digital marketers at work

Guess who made it to Expertise’s top ten best digital marketing agencies for this year? Yep — yours truly, PunchDrunk.

Expertise, the famous California-based market research agency, conducted a thorough review of the 20 best digital marketing agencies in the US, and selected its winning ten. And we were among them! Cue huge cheers from across our offices (and from our customers’ offices, too).

So, what secured us a spot on this prestigious list? What did Expertise focus on when picking this year’s winners? Read on to discover the four main reasons why PunchDrunk made the cut.

1. Customized Content for Happy Customers

No-one more than the team at PunchDrunk knows how vital it is to provide customized content to keep customers happy. Well, no-one apart from Punch Drunk and our happy customers, that is.

At PunchDrunk, we always strive to put you, our customer, at the very center of each project. What do you need us to do, to meet your specific business needs? What type of digital solution can we help you with? Is it going to be email marketing? Or mobile ads? Or maybe some punchy social media content?

Whatever your requirements, whatever your goals, we can deliver highly customized services to make — and keep — you happy. Don’t just take our word for it: read some of our testimonials.

2. Shiny, Compelling Design

Another factor that contributed to our triumph, as mentioned by Expertise, was the great quality of our design work.

The team at PunchDrunk doesn’t simply create the most catchy, compelling content for your needs, it also delivers it in an engaging, appealing design.

Need the most visually captivating web portal for your new marketing campaign? We’re on it.

3. Proven Results

Once again, go and take a look at the customer testimonials on our website. Like our Brit friends would say, “the proof is in the pudding”. Meaning, our excellent services, compelling design, and timely delivery all contribute to YOUR success.

We have a proven track record of driving up profits for customers in different business areas, through our varied portfolio of offerings. Why not let yours be the next success story enabled by PunchDrunk?

4. A Pretty Likeable Team, Too

OK, so what about us, the humans that make up the PunchDrunk team? If the previous points depict us like some sort of superheroes or crazy marketing nerds, we can assure you that we’re not (much).

We are professionals, but we are also super personable. We work hard, but we also play hard(ish). We are committed to helping your business thrive, but we also understand that behind every business there’s a real person, with a real life and real needs.

Ultimately, we are a no-fuss WORLD FAMOUS digital marketing agency that you really, really should work with if you’re serious about successful marketing strategies.

Want to Meet One of the Best Digital Marketing Agencies?

If you need even more reasons why we were chosen as one of the best digital marketing agencies, then get in touch.

Let’s chat about your business needs and goals and find a solution — together.

(To see the full list of winners: https://www.expertise.com/al/mobile/digital-marketing-agencies)

 

 

PPC, Pay Per Click

Compared to SEO, PPC produces traffic through paid advertising.

That doesn’t make it better or worse than SEO, it just offers a different strategy to find your core market. PPC is different because you can market to a wider audience. You can market to more people who may find your website through an organic search.

But what makes the best PPC ads? What makes the best PPC ad strategy?

To achieve the best results in your PPC ads campaign, you need to know the best strategies when it comes to creating PPC ads. You need to know about the auction, online behavior, quality score, and more.

When you understand and master everything about PPC ads, you can accumulate leads and traffic like never before. Here’s a guide on everything you need to know about creating an effective PPC ad strategy.

Understanding Online Behavior in PPC Ads

Although you may understand who your target market is when it comes to the buyer persona, you may not know what they are doing with your ads. You may not know how they are reacting to your website.

If you want an effective PPC strategy, you have to know more about your ideal customer and their behavior. You have to assess what keywords they are using to search for a product and what causes them to leave your ad or website.

Here are some ways you should be analyzing the behavior of your consumer.

Clicks

One of the best ways to discover if your PPC ads are gaining any traction is to see if anyone is clicking on it. This is the most basic way to evaluate if your ads are desirable to your target audience.

You may discover that you have a lot of clicks on your PPC ads but that’s all there is. It could be that people click on it but your conversions are low. That means the ad is performing well but something is stopping them from purchasing or staying on your website.

Keywords

Another part of researching user behavior is to look at the keywords they use when they search for a product. You want to assess what short and long-form keywords the consumer is using to find a product in your business.

This is when you have to research keywords based on volume and the difficulty of the keyword. It wouldn’t make sense to try and rank for keywords that are difficult and competitively ranked.

When you research keywords, you are seeing what kind of online behavior your target market is using to find a product. You are then including these keywords into your PPC ads to help the visibility of your ads. Google will show them to the right audience if you include these keywords.

After you find the keywords you need, you should monitor to see if there are any keyword trends and if your consumers are changing the way they search for your product.

Website Visits

Consumer behavior means you should also be measuring website visits. You should see how long a consumer visits your website and what page they are clicking on.

This is critical after someone clicks on your PPC ads. You want people to stay on your website and ideally book an appointment or complete an online sale.

If you discover that consumers are leaving your website, it could be that your website isn’t updated or you sending the wrong message on your website.

Overall, these are the top three things you should be looking at when it comes to consumer behavior. It can help you evaluate what you are doing wrong and what you need to correct.

What Is a PPC Auction?

What is a PPC auction?

It’s how much you are willing to pay to show your ad to the consumer searching for your product.

For example, you may have a quality product and a quality ad, but so do your competitors. You have to bid in order for Google to show your ad. You have to be willing to spend more than your competitors to show your ads.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how PPC auction works.

Understanding the Bidding Process

As mentioned before, you have to set a max bid on a set of keywords or a group of keywords for your ad to be seen by the consumer.

You are essentially paying Google to show your ads to the consumer. The more you pay Google, the more your ads will be seen. You want to set a bid that’s higher than your competitors so you are seen on the top of the search.

Is Your Ad Relevant?

Another part of the PPC auction is the relevancy of your ad. Google will show your ad if it’s relevant to your target market. This is why it’s important to have a relevant ad, which includes specific keywords because it will be shown more to your ideal market.

This is why a quality score is important. it determines the relevancy of your ads.

What Is Quality Score?

The PPC ads quality score is how relevant your ad is to your ideal market. If Google scores your PPC ad a 1 out of 10, it means your ad is awful and entirely irrelevant.

However, if you score a 10 on your PPC ads, it means you have an awesome ad and it’s very relevant to your ideal market.

If you want your PPC ads to rank high, you need to know a couple of things. You need to have a high click-through rate, the ad copy should be stellar, and is the spot that the users go to after they click your ad relevant to them?

For example, if a user were to click on your ad about shoes, but it took them to a website about shirts, it would hurt your quality score. The user search doesn’t match what’s displayed on the PPC ad.

This is why it’s important to know the metrics behind the quality score and what can help you create an incredible PPC ad.

What Else Should You Know?

While user behavior, PPC auction, and quality score are critical components of your marketing strategy, you should also know other parts that can help you even more.

You should know about body copy and how to write ads for your market. Here are some tips that can help you create more effective PPC ads.

Writing PPC Ad Copy

When you create your PPC ads, you need to know what you’re going to say to your consumers.

It’s best to mention the benefits of your product. You should talk about what kind of benefit your consumers receive and what problem it helps solve for them.

Your body copy should also have something that grabs your consumer’s attention. If they were to see your ad on the top of a Google search, they should realize the benefit of it. The ad should immediately appeal to their needs.

You should always write for your audience and what they need. Don’t write about your business and what you’ve accomplished.

You should also create intrigue and mystery that goes along with the benefit. It should entice the consumer to take action and not assume that it’s just another ad. You have to use persuasion techniques that can help you produce more clicks and website visits.

Lastly, you should think about the call to action. Try various CTAs that aren’t confusing and entice the consumer to take action. You want to be to the point without being subtle.

Overall, the body copy of your PPC ads is critical if you want your ads to resonate and stand out from the crowd. You want to show people how you can help them and what your product does for them. This is why you need to consider the best PPC ads strategies and marketing trends.

Now You Know Everything About Creating a PPC Ads Strategy

Now that you know everything about PPC ads, it’s your turn to create them and start attracting more traffic to your website. It’s important to remember that your PPC ads need tweaking. You may not achieve perfect results or a perfect quality score right away.

You may have to adjust your ad copy, your website, and the keywords you are using. But the more familiar you become with PPC ads, the more likely you’ll master them and be an expert in them.

If you want help with your PPC ads strategy, you can contact us here.

 

Online Advertising Laptop Screen

 

 

Any time your ads are hit with discrepancies, it’s usually because of mismatched data between the publisher and advertiser. But, unfortunately, the issue can run even deeper than that.

Measuring the number of impressions is more complicated than just using a formula to collect your data. It takes several different factors like website loading times, interaction by users, ad-blocking, and more.

Digital advertising offers many helpful tools to understand your website data, advertising campaigns, and anything else you publish online. Working with industry experts can help you make the most of what you’re producing. Proper utilization can help you succeed, but if you aren’t aware of potential missteps and lost data, you could be wasting your time and money!

Understanding what ad discrepancy is and how to reduce it will help you better understand your traffic data, how they’re performing on different platforms, and the steps you can take to reduce the risk of further issues. If you want to finally understand advertisement discrepancy, then this article is a must-read!

What Does “Discrepancies” Mean?

In advertising, as with any industry, discrepancies refer to the variance in data results between two parties. Most entities will have general data points that they want to monitor, but if they vary from their partners, the data won’t match up.

The difference in these reporting numbers used for crucial measurements, like impressions and clicks, is the basis for understanding discrepancies.

What Are Ad Discrepancies?

An ad discrepancy is the differences in your advertisement data analysis experiences between two parties. These discrepancies happen when you implement various tools and formulas and specific techniques to calculate your data.

The most common metrics advertisers and publishers refer to and measure are:

  • Pageviews
  • Quantity of impressions
  • Number of user sessions
  • Conversions

The ad industry’s two discrepancies are the ad tech vendors and the platforms, both sell-side and buy-side. And, when these two discrepancies combine, you could experience an even more complex issue.

You will generally experience ad discrepancy when the publisher and advertiser use different standards to calculate their ad delivery data and impressions. For example, if a publisher measures performance based on the number of ad requests made, but the advertiser monitors the number of ads delivered, their data won’t sync up.

What is an Ad Impression

Digital ad impressions are counted based on when and where your ad displays on web-based platforms. The impression tells your advertisers and site developers the number of times your target audience viewed your ad.

