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Facebook Changes to News Feed Hurts Business Pages

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to what you see in your news feed and sent news publishers and businesses scrambling, again, when it comes to connecting to their audiences online. Facebook has invested millions in becoming a must-have marketing tool for businesses and created an entirely new way to engage with brands and share information. If we are to believe this latest change to news feed algorithms, they are biting the hand that feeds them.

TL; DR: Facebook continues to squeeze business pages to pay for engagement and visibility on its platform. Without a paid strategy, your organic reach and engagement will drop significantly.

Let’s first look at their statement and reasoning:

…The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good.

Based on this, we’re making a major change to how we build Facebook. I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions…

Read the entire statement here.

Facebook’s lofty goal of claiming they want to see more meaningful personal connections on Facebook is a bit disingenuous after their aggressive courting of brands and publishers to invest so heavily in advertising through their platform.  So, now that they have announced this change brands and publishers are left to ask what this really means for a marketing and advertising strategy that has ballooned to a significant portion of their media strategy and budget.

While we don’t know exactly how this will impact engagement and long-term strategy for brands on Facebook, we can look at previous changes to gain some insight. Facebook has already shown that they are not a media company, but a data company and an advertising venue. The ‘pay to play’ strategy they implemented for brands reduced organic engagement from business pages to less than 10% and in some cases to zero without a business paying to “boost” the post or otherwise creating a paid strategy to be seen and generate engagement.  From this previous strategy we can only surmise that this will require even more spending on the behalf of business pages to be seen on Facebook. All of this comes as time spent on the social network is on the decline and, while still the top social media destination, Millenials are abandoning the platform altogether for Instagram (Which Facebook owns) and Snapchat, among others. We will certainly have to keep an eye on performance for our clients to continue current spend levels.

How can you boost engagement?

  1. Work with social media strategist to ensure you are using “best practices” when posting and curating content for Facebook
  2. Create a budget and schedule for social media. Realize you are working with an advertising vendor.
  3. Change the type of posts you are making from passive information to engaging and organic type conversational type posts.
  4. Create “Facebook Live” and video content, use photos to boost conversations, shareability and engagement
  5. Ask us to help create and manage your social media presence and evaluate where you are spending your advertising budget for efficacy.

 

By | January 18th, 2018|Marketing, social media|0 Comments

Five Best Marketing and Advertising Tips for Small Businesses

Broad Street Co has worked with national clients for giant ad campaigns and we’ve worked with small, local businesses promoting a one time event. We’ve learned a few things over the years and our passion to support small, locally owned businesses is why we’ve created ways to work with them to help their businesses grow and compete. Here are our top 5 tips for small businesses to get results with advertising:

Identify Your “Ideal Customer”

 

When you are working with a smaller budget, every dollar counts. There are many different ways to successfully advertise your business, but finding your audience to get your message to them is the most important place to start. There’s a difference between reaching your existing customers through things like boosted posts on Facebook or Instagram and reaching a new customer. Identifying your customer can then influence where you advertise, what you focus on in your ads, and how the creative in the ad looks. Knowing your audience profile and their behavior can help increase the reach and impact of your campaign.

Create Measurable Goals for your Efforts

 

Advertising can increase sales, build awareness and create an affinity for your business over the competition. When you decide to spend money on advertising, it is important to decide on a goal for your advertising efforts. Is it online sales or attendance at an event or coupons redeemed?  This can help you determine if your ad campaign was successful. We call this ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). If you spend $1,000 and sell $12,000 worth of merchandise you achieved a 12x ROAS. While advertising doesn’t guarantee a big return, being able to tie a result to a budget gives you a clear directive on what works and what doesn’t for your business.

 

Know When To Advertise

Even companies with multi-million dollar budgets do not advertise all the time. Most businesses can look at historic sales figures and identify peak seasons or, in some cases, when business wasn’t as good as it should have been. These help create a media calendar and with burst advertising we can help create a “top of mind” impression with your audience.  The slight exception to this rule is with search advertising. Even then, we can throttle back during times of inactivity.

Create a Consistent Brand

People need consistent impressions of your business. Everything from your signage to your Facebook posts should tie together in a way that even a passing notice signals to the consumer that they come from the same place. Large companies spend huge budgets creating a “Brand Standards” that mandate details including what font is used in a print promotion to what colors can be used in all communication materials. While that may be overkill for small businesses, it is important to be consistent with your messaging and creative. A small investment in things like logo design and signage can help guide all marketing efforts so customers are never confused if a promotion is coming from you or not. Branding helps boost your advertising efforts when customers recognize your promotions and it acts as a shorthand to put you top of mind.

