Exploring New Territory

We spend a lot of time on our mobile devices…  

That statement is probably no great revelation to you since you, most likely, have a mobile device. Overall, 77% of Americans say they own a mobile device, according to an article from Pew Research this past June. That number has risen 35% from just six years ago; and according to Pew Research that makes the mobile device, aka the Smart Phone, one of most quickly adopted forms of technology in recent history.

With ownership on the rise, so goes the time spent using the device as a primary tool for searching the internet for answers to questions like, “how close is the best bar-be-que restaurant that also has vegan options?” According to ComScore’s research published in January 2017, consumers in the United States mobile device usage makes up 71% of total digital minutes.

What these pieces of information reveal – if your efforts to reach consumers have a digital component and it doesn’t include a mobile element, you may be missing out on a significant opportunity.

Welcome to Mobile Conquesting.

Mobile Conquesting may sound like a game that you download from the App Store but it’s actually a marketing tool that combines physical location technology with ad delivery based on behavior, brand identity, and consumption habits.

This enhanced geo-targeting ad delivery means a more precise reach for a business’ message – going after all those mobile device users right where they are spending a vast majority of their time.

This method has so much flexibility, to the point of targeting neighbors of a person who has received an ad on their phone, that a “marketing map” is necessary to mark the way to successful delivery.

If you are looking for your marketing Lewis and Clark, a marketing services organization breaking into new territory, give Manning Media a call at 301-620-7700 or drop us a note at manningmediainc.com. Our digital marketing team is ready to help you achieve your goals.

Native advertising: Why it is one of the hottest areas of online advertising

Digital ad spending is steadily rising, and no area is intensifying faster than Native Advertising. Native ads come in many forms, but all share the common goal of not “looking” like an advertisement.

native example

Native ads are dynamically generated to match the look, feel and visual context of the website where they are seen. They can run across all devices or be specified as mobile only, and they are exploding in popularity!

Native advertising isn’t a new format for digital. It has been in use for years but it has recently entered an upswing because it is a highly effective way to get ads around ad blocking software. Not to mention, they are proven to have a higher engagement level than traditional, non-native ads.

In fact, Forbes predicted that Native Advertising will explode in 2017, and they were exactly right. As consumers tend to ignore conventional forms of advertising, native advertising becomes an effective way to garner attention.

Not only are we able to get attention with native ads, we are also seeing excellent activation and a great return on investment.

Native advertising targeting options include:
• Geography – state or city
• Demographic – gender and age ranges
• Interests – over 200 targeting categories
Keyword Targeting – targeting a list of keywords
• Email List – target your list of email addresses
• Lookalike Audience – based on your list of email addresses

Your reports will include information on:
• Impressions
• Clicks
• Click-Through-Rate
• Click Conversions
• View-Through Conversions

The most important thing about Native Advertising is that it can get your message in front of more viewers, more often. Manning Media’s certified digital advertising experts will get your message the attention it deserves by matching it with the right advertising platform and delivering it to the most qualified consumers. Call 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown or attend one of our upcoming Lunch and Learn seminars to learn more about our digital products and services.

Finding Mr. or Ms. Right: Digital Recruitment

Finding the right employee has never been an easy task but gone are the days of a simple job post in the help wanted section. Today, the internet offers so many different internet job listing options you may not know how to choose and once you do, how do you know if the right candidate will be on that particular website?

Well, today’s technology has also offered some much more creative and effective ways to target your Recruitment Ads so you reach the right people for the job.

Here are just a few B-right ideas:

Ad Networks.  Ad Networks are groups of websites targeted at reaching your ideal customers. The Employment Ad Network, for example, features ads on top job listing websites. There are also Ad Networks for specific types of recruitment including the Nursing Ad Network, Retail Ad Network, Executive Ad Network and more. While your target audience is browsing job listings on sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, and Glassdoor.com, you can now show a display ad for your available openings on those national sites, but just to people who are in the geographic area you want to reach.