An ad impression is counted each time your advertisement shows up on a SERP (search engine results page) or any other site in the network. It’s important to work with trusted partners who can help measure true impressions, where ads were visibly seen versus false impressions, where the ad may have loaded, but wasn’t on the screen long enough for someone to have seen it, much less interacted with it.

5 Things to Know About Ad Discrepancy

When it comes to understanding ad discrepancy, the first step is understanding how it’s defined. But now, what are the root causes of ad discrepancy? These are the five more important things to know about this issue.

1. Delayed Reaction

Loading times play a significant role in having an accurate impression count. If a user leaves the page while it’s loading or before the ads load, you won’t earn their impressions. Technically they didn’t see the ad, so the visit isn’t counted.

If the data is pulled in from different time zones or geographical locations, you can also experience similar issues.

2. Using Different Platforms

When you have two or more parties involved in collecting analytics data, the risk of a discrepancy is greater. SSPs (supply-side platforms) and their ad networks work to provide value to the publisher, and as a result, they calculate their impressions differently than DSPs (demand-side platforms). The latter is only focused on delivering value to the advertiser.

3. Ad Blockers

The use of ad blocker software blocks both codes and URLs to stop ads from displaying on web pages. These cause major discrepancy issues because if the blocker prevents the display of your ads, they won’t appear on the browser. But the discrepancy happens because the publisher still sees the user as active and accessing the webpage where the ad exists.

4. Missing Cache Busters

Anytime a user opens a webpage, their browser cache saves the details of that webpage to their system. A cache buster ensures that when a user loads your page, it renders ads from the server, not the browser.

 5. Using Third-Part Vendors

When you partner with a third-party platform, like Google Analytics, you’ll have easy access to user behavior data. However, it’s important to remember that both the publishers and the advertisers should use the same third-party platform to avoid or reduce the risk of a discrepancy.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Ad Discrepancies

When it comes to reducing your risk of encountering a discrepancy, start by investigating internally what types of metrics you’re using to measure ad performance, and then move outwards to align as many factors as you’re able.

Check and see if any cache buster software is enabled. If not, implement the proper coding to help you avoid holdups there. If you’re dealing with different vendors, advertisers, or agencies across different time zones or locations, identify a standard timezone you will all report in for accurate impressions.

Lastly, regularly run tests to ensure you have accurate data with reduced ad discrepancy. Also, periodically connect with all parties accessing the data to confirm that everyone uses the same metrics to measure performance.

It’s important to understand that Discrepancies are natural and reporting in your internal analytics program will probably not match reporting from your ad delivery systems. Even Google encounters this issue within its own platforms. Impressions and clicks reported in Google Ads are nearly always different than reporting in Google Analytics, even when you link the two accounts together.

At PunchDrunk Digital we usually don’t raise the flag on discrepancies until we reach the 20% or higher mark. That’s when the caution flag comes out and we start deep diving and looking for potential problems that are just standard issues as we discussed above.

If you’re unsure how to move forward or feel like you could use some additional expert advice, our team would be happy to help you create successful advertising campaigns. Contact us to learn more! You can also visit our blog at any time to stay up to date with changes in digital marketing and learn more about how you can improve your business!

digital advertising agency

Digital marketing is everywhere these days. From popular social media accounts to sponsored ads on search engine results pages, there’s hardly anything you can do online without seeing some form of advertisement.

That said, as a business, if you’re not taking advantage of this shift in the marketing industry, you’re missing out on a majority of your potential customers! Companies stuck in the traditional marketing mindset are doing their business no favors by relying on what worked for them historically.

Suppose you want to revive your business, increase your revenue, and the likelihood that you’ll see the next shift in the advertising industry. If so, you need to take advantage of digital marketing! If you’re ready to invest your marketing budget into digital advertising, but you have no idea where to start, have no fear! We’ve created this deep dive into a digital advertising agency’s anatomy to help you understand what we can do for you and even offered some insight to help you better understand digital advertising.

What is Digital Advertising?

Digital advertising, also known as digital marketing, is the current world where advertising is thriving. Advertising and marketing to the masses have changed a lot over the past century.

  • 100 years ago: Businesses could take out an ad in the daily newspaper and trust that it would help customers find them
  • 50 years ago: Create a few commercials for television and radio in addition to newspaper ads
  • Ten years ago: Buy a cheap website, stuff in some targeted keywords to drive traffic from search engines, and to rank on the results pages
  • Today: Advertise through targeted social media ads, email campaigns, apps, television, radio, print, and more.

It’s the age of digital, and in the U.S., where over 81% of adults own a smartphone, if you’re not advertising to them where they are, you’re missing out on the majority of users across the country!

Digital advertising, in a nutshell, is an umbrella term used to refer to all marketing or engagement strategies through online platforms. Your digital media agency’s role is to help users find you, notice your offerings, generate new leads, and turn those leads into customers.

The Anatomy of a Digital Advertising Agency

If you’ve never worked with a digital advertising agency before, you may not be aware of all the moving pieces that take place behind the scenes to help your business succeed. We’ve broken out our hypothetical x-ray machine to help you see inside our agency and better understand what we offer each of our clients.

Creative Department

The team that comes up with your brand ideas and builds engaging digital content is the creative department. Anything from video, Google search or display ads, social media campaigns, shoppable links, and everything in between falls under this team.

Strategy Department

We refer to the strategy department as the matchmakers. They understand what makes your company unique and the type of customers that would love your product. They work through digital solutions to best showcase your business and connect you with the right customers, at the right time, in the right way.

Operation Department

The fulfillment and optimization umbrella is the operation department. They take your specific creative and strategic plans and launch them across multiple platforms and formats. They monitor your campaign’s progress hourly, looking to identify what is working and which ones may need a little tweaking.

Customer Relations

This team stands by your side throughout the process, ensuring you’re up-to-date on how your campaigns are doing and working with you as your needs and goals change. If there is ever anything you don’t understand or something you aren’t sure about, your customer relations team is there to walk you through it, listen to your concerns, and help you find satisfaction and success in every campaign you launch.

What is a Digital Agency Important for Your Business?

If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in place, or if yours isn’t working for you, trying to learn where the industry currently is and how to conquer it can be overwhelming! But when you connect with digital marketing agency experts, you can rely on them to keep you up to date and prepare you for current trends in the industry.

Some of the other benefits to enlisting the help of digital marketing services are:

  • Keeping you up to date with your competition to make sure you’re staying visible in your target markets
  • Expand your audience and reach new people regularly to increase your likelihood of conversions
  • Build brand loyalty by encouraging customers to connect with you on social media and share your posts with their connections
  • Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing, so you’ll have more money in your budget to invest elsewhere
  • Learn more about your audience by implementing analytical tools that will give you insight into their preferences and behavior online
  • Increase your ROI (return on investment) and revenue by making more reliable predictions on how your business and marketing campaigns will perform based on specific data points of your choosing

If you’re not sure what some of these benefits mean to your specific business, that’s ok! Your digital advertising team has a department or resource in place to help you succeed. Wherever your current knowledge level is, the conversation and explanations of benefits can be catered to help you make the right move for your business.

Where to Start

Do you currently have any digital marketing campaigns in place? Have you created a social media account for your business or maybe sent out some emails to your subscribers?

If you haven’t done any digital advertising yet, don’t worry! It’s not too late to update your business and revitalize your lead generation to reach more people.

Are you ready to update your marketing strategy and help your business move into the new age? Contact us to discuss what our digital advertising agency can do for your business. We know it can be scary to work with a new company, but we’re here to help you understand what we have to offer and create a marketing strategy that will work for YOU!

installing digital Next Generation Behavioral Targeting (Next Gen BT)

Show ads to consumers when they’re most likely to convert with PunchDrunk’s Next Generation Behavioral Targeting. Traditional behavioral marketing involves scraping web-use data, analyzing it, and making predictions based on previous purchases. Although it gives businesses more to work with than no information at all, the process isn’t refined.

PunchDrunk has perfected the strategy by partnering with thousands of the world’s most popular websites. With access to search data as it happens, Next Generation Behavioral Targeting displays your ad to users within a second of their search. So, if a potential buyer searches a review website for best coffee shops, your downtown bistro ad will display to them within moments.

Whether it’s banners, video, audio, or pretty much any other format you can dream of, NextGen BT reaches your audience when they need to see it.

Put an End to Hit-and-Miss Marketing

For years, marketing has been a guessing game based on the best reading of past information. When you look at recent consumer behavior, you get a basic idea of what they might do in the future. However, this technique is not bulletproof. Forecasting based on analysis of the past can only go so far.

People’s tastes, desires, and beliefs are evolving faster than ever, and what was relevant last year is unlikely to be relevant today. NextGen Behavioral Marketing puts an end to the guessing games. It lets business owners and marketers show ads to buyers moments after they’ve entered their query into the search bar. We’re not just talking about Google and its affiliates, but every partner PunchDrunk has made over the years.

searchUse Real-Time Search Data

Data is the key to smart, successful marketing. The patterns and trends you can capture from the way customers use your digital platforms are seemingly endless. When it comes to ads, sometimes you’re just throwing something that you’ve spent a lot of money on out into the ether with little or no return. The reason for this is relevance. If someone doesn’t need your product or service at that moment, they might now even notice an ad.

Show Ads When It’s Most Relevant 

It seems evident that the best time to target a potential buyer is at the moment they’re actively looking for your service. Next Generation BT intuitively knows when a potential customer is entering search terms related to your business, in your area. Within a second of entering the search, your ad displays — exactly when they need to see it. When you’re consistently targeting buyers at the point of need, you’ll see conversion rates soar, and wasted marketing dollars rapidly decline.

More Clicks and Conversions

Of course, two of the most significant advantages of Next Generation Behavioral Targeting are more conversions and clicks. If a potential customer sees your ad when they need it, the chances of them clicking are high. Not only that — but once they’ve explored your website and confirmed that you could fulfill their need at that moment, they’re more likely to finalize the transaction.

Behavioral targeting might not have been a sound investment when the data was based on past purchases. However, now it’s based on up-to-date information; you never need to waste an inch of advertising space again.

