The 2022 Digital Marketing Trends You’ll Run Into

In today’s digital era, online marketing has become crucial for businesses. People can browse articles, email friends, and search for information on the web, so sharing content and interacting with the content is a large part of digital marketing.

With today’s technology, so much is possible. From SEO to email marketing, successful digital marketing strategies aren’t just something that should be read or heard; they should be seen, felt and experienced.

Here are some emerging digital marketing trends that may be useful to your campaign:

1.  The Use of AI and Automation

Automation has changed the way many websites are designed. People can now schedule posts, send emails and update social media accounts without human interaction. Through automation, businesses can build trust, create leads and retain customers without worrying about the time investment or human error.

On the other hand, the use of AI is becoming more advanced, making it an essential aspect of digital marketing. AI can help you to market better by providing you with information and data that can be used to improve your SEO and reputation management, among other aspects.

2.  Storytelling in the Digital Landscape

People keep scrolling down their Facebook or Instagram feed and are exposed to a variety of posts from brands that they love. However, most of them don’t even see the post. The reason? Too much clutter. Brands are constantly creating content that is not relevant and doesn’t target the right users.

Brands should focus on the three key elements of a story to create the perfect story instead of just publishing content. The three key elements are characters, plot and perspective.

3.  Influencer Marketing Getting Stronger

Influencer marketing is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Companies can to hire influencers to promote their products to their followers. This allows them to reach their desired audience and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Influencer marketing is growing fast, and companies are finding it hard to choose the right influencers. The influence score has been introduced as a way to measure an influencer’s social following and the quality of their content.

4.  Shorter Videos

YouTube and other platforms have made it possible for brands to create videos that are shorter than 15 seconds. These videos are called micro-videos, and they have gained popularity in the last few years because they are quick and easy to produce.

They are similar to the old-fashioned GIF, but they are better because they are more attractive to viewers. While they may appear to be a bit strange at first, they are actually good for brands since they will help connect with audiences faster.

Conclusion

As the digital landscape is constantly changing, the way brands market themselves is also changing. New trends are popping up all the time, so it is necessary for you to follow the right digital marketing trends to keep your customers engaged and coming back to your website.

This is why you need to work with the best if you want to achieve success for your business.

Get the results you want from your digital campaign, with the help of a digital marketing agency in Calgary. We’ll help you come with a clear strategy that will help you reach your goals.

Connect with us, and cut through the noise!

Essential Digital Marketing KPIs To Track In Your Next Campaign

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Nowadays, there are more metrics than ever that marketers can use to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns or broader marketing efforts. Choosing the right digital marketing KPIs, then, is a critical first step in terms of measuring the return on investment of your various marketing efforts. From SEO to bounce rate, customer lifetime value, marketing ROI, customer acquisition cost, click-through rate (CTR), and many more, we asked several of our key partners and experts in various marketing activities to offer their thoughts on the essential key performance indicators for your digital marketing in 2022 and beyond.

Importance Of Choosing The Right KPIs For Your Marketing Goals

Our panel consisted of experts from several fields, including marketing strategy, social media, PPC, SEO, email marketing, and numerous other digital marketing categories. And most of them started their KPI advice for 2022 (and many years to come) by pointing out the importance of setting goals for your digital marketing metrics before you began measuring and analyzing the results. 

“One of the most important things to consider when tracking and measuring KPIs is how clear goals and objectives are to the entire process. Without a clear sense of what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to properly interpret the data. And KPIs should be used in conjunction with other data points to get a complete picture of your marketing efforts.” – Natalia Osorio Quintero, Digital Marketer at NataliaOQ

There can be as many KPIs and metrics as there are types of marketing collateral and outlets. If lead generation is your goal, for example, there may be different measures that help paint a clear picture of your campaign success than those you’d use if retention rate or brand awareness is the goal. Regardless of the specific goals, you have for your marketing investment, clearly establishing your goals will often dictate the right mix of KPIs and measures of success. 

“A business can’t accurately assess whether a marketing investment was viable or wise if there isn’t an observable benchmark for what kind of dent the campaign made for them. The right KPIs, collaboratively established during discovery, quickly and succinctly give business owners a clearer picture of the campaign so they can observe growth, then scale or pivot if things aren’t converting as they want.”

– Max Zoghbi, Founder & Creative Director at Loupe Theory

“Campaign success, while generally subjective, is based on whether or not a brand can meet or exceed its goals. KPIs are put in place to measure progress, hence the term. They’re meant to be adjusted over time.”

– Ceara Milligan, Social Media Manager at STIR Advertising and Integrated Messaging

And while your organization may tweak the important digital marketing KPIs that you set for your campaign, the types of campaigns you plan to run will help you narrow down the list of important metrics that matter. 

“It depends on the type of campaign you are running. For search engine optimization campaigns, it is important to measure the site health, organic keywords, organic keyword position, organic traffic, keyword ranking position, and so on. For ads, you want to know the impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per conversion. And these are just two examples of how different KPIs vary depending on your campaign type.”

– Masha Kaprian, Principal at iMedPages, LLC

While different types of campaigns and marketing channels can have different goals, businesses still need to drive revenue. And measuring digital marketing KPIs for any kind of campaign will tell you exactly what’s working, what isn’t, and where you can make changes that strengthen your campaign.

