Local Marketing Source Blog

Local Marketing Industry Weekly Update – #146 – 2/04/15 – Niche Based Marketing

This week’s agenda:

-Niche Based Marketing

-What 30 Seconds Of Super Bowl Ad Money Would Have Bought Online

-Google Answers Now Showing Blue Icons Linking To Publisher Sites Or More Google Answers

-Google Answers now shows action links directing to publishers sites.

-Location Based Geo-Targeting Boosts Paid Search Ad Performance…Or Does It?


Good afternoon everyone. This is Scott Gallagher with Local Marketing Source, bringing you our weekly local marketing industry update. Next week our LMS member call going to be on Wednesday February 11th at 4:00 PM Eastern. Don’t forget to checkout our private Facebook group for LMS members. We have live questions and quite a bit of activity that’s there. We have quite a few members and we like to hear from you. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes, as well as our YouTube channel.

This week is going to be a fun week. I have a few different things to talk about.

I had a conversation today with an LMS student and it just reiterated some of the discussions we have in regards to niche based marketing. I want to talk about that, not just for an internet marketing agency, but for any business that is out there.

Next, this one is going to be fun. We just had the Super Bowl here in the United States. If you’re not American, chances are you probably weren’t involved unless you had some ties to this country. People in America tend to feel like it’s an international sport. Even being Canadian, I know many Canadians (including myself) who have watched more NFL than CFL, which is the Canadian Football League. Just a little side note here for any NFL fans, the Canadian Football League has bigger balls, we have a longer field, and we have one less down.

But, we’re here for marketing and marketing a local business, so I want to talk about 30 second ads. It’s the biggest thing, it’s almost like the commercials from the Super Bowl are bigger than the Super Bowl itself. We’re going to talk about how much money that was and what you can do with that money on the internet. It’s mind blowing.

Next, we’re going to talk about Google Answers. If you don’t know what Google Answers is, with Google being a portal, it’s when you type something into Google and they give you the answer itself rather than you having to go to another website. When you type in time or temperature, that’s Google Answers at work. Now Google Answers is showing blue icons; I’m going to talk about how we can leverage this and take advantage of this for local businesses.

Then we’re going to talk a little bit about location based geo-targeting, because there are people out there saying that location based geo-targeting boosts your paid search ad performance. We’re here for organic discussion, so what those people on the paid side are doing and how that’s going to impact us on the local side.

Before I get started, I hope you guys enjoyed the little intro that we had, just a little bit of fun. I’m starting to make some changes and very soon I’m going to be releasing and launching a full blown radio show. That was just a theme song that I had made. Can you believe that I had that theme song made for $5 off of Fiverr? The author is a musician; he created the music, the lyrics, and he came up with a song. It’s not half bad, a lot of fun. It talks about me as an individual; a father who likes snowboarding and I’m not a big fan of the telephone,…

First, I want to talk about niche based marketing. The conversation I had this morning he said, “Scott, I see you and a lot of other LMS students that focus their internet marketing agency on a specific niche. What are your thoughts on that?” Anybody that knows me that talks about training at Local Marketing Source to talk about building an internet marketing agency definitely is a firm believer in niche based marketing.

When I started my agency back in 2005 (10 years ago) I sold to the courier industry only because I had contacts in that industry, because that was the industry we sold software to. I fell into the concept of niche based marketing. Over the years as I’ve thought about it and realized why that works and dissected that concept and looked at it, a lot of things started to make a lot of sense.

I thought I’d talk a little bit about it today, but not from the perspective of just an internet marketing agency, but more so the perspective of just business in general. We know statistics like 90% of businesses fail inside of the first year. That’s a fact. It’s not an opinion. It is what it is. There are a lot of different reasons why businesses fail.

When we talk about search engine optimization and we talk about marketing or the definitions of it, their definitions are nearly identical. It’s just a matter of creating content. Marketing is a matter of creating content. How that content comes out is irrelevant for the discussion of definition, whether it’s a video or an article, where that article is doesn’t matter, a brochure, a business card, a billboard.

It’s marketing and marketing is about creating a marketing piece that has value to an audience. Maybe that billboard is going to resonate some laughter, maybe it’s going to resonate some emotion. When a billboard can do that, that’s about all the value we can achieve from a three or four second display of an ad. An article inside a local newspaper has a lot of value with that.

With SEO what we do is we create content that has value. We create content like all the profiles and all the citations that are out there for local businesses. Those have value because if somebody goes to Yelp they want to know when a certain business is open and how to communicate with them. As a business have to claim that local listing and make sure we have the hours of operation up there, offering information of value.