Increase Revenue With Next Generation Behavioral Targeting

The ultimate goal of advertising is to reach more potential customers so you can increase revenue and grow your business. It’s one of the most cutting-edge tactics you can use, and it’s almost certain to position you ahead of the competition. Most people might be focusing on data from the past and getting stuck in cycles. You, on the other hand, can focus on what’s going on now and how it affects the near future.

Any salesperson or marketing expert knows you get the best response from people who have the need for your product. Targeting customers based on their real-time searches is one of the best ways we’ve ever found to produce ads when people are most receptive.

Stop Trying to Predict Consumer Search Behavior: Track It 

With PunchDrunk’s Next Generation Behavioral Targeting, you don’t need to play any guessing games. Our partnerships with thousands of websites let us show your ad when buyers are looking for precisely what you have to sell. Here is a helpful video to explain Next Gen BT.

 

cookieless digital

 

With Google’s announcement to ditch the long-beloved cookie a.k.a. targeting pixel, many digital advertisers are scrambling to reevaluate their brand’s digital strategy. How will we target our best customers or potential new customers when we lose insight into their online behaviors?

Fret not Captain Digital Marketer, PunchDrunk Digital has you covered. There are multiple proven digital tactics that have been living on the cookieless diet and thriving.

#1: Contextual Targeting

Contextual Targeting is a no-brainer when looking at cookieless digital strategies. This digital tactic goes beyond the individual and focuses on website content. With the ability to target both on web article headlines as well as keywords found within the article content, you can build a comprehensive strategy that ensures your ads are in front of your ideal audience.

For example, you own a Motorcycle Dealership. You want to make sure new riders are aware of your motorcycle drivers ed classes and low-cost entry bikes for the new rider. With Contextual Targeting, you simply run a content targeted campaign and you can find your ad placed next to articles that new riders would be reading like Throttle Jockey’s article “10 tips for new motorcycle riders” or ValuePenguin’s article, “Average cost of motorcycle insurance.”

Pro Tip on Contextual Targeting: Make sure you partner with a digital advertising agency that knows how to build negative keywords into your Contextual strategy. For instance, you probably wouldn’t want your ad appearing next to a news story on a big motorcycle accident.

#2: Addressables

If the cookie is dead, leaning on physical data points is more necessary. A great example of this is someone’s physical address. If you have ever done a direct mail campaign, this digital tactic should make total sense to you.

Using either your mailing list or curating a list for you, we build micro-geofences around each address and then target ads to just those addresses. It’s taking the ad out of the mailbox and putting it in the household’s mobile phone, laptop, or even their TV.

Here’s a great explainer video that goes into Addressable GeoFencing in more detail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MftvbcgtDAc

Pro Tip on Addressables: Set up conversion zone tracking. This will allow you to see how people responded to your ads by visiting your physical location.

#3: Search

Search is dead. Long live Search. One thing we know for certain, search is going to remain king of the digital kingdom at least for the foreseeable future. We search for everything, from “tacos near me”, to “what is the fastest mile time ever recorded”, hint it isn’t me. And though search is evolving, (check out our article: Local SEO Vs. Organic SEO ) as a collective we still rely pretty heavily on the search bar. Google alone receives about 63,000 searches every second.

Investing your time and energy in a comprehensive SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign can’t go wrong. But make no mistake, a cookieless world could impact search in a mighty way if we are to see a loss of personalization. The trickle effect of this will no doubt be noticed most on those that were previously running search strategies and didn’t prepare effectively for the loss of the cookie.

Pro Tip: Search for your searches. Many advertisers don’t conduct searches for the keywords they bid on. We recommend buying a super cheap tablet or laptop and leave it just for conducting searches. Don’t have anyone create a chrome account so that the results are more ambiguous and therefore, more likely what your customers might see.

#4: Email Marketing

The return of Email Marketing is here. Much like Addressables, the use of a physical data point, say an email address, circumvents the need for a cookie and allows you to target people directly. Email marketing is a tricky channel and reminds of Narnia. There are some really great places to visit, but there are some shadowy areas that are best to avoid.

There are tons of different ways to tackle your email strategy, from using platforms like Constant Contact or MailChimp, to running sponsored ads directly through GMAIL. The most important thing we stress is to monitor your results. Too often we see people go all “set it and forget it” on Email Marketing and spend more time crafting the emails than checking to see if there were actually read. Know your open rates, check your link clink activity, and become good friends with your analytics. After all, digital marketing shouldn’t be a guessing game.

Pro Tip on Email Marketing: Custom templates and good headlines. I know, it’s two pro tips for the price of one, but both are essential. The headline gets the action. It needs to be good, honest (don’t be a clickbait scoundrel), and direct. Then when you do get someone to engage your email, make sure your template stands out. We want good design, pleasing to the eye, and something that captures the essence of your brand.

#5: OTT – Connected TV

Yes, this one gets hairy because currently, OTT has a lot of cookie-based features. You can match someone’s search and online behaviors and target them with streaming television commercials, but when we enter the cookieless zone that capability may be gone. So why include OTT on this list? Because marketers have and still are buying television commercials without a cookie. It’s called broadcast television and it works on rating points and programing indexing. You can match your ideal target demographic to the streaming shows that appeal to them.

This is a tough pill to swallow for a lot of digital marketers out there, but traditional media does work and it only works better when in partnership with digital. For those of you new to the scene, OTT or Connected TV is the ability to serve television commercials to streaming subscribers. But wait, isn’t that just… TV commercials? Yep, and that’s our point. The loss of OTT sophistication hurts, saying goodbye to the cookie will be tough, but there are decades of great marketing strategies that occurred before the cookie was ever born and there’s no reason for it stop now.

Pro Tip for OTT: Know what your buying. Too many people are running OTT campaigns thinking they are getting their commercials placed in front of people watching TV, but many OTT companies are really taking those ads and dumping them on mobile devices, laptops, and low-level streaming sites. Ask your provider for what networks your streaming television ads are placed on. If they can’t answer, that’s a bad sign. Follow up with what percentage of your ads are actually appearing on television. If they can’t answer, that’s a really bad sign.

How to Learn More About These Cookieless Digital Tactics?

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the cookie and even more when it comes to digital strategy. That’s why we are here to help. Feel free to contact us and we will be glad to help in any way we can.

PunchDrunk Digital, a little bit PUNCHDRUNK a whole lot of STRATEGY.

 

The Triller Take-Over

Just read an interesting article about a new (at least to me) social platform that many believe will take the majority of American TikTokers. It’s called Triller.( https://www.triller.co/) Odds are only old and uncool people like me aren’t familiar with Triller as it’s been around since 2015 with investors like Snoop Dogg lending a helping hand, and as of mid-2020 has 50 million monthly active users. That’s still small compared to TikTok’s 1 billion. But with privacy concerns surrounding the China-based TikTok, many have been concerned about what’s happening with all the user data TikTok is collecting.

As digital marketers, it’s probably wise to keep Triller in your news feed as some of the largest TikTok stars are making the move to that platform, which typically signals a large audience shift. Before long people might be asking you, “Should I be advertising on Triller?”

Here’s a link to the article I referenced above:

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2020-07-28/creators-leave-tiktok

TikTok, Triller

TikToc Stars Leaving For Triller

What Is TikTok?

Okay, so social media trends and popular apps, especially with the younger generations like, Gen Z and those ever-popular Millennials, isn’t your thing. That’s okay, at PunchDrunk Digital we are here to help. Twitter’s Vine was the first to prove that short-form video is very popular with young people. The ability to quickly make videos ranging from lip-syncing, to acted out memes with music backgrounds, and share them with your friends is what all the cool kids are doing these days.

Still having trouble? Think of it as online-karaoke and who doesn’t like karaoke??? Apparently nearly everyone as among U.S. based people over the age of 18, TikTok brought in record-breaking growth. TikTok itself doesn’t release usage numbers, but companies like Comscore, that specialize in monitoring app downloads and active users report that TikTok brought in 22.2 million unique visitors in January. Then 23.2 million in the 28 days of February, and another 28.8 million in March.

Then COVID hit and the boredom of quarantine turned even more people to Social. When Facebook got boring, they started testing platforms they hadn’t used before… like TikTok which saw 39.2 million unique visitors in April alone.

The growth was mostly in the millennial age segment, as showcased in the graph from AdAge below.

TikTok Unique Visitors

Composition of Unique Visitors on TikTok

Need More Info?

If you are still looking for more information on TikTok or Triller, check out their sites in the link below.

https://www.tiktok.com/en/

TikTok Home Screen

TikTok Home Screen

 

https://www.triller.co/

Triller Home Screen

Triller Home Screen

 

A lot of times when we think “digital marketing” our advertising brains quickly go to banner ads and search results. But a great addition to a digital marketing strategy is video.

With over 500 million hours of video watched daily, finding the right person to see your video ad has never been easier.

You can access the power of video advertising through major platforms like YouTube and Twitch as well as places you may not immediately think, like local news stations and national websites.

Here are several benefits of online video advertising that your business will receive as it furthers its video endeavors!

1. They Grab Your Attention

This should be prefaced by saying that video advertising comes in many different shapes, sizes, lengths, and formats.

As previously mentioned, they aren’t only used on platforms such as YouTube or Facebook. While both of those are very important resources, there’s so much more to video ads than that.

For example, have you ever watched an NFL game and noticed that all of a sudden, Aaron Rodgers and his “Statefarm agent” pop up on your screen while the game is still being shown?

Great news! These video advertisements aren’t just available for large brands like State Farm. Your company can gain access to these extremely effective attention-grabbing video placements as well.

When done right, video advertisements can have that much of an impact on your brand. Start your journey there by teaming up with a digital ad agency today.

2. They’re Perfect for Mobile Users

Did you know that for the first time in the history of technology, more people are visiting the internet via smartphone than any other device?

Now, think about when you use your phone for things such as social media, using handy mobile apps, or even playing candy crush to pass the time. All of those platforms have movement and interaction on them at every turn.

Your brand’s online video marketing can serve as the perfect complement to the standard display ads that you already have in place. They can provide a “storytelling” angle to your marketing efforts.

The video advertisements that you make can be altered to fit any format. In fact, a mobile user is more likely to watch your advertisement longer than a desktop user.