“Even if the main goal of a campaign is not sales or conversions, the ultimate goal of any business is to make enough money. The ad can be beautiful, the landing page can be breathtaking, and the copy can be engaging, but if new customers and established customers are not taking the action you want them to take, the campaign is not generating the results you need.”

– Blake Nolan, Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Storm Brain

“Everything can be measured, whether it be phone calls, emails, form fills, account signups, app downloads, product sales, and cart abandonment. But many businesses and agencies are only reporting on total-number site metrics such as time on site, page views, new users, and so on. Proper conversion mapping will not only showcase real-time results (including customer engagement and sales), it will also show lost revenue opportunities and areas where conversion rate can be improved.”

–  Dave Taylor, Cofounder of In Front Marketing  

In addition, measuring your digital marketing campaign goals is important not because it will point out failings, but because they tell you about the opportunities that exist and ways that you can improve performance. 

“KPIs should come with goals that you want to reach. That will ultimately tell you whether or not your campaign is a success. But if you do not meet your goals, that does not mean your campaign is a total failure. Rather, it shows that you have an opportunity to continue to improve your campaigns, so next time you run a campaign you know to make small tweaks that can lead to incremental improvements.” –

Nick Mattar, Founder, and CEO at Digital Detroit LLC 

Specific Digital Marketing KPIs And Metrics To Consider In Your Marketing Campaigns

As you can see, our experts agreed that goals will play a huge factor in determining which KPIs matter the most. Just like your digital marketing strategy overall, choosing the right measures of success requires spending some time evaluating what your metrics for achievement are. From there, however, many of the panelists and marketing experts did have specific recommendations for the key marketing metrics and measures to consider for your current and upcoming campaigns. 

“Start with Customer Lifetime Value. CLV will dictate which prospects you should be focusing your campaigns on. From there you can move on to tactical KPI metrics, such as Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CLV is key guidance in regards to determining who your campaigns should be targeting, while RoAS and CPA will empower you to judge the effectiveness of the campaigns.” – Alonzo Foreman, SVP of Marketing at OppGen Marketing      

Measuring the effectiveness of channels was a key takeaway from our conversations with marketing leaders and digital experts, as it fed into several other metrics and it can help determine the best places to increase or decrease spending. 

“Two metrics that help determine which channels are most effective are ROAS (return on ad spend) and CAC (cost of acquiring a customer). These metrics help us determine the LTV, or lifetime value, of a customer. Since we know how much it costs to acquire them, we can measure that against the average life of a customer or how much a customer spends with us. This helps us know how profitable each channel is.” –  Nicole Denson, Marketing Manager at Big Leap

Just as was the case with our discussion of goals above, your KPIs are very dependent on what you want your campaign to achieve, and what you consider to be a measure of success. Ecommerce campaigns will undoubtedly call for different metrics than a brand awareness campaign, for example. 

“From an SEO firm’s perspective, two primary KPIs to track in a digital marketing campaign include search engine keyword rankings and organic website traffic. If a company is executing a sound on-page optimization strategy, complete with value-add SEO tags that align with relevant industry terms and detailed, long-form content on landing pages, these factors can help improve search engine rankings.” – Asad Kausar, CEO at Dabaran Inc.                 

“I think that link CTR, CPA, and CPM are three of the most critical metrics to track in all digital campaigns. Your link CTR is the gauge that allows you to truly see if your creativity and messaging align with your market. Your cost per acquisition will help you determine if your campaigns are profitable and worth running depending on what a client is worth to you. Finally, your CPMs can help dictate if you have a fair bid in your advertising campaigns.” – Ashley Monk, CEO of Onya

With many different options and different places to start, the metrics you choose to track most closely may shift and change as you continue to develop and implement new campaigns. But certain measures provide anyone with a solid assessment of how your marketing campaign is impacting your business goals. 

“Total revenue and average conversion rate can act as the anchor of your marketing initiatives. When doing A/B testing, a simple comparison of these macro metrics will spotlight which campaigns performed better overall. It’s essential to track, define your goals, and build them out in your preferred analytics system.” – Edan Ben-Atar, Founder of WebLime

“Website traffic and lead-to-visitor conversion rates are two of the most important KPIs for digital marketing campaigns. It’s important to have a healthy mix of new and returning site visitors, as well as to make sure that the traffic we are driving is relevant traffic based on search intent and keyword targeting. And while website traffic on its own is a great metric, it only tells half the story. If you are seeing an increase in site visits but not an increase in conversions, this could mean that some adjustments need to be made.” – Ashley Ismailovski, CRO & Operations Manager at SmartSites

“My top nine most important and most essential KPIs that every digital marketer should use to measure the success of their campaigns are: Web Traffic Sources; Leads; Page Views; Cost per Lead; Returning Users; Conversion; Goal Completion Rate; Click-Through Rate; and Customer Acquisition Cost.” – Joe Smith, SEO Expert at Market Media Connect

Some of the most valuable metrics for your campaign may not be strictly numerical, too. There are some insights that you may not get from Google Analytics, but which are incredibly important for helping you see how well your marketing budget is being put to use. 

