digital media agency

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Managing Negative Online Reviews

frustratedbizownerOnline reviews are a great way for customers to find your business and get recommendations from your customers, but they are a double edged sword for many small businesses. According to Nielsen, 70% of consumers say online reviews are among the most trusted source of information and 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they do personal recommendations.

I’ve written before that Yelp is not a small business owner’s friend, and that remains true. Yelp is not on the business owner’s side should there be a dispute over a review, but they still seek business owner’s advertising dollars as their business model. Conflict? Yep.

While it can be frustrating to see a business you pour your heart into get negative reviews, there are right ways and wrong ways to address negative reviews. One hotel in New York is learning the hard way how not to navigate online reviews.

The Union Street Guest House, which hosts weddings and events, has a clause in its reservation policy stating that $500 of a couple’s deposit would be held for every bad review from their event’s attendees. (Mashable)

We often talk with clients about how to encourage reviews and how to get close to the line of soliciting a good review while maintaining the overall integrity of the online reviews they receive. We also work with them on a strategy to respond quickly to negative reviews and threatening to charge them a penalty for a negative review is not a recommendation.

manage negative reviews
By | August 4th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Happy Fourth of July

We’re busy making sure we are able to take the weekend off and enjoy the bounty of this great country! Happy Independence Day!


By | July 1st, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Digital Advertising Trends & Realities for 2014

I was honored to be asked back to speak to the American Advertising Federation District 10 Conference this week and it gave me a chance to update my annual digital advertising trends and realities for 2014. Check it out below and if you have something to add, leave it in the comments!

By | April 18th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

It’s Raining (Big) Data

How do you measure the success of your marketing campaigns? One of our favorite presentations at last month’s iMedia Summit was “From Big Data to Smart Data,” a.k.a., “data is the new black.” In digital advertising metrics, data is everything. Ten years ago, campaign metrics revolved around click-through rates (CTRs), open rates, and views. Today’s measure of success is much more complicated and the golden ticket involves multiple KPIs (key performance indicators).

How Big Data took the "creative" out of Advertising.

In online marketing, a campaign that has high CTRs and open rates can be considered successful, but if data collection isn’t a factor, it can also be considered a missed opportunity. What’s most valuable for marketers today is the information gathered throughout a campaign’s performance: Who is clicking, what prompts specific actions, where are your highest performing ads targeted, and at what point the consumer performs the call to action for your campaign. Also: What devices are your consumers using (understanding mobile ad performance is a KPI that can help you as a marketer modify or adjust your campaign based on mobile versus standard digital), which ad is garnering the most response (A/B testing), and which ads prompt the end consumer to voluntarily offer information (registration and sign up forms can help build a valuable database of consumers for future campaigns).

If you’ve scanned any technology news lately, you may have heard that consumers have some hesitation and mistrust of what used to be called “data mining.” It’s feels a little “Big Brother” to have marketers tracking clicks and targeting ads based on cookies and search history, but consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with these practices, therefore more willing to give up more information so they are “served” ads that are relevant to their interests. And here is where we come in.

When planning campaigns, we work with groups of marketers who have very specific goals (CTR, open rates, visibility, branding). We always encourage our clients to dig a little deeper for more information. We help our clients understand the monetary value of KPI metrics, including MQL to SQL, customer acquisition and cost-per, measurement of the purchase cycle and consumer behavior, and data gathering. Want more information? We love to talk metrics and data; contact us here to see how we can make your digital campaign data work for you.

By | January 10th, 2014|digital media agency|0 Comments

Broad Street Receives Best of Business Award

It’s always nice to get a little appreciation. Whether it’s from a client, a professional organization or your peers, we all need an “attaboy” every once in a while. That’s why we appreciated being named “Best of Business” by the Small Business Community Association for 2013.

We strive to provide a high level of service to our clients and it’s nice to be recognized as a leader in our industry.  So, we’ll gladly take a break this afternoon for a pat on our back! See our press release below.

Broad Street Co Best of Business AwardBroad Street Co. Receives 2013 Best of Business Award

AUSTIN, TX/CHARLESTON, SC — Broad Street Co. has been selected for the 2013 Best of Business Award by the The Small Business Community Association. The Small Business Community recognizes and awards business owners because they often do not receive the recognition they deserve. Business owners are role models for everyone whether they know it or not. Small Business Community 2013 Best of Business Award holders are a valuable asset to their community and exemplify what makes small businesses great.