The successful video marketing brands are the ones that customize their ads for every single outlet. That means TV, phone, and desktop alike. But you can’t deny the ROI that mobile ads bring to your campaigns.

3. They Provide a Boost to Your Sales

It might not surprise you that video advertisements can provide an uptick in your company’s sales.

With all of the interaction that video ads include these days, it’s no wonder that you’d see an improvement in revenue.

However, most people don’t realize that video marketing improves your sales in two separate ways: 1) it generates more leads and 2) it leads to higher sales conversions.

Why? Because the customers in the marketplace these days are looking for personality with the brands they invest in.

If you’re able to capture a personal tone and emotion within your video ads, then you will appeal to a broader amount of customers in your niche.

As with anything else, your personal tone won’t resonate with everyone that sees it, but it will undoubtedly push more people to click your video links.

Those that click the link after being attracted to your brand have a higher likelihood of building customer loyalty with your brand.

4. They Can Strengthen Your Email Marketing

When you receive an email from a business that you’ve subscribed to, and then you open it up to see paragraphs of test, you more than likely click the “back” button right away.

That’s because, in today’s world, people want your business to get to the point within seconds of reading/watching your content.

So rather than spending several hours constructing the perfect paragraphs for your emails, why not let a video advertisement do the talking instead.

The videos that you create might lead to a higher click rate for your email campaigns and generate more sales as well.

More importantly, it will separate your brand from all of your competitors. Email marketing is as strong as it’s ever been. But now, you just need to be a bit more interactive with the content you include in it.

5. Visualization is Key for Your Product/Service

Do the products or services that your company sells require a lot of explanation before people understand the value they have?

If so, then video marketing can help you cut that 2-minute long sales pitch in half with visualization tools.

For example, say you sold an elbow sleeve for weightlifting that helps those with tennis elbow.

Rather than losing their interest in a long-winded description, you could show a video of the sleeve limiting the mobility of their arm while you explain it to them in a voice-over clip.

Visualization is of vital importance for your brand. It can sell them on the product before they even speak with your sales reps.

Unleash the Power of Online Video Advertising!

Now that you’ve seen several online video advertising opportunities, it’s time to equip your brand with a new style of marketing.

Be sure to read this page for more information on why PunchDrunk Digital is the perfect fit for your new online video endeavors.

For more inquiries, please reach out via our contact us page and we’ll be happy to assist you further!

Digital Marketing Trends

Digital marketing is the here, the now, and the future of a successful marketing strategy. It uses the online age to its advantage, offering many different ways to generate leads and gain new clientele.

As such, there are many different trends that companies are finding success with. Seeing as how the marketing industry is a copycat world, you should get in on the fun!

Even though 2020 is only a few months in, there are already several trends that you’ll want to replicate.

Here are the top digital marketing trends of 2020 so far and why you should consider placing them in your marketing plans right away!

1. OTT Advertising

Many of you out there that are reading this may not be all too familiar with the term OTT advertising.

OTT stands for over-the-top, which refers to OTT services that provide media to their customers through the internet. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are examples of this technique.

Because of the massive amount of subscribers that Netflix has (167 million and counting), you will definitely want to find ways of getting in on that marketplace.

But how can you get involved? What are the techniques that you should use? How do you know which OTT outlets and services are the right ones for your company?All of those questions (and more!) can be answered by teaming up with a trusted digital advertising agency. By doing so, your brand will have exposure across many different outlets such as OTT advertising, SEO, and pay-per-clicks that it otherwise may never have had.

2. Use Voice Search to Your Brand’s Advantage

It’s official, ladies and gentlemen… Siri and Alexa have officially reached a point where you must now adjust your marketing strategies to them.

In fact, as of 2019 one-third of the population in the United States use voice search features in their everyday lives. Imagine the number of searches that could amount to for your brand each and every day.

So… how could you possibly improve the voice search results for your brand? It’s not as if you could pay Alexa or Siri off to direct them to your sites more often.

The thing you have to remember is that those two, as advanced as they might be, are still keyword-driven. That means that by integrating more keyword phrases into your content, your pages are more likely to pop up in voice searches.

3. Native Advertising

Every successful marketing strategy has a bit of “sneakiness” to it. You need that element in your plans in order to direct new people to your website.

Native advertising is the perfect example of this because it blends your paid advertisement into the look and format of the media page that you post it on.

For example, have you ever read an article on Forbes.com and noticed that the article feels as if it’s slowly (but surely) pointing you towards a specific service or brand?… That’s because it is!

Odds are that the Forbes.com article you read was actually written by the CEO or owner of an entirely different company. They simply paid Forbes to post their article on the Forbes.com website.

It’s not lying to the customer, it’s just plain clever! It can get your brand a whole new level of exposure that you didn’t know was possible.

Be sure to consider different avenues in which you could use native advertising for your brand. The digital advertising agency that you’re teaming up with can help you find the right outlets for your content.

4. Shoppable Social Media Posts

Social media outlets just keep on truckin’ along! The outlets that you use to build your brand are becoming more and more of an advantage for companies like yours with every day that passes by.

Do you pride yourself on finding “new and undiscovered” brands on Instagram? The reality is that you didn’t discover those brands, they discovered you. Then they placed a shoppable post in front of you and you bought the product! It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Shoppable posts reward the hard work of your brand by giving customers a direct route to your website if they want to purchase your item.

They merely click on the post that’s laid out in front of them… then BAM! They’re on your product’s purchasing page before they even know what hit them.

Whether you have a best-seller that you want to push out to the rest of the world or a product that you want to improve the sales of, shoppable posts can help you out!

5. Gaming Advertisements

Who doesn’t enjoy playing games? Everyone has a go-to game on their phone that they use to pass the time.

Many experts say that those games are one of the biggest missed opportunities for brands to advertise their products.

The customer is engaged in the game as is. Placing your ad in their game will give you 5 seconds of their undivided attention.

Simply place the advertisement in front of their eyes and let the content of your ads do the rest of the work!

Use These Digital Marketing Trends to Your Advantage!

Now that you’ve seen a few of the top digital marketing trends so far in 2020, it’s time to get yourself ahead of your competition and put them to practice!

Be sure to read this article for examples of digital advertising done right. There you can find some ideas to start brainstorming your new online ads.

For more inquiries, please feel free to reach out via our contact page and we’ll be happy to assist you further.

Pay Per Click

You often hear about ad blindness and how a lot of people don’t click on paid results. But the fact is, nearly 50 percent of searchers click on PPC ads.

Those clicks cost money though. Isn’t it better to get your traffic for free from organic listings? Natural search might be cheaper but if you approach paid search correctly, it won’t cost you anything. After all, if you could earn $2 for every $1 you spend on ads, why wouldn’t you do that?

Let’s look at some advertising benefits of paid search, particularly if your organic rankings are on the low side.

PPC Gives You More Visibility

One of the biggest advantages of paid traffic is that it gives you higher visibility, especially when your organic search rankings are low. Paid results appear at or near the top of the search results page so you can run ads that outrank all the organic results.

You can launch a PPC ad and have it start generating traffic in a matter of minutes as well. The short turnaround time gives you the ability to try different things and rank for timely keywords. If you see something in the news that’s related to your market, you can get an ad in front of your audience while the topic is still hot.

Visibility isn’t only about getting a top ranking when your organic results are low though. As your SEO work kicks in and your rankings start to improve, the PPC ads let you double up your rankings.

The more places your audience sees you, the more likely they are to click through to your site. Having several results on the same page increases your odds of getting the click.

Test With PPC Before Rolling Out Your SEO Campaigns

The short turnaround time for running PPC ads means you can test different options to see what works and what doesn’t. Launch an ad, give it a bit of time to generate some data, then pause it and run a variation.

Change the ad copy, use a different image, display a different domain in the ad, or change some other factor. Let that one run for a bit and compare the numbers to the first ad.

One of the two is bound to do better. Whether it’s a higher clickthrough rate (CTR), a better conversion rate, or a lower cost-per-click (CPC), one of the two ads will outperform the other. Once you know which it is, drop the lower-performing one and test a new variation.

Depending on your ad budget and the amount of traffic in your market, these tests can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. To do the same kind of tests with your SEO campaigns, you’ll need weeks or months.

SEO takes much longer to kick in so you won’t have a meaningful amount of data for quite a while. When you make a change, the whole process starts again and it will be another few weeks or months before you know which works best.

Use PPC to optimize your ads then move the winners into your SEO campaign. The results are already proven so you can expect those keywords to convert well once your SEO efforts have time to push your rankings up.

Higher Visibility on Social Media

Google isn’t the only place you can get paid traffic. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter also sell PPC ads on their platforms. Running ads there gives you more visibility than relying on your audience seeing your posts in their timeline.

This is especially true on Facebook, where the newsfeed algorithm limits what people see in their feeds. Even if you have a large following, a small number of them will see any posts you make. By running ads targeted at your ideal audience instead, far more of them will see it.

A cynical person might think this is by design. Not showing all your posts to your followers pushes you towards the paid ads, which means Facebook makes more money. Whether that’s the reason for it or not, you can use it to your advantage.

Ad Scheduling Lets You Target the Busiest Times of the Day

Another thing you can do with organic advertising that you can’t do with SEO is ad scheduling which is also called dayparting. This lets you schedule your ads to only run at the busiest times of the day.

If you know your audience is more likely to be searching for your keywords in the evening or on weekends, using ad scheduling to only show your ads then. This lets you test even more options to see if different strategies work better at different times or days of the week.

Once again, you can use this to your advantage whether your organic rankings are low or high. But if you find that different ads work better at different times, that doesn’t translate over to the organic side of things very well.

If you want to have different things show up in the results depending on when people are searching for it, you have a lot more work ahead of you organically. You need to get all the different options ranked all the time – you can’t schedule when things show up in the search results.

Does PPC Help With Your Search Rankings?

Many people wonder if running PPC ads helps their pages rank higher in the organic results. The simple answer is no, it will not affect your organic ranking. You can be the highest spending advertiser on Google for your market but it won’t help your natural ranking.

It can help indirectly though. As your pages start to rank higher, the extra visibility you get by having a paid ad and organic result on the same page can boost the CTR on your organic listing.

CTR is one of Google’s ranking factors so if your page is getting a higher number of clicks, it can help boost it to a higher ranking.

