In early March 2012, Gary and I attended the Search Marketing Expo conference in San Jose, California. The Conference was very exciting and we attended great presentations on the latest digital media trends.
Besides attending the SMX conference we were also invited to Google’s headquarters in order to have a quarterly business review with them.
White Shark Media was assigned a dedicated Google Partner Team to best support our agency moving forward, in December 2011. Our being invited to their headquarters, after only a little more than a year of starting up our efforts, is a huge achievement for us.
In the meeting it was disclosed that White Shark Media was chosen amongst 3,000 other agencies, which again speaks to how far we have come in such a short time.
Overall Account Health Check
Our dedicated Google contacts (Patrick, Ursula and Prathiba), had prepared a thorough account health check of all the AdWords accounts within our agency MCC (My Client Center).
Some of the highlights from the health check and meeting in general, were:
- A suggestion to focus more on local businesses.
- Greater focus on Location Extensions.
- Emphasis that higher budgets equal higher returns.
- A suggestion to focus more on offering Display, remarketing and mobile marketing campaigns.
- Confirmation that Call Tracking is now a necessity for local businesses.
- Reiteration that good websites are crucial for online success.
A lot of these issues had already been discussed internally within White Shark Media, but it was good to hear actual Google representatives concurring with the strategies we are already carrying out.
Mobile Marketing Focus
One of the big talking points discussed in 2012, are the emerging opportunities for advertising on mobile devices (especially on smartphones).
Mobile search is exploding and all business owners need to start riding this wave if they want to get a good grip on their local markets before their competitors beat them to it.
One of the big highlights in mobile marketing is that a big part of searches on mobile are brand new; they aren’t replacing searches made on laptops, desktops or tablets.
Some examples of brand new searches include:
- Sitting at the airport looking for the best restaurant
- If you are locked out of your house or car
- Walking on the street looking for something specific
- The computer is down and you’re looking for a computer tech
This is just a small part of overall mobile search queries.
Another part of mobile marketing is the power of the Zero Moment of Truth (www.zeromomentoftruth.com). If you haven’t already read the 70-page eBook, then it’s a definite must-read for anyone conducting advertising online.
Thus far, you had no easy way of finding local competitors if you had already driven to a local store and weren’t completely satisfied with what you were offered there.
The Zero Moment of Truth is the new element within marketing that takes place precisely before consumers make a purchase.
It’s typically at this moment when the user will search for a competitor or a review. It’s crucial for most businesses to be present in these moments online and conquer buying-ready consumers.
Website and Conversion Data for Local Businesses
A couple of months back we decided to offer ready-to-use websites for local businesses that wanted to quickly increase the amount of leads they were generating via their websites.
The thinking behind our website service was that business owners don’t have to become experts in what’s important to have in local business websites. As experts ourselves however, we are now offering to take on that responsibility for them.
Now our Clients can simply take their accreditations, testimonials, content, etc., and once delivered to us, we can set up a ready-to-use website of their choice.
Read more about our local business websites.
What did We Walk Away With?
Besides being incredibly proud of the interest that Google had taken with our “small agency”, we were also really proud of our contacts within Google calling our growth and market approach “amazing”.
In the future, we will participate in a deeper collaboration with Google on two fronts:
1. Small Business Cases
We will build upon some past cases regarding how Google AdWords can prove important for small businesses working directly with Google. Via these cases, we hope to shine light on Google AdWords and how valuable it can be for a small business to advertise with it if executed properly.
2. Close Optimization on Select Clients
Our Search Team’s very own Cynthia Luna and Javier Castro have both received the very interesting task of working directly with Google on some of their key accounts. Through this collaboration, we hope to develop new optimization strategies and increase our overall efficiency in our AdWords efforts for small businesses.
In White Shark Media, we have big expectations on how much we can continue to build our relationship with Google in the future and optimize our processes to become one of the best agencies servicing small business owners in 2012.
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