Ask A Professional

Many advertising platforms seem to prey on the small business owner. From the Yellow Pages to Facebook, every ad platform realizes that the small business owner needs to advertise, but is not relying on an advertising professional. Self serve options from Google Adwords to billboards, companies rely on the knowledge that the small business owner is not only running their business, but is the marketing director and chief bottle washer, too. These self serve tools make it possible to create an ad campaign in just a few minutes. However, without an in-depth understanding of how to use these platforms we have seen many businesses grow frustrated with a lack or results.  Without understanding what results are valuable, it is hard to know what is working and what is a waste of your ad dollars. That’s where we can help. We can create and manage your marketing and advertising to take the burden off of you, or we can train you how to effectively use self-serve platforms on your own. Our goal is to make sure that you never think advertising doesn’t work!

Easy! Contact us today for a proposal!

 

By | November 21st, 2017|Marketing|0 Comments

Charitable Giving as a Business Culture

Broad Street Co has always set aside a portion of their time to support non-profits. Whether it is through sponsoring events, volunteering, seeking grants for non-profit clients or waiving agency fees, we are a strong believer in being a strong part of the communities where we live. We feel it is important for our employees to provide service to the community and support organizations with our agency services when otherwise they may not have the budgets to work with an advertising agency.

Last year, we donated over $50,000 in agency services to area non-profits, served on the boards and volunteered hundreds of hours to help organizations reach their audience, raise awareness and fundraising. This company culture is at the root of what we do. We are an organization that believes in helping others and we’ve discovered that putting our skills to use for non-profit organizations gives our team the opportunity to begin a lifelong commitment to service and community involvement.

Non-profit organizations often struggle to generate awareness and raise money to support their mission and through a partnership with an advertising agency, they benefit from the same opportunities as retail companies in being “top of mind” and serving their community.

We are currently in the process of evaluating non-profit organizations in Texas and Alabama to support. If you would like to be considered for full or partial pro bono services from us, contact us with your needs and we will review your request.

By | March 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

This Holiday’s Digital Trend: The Who, What and When of Online Advertising

Halloween has passed and November is finally here, the biggest shopping month of the entire year! holiday-shopping-online_117998926_1500pxWhile it may not seem to be getting colder here in Austin, and the leaves might be refusing to change their colors, that doesn’t change the fact that 45% of holiday shoppers will have most of their shopping done by Black Friday – and the largest majority done on Cyber Monday via online devices. So, ‘tis the season to get your brand in front of your customers before they have cleared their carts.

Starting to consider the importance of advertising online this Holiday, need an agency to help you out? The best first step is to discover WHO you want to talk to. According to Stefany Zaroban at internetretailer.com, Millennial Men are the most likely to shop on their mobile device. Furthermore, 72% of Millennials say they will shop online this year and even if they aren’t making the final purchase online, 92% of them said that they will either shop or fulfill all of their research online. This trend goes to show that while the majority of consumers are beginning to make purchases online, the leftover consumers who are just researching will still be driven to your location via the ads they see – whether it be Search, Native, Social or Display tactics.



Another group of consumers, Parents, are projected to spend an average of $1,711 on shopping this year – a 23.7% increase from 2015. Over 90% of this Parent audience also said that they would either be shopping or researching purchases via online search engines and sites.

Broad Street Co. has helped a variety of retail clients drive holiday sales, and we know that creating a campaign during this time of year is bound to increase visibility towards your product – while driving sales and other successes based on your brand’s objective. So, if your brand wants to get in on the $884.50 billion in total holiday retail sales predicted for 2016, contact us and see where we can start!

Let us help you reach the right person, at the right time, with the right message.

By: Jack Turner, Media Intern

 

By | November 2nd, 2016|blog|0 Comments

Searching for ways to drive sales on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is fast approaching and while most retailers have long since laid out their holiday media schedule, many small and local retailers may be wondering how they can grab a piece of the $3 Billion in online spend on the most beautiful day for retailers. shop-local
Online shopping doesn’t just have to be for the big box stores and major retailers. Local businesses can take advantage of the growth in online shopping with a clear advantage…local consumers looking for local deals. Last year, 27.6 % of online sales came from mobile last holiday season. That’s up from 25% in 2014.  Online shopping is affecting in store traffic even during the holidays. According to data from analytics firm RetailNext, in store traffic was down 1.5% last year and average spending per consumer is down 1.4%.  Conversely, the average ticket on mobile sales is up to $102.
How can local businesses attract some of this spend over the holiday shopping period that is moving online? Well, here are a few ideas:

Paid Search Advertising

Online searches soar leading up to Cyber Monday. Take advantage of this with a paid search campaign using keywords that we know shoppers are using to find deals. You don’t  have to run a long lasting search campaign, but a burst of  spend in the week or two before and after Thanksgiving can get you  top of mind for shoppers. Last year searches with the term “cyber monday” rose to over  7 million per month in November and December.