“We’re honored to have been recognized by the Small Business Community Association for the significant growth and performance of Broad Street Co. ,” said Charlie Ray, President and CEO of the Austin, TX- and Charleston, SC-based digital media agency. “For six years, we’ve been on the leading edge of what matters in the world of digital media advertising, executing award-winning campaigns for our customers, many of whom are small businesses themselves.”

Broad Street Co. was founded by Ray in 2007 and has worked with clients (large and small) on a variety of innovative ad campaigns (large and small), from standard online placement campaigns to highly complex video and mobile ad campaigns. “We focus on results. It’s important to us to stay alert to trends and value-adds in the digital world to get the best and most exposure for our customers—regardless of budget size. Because we are a small business, we know every dollar matters and we carry that into our media planning with clients, even those with million-plus dollar budgets.”

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About Broad Street Co.

Since 2007, Broad Street Co. has been helping clients with digital strategy and media planning and we’ve executed award winning campaigns for national, regional and local clients across industry type.  Founded by Charlie D. Ray who, with over 15 years experience as a marketing executive on both the client side and publisher side brings his considerable strategic skills to media execution.

About Small Business Community

The Small Business Community Association is dedicated to collecting and organizing information, training, and services that are vital to small business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone else that needs help running a business, operating a business, or wants to know how to start a business. The mission of the Small Business Community is to promote a vibrant and growing small business community, support education that will preserve and extend the future of small business and use our gifts within the small business community to serve others for the betterment of our world.

Download the PDF of the Release here.

By | October 11th, 2013|ad agency austin, customer service, digital media agency|0 Comments

Google: Everything is Digital, Everything is Google

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Today Google announced the launch of its new service for ad agencies, Google Partners, through a livestream broadcast. The new service means a more streamlined model of certification, allowing clients and potential clients to find agencies like ours faster and to know that we’ve got the knowledge and experience to make their campaigns as successful as possible.

During the livestream broadcast Google brought in experts to talk about why digital is at the heart of reaching your potential clients and how sales is evolving to a place of mutual collaboration between businesses and their potential customers.

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First, Mitch Joel, author of CTR, ALT, Delete spoke about the “one screen world.” As digital advertisers, we think a lot about cross-platform reach – getting the message out through television, PC web browsers, and mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. But are people really looking at four or five screens at the same time? The answer is usually no; even though we use multiple screens in our lives we’re rarely moving back and forth between screens with the focus of a NORAD agent. Instead, we focus on one screen at a time – and increasingly this screen is the mobile device, with 1.3-1.7 billion people with access to mobile technology worldwide.
Everything is digital. Everything is mobile.
The question is this: how do we make a more affordable and practical business in a highly competitive media market? First, we have to keep focused on lean business models, making daily adjustments to our campaigns to optimize every click and impression. Also, we have to start thinking outside the box in terms of our content: using content as media, and creating utility over content. What is the consumer experience? How does the media add value to the consumer experience? Last, we have to start thinking about the greater context of our media. The consumer’s experience while on the go with their mobile device is going to be different than their experience on the couch surfing YouTube.
It’s not just one big idea, it’s many big ideas.
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But those ideas are worthless if we can’t bring them to life, and to do that it’s essential to have great sales conversations. Whether it’s the client trying to sell the consumer on a new product, or the agency pitching a great digital strategy to the client, we’re all in the business of sales. This is intimidating for many people because they tend to associate the word “sales” with negative qualities, like pushiness or manipulation. In the livestream, we learned from Dan Pink, author of To Sell is Human, that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Selling is a collaborative conversation between two people, where the needs of the buyer can be met with the resources of the seller. In this case, both parties win, and with smart, targeted digital advertising campaigns we can achieve this goal by serving ad content to the right consumer at the right time and in the right place. But to do this we need to focus on two qualities.
First, attunement, which is the ability to see things from the client’s point-of-view. When we pitch a client, we always like to start by repeating what we’ve heard is the most pressing goal of their company and their campaign. It’s our goal to make your goals our top priority.
Next, we have to make sure that we provide clarity to our clients. Information is freely available to anyone, but making sense of that information is a key component of what we offer. We don’t just provide information, we curate it, and because of that we can devise and update our strategies in real time.
We were thrilled to refresh ourselves with this great information, and we can’t wait to see what Google has in store with their new Partners portal!

New Name, Same Great Agency

Broad Street Co.

When we started doing business in 2007 we called digital “New Media” and distinguished our agency work as interactive. Times change and agencies specialize and evolve, as do media consumption habits. It’s time to drop the “interactive” and move forward in a way that reflects our platform agnostic view of advertising today.getstarted

We are proud to debut our new brand and our same old hard work ethic. “We continue to grow Broad Street Co. as a premier digital strategy and media agency,” says Charlie Ray, President. Broad Street Co. continues to operate offices in Austin, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina.

Broad Street is proud to wrap up our 6th year with a growing list of clients and challenging new campaigns. We continue to separate the wheat from the chaff, and as the digital business evolves we are still finding a lot of chaff.

Join us in building great campaigns for our clients and producing sound digital strategy that’s earned us awards and long term clients!



Broad Street joins Google Engage for Agencies

Broad Street has long worked with Google and provided paid search services for our clients. We hired our first Google Certified search associate in 2009 and recently Google asked us to join their Google Engage for Agencies to provide us with special offers for our clients, additional training on the latest releases from Adwords and YouTube and obtain access to case studies and resources we did not previously access.

Google’s advertising solutions are wide reaching and we are pleased to provide those opportunities to our clients when appropriate.  The only change you’ll see around our office is new introductory offers for new clients with search budgets and we’ll be excited to pass those on to new business to get started on the various ad programs through Google.

Our small business team will be glad to work with small to mid-size businesses to create a robust search, video or display campaign using Google with an introductory special offer to immediately boost their results.

If your business would like to get started, contact us and our search team will be glad to help.

By | June 25th, 2013|ad agency austin, digital media agency, SEM|0 Comments

You Get What You Pay For

The digital media budget continues to grow year over year. With targeting and reporting getting better every year we see bigger budgets and the competition continues to be fierce among vendors and publishers to get these dollars as they shift from other media.

The above could be a sentence from any time in the last few years, but one thing has not changed since the first transaction in history. You get what you pay for.  We tend to forget that when it comes to media and the clamor to buy the latest or the newest innovation or the most detailed reporting package and all at the cheapest price is hurting the digital media buy.

Lately, I’ve been seeing more pop-ups than usual, more inventory below the fold and at the very bottom of the page and fake pre-roll loading on what I consider to be legitimate websites. All in the quest to get the most inventory at the cheapest price.

The ad to the right is a great example. The company that served this ad is a “trading desk” that touts their ability to drive traffic and get their CPC price down from a respectable $1.08 to $.049 in a case study on their site. You know why they can get the cost per click that low? Because inventory like the space to the right is basically free.

We could deliver inventory like this for you all day, too! We could serve millions and millions of ads for your brand and stretch your ad budget to deliver quantities of impressions and clicks that would blow your mind. But, we will remind you that you get what you pay for. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

We aren’t going to claim that every ad we buy appears above the fold and we never serve ads at the bottom of a page like this one, but it isn’t our strategy. When we buy inventory, we are measuring its performance and delivery in ways that tell us where and when that ad appeared. If we’re delivering clicks but no conversions, we know immediately something is wrong with the campaign (or the landing page. Sometimes it’s a horrible landing page).
The bottom line is buyer beware. Don’t be seduced (I say this way too much) by fancy proprietary software, amazing slide shows with graphs you dream of presenting to your CMO and promises to get you the reach and share of voice beyond your dreams for half the cost.

Google Adwords Adds Features

Paid search is an integral part of media and, for some, the latest enhancements to Google Adwords will enable them to provide a deeper dive into targeting and measurement of those campaigns. It’s also a great way for Google to try and get more of your media budget by claiming highly relevant targeting.

Adwords new features allow you target smartphone users near your physical location with different ads than someone at home on their PC searching for your business. Smart move for retailers, restaurants and places with physical locations. The best example is a user searching for a retail item. Let’s say a person is walking around a shopping district and decides to search for “men’s dress shoes.” Google can deliver an ad for a shoe store nearby, provide walking directions, click to call and even a special offer, whereas if a user stuck in the office may search for “men’s dress shoes” the same retailer could deliver an ad with a link to their e-commerce page of men’s dress shoes.

While not revolutionary, it can have its uses. For those businesses trying to do search on their own without the help of a Google Adwords Certified Partner or Individual it will add another level of complexity and opportunity to waste budget on multiple bidding options that may put a business owner chasing the wrong goal.

Google’s dominance in the world of search continues to improve relevancy of search results and this enhancement shows they are considering how we live use our smartphones and how we use search differently depending on our location, our device and the time of day. As search matures, these types of enhancements continue to refine results.

By | February 6th, 2013|digital media agency, interactive agency, SEM|0 Comments