“Lead sources. You should investigate the source of your sales. This is one of the most crucial marketing KPIs for your company’s long-term success. If all of your leads originate from one source, a server outage or a store closing could be disastrous for your business. Diversifying your lead sources now may help secure your business in the future.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy

“Qualified website traffic (or qualified leads) is always a primary KPI for any online campaign. This metric measures the number of website visitors (and potential customers) that result from your marketing efforts. By tracking website traffic, you can gauge the overall reach of your campaign and compare it with other marketing initiatives.” – Andre Kay, CEO at Sociallybuzz

And the quality of your leads, if that’s one of the metrics you choose, is even more informative than the raw number of people who found your site or the number of leads your form generated.

“Consider Profit Per Action rather than cost per action. Cheap leads are not guaranteed good leads. To assess the performance of a campaign, we should be looking at how much profit the campaign is bringing in, instead of focusing on the raw number of leads.” – Justin Chan, Senior Business Developer at Coding Bull Web Redesign Agency

“When looking at conversion rate, it is helpful to look at how many actions were real leads and not just bots or spammers. We look at where traffic is coming from, which pages they are taking action on, and what types of action are most often taken (e.g. phone calls, contact form submissions, email sign-up, etc.).” – Charity Maddox, Owner of Carve Digital Marketing

Finding Out How Your

Campaign Measures Up

Whether you’re launching an organic search effort, upping your content marketing game, or simply ramping up your social media efforts, the bottom line is that you need to be able to see your marketing performance in terms of what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust with that information in hand. Our experts here have provided some great examples of key metrics and KPIs for you to begin your planning and strategy with, but this is only the beginning. Whether you need help with an inbound marketing campaign, lead conversion, or any other digital marketing and analysis project, our group of expert digital marketing partners is available to help you make the most of your marketing spend and see the results.

4 Notable Reasons Why You Should Hire an Advertising Agency

The world of marketing and advertising is changing and with it, the strategies that are used. As technology continues to evolve, so do the ways in which we communicate with one another. The way that we advertise has changed dramatically over the years.

Some people may think that because a company has a large budget for marketing, their advertising needs will be met. This is not always the case as there are many different aspects of advertising that need to be considered when creating an advertisement campaign.

There are four notable reasons why smart business owners understand they need to invest in marketing and advertising:

  1. it can save cost on hiring a new employee
  2. it can save you time
  3. it can help you develop your brand
  4. it can help you maximize your conversions

Savings is Key!

Hiring new and dedicated employees is definitely expensive, and if you are thinking of getting top-level talent – trust us when we say that it will cost you a pretty penny. But what if we told you that there was a way to get the same caliber of talent, with the same level of dedication, for a fraction of the price?

Enter agency freelancing.

Agency freelancing is the process of hiring an individual or company to fulfill your marketing needs

without having to take on any long-term commitments. With agency freelancing, your company can hire one person for one project or hire many people for many projects. You can even hire an entire team – your In Front Marketing Team

Time is Precious – Lets save you time!

Every business owner understands the value of time. Hiring an ad agency allows your team to focus on the areas it excels in. This way, your company can focus on what it does best and let the agency handle the rest.

In today’s world, the way we work is changing. Workplaces are becoming more dynamic and flexible. Businesses are looking for partners that can provide them with an edge in a highly competitive market. This is why many companies have turned to advertising agencies to help them with marketing and branding efforts.

An advertising agency such as In Front Marketing can help your business in many ways. We will be able to provide you with a new perspective and fresh ideas on how to promote your company, as well as give you access to their team of experts who have years of experience in this field.

Building your Brand – One digital step at a time.

Developing a brand is not an easy process, which is probably why even the most experienced businesses struggle to do it. An article in Forbes, “The 10 Steps to Building a Brand”, outlines the steps to developing a successful brand. The article states that one of the most important aspects of developing a successful brand is understanding your industry. This means that you need to take the time to research your competitors as well as identify what they do well and what they don’t do so well.

Generate business engagement is also another important aspect of developing a successful brand. Engagement can be done through social media posts, advertisements or customer reviews and testimonials.

Saving time is saving money!

Most companies are not getting the most out of their advertising budget. They are either not using it effectively or they are not spending enough on it.

Google Adwords is a great place to start because it can help you get more customers and make more money. It can also help you find new customer segments, understand customer behavior, and increase your conversion rates. In Google Adwords, make sure you choose the right metrics to measure your campaign’s success. But there is a lot to learn about Google Adwords before you can use it successfully, hence where we come in. Contact us today to learn how you can get your business In Front of your market.

Conclusion

We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to helping you gain a better understanding of how advertising agencies can help your business grow. While it may seem like a significant investment, directing resources towards advertising will help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Be sure to keep everything you’ve learned here in mind so that you can make the most informed decisions for your business.

If you’re looking for an advertising agency in Calgary, In Front Marketing has got you covered, Digital advertising is an essential piece of almost every business today. What was once high traffic and low interest has now become a centerpiece in the world of marketing. We are able to track the value of each ad, and perfect its message and strategic placement for your audience. For top of mind awareness, and high converting performance, give us a call, and we’ll find the best solution for you.

Building Functional Ads

Getting the most from creative services in ad design.

Have you looked at the price of a good creative agency lately? One that gets you great ads on time, works normal business hours and isn’t your niece’s best friend who’s getting an art diploma?

