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Breakthrough – Spring 2017

Turning Over a New Leaf at Balsam Mountain Preserve

Just 40 minutes west of Asheville, NC lies Balsam Mountain Preserve, a private community of 375 homesites over 4,400 acres. Recently we launched a new brand campaign for them, the centerpiece of which is BalsamMountain.com. The new site features bigger and bolder imagery as well as a newly designed interactive property map.

To drive traffic to the website, a new advertising campaign has been launched as well, including SEM, email, print, out-of-home, digital banners, and contextual in-read video that specifically targets Balsam’s affluent buyer.

Video Advertising: It All Comes Down to Likeability

With more and more dollars shifting from advertiser’s TV budgets to online video, it has never been more important to create engaging, compelling and most importantly likeable video content.

According to a new study, ads deemed “likeable” had the strongest sales lift of all. Additionally, longer view times had a much stronger correlation with sales. What’s considered “likeable” can vary by audience, but most studies show videos that lead with more personality and more of an “entertainment oriented approach” rather than content that is purely communication-focused.

 

As marketers, we tend to obsess about who our ads are targeting. For online video campaigns, we closely monitor how many people our ads are reaching. However, hitting the right target audience or the number of impressions still ranked lower than ad likeability. This emphasizes the importance of the creative and media teams working collaboratively, ensuring the creation of impactful and relevant experiences with which people choose to engage.

SEO: Why It Is Important?

To understand the true potential SEO can provide for your business, it is important to understand the actual meaning of the methodology. Search Engine Optimization is a set of tactics used to optimize a website in the eyes of search engines (Google and Bing), improve rankings within the search engines, and ultimately increase the amount of visitors to your website.

These tactics include enhancing the quality of your on-site content, implementing smart linking strategies, and ensuring your website loads quickly, and that it is secure and mobile friendly.

Because the world of SEO is constantly changing, it is important to stay up-to-date with the latest techniques, take a fresh look at your online presence, and take the necessary measures for improvement. This will ensure that your business is always on the first page of search engine rankings.

Have some questions on how to optimize your website for search? Give us a call!

Mobile Technology and Marketing

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you have a smartphone—no old-school flip phone for you. And you may even be reading this on your mobile device. Extra points for you.

We sometimes forget that mobile technology is still relatively new. It was just last fall that the iPhone turned 10-years old. 3G technology enabled large amounts of data to be shared, so iPhones became our go-to device for pictures, music and more. 4G bandwidth allowed us to make streaming video an everyday occurrence—whether it’s your favorite TV show or video advertising. There have been further technological advancements with mobile in the ensuing years. It has helped marketers not only add mobile marketing to their arsenal of tools and tactics to get messages out, but, in many cases, ‘mobile-first’ thinking has taken over the communications world. We often start by asking ourselves how an idea, concept, or tactic will play on mobile?

Over the past couple of years, the technological leaps have slowed, however. While we have new advertising and social media options that continue to make your mobile device exciting delivery vehicles, the pace of change appears to have slowed. Yes, while we’ve gotten bigger screens, longer battery life, pixel enhancements and a few more second-tier enhancements to our devices, it’s been content that’s made the technology a better tool for life.

In the 1980s we started with 1G cellular networks (anyone remember bag phones?) and we’re now up to 4G networks that have allowed the latest big leap over the past few years. What’s next? You guessed it…5G. 5G networks will start to hit major cities later this year.

Now, I’m certainly no expert in cellular technology, but there are certain advantages that we know will come with 5G. Speeds up to 1,000 times faster than we have now—imagine downloading a movie in seconds, not minutes—enhanced security and more.

5G is also the technology that will allow for the broadening of new categories of digital uses, such as autonomous/self-driving cars, machines, sensors, hot spots, ‘things’ that will all be part of a more orchestrated ecosystem. But let’s focus on what 5G can do for marketing.

As an industry, we have massive amounts of marketing data already. The challenge is, most small-to-mid-size businesses have limited ability to make this ‘big data’ actionable. 5G will allow for more data, and at the same time more security. But will it make us smarter? Better data interpretation will give more informed, sharable content, and less ad blocking because the content is more valuable and relevant to users.

5G will also allow for virtual reality (VR) to become much more prevalent in the world of marketing. Once the domain of games, we’re already seeing VR used in real estate applications among others. 5G will put this growth on steroids.

5G will also blur the line between content and commerce. Research tells us that one-third of consumers want more ability to make mobile payments. Samsung Pay, Visa Checkout and buy buttons on social media platforms are starting to make this happen. And 5G keeps the disruption and innovation rapidly evolving, as things like biometric swiping and retina authentication will begin to see mass adoption.

As marketers, we’ve seen the watershed changes in how we interact with consumers, and they continually change. Now, with more power coming our way that is hard for us to comprehend, we need to make sure we’re staying on top of it all, and small-to-mid-sized businesses need to be right there with the big girls and boys. We’ve got to simplify our mobile experiences, share more, make things easier, and continue to recognize that the consumer is in control. The technology will be there…will you?