Facebook, Instagram, and the Facebook Audience Network.  With advertising on Facebook and Instagram, you can reach job seekers by displaying your recruitment ad in the News Feed of people you’re trying to reach.  In addition, you can reach those same people you are targeting on Facebook and Instagram when they go onto thousands of other apps and websites that are part of the Facebook Audience Network. Are you looking for someone with experience? Maybe someone currently in your field? Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Audience Network allow you to target your job posting to people based on job title. This is a great way to target those people that are already in that position, but maybe looking for a change of pace. You can also set it up so that they can apply right from your ad.

Household IP Targeting. Household IP Targeting matches a person’s internet (IP) address with the physical street address of the home and shows your ads only to those people. Do you have a database list of people you’d like to send a recruitment ad too? Maybe it’s a list of people who applied for positions in the past and may be a good match for a current opening. We can take any list of names and street addresses and find the household IP address and your message will be seen by your prime employee target.

With so many more possibilities to aid you on your journey to find Mr. or Ms. Right, it may be a bit overwhelming but by partnering with a Manning Media Digital marketing agency expert you can make the most of all the ways digital recruitment can benefit your company. Call us at 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown.

Where Will Your Advertising Take You This Summer?

Summer is here, the heat is on, and the vacation days are piling up. According to a 2016 report compiled by Project Time-off, Americans waste hundreds of millions of vacation days each year but something is in the air that is shifting the trend.

In an article posted on travelpulse.com, it was revealed that vacation spending this summer will exceed $100 billion, a jump of 12% over travel spending in 2016. This increase is thanks primarily to Gen-X and Baby Boomers who will contribute an average of $2200 to their individual tourism experiences.

Both the increase in vacation spending and the number of American workers giving themselves permission to take a break could be due to a strong economy and a low unemployment rate. At the same time, the cost of travel has increased and transportation can be the biggest part of that expense, so a great deal of travel is conducted fairly close to home. According to valuepenguin.com, 21% of American families hit the open road in their own vehicle.

With the sun shining and this information in hand, it is high time to activate a plan that will attract potential visitors to your destination. Whether you provide food, lodging, recreation, entertainment, or any of the many products and services that benefit from travel and tourism you have the ability to reach this audience wherever they are and through whatever means they use to plan their vacations. According to bluemagnet.com, 62% of leisure travelers use the Internet for researching their trip and 53% of travelers have used a mobile device to find travel-related information.”

And though it is now mid-July, digital display advertising can be activated quickly. It only takes a couple days to develop a compelling story and get that story in front of those individuals dreaming of taking a vacation or deciding what to do while on holiday. Additionally, Digital Display is the ideal format for this particular audience because the format is highly targeted both by geography and also through consumer behavior.

Take the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area for example: The HCWHA recently launched a digital display campaign that will attract specifically, Civil War Enthusiasts, based on past search behaviors, who reside in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York and New Jersey and encourage them to visit any of the historic locations along the Civil War Trail in Carroll, Frederick and Washington Counties.

The economy is strong, consumers are confident, and travel is up. Take the first step in your advertising adventure by contacting Manning Media. Their marketing experts can create a road map for your digital display campaign that will put your business on the road to success. Call us at 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown or register for one of our upcoming Lunch and Learn seminars.

Making The Top 10 List

Last night my husband and I had dinner out and because the weather was so close to ideal – cool temperatures and low humidity, we chose a local establishment based on one criterion alone, the availability of outdoor seating.

Two doors down from the restaurant we chose is another unique little restaurant where I had dined with a girlfriend just the week before and I mentioned, as a future recommendation, that my friend thought it was one of the best meals she had ever eaten. That statement launched us into a conversation about the top 10 meals we had shared over the years. In doing so, we discovered that there were just a few elements that determined whether we remembered a meal as being superior – thus making the top 10.

You would think the first and most important criteria would be the food itself and of course, this was a factor but in an overwhelming majority of the cases, what made a particular meal stand out in our memory was the experience: the location, the companions, the view, or quite simply, the interactions with or the experience of the staff pushed certain places to the top of our memory, more so than the food we ate.