It’s not cheap.

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As a result, many small to medium businesses blow most of their budget on work by big creative agencies. This leaves little money to spend on getting the ad where it actually needs to go: in front of the right audience. Then, when their big, expensive ad underperforms, they are unsure where they went wrong.

Untangling creative

The problem with creative isn’t that it’s too expensive – the time and effort a good design firm will invest into a re-brand or an advertisement is huge.

The problem is that creative occupies a strange space in advertising.

In effect, creative design is both the bones of every ad, as well as its style. If you look at an advertisement as a pyramid, with the foundational aspects at the bottom and the ‘nice to have’ aspects at the top, it would look as follows:

  • Messaging is the foundation of your ad; the idea you’re trying to communicate.
  • Ad creation builds a piece of advertising around your message.
  • Medium/Traffic is placing that ad in front of the right audience.
  • Branding/Creative ensures your ad is performing to its top potential.

The first three levels of the pyramid are integral: you need a message, an ad and an audience. However, that top-tier Branding/Creative isn’t. When you have the budget for high-level creative, the cost is worth it. However, for those who don’t have the budget, that big, initial spend makes advertising prohibitively expensive.

The key for businesses with constrained ad budgets is to balance ad spend across the foundational aspects of an ad – and that means avoiding big ticket creative design.

Creating A More Functional Ad

To help these businesses, IFM offers in-house ad design to support our traffic/medium services. To make sure our ads perform how they should, we follow a few data-derived insights we’ve found to be incredibly powerful.

Our ad creation process:

K.I.S.S. (or Keep It Simple Stupid)

Less is more. This isn’t just a design concept for us – it’s backed by real numbers, and proven through constant iteration and refining over years of ad creation. Over and over, we’ve seen ridiculously simple ads out-perform complex, overly-designed ones.

Good messaging lasts

No matter how great your ad design is, it will fall flat without a cogent message. Good messaging is foundational, and will ensure even the most mundane ads stick with your audience. Whether you need all new messaging, or need to simplify an idea, we can help refine what you want to communicate to your audience.

Branding vs calls to action

Branding ensures the recognizability of your ads, so you can create a relationship with your customers. A call to action compels viewers to move to the next step, i.e., pursuing that relationship, and working with you. By balancing your ads with consistent branding and CTAs, your ad will be more effective.

Partnering with freelance creatives

While that high-level design isn’t essential to the success of your ad, good design and good designers are. We’ve cultivated relationships with some of the best, most dependable creatives, helping to both keep costs down, and ensure quality work for our clients. 

Balancing your ad budget 

For any business dealing with a constrained ad budget, it’s important to strike a balance between ad creation and media buying. Paying big design firms big money just to create an ad doesn’t make sense if it hampers your ability to get your ad out there, in front of your ideal audience. 

There are tons of options out there (like yours truly) who can work with you to get the most out of your ad budget, giving you functional ads with powerful messaging – and featured in the right space: where your potential customers are watching.

So what are you waiting for? Reach out and let’s talk.
Contact Us Today

The Power of Organic Social for your Business

Social media trends move so fast it seems like the only people able to keep up are in middle school.

Facebook turns into Instagram, then Snapchat and TikTok and now Clubhouse and House Party are joining the, well, ahh, party (?).

It’s enough to make your head spin.

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The good news is, your business doesn’t have to chase the trends to make the most of your social media presence.

To help you get the most out of your social media, we talked with Tarila Uti, our Social Media Maven.

“Social media is basically about community building,” she said.

Why creating a community through social media is essential

Traditionally, media and advertising was unidirectional. Businesses created messaging to sell their brand and their product/service, but the person on the receiving end had no ability to respond.

But without extensive research with each step, this method can lead to a general disconnect from your clients that affects your advertising ROI.

But with social, it’s different.

“Social media is a two-way street,” Tarila said.

That makes it a very powerful tool for businesses as it can be used both to convey and gather information. 

According to Tarila, five of the greatest benefits of staying up-to-date with social media are:

#1: Establishes a solid online presence

With social media, you can create a richer experience for people who are looking to reach out to your brand.

“Your social media is like a second website,” Tarila said. “So when people first learn about your brand, they go to your website. After that, most people go to social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever to learn more about the company and understand it a bit more.”

That gives your business extra time to create a relationship with customers, build your brand, and walk a lead down the path to a conversion.

#2 Builds a stronger, more connected community

Every business works within a community or niche, and finding that community is one of the best ways to really make your advertising shine. When you know where your community is, how they talk about themselves, and what they’re looking for, you can not only improve your messaging – but laser-focus that messaging accordingly.

“Posting on social media is basically speaking to your followers and speaking to your community,” Tarila said. “So, with social media, you can build a good community, and build some hype around your business and about your brand.”

Social media also allows you to be a part of building that community to create new potential customers. Through search and hashtags, you can grow your audience by introducing your brand to new people.

#3 Allows you to truly listen to your customers

To build community, you cannot treat social media like advertising. Instead, you need to treat your community like a community, which is where that two-way street comes into play. Where before you simply talked to your audience, with social media, you need to equally learn to listen to what they’re saying – and let them know you hear them

“Social media is super duper important for listening and learning,” Tarila said. “Through comments, feedback, and looking at your insights, you can tell what people like and don’t like about your brand or about your products.”