There’s a reason why the 150 different profile sites out there all have a lot of standards. We create one profile sheet – your name, when you were founded, when you’re open, your description, your contact information, the phone number, the address, pictures that we’re utilizing, etcetera.

SEO and marketing, we can look at it so many different ways, but by definition they come down to the exact same thing. It’s just a matter of what content we create and where we distribute that content, and how we let our audience know that we’ve created this so they can get value from it. There are hundreds of questions that lie underneath that and a lot of decisions. That’s the art of us being a marketer, making those decisions on the formula, the plan, and how we’re going to accomplish that and overcome some of it.

We’re trying to get content inside of medical journals. Medical journals are at the top, they’re written by some of the best doctors in the world. To get a piece of content published in something like that is pretty damn reputable. Us as marketers are trying to achieve that for our doctors. Our doctors are not writing that content, we’re writing that content, and we’re getting the approval of our doctors to put their name on it. We go and get that approved. Those accomplishments are huge. There is a tremendous amount of effort to write an article that is going to be printed inside of a medical journal. You have to have a tremendous amount of data and knowledge.

What about just industry publications? Here’s an example of an article that we’re trying to get published in a national dental magazine. It’s just Toothpaste and Gluten Free, written by us but it has our dentist’s name on it. That choice of what to make.

The fact of the matter is I’m still trying to establish that SEO and marketing are the same thing. There are fundamentals in marketing. It doesn’t matter what marketing book you pick up, whether it was from the ‘60s and you need to blow some dust off of it or if you go to some of these internet marketing conventions now, they’re all labeling it a little bit differently, but at the end of the day it’s all about customer segmentation. In other words, understanding who your specific audience is.

Another example, I was having a conversation last week with another student and I said, “You don’t even know who you are. You have no idea who you are and who you’re trying to talk to.” He said, “Of course.” I asked him, “Who do you talk to?” He said, “Businesses that are local.”

I said to him, “Hang on a second here. Let’s take three different businesses. We’re going to take a restaurant. You’ve worked a little bit in the tourism industry, so we’ll talk about a tourist business. And we’ll talk about a service based business, like a dentist. You’re trying to sell to all three of those. That’s what you’re telling me, right?” He said, “Yes, I’ll take those.”

Great. When you’re creating your messaging on your website and you’re delivering solutions to these people, addressing their pain, we know why people buy and they’re trying to solve a problem, you’re trying to solve that problem with the information when you talk to them and offer them a solution.

Take a restaurant. There’s no way that I’m going to go and sell SEO to, in most cases, financially speaking, restaurants. I can’t make money at it.

Here’s just an example. If I’m charging $1,000 a month – and I have to charge at least $1,000 per month or more to deliver the service that I feel is best in order to get ranked number one on Google, I don’t settle for anything less than number one or two. If we’re going to do that for a restaurant and I have to charge them a minimum of $1,000 per month, their profit margins are about 10%. Some are higher and some are lower, but let’s assume it’s 10%.

That means in that month I have to generate $10,000 in new business in order for them to justify it. I’m not too sure that having a burger joint or a pub ranked number one on Google is going to bring in more than $10,000 in business on that specific month.

Let’s say it brought in $5,000 in new business and you get those customers. Now you have to look at customer value for life. I do feel like there is an opportunity to sell them long-term, but again that’s the messaging of discussion.

Versus that chiropractor that when you’re charging $1,000 a month and their profit margins are at 50%, that means I have to generate $2,000 a month in new business in order for it to be a return on investment. For me to generate $2,000 in new business when patient values are $1,200 each, you’re telling me I have to generate two new patients a month in order to make it profitable for them. You do the math. It’s much more of a value added service now.

With restaurants, for example, we can discuss with them email marketing or text based marketing. Text based marketing, from a social aspect, how are we supposed to get our dental patients to be very active in a social network and say, “Yes, I was happy today because I’m going to the dentist.” I’m sorry, that’s the nature of their business, they’re not happy go lucky patients. But, patients of a chiropractor are part of a little cult, and certain chiropractors are creating their own cults. When we have a cult-like activity within a specific audience it’s very easy to create what’s called polarization.

You see this all the time on Facebook. One of the biggest things that you find polarization, look at your Facebook feeds right now and look for discussions about vaccination. The only people that really talk about it are the extremists on both sides. Those people that are in the middle don’t get involved in the conversation. If somebody starts a conversation and they’re anti-vaccination, that’s how the discussion tends to get polarized. People tend to side with one another and beat the hell out of the other one. If they start on the other side of the vaccinations and say, “I don’t vaccinate my kids,” you’re going to find the whole conversation tends to have people supporting that comment. Of course, you’re going to get back and forth, but you’re polarized on one side or the other. We like to do that in marketing with our audience.