  • Cyber Monday, Deals, Coupons, Black Friday, Sale/Sales, Delivery (Pro tip: Since you’re local, offer in-store pickup for online orders or offer delivery service to local customers for free!)
  • Offer special coupons to drive people to your  location or allow people to call and place an order over the phone if you don’t have an order online option
  • Use new search enhancements like images in your search ads and mobile click-to-call campaigns. Add map features for people to locate you easily.
  • Create a very easy landing page on your site with print at home coupon options

Local businesses that  want to drive customers to the store don’t have to be left out of the online shopping juggernaut this season. With a few of these suggestions, shopping local can mean online experience in a neighborhood way.
By | October 27th, 2016|blog, SEM|0 Comments

Why You Should Join the Holiday Spirit of Digital Advertising

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The sweet smells and cool breezes of fall are here, and the recent burst in native and sponsored content, as well as the display ads you’ve been seeing for clothing, electronics, food retailers, and various other products are the perfect match for the holiday season. With one of the highest converting times of the year, we at Broad Street can’t stress enough the importance of your media strategy joining this season’s holiday cheer!

According to a study conducted by online ad tech firm The Rubicon Project, 58% of the Millennials shopping online this year will make a purchase via their mobile device – while the other portion prefers desktop purchases. Combine this with Cyber Monday’s fast approach, and Stefany Zaroban’s recent Internet Retailer article highlighting the 22% of Americans that have already begun to research holiday deals as of August, “up 10 percentage points” from last year; there is no doubt that this is the best time of the year to put your brand front-and-center of each consumer’s online research experience.

Internet Retailer’s Matt Linder also discusses how ComScore and Adobe Systems, Inc. reported that shoppers spent over $3.1 billion online in 2015, up 20.5% from the $2.6 billion in sales during the 2014 Cyber Monday. This was the first time online sales have exceeded $3 billion in a single day – imagine what will happen this coming Cyber Monday – that’s a stat you’ll want to be a part of! And as major retailers such as Amazon continue to offer a diversified portfolio of product deals earlier each year, this trend continues to prove that the upcoming holiday season is the most ideal for your company’s advertising endeavors and digital growth.

holiday-preview-2016

At Broad Street Co. we have grounded ourselves with in-depth experience and diverse clients that range from major retailers and utilities all the way to healthcare, consumer-packaged goods and food chains. Not only are we able to help place your brand in front of each consumer at the perfect moment during the holidays, we’re able to do so in creative ways that connect with your audience through meaningful interactions.

Whether you’re trying to stick out from your competitors or telling your market who you are, Broad Street is here to bring your brand to the frontlines and show your audience what you’re all about – now all you need to do is contact us for a free consultation on your advertising holiday wish list!

Google Ads Enhanced with Maps and Images

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By: Auston Roberts

With the digital terrain of advertising becoming increasingly complex and 49% of in-store purchases being influenced by digital interactions, we continue to keep finding innovative media opportunities for our clients. From buying direct or programmatic all the way to native and engaging social media placements, at Broad Street Cowe strive to help our clients find a firm stance in the digital space.

One strategy where we continue to see great results for our clients is Google AdWords and the Google Display Network, and with clients ranging from healthcare and retail locations all the way to music festivals and fast-food chains, this is a strategy we’ve found to be beneficial in a variety of ways. As a Google Partner Agency, we are privy to a great relationship with our Google team that helps us ensure we’re delivering the best plan and measurable results for our clients.

Traditionally, we’ve been able to implement Google AdWords – the “Search Giant” – and the Display Network as a means to provide convenience to our target audiences, and visibility to our clients and brands. Furthermore, these ads have always been your traditional text-based promotions, highlighting brands that can help you on your consumer journey. But as of yesterday’s Internet Retailer article by Zak Stambor – an expert as it relates to social commerce – Google will now be providing Maps and Photo Data to these ads!