This can include both responding in the comments section, following and interacting with the right people.

So, while a great website is a one-and-done experience, great social media requires consistency.

#4 Offers a direct communication tool 

As social media companies streamline direct messaging (DM) across platforms (like Facebook merging Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages), more and more people are using social media to speak directly with companies.

“Many customers today will go straight to a brand’s page to comment to say they had an issue,” Tarila said. 

With phone and email, this may seem redundant, but it’s often the first choice, and the choice they feel most comfortable with, especially for the younger generation. By giving your customers, and prospective customers their preferred option, you open a door they’re more willing to step through. That increased communication will give you greater engagement – a key performance indicator on social media.

#5 Creates a cost-effective approach to advertising

Perhaps the greatest reason to focus on social media is its ROI. With a wide reach and little upfront cost, social media can offer a striking return on investment for those who take the time to learn its secrets.

“If done properly, organic social can help you reach new audiences and increase your engagement rate which in turn leads to conversions,” Tarila said.

And that’s without paying for ads. That means your only cost is the time it takes to post and communicate with your community – which can be very enlightening anyway.

Our data-heavy approach to social media

Of course, the problem is: social media is so vast that it’s incredibly easy to get lost in the shifting seas of information.

For our clients, we combat this by front-loading our work with intensive research to ensure we’re headed in the right direction before we even begin.

“My approach is first of all understanding the business, what kind of business it is, and if they have any social media pages already,” Tarila said.

After talking directly to stakeholders in the business, and surveying any social media presence it has, the research phase begins.

Our social media team takes a deep dive into:

  • Follower demographics 
  • Competitor’s strategies
  • Ideal posting times and strategies
  • Hashtags
  • Brand voice
  • Which channels are right for your business
  • Who your business should follow

With a complete understanding of how to move forward, Tarila and the team then execute on it. 

“The goal is to drive engagement,” Tarila said, “loads of engagement. So, likes, comments, feedback, which in turn increase in leads and conversions.” 

The value of the right team

We talk with so many business owners who are ready to give up on social media because it requires such a diverse set of skills, such a consistent effort and, at the end of the day, it isn’t moving the needle.

Employing the right team changes all of that, and makes social media make sense. Currently, our team includes copywriters, photographers and researchers who consistently work to ensure our client’s social media is found by their ideal audience..

“We have dealt with a lot of businesses, and we know what works and what doesn’t,” Tarila said. ”We have the data, we have the research, and we have the experience to help.”

For more information on how you can take one item off your (very full) plate and make your social media presence shine, email Tarila or contact her on social media now or reach out to the IFM right now ~ Click Here.

Death Of The Pixel

Long the Golden Goose for advertisers, the pixel has recently become the cookie monster under the bed.

For marketers, the third-party tracking completely changed the game online.

It gave us the power to track the ROI of advertising budgets, refine our campaigns, and show our clients exactly how online advertising made them money. And that was something traditional advertisers could never do.

In short, cookies and pixels took online marketing to the next level.

So, why are we celebrating the death of the pixel?

Because these days, third-party tracking is increasingly viewed with suspicion. 

With bad actors taking advantage of cookies, and major world governments creating laws around it, third-party tracking is quickly becoming the boogeyman of the internet.

This is why Google recently announced that Chrome will stop supporting third-party tracking by 2022.

As Google leaves the pixel behind, a consortium of advertisers and advertising organizations are moving on to create a new way forward: Unified ID 2.0.

What is third-party tracking?

Third-party tracking means an organization other than the website owner tracks the movements of a user.

This is done in two ways:

  • A cookie: a piece of code downloaded by the user’s browser that gathers information about the user.
  • A pixel: a piece of code existing on the website that gathers information about the user.

Essentially, they both accomplish the same task in different ways.

Website owners also use cookies to optimize usability, but they’re not a third-party so it’s untouched by this update.

What will be changing is third-party trackers (like yours truly), and any other advertiser out there, will not be able to track users with cookies or pixels in a few, short years.

Without another solution, i.e.: Unified ID 2.0, this would leave advertisers blind again, unable to target relevant ads to consumers, or tell if their clients’ campaigns are working as well they should be.

The ‘Wild West’ of Internet Tracking

Rewind to the beginning and it’s easy to see why there are so many concerns with pixels, cookies, and internet-tracking in general. It’s a chaotic mess of different codes, companies and methods.

It started when someone discovered lines of code could be placed within pictures that allowed websites to follow traffic, and then everything grew ad hoc from there. Different solutions were implemented to monetize various sites and other advertisers diverged – with even the best strategies carried out in a rather chaotic manner.

In short, it was the wild, wild west of the internet, where everyone did as they pleased with their pixels.

Today, the internet isn’t quite so cobbled together – but tracking still is. The result is sketchy companies, like Cambridge Analytica, have been able to push the boundaries of what is possible and what is morally acceptable within the confines of the online world.

This has made users and governments look at the mess and try to create some sort of order.

The Pixel Has Fallen; The Cookies Are Scattered

When the European Union started creating laws requiring websites to disclose their tracking, it was the beginning of the end for the pixel. 