How to Take Advantage of These PPC Advertising Benefits

These PPC advertising benefits are powerful but they take some time to launch and track, not to mention the time it takes to learn how it all works. If you’re busy and don’t have that kind of time, Punch Drunk Digital can help.

With our PPC service, we’ll look after your ad campaigns and you can focus on looking after all the new customers we’ll help you find. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you grow your business.

waze map app

Understanding Waze Advertising

As a marketer and business owner, you know that there are countless ways to market your business. You need to get creative to find new and exciting ways to reach potential customers.

One of the most exciting possibilities to promote yourself is Waze advertising. Yes, Waze. You know, that maps app that everyone uses to avoid traffic jams and speed traps? You can advertise there.

There are more than 86 million users of the app in the U.S. and it’s been downloaded at the Google Play store over 100 million times. That’s not including iOS installs.

In other words, advertising on Waze can be a great way to get your business in front of people at the best possible moment. Keep reading to learn how Waze advertising works and how you can use it to generate more business.

What Is Waze Advertising?

If you’re familiar with the app, you know that Waze is great at helping drivers navigate their way around road construction, accidents, and traffic jams. What separates Waze from other apps is that it’s a community-based app.

That means the community participates in letting each other know about road hazards and traffic slowdowns. Advertising on Waze lets you reach this active community, whether they’re in the suburbs, rural areas, or in the big cities.

Waze Advertising Types and Options

You might wonder how you can advertise when people are driving and trying to find their way somewhere.

There are three main options to advertise your business. You can have a branded pin, which is a pin that appears to let drivers know that your location happens to be along their route.

A promoted search puts your business at the top of search results. You have your logo appear to separate your business from the others in search results.

There’s also a Zero Speed Takeover ad, which is when your ad appears over the map like a billboard when drivers completely stop. It’s usually at that moment they’re looking at their phone to see what’s causing traffic to stop.

Waze advertising is ideal for local brick and mortar businesses like restaurants, gas stations, healthcare facilities, real estate businesses, and retail stores who want to reach people while they’re going by your establishment.

It’s also great for businesses that want to attract tourists. They are likely to be looking on Waze for directions, and you can position your business to reach them when they’re ready to buy.

Get Creative in Your Advertising

Advertising is all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. That’s why Waze advertising is so effective. You can deliver your message and direct people to your brick and mortar location at the right time.

Drivers may be looking for a place to get gas or something to eat. They might decide to make an impulse buy instead of sitting in traffic. Those are all ideal ways to get your message in front of people at the right time.

Are you interested in running your own Waze campaign for your business? Reach out to us today.

Online gaming is an activity that every generation can participate in—it’s not just for kids! Here, we explain how adults participate in online game playing.

Mobile Gaming Advertising

When you initially hear that 70% of college students state that they play video games on a fairly regular basis, you may be quick to dismiss this percentage as fake. But it’s very real- if you know someone between the ages of 18 and 22, the chances that they play online or mobile games are extremely high. Whether for a relaxing night in, a bonding night with friends, or an attempt to procrastinate on their studies, gaming is one of the most popular pastimes for university attendees.

College students aren’t the only adults who play video games- in fact, they don’t even constitute the majority. Here, we’re going to discuss some of the ways that different generations are into online gaming, how much they play, and what games are best if you’re a grown-up looking to begin your gaming journey.

Read on to learn how to have some fun at home!

Generational Gaming: The Cold, Hard Facts

It’s no secret that each generation of Americans holds their own trends, interests, and lingo close to their heart. Gaming is something that each generation has different beliefs about, but it also is very individual as different people like different things. A popular hobby with Americans of all ages, video games are the lifeblood of many people. Read on to learn about how gaming affects different age groups in the US!

How Much Do Different Age Groups Game?

People tend to think of playing video games as generational, believing that most gamers are teenagers and younger.

While children are the group that may immediately come to mind when you think of video games, the idea that online gaming is for children couldn’t be further than the truth. In fact, the average gamer is 31 years old– well into adulthood!

Only 29% of gamers are under age 18, meaning that the ‘video games are for children’ idea that adults have is blatantly false. Most people who play video games are out of high school and take their hobby incredibly seriously. They take it so seriously, in fact, that nearly a third of the adults who play games often admit that they would love to quit their day jobs so they could game professionally!

Sadly, this isn’t always possible, but gaming remains a part of the lives of these adults. 32% of gamers are between 18 and 35 years old. The remaining 39% are older than 35, a stark contrast to what most people think of when they imagine a gamer.

Therefore, while playing video games is indeed generational, it’s the opposite of what you might expect.

How Much Time Is Spent on Gaming?

People who regularly play video games spend an average of six hours a week playing. Many of these gamers prefer online games and mobile games, downloading apps and platforms like Steam to get their gaming fix. Overall, gamers between the ages of 18 and 35 are the ones who play the most often, spending about 7 hours a week playing their favorite games.

Not only that, but 55% of mobile gamers are willing to pay to download games, especially those they like. An additional 30% download a lot of games for free onto their cell phones and choose to watch advertisements instead of pay additional fees. Advertising to gamers is beneficial for all parties involved- not only do software developers get the word about their games out there, but gamers learn more about games that they may enjoy.

These mobile game downloaders- constituting 85% of the total US population- tend to spend an average of an hour and 20 minutes playing games on their phone or online in one sitting.

Awesome Online and Mobile Games for Adults: Our Recs

Now that you know that you’re not alone if you want to be an adult gamer- there’s no shame!- it’s time to talk about some of the best games you can play that will improve your memory, problem-solving skills, coordination, and general happiness (because these games rock.) Read on to learn the best online and mobile games on the market in 2020.

Mobile Gaming

If you want to download some games on your cell phone, you’re in luck. There are millions of games to download in the app store, so there’s definitely something out there you’ll love.

Puzzle games are extremely common on mobile devices. Tetris is one of our favorites, and it’s a classic for a reason. The concept is simple and the puzzles are challenging, flashy, and fun. Denki Blocks is another puzzle game having to do with geometric shapes. If you prefer a cult game with a colorful aesthetic, Candy Crush is incredibly popular and addictive.

Not all cell phone games are puzzles, though. As of 2020, you can download a Call of Duty mobile app as well as a few off-brand Sims games. Playing popular games on your cell phone is awesome because you can open the app anywhere. Whether in a waiting room, waiting for your child to be done with an event, or eating alone at a restaurant, you can have an immersive game experience.

Online Gaming

Online gaming is another popular way to play. Interactive games played with others, like the Mafia-inspired Town of Salem, are great for when you want a chaotic multiplayer experience. Other games that fall into this category are the simple agar.io and Duck Game.

For a solo experience, consider a #throwback to high school in the form of the Great Gatsby flash game. Even if you didn’t like your lit class, it’s a really fun game where you destroy monsters and dodge obstacles to reach the stunning Jay Gatsby. Metroidvania games are among the best out there, and there are places online that you can find classics like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Just do your research and you’ll find something awesome!

Get Started With Online Gaming

Now that you know the demographics of online gaming and have a few sites to get you started, it’s time to get in touch with us about placing your business ads into a game of the right demographic for your services. Contact us to get some more information on advertising to gamers as well as tips on how to become a gamer yourself.

Good luck leveling up!

Are you looking for examples of how digital advertising and traditional media have worked together? Here are campaigns that saw great success and ROI.

traditional advertising in times square

As digital marketing tech grows and grows, traditional marketing is getting further left behind. However, it’s proven that marketers massively undervalue the impact of traditional media channels.

For example, you may think that radio marketing is completely outdated. But in fact, it’s the second most valuable medium in brand building campaigns.

For this reason, you should rethink your marketing strategies. Consider combining traditional advertising with digital media.

Not convinced? In this article, we’ll give you some great examples where traditional advertising married perfectly with digital advertising for great success.

Old Spice

If you were born in the ’80s or earlier, then you probably grew up watching a lot of television. In between segments of your favorite TV shows, you most likely saw those brilliant Old Spice commercials. What made them so memorable was the quirky Old Spice Man and the wild scenarios he was always in. This type of marketing made a strong impression on viewers, and you had to live under a rock to not know about Old Spice.

Nowadays, the younger generation barely watches any TV. Instead, they spend their time on social media and Netflix.

Old Spice knew their demographic had changed preferences for the channels they were on, so they catered to that. Instead of investing all their money into traditional advertising, they started putting some focus on digital media. For instance, Old Spice started running banner and video ads, which attracted more people back to their brand.

GoPro

GoPro is a seller of action cameras and has really taken off in popularity with people who love being active. While they do perform digital advertising, GoPro also has quite a presence in the real world.

For example, they ran a campaign called “Be a Hero.” They encouraged their current customers to post their own videos of what it means to them to be a hero. Also, they invested in brand-related sponsorships, as well as outdoor ads. This ensured that people not only felt their online presence, but also their in-person one.

As a result, GoPro definitely stays top-of-mind for people who are considering purchasing an action camera. Whether they’re in a physical store or shopping online, users are sure to think of GoPro as their first choice.

Sephora

Sephora is a major makeup and beauty store that you can find all over the world. But they haven’t made their success based just on either traditional or digital marketing.

Instead, they’ve crafted a delicate balance between the two. This encourages customers to continue their journey long after they’ve left a physical store.

For example, in the actual Sephora stores, customers can enjoy complimentary makeovers and beauty workshops. They can also utilize a bit of tech with Sephora’s touchscreen product testing.

In addition, customers can log into their personal accounts on the Sephora app. Not only can they find nearby stores with it, but they can also scan items while browsing in the shop, and also track their rewards. Other features include makeup tutorials, virtual product trials, wishlists, and the ability to purchase while on the go.

By streamlining the entire customer journey, Sephora’s enabled millions of makeup enthusiasts to easily find and experiment with various products, both in the store, and out.

Nordstrom

Here’s another example that involves catering to in-store shoppers’ offline and online needs.

As a huge department store, Nordstrom strives to keep their customers’ interest, even when they’re not physically in the store. As more and more consumers hop onto social media and utilize services, Nordstrom realized they needed to play to that need.

This brand has developed integrations where if a person clicks on a picture of a product on Instagram or Pinterest, they’re taken straight to the product page. They can then either purchase online or see if the nearest Nordstrom near them has it in stock.