Not only is this change beneficial in increasing the quality of all Search and Display tactics, it also provides even more convenience to each and every consumer. In a world of functionality, these ads will further benefit our target audience by allowing them to leverage info across Google Maps. Additionally, the addition of photo data is the perfect way for us to entertain our audience with relevant images, while also providing even more value to our client’s overall brand story. Google continues to evolve their product offerings and as we evaluate their place in the media mix, we believe every opportunity to drive engagement (through maps) and visual storytelling (through display) can help our DR clients be a step ahead of their competitors.

Whether you are a local business trying to drive new business or a global brand, what shows up when your audience searches for you?

For a free consultation and evaluation of your advertising needs, contact us!

 

Broad Street Co is a Google Partner Agency

Broad Street Co is a Google Partner Agency

Broad Street Ranked in the Top 25 Ad Agencies in Austin

We are quite pleased with ourselves this morning! The Austin Business Journal ranks Broad Street Co in the top 25 advertising agencies in Austin. The Business Journal ranked 60 advertising agencies by Gross Income, Staff, Percentage of the business dedicated to Advertising. We have always been proud of the work we do for our clients and the reputation we have in the industry and we are proud to see our name on “The List” this year among such well known agencies as LatinWorks and McGarrah Jesse.

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In addition to being named in the top 25 ad agencies in Austin, we’re also excited to be named in the top 20 digital agencies in Austin by publisher, Expertise.com! Expertise ranks agencies in six categories: Reputation, Credibility, Experience, Availability, Professionalism and Engagement.

The traditional agency model has changed significantly since we opened our doors in 2007 and our mission to remain small and nimble while hiring and partnering with the right people has contributed to our success. Broad Street focuses on bringing highly qualified media staff to mid-sized accounts and partnering with other “best in class” professionals for services we do not provide in-house. This model allows

We recently opened a new office in Opelika, Alabama to continue our mission of working with underserved markets and industries.

We believe Broad Street Co is well positioned to deliver big agency services at a good value and remain competitive in a world where vendors and publishers are claiming to be agencies, agencies are gobbled up by large holding companies and putting the priority of mid-sized clients further down the list and margins decrease overall. Our model of hiring best in class and partnering with other agencies when needed or hiring contract staff when needed gives us a unique ability to react fast for our clients and onboard new clients quickly.

 

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By | August 9th, 2016|ad agency austin|0 Comments

OPELIKA NATIVE OPENS BRANCH OFFICE OF AUSTIN-BASED AGENCY IN HIS HOMETOWN

Opelika, Alabama?? That’s right. Broad Street Co’s Founder and CEO is an Opelika native and recently purchased a home with plans 65086439to spend part of the year in his hometown. During his visits and as he settled in he discovered that the thriving Opelika-Auburn metro area was lacking a full service digital agency with Google Certified Status and experience with national accounts.

The Opelika Auburn area is the second fastest growing market in Alabama and the 11th fastest growing MSA in the U.S. As local businesses thrive, they will need support from an established and respected advertising agency to reach their audiences. With this growth comes new residents and with the addition or the transient university population at Auburn University, the need to reach customers through effective advertising is growing.

More than 85% of customers are online and 80% of people in the U.S. have smartphones. This “connected consumer” relies on online advertising and paid search in making their buying decisions. It is important for local companies to compete with larger brands and national chains in reaching these people online in a native environment. Broad Street’s focus on digital helps small to mid size businesses grow through giving them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the local market. Through geo-targeted advertising, paid search, social and mobile advertising, local companies can compete with national ad campaigns for the Opelika Auburn consumer dollars.

Agency president, Charlie Ray said, “I love Opelika and this is a dream realized to be able to return to my hometown and work with local people I have known my whole life to help grow this economy and support local businesses.” Broad Street Co focuses on digital advertising solutions such as social, paid search, mobile, video and display advertising. The company also provides marketing and business strategy for startups and established businesses. Broad Street works with national clients like Whole Foods and CORT Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway Company and regional clients like Oklahoma Gas, SETON Healthcare and SharpeVision.

Charlie Ray, Broad Street Co. President

About Charlie D. Ray: Charlie was born and raised in Opelika and is a graduate of Opelika High School and the University of Alabama. His parents owned Ray’s Convenience Store on 2nd Avenue among many other local businesses for many years and he follows in his parents footsteps in being an entrepreneur. In addition to starting Broad Street, Charlie is a partner in a construction company, serves on the board of several non-profits in Austin and on the administrative board of First United Methodist Church of Austin. Broad Street Co has secured over $350,000 in Google Grants for several non profit agencies to cover advertising costs and the agency donates over $50,000 every year in pro bono services to these agencies.

“I look forward to being a part of the thriving business community in Opelika and Auburn,” said Ray.

