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.  

How Panera Uses AR to Heighten Cravings, Reaching Millions of Customers

Following up on the success of its #YouMix2 AR campaign, which debuted at SXSW last year, Panera recently launched a follow-up initiative. Working with M7 Innovations, a technology-focused consultancy that specializes in artificial intelligence and immersive realities, Panera designed an AR campaign that involved animated breakfast wraps. Consumers were encouraged to experience Panera’s breakfast wraps through AR technology and share the assets to Facebook and Snapchat.

The California Consumer Privacy Act’s Promise and Limitations

At first glance, the California Consumer Privacy Act marks a major achievement for privacy advocates, the first statewide bill in the US to offer consumers control over how companies handle their personal information. It’s all the more significant that CCPA happened in California, a frequent bellwether for federal legislation and the state where many of the world’s top tech companies are headquartered.

It’s not entirely clear, though, that CCPA will put significant fetters on Silicon Valley’s hitherto unrestrained collection and monetization of user data. Major weaknesses include the law’s enforcement protocol, continued lobbying efforts to defang it, and its opt-out structure.

2020: The Year Publishers and Brands Truly Challenge the Walled Gardens

We’ve already started to see publishers and brands start to adopt technology that is beyond the reach of the walled gardens. For brands and publishers reexamining their relationships with the walled gardens, the new year is a great time to determine which channels are adding value and are also future-proof. Only those who own first-party data will be in a position to thrive and fight back against industry changes.

5 Tips for Growing Affiliate Programs Through Social Channels

According to a recent study by the Performance Marketing Association (PMA), the affiliate marketing channel is expected to grow to over $6 billion by 2020. A Mediakix study found that US influencer marketing spend on Instagram alone is expected to grow $2.3 billion by 2020. The PMA study also indicated that content, bloggers, and social media accounted for 40% of ad spend by affiliate type in 2018, and that number is surely going up. All of these numbers support the idea that influencers and social media bring an incredible monetization opportunity to affiliate marketing.

Let’s look at five ways that brands active in the partner and affiliate channels can benefit from leveraging social media, and ultimately drive more revenue. 

Follow the Money: Will Wearables Inflect in 2020?

Apple is far ahead with Watch and Airpods, which may have sold 3 million units since Black Friday. Google meanwhile acquired Fitbit to buttress its wearables play. Amazon and Microsoft launched wearables lines in the past quarter, and smaller players like Bose and Snap are planting seeds for a wearables future.

There’s an underlying driver for this activity that goes back to the perennial analyst exercise of “following the money.” This is all about extrapolating product roadmaps based on tech giants’ motivations. This is often to future-proof their core businesses or diversify revenue in the face of maturing products.

December Focus: The Connected Consumer

When looking at several interlocking tech trends — wearables, IoT, smart devices, autonomous vehicles — one common thread emerges: our escalating connectivity as humans. All these technologies are increasingly melded with our senses as the computing “abstraction layer” diminishes.

In other words, device interfaces continue to get more intuitive and automatic. That can be seen in the progression of personal computing from UI milestones like the mouse to mobile-centric touch controls. Now, we have biometric tracking on the Apple Watch and ambient alerts to AirPods.

The “connected consumer” will be Street Fight’s editorial focus for the month of December.

New Brandify Survey Reveals Consumer Habits in Local Search

For Brandify’s local search consumer survey, consumers were asked to name the tools they’ve used in the last 30 days to find information about businesses nearby. Though a vast majority of 77% named Google Maps over any other tool, there was a significant “second tier” group including Facebook at 38%, Yelp at 35%, and business websites at 32%.

The study also asked consumers about the frequency of searches, the range of businesses for which they searched, preferred devices, and the likelihood of visiting a business after searching.

Revamping Your Strategy and Audiences for the Latest “Safe & Civil” Facebook Advertising Update

Your social advertising strategy and audiences may need a bit of an overhaul to align with updates to Facebook’s “Safe & Civil” Advertising Policies, especially if they fall within particular categories.

If your customer is running a campaign that does fall within one of the three categories upended by recent Facebook policy changes, it’s best to launch your campaign with a Special Ads Category applied prior to publishing. This will save you time and a headache resolving errors during the length of your campaign.