When you take these two types of businesses, and there was a third business I was referencing with the tourism industry, again the audience that’s based on tourists we’re going to have a very different vocabulary, messaging, distribution and execution than any of those two other businesses.

So we’re a marketing company, we cater to small businesses. Who do you cater to? There are better ways to segment your audience. People say “niche based marketing.” You know what? Throw that term out the window. You’re not niche based. However you want to put it, I don’t care. At the end of the day you’re putting effort towards segmenting your audience.

A burger joint. I’m in Chicago. Anybody that has ever been to Chicago knows that Chicago is probably the best place on the planet for fast food. I’m not talking about chains. Maybe Five Guys is a good chain. Out west you have In-N-Out Burger for hamburgers. For the most part, you have a lot of smaller businesses here in the Chicago here. If somebody is looking for a hamburger, they’re not debating about the $8 hamburger at that top notch hamburger joint that’s sitting right next to McDonalds with their $0.89 hamburgers. “What do I want? Do I want McDonalds or do I want to go with Five Guys?” If you’re having to make that decision and you’re throwing McDonalds into it, your decision is likely based off of finances as well or convenience for time. But, if it comes down to taste, your decision is going to be different.

So even in the exact same business you can still segment your audience. You’re going to create your marketing material relevant to that specific audience. You’re still segmenting your audience.

For any LMS student that hasn’t taken the time to segment their audience, right off the get-go you’re missing some basic fundamentals of marketing for everything that we predicate and put ourselves on.

That doesn’t mean that you have to go into one specific niche. For example, chiropractors versus dentists. You could position your company as a marketing agency focused solely on chiropractors and create content all around chiropractic care. Or you could create an agency focused around professional services, or bodily services and enhancements, and work with chiropractors, dentists, massage therapists, estheticians, because the messaging that you would create for those types of businesses are the same. The messaging for an electrician versus a plumber versus an HVAC guy is all going to be relatively the same.

So not so much niche based marketing for any local business, but segment your audience. Every single local business has the ability to segment their audience.

We deal with lots of chiropractors. The content we’re going to create is going to be different for different chiropractors, based off of their principles and their philosophies. Dentists – some go after teeth whitening, some say “we can drug you up so you don’t feel anything, we have the best drugs out there,” and some say, “we’ll fix your pain immediately.”

I wanted to talk a little bit about niche based marketing and this definition of niche. I really feel like the internet marketing community has it wrong by definition of niche based marketing. Segmenting your audience. That’s something we’ve been talking about for a long time.

All right, Super Bowl.

When I lived in Canada, I had friends that were NFL fans. I had a roommate for three years that every single Sunday it was a ritual. All day he had his chicken wings planned out, his beer, and everything. I had opportunity to watch, but I never really got into it. Even though I was in sales in the United States, I always joked saying I have to learn golf and I have to learn football. I just never really had much of a passion for it.

Then I moved to the U.S., and maybe it’s being around the energy of people, I’ve slowly begun to learn the game of football. I’m not a Bears fan, as much as I’m a general football fan. I’m not a big football fan that if I miss any games, but I definitely would like to see all the Bears games if they’re playing. They didn’t play this year. Football is a really neat game. Once you understand the game, it’s a game of chess. It’s not just a beat-them-up type of game.

This last Super Bowl what was neat about it is they talked about it as a chess game between two coaches. The analysis of this last play, I’ve read a lot of different stuff and that’s what it comes down to is the calls that they made and whether they support them or not. I’m not here to talk about that, I’m just saying it was neat and it was involved.

At the same time, as a marketer, when I watch commercials I watch them differently than most people. I try to watch and wonder, “What was this marketer trying to think? Who were they trying to go after? What were they trying to accomplish?” I really try to analyze it.

We know that as far as commercials on Super Bowl, it’s probably bigger than the game itself. I’d bet there’s more talk on social media about commercials than the game. Maybe not about this last call this year, but in general for Super Bowl I suspect that. Regardless, it’s a big deal.

I remember when I was in high school for a 30 second slot on the Super Bowl is was $1 million. I was blown away by that. Maybe I was even in university at the time, still 10 or 12 years ago. Now to get a 30 second slot it’s over $4 million. I think it’s $4.5 million on average to get a 30 second slot.

That tells me a few things. If it goes up 450% in 10 years, there is obviously demand. If there’s demand, there’s obviously results. If there are results, people will pay for it.