Now, your establishment, dining or otherwise, may not have the luxury of offering breathtaking vistas, unique staging or exotic ambiance but that doesn’t mean the experience cannot be special – even special enough to place you at the top of a consumer’s memory when it is time for them to recall their own top ten.

As is the case with so many things, the first step in creating a memorable customer experience is to have a plan! The Edward Lowe Foundation, an organization designed to foster entrepreneurship, has built an on-line resource center that offers a great self-assessment for sussing out a comprehensive customer experience plan.

In order to create a customer experience that elevates your business into the consumer’s top 10, you must consider a strategy that works to elevate every touch point of the client/business relationship. This even includes the space in-between visits. Keeping track of visitors and actively asking them to repeat their experience with you is key, given the number of choices they have. It is a comprehensive mix of all the ingredients in your plan that launches the complete customer experience.

Manning Media has the ingredients for crafting a recipe for digital marketing success – stirring in special experiences through engaging events, pepper in your special offers with digital display, and getting your customers coming back for seconds with our automated engagement methodologies. We even offer our own free lunch – a Lunch and Learn series to help you where your self-assessment results show there may be gaps.

Call us at 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown or register for one of our upcoming Lunch and Learn seminars.

Facebook Does it Again: Event Response Ads

One of the fun jobs you can do while working here at Manning Media is to contribute to the efforts of our Street Team, which essentially means acting as a “brand ambassador” during any one of our radio station events. A Street Team, however, can be a lot to organize and not every business can manage such an effort but you can use Facebook “Event Response” ads as your own personal Street Team.

Event Response ads work because you choose specific targeting criteria. Facebook layers thousands of targeting categories onto everyday users such as; geography, job title, age, gender as well as a wide variety of interests that you can use to identify your perfect audience.

On the left side of your Facebook page is a link labeled “Events”, where you create a free event listing with the date, address, and all the other details necessary to keep potential attendees informed.

facebook event

Once created, that event is used to target potential attendees through their News Feed. When someone expresses interest in your event, the event details will automatically be added to their Facebook calendar. Facebook continues to gain frequency with those who have expressed interest by posting reminders as the event draws closer. Your event will also appear in the News Feed of followers as something they may be interested in.

An example of an Event Response ad with the power of Facebook advertising power behind it:
event response ad

Facebook allows you to run a single image from an event, or even a video as a part of your event ad. A recent video Event Response campaign generated a 3.2% click-through rate and resulted in increased attendance based on the prior year’s count – results you can see online and in-person.

We suggest making Event Response a dedicated member of your Street Team to get the most out of your event marketing efforts. For more information on Facebook advertising best practices or any other digital marketing campaign call 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown or attend one of our upcoming Lunch and Learn seminars.

Buyer Be-Aware

Have you seen the latest report from Borrell and Associates on Digital Ad Fraud? You might have already been wondering if Digital Advertising is worth the risk and now this…

The first thing we would like you to remember is, as with any business venture, including advertising, there are risks involved and it is up to you to weigh the risks and rewards and decide if the opportunity is right for you.

And while there are risks, it is important to note that only 6%, according to the Borrell article, of 2016 digital spending was effected by fraudulent activity. This means simply that an incredible 94% of those advertising dollars resulted in successful delivery of advertising impressions.

The use of mobile technology continues to rise and since advertisers go where the people are, digital advertising is not likely to go anywhere – but up. A recent article on Adweek confirms this trajectory, reporting that the digital advertising spending in the U.S is predicted to grow by 15.9 percent this year alone.

So, it really isn’t the digital marketplace that is the risk but a lack of knowledge when it comes to selecting the right digital advertising partner. Knowing the right questions to ask before getting into bed with a vendor is the key to a successful digital campaign. One of our earliest blogs: “Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Digital Advertising Vendor” offers helpful suggestions for separating the best from the rest.

