Apr
9
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Facebook Advertising for SMB’s

The End of the Facebook Free Ride

A lot has been said about Facebook’s revenue growth over the past few years.  And it is certainly impressive.  That growth has been fueled by the phenomenal success of Facebook’s advertising strategy. 
Infographic: Mobile Ads Account for 98% of Facebook's Revenue Growth | Statista

(Statista)

There was a time when agencies and advertisers worked diligently to gain more followers.  That’s because followers were incredibly valuable to a business.  When a business created an organic post, it went directly onto the personal Facebook page of many of its followers.

That’s no longer the case, however.  As of February, 2014, your organic posts are reaching just 6.2% of your Facebook LIKES.  If you are a large business, it’s just over 2%. (Ogilvy)

And declining. 

Facebook says it’s not a money grab to force you into advertising on the popular social media network.  Rather, it’s just a matter of the popularity of the site.  There’s simply too many posts and they can’t deliver them to all followers.

Hey, it’s a business and the goal of a business is to make money.  As a Facebook stock holder, I’m good with that.  That’s why, in my opinion, if you’re not doing Facebook advertising, I’m not sure whether it’s even worth it to spend the time doing organic posts any more.

You Have to Pay to Play on Facebook

But, the beauty of Facebook advertising for small businesses is that it simply works.  In fact, it works better than any advertising that I’ve been part of in my career.  That’s because we tell Facebook a lot about ourselves.  (Want to know what Facebook knows about you?  Here’s how you check.)

With geo-targeting, there’s almost no waste that you get with traditional media.  You can only serve your advertising to consumers in specific area codes or within a certain amount of miles of your store.  Interest targeting enables you to serve advertisements to those that have a certain common interest.  Look-alike audiences enable you to expand your audience with consumers that are most likely to buy.

And, you can’t miss it, especially on mobile.  Take a look at a Facebook advertisement that we did for Harrisburg Wall & Flooring — a local SMB that has learned the value of social media marketing.  (Editor’s Note — It’s my family’s business.)

Social media advertising Harrisburg

Facebook advertising for local businesses.

 

Facebook remains the gorilla in the room when it comes to social, mobile, local advertising.

Even if you have to pay for the gorilla now.

Apr
4
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Back End Mobile Marketing for Traditional Advertising Agencies

ATS has been in business for nearly 26 years.

Imagine how much technology has changed during that time.  When we started our business in 1989, only about 3.5 million Americans had a mobile phone.  And, most of them were those big bulky bag phones!

But, while technology has changed tremendously over those years, our clients have not changed much.  In 1989, we were supplying toll free 800 numbers to our advertisers and advertising agencies.  In fact, 26 years later, we continue to provide IVR solutions for advertisers, agencies and other services such as class action lawsuits.

But, what we do quite often today is act as back-end consultants for traditional advertising agencies.  ATS works with agencies in many ways.  In some cases, we are merely the hired hands to provide the back-end technology.  In other cases, we act as partners of the traditional advertising agency to bring them the mobile expertise that they need.

Do you work at an advertising agency and need help understanding mobile?  We live, sleep, and dream of mobile every day.

So your agency doesn’t have to.

Mar
5
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Talent Acquisition via Mobile Marketing

Your HR Homerun

ATS’s Barb Breeser recently did a presentation at a talent acquisition conference for human resources professionals.  Barb spoke with the audience about how HR departments can employ a mobile first marketing strategy to engage and acquire professional talent.

Here’s more of Barb’s presentation.

 

Mar
4
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IVR Service Bureau for Class Action Lawsuit Administrators

While mobile marketing may be the wave of the future, Advanced Telecom Services continues to be a major player in the North American market for IVR toll free number services.  And, one category where ATS excels is in providing IVR solutions for class action lawsuit administrators.

Recently, ATS was asked to make a presentation to a group of class action lawsuit administration companies so we thought we’d share that presentation with you here on the ATS Blog.

 

Feb
26
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ATS Upgrades Ringless Voicemail Service

ringless voicemail

Ringless Voicemail: Voicecasting directly to the voicemail.

Buoyed by the recent success of its ringless voicemail product, Advanced Telecom Services is pleased to announce the following enhancements to its existing platform.

  • Time Zone Adjuster — If you have a list of phone numbers from all over the United States and Canada, we can now organize that list by area code.  Hence, you can start doing the ringless voicemail drops in the Eastern Time Zone and then move across the countries to the Western (and Alaskan and Hawaiian Time Zones).
  • Call Throttling — If your program might generate immediate calls to your live operators, we can now limit the amount of simultaneous calls to help eliminate long hold times or busy signals for your consumers.
  • Landline Phone Access — If the initial call attempt using the traditional ringless voicemail technology is not successful, we will attempt to reach that consumer’s voicemail box through other more traditional methods.
  • Reporting — If needed, reporting can now be provided to customers while an outbound voice-casting program is active.