It doesn’t just stop there either. Customers can use both the website and app to make complimentary in-person appointments with their stylists. By combining traditional and digital channels, Nordstrom’s able to provide their customers with a seamless journey.

Starbucks

Everybody knows and loves this coffee giant. But just because they’re so renowned doesn’t mean Starbucks has given up on marketing. In fact, they’ve doubled down and combined traditional advertising with digital advertising in an incredibly genius way.

Traditionally, this brand has poster ads everywhere. Think of it: you see them everywhere, whether you’re at a bus stop or walking down the street.

They know how powerful this type of advertising is, so they haven’t slowed down with it, even to this day. However, to boost their marketing efforts, they’ve combined it with digital marketing.

What they’ve done is put up brand new posters in a few major cities. Then, they took to Twitter, challenging their customers to be the first to find these new posters and post a picture as proof.

As you can imagine, this got quite the buzz going. By investing in traditional advertising and then taking to a digital channel to promote it even further, Starbucks perfected omnichannel marketing.

Combine Traditional Advertising With Digital Advertising for Maximum Effect

As you can see by the examples in this article, you can’t only focus on digital advertising just because it seems like it has all the bells and whistles consumers like. These people still walk around and see real-world objects on a day-to-day basis, so take full advantage of that by combining traditional advertising with digital advertising.

Are you ready to incorporate traditional advertising with your digital marketing strategy? Then get in touch with us today!

When it comes to SEO, what’s the difference between organic SEO services and local ones? We discuss the organic vs. local SEO debate here.

Organic SEO Local SEO

Websites listed on the first page of Google search results get more than 90 percent of the clicks. Getting your pages ranked near the top of the results is critical for both local and organic searches.

Let’s look at the difference between the two and how local and organic SEO services can help improve your results.

Organic and Local SEO Defined

Too many people think “SEO is SEO” and optimize every page on their site the same way. That’s not the case though. Organic and local SEO have quite a few differences, some subtle and some not-so-subtle.

Organic SEO is intended to get your pages ranked in the main search results. Those results usually apply to anyone, no matter where they’re located.

Local SEO, on the other hand, is meant to rank pages that would be most valuable to searchers nearby. These are pages that answer a local question or offer products or services someone is searching for in their area.

For example, let’s say someone is searching for “pizza”. From the organic point of view, they could be searching for pizza recipes, topping ideas, or various other pizza-related things. From a local perspective, they’re probably looking for somewhere to order pizza.

What Kind of Pages Should Rank?

Google’s algorithm has evolved to the point that it can guess what you’re trying to find pretty accurately. The results will show local pages when Google thinks that’s what you need or only organic results (which still show for local searches) if the search doesn’t seem to be location-based.

Generally, the pages in the organic results are more informative. They offer more content and aren’t necessarily about buying something.

Local results tend to be more action-focused. The action could be contacting a local company, buying something locally, or something else that will solve the searcher’s immediate problem.

Levels of Buying Intent

One piece of the puzzle that Google and other search engines like Bing look at when deciding what kind of results to display is the buying intent of the search.

The buying cycle usually starts with information gathering and those searches are broader. Someone searching for “how to unclog a drain” is looking for information more than they’re looking to buy something.

If someone searches for “plumbers near me” they might still be trying to solve the same problem but they’re clearly looking for someone local that they can pay to fix it for them.

Optimizing for Local SEO

A lot of the work in optimizing your pages for local SEO is about keeping your business information up to date and complete. The most critical listing is in Google My Business. The GMB profile gives Google information like your business hours, contact information, and address that get displayed in the local 3-pack results.

Along the same lines, you should keep your business details up-to-date on other sites like Yelp, Facebook, Yellow Pages, and Bing. Google uses these listings and citations to verify the data so they should all be consistent.

Reputation management is also important to local SEO. Manage your company’s reviews on sites like Yelp by responding to and interacting with your customers.

Optimizing for Organic SEO

Organic SEO is more about the content of your website and the links pointing to it from other places. The content needs to include topic-related keywords and phrases but it’s more important to write for the benefit of your visitors than for Google.

If your content solves your visitors’ problems, it will help it rank higher in Google’s results.

Links to your web pages from other sites are also important. Backlinks are one of the fundamental pieces of Google’s ranking algorithm, going right back to day one. If a page has more links from sites that Google trusts, it’s a sign that the page has more value.

Leveraging Local and Organic SEO Services

Creating and implementing an SEO strategy isn’t that complicated but it does take quite a bit of time and effort to see the results. And Google is constantly tweaking its algorithm so you need to stay on top of those changes.

If you’d rather focus on what your business is best at and leave the SEO work to experts, Punch Drunk Digital can help. Our local and organic SEO services will help you reach a bigger audience and greater success. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.

I was in sixth grade when I was introduced to the concept of personal profiles. Life’s first attempt to get me to ask myself, “Who am I?”. My teacher passed out a sheet with four different animals on it, a lion, an otter, a dog, and a beaver. You then had to rank the characteristics listed next to each animal, with four being most like you (or as you saw yourself) and one being the least like you.

lion, dog, otter, beaver, personality test, type of worker

I loved this assignment and after a few minutes discovered that I was a lion, which totally fit me, competitive, goal-oriented, and a tad bit too aggressive. Recently, I hit up my good friend Google and the animal test still lives today, feel free to find out your personality by clicking the below link and if you have never taken a personality profile, I would encourage you to take this very basic one yourself and then have a co-worker or friend fill one out for you. It’s fun to compare how you see yourself versus how others see you. Here is the link:

Five Minute Personality Test: http://stem.vcsu.edu/shared/MSP-grant-documents/2016-2017/Day-10-June-9/Ashley_&_Ashley_Docs/Inventories_and_Rubrics/Personality%20Inventory.pdf

 

As life continued and my education grew I was exposed to many more personality tests. One of my favorites was D.I.S.C. which surprisingly is very similar to animal test, although much more in-depth. I find personality tests are amazing at helping you identify your strengths and weaknesses and then applying those to your relationships. If you are a lion, like me, you need to learn how your natural behavior can hurt the dogs of the world who often are much more sensitive than you. But personality and type of worker are vastly different from each other.

I believe there are Three Types of Workers: Pioneers, Maximizers, & Maintainers. Realizing which one you are is vital to your success and happiness in the work environment.

Pioneers: Pioneers represent 2% of the world. They are the ones who see the trees ahead and wonder what’s behind them, then take action to find out. They blaze trails, forge ahead, and live in a world of constant vision. They are happiest when allowed the freedom to think outside the box and are unfulfilled at jobs where they are forced to follow policy, procedure, and “the company way” of doing things. They aren’t loyal by nature, not because they lack the loyalty, but because they most always be moving and often they can’t stay at one company long before they feel that familiar bug of leaving for the unknown. Appreciate them while they are there because they will take your company to places you never imagined.

Maximizers: Maximizers represent 8% of the world. These are the people who follow directly behind the Pioneers. Their heads are filled with the idea that, “There has to be a better way.” They see the road the Pioneers left behind them as they advanced into the unknown, littered with cut down trees and branches and Maximizers think to themselves, “What if we paved that road, then it would be better.” They work similar to Pioneers, needing the freedom to think, but are different in that they want to lead. They desire authority and leadership opportunities. They are most satisfied in environments where they are given problems and then allowed to lead a team in finding the best solution. They will not function well, nor be happy in jobs that feel like a “factory” to them, doing the same task day in and day out.

Maintainers: Maintainers represent 80% of the world. They are the ones who keep the lights on, and a company cannot function without them. They follow the blueprints, enter the data, and obey the rules. They thrive when tasks don’t change unexpectedly, they do not work well with people who say, “I don’t know how to do it, just get it done.” They want a plan, and then they want you to get out of the way so that they can carry the plan out. These are the people who make sure the roads your Pioneers carved, and your Maximizers designed continue to be pothole free long after your Pioneers and Maximizers have moved on. They will be loyal to you as long as you are loyal to them and don’t ever forget how vital they are.

Well, if you are good at math, you will see that I have left 10% of the world unaccounted for. I have learned that no matter how you classify there is still a percentage of people who live outside the boxes. Maybe today they are a pioneer, and then without any notice, they take on the traits of a maintainer, or perhaps they work in such a way that it’s impossible to say they are one of the three types of workers listed here. Call them Hybrids if you need a box to put them in, but don’t expect them to stay in that box.  No one is just a lion or an otter or a dog. Our circumstances change and reshape us, and that’s why it’s so important for a company to reevaluate themselves and their employees on a regular basis.

Love or Hate Millennials

What is a Millennial exactly? Though there is some controversy as to the exact range of years that classify Millennials, it’s typically accepted that a Millennial was born between 1982-1996. This means that a huge chunk of them are in their thirties now. Regardless of your opinion on this interesting generation (and there are a lot of opinions on this group), they are major players in the marketplace. It’s important to know that Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers in 2015 as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Millennials are heavy users of mobile devices for making online purchases. The thing to know is that, according to Forbes, most of the Millennials doing the mobile purchasing are in that older end of the Millennial spectrum (32-35). The younger Millennials (20-23) tend to make their purchases at a physical location. One might conclude that those older Millennials are at a point in their lives where they are not only managing their work life but a family life as well. There is likely more of a time crunch there.

One overall common thread among the Millennials that they do seem to be price driven, bargain hunters. This makes sense as the average Millennial today is making 20% less than Baby Boomers did at the same age. They are thrifty shoppers for sure. While Millennials are big on brands, two-thirds say they will switch brands if they are offered a discount of 30% or more. And, more than 70% of Millennials look for coupons before they purchase online. These folks understand the meaning of a dollar.

The moral of the story is that whether you believe Millennials are your target audience or not, they’re definitely a force to be reckoned with. You will likely be missing out on a large portion of your audience if you are not paying close attention to this generation in your marketing and advertising strategies.

 

Resources: 2015 U.S. Census Bureau, Forbes: This Is How Millennials Shop by Richard Kestenbaum, MarketProfs: An Inside Look at the Habits of Millennial Shoppers by Laura Forer, SmartAsset:The Average Salary of a Millennial by Amelia Josephson

Taking Out The Trash.