Manning Media considers the best practices listed in the afore mentioned article to be gospel but then goes the extra mile to safeguard your digital campaign by employing filters that surpass simple blacklisting of suspicious web publishers. We have human eyes on your campaign and our team is specially trained to monitor and manage all digital activity, detecting any anomalies in the data that may identify an irregularity.

We utilize the most effective industry tools such as Google’s UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes to create custom URLs for tracking your advertising results, enabling Google Analytics to show you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you.

We work with exchanges who are properly certified such as the Rubicon Project Exchange, whose mission it is “To keep the internet free and open and fuel its growth by making it easy and safe to buy and sell advertising.”

As a part of Rubicon’s efforts to uphold their mission, they have partnered with Integral Ad Science to enable viewability scores for digital advertisers, providing assurances that they are getting value for their advertising monies. IAS uses sophisticated proprietary technology certified by the MRC (Media Rating Council) to prevent fraudulent activity.

Throughout the lifetime of your campaign your digital partner should demonstrate complete transparency through detailed reporting. At Manning Media you are provided with monthly reporting, delivered by a Certified Digital Specialist, that is explained in human terms.

Manning Media is the Digital Marketing Services Company easing the risks and enhancing the rewards of broadcast, digital, interactive and mobile advertising. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE .

The Future of Brick and Mortar

With a growing ease in technology, low startup costs, and nothing stopping business owners from reaching beyond their home markets, it’s no surprise we’ve seen a spike in online business in recent years but despite their success, e-commerce sites still only claim a small percentage of total sales.

amount-of-online-salesThe Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce reported that in the fourth quarter of 2016, online sales accounted for only 8.3 percent of all sales, with the remaining 91.7 percent still being generated by traditional local businesses.

Brick and mortar businesses are still thriving players in the retail network and it is their ability to form strong bonds with their customers that give them the advantage over online competitors. At the same time, smart business owners understand how much the online landscape has changed the way consumers buy. To that end, the future of brick and mortar businesses will rely heavily on digital savviness, particularly regarding marketing technologies, to retain a competitive advantage over their online peers.

One area where brick and mortar can look to adapt is in the use of digital acquisition and retentionsearch-research graphic tools. In an age when 81% of purchases begin with online research and 60% start with the use of a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), it’s important for brick and mortar locations to appear at the very point of inquiry. A solid Google+, Facebook or Yelp page will ensure that local businesses appear right alongside the online options.

Customer relationship technology such as Manning Media’s new Automated Customer Engagement software (ACE), offers a way to manage this, driving new customers to your business while keeping current customers coming back. ACE accomplishes this through automated email and text remarketing with a focus on reviews, referrals and loyalty offers. By automating this digital marketing process, business owners can focus on their customer’s in-store experience.

Although shopping online is certainly on the rise, the importance of brick and mortar storefronts hasn’t diminished. In fact, some feel retail stores are even more important and the brick and mortar business owners who leverage the advantages they already have, like customer contacts and connections, will be able to ACE the competition.

For more information on customer engagement best practices and automation such as the ACE platform call 301-620-7700 in Frederick, 301-733-4500 in Hagerstown or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE .

Where to Turn for the Right Facebook Ads

In the early days of Facebook, anyone could launch a Facebook page, make regular posts, gain likes and grow their fanbase. However, over the last few years, this simple process, known as organic content or organic posts has become less and less effective. According to research from social@ogilvy, reach from organic or free posts can now be as low as 2%.

According to a statement from Brian Boland, Facebook’s VP of Advertising Technology, in the Hubspot article “The Decline of Organic Facebook Reach and How to Outsmart the Algorithm” this drop in reach through organic posts has much to do with the sheer volume of content being posted to Facebook on a daily basis. Facebook stated in 2013 that 4.75 billion pieces of content were shared daily on the platform, so one can only imagine how much that number has grown in the last four years.

Today, there are thousands of factors influencing what appears in a user’s news feed, not just shared content from the people or pages we like and follow. The learning based algorithm that directs all this traffic takes into account individual user preferences, trigger words, and engagement to determine how to serve engaging content to their ever-changing interests.