The new laws:

  • Came with annoying pop ups

and

  • Made people wary of internet tracking

Today, for example, Mozilla Firefox defaults to blocking third party cookies trying to track you. But, arguably more important, Google has just announced that Chrome, which has a 60% share of the browser market, will disallow third-party tracking as of 2022.

That gives advertisers just two years to find a method that’s seamless and secure.

Unified ID 2.0 – a better way to internet

Unified ID 2.0 is a new solution to the confusing nature of the pixel/cookie world. Created and backed by a variety of huge internet advertising companies and organizations, like Nielsen of Nielsen Ratings fame, Unified 2.o makes tracking and advertising not only simpler, but more transparent for users across the board.

Instead of operating in the code users don’t see, Unified 2.0 relies on users to opt-in through a secured sign-in page, much like logging into Chrome. 

The first time they sign-in, they will be prompted to create an account with their email as a username. In that account, they will be able to control their settings, which will work across the internet

This makes life all-around better for both users and advertisers.

For advertisers

The thrown-together nature of cookies has worked fine for advertisers as we try to find out how users are interacting with our ads. However, because it’s hodge-podge, problems have been glaring from the get-go – one of the main ones being how cookies can’t track users across different platforms.

However, Unified 2.0 is built to allow advertisers to track cross-platform, solving one of the biggest issues for cookies. Because users sign in on all their platforms, Unified 2.0 will know if they see an ad on their computer, then search for the brand on their mobile device. This helps us to better track users so we can see how effective our ads are, and it also helps us better target consumers.

It’s also a much simpler system than the ever changing multitude of protocols we currently use. Because it is open source and interoperable, it will work across browsers and sites, making it a perfect one-stop solution.

For consumers

While Unified ID 2.0 looks great for advertisers, it’s even better for consumers. 

Just like everything with cookies, security was something of an afterthought. But, with Unified ID 2.0, security is baked in from the very beginning. To protect privacy, all login emails will be hashed and encrypted, with regular rotation of decryption keys to help maintain privacy. A code of conduct, governed by an independent body, will also ensure Unified ID 2.0 will remain open and respect its users’ privacy in an ongoing manner. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it will help speed up the user’s internet experience. Today, when a user lands on a website, anywhere from one to 100 trackers all start sending information. This not only takes up bandwidth, slowing down a user’s experience, but it also eats up their data.

Google Analytics 4 – Google Beyond The Cookie

As Google moves away from third party cookies and toward a new future in online advertising, it will make it easier than ever for business owners to track how consumers are interacting with their website.

And, with updates to Google Analytics (the most powerful free tool available), new, machine-learning software will improve its ability to spot and report on trends – even alerting marketers and business owners on high ROI advertising opportunities.

Combining this powerful tool with Google Ads and new movements in tracking software, like Unified ID 2.0, will give online business owners better options to find the right audience for their products and services.

How Can IFM Help Prepare You For The Future?

As big pieces of the puzzle start to change, it’s important to stay on top of how your website is performing. Increasingly, tracking is moving from ‘really nice’ to ‘absolutely critical’ for online businesses.

These days, you don’t need to be an expert to track how effective your site and your online advertising is. But, if you do need help, give us a call and we can walk you through how you can take advantage of the tools and data in front of you to make your advertising more effective. 

Looking Past The Click – Non-Unique Conversions – Know Your Data

The Importance of Non-Unique Conversions

Everyone’s after that unique click. It’s a simple, clear and easily trackable KPI for business owners and advertising firms that really makes it feel like digital advertising is moving the needle.

But, advertising isn’t that simple. Though it may feel good to look at all those brand new customers rolling in, a good advertising firm will help you drill down further to get the most out of every campaign.

Without digging deeper into your analytics, you’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.

And we all know how that worked out for the Titanic.

Poor Leo…

If you look beyond the ‘click’, you’ll discover reams of data that will help you hone your online presence.  

Understanding non-unique conversions is the first step to drilling down into your data to create the better web presence.

Before we delve any further into non-unique conversions, let’s take a quick step back to see how digital advertising interactions are typically tracked.

The different types of ad interactions – drilling into your data

Users can interact with your ad in a variety of ways. Sometimes, that means they see your ad, click and make a purchase. That’s the simplest road to conversion from an ad but it’s hardly the only one.

Everyone tracks the see, click, buy crowd. But, a good advertising firm goes beyond that, breaking down ad interactions into two, broad categories:

  • Post click or click through is when someone sees your ad, comes to your site, but leaves and then comes back later.
  • Post view or view through is when someone sees your ad, but doesn’t click. Instead, they find their way to your site at a later time through other means, such as a web search or coming directly to your site.

Each of these categories of ad interaction then lead to two, broad categories of conversions (whether that means purchases or calls).

  • Unique conversions: which are actions taken by first-time visitors to your site.
  • Non-unique conversions: which represent return business, or visitors who’ve been to your site multiple times before taking an action.

Whether post click or post view, unique conversions are often the most coveted, as they represent new customers. However, tracking only unique visitors creates a very shallow perspective on how your advertising is actually performing.

The importance of non-unique conversions

By tracking how non-unique visitors are interacting with your site and what actions they are taking, you can get a deeper, more holistic view of your web presence.