In today’s digital advertising arena, we can reach any audience segment, behavioral target, or geo location we want. There are a plethora of bells and whistles and shiny tactics to choose from. Advertisers go to great lengths to make sure they’re hitting the right target, on the right platforms, at the right times.  They are catching consumers at that magic moment when a consumer is actively looking for their products. If they’re smart, they retarget said consumer on multiple platforms as they go about their day to day online experience. The possibilities are endless! Once an advertiser has their strategy all lined up, then the fulfillment process begins.

It’s time to create some Ads!

Unfortunately, this can be the point where some of that great strategic thinking stops. So much momentum and creativity went into the tactics and platforms to reach the right consumer, but then the actual creation of the Ads are left up to the Designer and too often that designer is left with little direction. Countless times we have turned the corner only to see our design teams whispering to walls, “help me….please help me.”

Designers are awesome! They can make something breathtaking from nothing but a keyboard, mouse, and a Mac. However, rare is the designer who can build a creative ad unit that encompasses each specific digital tactic you laid out in your strategy. One hour online and you will see campaigns were the creative direction was “Logo, brand colors, and a “click here” button.” The same ad being delivered to my mother, my daughter, and me even though each of us will respond to different creative messages in completely different ways.

Think of it this way, if you put garbage in, you’ll get pretty garbage out. No matter how talented your Designer is.

Before you submit your request for creative, it’s still super important to think about the audience you are trying to talk to. Are they Millennials? Are they Seniors or Boomers? Or maybe you’re targeting that forever wanted soccer moms audience. Either way, make sure that all the hard work you invested in trying to have your voice heard by this consumer doesn’t go to waste with ineffective Ads.  Below you will find a few tips that many of us have probably heard before, but they are still just as important today as when newsprint and TV were our primary Advertising platforms.

Consumers eat with their eyes first. The images you choose to use should reflect that. Go find some examples of photos or other Ads that you can share with your Designer to give them a feel for what you’re going for.

Don’t settle for grainy images, line breaks, pixilation, dark photos or the like. Consider your Ad to be your first impression.

-Be decisive with your Ad Copy. Don’t leave it up to the Designer. Make sure you include punctuation. Don’t expect a Designer to do this for you.

Make sure your Ads are mobile friendly.

Use a call to action. You have their attention now what do you want them to do? And, if you are still using “Click Here” then please call PunchDrunk Digital immediately! We are here to help!

Use color to send your intended message and voice. See below for more info on color choices.

 

Warm Bright Colors

Ad Design Creative

Beige, yellow, orange, pink, red and similar. These are active, eye-catching colors with a friendly nature that may induce a sense of courage and energy.

Warm bright colors visually enlarge objects and make them seem closer. Due to their high visibility, limit their use among subdued colors.

 

Cold Bright Colors

Ad Design Creative

Lavender, silver, azure add subtlety, full of aesthetics and freshness, accents.

Such cold but bright tones enhance a sensation of being modern and professional if harmoniously combined with gray. It’s a nice composition for businesses, commerce, and service Ads. Especially with health, cosmetics, and medical products.

 

Cold Dark Colors

Ad Design Creative

Violet, blue, turquoise, green, navy give a feeling of stability and quality. These shades are often placed as accompanying colors. Although they don’t attract attention they emphasize the content.

Cold dark colors are widely used on business Ads for ambitious and hardworking qualities with a special highlight for government, science, automotive, and computer products.

 

Warm Dark Colors

Ad Design Creative

Gold, eggplant, brown express classics, tradition, luxury and relaxation. They blend well in expensive and elegant designs for young and old.

Mixed with cold colors to give an impression a modern look and novelty. Perfect for brands engaged in finance, consulting, architectonics, and crafts.

 

Neutral Colors

Ad Design Creative

White, grey and black help to create contrasts and bring all the other colors out. They don’t convey any particular message on their own. Neutrals are here to support their neighbors by playing the role of complementation.

 

Color info Source: The Impact of Color in Advertising, Marketing, and Design-Paula Kaminska  | October 14, 2014 | blur Group

 

For more information on creating high performance ads for each tactic in your digital strategy feel free to reach out to info@punchdrunkdigital.com.

 

Ready Player One. I will never forget the moment I unwrapped my Atari and then played Centipede, Pitfall, and Frogger until my hand cramped and my fingers were molded into the infamous joystick claw.

From there my love of video games germinated, soon came NES and the endless hours of Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Mike Tyson’s PunchOut – I still curl into a bull at the mere mention of Bald Bull.

Mike Tyson Punchout Ball Bull

 

And gaming only grew in my blood making me not so different from all the other Gen Xer’s out there and these Millennials running around today getting all the attention.

That’s right, two major demographic groups, sharing a passion for gaming and that means that any serious digital strategist should be considering how to add gaming channels into their digital campaigns.

According to ComScore at least 50% of ALL people online own at least one gaming console and 41 Million people own at least two from the big 3 console makers.

ComScore Video Game Stats

Casual Gamers, those who typically play less than 10 hours a week, make up most gamers and don’t start getting sexist, of these casual gamers, 43% are female.

Every day at the WORLD FAMOUS PunchDrunk Digital Ad Agency someone asks, pleads, begs us how to reach the young up and comers, those pesky Millennials, who are believed to have no brand loyalty and love jumping from fad to fad. (As if we didn’t do the same things when we were young, how else can you explain the fact that one year we were rocking tight rolled jeans, the next going so baggy all the ladies knew our favorite brand of boxers.)

I think one of the most interesting trends with the younger generation is their desire for video content. They gobble it up, going from one YouTube video to the next seemingly without a desire to come up for air or even pizza.

The savvy digital marketer is paying attention to these two major loves with Millennials, video and gaming. Take for instance that according to ComScore, 1.77 Million households streamed Twitch over-the-top to their TV. Twitch, a network we adore and utilize on digital campaigns, has been at the forefront of Cross Platform Entertainment and if you want to reach gamers, whether young or old, you should be seriously considering adding Twitch to your media mix.

Millennial Twitch Usage

Once again for those of you that stereotype the gamers out there realize that 53% of ALL mobile gamers are women – yes 53% means there are more female mobile gamers than male mobile gamers. AND forget about just reaching one age group when going after mobile gaming. It’s all over the place. That sweet spot of 25-34 year-olds make up the biggest chunk of thumb gaming, representing 70% of the total population, but the 45+ crowd are in it for the long haul. Over 50% of mobile game players over age 45 are DAILY players.

The best illustration of the vastness of mobile gaming across generations is visible from quickly referencing the top 10 game apps.

When I was young I only watched someone play a game when it wasn’t my turn and I secretly wished they would, “hurry up and die” so it would be my turn again. Today playing video games is now only one way we enjoy them, thanks to game streaming services like Twitch and the ever-increasing competitive video gaming industry, gaming has become just as much of an active as a passive form of entertainment.

 

For more information on how you can add gaming to your digital strategy, contact us at info@punchdrunkdigital.com and we will be more than happy to play a game or two with you while we plan our next digital marketing invasion.

 

 

I remember, just 5 or 6 years ago, when the Google Analytics dashboard housed only a handful of options to track and monitor a site. But boy has it grown in the last few years. Making this dashboard one of the more confusing to read and analyze for both business owners and advertising agencies alike.

So much so, that Google Analytics now comes with a Certification class and testing. For those novice users, instructional videos are housed directly at the top of every page in Google Analytics with content matching what information is on that page. Creating an easier user experience for those in need of a little guidance when it comes time to check out their bounce rates or time on site.

Lucky for us, Google has created an effortless way to set up, customize and share a Google Analytics customized dashboard. Let’s look at how we can make our analytics lives a little easier!

Creating a dashboard

Super easy, just open Reports, Click on CUSTOMIZATION > Dashboards, and then click on +New Dashboard.

Selecting data for your dashboard

You will notice at the top of each reports page there is an option to “Add to Dashboard”. This will add that specific report to your customized Dashboards. From this screen, you can select which dashboard you would like to add the information to.

There’s also an add widgets tool in the dashboard itself. So, you can add reports in that way, as well.

Google Analytics Dashboard

So, by now you should be wondering which reports you should add to your dashboard that would be helpful?

Here are some of my top favorites and suggestions:

But use what options and reports makes sense for you and matches your online and offline KPIs.

Sharing your dashboard

Make sure you share your lovely new dashboard with the rest of the team, your agency and your digital strategist. Here’s how: At the top of the dashboard select Share, and Share in Solutions Gallery and complete the options.

Viola! Easy to manage Google Analytics!

FREE! The other four-letter F word that gets everyone’s attention. Here at the WORLD FAMOUS PunchDrunk Digital Ad Agency we love FREE and unlike your stinky older sister, we LOVE to share. So, here’s a quick list of 13 of the best online goodies that you can get without spending a dollar.

Free Stuff

#1 Google Trends

Google Trends is a powerful tool that comes free of charge from the hard-working men, women, and robots at Google. Google Trends works in real time showing you what the world is searching for. Many in the PunchDrunk offices use this tool as their default home page as it provides instant insight into what the most popular searches are right now, making it an awesome news aggregator. You can explore trends by topic, industry, or region.

The bonus ability to compare subjects makes it the perfect tool to see what NBA player is getting the most search love (as in the example left) or use it for market research to see how your brand compares to the competition in terms of search popularity. What really helps this tool stand out versus other Trending platforms, other than being 100% free, is that it compiles search history from the day Google opened its doors showing long trending lines.

PRO-TIP: Use multiple approaches to a subject to gain real insight. For instance, on a legal client we work with going after Workers Compensation cases we were able to determine that people looking for workers comp help rarely type in the word “attorney”, but are much more likely to start by looking at insurance coverage.

#2 Answer the Public

Other than the fact you can spend hours watching our favorite sweater wearing old guy do all kinds of fun things, like sigh and pick his teeth, this content/keyword planning tool kicks some serious butt on the graphics side. Its easy to use interface captures not only the data on the search keyword you used on the dashboard, it also shows data on the most related topics.

We love to use this tool for aiding in keyword creation on our search campaigns we are working on. Whether it’s on the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) side and looking for content ideas or for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) keyword creation. You can export every keyword query that comes back and instantly add the relevant ones to your overall keyword list.
Ultimately Answer The Public is showing you how the general public finds information out on your topic, business, or industry.