To learn more about ringless voicemail, call the ATS sales office at 610-688-6000 in the United States and 416-800-2490 in Canada.

Feb
24
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Companies Using Mobile Marketing 2015

ATS Mobile customers

A good start to the new year for ATS Mobile

It’s been a great start to the 2015 year with the following companies discovering the power of mobile and mobile marketing strategies developed by ATS Mobile.

Feb
13
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Apps Development

Author Bob Bentz    Category Apps     Tags ,

Mobile Apps for businesses

A Walking Billboard in the pocket of your Customer 24 Hours a Day

That’s what an app can be for your business.

Imagine how important that is to be one of the 26 apps that the average person has on their mobile phone. What’s that real estate worth to your business?

Number of Apps Available

It seems like everybody is making apps today, even the US government thanks to President Obama’s initiative that all departments have apps. You can even get the IRS To Go while picking up your cup of Java at Starbucks.

It’s no surprise how many apps there are given how much time Americans are spending with their apps. Let’s take a look at just how many apps are available:

  • Google Play (formerly Android Market) – 1.3 million
  • Apple App Store – 1.2 million
  • Windows Phone Store – 300,000
  • Amazon Appstore – 240,000
  • BlackBerry World – 130,000
  • Galaxy Apps (formerly Samsung Apps store) – couldn’t find number
  • Nokia Store – 120,000

App Development is Expensive

When it comes to mobile marketing, marketers must be very careful when considering app development due to its cost.

Here’s a cool tool that can give you a quick estimate of the cost of app development for your project.

But, while the cost to program a new app is at an all-time high, it may be amazing to many that 95 out of the top 100 apps in the apps stores are FREE!

It’s important that you have a basic understanding of the primary types of app development that are available to you. Consulting with your developer will give you the background you need to decide what type of app you should develop.

  • Native Apps

Native apps live on the device itself. They are installed through the app store and are developed specifically for just one platform. Because they are unique to only one platform, they can use the other features that are already on the phone such as the camera, the GPS, and your contact list.

If you are in an area with no connectivity, a native app will still work and it will be fast. Think of downloading a travel guide.

A major negative of native apps is the update process. If the business wants to update, it must submit those updates to the app store and then have the update pushed to the users.

Another negative for native apps is that you have to pay a 30% fee to Apple for all purchases made on its app store.

  • Web Based Mobile Apps

Web apps are really websites that may look like native apps, but they reside on a browser. Most are written in HTML5. They are usually accessed from a web page where the user is given the option of “installing” them. The install, however, is not really the app itself, but a bookmark to the site.

One of the advantages of a web based app is that you don’t have to go to the app store to find it. Also, if the business wants to update it, it’s as simple as updating a web page; no submission to the app stores necessary.

Another advantage of web based is that there are no content restrictions. Apple, for example, has been notoriously prudish in its willingness to accept some content. Hence, it was Playboy that was one of the first companies to use web based apps.

  • Hybrid Apps

Hybrids are, as you would expect, a combination of Native and Web-based. One of the advantages of hybrid apps is that they work on any platform. Therefore, costs are significantly reduced since the code can be used on multiple platforms.

App Marketing

When you are competing against a million other apps vying for the consumer’s attention, you can see why it’s important to have a well thought out strategy for marketing your app.

While every marketing strategy is going to be different when it comes to apps, there are some basics that you need to get right to have any kind of chance.

  • Include the most important keywords and keyword phrases so that you show up when a consumer does a search in the app stores. Otherwise, it’s almost like your app doesn’t exist.
  • You need to be able to sell the app when the consumer arrives at your page in the app store. Exciting graphics and adding video.

  • Social media is big. Facebook is almost always a critical part of your app marketing plan.
  • Mobile advertising – what better place to advertise your new app.
  • Create buzz prior to your release date. Think email marketing, press releases, and all the same strategies you’d do if you were having a store grand opening.
  • Encourage positive customer reviews. If you get off to a bad start with reviews, it’s very difficult for the app to recover as it will be buried in the app stores.

It’s extremely difficult for an app to get a following, even if you represent a well-known brand. Be sure to not spend all your budget on development or you’ll have a great app that nobody knows about.

Feb
12
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Mobile Advertising

When Will Mobile Get Its Fair Share?