Wading through all that data can reveal:

  • How often buyers come back to interact with your site
  • Points of friction on your website that are causing you to lose sales
  • The impact of your full campaign, including retargeting ads
  • How strong your relationships are with your customers

This understanding gives you the ability to refine your whole online presence, from advertising to specific web pages. 

The key to understanding an abandoned cart – an example

Perhaps the easiest way to show the importance of non-unique conversions is the very common abandoned cart scenario. 

Let’s say you run an ad campaign for an e-commerce website. Someone sees the ad, fills their cart up with goods, then at that crucial moment of click to purchase – they get cold feet and nuke the tab. Perhaps they want more information on the products they purchased, or maybe they want to shop around to see if they can get a better price – either way, they’ve left a cart full of goodies just waiting for that final click to make the purchase.

If they come back to hit that button, that’s a non-unique conversion and if you’re not collecting that data, you’ll never know why they came back. 

  • Did they see your retargeting campaign? 
  • Did they shop around only to discover that you have the best price?
  • Did they just need some time to think it over before making a big purchase?

All of this information is invaluable because it can help you hone your retargeting campaigns, abandoned cart emails and more. It also allows you a backstage view to see if this scenario is playing itself out over and over again. 

From website tweaks to new ad campaigns, all this extra data gives you the ability to pivot your digital presence to create more conversions.

After all, that’s why you started advertising in the first place.

More data = smarter advertising 

At In Front Marketing, we’re big fans of data. 

We track every action on our client’s websites so they can understand how prospective customers are interacting. 

But more than that, we comb through that data to make sense of everything that’s going on,  then give you feedback not only on your advertising, but your digital presence as a whole.

For us, that means a lot of back end work for us so we can create a clearer view of how your advertising is performing.

For you, that means a better understanding of your advertising ROI and a clearer return on advertising spend.

Take a deeper look at your web presence with In Front Marketing.

Let’s Talk.

[email protected]

Dave Taylor       /  John McColman
(403) 891-9295 / (403) 861-9727

Suite 401 – 255 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB, T2S 2T8

The Flexibility of Google Ads The IFM Way

Search drives sales.




Whether it’s a search inspired by billboards, banner ads, podcast placements, if you don’t pop up on the search engine results page when your audience looks for you, your ad isn’t as effective as it COULD and SHOULD be.

The flip side is if your business runs well-placed ads, you can be there at every stage of the sales funnel, walking with a prospective client from initial want/need all the way to purchase. 

This ability to tie together the whole digital ecosystem of advertising makes search ads an integral part of any ongoing campaign. Done right, your campaign will excel, done poorly and the ad will cost more than it’s worth.

Search is essential

Every ad in the digital ecosystem – the whole advertising ecosystem – drives search. That’s because people navigate the internet with search – overwhelmingly, with Google (who owns around 87% of the market).  

That means most buyers’ journeys begin with a Google search. Looking for a product? Google. A service? Google. Want to know when you have a better chance at getting into your favourite restaurant on a Saturday? You guessed it: Google.

So, when someone sees your banner ad, a video on YouTube featuring your product, even a traditional billboard that grabs their attention on their morning commute you can bet their next step typing, texting or talking to Google. 

We see this every time we place an ad for a client. The audience may not click the first time they see it – or even the second time –  but when we follow that traffic long enough and we see the true value of banner ads laid out in search traffic. 

Suddenly, all those people we’ve targeted and re-targeted with ads are searching for that thing you sell.

But if you’re not there, those ad dollars spent essentially driving customers to search for you are much less effective. In fact, they may end up driving traffic to your competitor simply because they appear at the right time on the results page. 

The bottom line is, you have to be at the right place at the right time, i.e.: when someone searches.

Finding the right keywords

The power and problem with Google Ads lies in how flexible they are. Whatever search terms you want to appear for, Google gives you the chance to bid and make it happen. 

Choose the wrong keywords to bid on and it will get expensive fast – especially in a bidding war over big-ticket words. Done correctly, you can leverage every dollar you spend to outperform any high-dollar keyword. 

The first step to creating that high ROI campaign is to understand what your customers search for. This can include:

  • Terms from your ad campaigns
  • Branded words
  • Competitors
  • Information they need before making a purchase

You can try to guess what your client will be looking at based on your knowledge, but the best way to ensure you’re where you want to be is research. That means utilizing every piece of data you have access to in order to track and understand what your clients are looking for. So, when it finally comes time to secure your keywords, you can make data-based decisions you can be sure about.

Flexibility to stay within your budget

While Google Ads can get very expensive, very fast, they can be remarkably effective even on a tight budget.

With the proper plan in place, you can place hard lines around your ad spends, then track the ROI of each campaign to make sure each is effective. If you find one campaign isn’t making the return it needs to, you can change it quickly, without penalties.

Touchpoints throughout the funnel

One of the most powerful aspects of Google Ads is its ability to find your customer at the very end of the funnel – just before they make a purchase. But, that shouldn’t be your only goal when setting up a Google Ads campaign. 

Properly utilized, Google Ads are there with your customer on every step of the buyer’s journey, from the initial idea, through research to the final purchase.

If, for example, you own a furniture business, you may target young people who are moving out on their own with an ad for a coffee table. Your ideal client may see this ad two, three, even four times before deciding they need a coffee table.