Additionally, Facebook has made it their mission to ensure users see only the best content and one way to accomplish that is to do away with bad advertising. Andrew Bosworth, VP of Ads and Business Platform, states that ads are “reviewed against our standards to ensure they are respectful of people’s experience. For example, we don’t permit ads that include sound unless you interact with them and we prohibit deceptive ads and ads for unsafe products and services.”

Content, including advertising, that is targeted to user’s interests creates a better user experience so advertisers should expect that organic posts are going to continue to decline in reach and, according to Hubspot, will need to be supplemented with paid advertising in order to reach the audiences they want.

We have included the following spreadsheet that breaks down some of the advertising options Facebook offers to help you determine how to reach your goals as well as the audience that will generate the most engagement for you and your business:

Facebook-Advertising-OptionsFacebook is a powerful mechanism for increasing awareness for your brand but it can also be overwhelming and take you away from your core competencies.  Manning Media’s marketing team is  dedicated to making your marketing campaign a success no matter where your advertising efforts take you. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE .



An Addition to the Marketing Team

Across the internet, marketing bloggers refer to Passive and Active marketing in the following way:

Passive Marketing – Marketing efforts that are initiated one time and then sit in limbo waiting until a user or consumer discovers them. Items such as directories, websites and blog entries fall into this general definition of passive marketing. Passive marketing, is also considered lower cost marketing because a lower level of effort and fewer resources are required to “set it and forget it”.

Active Marketing – Marketing endeavors that require considerable effort on the part of a sales person or marketing team, such as meeting with clients, compiling proposals or participating in an industry expo. These efforts are considered higher cost because there is more effort and resources required to successfully execute active marketing efforts.

In our blog, however, we would like to examine this philosophy of Passive and Active Marketing a little differently, as if marketing efforts are an additional member of your team and how employing certain members can activate interest for your brand and contribute to your bottom line.

Meet Radio – This go-getter is always on the move – actively out in the marketplace talking to consumers all times of the night and day. Radio that combines the right reach and frequency has the power to talk to large numbers of people, a large number of times and according to Nielsen, “radio’s reach is larger than any other format and only continues to grow year-over-year.”

Consider Hiring Digital Display – Digital Display (AKA Internet advertising) is another busy bee, always turned on and working for you but Digital also brings an analytical mind to the effort, using data to track consumer behavior and interest and delivering highly targeted messages where consumers shop, consume and communicate 24 hours a day. Precise analytics on performance is an aspect of digital display that other media candidates just cannot compete with.

Both of these dynamos, Digital and Radio, also have the unique trait of being highly flexible. Change is possible in a matter of minutes or you can conduct A/B testing with multiple messages to not only reach different types of consumers but to develop even more data driven results.

Put the SEO in Charge – Websites aren’t typically handled like an active member of a sales force and those bloggers we mentioned earlier, who lump your website into the passive category, should think again.

According to the Visual Networking Index (VNI) compiled by Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, which presents findings on global IP traffic, there are quintillions of new bytes of data added to the world-wide web every day. Your website must stay active, relevant, and interesting to survive in an environment that is evolving at such an incomprehensible rate.

amont of data uploaded daily

one exabyte is one quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) bytes

The content on your website should be inspired and rejuvenated regularly, in the same way the rest of your sales force requires ongoing training and support but if you want to really elevate your efforts, add SEO to your public relations team. With SEO, managing the logistics of on-site functions like how visitors find and interact with you as well as off-site factors such as your social media profiles, you have a better chance of thriving in this ever-changing digital environment.

When you are looking for a new member of your staff, you obviously want to invest in the best possible candidate for the job. Well, if you look at your marketing efforts in this same way, as if each investment is an active contributor to your brand and bottom line, you will be insured that you are employing a workforce that will get the job done right.

Manning Media Inc., employs marketing experts as well as superior marketing tools that can activate engagement for your brand. Call us in Frederick at 301-620-7700, in Hagerstown at 301-733-4500 or fill out our online request form by clicking HERE .