Look Confusing?

In the presentations that our company makes, we often site the fact that mobile gets 20% of the time spent with media, but only 4% of the advertising budgets. It’s an effective and powerful sales statistic that makes the prospect consider how it may be missing out on this valuable market.

How To Advertise on Mobile

There are several ways that and advertiser can take advantage of the medium of mobile advertising.

  • Direct Mobile Websites – buying an advertisement directly from YELP on its mobile website.
  • In App Advertising – buying an advertisement on the Pandora mobile app directly from Pandora.
  • Mobile Ad Networks – purchasing an advertisement on a variety of mobile apps and mobile websites from a company that has relationships with many such sites.
  • Social Media – buying mobile advertising on sites such as Facebook or Twitter with the tools that it provides.

Direct Mobile Websites

You could purchase directly from mobile websites themselves. A common place where a small business might purchase directly on a mobile website is YELP. YELP has a very aggressive sales team; it seems like every business I call has had a visit from the YELP rep.

Many advertisers will come to us and ask to purchase mobile advertising on sites such as ESPN or CNN. Most of these sites don’t really want to deal directly with a lot of customers so they usually have a minimum investment of at least $10,000 per month which makes such advertising only possible for larger advertisers.

YELP Advertising Mobile

In App Advertising

One could also purchase advertising directly from sites such as Pandora. One of the long-time raps against radio has been that it is “background noise” and listeners don’t really pay close attention to the advertisements. The same could be said about Pandora, except that Pandora only serves graphic advertisements when the consumer is engaging with it. In other words, ads don’t just randomly pop-up on the site, but if you are engaging with Pandora via a thumbs up or thumbs down feedback, an advertisement may appear.

In addition to the graphic advertisements, you can also purchase voice advertising on the Pandora app.

Of course, if you hate the advertisements, you can always purchase the advertising free version on Pandora for $4.99 per month.

Pandora advertising

Mobile Ad Networks

There are a lot of mobile ad networks out there competing for market share against the giants of Google and Facebook. In fact, this guy put together a list of over 415 mobile ad networks! Of course, no customer or agency could ever be familiar with all of these so you end up using a few, mostly based on the availability of inventory, price, and service.

Here’s some of the top 25 mobile ad networks. You may recognize some of the names. Millennial Media, Jumptap, and Tapjoy are networks that a lot of advertisers and agencies use. Some mobile ad networks have areas of specialization like InMobi which specifically targets gamers.

Quite frankly, the mobile ad networks don’t get results that are nearly as effective as Facebook, because they don’t offer the pinpoint advertising that is needed. They do, however, offer a better CPM (cost per thousand) and provide a lot of branding at a more inexpensive rate.

The negative is that your advertising will run on a lot of different types of sites. We once got a complaint that one of our client’s advertisements ran on a site that was exclusively about butts so it is now a running joke in the office that we are “buying butts.”

Mobile Social Media Advertising

If you can only advertise in one place, I’d recommend that it be social media, especially Facebook. Facebook knows an awful lot about you. Think of everything that you post on Facebook; it obviously knows that. Then, think of all of the sites that you visit that have the Facebook LIKE button on them; Facebook knows you are there whether you’ve clicked on the LIKE button or not. Most of us are always logged in to our Facebook page, because our computers remember our passwords.

 

Facebook advertising

 

With Facebook, there are two primary types of advertising available. Open your Facebook page on your desktop and take a look at your News Feed. There will be advertisements there. Facebook limits that amount of News Feed ads that it serves to you to about six per day so we don’t get overwhelmed with the advertising. Moreover, only 20% of the advertisement can be sales oriented. In other words, Facebook will reject the ad if you have a big SALE over it. That’s why the news feed ads don’t really jump off the page at you screaming advertisement. At times, you don’t even know it’s a paid ad unless you see the “Sponsored” on it.

mobile advertising

Take a look at your Facebook page on your mobile phone. Now, you see where the sponsored news feed advertising really shines. That’s because the sponsored advertisement takes up your entire screen of your smartphone! You can’t miss that advertising!

Now, look to the right on your desktop Facebook page and you’ll see a narrower column that actually says “Sponsored” on it. These ads are cheaper than news feed ads, but they are also clearly less noticeable. And, it is considerably less effective in my opinion.

Facebook is, of course, not the only effective social media mobile advertising medium. Linked In is a great way to target professionals via social media advertising. Some advertisers have had success with Twitter and Pinterest advertising. A lot of advertisers are very excited to have Instagram advertising roll out to the masses; today, only Fortune 500 companies are involved in the beta test.

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