Then they search, and you’re there. Now they’re browsing your selection of furniture, along with other stores, and you can see where they go, and what they seem to like. Now, you’re retargeting with the understanding they’re looking for a tasteful, but inexpensive coffee table. 

Each step of the way you’re there, so you can understand what they want, and offer it to them. Then, when they’re ready to purchase, and make that final search, they’ve already interacted with your website. They’re familiar with you, and how you work, making you the frictionless choice.

Optimizing your campaign – the IFM advantage

At In Front Marketing, we love Google Ads because we love data. 

The reams of data that come through Google Ads allows us to constantly tweak and optimize every keyword and KPI created. From the moment someone clicks on an ad, we can track their behaviours with a pixel, which helps us understand where they’re going, and what they want. Using this data we can optimize your Google Ads campaigns as well as your ads throughout the entire digital ecosystem.

And of course, because we believe you have a right to your own data, we share it all with you.

Then, once we can see there’s traction, we work with you to create goals and KPIs that will guide us through the process of further optimization.

So, if you have a superstar sales team boasting a high rate of conversion over the phone, we can make that first call a priority. If you’re a brick and mortar shop that just needs more foot traffic, we can build your campaign around that goal. Whatever your need, we can track and optimize KPIs to ensure your campaign does its job.

By understanding the process, and doing all the research and heavy lifting at the very beginning, we can work with you to create goals and optimize your campaigns constantly. So, whatever your advertising spend, audience or purpose, we can add lift with Google Ads. 

Like what you hear? Reach out, call us for a free no obligation discussion or just to chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dave Taylor – 403.891.9295 – [email protected]
John McColman – 403.861.9727 – [email protected] SEARCH

Welcome Mathew to the IFM Team!

Mathew Pust – Digital Campaign Manager / Traffic Appreciator

Mathew is our ‘Traffic Appreciator’ – the man who takes all the separate pieces of a digital campaign and fits them together to ensure every ad converts. He likes to dive into those reams of data headfirst, swimming around way in the deep end to create a strategy that elevates every ad.

With a double major in both marketing and general management, Mathew offers the perfect combination of management and strategy to create and cultivate digital campaigns that really make an impact. With access to new talent after joining our team, Mathew is excited to continue to learn and grow and to be part of the downtown energy of our office.

“In Front Marketing has a one of a kind culture with a team full of energy and drive. It’s a unique and exciting opportunity to work with such a dynamic group right here in Calgary. I can’t wait to be a part of the journey.”

When not playing in traffic, Mathew likes to hit the road and see where it takes him, from flights abroad to trips to the wilderness to hike, ski, camp or see what other kinds of trouble he can get himself into.

Experience

  • BBA from Mount Royal, Double Major in Marketing and General Management
  • Worked brand and market strategy for various local organization such as Fahr, Eau Claire Distillery, Fiasco Gelato, and HULL Services
  • Ran UnearthYYC, a content marketing startup for Calgary musicians
  • years playing in traffic

Specialties: market research, market strategy, film production, campaign management

Experience

  • BBA from Mount Royal University, Double Major in Marketing and General Management
  • During his time at MRU Mathew had the opportunity to work on Brand and Market Strategy for various local organizations such as Fahr, Eau Claire Distillery, Fiasco Gelato, and HULL Services. Additionally, Mathew has continued a post-graduation study to Co-Author a Gig Economy Market Research paper with two of his professors within the Marketing and Research Departments at MRU.
  • Has spent the last 7 Years working in AHS – focusing heavily on bettering patient care experiences. Recently Mathew took on a new role within the AHS management & Leadership team in the midst of the pandemic. It was important for him to double down during times of uncertainty and support his co-workers and patients.
  • Mathew has an entrepreneurial background running a business focused on content centered marketing for local musicians, UnearthYYC.
  • Throughout the last 4 years of University Mathew was gigging and playing in traffic for various local campaigns and short term special events contracts such as The Gathering – Music & Hawkers

Specialties: market research, market strategy, film production, campaign management

Employee Showcase, Brie Pettigrew

Brie Pettigrew

Our resident advertising expert, Brie’s poised to make a splash here at IFM with her extensive experience in the industry. Her instinct for coming up with creative, eye-catching ads that attract customers is uncanny, and it’s a talent that’s served her well in everything from health & wellness to commercial real estate.

We’ve known Brie for a long time – eight plus years in fact – and she’s been a contractor for five. Because of that great relationship, we’ve always known she’d be a great fit for our team. So, when the stars aligned for her to join, she was happy to come aboard. Brie is excited to be able to offer her clients a diverse array of products and services with the support of the IFM team, and to be able to work in our new 17th Ave office.

“I LOVE our office and more importantly, I love the culture and the people. And the location is pretty unbeatable!”

When she’s not in the office, Brie makes a beeline for the city limits in her Toyota Tacoma to go snowboarding or camping (weather-depending) or to just hit the road and see where it takes her.

Experience  

  • Nine years in the advertising field 
  • Worked with brands in industries such as: health & wellness, legal, construction, commercial real estate, automotive and retail

Specialties: advertising, marketing, digital media, strategic planning, project management, client relations, presentations, media, publishing, new media, website strategist, media buying, networking.

Learn More About Brie – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brie-pettigrew/  Or contact her today!