Categories
Best practice

The Importance of Utilising the Correct Writing Style

In the rapidly evolving digital landscape, effective communication has an outsized role on the success of your digital marketing. As digital content becomes the lynchpin of marketing strategies, understanding and applying the correct writing style across various formats—be it articles, newsletters, EDMs, or social media posts—has never been more crucial.

Why Writing Style Matters

The essence of a compelling digital presence lies not only in the information conveyed but how it’s presented to the audience. Each writing style serves a distinct purpose, influencing how the message is received and perceived by your target audience. For automotive businesses, where the goal is to connect, engage, and convert, adopting a versatile approach to writing can make the difference between a prospective customer scrolling past or taking the next step in the sales funnel.

Different Styles for Different Formats

In order to maximise the effects of your marketing, its crucial to adapt the style and tone of your writing for different formats. Below are some examples of common formats and the differing purposes and needs of each.

Articles

Articles, especially those aimed at providing insights or industry news, require a balance between informative and engaging. The style should be authoritative yet accessible, ensuring the content is perceived as credible and trustworthy. For instance, an article discussing the latest automotive trends might adopt a professional tone but use layman’s terms to explain technical aspects, ensuring it remains accessible to all readers.

Newsletters

Newsletters serve to keep your audience updated and engaged with your brand. The style here is more conversational and personal. It’s an opportunity to speak directly to your customers, highlight offers, share news, and provide value in a way that strengthens the relationship. A successful newsletter might include a mix of content types, from educational pieces and industry news to personal stories and behind-the-scenes looks at your business operations.

EDMs (Electronic Direct Mails)

EDMs are targeted and action-oriented, designed to prompt an immediate response from the recipient. The writing style for EDMs should be direct, persuasive, and focused, with a clear call-to-action. Whether it’s announcing a new model launch or an exclusive offer, the message needs to be concise and compelling to encourage the recipient to act.

It’s important not to confuse newsletters and EDMs. Although newsletters will often be sent as an EDM (i.e. through a service like MailChimp) an actual EDM will be far more brief and requires a unique writing style that is more similar to writing an ad. Avoid the temptation to waffle on when it comes to EDMs: keep your writing sharp, persuasive and to the point.

Social media posts

While the dominant platform seems to be constantly evolving, social media continues to stands out as a way of connecting with your audience. The style of writing for social media posts demands a unique blend of authenticity, brevity, and engagement. Unlike the more detailed and informative nature of articles or the direct call-to-action found in EDMs, social media writing style is about capturing attention in a sea of constant updates.

Adapting Style to Audience Preferences

Understanding your audience is key to selecting the appropriate writing style, and starts with considering the preferences and expectations of your target demographic. A younger, more tech-savvy audience might appreciate a casual, upbeat tone, whereas professional clients may expect a more formal approach. Tailoring the style to match audience expectations can significantly enhance engagement and conversion rates.

The Role of Tone

Tone complements style by adding personality to your content. It conveys your brand’s attitude towards the subject matter and the audience. Whether it’s enthusiastic, serious, or humorous, the right tone can make your content resonate more deeply with your audience, building a stronger emotional connection.

If you’re writing an article, for instance, you would want your tone to be far more professional and authoritative than if you were writing a newsletter, which in turn would have a more relaxed and familiar tone than an EDM.

Implementing a Consistent Writing Guide

To maintain consistency across all digital communications, creating a writing guide is indispensable. This guide should outline your brand’s preferred style and tone, providing clear examples for different formats. It ensures that regardless of who is creating content—be it an in-house team or external contributors—the brand voice remains unified, recognisable and appropriate for the desired format.

Trust Retain Media to Make Lasting Connections

Mastering the art of writing is not just about crafting messages; it’s about forging connections, building trust, and driving action. By understanding and utilising the correct writing style for each communication format, brands can enhance their digital presence, engage their audience more effectively, and achieve their marketing objectives.

As the digital domain continues to evolve, the ability to adapt and refine your writing to meet changing consumer expectations will remain a vital component of digital marketing success. Remember, in the realm of content, how you say something is often as important as what you say.

If your writing is struggling to make a connection, we can help. As automotive industry specialists, our capable team of copywriters and SEO experts know what to say (and where to say it) to help your business stand out online and build lasting connections with your customers.

For more information, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Categories
Best practice

Understanding Lead Types: Navigating the Path to Conversion

In the realm of automotive sales, the term ‘lead types’ encompasses the various channels through which dealers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) connect with potential buyers. Each type of lead, from the spontaneous walk-in to the digital engagement of brochure downloads, brings its unique set of opportunities for conversion. In this article, we’ll dive into the different types of leads with the aim of arming dealers and OEMs with the knowledge to tailor their sales and marketing strategies to maximise the potential of every interaction.

Understanding Hot Leads vs. Cold Leads

In the sales and marketing domain, leads are often categorised based on their readiness to purchase and their previous interactions with the brand. This categorisation into hot leads and cold leads is crucial for tailoring engagement strategies and allocating resources efficiently.

Hot Leads: Primed for Purchase

Hot leads are potential customers who have shown a high level of interest in your product or service and are considered close to making a purchase decision. These leads are often characterized by their active engagement with your brand, such as requesting a quote, scheduling a test drive, or directly inquiring about specific vehicle models. They may also come from referrals or repeat customers who have a history of purchasing from your dealership.

Strengths of Hot Leads

  • Higher Conversion Probability: Hot leads have a much higher likelihood of converting into sales due to their demonstrated interest and intent.
  • Shorter Sales Cycle: The timeline from initial contact to sale is typically shorter, allowing for efficient use of sales resources.
  • Focused Engagement: Sales efforts can be more focused and personalized, increasing the effectiveness of the interaction.

Cold Leads: Early in the Journey

Cold leads, on the other hand, are at the opposite end of the spectrum. These are individuals who may have had minimal interaction with your brand or are in the early stages of their buying journey. They might have come across your dealership through general advertising, social media, or by signing up for a newsletter. Cold leads have not yet expressed a direct interest in making a purchase or are not actively seeking to buy in the near term.

Strengths of Cold Leads

  • Opportunity for Nurturing: Cold leads offer the opportunity to build a relationship over time, gradually warming them up to your brand.
  • Larger Pool: There is typically a larger volume of cold leads, providing a broad audience for brand awareness and top-of-funnel marketing activities.
  • Diverse Strategies: Engaging cold leads allows for creative marketing strategies, including educational content, special offers, and brand storytelling.

Bridging the Gap

The transition of a lead from cold to hot is a process that requires strategic nurturing, timely communication, and an understanding of customer needs. Effective lead management involves:

  • Segmentation and Personalisation: Tailoring communication based on the lead’s behaviour and interaction with your brand.
  • Value-Driven Engagement: Providing valuable information and solutions to the lead’s problems or interests.
  • Consistent Follow-up: Keeping your brand top of mind through regular, non-intrusive follow-ups.

Walk-ins: The Personal Touch

Walk-ins represent potential customers who physically visit a dealership. This lead type is highly valuable due to the immediate opportunity to engage in personal interaction. Sales staff can directly assess the customer’s needs, preferences, and buying signals, offering tailored advice and hands-on vehicle demonstrations. The strength of walk-ins lies in the personal connection and the heightened ability to influence the customer’s decision-making process through face-to-face interaction.

Phone Calls: The Verbal Connection

Phone calls are initiated by potential customers who contact the dealership or OEM directly. This lead type allows for real-time communication, providing an opportunity to quickly address queries, schedule appointments, or discuss offers. The strength of phone leads lies in their immediacy and the ability to establish a rapport through conversation, setting the stage for further engagement.

Lead Forms: The Digital Lead

Lead forms submitted on websites capture potential customers who express their interest online by filling out a form with their contact information. This lead type is significant due to its indication of a pre-existing interest in your products or services. The strength of digital leads lies in their traceability and the wealth of data they provide, enabling targeted follow-up strategies and personalised communication from your sales team.

Brochure Downloads: The Information Seekers

Brochure downloads involve potential customers downloading informational material from a dealership or OEM’s website. This lead type suggests a high level of interest in exploring vehicle options, specifications, and features in detail. The strength of brochure download leads lies in the self-identified interest of the customer in your offerings, presenting an opportunity to engage with informed prospects who are further along in the decision-making process.

Social Media Inquiries: The Engaged Audience

Social media inquiries come from potential customers who reach out through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This lead type is indicative of an engaged audience that prefers the immediacy and convenience of social media for communication. The strength of social media leads lies in their receptiveness to quick, informal interactions, allowing for rapid engagement and the building of community around your brand.

Which Lead Types are Most Important?

Determining the most important lead types for a dealer or OEM depends on several factors, including the target audience, sales strategy, and available resources for lead management. However, a balanced approach that values each lead type for its unique strengths can enhance overall sales effectiveness.

High-Intent Leads

Walk-ins and phone calls represent the most high-intent leads, as these potential customers have taken proactive steps to engage directly. Prioritising these leads can lead to quicker conversions due to the immediacy of the interaction and the opportunity to address customer needs in real-time.

Digital Leads

With the increasing significance of online presence in the automotive industry, digital leads (website forms and brochure downloads) are essential for building a sales pipeline. They offer scalability in lead management and the ability to nurture leads through automated marketing strategies.

Social Media Inquiries

As digital platforms continue to influence consumer behaviour, social media inquiries are becoming an important lead source, especially for reaching younger demographics. Engaging these leads effectively requires timely responses and an understanding of the casual, conversational tone preferred on these platforms.

Trust Retain Media for Proven Lead Generation

For dealers and OEMs, understanding the nuances of different lead types is key to generating high quality leads and developing a comprehensive sales strategy. By recognising the strengths of each lead type and tailoring their marketing efforts and lead generation strategies accordingly, businesses can improve their lead conversion rates and drive sales growth.

Balancing the focus on high-intent leads with the efficient management of digital and social media leads ensures a robust approach to lead generation and customer engagement, which will ultimately contribute to sustained success and a steady stream of customers through your sales funnel.

If you’re struggling when it comes to generating leads or are losing prospects in their sales journey, we can help. As automotive industry experts, we have worked with some of Australia’s most recognisable names to generate thousands of quality, qualified leads that make a difference to their bottom line.

To learn more about what we can do to keep customers coming through your door, contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

Categories
Best practice

How to Ensure Your Article is SEO-Friendly: A Comprehensive Guide

Search engine optimisation is one of the cornerstones of digital marketing, and in the fast-paced digital marketplace, crafting content that is both engaging and SEO-friendly is essential for success. This guide provides a strategic approach to content creation, focusing on optimising your articles for search engines while also captivating your audience.

Understanding the Basics of SEO

Search engines are like the gatekeepers of the digital world, and SEO-friendly articles are the keys to unlocking visibility. Properly optimised content can turn your website into a powerful tool for attracting and engaging visitors, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

Keywords: The Foundation of SEO

Keywords are what drive searches and targeting the right keywords is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimisation. To have SEO-friendly articles that rank on search engine results pages (SERPs) your keywords must be relevant to your topic, naturally integrated into your content, and reflect what your audience is searching for.

Keyword research tools and programs like Ahrefs are invaluable for identifying effective keywords, while others such as Keywords Everywhere will give you more accurate insight into average monthly search volume. When it comes to keywords, higher volume terms will often be more competitive yet offer greater benefits, helping to propel your articles up the rankings.

While keyword density is important for ranking your articles, don’t make the mistake of keyword stuffing in an attempt to game the rankings. Keyword stuffing is exactly what it sounds like, and will lead to your articles being penalised by search engines, ultimately hurting you more than helping you. By keeping your keyword usage natural and avoiding the urge to jam in extra mentions, you will easily avoid any issues, while increasing your likelihood of ranking for those keywords at the same time.

Meta Descriptions and Title Tags: Creating a Strong First Impression

Meta descriptions and title tags (also known as meta titles) are critical as they provide the first glimpse of your content in search results. Title tags/meta titles communicate the topic of the page to searchers, while meta descriptions offer a brief overview of what they will find on the page. A meta description and title tag should be compelling, include primary keywords, and accurately summarize your article for someone scrolling through a SERP.

Although meta descriptions are not strictly considered by search engines as a ranking factor, good meta descriptions do encourage a higher click-through rate and should still be considered an important part of your content.

The Importance of Quality Content & Originality

Beyond keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags, your article must provide valuable information, solve problems, or answer questions that searchers have. High-quality content is key to keeping readers engaged, reducing bounce rates, and increasing the time spent on your site. On the contrary, low-quality content that is recycled, unoriginal, or uninteresting is a good way to deter readers and hurt your article’s SEO performance. Ensure your content is unique and offers fresh insights or perspectives that readers will get real value from.

Readability: Ensuring Content Accessibility

Your content should be easy to read and digest, both when someone first lands on the page and as they’re making their way through your article. Avoid walls of text and use short paragraphs, clear subheadings, and bullet points to enhance readability. Tools like Hemingway Editor and Grammarly can help assess the clarity and simplicity of your writing and allow you to keep readers engaged throughout.

Headings

Headings and subheadings have a descending hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc) that determines their size on the page and how they relate to one another, with an H1 heading being your article title, H2 headings denoting your main points, H3 headings your sub-points, and so on. Additionally, headings also tell search engines what your article is about, which is why it is crucial to put your main targeted keyword in your H1 heading.

Images & Text Elements

Images serve not only as useful visual aids to your article but also help break up your content and make it more digestible – something that Google appreciates and values highly. Using authentic, original imagery wherever possible is best, as stock imagery or images taken from other articles will be seen as less trustworthy or valuable by Google, and can hurt your SEO ranking.

Text elements such as bullet points, numbered lists, bolded text and the like are all great ways to break up your articles and tend to be liked by Google, while also making it easier for your readers. The exact elements don’t matter too much, just so long as you have something that prevents your article from becoming a dreaded wall of text.

Advanced SEO Techniques

  1. Content Length and Quality: Focus on creating content that is not just lengthy but rich in quality, relevance, and clarity.
  2. Linking Strategy: Incorporate both internal and external links to enhance the depth and credibility of your content.
  3. Image Optimisation: Use well-optimised images with descriptive ALT tags that include your primary keyword, enhancing the visual appeal and accessibility for search engines.
  4. Schema Markup: Implement schema markups to aid search engines in understanding your content more effectively.
  5. Mobile Optimization: With mobile browsing now forming the majority of online searches, it is essential to ensure your content is accessible and navigable on all devices, especially smartphones.
  6. Page Load Speed: Optimise your page load speed to enhance user experience, using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Semi-Regular Updates and Backlinks

Update your content when necessary to keep it up-to-date and maintain high search engine rankings. If content becomes obsolete, the article’s click-through rate is likely to decrease, resulting in Google reconfiguring your ranking. Keeping your content current and relevant to the times is crucial in maintaining your positioning on page one.

Acquiring quality backlinks from reputable sites can also increase your organic search traffic and boost your SEO ranking, acting as endorsements for your content. Regularly check your backlinks for broken links if linking URLs have been altered or pages have been removed. Loss of backlinks can result in a loss of rankings and organic search traffic.

Conclusion: Balancing SEO and User Experience

Creating an SEO-friendly article requires balancing technical SEO with crafting an engaging user experience. As search engine algorithms evolve, staying abreast of the latest trends and continuously refining your approach is crucial.

By implementing these practices, your content will not just rank well in search engines but will also appeal to and satisfy your readers. This comprehensive approach ensures your content serves as a valuable asset in your digital strategy, effectively driving traffic and engaging your audience in the digital age.

Categories
Best practice

SEO Strategies for a Site Migration

Planning a new website launch?

Building and launching a new website is a big commitment of time and capital. 

Any site must talk to both the user and the machine (Google). 

The problem is most website agencies are full of web developers and don’t have staff whose main function is SEO. This leads to sites that can look beautiful, are easy to navigate and are very much built with the user in mind. The problem with this is that the second audience (Google) is often overlooked in the development phase.  When SEO considerations are not part of the plan or are not done well, the consequences on traffic and rankings can be substantial and immediate.

The site below was rebuilt and launched by a dev agency. The new site looked much better than the old one, but it was built and launched without any SEO consideration or a migration plan.  

The day the new site launched, there was a 30% drop in impressions and clicks and the site lost roughly 75,000 impressions and 5,000 site visits per month. Buying this traffic with Google ads would cost between $50 and $60,000 annually.

SEO Site Migration

SEO site migration is the process of moving pages, content and URLs to a new website without losing any SEO authority, rankings, indexing signals, etc.

An investment of $5-$10k in an SEO site migration plan would have ensured a smooth transition for the site above with minimal loss of traffic and rankings. In many cases, a robust migration plan can lead to an increase in traffic and rankings.  It can also be used to fix longstanding issues and improve the site architecture. 

Below is an example of a change in rankings (and traffic) a site experienced from a well-planned SEO migration. The period assessed was 1 week before migration and 3 weeks after migration.

This site had sizeable improvements in ranking and traffic for a number of category-level terms and overall traffic to the site.

Migration Plan

When planning a migration, every URL in the old site needs to be reviewed. Any migration plan must take into account the rank, organic traffic and backlinks of every page.

The following tools can be very helpful for doing the initial analysis and planning of a migration:

  • Google Search Console (SC)
  • Google Analytics (GA)
  • Screaming Frog
  • Ahrefs or SEMRush

Below are some key considerations when planning a migration.

Site Structure 

  • Take note of menu structure (both header and footer), how vehicle description pages (VDPs), category pages, blogs, etc fit into the menu and how pages are linked. This will help to determine how URLs should be structured.
  • If the site structure on the old site is good, you can simply carry it across. If not, now is the perfect opportunity to update and improve it.
  • Page 1 rankings
To kick off, we need to understand the current standing of a site.
  • Use Google Search Console or Screaming Frog to identify the indexable pages on the website and which pages have specific status codes.
  • Use Google Analytics or AHREFS to identify which pages are receiving traffic and which aren’t.
  • Use AHREFS again to identify pages with backlinks.

Any pages ranking on page 1 for any keywords or high-traffic keywords ranking close to page 1 are the most important pages when it comes to site migration. It is essential to ensure any content on these pages is carried across in full with little change. 

Ensuring these pages are redirected to the new site properly is also 

important. Doing both of these steps will ensure a high likelihood that no authority will be lost in the migration.

Pages with No Traffic

If there are pages that are not receiving any traffic, have no backlinks and are not key pages (e.g. blogs), consider whether or not these need to be transferred to the new site. 

Redirects

301 redirects tell Google that a page no longer exists and where the replacement URL is. 

One of the most common mistakes we see from dev agencies is they change the URL structure and do not implement 301 redirects, or they remove some URLs and do not implement 301s.

A new website launch often comes at a time when a brand is reviewing its product lineup and also offers the opportunity to change the URL structure for the site to a structure that makes more sense.

Identify the URLs that require redirects & create a 301 Redirect Map.

Trust Retain Media for Effective Site Migration

If you’re planning a new website, don’t let your hard work go to waste. We’ve helped clients of all sizes carry out site migrations without sacrificing their rankings, impressions or clicks. Get in touch with our team today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation and ensure the success of your site migration!

Categories
Facebook Advertising

On-Platform vs On-Site Leads

Growing and maintaining a healthy business is the goal of any business owner. There are many ways to nurture and grow a business, with many dealers and OEMs turning to Facebook Ads as a key marketing channel given the size of its audience, low barriers to entry and quality of user data it has at its disposal to target ads.

There are many different ways to set up Facebook campaigns depending on the desired outcome. 

Today, we will focus on conversion campaigns and, more specifically, lead generation campaigns.

Lead-gen campaigns on Facebook allow businesses and advertisers to target audiences/potential customers and capture their contact details (name, email, and phone number). 

On Facebook, there are two ways Facebook ads can help generate leads for your business; 

  1. On-platform leads (sometimes called Facebook Lead ads) and 

  2. On-site leads. 

Facebook Lead ads are Facebook ads that contain lead forms in pop-ups connected to the ad. The whole experience exists within the Facebook platform. 

On-site leads are leads generated from the advertiser’s website. A user must click on the ad and then be taken to your website, where they submit their details via a form or chat on the site. 

While both types of leads can be valuable for your business, let’s unpack the differences between on-platform and on-site leads and the benefits and limitations of each.

Benefits of On-Platform Leads

On-platform lead forms are mobile-first

Approximately 98% of users access Facebook on a mobile device. If most of our impressions are on mobile devices, optimising the lead form for mobile devices makes sense. This makes the on-platform lead form a seamless user experience, especially if your site isn’t mobile-optimized. 

It keeps audiences in the Facebook ecosystem

This sounds counterintuitive, but there is a reason why this is a benefit. Countless A/B tests and studies on live campaigns on Facebook found that audiences were more receptive and had a stronger positive brand association with advertisers who used on-platform leads. This is because it is less disruptive to the user and doesn’t disrupt the scroll by taking them off-platform, leading to higher conversion rates, a lower cost per lead, and more leads for your business. On-platform leads can be more cost-effective

Because on-platform lead forms don’t take audiences off Facebook, it also shortens the consumer journey between clicking on your ad and submitting their details. Countless studies across various media channels show that the easier you make the consumer journey for your audience, the more efficient your ads will be.

A CRM integration is preferred

You don’t NEED a CRM integration to run on-platform lead ads, but it does streamline the process and can maximise campaign performance if you do. A CRM integration allows leads to be viable to the sales team in real-time.

Without CRM integration, leads need to be manually downloaded from Facebook in a CSV file or managed in Facebook’s new ‘CRM lite’. This means there is a lag in lead submission to follow-up. For effective lead management, “speed to lead” is one of the keys to success.  

CRM integration allows advertisers to share high-value segments with Facebook for more tactical executions. 

Limited customization

On-platform lead forms have come a long way since being introduced. Initially, lead forms were rudimentary, with limited fields and functionality. While they are much more robust today, even allowing for rich creative and conditional questions to qualify your leads, lead forms are generic and don’t allow for all the nuances of a business’s product or category.

Benefits of On-Site Leads

Higher friction

On a website, a user needs to click the ad and leave Facebook, view the landing page content, navigate to the form and fill in the form – either on the landing page or then go to a second page. All this additional friction will mean the volume of leads is lower, and the cost per lead is higher. The quality will also be higher; in many cases, we have seen website leads close at 10x the rate of on-Facebook leads.

Keeps your data in one place

This is most beneficial if you don’t have a compatible CRM integration. Running lead generation optimised to on-site leads would remove the need to manually download leads from Facebook. This would allow a business to completely house user data within its internal systems, ensuring privacy compliance.

More customisation

As mentioned above, sometimes there are instances where Facebook’s on-platform solution isn’t the best solution for your business. This is particularly true if there are nuances to your business that require a high level of customisation or a high level of detail. On-platform leads are great for generating volume; however, on-site lead forms have the benefit of being fully customisable to suit your needs, especially if you need those nitty-gritty details.

On-site leads are potentially more qualified

Yes, this will likely translate to a higher cost per lead. However, as the user journey is more involved and longer for the consumer, any leads generated are more considered and potentially offer a higher value for your business. There are exceptions to the rule, as sometimes the quality of the leads is impacted by the quality of the lead form.

Limitations of On-Site Lead Forms

Higher user drop-off / higher cost per lead

It’s already been said, but to state the obvious, the longer the user journey, typically the more you will have to pay to deliver a lead. While exceptions exist to the rule, this is particularly true for on-site lead generation as you ask your audience to leave a platform they are engaging with to visit your site.

Which lead solution should you choose?

Like lead generation on Facebook, it’s not one size fits all. 

If volume is the goal, on-Facebook lead ads can be very effective.

If quality is the goal, website leads are better. Facebook lead ads can be used, especially with additional friction to slow the users down and/or in retargeting campaigns where the audience has already been qualified. 

The balancing act is the quality of the leads from the website tends to be higher compared to the volume of leads that can be generated via Facebook.  In many cases, a combination of the two can be effective.If you’re struggling with lead generation, we can help

As experts in lead generation, our team have an innate understanding of on-site and on-platform lead generation, and can help guide you in the best option that will deliver quality, qualified leads to your business. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today and level up your lead generation with Retain Media.

Categories
Google ads

Fraud in the Google Display Network

In the dynamic world of digital advertising, Google Ads campaigns stand as a pillar of many marketing strategies. However, most businesses only run Google search ads, not realising that there is a whole world of advertising awaiting them, spread across four Google networks: Search, Video (YouTube), Shopping and Display. In this article, we’ll be exploring the issue of fraud in the Google Display Network.

The Display Network refers to ads that are run on websites and apps (such as banner or footer ads), is made up of more than 35 million websites and apps, and reaches over 90% of Internet users worldwide. When you run ad campaigns on the Display Network, you can use targeting to show your ads in particular contexts (like “outdoor lifestyles” or “cnn.com”), to particular audiences (like “young mums” or “people shopping for a new sedan”), in particular locations and more.

Where Does Fraud Fit into All This?

Although the Google Display Network offers immense control when it comes to targeting your audience, fraud sites are a pervasive issue that plague the Display Network, particularly ‘Made for Advertising’ (MFA) sites. These deceptive platforms not only drain advertising budgets but also compromise the effectiveness and integrity of Google Ads campaigns, and can be difficult to avoid.

Integrated Ad Science’s 2022 Media Quality Report notes that Australia has ad fraud rates of 1.4% for desktop display ads, and 0.4% for mobile web display and mobile web video ads. Although this may sound like an insignificant amount, considering that billions of dollars of campaigns are being run every year, the scale of the fraud soon becomes evident.

The Direct Impact on Google Ads Campaigns

MFA sites are expertly disguised as legitimate content platforms, drawing in unsuspecting users through alluring headlines and endless slideshows. This deceitful practice significantly impacts Google Ads campaigns in two primary ways:

Wasted Ad Spend

Billions of dollars are diverted annually into these fraud sites, leading to a considerable waste of advertising budgets. According to research from CHEQ, in 2022 the total cost of ad fraud reached $61 billion, and advertisers are finding their ads displayed on sites that provide little to no return on investment, diminishing the overall effectiveness of their campaigns.

In some cases, we’ve taken over accounts where up to 70% of the ad spend was going towards fraudulent sites. When you’re encountering levels of fraud that are that high, it’s almost not worth running a campaign.

Brand Reputation Risk

In addition to wasting your ad spend, MFA sites can also tarnish the reputation of your brand. Consumers associating a brand with misleading, low-quality, inappropriate or harmful content can lead to a loss of trust and credibility, something that can be hard to recover from even for well-established brands.

Identifying MFA Sites in Google Ads

Recognising MFA sites within the context of Google Ads is crucial to ensuring your campaign spend is not being wasted. Indicators include:

  • Non-Original Content: MFA sites often feature content that is either plagiarised or generated with minimal effort, lacking genuine value or relevance.
  • Spammy Ad Behaviour: These sites tend to display an excessive number of ads, often refreshing them at high frequencies.
  • Dubious Content Formatting: The use of infinite scroll, oversized fonts, and large image blocks are tactics to increase ad exposure.
  • Clickbait Headlines: MFA sites frequently employ sensational or misleading headlines to drive clicks.
  • Unrelated Names: MFA sites will often have URLs that are incongruous with the content displayed on the page. Common names and domains that frequently appear on MFA sites include words such as: games, toy, play, meditation, baby, child, children etc.

This website – note, if you are using an anti-virus then you will receive a warning about a dangerous site – is a classic example of a fraud MFA website, and features several hallmarks including its name (Simple Game Guide)

The Power of Whitelisting in Google Ads Campaigns

One effective strategy to mitigate the impact of MFA sites is the creation of ‘whitelists.’ Whitelisting involves curating a list of approved, reputable websites where advertisers prefer their ads to be displayed. This proactive approach offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced Control: Whitelists give advertisers more control over where their ads appear, ensuring alignment with sites that match their brand’s values and target audience.
  • Improved ROI: By focusing ad spend on high-quality sites, advertisers can improve the return on their Google Ads investment.
  • Brand Safety: Whitelisting reduces the risk of ads appearing on inappropriate or harmful sites, safeguarding the brand’s reputation.

Implementing Whitelists in Your Strategy

To effectively implement whitelists in Google Ads campaigns, consider the following steps:

  1. Research and Identify: Compile a list of sites that align with your brand’s values and have a track record of delivering quality content and engagement.
  2. Use Google Ads Tools: Utilise the targeting options in Google Ads to specify where your ads should be displayed.
  3. Regular Review and Update: The digital landscape is ever-changing. Regularly review and update your whitelists to include new reputable sites and remove those that no longer meet your standards.
However, while whitelists can be great for ensuring brand safety, Google ad campaigns need scale in order to be successful. Limiting your whitelist to the top 10, 50 or even 100 sites will prevent them from building scale and generating return on your ad spend.

Trust Retain Media for Ad Campaigns that Deliver

The challenge of fraud sites, particularly MFA sites, poses a significant threat to the efficacy of Google Ads campaigns. By understanding the impact of these sites and employing strategies like whitelisting, advertisers can protect their investment, maintain brand integrity, and optimise the performance of their campaigns in the digital advertising arena.

If you’re struggling to get results with your Google Ads campaigns, we can help. Our team of Google-certified ads experts have helped deliver thousands of quality, qualified leads to our clients while maximising ad spend. Get in touch with us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation and start making the most of your Google Ads campaigns.

Categories
Best practice

How to Use Chat GPT

One of the truths of the auto industry is that people buy stories, and they pay extra for good stories. Selling vehicles is all about crafting engaging stories but all too often the story is what dealers neglect the most. One of the biggest pain points in a dealership is writing the descriptions for the vehicles they sell, and the greater the dealership’s volume, the bigger a pain point this becomes.

Usually this failure is due to a lack of time more than a lack of desire. Luckily, there is a new tool that promises to transform this task for dealerships and streamline the process of writing vehicle descriptions: Chat GPT.

How to Use Chat GPT as a Dealer

With just a few key pieces of information, ChatGPT can be used to write compelling, optimised vehicle descriptions that will connect with customers and help you make more sales. Below is a prompt that you can try for yourself:

“I need you to write vehicle listing comments based on key specs and features that I will provide. These vehicle listing comments should be 100-200 words long and have a light and sales-like tone. Please find the information below.”

If you don’t have an account with ChatGPT, that’s okay! We’ve made life even easier with the recent release of our free tool, AutoScribe. AutoScribe is our custom-built chatbot that harnesses the power of ChatGPT, allowing you to generate free vehicle listing comments without ever needing to set up an account. Click here to try AutoScribe for yourself.

The image below shows the description ChatGPT created based on just five pieces of information: the vehicle name, odometer, body type, transmission, and engine type. However, the more information you can provide (including full specs and features), the more detailed and compelling the descriptions will be.

Of course, you’re not just limited to cars – ChatGPT can be used to write vehicle comments and descriptions for anything from boats and caravans to trailers and jet skis. The image below shows the same prompt used to create a description for a caravan listed on a dealer’s website.

When you’re selling big ticket products like cars and caravans, you’re selling a lifestyle and a dream, and descriptions are one of the key ways you communicate this dream to potential buyers. Now you understand how to use ChatGPT as a dealer, read on for our answers to some of the most popular questions about Chat GPT, and an in-depth guide to some of its latest features.

How Does ChatGPT Work?

ChatGPT is a text-based generative AI, with the ‘GPT’ standing for Generative, Pre-trained Transformer. Generative AIs like Chat GPT are built using a large language model (LLMs) which involves training the AI on billions of pieces of text data, such as books, websites, Wikipedia pages, social media posts and more.

It is these billions of data points that enable ChatGPT to generate human like text and responses through natural language processing. When you interact with ChatGPT, it draws on this training data to understand the content and context of your request and produce an accurate response.

Is ChatGPT Free?

ChatGPT was initially free for everyone when it first launched in December 2022, however, there are now three membership tiers: Free, Plus, and Enterprise. The Free tier is completely free but uses an older version of the GPT model, GPT-3.5, which is less advanced and more limited in its features.

The Plus tier costs $20USD a month and uses GPT-4, the latest and most advanced model. Plus also comes with a number of additional features, such as the ability to use image-based and voice-based chat, AI image-generation, and the ability to build custom GPTs to carry out specific functions.

The Enterprise tier is available to large organisations who require enhanced security and privacy features, unlimited GPT-4 access, and advanced analysis capabilities. The Enterprise membership can only be obtained by contacting a member of the OpenAI sales team.

While the Free version is perfectly sufficient for anyone wanting to play around with ChatGPT, we recommend upgrading to ChatGPT Plus if you will be using it regularly for business.

What Can I Use ChatGPT For?

Part of what makes ChatGPT so incredible is that there is no definitive answer to this question – there are thousands of ways to use ChatGPT, with more being discovered every day. With that being said, most businesses use ChatGPT to write things like website content, social media posts, product descriptions or meta-data.

However, you are really only limited by your imagination. You could get ChatGPT to write you an advertising jingle or a unique piece of code for your website, or even have it create AI images, as we did in the example below. The best thing you can do is spend some time playing around with ChatGPT and learning how it responds to your requests – you’ll be surprised at what it can come up with.

What Are the Main Features of ChatGPT?

As a text-based AI, ChatGPT’s main feature is its ability to generate human-like text and perform text-based functions like language translation. However, since its launch, OpenAI (ChatGPT’s parent company) have released a number of updates and new features that make it even more powerful, including:

Internet Browsing

Powered by Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, ChatGPT can now browse the internet to support its responses and answer specific prompts like “tell me what today’s top news story is”. The addition of internet browsing has filled large gaps in ChatGPTs knowledge base and reduced the likelihood of it giving you incorrect or inaccurate information.

AI-Generated Imagery

DALL-E is ChatGPT’s image-based counterpart that takes your prompts and turns them into vivid pictures and works of art. DALL-E image-generation was added to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise in October 2023, and allows you to create imagery directly in ChatGPT. The image below was created directly in ChatGPT, using the following prompt:

“Please create an image of a writer sitting at a desk, feeding this prompt into a giant, computer embodiment of DALL-E, which is fulfilling this prompt on the screen. “

Custom GPTs

Custom GPTs (also known as just GPTs) is one of the latest updates to ChatGPT Plus and Enterprise that allows you to create custom GPTs to perform specific functions. Prior to the introduction of GPTs, most businesses (including ourselves) maintained a document or spreadsheet of their most popular prompts in order to get predictable, consistent outputs.

But with GPTs, these prompts can be turned into standalone functions that eliminate the need for extensive prompt libraries and streamline the process of getting your output. The image below shows the GPT builder and preview for a test GPT that we created with the following prompt:

“This GPT is designed to automatically generate vehicle comments for car dealership listings based on provided information. It should produce engaging and informative descriptions that highlight the key features and selling points of each vehicle. The GPT should ensure accuracy, use persuasive language, and cater to the interests of potential car buyers.”

With this custom GPT (which named itself AutoScribe) we can drop in vehicle specs from a listing on Carsales and have AutoScribe write vehicle comments for that listing. For the example below, we only used the top-line information from the listing: make and model, year, odometer reading, body type, transmission, and engine type. 

Even with only the bare minimum of information, AutoScribe was able to write detailed and engaging vehicle comments. For a car dealer, a custom GPT like AutoScribe could save dozens of hours a week, and be the difference between a buyer picking up the phone or looking elsewhere – and it only took 5 minutes to make.

How ChatGPT Can Benefit Your Business

The benefits of ChatGPT will vary widely from industry to industry and business to business, however, in our experience, the greatest benefits it offers is in increased efficiency and the automation of repetitive tasks.

For us, that largely takes the form of writing optimised meta-descriptions and meta-titles, while for other businesses it might be writing social media posts, debugging code, or writing product descriptions. Although its creativity has generated the most headlines, where ChatGPT really excels is when it has clear instructions and guidelines to follow.

Below is the prompt we gave ChatGPT to write a meta-description for this article that ensures it will be optimised for Google in terms of structure and character count.

Prompt: I need you to write a meta-description for the article below. The meta-description must have two sentences, be no less than 135 characters (including spaces) and no more than 142 characters (including spaces) mention the brand name (Retain Media) and finish with a unique call to action. The call to action must not include generic phrases such as “read now”, “discover now” etc.

What Are the Limitations of ChatGPT?

Despite its groundbreaking capabilities, ChatGPT does have limitations that you need to keep in mind while using it. As an AI model trained on pre-existing data, it can sometimes generate outdated or incorrect information, particularly in rapidly evolving fields.

While its language capabilities are impressive, they are rooted in text-based understanding, lacking the nuances of human emotion or complex context. Therefore, while it’s an incredibly powerful tool, it’s not a complete substitute for human judgment and creativity and is best used as an aide, rather than a replacement,

How Do I Learn to Use ChatGPT?

While there are endless guides and YouTube walkthroughs out there, the best way to learn to use ChatGPT is just to jump in and use it. Doing this will not only give you the option to experience its possibilities for yourself, but also learn its peculiarities and quirks.

Although ChatGPT is an undeniably powerful tool, it can still be temperamental, with the quality of its responses fluctuating from one day to the next. The faster you can get a feel for these fluctuations, the better you’ll be able to navigate them and ensure a consistent result every time.

Categories
Market reports

The Impact of Consumer Search Trends on the Australian Caravan Market: Insights from Retain Media’s 2023 Report

In the dynamic landscape of the Australian caravan market, understanding consumer behaviours and preferences is crucial for brands aiming to navigate the competitive terrain effectively. Our recent comprehensive analysis of the 2023 caravan market sheds light on these critical dynamics, offering a rich overview of search trends, brand performance, and the indispensable role of reputation management in shaping consumer decisions.

A Word on Methodology

This report is part of an ongoing series of research we are conducting into search habits in the Australian automotive industry. Through the use of several keyword research tools, we analysed search volume data throughout Australia from Q1-Q4 2023, focusing on 92 brands, including campers motorhomes and caravans, both locally made and imported. This search data comprised over 9,000 search terms, averaging 900,000 searches a month.

Although this report offers a granular and unprecedented level of insight into Australian search habits as they relate to the Australian RV market, it only focused on 92 brands out of more than 200 Australian manufacturers. Read on for our key findings!

If your brand is not mentioned or you are keen to learn more about what this research means for your business, contact us today to discuss our data and what it can do for you. To see the report in full, download it by clicking the button below.

Jayco Leads in Consumer Searches

As is to be expected, Jayco maintains a commanding presence in the market, capturing a substantial 30.9% search share. This not only highlights Jayco’s dominance and name recognition, but also reflects the brand’s significant impact on consumers’ consideration processes. The consistency in consumer interest from Q1-Q4 underscores the importance of maintaining a strong online presence and engaging marketing strategies in order to keep your brand at the forefront of consumer awareness.

Common Model Names Among Brands

Our research revealed that the RV market features several brands with models sharing common names, such as Trax, Scout, and Belmont. This naming overlap represents significant potential for consumer confusion, underscores the challenge for brands to distinguish themselves, and emphasises the need for extensive competitor research and strategic marketing to highlight unique selling propositions and build brand identity.

Crucial Role of Reputation Management

One of the most surprising insights to emerge from the report was the significant number of searches that mentioned brand names with keywords like ‘problems’ and ‘reviews’. With between 17,000 and 23,000 searches a month for terms that included ‘reviews’, and between 13,000 and 18,000 for terms that included ‘problems’, the search data indicates a high perception of risk associated with a caravan purchase.

With RVs often exceeding the price of an average car, consumer reviews and testimonials become pivotal in the purchasing journey, and essential in shaping brand reputation. As such, it is crucial that brands develop effective strategies for managing their reputation, and should focus on developing strong relationships with publications for independent reviews, and create a robust plan for generating owner reviews and testimonials.

Doing so will not only aid in improving search visibility but will also act as a counterbalance to searches related to problems, helping to overcome any perceived risk.

If Your Brand is Struggling to Stand Out, We Can Help

The insights from our 2023 RV Market Consideration Report underscore the transformative power of consumer search trends and the critical importance of reputation management in the caravan industry. As brands strive to meet and exceed consumer expectations, leveraging these insights for strategic planning and engagement will be key to achieving market success and fostering long-term brand loyalty.

If your brand is struggling to stand out from the crowd, we can help. As caravan and RV industry experts, we’ve helped some of Australia’s most-recognised brands to increase their search share and build brand loyalty, all while delivering quality, qualified leads that boost their bottom line.

For more information, contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation and start making your mark on Australian buyers.

Categories
Press Releases

Retain Media’s 2023 RV Market Consideration Report: A Deep Dive into Australian Consumer Trends and Brand Performance

MELBOURNE, Australia — Retain Media today unveiled its RV Market Consideration Report for 2023, delivering a comprehensive analysis of the Australian RV market’s consumer search behaviours, brand preferences, and the significant role of reputation management in high-involvement purchases like caravans, campers, and motorhomes.

Methodology: The report meticulously analyzes search volume data throughout Australia for the year 2023, focusing on 92 brands, including campers motorhomes and caravans, both locally made and imported. This search data comprised over 9,000 search terms, averaging 900,000 searches a month. Analysis of the data revealed significant searches for brands that included keywords such as ‘problem/s’ and ‘review/s’. This granular approach offers a panoramic view of the market, highlighting the consumer perception of risk, and the role that consumer inquiries into brand reputations play in significantly influencing purchasing decisions.

Key Findings:

  • Jayco’s Market Dominance: Jayco emerged as the most searched caravan brand, boasting a search share of 30.9%. This figure underscores Jayco’s robust presence in the consumer’s consideration set.
  • Model Name Overlaps: The research identified commonalities in model names across different brands, including names like Trax, Scout, Retreat, Belmont, Razor, Savannah, Matrix, Simpson, and Overlander. This overlap suggests a competitive landscape and reiterates the need for brands to conduct thorough research before naming their models.
  • Reputation Management: The analysis highlighted the critical role of reputation management in the caravan industry. With RVs often costing significantly more than the average car, online reviews are pivotal in the consumer’s path to purchase. The report noted monthly searches ranging between 17,000 and 23,000 for brand and model reviews, and between 13,000 and 18,000 for brand-related problems.
  • Strategic Recommendations: For brands, developing strong relationships with publications for independent reviews and creating a robust plan for generating owner reviews and testimonials is recommended. Such content not only aids in improving search visibility but also acts as a counterbalance to searches related to problems, underscoring the importance of authentic consumer feedback in shaping brand reputation.

Conclusion:

  • The 2023 RV Market Consideration Report from Retain Media provides critical insights into the Australian RV market, emphasizing the significance of search trends, brand reputation, and the strategic importance of reviews in high-involvement purchase decisions. As the RV industry continues to evolve, this report serves as an invaluable resource for brands looking to navigate the complexities of consumer expectations and market dynamics effectively.

    For further details and the complete report, visit Retain Media

About Retain Media:

  • Specializing in digital marketing within the automotive sector, Retain Media excels in SEO, PPC advertising, and market analysis. Our team is committed to crafting targeted marketing solutions that resonate with our clients’ unique goals, fostering growth and enhancing visibility in the digital realm.

Contact:

End of Press Release

  • We invite editors and journalists to explore the Retain Media website for detailed information and further inquiries.

Categories
Press Releases

Retain Media Reveals Latest Findings in Australian Motorcycle Market Trends

MELBOURNE, Australia — In its most recent market analysis, Retain Media’s Motorcycle Industry Brand Consideration Report offers a detailed overview of the evolving Australian motorcycle market, underscoring key trends in brand preferences and model popularity across diverse segments, including road bikes, LAMS, adventure touring, cruisers, naked bikes, trail bikes, and ATV/UTVs, along with new insights into the discontinued models category.

Methodology: This comprehensive report analysed search volume data in Australia over the last four quarters, from Q1 2023 to Q4 2023, incorporating over 7 million searches in 2023 Q4 (+14% from 2023 Q3) and more than 35,000 unique search terms related to various motorcycle brands and models.

This data excluded any searches that implied a used bike (e.g. “2021 Ninja 400”) as well as searches for parts & merchandise, service & manuals, clubs & forums, rentals, etc.

Key Findings:

  • Yamaha continues to lead the All Brands category with a 13.8% search share in Q4 2023, a slight gain (0.3%) from Q3 2023 that tied it with Kawasaki for the greatest quarter-to-quarter gain in the All Brands category.
  • Honda retains the top spot in the LAMS category, though it registered a slight drop of 0.8% from Q3 2023. Meanwhile, Kawasaki and Yamaha showcased minor growth in the category, elevating their share by 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively, in Q4 2023.
  • Two of Harley-Davidson’s most recent releases, the X350 and the X500, appear in the top 20 cruiser models, with 1.2% and 1%, respectively.  There is strong demand for LAMS Harleys, with the Street 500 being the second most searched discontinued model.
  • The ATV/UTV segment is led by the Can-Am Defender and Polaris RZR Trail, with the Defender experiencing a moderate decrease in search volume (-2.4% from Q3 to Q4) and the Polaris RZR Trail seeing an increase in interest of 0.4% from Q3 to Q4. Including the Defender, Can-Am has five of this category’s top 10 most-searched models.
  • In the Discontinued Models category, the Honda Grom leads with 42.6% of all searches in the category, evidence of its high consumer appeal despite its discontinuation and well ahead of the second place Harley-Davidson Street 500, with only 12.1% of the search share.

All Brands Search Share %:

In a dynamic market landscape, Yamaha leads with a 13.8% search share in Q4 2023, experiencing a slight (0.3%) increase from Q3 2023. Kawasaki follows closely at 13.4%, having also experienced a slight gain from 13.1% the previous quarter. 

Honda and Harley-Davidson occupy third and fourth place, with 11.8% and 11.7% search share, respectively, with Honda experiencing a 0.3% decrease from Q3 2023. While other brands in the top 10 – KTM,  Suzuki, Triumph and Royal Enfield – all saw minor changes in their search share from Q3-Q4, Ducati and BMW gained 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively, indicating growing interest in these brands.

Top Models in Various Categories:

  • Road Bikes: Yamaha YZF-R1 remains a favourite in a category dominated by superbikes, though it registered a slight decrease in search volume. The dominance of low-selling superbikes indicates that a significant percentage of the top road bike searches are made by dreamers rather than genuine buyers.
  • LAMS: Honda and Kawasaki show strong performance, appealing to new riders.
  • Adventure Touring: Royal Enfield Himalayan sees growing interest, gaining 4.2% from 13.1% to 17.3% from Q3 to Q4 2023.
  • Cruisers: The Indian Scout continues to build a lead on the Harley-Davidson Breakout 117 with 15.8% of searches in Q4 2023. Despite this, Harley-Davidson still has 15 of the 20 most-searched models.
  • Naked Bikes: KTM 390 Duke tops the list despite a slight decrease in search share.
  • Trail Bikes: The Honda CRF250F emerges as the leading model, showing significant interest despite a slight decrease in search share from 29.5% in Q3 2023 to 26.9% in Q4 2023.
  • ATV/UTVs: Can-Am Defender and Polaris RZR Trail highlight the segment’s robust interest.
  • Discontinued Models: Honda Grom leads, showing sustained popularity among enthusiasts.

Conclusion:

Retain Media’s analysis offers vital insights for understanding the changing trends and consumer preferences in the Australian motorcycle market. This information is instrumental for industry stakeholders in formulating effective marketing strategies and product development. 

Retain Media would like to thank those media outlets and OEMs whose feedback on our initial Q3 report proved invaluable in preparing the Q4 report. Retain Media invites journalists and industry stakeholders to share their insights and suggestions on the report by emailing marketinsights@retainmedia.com.au

For a more detailed report and insights, please visit https://retainmedia.com.au/

About Retain Media:

Retain Media is a prominent digital marketing services provider in the automotive sector, specializing in lead generation through SEO and PPC advertising. Our expert team leverages deep knowledge of the digital space and clients’ unique requirements to implement innovative and effective growth strategies.

Contact:

End of Press Release

  • Editors and journalists are invited to visit the Retain Media website for comprehensive information and further inquiries.