So you have $4.5 million to spend on your budget and you can choose a 30 second ad on the Super Bowl – I don’t know what the viewership numbers are. Let’s make a couple of assumptions. We know it’s the most watched event in the United States, so you’re probably talking 50 million, 60 million that view it. For 30 seconds. That’s possible, there are a lot of people that get up and go to the bathroom and grab another beer. Let’s just say 50 million.

What would $4.5 million buy you on the internet? This is mind blowing.

$4.5 million will buy you 2.5 billion impressions across the internet for a minimum of 24 hours. Using an average cost-per-impression of 1,000 at $1.50, which is actually relatively high.

In terms of exposure, can we agree that paid targeting on the internet is better than targeting on a television channel? We can segment based off of geography, we can segment based off of age, gender, education, workplace. You can’t do that with television. And you only pay for what you show.

A targeted campaign that gets 2.5 billion views. You think you’re creating brand awareness? Holy fuck. Sorry, pardon my language, but that blows me away.

What else can you do with $4.5 million? You tell me if you had the opportunity to take over the homepage of YouTube for 11 days, do you think you would get greater exposure than 30 seconds on the Super Bowl with targeting? An 11 day takeover of YouTube.

Here’s another mind blowing one. What about a nine day takeover of Turner Networks? You might say, “Who’s Turner Networks, Scott?” You’re saying I can takeover Turner Networks for nine full days for $4.5 million. Turner Networks owns TNT, CNN, NBA.com, AdultSwim.com, and the list goes on.

What else can you get?

Forty-five days of standalone ads, so you’re the only ad, right across the entire platform for 45 days on their logout page of Facebook. Can you imagine monopolizing Facebook’s logout page for 45 days?

You can get 37 days of sponsored trending on Twitter. You can have your Twitter ad showing up in almost celebrity’s feed that’s out there.

I hope I’ve proven my point. If you haven’t gotten to the point or recognize the point, why is there still so much money being spent on these older traditional channels that as online marketers we really know we don’t come remotely close to local businesses to these types of numbers, but they’re just mind blowing. This tells me that we have a lot of opportunity left and in the shift we still haven’t hit general momentum where that’s the way to do. SEO is not that way to do it yet, or internet marketing, or figuring out what are the best aspects of it. Every industry is still working hard to figure out some of these solutions.

Yes, 30 seconds, a Super Bowl ad for $4.5 million. That’s amazing, isn’t it? An 11 day takeover of the YouTube front page. Mind blowing.

Google Answers.

If you don’t know what Google Answers is, I shared a little bit about it at the beginning. It’s Google’s attempt to give you the information that you’re looking for without you having to navigate away from Google. Go to Google and type in temperature or time. That’s Google Now working.

Google Now’s goal is to give you the answers before you ask the questions. You’ll find functionality on Google Now on your phone. Essentially it competes against Siri. All the reports that I’ve read in the last few months, granted there’s back and forth between the two solutions, but Google has surpassed Apple in terms of its algorithm to generate answers. This is what we talk about Google Now, as well as Google Answers, which is a component of Google Now.

With Google Answers it has always been evolving. Google is trying to provide greater amounts of answers to common questions. We’ve seen definitions pop up.

Google has just launched links inside of these answers. This is brand new, so I’m looking into this with some speculation and thought and opinion as we go through some of this.

As an example, go and type in “motivational quotes.” You’re going to get a standard result.

Now go and type in “love quotes.” Google is going to give you a quote.

I have Nick on the line – Nick is in New Zealand, I doubt it’s rolled out over there. Here in the U.S. I was replicating this.

There’s a little button there that says “try again.” Google is pulling these quotes from Einstein somewhere.

Go and do a search for Quickbooks install or Quickbooks download.

Remember the Panda update was all about brands? When we type in a brand name, Google is taking over two-thirds of the top of the real estate for brand searches. Inside those brand boxes now are links. If we’re looking for a Quickbooks download there’s going to be a link that says “go to download” immediately above every single organic search.

The question becomes, “Scott, how is this relevant for local business?” Well, Google can go in different ways with this type of result and I could pick apart the different ways that are out there and what would be beneficial and what wouldn’t be, and I could speculate as to what we’re going to eventually see. There’s no doubt that when you do a brand search and a call to action after it, that Google is going to want to demonstrate answers for that.

Brand search and call to action. That’s how we’re going to break apart these keywords. For example, Quickbooks and download. Brand search, call to action.

Local businesses have different calls to action. Phone numbers, email addresses, social aspects. The question really becomes is Google going to start to give answers that are non-brand searches. I don’t think we’re going to see that anytime soon. But, I definitely see that that is going to be a part of the future, two or three years down the road.

I think that these answers are probably going to be integrated with the local results. Where we see a snippet of three, sometimes we see a snippet of seven, sometimes we see an embedded result of one local result; I foresee that those are going to be integrated directly into Answers, which are going to be more prevalent on the page.

