are mobile display or video and can be single image or carousel.

Facebook Audience Network

Facebook Audience Network is a mobile only ad network that Facebook put together partnering with other websites and apps, now the largest mobile native ad network in the world.  Using Facebook Audience Network allows advertisers to extend their reach, targeting people both on Facebook and when they are off of Facebook, using the same targeting categories.  This is an important ad placement because Facebook reports a “12% increase in website conversions with Facebook and Audience Network combined”.

 

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Are you interested in FREE MONEY that can be used on digital?

Roughly half of the nearly $70 billion allocated to fund co-op advertising programs goes unused every year.” However, according to estimates from LSA, Borrell Associates and others that is exactly what is happening. So it is not that co-op money is less available as some might believe, it is more that the uses of co-op dollars are growing behind traditional media channels, with an growing amount being set aside specifically for digital.

If we want to look at that overall number from another angle, it means that close to $35 billion in co-op money goes unused or unclaimed. Is there an opportunity here? Absolutely.
So where is the money going??

Research shows that local marketers are still focusing co-op efforts on legacy media.
• Newspapers
• Yellow pages
• Billboards
• Radio
• Direct Mail

How does digital fit into all of this? More and more brands are re-vamping co-op programs and updating the rules to not only allow for, but to encourage the use of digital advertising. Certain brands (like for example car dealerships) are being extremely prescriptive on exactly how co-op dollars need to be allocated for digital. In fact, some dealerships are required to spend 50% of co-op funds on digital advertising.

The biggest hindrance to tapping into these dollars seems to be the perception of the complexity of it all. How doe we show proof of delivery? How do we show creative? How does it all work? Different co-ops have different rules and those rules do need to be navigated.  So how can your help your clients manage this process? First, by encouraging them to see what co-op dollars are available. Your Vici trainer can help with this – send us the client and brands you are looking for and we can do some digging for you. While business owners need to be aware of the rules that impact them, you can certainly be a resource.

According to LSA, There are three key factors to consider with digital co-op and they are not as difficult to navigate as you might think:
1. Brand Compliance: All brands will have specific requirements related to the appearance of the brand logo, the advertised product, ad copy, and occasionally a minimum advertised pricing component. Within the limited space available for online display, these factors become more complex. Most major brands will have an advertising standards document which should detail the necessary components. Regardless, in all cases, digital ad creative should be pre-approved with the manufacturer to ensure co-op compliance.

2. URL Linkage: Many brands will have specific requirements on where any digital display ads should link. Some brands are fine with the simple link to the dealer site, but many are moving to linking to specific interior pages of the client’s website that mentions the product. Always consult the program guidelines for detail and direct any questions to the manufacturer co-op contact BEFORE the campaign runs.

3. Proof of Performance: The minimum requirement for a co-op submission on digital programs will be a media invoice for activity and visual documentation for each invoice line item charged back to the program. All specific documentation requirements should be reviewed with the co-op contact during the pre-approval process. At a minimum, have the co-op contact review a copy of the monthly reports you receive from us and make sure that those will suffice as proof of performance.

By Dana Bojcic  Vici Media, Inc.

Targeting Home Improvement Consumers

Now is the time to market to consumers thinking about home repairs!

The IAB’s Digital Influence on Home Improvement Plans analysis showed that 22% of consumers who were working on home improvement projects were influenced by ads on mobile, social media and desktop.

That is a huge opportunity for advertisers looking to showcase how they might meet all the home improvement and repair needs of their potential consumers.

In fact, research shows “More than two thirds, 68%, of US adults believe that an area of their home is in need of improvement, thereby extending the potential for marketers well beyond the imminent home improvement intenders,” said Sherrill Mane, senior vice president of research, analytics and measurement at IAB.

How can you use targeted Digital Products as the weather warms up and home improvement is hot? Bay Area Digital Solutions has you covered:

Ad Networks – Choose from our display ad networks such as Home Improvement or Mom and Family,  or go the video route using our Home and Family Video Ad Network.

Keywords – With up to 500 keywords there are endless targeting possibilities to reach consumers while they are searching online.

Behavioral – Categories such as Home improvement, Yard and Patio, Gardening and Landscaping, Home furnishing, Doors and Windows can help you reach the right audience while they are demonstrating an interest.

Advanced Behavioral – Specifically target people by Home Value, Length of Residence, Household Income as well as Age, Gender and Characteristics.

Mobile Conquesting – Use our Home Store Consumer Audience Category to target consumer while they are out and about and visiting Home Improvement Stores.

Facebook and Instagram – Tap into the thousands of categories available such as Home Improvement, Gardening, Home Value, Length at Residence – infinite options!

92% Of Calls To Businesses Driven By Digital Marketing

92% of calls to businesses in 2015 were driven by digital marketing channels.  That is a statement that kind of takes your breath away and is the headline in a study recently released that tracked 58 million calls.  I think most businesses have realized by now that digital advertising is an important component in marketing their businesses, but do they realize how big a part it plays in driving phone calls?
Most local businesses that I talk with will say that increasing calls to their business is just as important (and in some cases more important) as foot traffic.  Phone calls to schedule appointments, ask questions, and get additional information are all drivers of conversions and getting the sale.

Here is how the data in the study ranked individual ad channels as drivers of calls:

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As you can see, Mobile, Desktop, Review Sites and Email accounted for 92% of calls. Interestingly, email was not a strong performer in driving calls and digital ads performed much better in terms of moving the potential customer to contact the business.

This research and the graph above is great to show those potential clients that tell me, “I don’t need to do internet advertising because I don’t sell on my website.” An additional piece of information to share with those that think it doesn’t make sense to do digital advertising is new research that showed 64 cents of every dollar from in-store sales was influenced by the internet in 2015.  A figure that is likely to continue to grow.

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This really underscores that people are on the internet browsing, looking for information, comparison shopping, etc., BEFORE they ever set foot in a place of business. It doesn’t matter whether you are e-commerce or not, if you want to drive phone calls and in-store foot traffic, digital ads are now a must.