 

 

Contact us for a proposal

Read the full release below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPELIKA NATIVE OPENS BRANCH OFFICE OF AUSTIN-BASED AGENCY IN HIS HOMETOWN

OPELIKA, AL–Broad Street Co’s Founder and CEO is an Opelika native and recently relocated to Opelika part time. Returning to Opelika, Charlie Ray discovered a real need for advertising services to support thriving local businesses in Opelika and Auburn. “Opelika and Auburn are both booming and business is competitive. We feel like Broad Street’s expertise in media can help these local businesses compete effectively with help from our agency,” said Ray.

The Opelika Auburn area is the second fastest growing market in Alabama and the 11th fastest growing MSA in the U.S. As local businesses struggle to be competitive, they will need support from an established and proven advertising agency to reach their audiences. With this growth comes new residents and with the addition or the transient university population at Auburn University, the need to reach customers through effective advertising is growing.

More than 85% of customers are online and 80% of people in the U.S. have smartphones. This “connected consumer” relies on online advertising and paid search in making their buying decisions. It is important for local companies to compete with larger brands and national chains in reaching these people online in a native environment. Broad Street’s focus on digital helps small to mid-size businesses grow through giving them the opportunity to compete on a level playing field in the local market. Through geo-targeted advertising, paid search, social and mobile advertising, local companies can compete with national ad campaigns for the Opelika Auburn consumer dollars.

Ray said, “I love Opelika and this is a dream realized to be able to return to my hometown and work with local people I have known my whole life to help grow this economy and support local businesses.” Broad Street Co offers digital advertising solutions such as social, paid search, mobile, video and display advertising. The company also provides marketing and business strategy for startups and established businesses. Broad Street works with national clients like Whole Foods and CORT Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, along with regional clients like Oklahoma Gas, SETON Healthcare and SharpeVision.

“I look forward to being a part of the thriving business community in Opelika and Auburn,” said Ray.

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About Broad Street Co. 

Broad Street Co. is an award winning agency founded in 2007 with offices in Austin, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and Opelika, Alabama. Broad Street Co.’s strong buying power comes from a deep understanding of digital including strategy, insights, social, influencer marketing, search, analytics, and media. The agency’s clients include Whole Foods Market, CORT Furniture Rental, OneOK, Sharpe Vision, and Better Business Bureau. Broad Street Co. manages over $350,000 in Google Grants for non-profit agency advertising and donates over $50,000 a year in services to area charities. For more information, visit us at broadstreetco.com, or follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BroadStreetCo, Twitter @broadstreet and Instagram @broadstreetcompany
About The President

Charlie was born and raised in Opelika and is a graduate of Opelika High School and the University of Alabama. Before opening Broad Street Co, Charlie was an executive for United Healthcare Group, Executive Director of AseraCare Hospice and Director of New Media for LIN Television. He has resided in Dallas, Texas, Charleston, South Carolina and Austin. He is active in the community and serves on the board of several non-profit agencies, is an advisory board member of iMedia Agency Summits and is on the administrative board of First United Methodist Church of Austin. Mr. Ray is a philanthropist and business leader in Austin and Charleston and frequent guest lecturer at The University of Texas and the College of Charleston.

 

 

 

By | May 25th, 2016|digital agency, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Instagram News Feed Algorithm Changes Shake Things Up

IG NotificationsAny Instagrammer who’s checked their news feed as of late has likely seen the outcry pouring over the photo-sharing app’s announced update. Instagram, stating that the average user misses out on 70% of their feed, will begin to roll out a news feed algorithm mimicking that of Facebook’s – eventually eliminating the chronological method it previously used. This algorithm will filter user’s feeds based on  predicted relevancy, showing posts that are most likely to be appealing to the user and posts from users that have stronger relationships with each other.

So what does this mean for brands? Organically, Instagram posts will have to be much more compelling and relevant to show up on users’ feeds. Many Instagram celebrities are already attempting to override this update by requesting their followers to turn notifications on, alerting users every time that account uploads an image. The #turnmeon plea was trending yesterday.

With that option a little too abrasive for many brands, a pay-to-reach model will likely surface. Prepare your marketing pocketbooks, as what was free may very well now carry a hefty fee.

Brands can be assured that Instagram will follow the lead of Facebook and posts will slowly fall off of the feeds of their followers without paid promotions.

Instagram has also launched business profiles, signaling that the same strategy used for Facebook to get brands to build pages and get followers/fans/likes and then make them pay to play could lie ahead for Instagram as well.

If you’re looking to grow and maintain engagement with your users, contact us for help.

By | March 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments