Social Media is Not Enough: 3 Reasons Why Websites are a Must for Businesses

During the Covid era, the value of a website has increased exponentially. According to a recent survey, 82% of US small business owners find their website to be an essential part of their businesses’ success, and 54% reported a boost in website traffic since the beginning of quarantines.

Whether you’re a small business owner or someone with an idea, developing a website as your home base is beneficial to growing your customer base and online brand. Here’s why.

Facebook, Holocaust Denial, and the Refusal of Politics

Facebook’s long-term refusal to strike down Holocaust-denial content is not a problem specific to Facebook. It’s not a decision limited to Zuckerberg or a few feckless executives. The problem is not even limited to tech.

Facebook’s purported refusal of politics — its reluctance to accept that it has always been a political actor and that its content-moderation policies and algorithms have real-world effects on what people believe and what they do, up to and including acts of physical violence as in Myanmar — is a structural feature of shareholder capitalism. A content ecosystem whose leaders are so timid as to let Holocaust denial flourish is the logical result of an approach to management that views its only responsibility as minimizing costs and maximizing market capitalization.

iOS14 and Privacy: What it Means for Advertisers, Especially on Facebook

The latest in the tug of war between consumer privacy and effective digital advertising pits Apple against Facebook, Google, and others. At stake for ad tech: significant revenue for ad publishers and app developers, effective ad results for advertisers, and more relevant ads for consumers. At stake for users: consumer privacy protection, the use of their behavioral data for marketing, and possibly, the future of “free” software.

Apple’s pending release of iOS 14 is a strong consumer-privacy-first stance and a potential disruption to digital marketing as we know it. But what is the real impact for targeted digital advertising?

Yes, Brands Can Boycott Facebook — and Still Work with Influencers

While you want to be safe, pausing your Influencer campaign altogether right now might not be the right move. Yes, even if you are boycotting Facebook, you can still work with Influencers. 

In fact, brands need to work with influencers in order to maintain a social and online presence and remain top of mind for consumers. This is especially critical now as mobile and social media consumption is up and online shopping is increasing, while budgets are up in the air and the election year crowds the marketplace.

The All But Inevitable Outcome of the Facebook Advertiser Boycott

The boycott may yet exert some meaningful pressure on Facebook to change its ways, but that outcome is unlikely. This is partly due to the dynamics of the advertising market itself but also to the global scale of Facebook’s business and the essential role end consumers must play in any boycott. It’s worth examining each of these factors in turn.

Can a Pandemic Inflect Local Commerce Tech? Part II

What about the tech adoption accelerants happening on the supply side? Tech giants who provide marketing and operational tools for local businesses have been in hyperdrive over the past few months to roll out new Covid-era features.

Here are three areas where we’re seeing the most activity … and where we could correspondingly see the most local business evolution.

How Advertisers Can Turn the Facebook Boycott into a Transformative Moment

It would be helpful if about 20 of the large brands boycotting Facebook put their money where their mouth is and invested in the establishment of a data and publisher sharing network. 

The next step would be identifying the media publisher outlets as partners. The co-op would need to negotiate a performance-based publisher relationship, which would effectively increase content monetization for publishers’ content channels. 

Pay to Get Rid of Ads on Social Media? Consumers Say Maybe, Maybe Not

Nearly 60% of respondents overall said they’d be at least somewhat willing to pay for social media, and that figure could likely climb if a small monthly subscription fee were added. Twingate contends that Facebook/Instagram would only need to charge users $2.07/month, and Twitter $1.61/month, to earn via subscription fees what they earn via ad revenue. Respondents said they would pay $5.24 and $4.75/month, respectively.

But inertia and apathy are strong, money is even tighter outside the US market, and surveillance advertising, and the size of its audience, are the X-factors that catapulted Facebook to the top of the global corporate order. I’d bet Google, Facebook, and, increasingly, Amazon, will be slow to give up the surveillance revenues and walled-garden ecosystems that have made them this century’s most powerful corporate actors.

Location Weekly: GroundTruth and Yext Partner, Facebook Unveils Shops

In this episode of Location Weekly, the Location-Based Marketing Association hosts Mike Peters, CMO, Optimizers, and Head of LBMA Sweden.

The team also covers GroundTruth and Yext announcing a new partnership, Reveal mobile releasing a free version of its Visit Local platform, and Facebook Shops launching in the U.S.

Advertising Rebound: CPMs Tell Us Now is the Time to Take the Ball and Run

While some countries are slowly easing their lockdown mandates, for many, uncertainty still remains for when business will return to “normal.” And a big question hovers: “When is the right time to take our foot off the break and apply the gas?” When you look at advertising costs as an indicator of economic recovery, it’s clear that now is the time, and social advertising is the vehicle. 

Social Distancing and Gen-Z

Social distancing and self-quarantining have changed the world in a matter of weeks. How is Gen-Z responding? They are flocking to apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat to pass time and interact with family and friends. Facebook and WhatsApp have lost their reign over the competition during lockdown.  

To get a better understanding of Gen-Zers’ habits, routine, and lives during the pandemic, Brainly, the world’s largest peer-to-peer learning community, surveyed over 1,700 of them. 

Brandify Study Shows Consumer Search Preferences for Healthcare, Restaurants, and Retail

Google in particular has made significant moves in recent months to verticalize the consumer search experience. For example, the team responsible for the relatively new Google Travel and Google Hotels sites has reported that they built a new consumer experience for hotels specifically because they noted important differences in the ways consumers searched in that category. 

Brandify’s study illustrates that consumer preferences for additional verticals are similarly differentiated, both in the channels consumers prefer for each vertical and the sorts of information they seek out when searching. Already, the search experience for restaurants, retail stores, and healthcare providers varies by vertical, especially on Google, which has added prominent vertical-specific attributes as a result of Covid-19 such as dine-in, takeout, and pickup availability for restaurants.

Beyond Store Visits: Better Objectives for Current Times

A more adaptive framework that allows campaigns to still operate with the hyper-locality of a Store Visits Objective campaign, but without the specific objective requirements, is timely and ideal for maintaining strategic flexibility. This framework can actually be replicated with other objectives, such as Conversions, Lead Generation, Video Views, or even Website Traffic, especially with specialized tools.

Developing campaigns across other objectives that utilize local pages and localized copy still provides the same local performance benefits as an SVO campaign, as well as the attribution models to ensure you can still prove ROAS. 

Facebook’s Significant Edits: How to Minimize the Risk of a 20-40% Hit to Your ROAS

Don’t mess with the algorithm.

That’s the fundamental idea behind Facebook’s significant edits. There’s a lot more to it, of course, and we’ll get into all that, but here’s the primary reason why you don’t want to make a change that Facebook construes as a significant edit: It will move your campaigns into “the learning phase,” which in turn will suppress your campaigns’ ROAS by 20-40%. 

The State of Reputation Management 2020

Not long before the COVID-19 outbreak was officially deemed a pandemic — it seems like years ago, but it was only March 11 — we planned to commemorate Street Fight’s March theme, Word of Mouth, by surveying a select number of experts in local marketing about the state of reputation management and what to look forward to in 2020. 

Current events got in the way of our plans, and therefore we’re releasing this report in April rather than March. But we were pleased that the experts we asked came through and offered a great deal of valuable insight on the priorities and challenges of reputation management for local businesses. So let’s dig in to the insights provided by local marketing leaders at ThriveHive, Reputation.com, Chatmeter, Brandify, GatherUp, Uberall, and BrightLocal.

Businesses Find Opportunities to Fundraise, Connect Through Local Platforms

Consumers say they want to help the local businesses in their communities, and many are buying gift cards and launching GoFundMe campaigns to help their favorite restaurants, retailers, and brewpubs avoid going out of business. But restaurants and other essential businesses that remain open still need a way to let customers know how they’re selling their products and services, and how they can place orders without showing up in person.

The neighborhood social networking app Nextdoor is one of a number of platforms working on ways to ease that burden. Yelp, Facebook, and Patch are joining the fight.

Location Leaders Step Up to the Plate

During the Covid-19 outbreak, we’re seeing tech companies step up to the plate in a mixture of altruistic and opportunistic moves. That’s everything from Comcast removing data caps to Amazon removing its paywall for streaming kids shows. But what about local specifically? Again, that’s where businesses are getting hit most.

We’ve seen moves in the local space over the past week from Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare. Though there are several others, we’ll drill down on this representative sample. We’ll also give a shoutout to Google for its work to free up human and compute resources for local listings updates, covered Monday by Damian Rollison.

SMB Resellers and Agencies: How to Make the Most of the Conversions Objective

ROI is, of course, the ultimate goal of any advertising effort, so one might naturally ask, “Why would I ever choose an objective that’s not conversion optimized?”, or even “Why would I choose to optimize towards anything but purchase conversions?” It turns out the latter is the more complicated question, but one you can answer when armed with the right information.

It all has to do with how Facebook’s ad bidding works, which involves a combination of factors: your advertiser bid, estimated action rates (i.e. how your target audience responds to the ad), and overall ad quality. As Facebook notes, “together, estimated action rates and ad quality measure ad relevance. In fact, we subsidize relevant ads in auctions, so more relevant ads often cost less and see more results.”

Influencer Marketing Moves into the Mainstream

Influencer marketing is working its way into the toolboxes of major corporations, and I’m not just talking about Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s meme squad. Household brands including McDonald’s, Walmart, and Anheuser-Busch have turned to Linqia to test the practice.

How to Stop Getting Bogus Leads from Facebook Ads

Like a discordant refrain, these familiar phrases can feel like they’re playing on loop when following up with potential customers generated from Facebook Lead Ads. Bogus or misleading leads are a huge complaint among advertisers, but there are a few common and useful steps an advertiser can take when building Lead Generation Ad Campaigns to curb the occurrence of false leads. 

Certain aspects are out of our control from the advertisers’ end, such as trusting Facebook users to enter correct and non-misleading information, but armed with this handy checklist, you can audit your lead gen ads, making improvements to stem the tide of bogus leads.