PRO-TIP: Add this extension https://keywordseverywhere.com/answerthepublic.html to your browser and every keyword you use in Answer The Public (and Google for that matter) will come back with exact search volume, CPC, and competition data.

#3 SpyFu

When it comes to competitive search data it’s hard to beat SpyFu. We simply adore this free tool. Put in your competitor’s URL and prepare for some very interesting information, such as what keywords they are buying, how much organic traffic they have coming to the site, and the approximate value of their traffic. You can get a pulse on their current PPC spend and see their spending habits for the last 12 months.

Curious as to what they say in their search ads? You can see that as well and all for freebies. The paid version gets you even more insight, but isn’t necessary to get a ton of use out of SpyFu.

PRO-TIP: Use the “kombat” section to compare your website traffic to your competitors and get a great visual pulse on who is beating who. If you need to convince someone at the office that they should be increasing their PPC budget or investing stronger in SEO, there is no better resource than showing how much they are losing out to the “other guys”.

#4 SEMrush

When you ask our SEO team to pick the best free SEO tool in existence, they pop their heads up like a gang of prairie dogs and shout out SEMrush. SEMrush will require you to register, email and password only – no credit card registration – but after that you can perform an SEO site audit on as many sites as you would like without letting go of a single dollar from your money stash.

SEMrush’s site audit will come back with your overall site errors and what specifically the errors are, example: how many pages of duplicate content you have. It will give you your current page load speeds for both desktop and mobile. It provides an awesome pulse of your website health.

PRO-TIP: Crawl competitor sites. When prioritizing the SEO work needed on your site, finding the gaps in your competitor’s sites and improving those areas on your website can potentially be a way to increase your rank over them.

#5 Think with Google

The only thing you will not like about this tool is how often Google makes changes. The minute you fall in love with one feature they will go and change it or replace it. It’s like having a girlfriend who has a different hair style every date, but if you can handle the change, Think With Google has enough meat to keep you digitally fed for years.
Real-time shopping insights can really help those strategy brainstorming sessions and the consumer barometer is a fantastic tool for determining what digital tactics to employ on your next campaign.

We love the ability to customize the data fields and build graphs that compliment our client facing decks Think With Google can be a great sidekick for your cleint presentations and cleints often find Google data persuasive.

PRO-TIP: Use the graph builder tool within Think With Google. Using the search bar and hoping to come back with the data point you were looking for is futile. Graph Builder looks like a major time investment, but after a few quick clicks you can have the exact data you were looking for.

#6 ComScore

ComScore is the Nielsen of the internet. They do incredible work on behavioral studies of online users and are one of the most trusted digital media sources. If you are looking for a new blog to follow we would highly recommend following theirs and if you have some cash you want to spend, ComScore offers a large variety of impressive paid services (our favorite is their Brand Lift Surveys).

As for the free tools of ComScore, it’s the Insights tab located in the ComScore nav bar that you want to click. We spend most of our time in the Data Mine and Presentations/White Papers section.

ComScore is packed full of powerful Infographics and Charts, like the one above that showcases how Mobile meets human hierarch of needs and how people turn to mobile first to fulfill so many basic human needs. ComScore Insights can add a new level of depth to your digital strategy sessions.

PRO-TIP: Use ComScore for mobile persuasion conversations. Their data on cross-screen consumption and mobile usage is the best you will find.

#7 eMarketer

eMarketer – We who are about to build digital proposals salute you! If you aren’t using eMarketer to learn about digital trends, consumer behaviors, forecasts, and industry insights, then my friends you are missing out – big time.

You can subscribe to their newsletters free of charge and in your inbox daily, weekly, or monthly will be little digital presents just waiting for you to open.

This tool is exceptional for planning long term strategies and adapting to changing market places. We use it predominantly as a research tool and love sharing industry specific studies with our clients. They perform studies outside the U.S. as well, which is invaluable to us at the WORLD FAMOUS PunchDrunk Digital Ad Agency and our international clients.

If you are new to digital, spending some daily time with eMarketer is a great way to graduate from Digital 101 within just a few short weeks.

PRO-TIP: Go to Google Images and do your eMarketer search there. 9 times out of 10 you will instantly find loads of eMarketer graphs right there at your disposal. Just make sure to check the publish date of the report. You don’t want to be showing four-year-old data in your meeting.

#8 Social Mentions

There are plenty of social monitoring sites out there, but one thing they all share is that they want to take your hard-earned cash from you, except for one. Social Mentions. This dominating social platform will provide you tons of social info while still allowing you to hoard your gold Scrooge McDuck style.

At its most basic definition, Social Mentions is a social aggregator, you type in the company, brand, person, or whatever that you are wanting info on and Social Mention will go scour all the social media sites and bring you back the results. How many people are talking about you and the latest posts, tweets, snaps, and pins.

You will also get a great pulse on the overall sentiment of your brand, good versus bad comments. We find this extremely helpful when working with clients who have negative reviews and keeping tabs on our social impact in raising the overall perception of their brand. Add in date sorting and you are talking about some serious social monitoring.

PRO-TIP: Download the Hashtags CSV file and start implementing appropriate hashtags into your social media posts. Most of the best hashtags aren’t built from the brands, but the people, great social influencing brands jump on bandwagon hashtags quickly. Don’t forget Oreo and the “Dunk in the Dark” tweet.

#9 Google Alerts

An oldie, but a goodie and still free after all these years. Google Alerts allows you to set up email alerts and whenever your name, company, or really anything of your choosing (like maybe Billy Joel because you just love some Piano Man) is mentioned on a site crawled by Google.

This is very helpful for clients who are in the press a lot. When we partnered on a presidential campaign Google Alerts could help us pick up great articles/blogs that had been created and
then repurpose in our earned native strategy. Plus, you can easily discover the negative articles or potentially untrue things out there and meet them head on rather than be blindsided.

It’s simple and easy to use and in the landscape of digital those two adjectives don’t often come together.

PRO-TIP: Change the frequency under options. If you have a very popular brand that is going to get a lot of people talking, you may want to move to a weekly email rather than daily to aid in management.

#10 MOAT

The soul and heart of MOAT is built around analytics and if you want to spend some moolah it is an incredible platform and the gold standard of analytic campaign data. But we are concentrating on the FREE and MOAT has a great free offering for those on the creative and/or competitive side.

Right from the home screen on moat.com there is search box titled Moat Ad Search. Enter any brand and without hesitation MOAT is going to go on a web journey and collect the latest digital ads that brand is using – like these Zillow ads that MOAT found.

We absolutely dig this tool for seeing what 300x250s, 728x90s, and all those other fun banner ad sizes are being used by a particular brand. Use this to help get those creative juices flowing or monitor what deals your competition is putting out there.

PRO-TIP: Don’t waste your time looking for small local brands. MOAT is only going to find larger regional ads that ran across specific larger open space networks. If you run into this issue, look for industry matches instead of local market clients.

#11 99Designs

99 Designs is a marketplace for free-lance designers to compete for work. Companies without a creative agency or in-house graphic artists can put out projects and have multiple designers compete for the project.

This is a great way for smaller companies to get top-notch designs and see a lot of variations of ideas and concepts. We have recommended this service for a few of our clients through the years that had limited budgets and each time the client has been very happy with the results. But you do have to pay to launch the design contest… so what’s the value of this outside of the paid service? Design ideas! You can walk through multiple portfolios and even search by specific projects. Need business card ideas or PowerPoint template concepts or banner ad ideas? Or maybe you have been tasked to create the coolest infographic in company history?

Hit search and for the price of $0 you can see thousands of super creative creative’s creatives. (not too often you can use the same word three times and still have the sentence make sense!)

And if you find a design you really like, you can set up a 1×1 project with the designer and hire them to work for you and when the project is done, maybe you made a new friend.

PRO-TIP: When you are trying to see a lot of ideas, don’t settle for the first page of results that 99 Designs kicks back to you. Scroll down and view actual projects in progress. You can browse by title to find projects that make sense to investigate.

Google Media Gallery

Though the title has gallery in it, we don’t use this tool for creative purposes. We use this 100% free Google tool for benchmarking and frankly there isn’t anything out there as robust or that carries as much weight with the client.

The Google Media Gallery allows anyone to access industry CTR’s and compare their campaign CTR to like businesses. Now, here at PunchDrunk we don’t think CTR is the end-all performance metric, we like that magic word – Conversion far more, but CTR is certainly a metric you should be tracking, along with handful of others and this free tool gives you a display banner benchmark, which at times can be difficult to find. That it comes from that powerhouse Google only adds credibility.

To explain how the tool works, Google monitors all the campaigns running across it’s platform, both the Display Network and DFP and catalogs the CTR’s. Then it pools like businesses into specific verticals and voila – you have a benchmark CTR for your campaign.

You can select benchmark stats by region, ad size, vertical, and formats to home in and the data coming back will give you more than just the CTR.

In our example, you can see we have selected benchmark stats for airlines in Russia and we can see the average CTR for different ad unit types as well as average interaction time and the average time the ad unit is displayed on the person’s screen. Great knowledge to have.

PRO-TIP: Get comfortable with the date range filter. Some industries don’t have enough campaigns running in real time to allow Google to track with accuracy. Their solution is to expend the report length, so to get data back, you will need to expend the date range filter. We usually go back one month at a time until the information pools, giving us the most recent data we can get, but if you wanted to save time, select the first possible date available, October 2010.

Wordstream

The last of our top free tools is another benchmarking tool and it comes from our frienemies at Wordstream. It’s concise and to the point and so is talking about it. Simply click the link and you will find the latest Google AdWords benchmarks for your industry. Want to know if your auto PPC campaign’s 3.37 CTR is weak or strong? Just compare on their easy to read graph. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

PRO-TIP: The graph is typically updated twice yearly. If what you are seeing is old data, you might want to dig into their site and see if the newest information has been published on a different page than the URL above.


Thirteen may be an unlucky number, but you will have only good luck with each of these free web tools. If you have any freebies that you can’t live without feel free to share them with us or be stingy and smelly, we won’t call you names, except for smelly which we just did.

If you want any more info on these tools or digital in general reach out to us at info@punchdrunkdigital.com.