The question becomes, “How do I get these links?” One question always was, “How do I get a double listing on the front SERP?” and we learned how to do that. Then Google introduced what was called indented listings, where you have a main listing and then you see two, four, or eight links underneath that to the same site but indented a little bit. “How do we get those indented listings?” We teach that stuff at Local Marketing Sources, but in a nutshell to get those indented listings is based off of authority and usability.

If you’re ranking number one for your top keyword – I’ll use chiropractor as an example. If you’re ranking number one for chiropractor, you have the authority. The other piece is usability. Do you have a website that is usable? Google may look at 10 factors, they may look at 10,000 factors – that’s not relevant. Usability comes down to does your site have HTML errors, are there programming errors.

The last thing here is location based geo-targeting. Is it going to boost any paid search ad performance, or does it? Is that going to affect local aspects of it?

There are a couple of statistics in here that are relevant. We’ve passed the 60/40 mark where on average 60% of local consumers are utilizing mobile devices. Of that 60%, 70% of them are on the go. Over 50% of local business consumers are now on the go looking.

At least in America everything is about “now,” I want my information now, I make my decisions right now. So you know you have to be placed there, it’s that simple. If half the audience is searching, you have to be on mobile.

It’s starting to create some concerns for me and my clients, because if you don’t have a website that is mobile friendly and dynamic for mobile users, and effectively designed in terms of navigation, you’re going to have a hard time ranking.

Why is our industry questioning whether geo-targeting boosts particular paid search performances? It’s arguable that while you’re targeting an audience a little bit more, as a local business if you’re targeting people that are one mile surrounding your business, it’s arguable that that conversion is going to be higher than those that are five miles out, versus 10 miles out. So we know there’s a factor of what we’ll call diminishing returns from the center. Somebody write that one down, I think that sounded awesome, diminishing returns from the centroid.

That’s what we see, the further we get out. Of course geo-targeting is going to improve ad performance. The better that we can target our audience based off of geography for local businesses that are dependent on location, it’s ultimately going to do that. It’s no different in the local side of it that certain things that we talk about.

In my meeting today I at a client’s office and we were talking about some of the surrounding townships for them to rank, they have a little bit of ranking. It’s a relatively new client and so they’re not even ranking very well in their own hometown, but he was asking about ranking that was out there. I said, “What is your service area? How do we define your service area? He tried to come up with some convoluted answer every time I asked that question.

How do you define a local business service area? I’m curious. Any LMS students that are on the line right now that know me, that can define that in four words. How do you define a local business service area in four words or less? If you give me more than four words, but you still get the answer that’s okay.

When I looked at the names here there was one name in particular that has been around for some time and is on our calls. If he didn’t put something up, then I’d have to go give him a slap.

Nick says “the area you serve.”

I was looking for four different words, but that’s exactly what I referring to. Where your customers reside, more so than the area you technically serve.

If you’re a chiropractor, your average area serviced is about a five mile radius. But if you have patients that are frequently traveling from 10 miles all around that circumference, then it’s easy to say the area you serve is now a 10 mile radius. But why would one chiropractor next to another one serve five miles and the other one serve 10 miles? Probably because they have happy patients and they offer a good service that their patients feel it’s worth it to drive past four chiropractic offices to go and visit this one guy.

It really comes down to where your customers are, where your customers live. How far your customers are asking you to travel, for plumbers, or how far your customers have to travel to come see you, it’s one or the other.

If we can take a map and draw a big circle around it, and pinpoint exactly where all of our customers are, we’re going to start to define a circle. That is your service area. If you want to increase your service area, get more customers outside of that circle. It’s that simple.

How do we show the search engines that you have more customers outside of that circle? Reviews. It’s that simple.

If you want to start to encourage your customers to rank in surrounding townships, get customers in those townships to leave reviews. Do whatever the fuck you have to do to get those reviews. I swore there with intention to emphasize. Do whatever you have to do to get those reviews.

I have to take that back, actually, and be a little cautious about saying do whatever you have to do. I’m not referring to any grey hat or black hat techniques. You beg, plead, or borrow. Take the customers out for dinner, send them gift baskets, pick up the phone and call them or ask them, follow up. There are a lot of options that you have to influence patients and customers, prospects and clients to leave reviews.

That’s the conclusion of today’s update. I’m going to take 30 seconds and I’ll be back to answer any questions that may have been asked.

The Local Marketing Industry Weekly Update, presented by Scott Gallagher. Scott is the co-founder of Local Marketing Source and has become the recognized expert in providing local marketing services to local businesses.


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